Great news for international students in Perth and the Gold Coast

Great news for international students in Perth and the Gold Coast

The Australian Government has made the choice easier for international students in Perth and the Gold Coast, by allowing students to stay in Australia for longer after graduation.

Students choosing to study in these locations can now enjoy an additional year to their Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).

For students who graduate with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, they can now stay and work for three to five years. In addition, they have more choice for visa options and jobs because they can access the Regional Occupation List.

Other places that have this visa benefit in Australia include the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart, Newcastle, and Geelong.

The changes for international students for Perth and the Gold Coast came into effect on 16 November 2019. More information about this can be found at the Department of Home Affairs website.

ICT Training at NIT Helps Students Get Professional Jobs in Australia

ICT Training at NIT Helps Students Get Professional Jobs in Australia

ICT Training at NIT Australia is becoming popular in Perth with ICT Certificate, Diploma Courses and the specialist Professional Year Program on offer for ICT job seekers.

During the recent NIT Australia Open Day, I caught up with some of the team to experience for myself the campus that is gaining popularity for international students looking for an entry point to professional employment in Australia.

The exciting atmosphere at Perth’s NIT campus could be felt in their bright and colourful city campus, which features modern computer labs, networking labs and even a student lounge with a computer gaming console.

Importantly, the buzz was from the students and course trainers mingling with professionals from industry.

According to NIT’s Monica Yuen-Pecoraio, “Through the Open Day, we would like to motivate young students to choose ICT as a career option”. Clearly, there was plenty on offer to help support the goal of promoting ICT careers.

ICT Training at NIT Australia Includes Excellent Facilities

A career starts with quality training, so I was keen to speak to Sheavy, one of the ICT Trainers at the campus who was able to give some insights into the student experience.

“With new students we start from scratch, including lessons about algorithms and the flow of instructions. In many ways, for the new student it’s like learning to cook with a recipe with the steps you have to follow.”

“While starting with the basics in week 1, we introduce programming in week 2 and by week 10, we have advanced lessons that are building the practical skills that students need,” said Sheavy. “We cover Front End Development in areas such as HTLM, CSS, Java and Ajax as well as Back End areas including Databases, with PHP and MYSQL”.

When I asked Sheavy about the types of students that take the courses, she mentioned there were those that had ambitions with coding, others were more drawn to project management.

“In the project management area, it’s important that students can communicate with people in industry, so that they can explain how ICT projects can be delivered, and how much the projects will cost. In many ways this needs a different skill set from what is required by the programmers.”

 

Professional Year Program (PYP) at NIT Australia

One of the highlights of NIT Australia is their connection with industry and their ability to help students get job skills training, internships and the experience required for real jobs.

By enrolling in the Professional Year Program (PYP) NIT graduates have been able to gain employment immediately following their 10 – 12 week internship.

To find out more about their programme, I spoke to NIT’s Rita Cheng and Juliana Scalon about the PYP offering.

“As a professional partner with the Australian Computer Society (ACS) we are able to connect with companies and other organisations. This is important, because not all PYP providers have that partnership with the ACS”.

Of course, it’s all about students getting into industry, and it’s clear that Rita is passionate about her role as Internships Coordinator.

“Often it’s difficult to get professional positions within industry in Australia without knowing people and having connections in Australia,” says Rita. “So we invite industry professionals to conduct mock job interviews with our students during the course.”

“After the formal PYP business skills training has been completed, we help our trainees succeed on their internship, by helping them understand their strengths. For example, we give tailored career advice since each student is unique. We often find a student either has more strengths in the tech side so they can move into programming type roles, or in the business side so they move into project management type positions.”

When asked about student internships that have turned into real jobs, Rita provided some real success stories, “we have a recent intern who was offered a paid position at Fair Go Finance. There is also another intern who was offered a paid role at Insight.”

Connecting with ICT Professionals

It’s obvious that NIT Australia is a strong choice when it comes to choosing an Australian training provider that will help on the pathway to career goals, especially in the areas of ICT and Business.

With students hearing from speakers such as Alex Dunmow from Ninja Software, Jorge Coldham from Empired and Georgie Cooke from Sense Recruitment, the NIT team is staying true to their word by offering real insights to students.

In addition to the quality speeches, the NIT Open Day featured information on picking the right role for you in the tech sector and understanding the new ICT landscape in telecommunications. Also on offer was ‘Speed Friending’, ‘Tips on Job Winning Resumes’, a ‘Robotic Showcase’, a ‘Virtual Reality Demo’, a ‘Cisco Networking Showcase’ and an ‘Optical Fibre Showcase’.

