Studying Down Under
Australia has come up as one of the favoured destinations among students applying for studies abroad. But finding the right college is no easy task as there are thousands of colleges to choose from, and even more courses.
Lind Laker, Minister-Counsellor Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Australian Education International from Australian High Commission in New Delhi simplifies the search. “The most important thing is that you should be clear about what you want to do study. This will help you find the institution, which has the subjects you want to pursue. For many location also matters as they would like to be in the same city as some relative or friends,” she said.
However, there is another factor, which cannot be ignored — cost of the course. Laker advises not to just go for institutes with lower fee, instead she suggests students should compare two institutes with different price ranges. “Along with the price you should also consider what all facilitates you are getting in that price. Find out in what all ways are those two colleges different. It is not only about money it is also about the type of education you get.”
There are hundreds of consultancies in Nepal and time and again there has emerged this debate about how much can one trust such consultancies. Further there is no one particular centre of the Australian Embassy where students can go for counselling, which makes it even more confusing for the students. Pointing out that all consultancies are not bad, Laker opined that students should cross check and consult more than one consultancy.
“Choose the one which has been there for sometime and do check the reputation of the consultancy. Further I don’t think you need to go to a consultancy; you can always apply on your own,” advises Laker.
Students can access all the information they need at www.studyinaustralia.gov.au
“Be realistic.” This is what Laker wants to tell all students as she feels that there are certain misconceptions with cost of living and work permit topping this list.
According to her, students should understand the cost of course and living and also the limitations of their work permit. “It is not just about the limited hours of work permit. It might take you some time to find a job. You will have to go for many job interviews. All I want to say is have realistic expectations.”
So what makes Australia a better choice for Nepali students?
Laker pointed out certain factors like competitive cost, comprehensive legislations and certain standards they maintain when it comes to the education system.
She added, “Our teacher-students relations are also better as the faculty is more responsive towards the students. Better facilities especially for post graduate and technical courses and compatible system of schooling are the other advantages.”
Laker also shared that along with quality education, they want international students to experience the Australian way of life.
While talking about scholarships, Laker said that there are two major categories of Scholarships as given by the Australian government:
1. Australian Leadership Award-Scholarships
Managed by AusAID as part of Australia’s overseas aid programme, ALA Scholarships are open only to citizens of countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
ALA Scholarships are academically elite awards offered to high achievers from the Asia-Pacific region each year to undertake postgraduate study (Masters or Doctorate) and a Leadership Development Program in Australia. Selection for ALA Scholarships is highly competitive, based on leadership qualities and on academic excellence.
— Awards are open to all fields of study, however, study programmes that relate to the priority themes of international trade, pandemics, security and climate change (including clean energy) are encouraged.
2. Endeavour Awards
With Endeavour Awards, the Australian government provides opportunities for high achieving international students, researchers and professionals to undertake short or long term study, research and professional development in Australia in a broad range of disciplines
The awards available for Nepali citizens are —
•Endeavour Postgraduate Awards
•Endeavour Research Fellowships
•Endeavour Executive Awards
•Endeavour Vocational Education and Training (VET) Awards
•International Postgraduate Research Scholarships
Further details are available at www.australianschol-arships.gov.au