For anyone considering moving to Australia and wanting to know more about Australia . Australia is a unique and diverse country in every way – in culture, population, climate, geography, and history. For articles on specific topics about Australian history and culture.Australian culture is as broad and varied as the country’s landscape. Australia is multicultural and multiracial and this is reflected in the country’s food, lifestyle and cultural practices and experience.Australia has an important heritage from its indigenous people, which plays a defining role in the cultural landscape.This diversity of influences creates a cultural environment in Australia that is lively, energised, innovative and outward looking.
As of October 2012, Australia’s population is roughly 22.7 million people. The most populous states are New South Wales and Victoria, with their respective capitals, Sydney and Melbourne, the largest cities in Australia.
Australia’s population is concentrated along the coastal region of Australia from Adelaide to Cairns, with a small concentration around Perth, Western Australia. The centre of Australia is sparsely populated.
Australia is an island continent and the world’s sixth largest country (7,682,300 sq km).Lying between the Indian and Pacific oceans, the country is approximately 4,000 km from east to west and 3,200 km from north to south, with a coastline 36,735 km long.
Canberra is Australia’s capital city. With a population of approximately 320,000 people and situated in the Australian Capital Territory, Canberra is roughly half way between the two largest cities Melbourne and Sydney.
Australia has 19 listed World Heritage properties. Australia is also famous for its landmark buildings including the Sydney Harbour Bridge; its ancient geology, as well as for its high country.
Australia’s first inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, are believed to have migrated from some unknown point in Asia to Australia between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago.While Captain James Cook is credited with Australia’s European discovery in 1770, a Portuguese possibly first sighted the country, while the Dutch are known to have explored the coastal regions in the 1640s.
The first European settlement of Australia was in January 1788, when the First Fleet sailed into Botany Bay under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. Originally established as a penal colony, by the 1830s the number of free settlers was increasing. Transportation of convicts to the eastern colonies was abolished in 1852 and to the western colonies in 1868.
Australia’s estimated resident population at March 2011 was just over 22.5 million, an increase of 1.4% over the previous year. The growth of Australia’s population has two components: natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths) and net overseas migration. The growth rate has been declining since the peak of 2.2% for the year ended 31 December 2008 and was the lowest growth rate since the year ended 30 September 2005. All states and territories experienced positive population growth for the year ended 31 March 2011. Western Australia recorded the fastest growth (2.2%) and the Northern Territory the slowest (0.4%).
The median age (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) of the Australian population has increased by 4.8 years over the last two decades, from 32.1 years at 30 June 1990 to 36.9 years at 30 June 2010. Between 30 June 2009 and 2010 the median age remained relatively steady at 36.8 years. Over the next several decades, population ageing is projected to have significant implications for Australia, including for health, labour force participation, housing and demand for skilled labour.
Australia’s Population density
Population density varies greatly across Australia. Australia’s total population density at June 2008 was 2.8 people per square kilometre. Among the states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest population density at 147 people per square kilometre and the Northern Territory had the lowest population density at just 0.2 people per square kilometre.
At 30 June 2008, population density was highest in the capital cities of Australia’s states and territories. With the exception of Canberra, all these capital cities are located on the coast.
Australia’s Sex Ratio
At June 2010, there were 94,600 more females than males residing in Australia, with 11.12 million males and 11.21 million females. The sex ratio (the number of males per hundred females) was 99.2, up from 98.6 in 2005.
|Population||22,507,617 (July 2014 est.)|
|Age structure||0-14 years: 18% (male 2,075,316/female 1,969,645)
15-24 years: 13.3% (male 1,534,947/female 1,457,250)
25-54 years: 41.8% (male 4,783,473/female 4,626,603)
55-64 years: 11.8% (male 1,321,246/female 1,341,329)
65 years and over: 15.1% (male 1,569,197/female 1,828,611) (2014 est.)
|Dependency ratios||total dependency ratio: 51 %
youth dependency ratio: 28.9 %
elderly dependency ratio: 22.1 %
potential support ratio: 4.5 (2014 est.)
|Median age||total: 38.3 years
male: 37.5 years
female: 39 years (2014 est.)
|Population growth rate||1.09% (2014 est.)|
|Birth rate||12.19 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)|
|Death rate||7.07 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)|
|Net migration rate||5.74 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)|
|Urbanization||urban population: 89.2% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.49% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
|Major cities – population||Sydney 4.543 million; Melbourne 3.961 million; Brisbane 2.039 million; Perth 1.649 million; Adelaide 1.198 million; CANBERRA (capital) 399,000 (2011)|
|Sex ratio||at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
|Mother’s mean age at first birth||30.5 (2006 est.)|
|Infant mortality rate||total: 4.43 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.74 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
|Life expectancy at birth||total population: 82.07 years
male: 79.63 years
female: 84.64 years (2014 est.)
