Streamlining Visa Processing Times in Australia: Enhancing the Study Abroad Experience


Embarking on a journey to study abroad is an exciting and transformative experience, offering students the opportunity to gain valuable education, cultural exposure, and personal growth. Recognizing the importance of facilitating this journey, the Australian government has introduced measures to enhance the visa application process for international students. In this blog, we will delve into the details of these initiatives aimed at improving visa processing times in Australia.

Empowering International Students Through Efficient Visa Processing

The Australian government’s commitment to providing an exceptional study abroad experience extends beyond academics. Acknowledging the significance of timely visa approvals, the initiative to improve visa processing times holds great promise for international students.

Key Initiatives for Enhancing Visa Processing

  1. Digital Transformation: One of the cornerstones of this effort is the digital transformation of the visa application process. By transitioning to a more streamlined and efficient online platform, students can submit their applications and required documents seamlessly.
  2. Reduced Processing Times: The initiative aims to significantly reduce processing times for visa applications. This means that prospective students can receive their visas faster, allowing them to plan their travel and settle into their new academic environment with confidence.
  3. Enhanced Communication: Clear and open communication is essential for a smooth visa application process. The initiative seeks to improve communication channels between applicants and relevant authorities, ensuring that students are kept informed about the progress of their applications.

Benefits for International Students

  1. Better Planning: Quicker visa approvals enable students to plan their study abroad journey more effectively. This includes arranging travel, accommodation, and other logistics with greater certainty.
  2. Reduced Stress: A faster and more efficient visa application process can significantly reduce the stress and anxiety often associated with international travel and relocation.
  3. Seamless Transitions: Students can transition into their academic life and cultural immersion seamlessly, without unnecessary delays in their arrival.

Positive Impacts for Educational Institutions

  1. Increased Enrollments: An efficient visa processing system can encourage more international students to choose Australian institutions for their education, contributing to the growth and diversity of campuses.
  2. Enhanced Reputation: With smoother visa processes, institutions can build a reputation for providing holistic support to their international students, promoting positive word-of-mouth and attracting more applicants.
  3. Fostered Relationships: Strengthened collaboration between educational institutions and immigration authorities can lead to a more cohesive and supportive network for international students.

Guidance for Prospective International Students

  1. Stay Informed: Stay updated on the latest developments in the visa application process by visiting official government websites and liaising with your chosen educational institution’s international office.
  2. Submit Accurate Information: Ensure that all information submitted during the application process is accurate and complete to avoid any unnecessary delays.
  3. Plan Ahead: While the improved processing times are designed to expedite the process, it’s still wise to apply for your visa well in advance of your intended travel date.


The initiative to improve visa processing times in Australia reflects the country’s commitment to fostering a welcoming and supportive environment for international students. By reducing bureaucracy and leveraging digital tools, the government aims to provide a smoother pathway for students to embark on their study abroad adventure. As Australia continues to enhance its reputation as a global education destination, these efforts stand as a testament to its dedication to both education and the well-being of its international students.

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Taking Action to End Rorts in International Education: Recent Developments


In the ever-evolving landscape of international education, ensuring transparency, fairness, and quality is most important. The Australian government, in its commitment to upholding the integrity of its education sector, has taken significant steps to address fraudulent practices and maintain the reputation of its institutions. A recent update from the official website of the Australian Minister for Education and Youth, Clare, sheds light on the proactive measures being undertaken to put an end to “rorts” in international education.

Understanding the Issue

Before delving into the updates, it’s important to understand what exactly “rorts” refer to in the context of international education. “Rorts” are essentially manipulative and fraudulent activities that compromise the integrity of the education system. This can include instances of falsified documents, misrepresentation, ghost students, and other deceptive practices that undermine the credibility of education providers and put genuine students at a disadvantage.

The Government’s Response

The Australian government has recognized the seriousness of the issue and has embarked on a journey to tackle these unethical practices head-on. In line with this commitment, the government has recently introduced a range of updates aimed at creating a more transparent and accountable international education sector.

