Applying to Study in Australia: Student Timeline

An international student is sitting at a table and thinking about the steps to take to study in Australia.


If you are planning to study in Australia, you’ll have to take care of plenty of things.

You should plan in advance, and you must go through a number of steps that include the following:


  • Choose your preferred institution or course.

  • Submit your application to the university.

  • Obtain and accept the offer letter.

  • Apply for a student visa.

  • Receive eCoE (electronic Confirmation of Enrolment).


There are other entry requirements that you need to fulfil both for your visa application and institution.


Here are a few requirements that you should look into:



Note: If you are already working or living in Australia, you can still apply to study as an international student.


If you are wondering what’s your next step going to be in the application process, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a handy checklist for you to ensure you are well prepared.


  • Research (two years before arrival)  - You should start the initial research at least two years prior to your arrival. Well-conducted research helps to decide the right course, institution and the right study destination. While doing research, you can consider the following: 

  • Look for education providers in Australia.

  • Talk to current students, graduates or students like you who are planning to move to Australia.

  • Get to know more about the location of your preferred institution.

  • Look for available student support services.

  • To get more information, visit your education provider’s website or email them.



1. Check the Admission Requirements

(18 months before arrival) 


It’s crucial to go through the English language and academic requirements before you apply for Australian university courses. You should do it at least 18 months prior to your arrival.


To check the entry requirements to study in Australia, you can call the international student office or visit the institution’s website.



2. Make Arrangements for English Language Tests

(18 months before arrival)


Check with your institution whether you’ll need to prove your English proficiency. If yes, then confirm what score you’ll need and which test they will accept.


If your institute has an English language requirement, register at least 18 months prior to your arrival as you’ll need to show the results for student visa processing.


You must not apply for the English test too early because some of the Australian education institutions only take results that are not more than two years old.



3. Apply

(12 to 14 months before arrival)


Get in touch with your preferred education institution and ask them about the necessary application forms.


Sometimes institutions don’t have a specific deadline for the submission of international student application forms, but it is wise that you apply ahead of time so that you can take care of other things like accommodation, visa and flights.


You can apply online through your education provider’s website or through OzStudies.



4. Complete your Application and Submit it

(12 to 14 months before arrival)


You need to make sure that you are aware of all the requirements and conditions of an application. For that, you need to thoroughly go through the application materials. It may take you a few weeks to fill out the application form.


Many institutions in Australia take between 4 to 6 weeks to evaluate applications.



5. Receive and Accept your Offer Letter

(10 to 12 months before arrival)


Once your education provider sends you an offer letter, you need to receive and accept it before it expires.


Students who receive a conditional offer letter need to fulfil other requirements to get the CoE (Confirmation of Enrolment). Whereas, the students who receive unconditional offers can immediately accept the offer and pay their tuition fees.



6. Meet the Requirements and Conditions

(10 to 12 months before arrival)


If you get a conditional offer letter, then you’ll need to fulfil all the requirements and conditions such as attaching overseas qualifications or proof of English proficiency.


After you have all the necessary documentation, you’ll then have to return the certified copies to your education provider within the specified date.



7. Apply for a Student Visa

(10 to 12 months before arrival)


Visa processing via an Australian visa office in your home country or through DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) may take a minimum of twelve weeks. So, apply for the Australia student visa as soon as you get your offer letter.


It’s important to note that the application and its processing time may vary, depending on the level of assessment.



8. Arrange OSHC

(10 to 12 months before arrival)


The Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is an essential requirement for all the international students in Australia, except for those who belong to Norway, Belgium and Sweden. You need to keep it with you throughout your stay in Australia.


Get your OSHC as soon as you receive the offer letter. You’ll even need it to apply for the student visa.



9. Look for an Accommodation

(3 to 4 months before arrival)


You must start looking for accommodation options immediately after you receive your offer letter and your student visa. Finding accommodation 3 to 4 months prior to your arrival will help you get the housing facility of your choice.


Remember, if your institution doesn’t provide you with an accommodation, you might have to find yourself an off-campus housing facility.



10. Book your Flight Tickets

(3 to 4 months before arrival)


You can book your flight tickets after the approval of your visa application and once you finalised your accommodation. You must make sure that you have enough time to settle in, even before your classes begin.


Another thing you need to keep in mind is that your arrival date should align with your accommodation check-in date and student orientation sessions.



11. Make Arrangements for Your Airport Pickup

(2 weeks before arrival)


Many education providers in Australia provide a free airport pickup service for international students arriving in Australia. In case it’s not provided, then you have to make your arrangements at least two weeks prior to arrival. You should also inform your accommodation provider about your arrival time and date.


It’s important to know that this student timeline is only a guide. You can gather more information from DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) or your education provider.



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