Deakin announces up to $25 million in hardship support for international students

Deakin has announced up to $25 million in additional targeted support for international students experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said the support for impacted international students was available for the next six months and in addition to the financial assistance for domestic students.

“Many international students, through no fault of their own, are struggling with the costs of living and studying, yet are not eligible for the same Government COVID-19 assistance available to our domestic students,” Professor Martin said.

“Some of those students face a very desperate situation where their part-time and casual work is gone or drying up, and they can’t return home yet can’t afford to stay. This is an untenable position.

“With no access to Government assistance, our additional hardship support will prevent students from falling through the cracks during the difficult months ahead. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our international students.”

Professor Martin said the hardship support for international students was available through Deakin’s existing support services and that the University would continue to take a case-managed, individual approach to assist.

“When students connect to our support services, we are talking one-on-one to identify how we can best help that student continue their studies at Deakin,” he said.

“That direct conversation is the best way to determine specific and unexpected personal circumstances and tailor our support as necessary. So far, we have approved more than 1200 requests for immediate financial and hardship support, with hundreds more applications currently being assessed.

“My message to every Deakin student is that if COVID-19 has made it hard for you to continue your studies, then please step forward and let us know.

“We want our international students to continue at Deakin, and as of this week, more than 95 per cent remain enrolled. I hope this additional support will keep it that way. Of course, should an international student decide they simply cannot continue, we will support that decision and help with either a transition to online study or by holding their place for the future.”

Further flexibility and supports for Deakin students include:

  • Additional time to change enrolment or withdraw from a course without incurring any penalty. The two-week Census grace period remains in-place until Wednesday 15 April 2020. Deakin has also extended the time for late withdrawals until 1 June 2020.
  • The extension period for assignment due dates has been extended to up to three weeks, with medical certificates no longer required. It is also easier for students to apply for special consideration.
  • The T1 exam period will continue as planned with online assessments.

For more information about Deakin’s student supports, visit:

Deakin First Australian University To Offer Accredited Cyber Security Courses


Deakin will be the first university in Australia to offer a fully accredited cyber security qualification, under Australia’s first cyber security course accreditation scheme.

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the only body in Australia with the power to accredit IT courses, and has recently added cyber security to its accreditations.

While cyber security courses are currently offered at many universities and other educational institutions across Australia, until now none of these courses have been accredited by an external and independent body.

ACS accreditation means that universities and other institutions offering cyber security courses will have to meet a series of accreditation standards set by the ACS, developed in consultation with government and industry.

Deakin’s School of Information Technology has been offering a Bachelor and a Master in Cyber Security over the past three years, however the new accreditation elevates the rigour and status of the courses significantly, with Deakin achieving stringent accreditation standards.

Professor Karen Hapgood, Deakin’s Executive Dean of Science Engineering and Built Environment, said Deakin’s new cyber security accreditation demonstrated the high quality and academic integrity of its cyber security courses.

“Deakin is proud to be able to offer students a fully accredited cyber security course that will be recognised industry-wide and overseas,”Professor Hapgood said.

“It certainly endorses the high quality curriculum and the high quality of academic staff teaching our courses, and validates Deakin’s decision last year to update its cyber security courses in line with industry and world needs.

“As cyber security becomes more important to our national and global security than ever before, it is vital that students can take comfort that they are being taught at the highest possible level.”

ACS President Yohan Ramasundara said ACS has long been recognised as the accrediting body for technology-related degrees and post-graduate qualifications related to initial professional practice.

“With the growing need for expertise in cyber security for our evolving and growing digital economy, introducing recognition for specialist cyber security qualifications and expertise was a must,” Mr Ramasundara said.

Around 500 students study a Bachelor or Master of Cyber Security at Deakin each year, with an average annual intake of 150 students.

International success in latest higher education rankings

UOW researchers crucial in University’s rise to position 238 in world

The University of Wollongong (UOW) improved its rank and score in the 2020 Times Higher Education (THE) World University rankings announced on Thursday morning.

