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The Ultimate Guide for International Students to Work and Study in Australia

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Olufolakemi Adeniyi

Nigeria prides itself with a collection of top universities that have produced global talents from our prestigious Obiageli Ezekwesili to business tycoon Godwin Emefiele and notable novelist Chinua Achebe. In the World University Ranking annual report for 2022, the University of Ibadan (UI) was ranked best university in Nigeria and at 1172nd in the world. It was followed closely with the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) which was ranked 1775 globally and second in Nigeria. Likewise, the University of Lagos was rated 1924 in the world and third in Nigeria.

Despite the country’s pride in these top universities, they do not contend fairly with the universities from other African countries like Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. This is not a compliment to a country hailed as African’s “giants” because of the vast riches it possesses. To say that Nigeria’s education industry is struggling is an understatement. According to Economic survey, percentage of the national budget spent on education has been less than 8% in the last seven years with this year’s budget being the lowest at 4.30%. The demand for the government to invest more in education has been a nationwide struggle with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) choosing a stubborn and frustrating line of battle.

Every seven in 10 of Nigerian students are now in search of stable and quality education abroad as the country remains a promising market for international universities. Unlike its popular rosy reputation, studying abroad comes with a fair share of challenges. Financial concerns remain a top of mind concern as many Nigerians may not have the opportunity to study abroad in the near future without financial support. While studying abroad can be exhilarating, it also presents some harsh realities of responsibilities along the line of expensive cost of living, high rail fees, high food costs and high rents.

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Fortunately, there are numerous scholarship alternatives available to assist international study aspirants to Australia. The bulk of these scholarships are merit-based (based on academic achievement), country-based (primarily for students from developing countries), or privately funded (sponsored by individuals usually for a specific area of study). To increase one’s chances of winning one of these coveted scholarships, it is important to know where to look, plan ahead of time, and stand out among other applicants. Mel Educational advises applicants to plan six-months before their application is lodged as this gives them enough time to work with the resources they have. As trusted educational consultants, some of their partnering universities grant 25% scholarships and it is granted simultaneously with an offer.

Applying to Australian universities is straightforward, albeit it will need some effort and careful planning. The first step is to conduct thorough research on the courses, institutions, and their locations. QUT is located at the heart of Brisbane, a welcoming, modern and multicultural city and the capital of Queensland, Australia. Queensland University of Technology is an ambitious and collaborative institution that embraces new technology, has a global outlook and a practical real-world focus. Known for its world class standards, QUT’s degrees and connections with are internationally recognised and their students and research programs have had a consistent global impact.
Once a decision has been made on a course and an education provider, your application will be evaluated and you will be notified of the outcome. If your application is accepted, an offer letter should be expected. The offer letter should be read carefully before acceptance. A student visa can then be applied for using your Confirmation of Enrollment (COE). A visa interview and/or a health check-up might be required based on the location of choice. Once a visa has been approved, you must arrive in Australia by orientation week of your study. As the visa process usually takes around 4-6 weeks, the applicant’s readiness is crucial to help them secure their visa in time to join the resumption.

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It can be challenging to navigate the document verification, university and visa application process through to the finalisation of travel plans as there are different types of visas and various application options available based on your situation and nationality. Making a choice is based on available required document will ease your application. Mel educational assists clients in selecting relevant colleges and courses, assisting with educational planning, providing tuition fee guidance, and following up on students’ welfare once they have been admitted.

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Aside the issue of integration, overseas students do not need to worry about finding a secure employment in their field following graduation. International students with a valid student visa can work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and there are no restrictions on how many hours an international student can work during approved school holidays. The student’s weekly work limit of 20 hours does not apply to any labor required as part of his or her education or training. Unlike in several other English-speaking countries, student visa does not grant automatic right to stay and work in Australia after completing a degree. With student visa, the government allows you to come in on a temporary basis to study with the understanding that you will leave when you are done with your study.

Australia continues to be in need of foreign talents, employees, and students. There are various different visa categories available to international students, and Australia offers a simple points-based system for obtaining permanent residency. If you wish to continue working after you graduate, you must apply and obtain a work visa. Mel Educational’s mission is to assist individuals and groups from Nigeria and Ghana who desire to study and work in Australia; they provide all required information and support on visa requirements, working permissions and how to land a job in Australia.

Mrs Adeniyi is the founder/ CEO of MEL Education Services based in Queensland, Australia

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