Australia is currently the number one preferred study destination by Bhutanese and is the most popular destination among international students. The beautiful country attracts many students every year because it has the world’s one of the best higher education systems. Australian cities are safe for international students and ideal for them. There are thousands of scholarships available, and students have numerous job opportunities during and after their studies. Every year Australia manages to attract a record number of international students, although their living costs are higher than others. 

University tuition fees in Australia 

Tuition fees vary depending on the choice of university, course, and degree level. Average tuition fees for international students:

  • Diploma: AUD 12000 – 15000/year
  • Bachelor’s degree: AUD 20000 – 45000/year
  • Master’s and Ph.D.: AUD 22000 – 50000/year

Living costs in Australia

You will need to show funds of AUD 21,041 to support yourself for the first year and prove you have financial resources to live and study in Australia. International students in Australia need between 1400 to 2500 AUD /month to cover all their living expenses, including accommodation, food, and social activities. Mentioned below is the average budget you will need for some of the popular student cities

  • Perth: starting at AUD 1300/month
  • Canberra: starting at AUD 1400/month
  • Brisbane: starting at AUD 1400/month
  • Sydney: starting at AUD 1900/month
  • Melbourne: starting at AUD 1500/month
  • Adelaide: starting at AUD 1200/month 

Food costs 

Groceries are available in local marts and require an average of 500 – 1000 AUD/month. Shopping at cheaper markets like Aldi, Coles, and Woolworths can save you some money. The average meal at an inexpensive restaurant can cost 18 AUD, while a three-course meal for two can cost up to 80AUD. 

Transportation costs

Students can benefit from other discounts from state programs such as Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria depending on the area you live in. Public transport for students costs between 30 – 70 AUD/month depending on the city

-Regional study options

When you are dreaming about going to live in Australia, you would possibly picture living in a landmark capital city like Sydney or Melbourne. You may not consider the other alternative is regional Australia, a choice many foreign students take.

There are a variety of higher education providers based in Australia’s regional, giving you the chance to experience ‘the true Australia’ outside of the major capital cities. There are some excellent reasons to consider studying in rural Australia: rural universities provide a wonderful lifestyle of leisure, a more tailored learning experience, more personalized university experience, beautiful landscapes scenery and additional migration opportunities.


Regional communities offer a relaxed atmosphere, away from the big city’s hustle and bustle. Imagine being free in the spare time between lessons to go for a swim at the beach or a bushwalk. Most rural towns are still very cosmopolitan, with comparable recreational opportunities to what you’d find in the capital. Regional cities have the same services and amenities as you’ll find in major cities (think health care, cinemas, sporting stadiums, pubs, cafes, bars and shopping) and you can be sure to have anything you need. Some of the major advantages is that these smaller communities are more welcoming, so you’ll feel like you’re part of a society and not just some guy in a major city:

Specialty course offerings

Regional areas provide opportunities for secondary education, TAFE and English language studies. Regional community colleges deliver a broad variety of programs, all of which are customized to local area abilities. You may note that the Adelaide Barossa Valley campus provides a specialization degree in winemaking, the Far North Queensland campus includes a number of tropical research, or the New South Wales Coast campus specializes in marine biology. There are also a variety of national medical and dental colleges, training graduates to take up jobs in those areas.

A community feel

One can note that the regional university campuses are smaller, which generally implies that there is a greater sense of community and that it is simpler to interact and get to know others. Many of the other students will stay in the same location as well, and it’ll be easy to meet up with friends after college. In a regional school, it’s a lot easier to get lost in the crowd, so you’re sure to feel really comfortable.

Discover the ‘real Australia’

Australia is popular all over the globe for the uniqueness of its natural climate. Through tropical rainforests and snow-covered mountains to white sandy shores, rolling plains, rugged deserts and the famous ‘land,’ Australia has it all. Regional campuses are the finest places to explore Australia’s natural surroundings outside the city. You ‘re going to have a time to get to know the country and take advantage of the amazing lifestyle advantages it provides.

Additional opportunities for migration

Whenever you think of applying for permanent resident status in Australia after your studies have ended, residing and working in a rural area can offer you a distinct benefit. Study in a regional area will grant you five additional points in the Immigration and Citizenship Department’s point check for eligible migrant visa applicants.

-Top Five popular destinations for Bhutanese students 

Australians value the wealth of cultural diversity and social sophistication that international students bring to the campuses and communities. Additionally, great care is taken in looking after international students and helping them to adjust to the Australian way of life. Australia provides a safe environment. Many of them get influenced by their friends and relatives who are in Australia and it is a relief for them to have someone they know in a new place. Let me share you some of the popular destination of Bhutanese students;

Perth (Western Australia)

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia with a population of almost 2 million people.

Perth has one of the lowest costs of living cities. It has an efficient public transportation system as well as inexpensive accommodation options. Most Bhutanese students choose Perth Western Australia because of two popular universities i.e. Edith Cowan University and Murdoch University. Firstly, both the university gives the direct entry to the three-year bachelors from Royal University of Bhutan if one has 60% and above. Secondly, the course fees are comparatively affordable compared to other places and Universities. Thirdly, the education is free for those who are under the age of 18.