UOW rose an estimated five positions from 243 in 2019 to 238 in 2020, continuing on its ascension path laid in recent years.

THE rankings measures universities on their teaching, research income and reputation, citations, international outlook, and knowledge transfer to industry.

In a year, UOW’s overall score lifted from 50 to 50.5, following a better performance in research, industry income and international outlook indicators.

UOW researchers were integral to the University’s success in the 2020 rankings, as the research indicator has the greatest bearing on a university’s overall score.

UOW Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Jenny Martin said UOW had increased its standing thanks to the hard work of academics and staff.

“We’re proud to see the University of Wollongong again climb in international rankings,” Professor Martin said.

“These results are the fruits of the continuing commitment of UOW staff, and I want to acknowledge their hard work.

“Our researchers continue to lead the way in producing quality, impactful research that leads to positive economic and social outcomes.

“The high quality research taking place, both independently and in collaboration with partner institutions around the world, is strengthening our academic reputation.”

The University’s formidable result comes in a competitive environment, both nationally and further afield.

Nearly two thirds of Australian universities rose in the 2020 THE World University rankings.

As the Australian university sector improved markedly, UOW moved from equal 11th to equal 12th in Australia.


Indian students enrolling in Australia surged 25% in 2018

MUMBAI: More than one lakh students from India enrolled in Australian educational institutions during 2008, constituting 12.4 per cent over the previous calendar year. China continued to lead with 2.56 lakh students (or 29 percent of the total).

Australia has announced an ‘Additional temporary Graduate’ visa with an extra year of post-study work rights for international students who graduate from the regional campus of a registered university. At present, students who study at the bachelor’s or master’s degree level in Australia (usually 2 or 3 years) get a two-year post-study work visa. By offering students an extra year in Australia on a post-study work visa if they study in regional areas, the country aims to kill two birds with one stone.

The ‘additional temporary graduate’ visa by Australia to the international students will help in its overall plan to decongest popular areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. It will also help attract more international students.

As students need to graduate from a regional campus and then spend at least two years residing in a regional area to qualify, the ‘Additional Temporary Graduate’ visa will be available to the first eligible cohort of graduates from 2021, states a recent release from Australia’s department of home affairs. For those students who are currently holding the Temporary Graduate (sub class 485) visa, which is the existing post-study work visa, ongoing residence in a regional area could qualify them for an additional year.

In a separate release dated March 20, Pm Scott Morrison announced new tertiary scholarships to attract Australian and international students to study in regional Australia. Worth Australian $15,000, these scholarships will be available to more than 1,000 local and international students each year.

Zahirah Ismail, Perth-based managing directior at the immigration service company Home of Visas, told TOI:” An additional year for graduates shows that policy-makers are acknowledging the difficulties faced by students as they attempt to gain relevant work experience. In several occupations, in order for an applicant to gain positive skills assessment, they are required to demonstrate at least three years of relevant work experience post their qualification. “she recommends that international students should look at employment prospects for each territory and best match this data against occupation lists for migration purposes.

Andrew Everett, deputy vice-chancellor and vice president, global strategy, at Charles darwin University, said:”CDU is examining how best to provide for international students who might qualify for an Additional temporary Graduate visa.” Spread over various campuses, including regional campuses, 10% of CDU’s 20,000 students are of foreign origin, the majority of them from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and China.

Several students also want to put down roots and work long term in the host country. In this context, Cyrus Mistry, director at EasyMigrate Consultancy Services, “Introduction of new Regional (Provisional) Visas, which provide an option of conversion to permanent residency after a tenure of three years, could also be attractive to international students, provided they are willing to settle in regional areas”.



New Regional Visas

The new skilled regional provisional visas will be for skilled migrants, and dependent family members, who want to live and work in Australia.

There will be two new skilled regional provisional visas introduced in November 2019:

  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: for people who are nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member to live and work in regional Australia.

Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to live and work in regional Australia. Visas will be granted with a validity period of up to five years.

Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will be able to apply for a Permanent Residence visa. The Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa will commence in November 2022.

Importantly, to be eligible for permanent residence, holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to demonstrate they have lived and worked in regional Australia while holding one of the new Skilled Regional Provisional visas.


Regional employers will have access to additional regional occupations to sponsor migrants and priority processing of regional visa applications. There will also be additional points for certain points-tested migrants who are sponsored to settle in regional Australia.

  • Employers in regional Australia, as well as State and Territory governments, who sponsor regional skilled migrants, will have access to more occupations than equivalent non-regional visas.
  • Based on current occupation lists, the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will have access to over 450 more occupations than closest non-regional equivalent visa, and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will have access to over 70 more occupations than the closest non-regional equivalent visa.
  • Priority processing arrangements will be expanded to include all visa applications sponsored by regional employers as well as other visa applicants who will live and work in regional Australia.
  • Five additional points for regional nomination or sponsorship provide an extra incentive for potential migrants to consider settling in regional Australia.

Extra options for international graduates from regional institutions

This initiative provides for an additional Temporary Graduate visa with an extra year of post-study work rights for international students who:

  • graduate from the regional campus of a registered university or institution with higher education or postgraduate qualification; and
  • maintain an ongoing residence in a regional area while holding their first Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa

The second Temporary Graduate visa will require ongoing residence in a regional area.

The definition of regional Australia for this purpose will be the same as the definition for skilled migration – all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast.

As students need to graduate from a regional campus and then spend at least two years residing in a regional area to qualify, the additional Temporary Graduate visa will be available to the first eligible cohort of graduates from 2021.

Existing Temporary Graduate visa holders may be eligible, provided they can meet these requirements.

There is no change to Student visa arrangements.  This initiative simply provides an additional incentive for international students to study and live in regional Australia.

Changes to existing visas


The introduction of the two new regional visas in November 2019 will not impact people who already hold existing visas. Applications lodged prior to November 2019 will continue to be processed as normal. There will be no impact on the permanent residence of current permanent visa holders.

Check back regularly over the coming weeks for updates on this new initiative


CQ University Australia

In 2015, CQUniversity Australia was awarded five stars for Inclusiveness, Online / Distance learning and Internationalisation, and four stars for Teaching and Facilities by the global university ratings system, QS StarsTM. These ratings solidify our reputation as Australia’s most accessible and inclusive university, ensuring that a quality education is accessible to everyone.

They also reflect our commitment to continual investment in top academic talent and technology and infrastructure to provide the best learning experience for students.

In 2014, CQUniversity merged with Central Queensland TAFE to become one of the few dual sector universities in Australia, strengthening its capacity to provide a more comprehensive educational experience and providing students with more choices and opportunities.

At a glance

  • Over 100 programs in English language, vocational, pathway, undergraduate, postgraduate coursework and research higher degrees
  • Highly competitive and affordable fees
  • Grandfathering of fees to safeguard students studying on-campus from fee increases in subsequent years of study
  • Flexible study options in full-award or non-award programs, on-campus or by distance education and three intakes per year
  • Practical learning with internships built into selected programs
  • Diverse range of scholarships to enhance access and promote inclusion
  • Extensive support services to ensure students are well-supported throughout their studies
  • Diverse study environment with students and staff from over 100 countries
  • Commitment to social responsibility in everything we do

Campus locations

CQUniversity has the largest national network of campuses in vibrant metropolitan cities and thriving regional centres, all with their own unique character. Three of our campuses are ranked in the top 50 best cities in the world for students, namely

Melbourne #2, Sydney #4 and Brisbane #23 (QS Best Student Cities in the World 2015).

Programs and courses

CQUniversity offers some of the best mixes of theoretical and practical learning in all our programs, which have been developed alongside industry and professional bodies. You will acquire relevant knowledge and skills from our highly qualified and experienced teachers who are leaders in their fields. Some programs are taught at multiple campuses allowing you to transfer your study credits and see more of Australia. A large number of programs are available in a non-compulsory

Term 3, so you can fast track your degree and get out in the workforce sooner.

  • Business, Accounting and Law
  • Creative, Performing and Visual Arts
  • Education and Humanities
  • Engineering and Built Environment
  • English, Work and Study Preparation
  • Health
  • Information Technology and Digital Media
  • Psychology, Social Work and Community Services
  • Science and Environment


If you are considering a research degree, our strong reputation and networks will open doors wherever you go. The Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research report 2012 ranked CQUniversity at world standard in Nursing, and well above world standard in Applied Mathematics, Agriculture and Land Management and Other Medical and Health Science.

Distance education

We continue to be a leader in distance education, and with our plans to expand our distance offerings, we are enthusiastically responding to the needs of those who need to balance work or family commitments in their home country.

You will have complete access to advanced online learning technologies and support from specialist teaching staff, graduate with the same qualification as on-campus students and save on living expenses.

For over 20 years we have helped thousands of international students reach their full potential and build on their education aspiration. Many have gone on to high flying careers and become leaders in their respective fields. Now is the time for you to embark on your own success story. No matter where you are in life, CQUniversity can help you be what you want to be.

CRICOS Provider Code: 00219C




Phone: +61 8676 7028 (outside Australia) | 1800 998 205 (in Australia)

44 Per cent Indian Parents Want To Send Their Kids To US, UK Or Australia For Education

Indian parents want to send their children to study abroad. According to a new report, as many as 44 percents of parents in India are mulling to send their children abroad and most sought after destinations are the US, UK, and Australia.

The research done by HSBC says that 52 percent opted to study in US as the destination followed by Australia with 46 percent and the UK is third with 44 percent. The other destination includes countries like Canada, Germany, Singapore New Zealand, Japan, Austria, and Switzerland.

“There’s a clear appetite from parents in India to send their children overseas, whether that’s to gain international work experience or improve language skills in countries such as the UK, the US, and Australia,” HSBC India Head-Retail Banking and Wealth Management Ramakrishnan S said.

However, the massive financial burden is still the key concern for parents in India when it comes to sending their kids to study abroad as 42 percent of the respondents said the international education does incur massive financial cost on the family.

Interestingly, the people living in the UK, the US and Australia also feel the same and 63 percent, 65 percent, and 64 percent parents of these countries share the sentiment with Indian parents.

The views of 10, 478 parents and 1507 students in 15 countries participated in surveys.


Record international student intake for Southern Cross University

The world is coming to Southern Cross University on the Gold Coast.

Fresh from topping the latest rankings for international student support, this week the University welcomes a record global intake for Session 3 of the 2018 study year.

More than 500 students have traveled to Southern Cross University from locations across Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Countries include India, Nepal, the Philippines, China, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Italy, the US, Thailand, and Brazil.

“This is a case of exponential growth in our international student numbers and it has come by design, not by accident,” said Mr. Monty Singh, Vice President (Global) at Southern Cross University.

“We have worked hard to identify needs, to develop strategies and to create and promote programs that are ideally suited to international students.

“For instance, new programs in engineering, information technology, and allied health were all launched during 2018 and we’re seeing the results of that in this terrific response.

“This is our biggest intake of international students for all of 2018, and the numbers for 2019 and beyond are also looking extremely positive.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate congratulated Southern Cross on the record intake for Session 3, saying the international student sector was a key factor in his strategy for the city’s economic growth.

“International tertiary students add to the social fabric of our community. They have proven to be fantastic ambassadors for the Gold Coast, promoting our city and its people through their vast social media networks,” said Cr Tate.

“Importantly, many are here for several years as they complete their degrees. During that time, their families and friends visit so the multiplier effect is significant so far as tourism numbers and spend.

“As Mayor, I view these students as part of the community, rather than short-term residents. I’d love to see more stay on and contribute back into the workforce by either employing their skills in their chosen fields or even starting a business to expand on what they have learned through our world-class universities.’’

