USA Students' Guide

Group of students sit together smiling

US students have a long history of studying in Australia.

Australia is a popular destination for US students, with more than 100,000 students embarking on the journey 'Down Under' in the last decade.

Australia offers:

  • a high-quality education system with a reputation for excellence
  • internationally recognised courses and qualifications
  • strong links with the Asia-Pacific region, the fastest growing economic region in the world
  • cheaper study and living expenses compared to many other countries
  • permission to work part time while studying
  • well-regarded skills and qualifications to support a career on your return to the USA
  • vibrant, appealing and multicultural cities
  • a safe and enjoyable lifestyle with great weather.

Considering the costs involved with studying abroad, you may be debating whether it is still sensible to do so amidst the current economic environment. The present environment is probably the best time to study abroad — now more than ever it is important to gain international experiences and cross-cultural skills to succeed in the global age.

How many US students are studying in Australia?

In December 2014, there was a total of 9,511 American students studying in Australia. Around 56 per cent of these students were studying through a study abroad or student exchange program. Study abroad and exchange programs usually involve completing one or two semesters overseas which can be credited to your course back home. Another 25 per cent of US students studied in the higher education sector, completing a full degree at either undergraduate or postgraduate level.

For more information about the types of courses available in Australia (including higher education and exchange and study abroad programs), see Types of education.

Which states are they studying in?

US students have shown a preference for studying in New South Wales and Queensland. Of the total US student population studying in Australia, 38 per cent choose New South Wales, while 31 per cent study in Queensland. This is followed by Victoria (18 per cent) and Western Australia (seven per cent). South Australia,  the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have smaller numbers of American students and smaller numbers of international students overall.

For more information about study destinations within Australia, see Australia's regions.

Investment into the global education of American students — Study Abroad Act

If you need any more encouragement to take the study abroad plunge then consider the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Act. This legislation aims to dramatically expand study abroad opportunities for US undergraduates and ensure the next generation of Americans has global knowledge and skills. The legislation has gained strong bipartisan support in Congress and has also been endorsed by more than 40 higher education and educational exchange organisations.

Student visas

You do not need to apply for your student visa until you are accepted by your Australian education provider and have received formal proof of offer or enrolment, although it is a good idea to contact your nearest Australian embassy or consulate in the US before you apply for a course to find out whether you are eligible for a student visa, how to make your application and what documents you will require.

American students are currently classified at Assessment Level 1, which means you can apply for your student visa online. Visa assessment levels are determined by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. See Student visas for more information.

Washington
Australian Embassy
1601 Massachusetts 
Ave NW
Washington DC 
20036-2273 
Tel +1 202 797 3000 
Fax +1 202 797 3168
www.usa.embassy.gov.au

Chicago
Australian Consulate-General
123 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1330
Chicago IL 60606
Telephone: +1 312 419 1480
Fax: +1 312 419 1499
www.usa.embassy.gov.au

Denver
Australian Consulate
8480 East Orchard Road, Suite 1100
Greenwood Village CO 80111-5015
Telephone: +1 303 321 2234
Fax: +1 303 773 1664
www.usa.embassy.gov.au

Honolulu
Australian Consulate - General 
Penthouse, 1000 Bishop Street 
Honolulu 96813 
USA
Tel +1 808 529 8100
Fax +1 808 529 8142
www.usa.embassy.gov.au

Houston
Australian Consulate
4623 Feagan Street
Houson TX 77007-7308
Tel +1 713 782 6009
Fax +1 713 862 8364
www.usa.embassy.gov.au

Los Angeles
Australian Consulate - General 
2029 Century Park East, Suite 3150
Los Angeles CA 90067 
Tel +1 310 229 4800
Fax +1 310 227 5746
www.losangeles.consulate.gov.au

New York
Australian Consulate - General 
150 East 42nd Street, 34th Floor 
New York NY 10017-5612 
Tel +1 212 351 6500 
Fax +1 212 351 6501
www.newyork.usa.embassy.gov.au

San Francisco
Australian Consulate-General
575 Market Street, Suite 1800
San Francisco CA 94105
Telephone: +1 415 644 3620
Fax: +1 415 536 1982
www.usa.embassy.gov.au

Scholarships

There are a range of scholarships available to US students wishing to study in Australia. A scholarship can provide great assistance with funding your study. The Endeavour Awards offered by the Australian Government aim to encourage high-achieving students, researchers and professionals from overseas to study, research and complete professional development in Australia.

There are five Endeavour Awards available to American students:

It is also worth looking into other scholarships that may be available from the US Government; through your preferred Australian education provider; or through professional associations, prominent industry companies and other interest groups. There are a number of international and charitable organisations that offer scholarships for international study. Visit Funding sources for US students and Scholarships for more information.

Financial aid

As a US citizen you may be eligible to apply for a student loan such as a Stafford loan or a PLUS loan. The Stafford loan is a low-interest loan and is the most common type of federally supported financial aid program. The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) allows parents to borrow up to the total cost of attendance, minus any other aid for which the student is expected to receive. Graduate students can also apply for additional funding through the PLUS loan program. Visit Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out more.

For more information, visit Funding sources for US students.

Sources

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