1. Strengthening Regulations

One of the key updates highlighted in the link is the government’s efforts to strengthen regulations surrounding international education. This involves implementing stricter guidelines for education providers, agents, and students alike. By doing so, the government aims to curb fraudulent activities and provide international students with a safer and more reliable education experience.

2. Enhanced Monitoring and Reporting

Effective monitoring mechanisms are essential in identifying and addressing any fraudulent activities promptly. The government’s updates include measures to enhance monitoring systems, making it easier to track the activities of education providers and ensuring that they adhere to the highest standards of integrity.

3. Collaboration and Information Sharing

The fight against fraudulent practices requires a collaborative approach. The government’s updates emphasize the importance of information sharing between relevant stakeholders, such as education providers, law enforcement agencies, and regulatory bodies. This collaborative effort will contribute to a more comprehensive and coordinated response to fraudulent activities.

4. Stronger Penalties

To deter potential wrongdoers, the government is also considering imposing stronger penalties on those found guilty of engaging in fraudulent practices. By doing so, it aims to send a clear message that such activities will not be tolerated and will be met with severe consequences.

5. Support for Genuine Students

It’s important to note that the government’s actions are not solely punitive. The updates also highlight the government’s commitment to supporting genuine international students. By eliminating fraudulent practices, the government seeks to create an environment where students can focus on their studies without the fear of being exploited or misled.


The recent updates from the Australian Minister for Education and Youth, Clare, showcase the government’s dedication to eradicating fraudulent practices in the international education sector. By implementing stricter regulations, enhancing monitoring systems, promoting collaboration, imposing stronger penalties, and supporting genuine students, the government is taking significant strides toward restoring the integrity of its education system. These updates not only protect the reputation of Australian institutions but also ensure that international students receive the quality education and support they rightfully deserve.

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Charles Darwin University is set to become the first university in Australia to welcome back international students

Charles Darwin University (CDU) is set to become the first university in the country to pilot a program which will see the return of international students to Australia. The pilot, which has the approval of the Australian and Northern Territory governments will see up to 70 international students arrive in Darwin from Singapore in late October in time for the next CDU intake on 9 November. This is a breakthrough for Australia and particularly CDU, the institution closest to Asia and the logical city to be piloted as the first safe corridor, assisted by having the Howard Springs residential facility.

The group will be the first international students to enter Australia since the introduction of border restrictions in March due to COVID-19. Upon arrival, students will be escorted immediately to the Northern Territory Government facility at Howard Springs for 14 days of quarantine.

CDU is adhering to the advice of the Chief Health Officer on all aspects relating to health and safety, including pre-departure health requirements, COVID-19 testing, and quarantine upon arrival. CDU staff will also deliver pastoral care to support students’ wellbeing.

Students are likely to come from a range of countries including China and Southeast Asia. They will travel from Singapore to Darwin at their own expense. International students contribute an estimated $99 million into the NT economy each year and support almost 500 jobs. It is hoped that the success of the pilot will help contribute to the recovery of the NT economy. CDU’s international students make up approximately 10 percent of our student cohort and are critical to the university’s growth. 

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Benefits of Studying in the UK for International Students

Having been a vibrant place that houses a vast number of international students year after year, UK is the most sought-after study destination for programs such as law, engineering, medicine, design, sports science, and management. Did you know? UK comprises elite universities! 6 out of which are ranked amongst the top 200 institutions by the Times Higher Education (THE).

Benefits of studying in the UK include living in a multicultural city where you can find students from all parts of the world. According to HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency), the UK is the 2nd popular study destination for students with over 115,000 international students (grew by 5%) studying in the UK in diverse courses. Since the city is welcoming, you can comfortably step into the UK to accomplish your higher education dreams. 

Interested to know the other aspects of studying in the UK? Read on the benefits of studying in the UK for international students!

1. Rich Research Infrastructure

REF (Research Excellence Framework) is a unique system that checks and accesses research standards of over 150+ institutions in the UK. The result revealed by REF states that 46% of research done in the UK institutions are internationally excellent and 30% of which are world-leading. 

