What You Wish You Knew About Your Study Options in Australia

This article is sponsored by TAFE SA

Didn’t get the grades required for admission into your chosen course? Not quite ready to take on a lengthy university degree? Want to learn work-ready skills instead of theory? Or are you looking to study something a little more unconventional? We have good news!

There are lots of different study options available to international students in Australia. Here is everything you wish you knew.

University isn’t the only place you can study

While university offers a great education, it’s not your only study option in Australia. After you have finished secondary school, there are alternative education options depending on your interests and desired skill set. 

For example, Vocational education and training (VET) is a popular education option that offers practical, hands-on training across various industries including, but not limited to, construction, health, engineering, automotive, beauty, art, hospitality, business and information technology. 

Being a little different from university, you may be wondering, “How does the VET system work?” VET qualifications range from certificates to advanced diplomas, and courses tend to go from six months to three years. VET courses and qualifications often involve hands-on, applied learning and practical training, where you will acquire job-ready skills through industry projects or placements.

When talking about VET in Australia, you may have also heard of the word ‘TAFE’. What is TAFE, you ask? TAFE, or Technical and Further Education, are VET providers in Australia. TAFE institutes are located throughout Australia and offer a range of great study options varying in duration, price, and qualifications.

You can find a full list of VET providers on the Australian Government’s training website

If you didn’t get great grades or need more study confidence, don’t worry!

Pathway courses are also known as foundation courses and can bridge gaps in your education or performance to prepare you for future studies.

So, if you didn’t get the grades required for admission into your chosen university degree, don’t worry! Many VET providers offer pathway options, which allow you to take a foundational course to prepare you for eventual entry into your university degree. 

This is also a great option if you are feeling unconfident about diving straight in. From potential language barriers, to differences in teaching techniques and classroom etiquette, there is a lot to learn and understand. Enrolling in a pathway course provides specialised attention and allows you to ease into the Australian style of learning and build your confidence before starting university.

So how exactly does it work? This mostly depends on your chosen provider but as an example, TAFE SA partners with South Australian universities to deliver a range of University Packaged Offers. You can select the course and the university you wish to study at before commencing your studies. From there, if you complete your initial TAFE qualification, you will be eligible for guaranteed entry into your desired university course. The best part is, not only will you receive credit for the coursework you’ve already completed, but you will also graduate with more than one qualification!

Make sure to chat with your chosen educational institution if you want to learn more about how to apply for university after a VET course.

Short courses can be a great way of upskilling or getting a job faster

Short courses are an excellent option if you’re looking to upskill, develop a new hobby or simply learn more about something you’re interested in.

Short courses vary in duration from one to two days or sometimes run over a month or more. There are a range of Short Courses for you to choose from, with many focused on filling gaps in your resume or learning new skills to increase your employability. For example, you could take an IT support course to secure more responsibility in your current role, or take a barista course to help you find a part-time job.

The hands-on element of short courses develops your practical skills quickly, which is a huge advantage if you want to apply them straight away or get into the workforce faster.

You can hone your English language skills while studying 

There are several options available if you’re looking to improve your English language skills before or during your studies in Australia. If you’re eventually hoping to go to university, there are also courses that can prove your English proficiency when you’re doing your applications. Contact education providers to see what English language courses are available to you.

You can study some really unique and cool stuff in Australia 

Your final question is likely, “What vocation and training courses are in Australia?” The answer is, there’s a lot! TAFE, for example, offers hundreds of courses across different industries, including remedial massage therapy, fashion design, horticulture, patisserie, cybersecurity, even landscape design!

TAFE South Australia is one of the largest vocation education and training providers in Australia. If you are looking for a qualification that aligns with industry needs, a higher education course, or a university pathway, check out a TAFE SA International Scholarship to start your next study journey today.