Provides introductory information for AusAID scholarships applicants.
AusAID's Australia Awards provide rewarding higher education opportunities for people from developing countries to build skills and knowledge to promote development in their home country and build enduring people to people linkages.
Who is AusAID?
AusAID is the Australian Government agency that manages Australia’s overseas aid program. The fundamental purpose of the Australian aid program is to help people overcome poverty.
This also serves Australia’s national interests by promoting stability and prosperity both in our region and beyond. The aid program’s efforts are focused in areas where Australia can make a difference and where our resources can most effectively and efficiently be deployed. More information about AusAID
Why does AusAID offer Australia Awards?
AusAID Australia Awards reflect the overall objectives of Australia’s overseas aid program. Through the awards, AusAID seeks to develop the capacity and leadership skills of awardees so that they can contribute to development in their home country and to build people to people linkages at the individual, institutional and country levels. More information about AusAID’s Australia Awards.
What entitlements are available?
- Establishment Allowance
- Fortnightly Contribution to Living Expenses (CLE)
- Institution tuition fees
- Return Home airfare
- Health cover (Overseas Student Health Cover)
- Supplementary academic support up to $1,000/year
- Where applicable: Reunion airfare, fieldwork (for students undertaking research only), pre-course English.
A full list of all benefits and entitlements available to awardees can be found in the Scholarships handbook. The Contribution to Living Expenses is only intended to assist in meeting everyday living costs. It is not designed to cover the complete costs of awardees and/or their dependents whilst in Australia.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) covers basic medical and hospital care in Australia, most prescription drugs and emergency ambulance transport. OSHC does not cover: all costs for medical treatment, or pre existing medical conditions.
Awardees may, at their own expense, purchase additional medical insurance to cover ancillary services such as dentistry and physiotherapy, etc. AusAID does not provide OSHC or any other form of health insurance for family members. Awardees are responsible for all medical expenses, including health cover, for all family members while they are in Australia. Please see the Scholarships handbook for more information.
What visa will I need? How do I apply?
Awardees are granted a Student visa—(Temporary Visa (Subclass 576)). Awardees holding Student visas are not required to apply for a separate work permit. The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) provides detailed information regarding visas.
Will my family be able to accompany me to Australia?
AusAID advises awardees to wait until their second semester before bringing their families to Australia so they have time to find long term accommodation and settle in. The AusAID student visa allows awardees to bring immediate family members to Australia as dependants. More information about visa conditions for family members can be found at the DIAC website.
For more information on bringing your family see Part 1 of our pre-departure video for AusAID’s Australia Awards—Preparing to come to Australia.
Will my partner be able to work?
Eligible dependent family members are permitted to work in Australia under the AusAID student visa. Further details on work requirements can be found at the DIAC website. Information about local employment vacancies is often available on university websites.
For more information on work in Australia see Part 4 of our pre-departure video for AusAID’s Australia Awards—Living in Australia.
What about schooling for my children?
Carefully consider the extra costs of bringing your family to Australia
Low cost public primary and secondary schooling is available in Australia, but school enrolment must also be arranged for children of awardees before they can be granted visas as dependants. School tuition fees are low at government schools. However money should be set aside for each school term for school uniforms, books and materials, sports activities and school excursions. Childcare should be booked early because of the frequent long waiting period for places. AusAID’s Student Contact Officers at each contracted higher education institution can offer assistance to awardees on a range of issues, including information on local schooling and childcare options.
For more information on schooling for children in Australia see Part 4 of our pre-departure video for AusAID’s Australia Awards—Living in Australia.
What is Australia like?
Geography and climate
Australia is a vast and diverse country and the climate varies considerably depending on the season and the location. Cities such as Townsville in Queensland experience monsoonal rainfall in the wet season and high temperatures. But awardees studying in Canberra experience hot summers and cold winters, with temperatures sometimes below zero at night and ten degrees during the day. Australia is in the southern hemisphere so our seasons are opposite to the northern hemisphere. This means that Christmas in Australia is in summer when it’s hot, and winter starts in the middle of the year from June. Awardees should take into account the location of their higher education institution and ensure they are prepared for the climate.
What type of accommodation is available? How much will it cost, and will it be hard to find?
Research as much as you can about Australia, your chosen institution and local area before you decide to apply for a scholarship.
Institutions arrange temporary accommodation for awardees when they first arrive in Australia, which awardees must pay for. However, awardees must also find and pay for long term accommodation themselves.
- on campus accommodation, often the simplest, safest and most convenient option for unaccompanied awardees
- rental housing
- home stay (boarding with a family in their home)
- sharing accommodation with other students, which can be a good option for unaccompanied awardees.
Be aware of the challenges of finding suitable, affordable accommodation. This has been the most difficult nonacademic issue for past awardees. There is strong competition for rental housing in many parts of Australia and depending on the location, costs can be high. For example, awardees can expect to pay over A$370 per week for a two bedroom house. Many campuses are located in areas where housing is very expensive.
For more information on accommodation see Part 4 of our pre-departure video for AusAID’s Australia Awards—Living in Australia.
What about transport?
Public transport varies widely between Australian cities. Buses, trains and trams are available and student concessions are often available. Student Contact Officers can assist with information about local accommodation options, public transport, and available concessions.
For more information on transport see Part 4 of our pre-departure video for AusAID’s Australia Awards—Living in Australia.
Food, shopping and groceries
Australia has strict quarantine laws and visitors must declare food and other plant and animal material on arrival. Australia is a multicultural society where most foods and cooking ingredients are available.
For more information on shopping see Part 4 of our pre-departure video for AusAID’s Australia Awards—Living in Australia.
Research as much as you can about Australia, your chosen institution and local area before you decide to apply for an Australia Award
The information in this fact sheet is not intended to be exhaustive. More information on what to expect in Australia can be found in the On-track for Australia Pre-departure guidebook for AusAID’s Australia Awards.
Or watch the On-track for Australia Pre-departure video for AusAID’s Australia Awards on the Australia Awards for Development YouTube channel.
The following websites are useful sources of information for those interested in applying for an AusAID scholarship:
On track for Australia!
Pre-departure video for AusAID’s Australia Awards