One of the hardest decisions you will have to make about your studies in Australia is where to study. Which institution is best for you? Your family and friends may be able to help but making the final decision and applying to an institution can be difficult if you are overseas. This is why many students get help from an education agent. Here are some tips for using an education agent.
BENEFITS OF USING AN EDUCATION AGENT:
- THEY WILL HELP YOU SORT THROUGH YOUR OPTIONS: Education agents can give you a lot of information about the various universities in Australia. After discussing what kind of institution you are looking for, they will help you sort through your options to find the right institution and course for you.
- THEY HAVE EXPERT KNOWLEDGE: Qualified education agents have an excellent knowledge of the Australian tertiary education sector and can provide you with all the information you need about the application process and what studying in Australia is really like.
- THEY CAN ASSIST WITH THE APPLICATION PROCESS: Education agents will help you to complete the application forms and will deal directly with the institution on your behalf, which will take some of the work out of the application process for you. Education agents may also help you apply for a student visa.
- IT’S A FREE SERVICE: You don’t have to pay for the service that education agents provide because institutions pay them a commission. However, you will still need to pay an application fee to the institution.
DISADVANTAGES OF USING AN EDUCATION AGENT:
- THEY MAY BE BIASED: Because institutions pay education agents a commission once the student has enrolled (which can be up to 10 per cent of an international student’s first-year fees), they may be inclined to suggest institutions that pay them a higher commission.
- THEY MAY NOT BE SHOWING YOU ALL THE OPTIONS: Some education agents represent only a few Australian institutions and will therefore not show you the full range of institutions on offer. Having a limited choice may lead you to choosing an institution that doesn’t quite meet your needs and expectations.
- YOU WILL NEED TO TAKE SOME PRECAUTIONS: To ensure that the agent is qualified and approved by your chosen institution, you will need to do some research. You can search for your agent on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website to ensure they are qualified and check on your preferred education provider’s website to ensure that they are recognised. Australia has recently amended international student legislation, making it compulsory for education providers to keep a list of agents who act on their behalf.
Qualified education agents can make the application process a lot smoother and easier, so it is a great option to use one if you are unsure about applying for an institution. The main thing to remember when using an education agent is to keep your needs in mind and make sure that they are being considered and met by the agent. Try to explore as many options as possible to ensure that you can make an informed decision and that your agent is qualified and accredited. The best way to find an education agent is by selecting an agent listed on your preferred institution’s website, checking out reputable agencies online (with IDP being one of the most established) or attending an international education fair.