Choosing an institution or a course as an international student in Australia can sometimes become a huge decision. You may arrive in Australia and then realise that the institution or the course you’ve selected is not the best choice you’ve made.
You need to remember that changing your field and institution in Australia is not a simple process, and without proper guidance, you may end up with missed opportunities, financial distress or student visa issues.
If you decide to change your institute or course in Australia at any time, you must contact the Department of Home Affairs. Here are a few points to ensure a smooth transition:
Once you’ve decided to pursue your plans, you can begin with the research process or even visit the institute you wish to apply for and consider the important things such as student facilities, student support services, student dynamics and other factors that affect your welfare as a student.
Thorough research turns out to be beneficial and helps you to make an informed decision in the future.
It’s also crucial to note that your new area of study needs recognition by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). You can visit the official website of CRICOS to check the list of Australia university courses and accredited Australian education providers offered to international students.
2. Check The Transfer Policy of Your Current Institution
Make sure you’ve signed an agreement with your current institution accepting their transfer policy. Also, you need to comply with the obligations as their student. Check your institution’s transfer policy - there might be a chance that you are eligible to get a full or partial refund.
3. Seek Help From a Student Adviser
The primary role of a university's student adviser is to look after students' welfare, solve their issues, provide assistance and direct them to the right department for any kind of help. The student advisers provide complete support to international students in Australia.
They also have experience in handling requests regarding moving to another institute or changing the field of study. Overall, they give a detailed explanation of the policies related to your requests.
Your Australian student visa gives you the right to study, work and live in Australia as an international student. You are not eligible to study in Australia without a valid student visa. As a result, changing your course or institute also requires you to understand the conditions and requirements of your visa.
You can check the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF). It simplifies the process of visa application for international students.
5. Consult Your Education Counsellors
Education counsellors have vast experience in providing the right direction and guidance to international students. They offer expert advice on how to go about your plan without any hassle.
Institutions appoint education agencies for the student recruitment and enrolment process, making counsellors highly trained in complex policies and procedures. In addition, they provide help regarding financial aid and scholarships. You can choose the right one from the various options available.
Here are a few questions that you should consider when changing your course or institution:
Do you have to study at the same level?
Students who are studying through SSVF (Simplified Student Visa Framework) have to study at the same level or higher. If you wish to study at a lower level, for instance from a bachelor’s degree to a diploma program, then you’ll have to apply for another student visa.
Will changing courses affect your student visa?
If there are any changes affecting your course or duration, then the DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) needs to know about it. If you are no longer studying the course you’ve been selected for then there's a possibility that your student visa may cancel. To get more information, visit the DIBP website.
Can you take a break from studying in Australia?
Studying in Australia is one of the conditions of a student visa. So, if you decide to take a break from your studies, you most certainly have to leave Australia. If there’s a genuine reason, then inform your institution so that they can seek advice from DIBP.
You may face various challenges while pursuing your education in Australia. But you should know that you can get help from the Australian government, your institution and education counsellor. All you need to do is seek guidance from them.
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