Becoming a Foreign Exchange Student in Australia

So, you’ve decided to study abroad in Australia. What’s next? Now, you’ve got to find the right University, the right foreign exchange program, the right city, the right area, the right student accommodation, the right student visa, the right…what else?

It all seems a little daunting doesn’t it? Well, have no fear because we’re here to make your job a whole lot easier. Check out where and how to find the best foreign exchange programs in Australia. Not to mention plenty of helpful tips regarding exchange student requirements, costs and student living in the Great Big Land of Oz.

Foreign Exchange Student Programs

Best Area/Uni’s for Foreign Exchange

When it comes to foreign exchange in Australia, the first steps really are figuring out the best places to live for international students a.k.a the ideal study abroad location for you. Not to mention selecting the best university to study at in Australia. Here are a few of our fave picks:


Enjoying the Sydney harbour scenery in style

When you think of Australia, Sydney really is the iconic city that comes to mind. Sydney is a harbor city, home to the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, and is flanked by an amazingly aesthetically pleasing, coastline. Being a student in Sydney comes with all the benefits of city living while still being just a ferry or bus ride away from beautiful beaches.

It’s also worth noting that Sydney is considered one of the world’s most culturally diverse and friendly cities, so it’s heaven and a haven for international students wanting to study in Australia. In light of this, it’s no wonder that Sydney has one of the biggest populations of international students in Australia.

Sydney is also home to some of the most prestigious universities in the country, so you can get a degree with pedigree. These unis include, but are not limited to, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University and University of Wollongong.


Melbourne’s iconic tram network

Melbourne is lesser known than Sydney city but don’t let that fool you. What it lacks in major iconic buildings, Melbourne more than makes up for in its vibrant cityscape. After all, Melbourne is renowned as the culture capital of Australia, and clinched numero uno on the Economist’s most livable city list for not one, not two, but seven years in a row! If Sydney’s a bubbling glass of champagne, then Melbourne is the full-bodied glass of quality red wine.

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The student guide to scholarships in Australia

When you consider the warm climate, pristine beaches, laid-back lifestyle and epic quality of life, it’s no wonder Australia is such a popular destination for students. In fact, the island continent is attracting more and more international students each year, with a whopping 542,000 enrolling in 2018!

But studying in Australia can seem like an unobtainable dream if you consider the cost of flights, tuition fees, student accommodation, and living expenses. Pretty daunting, right? Luckily, there are a number of amazing scholarships out there for international students that you might be eligible for and which can make a huge difference to your situation.

These scholarships can help cover your tuition, health cover, airfares and even living expenses, easing the financial burden and letting you focus on your studies instead. Plus, winning a scholarship can look great on your uni transcript when looking into career options.

Before looking at some of the top scholarships in Australia for international students, here are a few important points to consider when trying to receive study sponsorship.

Sydney is just one of the amazing cities you can choose from if you’re studying in Australia!

Tips for international students wanting to apply for Australian scholarships

Get involved within your local community. Although some international scholarships are based on academic performance, there are scholarships out there given to students who demonstrate active participation within their community. That can include local clubs, sports teams, volunteer work and any other activities that demonstrate leadership and engagement. Be sure to include these in your cover letter, as they’re often taken into account – even with academic or financial need scholarships.

Ask for help if you need it. Your scholarship application is extremely important, and any spelling mistakes, errors or unclear presentation of your ideas could mean the difference between success and rejection. If English isn’t your first language or you’re unsure about what you’ve written, we strongly recommend asking a trusted teacher, friend or parent who is fluent in English to proof read your application and offer suggestions before you submit it.

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What’s it really like to live at University Square?

A Night at University Square with our Marketing Assistant, Georgie

Choosing your student accommodation can be hard and you may be wondering: What is it really like to live with The Student Housing Company? To give you a true glimpse into a day in the life of a TSHC student, we sent in our Marketing Assistant and current student, Georgie, to stay at our first Australian property, University Square, for one night with two other friends.

Check out what Georgie got up to as she documented her night staying at University Square:


I checked into the University Square and made myself at home in a one of the three-bedroom apartments! The best part about checking in is you receive a welcome card with lots of helpful info about the building and the area.

My bedroom for the night!
The entrance to University Square


As a current student at The University of Melbourne, I know how hard it can be to find a spot to study at university libraries. So, I took advantage of my stay at University Square and made sure I spent some time studying in the awesome communal study spaces.

Studying in the ground floor study areas

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A Week in Tokyo – ‘Win a Trip to Tokyo’ Recap

Travelling and seeing the world is a quintessential part of being a student. Being a part of the Global Student Accommodation (GSA) family, The Student Housing Company is a part of a network of student communities around the world, so in 2018 we wanted to give one lucky student the opportunity to experience the student life abroad.

In August we ran the ‘Win a Trip to Tokyo’ competition, which was the first of its kind within the GSA group. The competition winner would win a trip to Japan, to stay in Hakusan House in Tokyo for a week.

After a month of the competition running and over 100 entrants, we announced our winner. Carolina is an exchange student from Brazil, and a student living with us in our student accommodation in Melbourne, University Square. Here is a recap of Carolina’s week in Tokyo!

1. Visiting Shibuya

The world famous Shibuya crossing

The famous Shibuya crossing is rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world!

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Top 5 day trips for students in Melbourne

Time to roll the window down, put your feet on the dash and explore!

Studying in Melbourne sure has its perks. Epic food and coffee? Check. Thrift shops galore? Check. More bars and pubs than you could probably manage to visit? Challenge accepted.