Canberra (ACT)

Canberra is the capital city of Australia.  Many students are not aware of it, they usually think Sydney or Melbourne as the capital of Australia. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory. It’s gaining popularity among the Bhutanese students as it is similar to our country with a green environment. It is one of the most beautiful, cleanest, secure and hospitable capital cities in the world. The city is laid around a man-made lake called Burley Griffin. Two most popular universities are Australian National University and University of Canberra.

Brisbane (Queensland)

Brisbane is very culturally diverse with a population of nearly 2.2 million and is the third most populous city in Australia. It is one of the major business hubs and has one of the fastest growing state economies. It has one of the lowest costs of living and the tuition fees. It is a safe and friendly city with an easy to navigate public transportation system. Some of the universities are Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, University of Queensland and James Cook University.


Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia with more than 4.5 million inhabitants. It is considered to be one of the most liveable and beautiful cities in the world. It is also an attraction for many tourists for its beautiful beaches and the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Melbourne (Victoria)

Melbourne is the capital city of the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. It is one of the most liveable cities as well as a best place for international students to study. Few Universities that are popular for Bhutanese students are Deakin University, RMIT University and Victoria University.

-Top Five benefits of studying in Australia

Learning new skills is one of the best ways to become more successful. In most professions, upgrading your skills is highly valued. It is seen as a requirement for many employers. Most jobs are dynamic, constantly changing, and adapting as the field grows. Therefore, employees must be adaptable and up-to-date with the trends and developments in their field. If you are planning to upgrade your qualification here is the five benefits of studying in Australia;

World Recognized Education

Australia is a leading global provider of education to international students. It is ranked as the third-largest provider of international education. Australian education system has an impressive international reputation. It is known worldwide for its innovative policy developments and effective structure, along with the high quality of its teaching and research. In fact, Australia has an exemplary education system for many countries. 


Australians value the wealth of cultural diversity and social sophistication that international students bring to the campuses and communities. Additionally, great care is taken in looking after international students and helping them to adjust to the Australian way of life. Australia provides a safe environment with a low crime rate for students to learn peacefully. It is also very multicultural, with close to a third of Australians born in another country. This means that you will find many of the comforts of your home country. 

Improve command of English Language

One of the greatest benefits of studying in Australia is that you will get the opportunity to speak English every day. As the proficiency in English language is highly stressed all over the world. Australia is a native English-speaking country; therefore, studying in universities in Australia would be a perfect opportunity to enhance your English proficiency through regular interactions with the professors and the local people. They are surrounded by people who are accustomed to interacting with people from all over the world.

Post-study work rights

Australia enables international students to apply for the post-study work visa, further allowing them to stay in Australia for up to four years and work after completing their studies. Australia provides job opportunities at a faster rate than in any other part of the World.

Another good thing about Australia is that students are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week, which will enable them to earn some extra spending money. This will make an active member of the Australian society, which in turn will contribute, however small, to the vibrancy of the local economy, as a vibrant economy is one where the denizens earn and spend.

Livable city 

Australia is a very safe and welcoming place to live and study, consistently ranking among the safest countries in the world. Many Australian cities have consistently featured within the top 20 most livable cities in the world, which is enough indication that Australia as a country is a safe and friendly society. The strict gun control law and low crime rate makes it safe to study and travel. 

-Top 5 cities as a study destination in Australia

Australia belongs to the top five study abroad destinations for international students. A lot of international students travel to Australia to pursue their higher studies. With this popularity, you must have asked yourself “what is with Australia that makes it alluring for other nationalities?” Australia has a small population compared to its large size and also houses some of the best universities in the world. Their government puts a great deal of attention on improving the education system. The residents enjoy one of the highest living standards in the world having access to healthcare & education. The cost of living and tuition fees are affordable as compared to the USA & UK. 

Below are 5 of Australia’s best cities and their defining features if you are looking to study in Australia. 

Study in Melbourne

Melbourne the capital of Victoria state is considered as the biggest student city in Australia and the world’s 2nd best student city. This recognition is primarily due to the presence of its reputable universities giving you world-class education. Melbourne has a pleasant climate which international students can easily adapt to. And, it is home to cultural events particularly inclined towards music, film and sports. Travelling around the city is very easy and affordable through the city’s integrated public transport (trains, trams, taxis and buses). International students can also find several accommodations with an ideal location. 

Study in Sydney

The capital of New South Wales. Sydney boasts many universities globally ranked among the most competent institutions for higher learning. Their universities are known for leading the research centres. Sydney houses a lot of immigrants and international students; residents never fail to show kindness towards other cultures. Sydney is also one of the largest cities in Australia, where you can enjoy exploring the city’s iconic spots. The city is ideal for learning for international students due to its diversity. Students can have access to internships, training and employment with higher pay as the city is Australia’s economic and financial centre. 

Study in Canberra

The capital city of Australia with fewer residents. It is the political centre of Australia. The city is best suited for those international students who dislike a high urbanite lifestyle. It got a top university such as Australia National University and the University of Canberra. International students need not have to worry about accommodation. You have a variety of options to live on-campus and you will be offered the same discounts as local students on public transport as well.

Study in Perth, Western Australia

Perth is a popular student city, especially within Bhutanese students. The city is not too crowded, unlike Melbourne and Sydney. Although the living standard is high, you are guaranteed the achievement of the right work-life balance. The city has a top university like the University of Western Australia for higher studies with various scholarship opportunities. Your children will get free education in case you are enrolled in the postgraduate program. You have the greater privilege to study in Perth as an international student.