The 2018 International Student Barometer, the benchmark in gauging student experience from application to graduation, recently ranked Southern Cross University as number one in Australia for support of international students. It also topped the rankings for financial support and accommodation.

Source: Southern Cross University News

Benefits to Studying Abroad

Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to study in a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to study abroad!

1. See the World

The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.

In addition, when you’re abroad, you won’t be limited to traveling in just the nation in which you are studying – you can see neighboring countries as well! For example, if you study in France, you’ll have the option to travel through various parts of Europe including London , Barcelona , and Rome.

2. Education

Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.

You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.

3. Take in a New Culture

Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.

You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.

4. Hone Your Language Skills

Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.

In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience

5. Career Opportunities

When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.

Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country.

6. Find New Interests

If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home.

You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.

7. Make Lifelong Friends

One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students.

After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.

8. Personal Development

There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.

A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve.

9. Graduate School Admissions

Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.

Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.

10. Life Experience

Why study abroad? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.

Take this opportunity to travel the world with no commitments but to study and learn about new cultures. Studying abroad is an experience unlike any other.


Why Study Abroad in Australia or New Zealand?

Australia and New Zealand may be on the other side of the world, but they’re some of the globe’s most popular study abroad destinations. Australia, in fact, is the sixth-most-popular study abroad location for American students. Whether it’s the shared language, the stunning scenery or the locals’ reputation as some of the world’s nicest people, these two countries are both incredibly appealing places to spend a semester or two.

But how to decide? Both places have tons of benefits and great study abroad options, so it may seem impossible to choose just one. Still, there are some major factors to consider, including the climate, culture, different types of programs, expenses, your feelings about rugby, and, most importantly, those accents.

Population, Climate and Location

Nestled next to each other in the Oceania corner of the world, these two island nations are not exactly conveniently located if you’re coming from – well, pretty much anywhere else. Still, their isolation from other continents is part of their appeal – both countries boast unique flora and fauna that can’t be found in any other part of the world. With so much natural beauty, adventure sports for adrenaline junkies and friendly locals, you won’t ever want to leave – which is good, because the nearest countries are still hundreds or even thousands of miles away!

Australia, the world’s sixth-largest country, is the big brother in terms of both population and land mass. The nation has almost 23 million residents – a big increase from the island’s initial Aboriginal population and a few thousand British prisoners – and a whopping 89 percent of them live in the coastal urban areas. In fact, more than half of Australia’s population (14 million, to be exact) lives in the country’s five largest cities.

The famous Outback, which takes up most of the center of the island, is still largely wild, unpopulated territory – pretty, for sure, but probably not where you’ll be doing most of your studies. Home to the Great Barrier Reef (one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world), Ayers Rock, pristine beaches and everyone’s favorite marsupials, Australia has an abundance of natural riches. With this kind of scenery, it’s no wonder the locals are so cheerful. Covered by broad swaths of desert and receiving the second-lowest rainfall of all seven continents (after Antarctica), Australia is mostly hot and dry, with a tropical northern coast and a more temperate climate in the southeast near Sydney. If you’re heading to Australia, make sure to pack your sunscreen.

Comparatively tiny New Zealand – or Aotearoa, as it’s known in the Maori language – is divided between two main islands, creatively named the North and South Islands, and a group of much smaller outlying islands. As one of the world’s youngest and still-changing land masses, New Zealand’s volatile ground has created what might be the globe’s most spectacular land of contrasts. From the soaring peaks of the Southern Alps to the black sand beaches of Muriwai, the stunning fjords of Te Anau National Park to the ski slopes of Queenstown, there’s no reason to spend any more time inside than absolutely necessary.

Just like the topography, the climate of New Zealand varies wildly from one location to another, from the semi-arid Central Otago vineyard plains to the snowcapped peaks of the South Island’s mountains. The islands have mostly cool, temperate weather with plenty of rainfall, but the weather can change unpredictably – the local wisdom is that the only dependable weather prediction is the opposite of whatever the meteorologist on TV says.

