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The Education Destination : Australia The Education Destination 2012
12 >AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION 2012 AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION >SUPPORT SERVICES Welcoming and supporting international students Australia has been welcoming international students for many decades. It has support systems in place to help students settle into their new environment. Studying in Australia brings many rewarding, enjoyable experiences, and also some challenges – a different country, culture and climate, new teachers and friends, perhaps even a new language. Australia has welcomed students from other countries for many decades so its institutions and schools know exactly how to help students adjust to their Australian life. Australia is a world leader in support services for international students – including intensive help in those first months when students may feel lonely and vulnerable. Australian institutions must support their international students by law under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act. INFORMATION BEFORE COMING TO AUSTRALIA Support for international students begins the moment you start considering studying abroad. Excellent government and institution websites show you what to expect in Australia, and how to apply for courses and visas. Some websites have stories from other international students explaining their experiences. Once you have been accepted into a course, you can contact your institution’s international counsellor. Large institutions have international offices, and smaller colleges and schools have international counsellors dedicated to helping overseas students. Your institution will advise you on what you need to bring to Australia and how to organise your first few weeks. When you land in Australia, your institution can send a representative to meet you as you step off the plane. ON-ARRIVAL SESSIONS Many institutions provide on-arrival information sessions that cover practical instructions and cultural advice for studying and living in Australia. At the beginning of each year, universities and large vocational institutes hold Orientation Week, which welcomes all new students. It features introductory lectures, guided tours and events showcasing the activities on campus. This is your chance to find out everything about your institution from the library system to the sports club to the best place to eat. Social events, entertainment and barbeques are in full swing so you can meet other students. Some students have made friends for life during Orientation Week. SUPPORT SERVICES Your institution’s support services will help you settle into your new institution and community. The international office can give you timetables for public transport and tell you how to get around and where to buy groceries. Students can ask any question and the staff in the office will answer it. Universities and vocational institutes have accommodation offices to help you choose the most appropriate place to live. If you are looking for share accommodation, they often have contact details of other students also requiring a flatmate. The job and careers service assists students in finding part-time work. As you near graduation, you can also use it for advice on your future career path. Many large institutes have a range of other services on campus such as medical centres, banks and bookshops. Above: Through your institution’s accommodation office, you can find a flatmate or share house. Right: The international offices organise a variety of fun and sightseeing activities.
Australia The Education Destination 2011
Australia The Education Destination 2013