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Options for international students after graduating in Australia

Australia is a popular destination for international students to study, with its excellent education system, welcoming environment and multicultural society. Graduating from an Australian university can be an exciting milestone, but it can also bring about questions about what comes next. In this article, we will explore the various options for international students after graduating in Australia.

A vast majority of international students consider their undergraduate and post-graduate studies in Australia a real advantage for their careers. They feel confident that their degrees have prepared them well for future success. This is why many students believe that their time in Australia has not been just about getting a qualification, but it’s also about gaining new skills, knowledge, contacts, and experience to succeed in the next phase of their life. 

If you decide to stay in Australia 

Many international students choose to stay back in Australia after completing their studies and look for work. If so, you may be eligible for post-study work rights which will put your newly gained skills to use by gaining local work experience. Universities, education providers, and government bodies can put students in touch with potential employers through career fairs, employment hubs, and industry networking events in every state and territory. This support that students receive can be a real advantage for launching their careers. 

The Department of Home Affairs – which is the peak body for visas and immigration in Australia has recently extended the stay-back period for international students. From the 1st of July 2023, those graduating with a three-year Bachelor’s degree will now be able to stay back and work for up to 4 years, whereas those with a master’s degree will be allowed to stay back for a period of 5 years. Lastly, doctoral students have post-study work rights of up to six years. 

There is a wide range of visa options for students wanting to stay back in Australia after completing their degree. Students can choose from the 485 Temporary visa subclass or go for the Skilled Independent Visa subclass of 189 also called a permanent resident visa. Students should remember that the specialization of their degree will be a criterion only for the Permanent Resident Visa and not for the 485 Temporary Visa. However, valid proof of your English proficiency will be required for both visas along with a degree that is approved by CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students). 

Students can also choose to study further on either one of these visas. In fact, many international students choose to apply for permanent residence and then study further as a domestic student which brings down their cost of studying by nearly 75% and open the doors for many more scholarships and financial aid opportunities. 

Planning to return home 

Alternatively, you might choose to return home to India after finishing your degree. If you want to return home to pursue further study or work, there are some important things you should consider before leaving Australia: 

Get your academic transcripts and graduation testamur from the university 

Join Alumni associations and organizations to maximize your chances of staying connected 

Many universities and educational providers run information sessions and/or seminars with advice on returning home and returning to life outside Australia. Ask the international student support staff at your university for more information. 

Staying in touch through alumni associations 

More than half a million international students from 192 countries study in Australia every year. You are more than likely to have made a few friends and connections during your time there. There is no better way to stay in touch with them than through alumni associations. 

Wherever your path leads after you graduate, joining your university’s alumni association can help you down the track. It is easy to join an association and be an active member as many activities run online. There are other benefits of joining and participating in an alumni association: 

  • Boost your career – Joining an alumni association and the connections you make through them can be a great resource for establishing your career back home. They can provide information on your industry and potential jobs through alumni events, newsletters, and other publications. 

  • Keep in contact and give back – Alumni associations can help you stay in touch with your friends and peers who have had similar experiences. This means you can get the support you need from like-minded individuals and also give back to your institution’s community through volunteering. 

  • Get the support you need – Alumni associations can help you re-adjust to your new life back home. Many have pre-existing links in various countries on which you can count (upon) to help you build a long-term career. Moreover, regular social events enable you to stay in touch with your peers, join the workforce or study anywhere in the world. 

In conclusion, graduating from an Australian university will open up a variety of opportunities for international students. Whether you wish to gain work experience, obtain permanent residency or come back home and study or work at home, there are many options available to suit your needs and goals. It is important to research and understand the different options, for a smooth transition after graduation.

Written by Mr. Prashant Bhatia - Jitin Chawla Team

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