Questions about the Virtual Student Agency from prospective clients who want to study in Australia.
What is the role of the Virtual Student Agency?
We are a vibrant, new student agency with a goal to establish contact between Australian Educational Providers and prospective students from all around the world who want to study in Australia. Many of us at the Virtual Student Agency have been overseas students ourselves. We have the first hand experience and the knowledge required to assist you with the transition required to study in Australia. Since we are based on the Internet, our service is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any questions or concerns you might have pertaining to study in Australia can be resolved without delay!
How can I use the Virtual Student Agency?
Our goal is to provide 24/7 support in English and provide quick response in Spanish, Portuguese and Hungarian. We have assistants from numerous countries around the world, including Australia, the Philippines, China, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and the USA. We are able to give personalised advice and answer any questions you might have in connection with your stay and study in Australia. We utilize several methods of communication, including email, phone, Skype, and chat. We have registered agents that can help you resolve your immigration related questions.
How we help you
- We will help you find the right course in accordance with your education requirements.
- We can provide advice on your student visa application with the help of our immigration agent partners, or by sending you relevant links to sites such as the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
- We can help you find and book your accommodation.
- We can help you arrange free airport pick–up upon your arrival.
- We can assist you with the needs of everyday life (e.g. opening a bank account, choosing a telephone operator, getting a tax file number, etc.)
- We can even keep you informed about social events and more…
Questions about Australia
Does Australia Accept International Students?
Yes, all governmental and non-governmental schools accept International students but they must meet special requirements under Australian Government legislation to study in Australia.
What is so great about Australian education and training as compared to other countries?
Australia is an internationally recognized source of high quality education
as well as research excellence. The universities, vocational and technical education colleges, and schools are world-class. Australia is a world leader in English language courses for international students who want to study in Australia. Australian Government legislation requires quality assurance agencies and codes of conduct to be in place so that international students in Australia and their parents enjoy a level of service and financial protection that is unrivalled. Multicultural Australia is a safe, friendly, sophisticated, and harmonious society in which students can learn and travel in an English speaking country. Australia also offers excellent value for the money and a high standard of living.
Are There Quarantine Restrictions in Australia?
Because of Australia’s unique island environment, there are strict quarantine restrictions in place that are deemed essential for the stopping of exotic pests and diseases as well as the usual restrictions on prohibited items, including weapons, illegal drugs, and the like. That is why it is so very important to understand current restrictions on items, including meat, plants, or plant products such as foods, or in soil on machinery and timber. If you wish to save yourself from long explanations, fines, or even jail, declare all items when you receive the declarations form to fill in and sign. Anything made from plants or animals have to be declared. With Australia’s diverse population from all over the world, you will have little or no problem sourcing your favourite foods or products, so when you study in Australia, it is unlikely you need to bring anything like that in with you in the first place. Beagle Corps Tread lightly… there are beagles about! At airports and Australian points of entry the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service checks incoming baggage, mail, and cargo using inspectors, x-ray machines, and other hi-tech devices as well as a corps of specially trained beagles, that can detect smells far beyond what humans can. They are silent, cute, and effective.
What Goods Should I Declare?
- Herbs and spices of any kind
- Dried fruit and vegetables
- Biscuits, cakes and confectionery
- Noodles and rice
- Teas, coffee, juices and other drinks
- All other foods
- Holy water
- Wool (unprocessed) and animal hair
- Bee products
- Pine cones and potpourri
- Stuffed animals
- Animal equipment (used)
- Herbal medicines
- Bamboo, cane or rattan basket ware and mats
- Fresh flowers
- Dried flower arrangements
- Seeds in any form
- Straw packing and handicrafts
- All wooden articles, artefacts, handicrafts and curios
- Shells or coral in any form
- Feathers, bones, horns and tusks
- Sporting and camping equipment
Australia’s quarantine laws are very strict and many foodstuffs, plants, animal products and some medicines cannot be brought into Australia.