But even with so much to see and do within walking distance of your Melbourne student accommodation, sometimes it’s just nice to get out of town for a change of scenery. Bit o’ fresh air, a break from your computer screen, and a good little reset before getting back into the daily grind.

Of course, student life can be crazy busy. Between classes, assessments, revision, exams, part time work and maintaining a social life, it can seem unreasonable to drop it all to take a holiday… especially on a student budget (or lack thereof)! Continue Reading

The Festive Season as an International Student

Megan is a Brand Ambassador for The Student Housing Company and a third year international student at the University of Melbourne. She is currently pursuing a degree in commerce majoring in Accounting and Finance. She is a Filipino Chinese who hails from Singapore and has lived in Hong Kong and China too. A fun and driven individual, she knows how to work hard and play harder. She #livesforthegram and is a meme lord. If you see her around campus, don’t forget to say hi!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Yes! Christmas is almost here! As an international student in Melbourne, sometimes we aren’t be able to return to our home countries because of school obligations. I remember having to spend New Years in Melbourne because of summer school. There were hardly any friends remaining in Melbourne and I didn’t know what to do. It can get kind of lonely when you’re alone in a foreign country by yourself, especially during the festive periods which were once spent with friends and family.

Or maybe you just don’t feel like heading back to your home country this holiday. Either way, you’re in luck! You may not have experienced Christmas Festive Cheer like here in Australia as an international student, so this is a great opportunity for you to expose yourself to celebrating Christmas the Aussie way! You can still have a wonderful time in Melbourne over Christmas and the New Years. Here are some activities you and your friends can enjoy over this Christmas season!

1. Christmas shopping

Bourke Street Mall at Christmas

Late on your Christmas shopping? Head down to Bourke Street to pick up some presents for friends and family. Treat yourself to a present too, while you’re at it! Nothing like a little retail therapy. Not to mention, there are always crazy sales going on along Bourke Street on Boxing day, make sure you don’t miss out on those great deals!

Also be sure to drop by Myer’s Christmas Window at Bourke Street Mall for some pictures with the Christmas decorations. Myer’s Christmas windows are a must-go if you’re in Melbourne. Every year the displays are different and they just seem to get more beautiful. For more information, you can visit their Christmas Window Website.

Bourke Street is only a short tram ride from The Student Housing Company’s student accommodation in Melbourne, University Square – check it out over the holidays for 2019 accommodation!

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The Top 5 Australian Student Visas

If you’re an international student planning on studying a course (four or more months) in Australia, you’ll need a student visa ASAP!

But applying is not that simple! When it comes to student visas there are a few different options you can apply for:

1. Student Visa (subclass 500)
2. Student Guardian Visa (subclass 590)
3. Training Visa (subclass 407)
4. Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485)
5. Visiting and Studying (subclass 600, 601, 651)

So how do you decide which student visa is right for you?

Time to suss out the best visa option suited to your study visions and ambitions in Australia.

1. Student Visa (subclass 500)

Your stock standard Student Visa Continue Reading

Student Visa Rules in Australia (Conditions May Apply)

Know your student visa rules!

You’ve ticked off the main part: Your student visa’s been approved. Happy days! Now it’s just a matter of keeping it.

If you want to ensure your student visa remains valid, you’ve got to play the game. You’ve got to follow all the student visa rules.

When it comes to studying abroad in Australia, your student visa comes with plenty of nitty gritty details and fine print. Conditions, the Government calls them. Continue Reading

Student Car Share at The Boulevard, Perth

Cheaper than ride sharing. More convenient than buses. And cheaper than taxis. Sounds pretty good to us!

Student Car Share provides students in Perth with affordable and convenient short-term car rentals. So we’re excited to announce that The Boulevard will have 2 car bays dedicated to Student Car Share in 2019. To make things even easier, students living at The Boulevard will not have to pay the annual membership fee of $35.

How much does it cost?

The cost of rental depends on how long you want to rent the car for.

$6.55 per hour, plus $0.35 per kilometre. Or students can pay $74 per day, including 150km.

What cars are available?

Two brand new Hyundai Accent cars will be available at The Boulevard.

How can I use these cars?

Arrange your booking with the app and simply use your membership card to unlock the car. The keys are inside and away you go!

The cars include fuel cards so students do not need to pay for fuel, just keep the cars topped up above ¼ full!

Simply drop the car back at the same pick-up station at The Boulevard at your requested end time.

For more information head to the Student Car Share website.

Looking for student accommodation in Perth? Find out about The Boulevard – our brand new student accommodation opening in the centre of Perth!

Working On An Australian Student Visa

Being an international student is a costly affair. You have to pay your way through the visa application fees, plane tickets, tertiary fees, health cover, and general living expenses like food, fire, shelter, funky clothing, and even funkier shiny gadgets.

Sure, you’ll have a little help from relatives during your student exchange, but there’s always a time to pitch in and help. Plus, part-time work while studying is a great way to build confidence, meet new people, and get a bit of extra cashflow for boozy nights with your new uni crew (assuming you enjoy killing brain cells).

Mid flicking through job ideas, the thought suddenly occurs to you… are international students even allowed to work?

For those of you confused and/or concerned, the answer dear, aspiring, student worker is: Yes You Can.

But, before you jump up and down with excitement you must know: part-time work while studying comes with conditions. The Australian government is a big fan of conditions. And it has plenty when it comes to student visas in Australia.

So, let’s start off our discussion. What are the working conditions for student visa holders in Australia?

How Many Hours Can A Student Work?

Work hard, but study harder on the student visa Continue Reading