Study in Brisbane, Queensland

Brisbane is another popular Australian city for international students consisting of 22% population of foreign students. The city is led by University of Queensland (top universities) which is also a research-focused institution. There are a couple of top regional universities in Brisbane. It has a subtropical climate with an efficient transportation system. Living in Brisbane is fairly affordable for the students. 

Australia has a lot to offer. Each city is unique from each other in terms of anything. 

-Top 10 reasons to study in Canberra, ACT

Canberra might not be as familiar to you as Sydney, Melbourne or other states, but it’s an incredible city with plenty to offer. Here are a few reasons why you should consider Canberra as your place of study.

The Political centre of Australia

Canberra is the capital city of Australia. The name of the city has been derived from “Canberry” which means a ‘meeting place’. The city is home to the Australian Government and the site of Australia’s Parliament House. If you love politics and world affairs, there are plenty of interesting things to learn. Most of Australia’s Government’s Head Offices are located in Canberra City. 

Australia’s most affordable top cities

The city is the second most affordable city for students in Australia. According to Daily Mail newspaper, Canberra has been named as the most liveable place and rated three times in a row as the best place to live in Australia. 

Employment opportunities

You’ll have access to abundant part-time work, industry placements and volunteering opportunities while you study in Canberra, and with an exciting series of emerging industries, accompanied by Australia’s highest average income and lowest unemployment, the graduates enjoy strong employment outcomes. In both the private and public sectors, the city offers a lot of opportunities for students in diverse industries.

World-class education 

Canberra is known for the best education options. You have choices of prestige universities in which the qualifications are globally recognised and possess outstanding research reputation.

Most educated city

It is considered as the most educated city because the highest percentage of people have completed their year 12 studies, making the city pretty academic. As compared to other parts of Australia, the workforce in Canberra are well educated especially in terms of information technology. 

A Diverse and multicultural city

Canberra is not only connected locally, but it’s also in touch with the greater global community. More than 25% of Canberra’s residents were born overseas which means outside Australia. Plus, due to the large presence of international embassies from all over the world in the area, Canberra has a distinctly multicultural vibe.

Safest city

Canberra is also the safest city to live where crime rates are very low. Both national and international students feel safe to go for an evening stroll, heading to university, walking/ cycling around the parklands.  

On-campus accommodation

International students need not have to worry about accommodation. You have a variety of options to live on-campus and you will be offered the same discounts as local students on public transport as well.

Many options for leisure and entertainment

While you are in Canberra city, you will never fall short of things to do for the city plays host to various entertainment and sporting events. The city always has something to offer for every type of person whether you are foodie, arts or nature lover. etc.

Easy connectivity

Canberra is just a 3 hours drive away from Sydney city. It is a well-connected city with direct flights to all Australian cities and a few other international destinations as well.

-Reasons to study in Brisbane

Brisbane is known as the Sunshine Capital of Australia and international students choose it as their study destination. There are several reasons why one should study in Brisbane. Following are some: 

Universities accepting three years bachelor degree program from the colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan 

Three years of bachelor degree from the colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan is considered as an associate degree in Australia. Due to that the students from RUB with a three years bachelor degree are not accepted by the universities. There are some universities which offer Postgraduate Qualifying Program or Pre-Master program in Brisbane for those students. These programs are for a semester and after that the student can directly join their master program. 

Following are the universities with the pre-master program or PQP

  1. James Cook University Brisbane 
  2. Griffith University 
  1. Cheaper tuition fees compared to other universities in other parts of Australia. The universities in Brisbane provide several scholarships to the Bhutanese students and International students in general and that makes the student tuition fee much cheaper than the other universities. To get more about the scholarships, you can contact Chhundu Enterprises ECPF, Global Reach office at 02-334362 or visit our website
  2. Affordable living expenses compared to other parts of Australia. Brisbane has the lowest cost of living compared to the other cities in Australia. 
  3. Weekend and holiday getaways. There are so many things to do in Brisbane to spend quality weekends and holidays with your family after tiresome study and work during the weekdays. You can take your family to Southbend Parklands and enjoy the outdoor sports like cycling, going for a walk, enjoying the garden there and enjoy shopping there. You can also enjoy river cruises and visit Mt. Coot-tha lookout, which gives a panorama view of Brisbane City. There are other things that you will enjoy going to while living in Brisbane like Riverlife Adventure Centre, XXXX Brewery, Fortitude Valley, Story Bridge Adventure Climb and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
  4. Multicultural events. Brisbane is known for the it’s grand festivals and cultural events. Most of the international students love participating in those multicultural festival events and learn other people’s culture. 
  5. Weather. Brisbane mostly have sunshine and the international students in Brisbane love the weather there. Brisbane, being in the temperate climate, there are plenty of activities for the international students to enjoy. 
  6. Availability of part time jobs. International students enjoy various part time jobs in Brisbane which helps them towards their living expenses and tuition fees. 

For these reasons, one should choose Brisbane as your study destination. 

-Studying in Perth

There are several reasons for choosing your study destination. If you are looking at Australia, Perth is the place to be! We will not be surprised if you choose Perth. 

Perth is the capital of Western Australia, being the 4th most populous city in Australia. Perth is one of the sustainable and most liveable cities in the world. It is also a popular tourist and study destination. Studying in Perth doesn’t only allow you to pursue high-quality education but also live in a beautiful environment. 

