Four myths about studying in Australia


Many students think that university programs in Australia are lighter than in Vietnam, that studying abroad in this country is easy to earn money and have many opportunities to settle down, but the reality is not so.

With her experience of studying abroad, working in the education sector, and now settling in Australia, Ms. Thoai Giang points out four things students often mistakenly believe when coming to this country to study.

1. Having a high IELTS band score is enough

Most Vietnamese international students speak English with a heavy accent because they have little opportunity to learn and communicate with native speakers before going abroad. Many of you have achieved IELTS 8.5, confident that you will have no problem communicating, but in reality, it is not, according to my observations.

Just forget to stress, say without a last syllable, Australians who do not have much experience with foreigners will not understand what you are saying. On the contrary, when they speak, I do not listen. This makes international students become less confident, timid, afraid to communicate.

Language is a skill, and that skill will disappear if not practiced and cultivated regularly. Studying abroad, not just in Australia, does not mean that everyone will "speak English like the wind".

2. Studying in Australia is "light and easy"

A semester at an Australian university is short, only 13 weeks, but the amount of work is huge. Local students can study part-time, but international students are required to study full-time, at least four subjects per semester. In the fourth week, there will be a test, in the ninth week there will be a presentation and submission of a 3,000-word assignment / essay, in the 13th week review, then the final exam.

For each subject, students have two hours of theory, one hour of practice/schoolwork, and about six hours of self-study/research per week, if they want to get good results. Plagiarism is strictly controlled in Australian universities. When submitting the essay, the software will check if the essay is copied. Exams are also very strict, copying is almost impossible.

Moreover, while native students are used to working in groups, Vietnamese students prefer to work alone, without anyone to share, invisibly putting pressure on themselves.


One hour class at the University of Sydney. Photo: Pulse

3. Easy to earn a lot of money by working part-time

International students in Australia are allowed to work up to 20 hours/week during the academic year and full-time during breaks between semesters. However, most international students work part-time, just enough to pay for living expenses such as rent, meals, and transportation. A few have to work hard to pay their tuition fees. Having money to send home to family in Vietnam is a rare thing. The purpose of international students is to go to school, not to work, but many of you are caught up in the cycle of earning money to pay tuition fees, do not have time to study, fail the exam, and have to earn money to pay tuition fees again.

The current minimum wage in Australia is set by the government at around $20/hour, but it depends on age, experience, seasonal or part-time work. Most Vietnamese students, due to their limited English ability, rarely find good jobs, and have to work for places that pay cash, have low wages, and are poorly treated.

4. Easy settlement conditions

Study abroad counseling centers always draw a promising future after studying abroad, especially settling in Australia. Most international students apply for permanent residence in the category of skills and degrees. However, Australian immigration laws change each year depending on the requirements of the labor market, the economy and the tendencies of the governing party. For example, the accounting industry used to be able to apply for a permanent resident visa, but now it is no longer "hot". Many international students work hard for 3-4 years to study but then cannot use their degree to apply for permanent residence because the law changes.

International students often joke with each other that "The way to the top of PR" to compare applying for PR (permanent residency, similar to the US "green card") is as difficult as the "Road to Olympia".

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