What is it about ICT training at NIT Australia that makes it a great study choice? It’s their modern campus with excellent training facilities, their commitment to helping students identify their strengths and their close connections to industry.

It’s this winning combination that is certainly the key to helping students achieve their further study and career goals in Australia.

Top 10 Budgeting Tips for International Students

Top 10 Budgeting Tips for International Students

If you’re planning on studying overseas, then it’s worth taking the time to understand the impact of currency costs

Most students are on a tight budget; for international students, there are the added complications of currency conversions and unfamiliar surroundings. Here are some top tips for keeping on top of your money when you’re studying overseas.

1. Make a budget

Calculate all your known costs, such as tuition fees and rent, and research online what you can expect to pay for groceries or utilities.

2. Book your travel as early as possible

You can often get better deals if you’re booking flights and rail travel in advance. Find out your term dates as early as possible to give yourself time to get the best deals.

3. Get a local bank account

Avoid transaction fees at ATMs and when paying by card by opening a local bank account and depositing currency for your living costs.

4. Get a local SIM card

Make sure you don’t get stung with high mobile costs by getting a local SIM card once you arrive to avoid getting a nasty surprise on your next bill.

5. Use online chat services

If you want to catch up with family or friends, use online chat services like Skype or WhatsApp which allow you to talk as much as you want where you have an internet connection.

6. Become a tourist

You’re likely to find a lot to see in your new home, and walking around a city can give you a great perspective and insight into its heritage – and best of all, it’s completely free.

7. Shop around

You may have to speak to some local students to find out where to get the best deals, which may not be at a major supermarket. Some of the best bargains may come from smaller markets selling local produce and delicacies.

8. Pick your luxuries

You can’t do everything on a student budget but you don’t have to miss out on what really matters to you. If your true passion is the theatre, for example, make sure you allow for that in your budget and perhaps cut down in other areas, such as socialising in bars, to afford it.

9. Get an International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

From just AUD30, an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) will give you access to discounts and sometimes even free entry to museums, galleries and attractions all over the world.

10. Work with a foreign exchange specialist

A currency specialist can provide guidance on how you can manage your currency transactions and give you access to a secure online platform so you can keep track of your money and payments.

Thanks to our partners at MoneyCorp for providing this article.

What to consider when making an international payment

What to consider when making an international payment

For many, studying overseas requires a number of international payments throughout the period of study. Whether sending money for tuition, accommodation, living costs or for any other reason, knowing what to consider and be aware of when making an international payment can make a huge difference in value.

This is also true for any friends or family you have that are looking to transfer money for your study abroad, and can help them to get more for their money when making their payment.

 

Some high-street banks incur large transfer fees for sending money abroad

You may need to send money abroad to your country of study before you arrive. While you might be more familiar doing this from your local bank in your home country, it is very rarely the cheapest way to send money abroad. 

Most high-street banks incur large transfer fees on international payments, which, if you need to make payments on multiple occasions, can end up adding on a huge cost simply for sending money overseas.

 

A difference in exchange rates can be more significant the more money you send

High-street banks have also developed a reputation for offering poor exchange rates when making an international payment. While the rate may appear only slightly lower than those offered by other foreign exchange providers, this difference in value will become more significant the more money you’re sending, increasing the amount you could lose out on.

That’s why it pays to secure a competitive exchange rate, something that moneycorp, as FX specialists, are able to provide. In addition, moneycorp allow you to lock in a prevailing exchange rate for up to two years of payments. This may require a deposit but ensures you receive the same rate throughout this period, unmoved by any upturns or downturns in the market.

 

What are your exchange needs and how often you will need to make international payments?

Throughout your studies, there will no doubt be a number of occasions you need to send funds from your home bank account to your foreign account. In addition, any financial support from family will require cross-border payments, which adds to the importance of identifying a quick, easy and cost-effective method to fund your overseas study.

A moneycorp account allows for you to set up regular automated payments to and from recipients around the world, for however much and however often you like. A Regular Payment Plan incurs a fee, but allows you to automate your international payment needs, leaving you free to get on with your studies. 

 

Get more for your money when you study abroad with an international payments account from moneycorp. Open your free account today or speak to a specialist.

IELTS vs TOEFL

IELTS vs TOEFL

At ClickStudies, we are often asked about the differences between the IELTS vs TOEFL test, and which one is better or easier to take. If you’ve been wondering the same thing, the following information will be helpful.