GOODS WHICH CANNOT ENTER AUSTRALIA
- Milk and milk products
- Handicrafts and souvenirs that contain or are made from seeds
- Popping corn or raw non-roasted nuts
- Banana products, including chips
- Eggs and products containing eggs
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Live animals
- Un-canned meat products
- Live plants
- Biological materials
- Deer horn/velvet, edible bird’s nest
- Soil and sand
- Illicit drugs, weapons or firearms
Note: some goods may enter if prior arrangements are made. If you are not sure whether your goods are prohibited, you should declare them anyway and ask a quarantine officer. You can check in advance either at AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) offices or on the AQIS website
Basic Requirements for Study in Australia
What entry requirements must be met to study at Australian institutions?
Students must meet the minimum academic requirements and will need a sufficient level of English language proficiency for entry into Australian education and training institutions. The individual institutions will assess whether you meet the selection criteria set for your proposed course of study. They will look at the level and content of the study in Australia or your home country that you have completed.
What happens if I do not meet the entry requirements to study in Australia?
If you do not meet the entry requirements for tertiary study, you can enroll in secondary school in Australia. If you do not meet undergraduate course entry requirements, you may be able to enroll in Foundation Studies
, which prepare you for further study in Australia and reserve a provisional place in your proposed course. Bridging courses, such as a Master Qualifying Program
, are offered as well. There are also many English language courses with starting dates throughout the year to prepare you for further study in Australia. It is recommended that you seek advice from the institution or the Virtual Student Agency
about meeting their entry requirements before applying for admission into your selected courses.
Health and/or Travel Insurance: Do I need it during my study in Australia?
Most visitors cannot access Australia’s subsidised system of health care. There are some countries where reciprocal agreements are in place, you can find out more from our assistants. Ensuring that you have the right type of Health and Travel Insurance is strongly advised by the Australian Government.
When does my health cover start and stop?
From the day that you arrive to study in Australia until the day that you leave Australia.
Am I covered if I fall pregnant while I am in Australia?
The Virtual Student Agency does not encourage pregnancy whilst you study in Australia on student visa
, however, if it does occur you will be entitled to immediate cover for pregnancy related services provided the length of your stay is more than three months.
Am I covered by OSHC while I travel to and from Australia?
No, Overseas Student Health Cover does not provide coverage while you travel to and from Australia. You will be responsible for carrying Health and Travel Insurance from an external provider.
What will I need to prepare before I depart to study in Australia?
Before your departure, make sure that you bring documentation such as a passport, your offer letter and/or copy of COE from your institution, the orientation letter, a previous academic qualification, (preferable original) and the address of your overseas accommodation
. Other than documents, you should obtain information about the current climate for your destination, clothing requirements, customs and quarantine, and the estimated living cost in Australia; also ensure that you have sufficient funds to cover your needs for the first few weeks after your arrival.
How much does it cost to study in Australia?
An Australian Government survey showed that in terms of total costs—including tuition fees and living expenses—Australia was consistently less expensive than the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Tuition fees for those who wish to study in Australia will vary depending on the course or institution. Living costs too will vary by location, course, and lifestyle.
When do courses begin in Australia?
Admissions in Australian institutions usually start in either February or July; however, some courses start throughout the year. If you are in your final semester/year, you can submit an application for July intake if you expect your results to be issued by the end of June. In which case, you would be issued a conditional letter of offer to study in Australia (if you qualify) which would enable you to start your visa process. Fee payment is, however, subject to fulfilling the conditions listed in your offer.
How long are the courses in English language?
There are five major categories of English language courses catering to all levels of proficiency from the beginner to an advanced student. Full-time course durations generally range from four to 48 weeks and students can enroll at any time during the year.
How does the Australian Educational System structure English Language courses?
For a full time general English course, you study 25 hours a week, usually including 5 hours self access study. School starts at 9:00 or 9:30 and finishes at 3:00 or 3:30. You can do self-access study using library, language lab, or pc lab. The class consists of listening, reading, writing, and speaking. A part time English course is generally 15 hours without self-access study. Many schools have a part time course in the morning, but other schools offer afternoon and evening part-time courses. Moreover, schools offer various courses including IELTS preparation, EAP, (English for Academic Purposes) Business English, Conversation, Cambridge preparation, TOEIC preparation, and High schools preparation.
What is Vocational Education and Training and where is it available?
Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system is often referred to as Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) in other countries. It delivers training that is both practical and career-oriented and includes courses in computing, business studies, marketing, tourism, and hospitality. VET is also available in Australian schools.