I would like to share below ten reasons why Perth is a great study destination.

1. Perth is now classified as a Regional Area!

This means the affordable cost of living, better integration with Australian culture, relaxing lifestyle with city facilities, and the most attractive deal, migration opportunities. 

2. Perth University list 

Perth has many institutes and universities; two of the excellent ones are the University of Western Australia (Perth’s most prestigious and ranked as one of Australia’s best universities) and Curtin University. Other universities in Perth are Edith Cowan University and Murdoch University, which are very popular for Bhutanese. All these universities have a wide range of courses and study options.

3. Student life in Perth

Perth is a student city. It is the cultural hub of WA for the arts and entertainment, with the city and its surroundings providing the perfect backdrop for all year long festivals and cultural events. Visit art galleries, or enjoy a theatre, dance, music, comedy, or movie night. It has many interesting festivals and has a good nightlife. Northbridge is a very popular entertainment area, with lots of nightclubs and cafés. And all kinds of interesting activities are regularly organized on university campuses too.

4. Travel

Perth is located in the west and is connected to the rest of Australia and other parts of the world through excellent air travel. So international students who study in Perth won’t need to worry about being away or confined in one place. 

5. Most multicultural state 

One of the first things about Perth you’ll notice is its cultural diversity. People of over 200 different nationalities live, work and study in WA, speak more than 170 languages and practice more than 100 religions. So wherever you’re from, you will always feel welcome and find your place in Perth.

6. A lifestyle that is hard to match

Perth offers one of the world’s highest living standards, and yet is more affordable than many other study destinations. Forty per cent discount is given to International students on all public transportation and free bus services within Perth’s city centre!

7. Plenty of part-time work

On a student visa, you will have the opportunity to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week. And as a student, you always need a bit of extra cash. In Perth, there are ample jobs available in the areas of administration, communications, hospitality, housekeeping, retail, and tourism. 

8. Perth’s stunning Skyline

Perth has a lovely skyline, which is best seen from Kings Park. You can enjoy the beautiful view of the city and the Swan River from this park with its impressive botanical gardens. 

9. The beautiful beaches of Perth

The city is located on the west coast of Australia, and there you have many wonderful beaches. To name some of them, Cottesloe Beach, Mullaloo Beach, Scarborough Beach and the many dream beaches on Rottnest Island

10. Safety 

Perth hosts a large number of international students, and many believe Perth as one of the safest cities in the world. WA is a relatively safe place to live with lower crime rates.

-Top 10 reasons to study in Melbourne

Melbourne is among the world’s liveliest cities. It’s known for its music, art centres and museums, and celebration and expression of art. Here are the top 10 reasons to study in Melbourne.

World’s top universities.

 It’s a city with some of the top universities and research facilities. This factor draws in many international students worldwide. To be specific, Melbourne is home to 7 Australian universities and hosts campuses of another five. Melbourne universities teach a total of 277,000 students, of which 91,000 are international students.


The City of Melbourne is home to one of the most culturally diverse and harmonious cultures in the world.  About 140 communities are represented, from the original Indigenous settlers of Victoria to the more recent arrivals from European, Asian and African countries.

Easy Transportation

Melbourne has a thorough transport arrangement of trains, transports and trams that make getting around the city simpler. With the availability of cabs and cycle tracks, the requirement for a vehicle is negligible in Melbourne, particularly when living in the downtown.

International Culinary Delight

Melbourne has taken on popularity as Australia ‘s food city. The culinary center has so much to do, from Asian dishes to traditional Australian dishes.

It’s ‘Australia’s best student city’

Melbourne has been consistently named ‘best student city’ for local and foreign students in Australia–it’s the world’s third-largest student city! That means Melbourne stands out in terms of affordability, employer engagement, desirability, and student perspective. And if you’re curious, adventurous, imaginative, looking to live and study in a vibrant city environment, Melbourne might just be the perfect place for you.

Excellent Student Support

The Universities of Melbourne are also renowned for supporting foreign students. This covers everything from accommodation, social links to finance, language learning skills, etc.

Job opportunities 

Melbourne ranks as the tenth best city in the world when it comes to employability. There are a lot of opportunities for part-time jobs in Melbourne for international students. There are a plethora of restaurants, hotels, super markets etc which give you this opportunity.  

Best Coffee Culture 

Melbourne is paradise for coffee addicts, with popular bistros everywhere, you can see individuals wherever with a takeaway espresso mug in their grasp. In the event that you are coming to Melbourne as international students, you can keep yourself invigorated with incalculable diverse coffee choices. It is renowned also for being the world’s coffee city.

Exciting Sport Events 

In the event that you are into sports, the city has a great deal of occasions, permitting you to make the most of your preferred game. Melbourne has occasions, for example, the Australian Open Tennis, Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Melbourne Cup, the Motorcycle Grand Prix and some more.

Incredible Lifestyle 

Melbourne is viewed as the social capital of Australia. From excellent sea shores to stunning nightlife and energizing food culture.

-How expensive it is to live in Australia                                                                            

Australia being the sixth biggest country of the world and smallest continent with 26 million population and its diverse natural landscapes, great weather, cosmopolitan cities and relaxed lifestyle, it is said to be most liveable cities in the world and a top pick for the foreigners.