 

Origin

The IELTS test was developed in Britain, while the TOEFL test originated in the USA. Therefore, this influences other factors, such as who accepts the results and the type of English used in each test.

Both tests are designed by experts and supported by rigorous research and trialling to ensure their validity.

 

Who accepts IELTS and TOEFL?

 

Education

Both tests are accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by more than 9,000 universities and educational institutions in over 130 countries around the world.

In general, TOEFL is more widely accepted in the USA and Canada, whereas IELTS is more commonly accepted in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

As a consequence, many institutions accept both tests, but some do not. Always check with the school you want to attend before you decide which test to take.

 

Migration

IELTS is accepted for migration, work and study in Australia, Canada, NZ and the UK. The US does not accept it for migration purposes.

TOEFL is accepted by the US and Australia for immigration purposes, but it is not accepted by the UK, Canada or New Zealand.

 

Availability

IELTS tests can be done at 1100 testing centres in 140 countries.

TOEFL tests are more widely available (due to the computerised format of the test) and can be done at 4500 testing centres in 165 countries.

 

Cost

Both tests cost between US $150 and $250, depending on the country in which you take the test.

The IELTS test is generally a bit more expensive than the TOEFL.  For example, in Australia, the IELTS test typically costs AUS$330 (2016) whereas the TOEFL ranges from AUS$240-$300.

 

Validity of results

Both IELTS and TOEFL test results are valid for a period of 2 years. However, some academic institutions may have specific requirements about the validity of the IELTS vs TOEFL test and the timing for course commencement. Again, you need to check carefully with the exact requirements of the college or university you would like to attend. 

For skilled migrant visas in Australia, the period of validity has been extended to 3 years.

 IELTSTOEFL
FormatPaper-based and Computer delivered in some countriesComputer-based
FocusAcademic or generalAcademic only
Time Duration2 hrs 45 mins4 Hrs
Results13 Days for paper based, less of computer delivered.10 Days
Skills TestedListening, Reading, Writing, SpeakingListening, Reading, Writing, Speaking
Scoring0 - 9 bands of proficiency0 - 120 points
Dialects of EnglishBritish usage; variety of international accents (e.g. Irish, Australian, NZ)Standard American usage and accent
Question types15 different question types (e.g. gap-fill, multiple choice, True/False, matching)

All multiple choice
Listening30 minutes
1 general conversation, 1 general informational lecture, 1 academic conversation, 1 academic lecture
Read questions before and during listening
Memory and note-taking skills not important
40-60 minutes
2-3 conversations and 4-6 lectures – all related to university life
Read questions only after listening and taking notes
Memory and note-taking skills important
Reading60 minutes
3 passages (Academic test)
5 shorter texts (General test)
Increasing level of difficulty
60-100 minutes
4-6 passages
Academic texts only
Same level of difficulty
Writing60 minutes
Answers handwritten
Task 1 Academic – 150-word report describing a graph, table or diagram
Task 1 General – 150-word letter

Task 2 - 250-word opinion essay
50 minutes
Answers typed into computer
Task 1 – Read a short passage and listen to a 2-minute lecture, then write a 150-225-word answer to a related question.
Task 2 – 300-350-word opinion essay
Speaking12-15 minutes
Talking with an examiner in person
3 parts
Answer short questions on familiar topics
Two-minute speech on a given topic
Answer follow-up questions on your speech topic from part 2.
Assessed at the time of speaking
20 minutes
Talking to a computer
6 parts
2 x question on familiar topic
2 x summary and opinion of short written text and conversation
2 x summary of short conversation

Assessed later by an examiner

Which test should I take?

The answer to this question depends on:

The requirements of the school you wish to attend or the country you wish to migrate to. Check them carefully!

Your skills.  If you are better at typing than handwriting, then the TOEFL test may be a better option for you.  If you are not at all comfortable with computers and don’t like the idea of talking to a computer instead of a person, you might be better at the IELTS test. If you like multiple-choice questions and listening to American accents, then you may find TOEFL easier than IELTS. However, if you are not good at taking notes while listening to a lecture, TOEFL will be harder for you.

Look carefully at the format of each test in the table above and decide which one is better suited to your skills.

 

Verdict

Based on conversations and online comments of students who’ve taken both tests, the consensus seems to be that TOEFL requires a higher level of concentration and stamina for a longer period of time. It can be exhausting!  The fact that IELTS also contains general English tasks (not just academic) and a greater variety of question types (not just multiple-choice) leads many students to prefer the IELTS test.