Questions about the Visa Application
What is the most important thing to keep in mind before going to study in Australia?
You must consider three very important steps. They are the student visa and immigration requirements, health insurance, and quarantine restrictions. These three topics are covered extensively in the first section of the eBook, your guide to live, work
, and study in Australia.
What exactly are the Visa and Immigration requirements?
Every year, millions of overseas visitors arrive in Australia. If you wish to spend time in Australia and are not a citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa. Tourists, business visitors, sports people, newly arriving immigrants, students who wish to study in Australia, and others will need to apply. If in doubt, there are registered agencies available that can help with visa and immigration issues. You will need to obtain your visa prior to your arrival, but the government has made it easier since visitors cannot only apply at embassies, consulates, and other government missions, but with airlines and travel agents around the world. While New Zealanders can obtain a visa upon arrival, Australian visas can also be obtained online with the Electronic Travel Authority, (ETA) which is available to citizens from 34 countries , even who want to study in Australia.
What is the length of my Student Visa?
Your Student Visa is valid for as long as you study in Australia. In most cases you are permitted to arrive in Australia 28 days before your course officially begins. Generally you are permitted to stay in Australia no longer than 28 days once your course is completed.
How can the Virtual Student Agency help me during my stay as a student in Australia?
If I come to study in Australia, will the Virtual Student Agency pick me up at the airport and help me find accommodations?
Absolutely! We assist with arrival transportation and accommodation upon request. We can inform you of the available options depending on which institution you are going to attend while you study in Australia.
Will I be allowed to work while I study in Australia?
Yes, International students who study in Australia on a student visa automatically receive permission to work
up to 40 hours fortnightly during course time and full-time during vacation periods. (Around 12 weeks of the year). Keep it in your mind; you cannot undertake work until you have commenced your course in Australia.
May my spouse work as well?
Yes, when you study in Australia, your spouse may work, but only 40 hours fortnightly for undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas. (Masters and PhD student spouses may work unlimited hours)
What should I do if I wish to extend my stay and continue to study in Australia?
You can apply for a student visa in Australia while holding another visa (for example, working holiday visa or tourist visa) if you are from one of the assessment countries. You may apply for a further student visa while you study in Australia, provided your current visa is not subject to a “NO FUTHER STAY’ condition. You will have to apply for the new visa before your current visa expires.
Will my institution have a job placement program once I have completed my qualification?
All universities have a careers and employment office to assist you in finding employment anywhere in the world. This includes information on employers; resume writing, facing an interview, recruitment fairs, and returning home seminars. For more details on employment opportunities, and career services offered by our universities to students who study in Australia, please contact our assistants. The Australian immigration system now offers clear pathways for those students who chose to change their visa status to work / live in Australia upon graduating. For more details visit the Department of Immigration’s website
or ask our immigration agent partners.
What is the easiest way to keep in touch with my family and friends while I study in Australia?
Email is the cheapest way of contacting family members. Skype is one of the most accepted VOIP service provider and calls between computers are free. Off campus, call services are provided by the numerous internet cafes that are near all Australian institutions and convenient for those who want to study in Australia. Australian Education Providers are usually well equipped with computer labs both on campus and in most of the dorms. Many of the on-campus accommodations come equipped with internet connection in the rooms. If you are planning to bring a laptop, many cafes and fast food restaurants provide free Wi-Fi Internet connections. Australia is student friendly in the extreme. Every opportunity is provided to those who wish to study in Australia
Websites and contacts that can help to study in Australia
Is there more information to be found? Where can I find it?
The Virtual Student Agency provides information about Education Providers and how to live, work, and study in Australia. The Australian Government has an extensive network of Education and Training Counsellors, Australian Education Centres, (AEC’s) and education advisers around the world that provide reliable and impartial advice on opportunities to study in Australia. The latest information on the Australian education and training system, costs of study and living, application and enrolment procedures, and the Australian way of life is also available from reference sites set up in local institutions and libraries around the world.
We hope that we have answered any questions you may have about the Virtual Student Agency and how we can help you study in Australia and achieve your educational goals. If you have other questions about what it takes to live, work, and study in Australia, please read our extensive eBook or contact us.