With just 4.4 million residents in the whole country, New Zealand actually is, as the joke goes, home to far more sheep than people (about a 7:1 sheep:human ratio, to be exact). Almost 75 percent of those people live on the North Island, with about a third concentrated in the Auckland metropolitan area, so there are plenty of places where you can actually see the stars.

Cost of Living in Australia vs New Zealand

The conventional wisdom about Australia has always been that it’s expensive, and unfortunately this is one stereotype that’s based in fact. Living on an island is, by definition, rarely cheap, since anything you might want that doesn’t grow there has to be imported. Fear not though, study abroad students! There is budget fun to be had down under.

Mercer’s cost of living rankings from 2012 had Sydney at #11, just barely missing the cut to join the illustrious club of the world’s top 10 most expensive cities. Melbourne was close behind at 15, Perth was 19th, and capital Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide followed right behind at 23, 24 and 27, respectively. A more recent study put both Sydney and Melbourne in the world’s top five, with Sydney ranked third.

At the current exchange rate, the Australian dollar is about equal to the US dollar, but prices are far from equivalent. Some goods retail for similar prices to those found overseas, but food in particular can be extremely expensive. A six-pack of beer sells for around $15, while a pint out at a bar will run you about $10 – prices that could even give pause to a New Yorker. The University of Technology Sydney recommends that international students prepare for life in the city by arriving with somewhere between A$14,786 and A$25,680 for a full year there. In fact, as of July 2012, international students headed to Australia must demonstrate that they have at least A$18,610 if they intend to spend a year studying in the country. If your heart is set on Australia, you should start saving your pennies (and hundred dollar bills) now.

In comparison, studying abroad in New Zealand is certainly a affordable option, with the highest-ranked city, Auckland, clocking in at #56. The only other city to land in the top 200 was the capital of Wellington, at a respectable 74. They’re still not cheap cities, compared to other regions of the world, but next to their neighbor, they’re positively a bargain.

Right now, USD $1 will get you NZD$1.2 – not a huge difference, but that .2 adds up eventually. A pint of beer at a bar should cost about $3.75 and an average movie ticket will be about $8.50. You can get a basic meal at a restaurant for between $6.75- $12.50, while two miles in a taxi will cost about $7.50. These prices still aren’t dirt-cheap, but they’re probably more equivalent to what you’re used to paying in cities at home.

“Between Australia and New Zealand, I would say NZ all the way. New Zealand has somewhat of a “frontier” feel to it; people look out for each other and there is a sense that we’re all in this together. If you’re looking to go to a place where you can have an adventure, meet some great people, and not spend as much as you would in Europe, New Zealand is the place for you.” – Sarah Timmings, former NZ student

Universities and Programs in Australia versus New Zealand

If you choose to study abroad in Australia, you’re almost certainly going to be in one of the major cities. Sydney has the widest range of different programs and universities, including Macquarie University and the University of Sydney, generally considered one of the top schools in the country. Programs offer studies in fields from botany to linguistics, and many include cultural activities and excursions to places like the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback, or even other countries like New Zealand or Thailand. Programs in other cities like Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth all have their own benefits like access to world-class arts programs and research, proximity to natural attractions like the Gold Coast and koala sanctuaries, and one-of-a-kind study opportunities like marine biology or conservation work.

With only a handful of cities, study abroad programs in New Zealand are concentrated almost entirely in Auckland and Wellington, with a few scattered in smaller cities like Dunedin and Christchurch. Most Auckland programs are affiliated with the highly regarded University of Auckland (the country’s top school), and they offer students the chance to study everything from political science to Hebrew. In Dunedin, you can study at the University of Otago, New Zealand’s first university, or head to Victoria University in the cultural hub of Wellington. Some programs also provide opportunities for internships with local businesses or organizations- considering the country’s relatively small workforce, these are a great way to get more involved with the culture and issues you care about!