In spite of a beautiful country with lovely beaches, fabulous mountains and forest, a question comes to mind, how expensive it is to live in Australia? The overall living standard is nine percent higher as compared to the USA and it currently has the twelve highest cost of living in the world, Sydney with its excellent weather, beautiful beaches and an outdoor lifestyle and Melbourne being cosmopolitan with a thriving restaurant and arts scene has become the most popular choice for the expats. Regional and coastal towns like Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide cost of living are much cheaper as compared to Sydney and Melbourne.  

The average wage in Australia is around $74,000. This is more than enough to live very comfortably. The ideal lowest wage varies greatly with where you live. In the city centres, especially Sydney and Melbourne, rent is incredibly high. It is not uncommon for you to be unable to find a place for less than $400/week. If you’re living further out and commuting to the city by train or bus, you’re now looking at $50/week minimum in transport cost. If you’re driving, of course this will increase. The definition of “comfortably” would really depend on where you live now and how you want to live. But of course, your cost of living will vary depending on your own lifestyle. In fact, it can be categorized as minimal, average and luxury standard of living.

In Australia, rent is quoted by the week, but a good basic standard is to use $600 per week as a starting point for a minimal lifestyle for an individual, This would cover a modest shared dwelling in an accessible, relatively safe, basic utilities, a public transit card for commuting, and food and low-cost entertainment including internet connection.

The average weekly expenditure in Australia is around $2,200 per household. Shopping around will get a decent deal on utilities, but basics, including power, gas and internet for a standard two-bedroom apartment will come to about $350 a month.

 More realistically, $1,500 to $2,000 per week can get a very nice apartment within easy reach of the city or the beaches in any of the country’s major cities, including Sydney. Typical water, electricity, and gas bills for a house with four bedrooms would cost around $400-500 per month. TV, telephone, and Internet packages with extra TV channels included are available from around $600 per month adding a week on food and drink, plus around $400 on eating out. The amount you have to pay for private health insurance depends on where you live and what cover you want. It could be as little as $43 per month, or as much as $1,150 per month.

-How easy is it to find a job in Australia?

Most of the Bhutanese students go abroad mainly to make money as the amount that they could earn in a couple of years in Australia, would take a lifetime to earn in Bhutan. 

Easiness of getting jobs in Australia will depend on an individual. Normally, people who are active and open to doing challenging jobs get jobs faster and easier than those who are reluctant and totally dependent on others. 

As rightly said by someone, “In this modern world, it is not what you know that counts but it is all about who you know which counts”, one of the factors of getting a job depends on having someone you know in Australia. Some of the students having their relatives or friends in Australia arrange jobs for them and these people are lucky enough to work as soon as they reach there. Whereas, people who do not have anyone known there have to struggle themselves and go on looking for jobs. This might take time depending on how smart enough the individuals are. For that reason, it is suggestable to look for a university near the place where you have some relatives or friends if you are not that open enough to adjust to the new environment faster. 

Compared to the white-collar jobs, blue collar jobs are much easier to get as it does not require a difficult level of skills. Some of the Bhutanese students and dependents get enrolled for some short-term certificate courses and get themselves certified. These short term certificate courses are available in Australia for jobs like cleaning, working at construction site, carpentry works and so on. The student can use that certificate to get jobs faster.

Some tips to get a job:

  1. When you leave Bhutan and reach Australia, do not stick with the Bhutanese friends all the time. Be open enough to make Aussie or other national friends and mingle with them. That way, you will be able to know their culture more and you can have more people with good knowledge regarding the job vacancies floating around in the area.
  1. Be mentally prepared to do any kind of job that you will get. Starting from cleaning jobs to any other blue-collar jobs.
  1. Do thorough research about the company that you will be working for before you go for the interview. With this you will have self confidence as you know about the company in a better way. This would also help you to not end up in having a job which would not be physically possible for you to do.
  1. Be keen to learn new things so that you will be fit for any kind of job that comes your way. Constantly learning new things will always help the person grow and have a wider knowledge or skills regarding the jobs and situations around. Always remember that the day you stop learning will be the day you stop growing. 

-FAQ’s by Bhutanese students interested to pursue their VET or higher education

While there are multifold benefits of getting an education from a developed country, the initial phase is always hard. The drastic change in lifestyle, education system and environment can all be overwhelming. 

This is a compilation of the frequently asked questions by prospective Bhutanese students interested to pursue their VET or Higher education in Australia. 

  • Do Australian institutions accept year 12 and bachelor degrees from Bhutan? 

Bhutan’s year 12 is not equivalent to the Australian education system. Therefore, a BCSE graduate will have to undergo a diploma program for 8 to 12 months, and then will be transferred to their 2nd and 3rd year bachelors’ program respectively. (student will not lose a year) 

A 3-year bachelor’s degree from the Royal University of Bhutan is also not equivalent. Students will have to attend a Pre Qualifying Program for 6 months prior to their 1.5- or 2-years master’s degree. 

  • What and where to study in Australia after year 12 or graduation? 

To each their own. Preferences are solely based on your interests and strengths. But we often advise students to take a program that is in direct relation to past education and work experience. The connection plays a vital role in creating your genuineness as a student to pass the immigration screening process for a positive visa outcome. ** Keep in mind, visa is never guaranteed. 

  • Which English language tests are accepted? 

