The Student Visa (Subclass 500) is an excellent solution if you wish to enter the Australian job market or if you wish to improve your language skills. Or even extend your stay in Australia after a temporary visa such as the Working Holiday Visa, Tourist Visa or COVID-19 Visa (Subclass 408). However, studying in Australia represents a significant budget, and this should not be taken lightly. Your budget will depend on the studies you undertake (higher education, professional education and training…). Indeed, university studies can be extremely expensive, more than 20,000 AUD per year. Fortunately, there are other options with affordable courses such as vocational training. (Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma). In this new article, StudyBird guides you through the step’s application, how to find an affordable or a profitable vocational course, and finally how to finance your studies.


What are the steps to apply for a Student Visa?


To apply for a Student Visa, you will need to study a CRICOS registered course full-time (between 3 months and 5 years) at a CRICOS approved education provider; i.e. an Australian school, private college, TAFE school, ELICOS English course or University. The Student Visa application process includes:

  • A Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) from the institution (university, college or school) after the offer letter is signed and the first term/semester fees are paid to the school. A COE is the official document from the registered CRICOS institution confirming that you have been accepted for full-time study on a Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) course in Australia. StudyBird advisors can help you apply to the respective institution and obtain the letter of offer for the course you wish to study.
  • Have proof of financial ability
  • Proof of English language proficiency for your chosen course
  • Have health coverage for international students (OSHC) for the duration of your studies
  • Submit a Genuine Temporary Entrant letter (GTE) explaining why you have chosen to study this course in Australia. Please contact us if you need any advice on how to prepare this GTE

How to choose the most affordable course?


For years, Australia has been one of the most popular choices among international students. But the question arises: can you study in Australia without breaking the bank? The answer is YES. But it is not that simple because the costs depend on the type of course and the level.


The first thing to consider if you want to extend your stay and study in Australia is the tuition fees. But beware of hidden costs. Some schools and education agencies use the word “term” instead of “trimester”. In some cases, a term is 10 weeks and a trimester is 12 weeks. If you want to compare two courses and find out which one is cheaper, we recommend that you look at the annual cost of the course and not at the “term”.


For StudyBird students, affordable courses are currently 1,200 AUD per term (or 12 weeks) or 4,800 AUD per year:

  • Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication (6 months)
  • Diploma of Business & Digital Analytics Training (1 year)
  • Diploma of Leadership and Management (1 year)
  • Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management (1 year)
  • Diploma of Project Management (1 year)
  • Advanced Diploma of Program Management (1 year)
  • Diploma of Enterprise Resource Planning (1 year)
  • Diploma of Social Media Marketing (1 year)

The second thing to consider in your search is the cost of tuition and materials. The first payment you make to get your Confirmation of Enrolment, and therefore to start your Student Visa, includes the tuition and fees. By choosing an affordable course with a low tuition/materials fee, you can save money right from the start. At the moment, many of our partner schools are offering tuition instead of AUD 500 at some schools, which is not insignificant as the first payment is always a bit more if you are starting a new Visa!


Thanks to our numerous partnerships, our Studybird team will be able to direct you to a low cost course that meets your needs.

Which course is the most interesting for the long term?

If you want to stay in Australia for as long as possible because of your studies, we advise you to study a course that will allow you to be eligible for the Temporary Graduate Visa – Graduate Work Stream (Subclass 485). This visa allows you to stay between 18 months and 24 months with full-time work rights after your studies. In order to be eligible, you must be studying a non-university course, i.e. a Certificate, Diploma or Advanced Diploma for at least 2 years. The qualification must be related to an occupation where there is a skills shortage in Australia. These occupations are listed on a Skilled Occupation List published and regularly updated by the Department of Home Affairs. Below are the popular courses eligible for the 485 Visa:

  • Certificate III in Carpentry (2 years)
  • Diploma of Early Childhood and Care (2 years)
  • Certificate III + IV in Commercial Cookery (18 months) + Diploma of Hospitality (6 months)
  • Certificate III in Painting and Decorating + Diploma of Building and Construction

These courses are a little more expensive than other courses, about 2000AUD per term, because they are more “technical”. However, these courses are more profitable because they allow you to stay in Australia after your studies, unlike other professional courses. It is still an affordable course.


Please note that there are additional requirements in order to be eligible for the Temporary Graduate Visa. Our French migration agent will be able to help you and evaluate your case. Contact us for more details.


How can I finance my studies?

As an international student, you can work while studying in Australia. Professional training courses are usually spread over a few days, up to 20 hours per week, which gives you time to work on the side. In addition, since the beginning of 2022, the Australian government has temporarily relaxed the work hour restrictions, allowing you to work full time. This means that there are currently no restrictions on the number of hours students can work while studying in Australia (previously limited to 40 hours every 15 days).


In addition, some university and vocational courses include work placements, allowing students to work in industry for a set period of time as a course requirement. These work placements are very common in the Early Childhood and Care, Nursing, Construction and Carpentry degrees. These internships will give you the opportunity to develop your job skills while studying, as well as make valuable connections with employers in your field of study. These internships are generally unpaid. However, many international students have been offered part-time or even full-time work in their field of study as a result of a successful internship. Contact us to find out which courses offer work placements.

Finally, there are also academic scholarships, funding options and research grants available for international students. Scholarships can be awarded by Universities or by the State. Australian university scholarships cover tuition fees in part or in full for the duration of your studies. They are most often awarded to prospective Masters and PhD students with a research focus. In the categories of the Australia Awards, scholarships funded by the Australian Government, French students can apply for the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships.