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Hero banner 5 myths about study in Australia

5 myths about studying in Australia as an international student

Uni life
Published 28 Jul, 2023  ·  5-minute read

Studying in Australia offers an incredible opportunity for international students seeking a world-class education in a vibrant and welcoming environment. There are, however, lots of misconceptions out there about what it's like to study here. In this article, we'll debunk five common myths about studying in Australia, covering cost of living, isolation concerns, language barriers, job prospects, and safety. Get the real picture and make informed decisions for your future.

Myth 1: The cost of living in Australia is high


While Australia may have a reputation for being an expensive country, you get great value when it comes to the quality of life here. Think excellent job prospects, desirable suburbs and neighbourhoods to live in, top-tier healthcare and amazing outdoor parks, beaches, and recreational facilities for all to enjoy.

Cost of living can vary depending on the city and lifestyle you choose. Brisbane is considered an affordable capital city compared to Sydney or Melbourne. There are also a number of ways to save while at uni. UQU offers free meals at Morning Marmelade or Kampus Kitchen and you can also grab discounted groceries at the Food Co-op.

Wages are higher in Australia, with the minimum wage in 2023 being A$23.23 per hour, with the median university graduate earning around A$75,000. While it may be shocking when we tell you your morning coffee is A$5 or more, you can see how that makes sense with these earnings. As a student holding a student visa (subclass 500), you can work part-time up to 48 hours every two weeks. While a part-time job can alleviate financial pressure, students should not rely on this to cover daily expenses or tuition costs. 

Setting a realistic budget and realistic financial goals will allow you to fully enjoy your time as a student in Australia. Study Australia have a handy cost of living calculator that allows you to compare accommodation arrangements, transportation options as well as other lifestyle choices as an international student in Australia. 

UQ provides support services and accommodation options to help international students manage their expenses effectively, making it more accessible for students on a budget. Additionally, as a student in Australia, you are entitled to loads of discounts for things like movie and event tickets, public transport, retail, food and more!

Myth 2: I'll feel lonely and isolated

Group of students sitting around table in Great Court

It's natural to be worried about feeling lonely when studying abroad, but UQ offers a supportive and welcoming environment that helps students settle in quickly. 

The University provides programs and social events specifically designed to help international students meet new people and make friends. There’s always something to see and do on campus – live music, movie nights and exhibitions at our 5 museums are some of the events our students enjoy.

There are more than 200 clubs and societies where you can find like-minded individuals and engage in shared interests. UQ celebrates the diversity of its student community and organises various events, festivals, and programs that celebrate different cultures and traditions.

Additionally, UQ's Student Services offer counselling and support programs to ensure that students' well-being is a top priority. 

Another fantastic way to meet people is where you live. On-campus colleges and purpose-built student accommodation boast a lively community of local and international students. These providers also run a calendar of collegial social events and experiences, so you’ll always have an outlet to socialise. 

Myth 3: Language barriers will make it hard to study in Australia

Students sitting at table in Great Court with jacaranda

Although English is the primary language of instruction, UQ understands that international students may have varying levels of English proficiency. The University offers English language support programs to assist students in improving their language skills. These programs include language courses, workshops, and tutoring services. 

UQ’s English for Academic Communication (EAC) courses are free and support international students with English as an additional language to succeed in their program.

UQ's faculty and staff are also understanding and supportive, and ready to help students navigate any language challenges they may encounter during their studies. If a student’s English does not meet their desired program’s standard – there are pathway options. UQ College is our award-winning English language and pathways institution right here at St Lucia campus. These programs help you build your English and academic skills to gain entry to your program.

Also, there’s nothing like immersion to get your language skills up to standard. Living, studying, and working in an English-speaking environment will have you feeling confident in no time.

Myth 4: Job prospects for international students are limited

Brisbane city aerial image

"Brisbane city and river aerial view" by Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) licensed under CC BY 2.0

Australia has a thriving economy and international students find ample job opportunities here. The country’s post-study work visa program also enables international students to work in the country for a certain period after completing their studies.

UQ’s home of Brisbane is a great place to find these opportunities post-graduation. One of the fastest growing cities in Australia, its access to key Asian markets and the rest of Australia makes it a strategic springboard to live, work and study. The future is bright with 245,000 new jobs predicted by 2031 (Brisbane Economic Development Agency).

UQ has strong connections with industry partners, both within Australia and internationally. This allows students to gain practical experience through internships, industry placements, and research projects, which enhance their employability.
 
The University's Career Services team offers guidance, workshops, and networking events to help international students explore career options and secure employment after graduation. UQ holds a Careers Expo on campus as part of our Employability Week which hosts more than 50 organisations and employers with career opportunities for UQ students.

Myth 5: I won't feel safe

Surf lifesaver ski and flag on the beach in Australia

"Surf lifesaver ski and flag on the beach in Australia" by Milbsie licensed under CC BY 2.0

Australia is known for its safe and welcoming environment. Brisbane, the city where UQ is located, consistently ranks as one of the safest cities of its size in Australia. 

Something you should be mindful of is going to the beach. When visiting one of our glorious beaches for a day of sun and fun you must swim between the red and yellow flags at a patrolled area and protect yourself from the sun. You’ll find out that Australians bring their own shade to the beach, cover up when not swimming and wear hats and plenty of sunscreen. Slip, slop, slap my friends!

As with anywhere, using common sense and keeping in touch with your accommodation provider and friends when going out at night or taking a trip away applies when living here. It also helps to familiarise yourself with the health services available in your local area or on campus should something happen.

Additionally, UQ's support services and student associations work diligently to promote student safety, making it a secure and comfortable place to study. The campus has 24-hour, 7-days-a-week security patrol staff, are well-lit, equipped with security cameras, and has emergency assistance points throughout.

By debunking these myths surrounding cost of living, cultural isolation, loneliness, language barriers, job prospects, and safety concerns, we hope to provide a clearer picture of what it's really like to study at UQ. It's an opportunity to embrace a diverse community, access support services, gain valuable skills, and create lifelong memories. Don't let these myths hold you back from embarking on this exciting educational journey!

For more information on our programs and life and study at UQ, visit study.uq.edu.au.

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