Studying in Australia
Q1: What is ELICOS?
A : ELICOS stands for English Language Institute Course for Overseas Students. As the name suggests, ELICOS are English learning courses designed for international students. It is often taken as a preliminary course before other courses or degrees.
Q2: When does school usually start in Australia?
A : Australian university and TAFE courses usually have 2 semesters with one starting around February/March and the second starting around July/August. Some courses may also have Summer and Winter classes over the holiday periods.
For diploma courses, there can be 2-6 staring dates a year, whilst high schools typically have 4 terms spread over the year (January, April, July and October). In regards to English courses, they are the most flexible with some courses accepting new students every week.
Q3: Can I study part-time?
A: If you are an International Student studying onshore in Australia, you must maintain full-time enrolment in each semester - International students are permitted less than full-time enrolment only in the following circumstances:
- you are in your final semester and are required to take additional units to complete your course
- you are in Australia on a different type of visa that permits part-time study
- you are a cross-institutional student who is enrolled full-time at your home institution
- you are in an approved program of study involving joint delivery by two separate institutions.
Q4: Can I change school if I am not satisfied with it?
A: If you are an international student, DIBP's policy is that you need to complete at least one year of your course before you are allowed to change schools. If your course is less than 1 year, then you would need to complete the whole course before changing.
However, you can apply for release from your current school if you haven't studied there for over 1 year. ACIC can advise and help you with this process.
Q5: What happens if my school attendance is low?
A: If your attendance is lower than 80%, your school will notify DIBP. In such circumstances, DIBP may cancel your student visa.
Q6: I had originally received a packaged enrolment offer, with 10 weeks English followed by a Masters degree. What happens if I fail the English course, which is a entry requirement for the Masters degree? Will there be any problem with my visa?
A: If you fail to fulfil the English entry requirement to enter a particular university, you can apply for release from the university if you get another offer from other institution. It is also likely you will have to study more English. However, by following ACIC's advice and meeting DIBP's requirements, you should not have any problems with your visa.
Q7: My English course finishes in October while my next course (e.g. Bachelor) starts in March. Do I have to go back to my home country during the time gap?
A: If you were offered a packaged COE, then you might be able to stay in Australia during the time gap. If not, then you will either have to study a short course or return to your home country and re-apply a student visa.
Q8: How long does it take for to process an University application?
A :University applications usually takes between 4-8 weeks. For some special courses, such as Design, it may take even longer. The application process can be quite lengthy and frustrating, especially if you do not know how to manage and submit your application properly. However, ACIC can help you with your application and ensure that it will be processed in the shortest possible time.
Q9: What documents do I need to apply for universities or other institutions?
A : You will need to submit your previous certificates and transcripts, together with any IELTS result and work experience letters. ACIC will pre-assess your application and can advise you on your chances of success.