The International English Language Testing System or IELTS (academic) is the most preferred and widely accepted by almost all institutions and universities. However, they also accept other English proficiency tests such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper-based test, Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE), Cambridge English: Advanced and Occupational English Test (OET). 

  • Can Students work during their studies? 

Yes, all students with subclass 500 visas are allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight and full-time during vacations both off and on campus. Doctorate or PhD students can work full-time throughout the year.

  • What accommodation options are available?

Most Bhutanese students prefer to stay in with their kin or friends who are already settled in Australia before they find their own accommodation. But there are other options as well:

There is an on-campus residence facility. Many universities in Australia offer foreign students on-campus residence facilities, but you need to apply separately and well in advance to get a spot for yourself.

There is also off-campus accommodation where students can share apartments with other international students.

There is also an option to stay at homestays with a local family. But keep in mind that homestay hosts don’t make much profits from this, but it’s mostly because of their love to host international visitors and students. Don’t expect them to do everything and ensure that you comply with their house rules, if any. 

If you arrive before the date of your course commencement, you can look for short-term accommodation options. You can try staying at hostels for backpackers, discounted / budget hotels or your institution can offer you temporary accommodation while you’re settling in a new country.

-Interesting facts 

Australia is the world ‘s 3rd most popular destination for international students.

They might be a small country of 24.5 million people; they are world leaders in education. Australia is expected to take over UK as the second most popular study destination in the world, right behind the US, according to London’s University College

Currently Australia has nearly 700,000 international students. That is an increase in the number of international students from 2017 by 11 per cent.

They have six of the world’s top 100 universities.

Australia’s educational institutions may be comparatively young compared to universities like the Oxford of the United Kingdom or the Harvard of the United States but they are up there with the best.

The University of Melbourne, Australian National University, Sydney University, University of Queensland, New South Wales University and Monash University were all ranked in the top 100 universities in the Times World University Rankings for Higher Education 2020.

They have one of the best higher education systems in the world.

Australia has an outstanding higher education system. With over 22,000 courses across 1,100 institutions, our system is ranked 8th in the Universitas 2019 U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems, higher than France, Germany, Norway and Japan.

An emphasis on student experience and graduate outcomes.

According to the 2018 Department of Education International Student Survey, international students register approximately 90 per cent satisfaction scores for their living and studying experience in Australia. 

Seven of the best student cities in the world are located in Australia.

According to QS Best Student Cities 2019, almost all of Australia’s major cities – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast – are in the world’s top 100 student cities.

The Australian Government has invested over A$300 million in scholarships for international students.

In 2019 Australia offered more than 3,000 Australia Awards scholarships and short courses for students from more than 55 countries.

Australia has over 2,5 million students from around the world making a difference. 

According to Australia’s International Education Association, 2.5 million foreign students have graduated from Australian educational institutions over the last 50 years. 

These graduates are now part of a global network of alumni who are making an impact around the world.

-Popular courses 

There are many courses available for International students in Australia. Students take courses which are relevant to their field or educational background. If you want to try for permanent residency after your degree, then your chances will be increased if you get a qualification that is in demand.

Here are the Top 8 popular courses available in Australia which are mix of skills that will help them gain employment and increase a chance of successful immigration: –


– According to the Bureau of Labor statistics there will be a shortage of about 800,000 nurses by 2020.As the population grows there will be more medical care in demand. so hospitals and medical facilities are always looking for nurses. The field of nursing is one of the most valued and respected jobs. Getting experience in this field will lead you to earn high salaries.

Recommendations: –

Curtin university-Bachelor of Nursing(registered)

University of New England-Bachelor of Nursing


-Business courses are most popular and are the most found jobs worldwide. Due to establishment of Large companies, business degree holders, and specifically MBA degree holders are always valuable for any business organisation in Australia. 

Recommendations: –

Edith Cowan University-Bachelor of business, Master of Business Administration. International

University of Canberra -Master of professional accounting

Deakin University- Bachelor of commerce

Tourism and Hospitality

-Australia is one of the most liveable cities in the is famous for its breath-taking and scenic natural beauty which includes gorgeous beaches. Because of this it attracts tourists all over the world. It has a high employability rate for hotel managers and chefs. 

Recommendations: –

Griffith University-Master of tourism and hospitality

TAFE, WA: -Diploma of hospitality management

Computer Science/IT

-Software and computer science engineers are in demand, both in Australia and worldwide. There is a report of cyber-crimes every year due to this most of the universities has come up with cyber security courses. Specialising in areas such as machine learning, data management will give great career outcomes.

Recommendations: –

Edith Cowan university- Master of Cyber Security

University of Canberra- Master of Information Technology and systems

Core Engineering

– with maturing civilizations and economic development worldwide, the need for bigger, better, diverse, and sustainable structures is also growing. It’s a massive area of study which allows a student to specialise in areas of interest and develop in areas of skill shortages. Courses like civil, structural engineering and project management are mostly sought-after ones.

Recommendations: –

CQ University-Master of Project management

Griffith University-Master of Engineers

Creative Arts and Design

-Australia offers a wide range of courses options including performing arts, visual arts, Communications, media and design studies.

Recommendations; –

Flinders University- Bachelor of arts.


-Australia offers programmes through a combination of coursework, Research and practical elements, covering teaching areas such as: early childhood education, primary education, secondary education and special needs education.

As today’s teaching methods become more sophisticated, the demand for better skilled teachers has also increased tremendously.

