1. They help you meet entry requirementsInstitutions provide these courses to international students who may not have the entry requirements they need for entry into undergraduate courses. There are different programs available to cater for various levels of English language ability and academic competency.
2. They can grant guaranteed access to tertiary studyMany foundation courses guarantee students who complete their foundation course with the required grade point average and English language ability a place in the first year of a VET program or undergraduate degree at the affiliated institution.
3. They are linked to institutionsFoundation courses are offered by institutions themselves or an affiliated international college. These close links provide you with a guaranteed pathway through to your chosen institution. Contact the institution you are interested in for more information on their foundation programs and where they are offered. In many cases, the foundation course will be offered at or near the university campus, giving you access to the full range of facilities, clubs, student services and student accommodation options from the time you commence your foundation studies.
4. They help you to develop skills and confidenceFoundation courses give you an opportunity to develop your tertiary study skills, complete assessment tasks and develop independence. This invaluable preparation means that many students who complete a foundation program are more successful and confident in their first-year studies.
5. They offer tailored study streamsMost foundation studies programs offer different streams (humanities, physical sciences and business, for example) in order to prepare students for tertiary studies in their particular field. This specialised knowledge can be applied directly to your undergraduate degree, meaning you will be well prepared for study in your field.
6. They give you some time to adapt to a new environmentMany students find it daunting settling into a new country and beginning tertiary studies at the same time. A foundation course can provide you with a comforting transition to living and studying in Australia. It will give you time to settle into your new city, explore your campus, make new friends and gain a better understanding of Australian teaching methods before launching into the commitment of a tertiary course.
7. They develop your English language skills
Many courses include components of academic English to prepare students with the level of English required to complete assessments and succeed in their field. Some foundation courses also give students the option to complete an intensive English program as part of their preparation. Those students in need of more intensive English language preparation should consider undertaking a specialised English language (ELICOS) course in addition to or instead of a foundation course to develop the ability required.
8. They can be altered according to your needs
While most programs typically run for about 12 months, many have accelerated options that enable students to finish in as little as one semester. Some courses can also be lengthened to provide you with additional preparation. Some providers may also offer transition programs for students who already meet the requirements for direct entry into the institution but who would like to prepare themselves for academic study and the Australian university environment.
- Foundation courses: a pathway into degrees — Studies in Australia website