Culture and Life Down Under

As one of the world’s most urbanized countries, Australia’s cities are the place to be. Cosmopolitan Sydney boasts world-famous architecture, top restaurants, excellent museums and theater and one of the globe’s best aquariums. We’ve heard there’s a famous building there, too. Smaller cities like culturally rich Melbourne and the more industrial western coastal city of Perth don’t have the same international draw, but still have plenty to keep you busy for a semester (constant beach access, anyone?).

Australia is an interesting mix of Western Anglo and Aborigine influences, with the country trying to find a balance between the two very different backgrounds of its population. Known for wine production, tall movie stars and attractive Olympic swimmers, Australia is a relaxed nation of friendly, fun-loving people who are just as happy to toss a Frisbee around with you as to give you directions or share a beer (or three).

Like any siblings, New Zealand and Australia have a long-running, mostly-friendly rivalry, based primarily on making jokes about the other nationality’s romantic preferences for sheep and peculiar accent patterns. The competition only really heats up around important rugby matches, so just be aware which country you’re in before you say anything flattering about the other nation.

Even more so than Australia, New Zealand is all about the outdoors and thrill-seaking: every region has its own distinct features, activities and awe-inspiring scenery. It seems like everyone in the country has a part-time job at an outdoor adventure company, at least two pair of hiking boots and a tent ready to go at a moment’s notice. With one of the lowest median incomes in the developed world, New Zealand residents (or Kiwis, as they’re better known) are used to making the best of what they have – and for most of them, this means spending as much time as possible enjoying the natural beauty of their surroundings. Cities like Auckland, Wellington and still-recovering Christchurch have plenty to offer in the way of restaurants, art and nightlife, but the main draw of the country will always be its non-manmade features.

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of New Zealand is its renewed emphasis on recognizing and celebrating the culture of the Maori people – the islands’ original residents. Currently, almost 15 percent of the population identifies as Maori, with an even higher percentage among younger groups. Over the last few decades, there has been a large-scale effort to preserve the Maori culture and incorporate it into all aspects of Kiwi life.

Many signs across the country are printed in both English and Maori, and people will often refer to locations by their Maori names. The language is taught in schools across the country – if you have time to study it, it’s a fascinating and important piece of New Zealand’s heritage.

The culture is relaxed and casual – it’s not uncommon to see people walking around the streets of urban Auckland with no shoes. There are even offices that allow their employees to go shoeless – however shirts, as far as we know, are still required. Rugby is king here, so brush up on your knowledge of tries and scrums before you venture out in an All Blacks (the beloved national team) jersey. Kiwis are very conscious about their international image – as a foreigner, everyone in the country will interrogate you about your experience there, and even one tiny criticism is enough to cause concern. Luckily, there’s very little to criticize about this gorgeous, friendly nation.

Travel as much as you can within Australia. It can be expensive and time-consuming, because Australia’s such a big country. But I saved beforehand, and it was so worth it – I saw country houses, the beach, the outback, mountains, the Great Ocean Road, the beautiful big cities of Sydney and Melbourne, the Sydney Opera House…there are so many different landscapes to see and experiences to be had in one country! – Megan Sugrue, former OZ student

The Breakdown

Wanna read the fine print? Here are some conclusions: you should choose to study abroad in Australia if you want to live in a vibrant, active city, can “keep up” with the partying locals, and prefer hot, dry weather and beaches. It also helps if you’ve always wanted to see a kangaroo in person and don’t mind breaking the piggy bank to do it!

On the flip side, you should head to New Zealand if you want to be in the middle of nature, are okay with eating lamb three times a week and don’t mind changing weather (and lots of rain!). If you’ve often wondered if you are a hobbit or not (shoes are overrated) and think jumping off of a bridge sounds GREAT, New Zealand will be the perfect fit! Students in New Zealand often rave about the fantastic time they had studying abroad there.

Both New Zealand and Australia have tons to offer study abroad students. There are differences in price, weather, location and free-time activities, but both countries are high-demand destinations for a reason. Most people who study abroad in either of these countries return home already planning their next visit back. By all means, go, but be prepared to fall in love with whichever country you ultimately choose.