Recommendations: –

University of Canberra-Master of Education studies.

-What issues do international students face 

Many international students are choosing to study in Australia because of its excellent education system, multi-cultural and high standard of living. International students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while studying in Australia. It is an opportunity for those who want to earn money to offset living expenses during their stay and for those who want to gain work experience. Student life in your home country is pretty easy, but being a student by yourself in a different county can be hard. 

Culture Shock

Every international student while studying abroad has to face cultural shock that they have to go through. The ways that things are done in Australia are going to definitely be different from the ways you would do things in your home country. The foremost reason to study abroad is to experience “the change”. The atmosphere, the culture and the people are different so rather to criticize you need to learn to adjust. The culture out there is welcoming and you will be respected if you don’t do stupid things.


Language barrier is another problem that most international students face while studying abroad. The Aussie accents are different which makes them difficult in understanding. Many Australians use slang words and speak very fast which makes it difficult to understand for non-native speakers. Although Australia is the land of diversities and multicultural aspects English is the most spoken and local language of the country.

Education System

Australia is a leading global provider of education to international students after the United States and the United Kingdom. Studying in Australia is exciting and productive but the education system might be different from many countries. Our 3 years bachelors from Royal university of Bhutan is not recognized so we have to undergo a short course called Pre Qualifying Program which is for 6 months. Very few universities accept the 3 years bachelors such as Edith Cowan University and the Murdoch University in Perth. Similarly, courses and credits are divided in weeks and hours which is very new for us.


No matter how developed the country is with advanced technologies, it’s natural to feel a bit homesick sometimes. Being away from home, family and neighbours you tend to miss them a lot. This is a very natural and common feeling, but you cannot sit at a place and wish for things to change, you have to explore, make a habit of talking to friends, make new friends and go and hang out. It is not really hard.


Even if you have a lot of money in your bank it is always advised to keep a record of your expenditure and try to bring down. When you convert into our local currency it’s a lot of expenses. Many international students do a part time job which will help them to earn their own pocket money. Getting a part time job might not be that difficult but we should keep looking for an opportunity and never miss one. It is important to buy only things that are useful rather than buying unnecessary things.  

-How are popular universities supporting Bhutanese students during the Covid-19 crisis?

Deakin University

Deakin has announced additional funding of up to $25 million to support international students for the next six months. 


RMIT’s Student Hardship Assistance and Equity Scholarship funds have been expanded to provide up to $10 million in support to students impacted by COVID-19.

Two types of payments are available for students impacted by COVID-19. 

1. Emergency Financial Grant

To support students who are impacted by job loss, housing insecurity or other financial matters associated with COVID-19. This is for non-tech expenses, such as essential living expenses, textbooks, accommodation, healthcare, or food.

2. Technology Grant

To help students access essential IT equipment to continue studying remotely, including hardware, software, subscriptions, data, internet and digital materials. The Technology Grant is limited to up to $1,000 per student.

University of Canberra

The University has advised international students in hardship to send an email to detailing their hardship, so that the cases would be handled individually. 

The UCX Food Pantry has partnered with Canberra Relief Network to provide relief hampers for students. Hampers consist of a variety of non-perishable food items and some essential toiletries. Each student is entitled to one hamper per month, as each hamper is designed to meet the needs of a family of four for a week.

Edith Cowan University

The university has announced various support mechanisms for students, including a reduction of the Student Services and Amenities Fee. 

It has also established a Support Grant of $2,000 for eligible students. University’s Student Guild is providing $50 grocery e-vouchers also. 

Curtin University

The university has made the Financial and Housing Support Bursary available to assist students who are in financial hardship due to COVID-19. It is a need-based scholarship, available to domestic and international students, enrolled in a minimum 25 credit points in semester 1 of 2020. 

Victoria University

Emergency financial grant for students impacted by self-isolation/quarantine requirements or job losses. This grant is for essential living or study expenses related to food, healthcare, textbooks and materials (non-tech) for study up to the value of $100.

Technology grant to support students in pursuing studies that have transitioned to digital platforms (e.g. voucher to support the purchase of a wifi dongle up to the value of $100). 

Crisis housing support for students who have encountered hardship as a result of the loss of paid employment. Rental assistance grants up to the value of $500.

It offers support even if the sponsor of an international student is facing hardship due to the situation. 

Murdoch University

The university has announced a student assistance fund aiming to safeguard physical and mental health and well-being of the students.

It has a study support fund for part-time students amounting $500 each and, and full-time students can apply for up to $1,000.

-Can Bhutanese students get post study work rights?

Many students wish to pursue higher studies abroad and also plan to stay there for long and gain work experience. Australia is one of the most popular destinations among the most Bhutanese. The constant demand for a skilled workforce in Australia has boosted the education sector, which continues to attract and sustain international students. 

On November 16th 2019 Adelaide, Perth, Gold Coast, Wollongong, Hobart and Canberra were classified as regional by the federal government. This will allow the international student an additional year of post-study work rights (PSWR). Most of the Bhutanese students go on student visas which allow them to study and work. However, the validity of the visa expires as well. Before the visa expires you need to apply again for the work permit to continue staying in the country for employment purposes. In Australia, students who have completed their studies in Australia can apply for Post Study Work Permit. As an international student, you can apply for the PSWP within 6 months of completing your course. You must meet the Australia student requirement, which require a minimum of 16 months of stay and study in Australia and completion of a minimum 92 weeks of study of the course registered on the commonwealth register of institution and courses for overseas students.