|Total fertility rate||1.77 children born/woman (2014 est.)|
|Contraceptive prevalence rate||72.3%
note: percent of women aged 18-44 (2005)
|HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate||0.1% (2009 est.)|
|HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS||20,000 (2009 est.)|
|HIV/AIDS – deaths||fewer than 100 (2009 est.)|
|Drinking water source||improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
|Sanitation facility access||improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
|Ethnic groups||white 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%|
|Religions||Protestant 28.8% (Anglican 17.1%, Uniting Church 5.0%, Presbyterian and Reformed 2.8%, Baptist, 1.6%, Lutheran 1.2%, Pentecostal 1.1%), Catholic 25.3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.6%, other Christian 4.5%, Buddhist 2.5%, Muslim 2.2%, Hindu 1.3%, other 8.4%, unspecified 2.2%, none 22.3%
note: percentages add up to more than 100% due to rounding (2006 est.)
|Languages||English 76.8%, Mandarin 1.6%, Italian 1.4%, Arabic 1.3%, Greek 1.2%, Cantonese 1.2%, Vietnamese 1.1%, other 10.4%, unspecified 5% (2011 est.)|
|Literacy||definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
|School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)||total: 20 years
male: 19 years
female: 20 years (2011)
|Education expenditures||5.6% of GDP (2010)|
|Maternal mortality rate||7 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)|
|Children under the age of 5 years underweight||0.2% (2007)|
|Health expenditures||9% of GDP (2011)|
|Physicians density||3.85 physicians/1,000 population (2010)|
|Hospital bed density||3.9 beds/1,000 population (2010)|
Australia is a dynamic, vibrant country with energetic, friendly people. Multicultural Australia is English-speaking and a safe and friendly society in which students can learn and travel freely.
- Why you should consider an education overseas
Australia also offers excellent value for money and a standard of living that is among the highest in the world. Living expenses and tuition costs in Australia are considerably less expensive than the UK and USA. The other advantages for this country in the Asia Pacific Rim include paid internships while studying.
Let us explore why Australia now has around 38,4000 international students from over 140 countries in disciplines at every level of education, including short-term English language courses, Bachelor and Masters Degrees right through to Doctoral Degrees.
The Australian approach to vocational and technical education is now recognised as among the best and most innovative in the world. It enjoys an international reputation for excellence in all areas of education and training. Australian universities are widely recognised for excellence in many disciplines.
Institutions deliver practical and career-orientated training so graduates can be confident they have the skills demanded by employers. It has played an important role in Australia’s economic performance, by greatly increasing the skill of workers and contributing to improved productivity.
Australia has a reputation for adopting new technologies at a faster rate than in most other countries and enters the new millennium with one of the highest rates of internet access in the world. Facilities for teaching, training and research are world-class in terms of state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms, outstanding libraries and modern technology.
- Qualification recognition
Australian qualifications are recognised by employers and leading educational institutions in many countries around the world. Moreover, most courses and training undertaken by international students in Australia are covered by Australian Qualification Framework (AQF). It is a system of learning which is authorised by the Australian government.
- Quality assurances
Australia’s national quality assurance system is unique both in its structure and its rigour. International students, and even their parents, enjoy an unparalleled level of service and financial protection. The country is committed to providing quality education to students — be it national or international.
The Australian Quality Training Framework has been set up by the government to strengthen the quality assurance processes in education. Australia provides the world’s most rigourous protection for international students through ESOS.
- Multicultural society
Australia is a safe, multicultural, friendly and harmonious society. Australians value the wealth of cultural diversity and social sophistication that international students bring to the campuses and communities.
Great care is taken in looking after international students and helping them to adjust to the Australian way of life. Australia has a low crime rate and strict gun control laws providing a safe environment.
One’s study plans are also not likely to be upset by political turmoil. People from about 200 countries have migrated to Australia, making Australia one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. The multicultural nature of Australian society means international students are readily accepted by other students, and teachers are experienced in teaching classes to students from many countries.
- Visa red-tapism
Most of us are familiar with the high-handedness of the American and the British visa officials. On any given day, a genuine visa application may get turned down for reasons best known to them. This is gradually going in favour of new academic destinations.
Students are more or less frustrated about the lengthy and costly visa application procedure for the US and UK.The Guardian has recently published a report saying UK visas should address the problems encountered by one-third of students in obtaining visas — 18 per cent found it a lengthy and difficult process even though their first application was eventually successful, 8 per cent were initially refused but received a visa on a second application and 5 per cent received one after appealing their initial refusal.
- Cost of living
In Australia, a student gets value for money in terms of cost of living. The conversion factor is cheaper compared to the UK or US.
- Job opportunities
While the UK closes doors for doctors and the US focuses more on IT professionals, international students have started to hit upon Australia which offers more job facilities in multiple disciplines. Be it in agriculture or aeronautics, accounts or actuaries, Australia offer work permits to international students like none other.
- Study Abroad: Choosing the right university
- Possibility of more scholarships
Australia being comparatively new in terms of attracting foreign students offers more scholarship opportunities compared to the United States or the UK. It, however, needs to be kept in mind that Australia is a less populated yet vast country which can fit in employment opportunities at a rate faster than any other part of the world.
