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.

Make sure you’ve followed the criteria. Applying for a student scholarship is a bit of a checklist kind of process, and you need to make sure you’ve included everything that’s required. That could mean your employment history, personal statement, proof of your level of English or references. Some documents might need translating or certification, and things like word limits and deadlines are really important to stick to.

Apply for more than one scholarship. There are so many scholarships for international students in Australia that we recommend applying for as many as possible. Don’t limit yourself to a certain university or institution; see what else is out there and maximise your chances of getting sponsorship.

Make sure to fill out all the criteria and ask for help with your scholarship application if you need it

Top 3 government scholarships for international students in Australia

Australia Awards Scholarships

These scholarships are for students in selected countries within Asia, Africa, the Pacific region and the Middle East. Specific fields of study are sponsored according to each country’s priority areas for development. There are a number of participating universities and institutions you can attend, and the scholarship generally covers full tuition fees, return airfares, board, health cover and a contribution to living expenses. Pretty incredible opportunity!

For: Bachelors/Masters/PhDs

International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS)

The IPRS is for any domestic or international student already enrolled in an accredited university course in Australia. It aims to support research doctorate and research masters degrees, providing block grants and flexible funding structures for tuition fees, living costs and/or other allowances. The application process is a little different for each university and submitted internally, so make sure to check your eligibility and reach out to your institution if this sounds like a good fit for you.

For: Research Masters/PhDs

Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship Awards

These offer complete financial support, including tuition, accomodation, health and travel insurance, travel allowance and a monthly allowance for international students undertaking postgraduate studies. This includes Masters (up to $140,500 value) and PhDs (up to $272,500 value) either through coursework or study for up to four years. There is a list of participating countries to look through if you wish to know your eligibility. Applications are submitted online via the Endeavour website, but there are also hard copy submission options.

For: Masters/PhDs

Many government scholarships in Australia are country-specific, so be sure to check your eligibility

10 university scholarships for international students in Australia

Other than government grants, most Australian scholarships for international students are university-specific. Here are some of the top scholarships offered by leading Australian institutions.

University of Sydney International Research Scholarships (USydIS)

Where: University of Sydney, NSW

What is it: A Postgraduate Research Degree or Masters by Research program offered to international students within departments and areas identified by the university to be focal points of its current research.

Scholarship inclusions: USydIS covers tuition and a set living allowance for up to three years, with the option to extend a further semester for PhD students.

Assessed on: Academic merit and research potential.

Melbourne International Undergraduate Scholarship

Where: University of Melbourne, VIC

What is it: A tuition fee remission scholarship awarded to high achieving international students who have received offers for an undergraduate course. You cannot apply for this scholarship, but international applicants to the uni are automatically considered and contacted if successful.

Scholarship inclusions: There are around 30 $10,000 tuition fee remission scholarships and around 10 scholarships with a 100% tuition fee remission offered for each starting year of an undergraduate degree.

Assessed on: Academic performance, allocated competitively based on quotas by region and course.

Macquarie Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarships

Where: Macquarie University, NSW

What is it: A partial tuition fee scholarship for international students undertaking Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees in the fields of linguistics, education, human science, media, engineering and the environment. This is specifically for students from a country other than Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia, ASEAN or a European country.

Scholarship inclusions: The scholarship amount varies between the subject areas but goes up to $10,000 and goes exclusively towards your tuition fee.

Assessed on: Academic performance and merit, with minimum GPAs and academic requirements for consideration.

Adelaide Scholarships International (ASI)

Where: University of Adelaide, SA

What is it: A comprehensive scholarship offered to international students undertaking a Masters by Research or Doctoral Research degree in any subject offered by the university. This is for applicants who have already completed the equivalent of an Australian First Class Honours degree. New Zealand citizens are ineligible.

Scholarship inclusions: Course tuition fees, annual living allowance ($27,082 in 2018) and health cover. This is for two years for Masters and three years for PhDs, with the possibility to extend for the latter.

Assessed on: Academic merit and research potential.

ECU International Undergraduate Merit Scholarships

Where: Edith Cowan University, WA

What is it: A fee reduction scholarship offered to international students from selected countries who are undertaking a bachelor degree or a study abroad semester. International applicants are automatically considered for this grant, and will be notified if successful.

Scholarship inclusions: 20% reduction of tuition fees for the duration of the undergraduate course.

Assessed on: Academic merit.

ANU College of Business & Economics International Undergraduate Scholarship

Where: Australian National University, ACT

What is it: A tuition fee scholarship awarded to international students applying for undergraduate programs at the ANU College of Business and Economics.

Scholarship inclusions: 100% of your full tuition fees are covered.

Assessed on: Academic merit.

Flinders International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (FIPRS)

Where: Flinders University, SA

What is it: A scholarship for international students (New Zealand citizens ineligible) who have successfully completed the equivalent of an Australian First Class Honours Degree and who want to undertake a Research Doctorate or Research Masters degree.

Scholarship inclusions: 100% of your full tuition fees are covered, as well as a generous living allowance ($26,862 in 2017). FIPRS students moving to Adelaide from abroad are also eligible for an establishment allowance of up to $1,485 to help with airfares and relocation costs.

Assessed on: Academic merit and demonstration of an exemplary aptitude for independent research.

RMIT International Excellence Scholarship

Where: RMIT University, VIC

What is it: A tuition fee reduction scholarship for international students enrolling in either a Bachelor or Masters by Coursework degree at RMIT.

Scholarship inclusions: 20% of your full tuition fees are covered for the entire duration of your degree.

Assessed on: Academic merit and a personal statement. You must have achieved an overall 70% score or higher in your last completed qualification, and maintain a GPA of 2.5-4.0 during your studies.

International Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

Where: Bond University, QLD

What is it: A tuition fee reduction scholarship for international students enrolling in undergraduate programs.

Scholarship inclusions: 25% of your full tuition fees are covered for the entire duration of your degree.

Assessed on: Academic merit and a supporting personal statement.

International Undergraduate Full Tuition Scholarship

Where: University of Technology Sydney, NSW

What is it: A full tuition fee scholarship for international students (New Zealand citizens ineligible) who are enrolling in a Bachelor degree on campus.

Scholarship inclusions: 100% of your full tuition fees are covered.

Assessed on: Academic merit. You must have scored 85% or above in a high school qualification recognised by UTS.

There are a ton of scholarships out there for students undertaking degrees by research

What’s great about this list of scholarships for international students in Australia is that it’s only just scratching the surface! There are thousands of grants and awards out there if you do your research.

Most Australian universities will have website pages dedicated to the scholarships they have on offer, and you can refine your search according to what level of studies you’re up to, what area of study you’re interested in, and even what country you come from, as some are nationality-specific! We’ve compiled some of Australia’s top universities in Melbourne so you can check out which you think are the best fit for you. No matter which university you choose, our student apartments in Melbourne are conveniently located right in the heart of the city to make getting to class each day quick and easy.

In any case, looking into scholarships is a great way to sponsor your education and help give you that extra boost to make your dream of studying in Australia a reality.