You have to have completed 18 years of age and should be less than 50, have an eligible visa and health insurance in Australia. Students who graduate from courses below bachelor’s degree level are not eligible for the post-study work visa.

Students who are graduating from a bachelor degree or master by coursework degree will be eligible for a two-year post study work visa. Graduating from a master by research will be eligible for a three years post study work visa. A doctoral degree will be eligible for a four-year post study work visa.

International students in Australia on a valid student visa can work for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and there is no limit on the number of hours an international student can work during vacation. If an international student works more than the Australian restriction allows, his or her visa may be cancelled. Students obtaining a graduate degree, like a master’s degree, their family can work unlimited hours. Like students, family members are not allowed to begin work until after the student has started his or her course.

Working during your stay in Australia is a great way for international students to supplement their finances. However, it is extremely important to be aware of the restrictions placed upon you as an international student. If you violate any of these restrictions, your student visa may be revoked and you could be deported out of Australia.

-What does it mean to get poached by an onshore agent?

Before understanding the meaning of getting poached by an onshore agent it is important to know how an onshore agent comes to a role and that is where a student who is simply changing institutions for the same or similar program of study. The engagement of the onshore agent with the student is very simple that of filling up an application form and emailing to the institution. There are no accommodation services, no documents verification etc.

The problems, as some agents, consultants and educators see it, start when students are “unethically” poached from one institution to another by rogue agents. Students in their initial arrival in any university are very vulnerable where some students take time to settle down and during this transition period it is very easy to misguide a student to change his/her initial institution by luring them and paying part of the commission received by the onshore agent. Some are lured by the easy and flexible attendance in some low quality providers, some by quality of education or even by the environment, a scenario that does not always work out in the students’ best interest.

How the onshore agents actually bring in unethical conduct in the trade and the poaching that happens is from established Universities to lesser colleges generally and increasingly using means such as flexibility, less work load or some even on  cash-back .

If a student wants to change the institution because of some really genuine reason for instance like they have completed a course and are looking for a higher level program, or they wish to leave a difficult or expensive course for a cheaper, less laborious option. Yes, there is no need for a visa if the student is moving side-ways. Any institution especially the low cost, low quality private institutions will happily provide all the services and help make the change. 

The reasons are several and one of the growing ones now is that the certain onshore education/migration agents also pass on part of the commissions and some of the low quality institutions are doing most of the international recruitment through onshore poaching from other providers. Movement is mostly away from Universities and sadly the elements to attract students include low cost, multiple installments, flexible classes and cash-back through onshore agents. It is more of the students being poached during their first program of study and mostly within the first year of the study. For instance “I have come to Australia to study a master in cyber security and the fees at my institution are $50000 per year. I want to transfer to another institution where the fees are $25000 per year and where the attendance may be flexible. It will help if I may pay the fees in multiple installments. 

 Perhaps a worse situation like, agents going around and mingling with the students of different university colleges, asking queues of people if they would like to switch their college/schools.

-Short term gain vs long term goals

I was in conversation with representatives from Brisbane Australia who expressed concerns about Bhutanese students withdrawing from courses and the effect it had on students and the market. Its the same conversation I had recently with representatives from Melbourne and Perth.

Bhutanese have a good reputation. We are represented by our student ambassadors. People judge a nation by the individuals they meet, our Bhutanese have done well with this. They have collectively given Australians a positive impression of who we are, so far.

Individuals identifying themselves as ‘senior Bhutanese’, (a Bhutanese that has been in Australia for a long time) have passed out poor advice to students which has affected the post study visa, application for a PR status and the overall visa outcome for all Bhutanese that are still in Bhutan. 

Students have been encouraged to withdraw from university degree courses so their spouses or themselves can apply to a small college with tuition fees at a quarter or half the price. The immediate benefit is money saved. 

This is also where the benefits end.

When a student withdraws and becomes a dependent or downgrades their degree to a diploma their visa status undergoes a change and they must apply for a new visa, if accepted this becomes part of their permanent record. Students who have excelled and on track for a meritorious scholarship are also falling for this short-term gain and surprisingly withdraw.

When these couples apply for their post study visa the permanent record reflects this visa change and raises red flags when it comes to accept or reject their application. 

Down the line should the couple consider permanent residence status the same red flags show up on the permanent record which affects the application negatively.

More and more cases are reported with ‘senior Bhutanese’ offering advice in Australia to unsuspecting couples. I asked what the benefit was, “they are paid by the college, so for every student they bring in, a commission is paid.”

To stay in Australia couples are then in a diploma samsara, applying for diploma after diploma in order to lengthen their stay. This costs more money for the couples and also allegedly keeps the ‘senior Bhutanese’ in commission.

This affects all applicants from Bhutan as the visa process becomes stringent with higher refusals and puts in question the credibility of Bhutanese applying which till now maintains a good reputation compared with regional applicants.

Our education officials are working on creating better awareness on this, we can all help by spreading this message out to make Australian bound students aware of the long-term effects from a short-term gain.

If you’re investing money to study abroad, do the research, look at the long-term goals and make informed decisions. Don’t find out after it’s too late that you are no longer eligible for the benefits of an Australian education because a ‘senior Bhutanese’ offered you advice to the contrary.


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