- More research opportunities
Australia offers research opportunities to eligible professionals willing to enhance their career. The biggest advantage is Australia offers country-based research that is spread all over the continent. Selection for these highly regarded research opportunities are based on merit and is highly competitive, and a proven track record of academic excellence is a pre-requisite.
If you intend to study for more than 3 months, you must apply for a student visa. You can be granted a student visa only if you wish to undertake a registered course or part of a registered course on a full-time basis.
You will need the following documents for your visa application:
- Visa application form (which your education counsellor will help you complete)
Visa application fee
3. Four passport-sized photographs
4. Valid passport
5. Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (once your counsellor has applied to institutions for you)
6. IELTS result (your counsellor can book your place in an English test)
7. Academic and work experience documents
8. Statement of purpose
9. Evidence of financial ability (tuition fees, living expenses, expenses for dependents, return airfare.
- Health requirements: Some students may be advised to take a medical and/or a radiological check-up to show they are in good health (this applies, for example, to those who intend to train as a doctor, dentist or nurse). If told to do so, you must attend an appointment with a doctor who has been approved by the Australian immigration department. Except those from Belgium or Norway, all students are obliged to purchaseOverseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). You may purchase this cover through your university, or directly from one of the five approved providers: Australian Health Management, BUPA Australia, Medibank Private, Allianz Global Assistance and nib OSHC. The average cost of OSHC is AUS$437 (US$383) for 12 months for a single student. Students from Sweden who have purchased health insurance through CSN International or Kammarkollegiet will not need to purchase OSHC.
- Character requirements: All students will also be assessed against thecharacter requirements stipulated by DIAC. This includes a criminal record check, to make sure you don’t have a substantial criminal record. You may also need to acquire a penal clearance certificate (or police certificate) or get a police statement, and may be asked to complete a Character Statutory Declaration Form.
Can I work?
You cannot work until you have commenced your course in Australia. Once your course has commenced you are permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session, and unlimited hours when your course is not in session.
Which are the top-ranked universities in Australia?
There is stiff competition among the top-ranked universities in Australia and every year we observe one university overtaking the other. As per the latest QS World University Rankings, the top five Australian universities are – Monash University, Australian National University, University of New South Wales, University of Queensland and University of Sydney.
What are the course options available for students?
Indian students can choose from a wide variety of course options ranging from vocational TAFE courses, English language courses, Foundation programmes for University studies, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and Ph.D. programmes.
How do I apply to study in Australia?
All leading universities offer a simple online application process. Once your application is approved and you pay the fees and receive a letter of confirmation, you can use it to secure a student visa from the Australian embassy.
Do I need to meet any admission requirements?
Yes, applicants need to meet the entry requirements specified by their respective university. These requirements vary, based on the programme selected. Undergraduate programmes usually require applicants to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.0. Postgraduate programmes usually require applicants to have an IELTS score ranging from 6.5 to 7.0. Those aspiring to study a postgraduate degree should have a good academic score in a relevant undergraduate programme. Some universities require applicants to MBA programmes to have at least two years of work experience.
How much does it cost to study a full-time degree in Australia?
The cost of completing a degree varies on the university and course selected. An undergraduate degree could cost anywhere from $15,000 to $33,000; courses in medicine and veterinary science will cost more. Postgraduate programmes could cost anywhere from $20,000 to $37,000. Students are advised to earmark at least $20,000 every year for food and living costs.
Am I eligible for scholarships?
A number of scholarships are on offer from the Australian government, the Commonwealth and the British Council. Universities offer a number of academic scholarships to international students with a greater focus on postgraduate programmes.
Can I work part-time when I am studying?
Yes, you can work part-time when you are studying. You can work up to 20 hours a week when studying and full-time during vacations. A number of part-time jobs are available in super-markets, restaurants and shopping malls. Students can also check for internships within their respective university itself.
What are my chances of finding a job in Australia once I graduate?
Australia offers a bright future for those who excel academically and have the patience, perseverance and ambition to succeed. An extension on the student visa can be obtained to search for a relevant job once you graduate. Opportunities abound in the medical profession, civil and construction engineering and the tourism and hospitality industries.
What are the accommodation options available?
Most universities offer on-campus accommodation facilities for students. International students are assured of accommodation if they apply on time. The prices vary from institution to institution and students are advised to ensure that they have a safe place to stay before they fly out to Australia. Homestay options are quite popular and most leading cities offer this facility with families renting out a room in their house to international students. The rent usually also includes food that is served by the host-family. The students get to experience Australian life and become an integral part of the host family’s life.
Be it enjoying the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground or watching the T:20 Big Bash or enjoying lawn tennis greats battle it out at the Australian Open; students are spoilt for choice at the sporting action on offer. From the Australian Grand Prix to Rugby tournaments and football action, there is always some sporting event or the other happening. Travel enthusiasts can have a gala time in Australia making the coast to coast trip covering the rich and diverse heritage of the country and exploring some of the most ecologically vibrant parts of the world. These include the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian outback, Ayers Rock – the monolith that seems to change colours and the wonderful beaches that dot the long coastline.