When it comes to Australia, both Melbourne and Sydney both take the cake in terms of popularity. Sydney is known for its cityscape and beautiful Sydney Opera House while Melbourne is heralded as Australia’s education city with international student as one of Victoria’s top export. However, let us not forget about other states such as South Australia and Tasmania as well. While the other cities may not be as popular as the big two (excluding, of course, popular tourist spots such as Gold Coast), they still offer international student various benefits in terms of experience and immigration points.
There is more to regional cities and states than mere calmness and serenity. Indeed, compared to the big states, some states may not fare that well in terms of its liveliness and crowd. However, if you fancy a calm surrounding and a beautiful natural landscape of the sea or the land, you should definitely give the regional area a chance. Bendigo, Geelong and Ballarat are some of the examples of Melbourne’s regional area. However, it does not stop there. If you like a more adventurous taste, you may also be looking into further options such as Adelaide, Albury-Wodonga and Perth – each of them offering different scenic views and local specialty that you should definitely check out.
But aside from the view, there are also some benefits to studying in regional area, some of which may coincide with your goal, especially if your end-goal is to gain some bonus points or stay period:
Additional point for Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)
If you decide to pursue your study in the regional area and decide to work there, you will be eligible for up to 15 points of extra points by the state government. This is applicable to regional states such as Adelaide and Tasmania. Due to the high demand in the flow of people into these regional areas, the state government is offering state sponsorship to encourage you to come and work in t he regional states. This is especially useful if you are looking to work for the long term.
Additional years for your Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485)
Depending on your study qualification, you may be eligible for up to 5 additional years of stay on your temporary graduate visa. If you are studying for a Bachelor degree, you are eligible for an additional year of stay under your temporary graduate visa (a total of 3 years’ stay), if you are studying a Master degree, you are eligible for 2 years of additional stay under your 485 visa (4 years of stay in total) and if you are studying for a PhD, you can claim for up to 3 years of additional stay (5 years in total). This is applicable to the regional states and several special states in Melbourne and Sydney. So be sure to ask around for the extended stay option as well, especially if you plan on maximizing your post-study working rights in Australia.
Scholarships dedicated to regional areas
In 2020, the Australian government has granted and funded the Destination Australia scholarship to various institutions around Australia to encourage students to come and study in the regional area. This $15,000 scholarship will cover the entirety of your education and is a good grab for students who are willing to go to the regional area to study. Some of these regional areas may also include those located in Melbourne and Sydney, though the exact location of the campus may vary among institutions. Even then, regional states usually have their own scholarship offered to students coming in to study in the state in addition to a nationally issued scholarship. So, be sure to make the best use of this opportunity and grab yours!
Teks: Edward Tanoto