How To Change Your Course In Australia: A Complete Guide

A girl is checking how to change courses and institutes when studying as an international student in Australia.


Choosing an institution or a course as an international student in Australia can sometimes become a huge decision. You may arrive in Australia and realise there are better choices than the institution or course you've selected.


You need to remember that changing your field and institution in Australia is not a simple process. You may avoid missed opportunities, financial distress, or student visa issues with proper guidance. 


If you decide to change your institute or course in Australia, you must contact the Department of Home Affairs. Here are a few points to ensure a smooth transition:



1. Do Your Research


Once you've decided to pursue your plans, you can begin with the research process or visit the institute to which you wish to apply. Consider the essential things such as student facilities, student support services, student dynamics and other factors that affect your welfare.


Thorough research turns out to be beneficial and helps you to make an informed decision in the future. It's also crucial to note that your new area of study needs recognition by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).


You can visit the official website of CRICOS to check the list of Australian university courses and accredited Australian education providers offered to international students.



2. Check The Transfer Policy of Your Current Institution


Ensure you've signed an agreement with your current institution accepting their transfer policy. Also, you need to comply with the obligations as their student. Check your institution's transfer policy - you may be eligible for a full or partial refund.



3. Seek Help From A Student Adviser


The primary role of a university's student adviser is to look after students' welfare, solve their issues, provide assistance and direct them to the correct department for any help. The student advisers offer complete support to international students in Australia. 


They also have experience handling requests regarding moving to another institute or changing their field of study. Overall, they give a detailed explanation of the policies related to your requests.



4. Review Your Visa Requirements And Conditions


Your Australian student visa gives you the right to study, work and live in Australia as an international student. You are not eligible to study in Australia without a valid student visa. As a result, changing your course or institute also requires you to understand the conditions and requirements of your visa. 


You can check the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF). It simplifies the process of visa application for international students.



5. Consult Your Education Counsellors


Education counsellors have vast experience in providing international students with the right direction and guidance. They offer expert advice on going about your plan without hassle. 


Institutions appoint education agencies for student recruitment and enrolment, making counsellors highly trained in complex policies and procedures. In addition, they provide help regarding financial aid and scholarships. You can choose the right one from the various options available. 



6. Questions To Ask Yourself When Changing A Course Or Institution



Do You Have To Study at The Same Level?


  • Students studying through SSVF (Simplified Student Visa Framework) must study at the same level or higher. Suppose you wish to study at a lower level, from a bachelor's degree to a diploma program. In that case, you'll have to apply for another student visa. 



Will Changing Courses Affect Your Student Visa?


  • Suppose any changes are affecting your course or duration. In that case, the DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) needs to know about it. If you are no longer studying the course you have selected, there's a possibility that your student visa may cancel. To get more information, visit the DIBP website



Can You Take A Break From Studying In Australia?


  • Studying in Australia is one of the conditions of a student visa. So, if you decide to take a break from your studies, you most certainly have to leave Australia. If there's a genuine reason, then inform your institution so that they can seek advice from DIBP.



It's important to note that your university cannot help you with the extension. DIBP is entirely responsible for making this decision. 


You may face various challenges while pursuing your education in Australia. But you should know that you can get help from the Australian government, your institution and your education counsellor. All you need to do is seek guidance from them. 


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