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Australia is a dynamic and vibrant country with a great deal to offer students, looking for international education. Choosing to come to Australia to study will provide you with new and wonderful opportunities and experiences, and a whole new view of the world, not to mention exciting and progressive world-class education programs.

What Australia offers

Here are some common reasons international students choose Australia as their overseas study destination. Australia has:

  • Dynamic and progressive education programs with a reputation for excellence
  • Globally-recognized courses and qualifications
  • Relaxed, enjoyable and safe lifestyle
  • Cheaper study and living expenses compared to many other countries
  • Vibrant, appealing and multicultural cities
  • Great weather
  • Amazing and diverse landscapes and scenery
  • Unique and wonderful flora and fauna.


Multicultural Australia

Australia is an increasingly popular study destination with students from around the world wishing to gain a top-quality education. Each year more and more students take up courses in Australia and add to the already significant international student body around the country.

How many international students are studying in Australia?

In 2009, 631,935 international students were enrolled in education programs in Australia. This figure represents a 16.8% increase on 2008 enrolments (slightly down on the 20.7% increase between 2007 and 2008 figures). Commencements (new student enrolments) grew by 13.2%.

Which sectors are they studying in?

Most of the international students in Australia are studying in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, followed by the higher education sector, and the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) sector (see the table below).

The VET sector is still experiencing rapid growth, with enrolments increasing by 33.3%. Courses in this sector are highly regarded worldwide for their quality and for the valuable work skills they provide. The higher education sector had enrolments and commencements grow in 2009 (12.1% and 15.4% respectively). The ELICOS sector also had a slight increase in 2009.

Which states are they studying in?

New South Wales and Victoria attract by far the biggest numbers of international students. New South Wales registered over 235,000 students hailing from overseas countries in 2009, whilst Victoria has slightly fewer than 200,000 international students. The other states and territories have smaller numbers of international students, and smaller numbers of students overall.

Where are the international students from?

The table below shows the international student enrolments for the top five nationalities for 2009, which contributed 57.4% of Australia’s enrolments in all sectors. The most significant growth in enrolments in 2009 came from outside the top 5 markets, with Saudi Arabia increasing by almost 62%. All of the top 10 countries (according to enrolment volume) increased enrolment numbers between 2008 and 2009.

What broad field of study are they taking?

In 2009, the field of study with the highest number of enrolments in the higher education sector was management and commerce (48.4%), while in the VET sector management and commerce registered 46% of enrolments, and the food, hospitality and personal services sector contributed 24.4% of enrolments.

The Information in this article is sourced from the Australian Government’s Australian Education 2009 international students’ enrolments data.

More About Australia

Australia is a vibrant and a friendly country, with a colorful history, a brilliant future and a delightful present! It is also a land of enormous cultural and geographical diversity, of wide-open spaces and bustling, sophisticated cities that are considered to be among the most livable in the world. Australia is the world’s most cosmopolitan country with people from every continent and over two hundred nations. For at least 50,000 years, Australia’s Aboriginal people have maintained the world’s oldest living culture – a very special heritage that adds a unique depth and richness to Australian life. It boasts some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, stunning and unusual landscapes and vibrant cities. Most of the major cities are situated around the edge of Australia, with most of the population clustered into the South East corner and along the coast of Queensland.

The capital Sydney is one of the most exciting cities in the world, with the world famous opera house and harbour bridge, great nightlife and superb beaches. Queensland is known for its great weather, beaches and surfing. Further north in Queensland is the Great Barrier Reef, one of the wonders of the world. Further south is Melbourne, with a slightly milder climate and a fantastic reputation for shopping. In the heart of Australia lies Alice Springs, gateway to nearby Uluru or Ayer’s rock, a striking rock red formation rising high into the sky.

VICTORIA Hugging the tip of the Australian east coast, Victoria is Australia’s second-smallest state, covering 227,600 square kilometers. It has wealth of diverse regional areas and attractions, from national parks and forests teeming with wildlife to wineries, lakes and mountains offering skiing, climbing and hiking. Best of all, many of Victoria’s unique and varied landscapes are easily accessible. Victoria’s capital, Melbourne is located around the shores of Port Phillip Bay. The city itself sits beside the Yarra River, about five kilometres from the bay. Renowned for its sense of style and elegance, Melbourne boasts glamorous festivals and events, Australia’s best shopping, a lively passion for eating and drinking, and a flourishing interest in the arts. Victoria has a wealth of activities and attractions. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventure, a romantic getaway or designer labels, the state has something for everyone. Sandy beaches, snow-peaked mountains, zoos and aquariums, historic sites, bars and cafes, white-water rafting, spas, wildlife and wineries, or self-driving along Victoria’s breathtaking coast everywhere you turn there is always something special to see and do. Better still, Victoria’s compact size means activities and attractions are all within easy reach of each other.

MELBOURNE Melbourne is set around the shores of Port Phillip Bay. The city itself, laid out in a large rectangle and boasting a lively and cosmopolitan pulse, sits on the northern banks of the Yarra River, about five kilometers from the bay. Extending around the bay are a number of inner suburbs, each with its own distinct character and personality. A short tram ride from the city centre, Melbourne’s suburban neighborhoods are a must see for anyone wanting to experience what life here is really all about.

SYDNEY White beaches, blue harbours, gilded lifestyles and lots of flash. Sydney is Australia’s oldest city. It is the state capital of New South Wales, located on the east coast of Australia. It is a vibrant, dynamic and accessible city. It’s famous for its Opera house and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It has rich beaches and many parks that are really worthwhile seeing. Cosmopolitan, vibrant and multicultural, the City of Sydney is made up of a series of localities, each with its own unique character. It’s blessed with sun-drenched natural attractions, dizzy skyscrapers, delicious and daring restaurants, superb shopping and friendly folk. Famous for its fabulous harbour, and foreshore parklands with everything that an exciting cosmopolitan city has to offer.

CANBERRA Canberra, the national capital of Australia, is just over three hours drive from Sydney, or less than seven from Melbourne. Canberra offers so much more than politics an eclectic mix of restaurants, wineries, shopping, entertainment, galleries, museums and world-class monuments and attractions all within easy reach of accommodation. Festivals, galleries, embassies, gardens, and play grounds. There is always plenty to do and see. You can mix with the locals at the shops, markets, theatre and sporting events, or to discover wildlife and Canberra’s untouched beauty. Canberra has a busy nightlife with pubs, nightclubs and a Casino, offering plenty of entertainment.

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