Australian Scholarships: A Complete Guide For International Students

With more than 40 universities across the country, Australia is amongst the top destinations for international students. With numerous scholarships that cover tuition fees and living expenses, top-tier education becomes for affordable for students of all backgrounds.

Let’s go over some general guidelines and information on scholarships available for international students.


Foundation Studies

Depending on where you graduated from high school, you may need to take up foundation studies prior to enrolling at university.

Foundation studies are a special curriculum offered by universities to prospective students.

Usually lasting for a year, these courses provide a foundation in the main area of potential bachelor studies.

The reason some international students need to take up a foundation degree is to close the gap between their country’s secondary education and the one in Australia.

This way, everyone starts on the same page.


What To Expect Of The Foundation Studies?

The programme is comprised of both mandatory and elective subjects that fall into different streams, e.g. science, humanities, etc.

English language courses are generally provided so that all students acquire proficiency in academic English.

For this reason, many universities waive the IELTS requirements later on when a student enters the bachelor’s programme.

An upside of foundation studies is that universities will provide you with a provisional place for an undergraduate programme provided you achieve the required grades in your final exams.


Foundation Programme Scholarship At The University Of Melbourne

A good estimation for the course fees would be between US$19,000 and $50,000.

Although most universities don’t offer scholarships for the foundation programme, Trinity College of the University of Melbourne provides half-tuition merit-based scholarships for the incoming students.

Happy friends riding bicycles in city center and drinking coffee
Happy friends riding bicycles in city center and drinking coffee

Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate studies in Australia can last between three and six years depending on the major.

Programmes in arts and sciences typically last for three years, education and engineering studies – four years, dentistry and veterinary studies – five years, and medicine and surgery – six years.

International students usually apply directly to universities. There is a processing fee of up to AUD$100.

Generally, you will need to provide certified proof of your level of English language proficiency, academic transcripts, your course preferences and a summary of your employment experience.


Melbourne International Undergraduate Scholarship

The scholarship is open to all international students. No application is required, you will be automatically considered for the scholarship.

The scholarship can provide up to 100% fee remission for the three-year duration of an undergraduate degree.

Main criteria:

  • Excellent final year school results
  • Undergraduate programme offer
  • 9+ GPA

Graduate Studies

Those who obtained a Bachelor’s diploma can continue their studies on a one-to-two year postgraduate course.

Master’s programmes often imply either a full-time research-based studies or a combination of research and course work.

Another path you could pursue upon completing the bachelor’s studies is PhD studies with minimum three years of full-time research studies.

A master’s degree has three formats – Master’s degree (coursework), Master’s degree (research) and Master’s degree (extended).

  • Master’s degree – coursework. Students attend classes, complete assignments, and sit exams on the units studied throughout the programme.
  • Master’s degree – research. Students are required to conduct research project in the field of their studies.
  • Master’s degree – extended. In addition to the degree specific courses, the programme offers traineeship at partner organisations.

Doctorate Studies

Similarly to master programmes, there are two formats for the doctorate studies:

  • Research Doctorate (PhD) which focuses more on contributing new knowledge to the field.
  • Professional doctorate which focuses on applying existing knowledge directly in the profession.

And here are the available scholarships:

University of Sydney
University of Sydney

PhD Scholarship For Chinese Students At University of Sydney

This scholarship provides Chinese students with a full scholarship for up to four years. The funding covers tuition fees, living allowance, travel allowance, visa costs, and health insurance.

Main criteria:

  • Open to citizens of the People’s Republic of China under 35 years of age.
  • Candidates should have received a conditional or unconditional offer for admission to a PhD program at the University of Sydney.


Australian Government Research Training Programme International Scholarship

Funded by the Australian government, this scholarship provides tuition fees offset and stipend to international postgraduate students who wish to enrol or are currently enrolled in a research degree here.

Stipends are awarded in November, February and June.

Main criteria:

  • Open to a commencing or enrolled international postgraduate research student
  • Outstanding record of academic achievement and research potential


Australia Awards Scholarships

These scholarships are offered to African candidates to pursue postgraduate studies or short-term training. Applications open annually, in September.

Main criteria:

  • Open to citizens of an eligible African country
  • Minimum academic requirement: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Mid-level to senior-level professional, currently employed in a relevant field
  • Meet relevant post-graduate work experience requirements


Australia Awards Scholarships For Asia And Other Countries

Candidates from developing countries will receive funding to pursue full time undergraduate or postgraduate study at participating Australian universities and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions.

The scholarship covers the following:

  • full tuition fees
  • return air travel
  • establishment allowance
  • contribution to living expenses
  • health insurance


University Of Adelaide Research Scholarships For International Students

The scholarship of $28,597 per annum is provided for the duration or a two-year Master’s programme or a three-year PhD programme. Overseas student health coverage and a relocation allowance will also provided.

Main criteria:

International applicants must provide evidence of meeting the minimum English language proficiency requirements for direct entry.

Working on expense
Working on expense

Living Expenses For International Students

Australian government requires international students to have sufficient funds for their stay. The official statement indicates different ways you can prove you have the money to cover the living expenses and associated costs.

You must have enough funds for:

  • your travel
  • 12 months of the tuition fees
  • 12 months of living costs (AUD 21,041)

Evidence could be given in the form of:

  • deposits of money from a financial institution
  • government loans or loans from a financial institution
  • scholarships or similar financial support
  • annual income


When Does Academic Year Start?

A typical academic year in Australia starts in February. However, to accommodate international students coming from the northern hemisphere, universities offer two major intakes.

Semester 1 starts in February and lasts till May/early June.

Semester 2 starts is from late July through to November.

Hopefully, with this overview of criteria and funding opportunities, your application process to an Australian university will run smoothly.

Photos: Shutterstock

Rather study in USA? Here are the best ways to get your English into the best shape possible:

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