Degrees Down Under
Chloe Booker, WEEKENDER | Thu, 04/26/2012 1:12 PM |
Boasting high-quality education, multicultural cities and comfortable living standards, Indonesia’s southern neighbor is the top choice for overseas study.
Australia is so popular among international students that in 2009 one in five students in Australian universities came from overseas – mostly from Asian countries. In fact, Australia is the number one university study destination for Indonesians, with more than 10,000 Indonesians currently enrolled at institutions across the continent.
Karen Poh, a former international student from Singapore and founder and editor-in-chief of Meld Magazine, an online magazine for international students in Australia, says that, since she came to Melbourne in 1999, the city’s offerings for international students have multiplied.
“The city is a lot busier nowadays, and it’s certainly more multicultural than it used to be,” she says. “Many apartments have also sprung up to meet the large international student population in the city, and that has certainly contributed to the buzz.”
With 50 percent of Australians either born overseas or having parents who were, the cities are full of people from many different cultures, each bringing their own distinct foods and traditions.
Steven Tannason from Jakarta, who is currently studying at the University of Melbourne, says it has been a privilege to meet and befriend people from so many countries.
“The multiculturalism of the university and the city has enriched my university experience,” he says. “You can meet many friends from different countries and attend different cultural festivals.”
Australian universities also offer great support services to help make international students’ stay as enjoyable as possible. Services include mentor programs, housing and study advice and social activities. They also offer free legal, health and counseling services for students who encounter any problems.
Grace Ke Yanxiu, also from Singapore, is studying journalism at Murdoch University in Perth and says the university has many clubs and societies catering to international students.
“Living away from home would have definitely been emotionally tougher if not for the fact that both the state and uni are so welcoming and ever ready to help break down any cultural barriers,” she says.
Jason Tulio, originally from the Philippines, is completing a Bachelor of Communication at the University of Queensland, which he praises for its welcoming environment.
“Upon arrival into the University of Queensland, international students are orientated with numerous seminars about Australian culture and life [and] there are offices and clubs dedicated to welcoming and integrating international students,” he says.
Another major drawcard is the world-class quality of education in Australia, with degrees that will carry weight around the world. It’s also a great place to learn or improve your English language skills.
Furthermore, Australian cities are pleasant and comfortable places to live. Melbourne was named the world’s most livable city last year, with three other cities – Sydney, Perth and Adelaide – in the top 10.
And the best part is that all of this is just a short flight from Indonesia.
Marcella Purnama, who is from Jakarta and studying at the University of Melbourne, says many of her friends chose to study in the United States, which means they must endure a 20- to 30-hour flight back home.
“Here in Australia, many [Indonesian] international students go back twice a year in only a six- to eight-hour flight,” she says. “After all, your family is in Indonesia and you’ll get the feeling of [being] homesick one time or another.”
Marcella also says she feels more at home in Australia because of the large Indonesian community, with many having opened restaurants serving Indonesian food. There are even Indonesian festivals in most cities each year.
“The lifestyle is different to Indonesia’s, but I believe soon enough Indonesian students would be able to call it home,” she says.
For more information, visit www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/indonesia, www.australian-universities.com and www.meldmagazine.com.au.
Land of Opportunities
Some of the top universities in Australia for foreign students, according to www.australianuniversities.com
University of Western Sydney (UWS) Sydney, NSW. With over 32,000 students, the University of Western Sydney (UWS) is one of the largest universities in Australia. Over 2,800 international students from 70 different countries choose to study at UWS each year.
Victoria University Melbourne, Victoria. Victoria University is one of Australia's largest dual-sector institutions of higher education, with a TAFE college offering a unique combination of academic and vocational skills in a modern and supportive environment. It has built a strong reputation for providing a broad range of courses that are up-to-date and relevant to the modern employment environment.
Deakin University Melbourne, Victoria. Deakin University is one of Australia's most progressive and visionary universities. It has been noted for providing a superior and student-centered education, Deakin has become increasingly popular as a destination for international, with around 70,000 students studying on its various campuses, including ELICOS studies.
Bond University Gold Coast, Queensland. Australia's first and largest private Australia university has grown to become one of the Queensland universities with an excellent international reputation. At Bond you will experience personalized education by highly qualified teachers, innovative courses and teching methods, an international student body and a beautiful secure campus. Bond's staff to student ratio is the best in Australia
The University of Adelaide. Adelaide, South Australia. The University of Adelaide is one of Australia's oldest and one of the highest ranking universities Australia has in any guide to higher education institutions and is regarded as one of the best Australian universities. Established in 1874, it is a member of the “Group of Eight”. There are more than 1,800 international students among the 14,000-strong student population.
Griffith University, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Queensland Griffith University, one of Australia's leading universities has over 2,500 teaching staff, 27,000 students including 4,000 students from over 80 nations.
The University of Southern Queensland Toowoomba, Queensland. USQ is recognized as a world leader in the fields of and tertiary study initiatives. USQ is a dynamic, flexible and innovative University whose staff and students pride themselves on being responsive to the technologically aware global market place.
Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne, Victoria. Established in 1908, Swinburne has a strong reputation in Australia and overseas as a provider of career oriented education. Swinburne is a small, innovative university, which is rapidly forming a distinctive character including the study of accounting business commerce computing law management marketing nursing tourism a character which reflects purpose, achievement and the genuine quality of its educational outcomes.
University of Tasmania Hobart - Launceston - Burnie, Tasmania The University of Tasmania is the fourth oldest University in Australia. It is highly regarded internationally as a teching and research institution. The University of Tasmania offers a pleasant, enjoyable environment for study at all levels of higher education.
Queensland University of Technology - Brisbane -A dynamic and innovative institution that not only satisfies the requirements of its local and international student body but also has one of the highest MBA Australia rankings according to the Financial Times 2004 world listings.
Macquarie University Sydney, NSW One of the leading NSW universities, it is a modern, sophisticated and cosmopolitan leading provider of education in Australia. With over 24,000 students, including 4,000 international students, Macquarie is a university which prides itself on outstanding academic achievement and has excellent resources for distance learning and study online.
Edith Cowan University Perth, Western Australia. Edith Cowan University is noted for its innovative course content, specialized research and creative pursuits. Responsive and forward thinking, it is one of the universities in Perth that is internationally focused and an Australian leader in the provision of professionally focused degree programs.