Guess what? The UK Government awarded over 90,000 research degrees between 2008 and 2018, which is considerably higher than other developed countries’ count. The report prepared by the Dept. of Innovation, Business and Skills revealed that the fields such as health & medical sciences, clinical sciences, social sciences, humanities and business had conducted more research in the year 2019. So, irrespective of the field you choose to study, you have opportunities to research, innovate, and shine as an international student in the UK.

2. Post-Study Work Rights to study in the UK

With the new 2 years’ post-study work rights in the UK, international students completing a program in the UK at the undergraduate, post-graduate, or doctorate level will be allowed to apply for the Graduate immigration route with a valid Tier 4 Visa.  

On successfully meeting the eligibility criteria, all international students are accepted for the Graduate immigration route and can avail of up to 2 years of non-extendable leave. Over time, they will be allowed to either work or lookout for work pertaining to a specific skill set. Graduates are also entitled to swap their careers to skilled work as soon as they find employment that best fits them.

3. Health Cover Benefits to study in the UK

International students in the UK with a valid study visa can receive necessary/essential healthcare treatments through the UK Government’s NHS (National Health Service). The NHS provides free health cover to international students and UK residents through national funding. 

In order to receive free health treatment under the NHS Scheme, you shall need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You should have enrolled in a full-time course in the UK.
  • The UK Government must accredit the selected course.

4. Scholarships for studying in the UK

The UK Government continuously provides financial support to help deserving international students to study seamlessly in the UK. This includes scholarships, grants, bursaries, fellowships, monetary awards, and loans.

The availability of scholarships and bursaries in the UK for international students from both the government and the privately held universities is a driving factor for international students’ growth in the UK, every year. 

For instance, Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding international students from Chevening-eligible countries around the world. This scholarship is applicable for students pursuing a one-year master’s degree in the UK. Since it is a fully-funded government scholarship, it covers travel expenses, living costs, and accommodation costs. Hence students are free to focus on maximizing the study experience of a lifetime.

5. Tailored Courses

Studying higher education in the UK will help complete your course in a short span. Most countries have a template of  4 years’ course span for undergraduate and 2 to 3 years’ course span for postgraduate courses. But when you choose to study in the UK, you can complete undergraduate in just 3 years and postgraduation in just a year(for research-oriented courses it may take between 18 months and 2 years). The tailored courses in the UK can help cut short your academic cost for a year. Some of the popular tailored courses to study in the UK are mentioned below:

  • Business.
  • Natural Sciences.
  • Engineering and Technology.
  • Medicine.
  • Law.
  • Social Sciences.
  • Sports Science.
  • Media and Communication.
  • Fashion
  • Arts & design

So, are you planning to get enrolled in a UK University in 2021? Well, we are here to guide you through step by step process to achieve your study abroad journey seamlessly. 

Go ahead and fill in the inquiry form! Our expert counselors will reach out to you

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Difference Between TOEFL and IELTS English Language Proficiency Test

If you are a student aspiring to study abroad or planning to work and stay in an English-speaking country, you should be able to understand and speak the English language seamlessly. There is a wide range of English proficiency tests available to students like you. The Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) are some widely-accepted and standardized tests measuring proficiency in the English language for non-native English speakers.

A few years ago, there was only TOEFL in the segment, but now it faces tough competition with a few other options. The following are the differences between IELTS and TOEFL tests which will help you get a clear perspective before you choose an English language proficiency test that best fits you.


Established in 1989, many academic institutions accept the IELTS test in countries like the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. IELTS is the most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and immigration applicants.

Who accepts IELTS?

Over 10,000 organisations accept IELTS in 145+ countries as an indicator for English language proficiency test. IELTS Test has been accepted for over decades by education institutions, universities, immigration agencies, professional, government departments and industrial organisations.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the second major English language proficiency test structure developed for candidates applying for English-speaking academic institutions. TOEFL is administered by the ETS (Educational Testing Service).

Who accepts TOEFL?

Over 9,000 education institutions, including community colleges, colleges, and universities, accept TOEFL Test in 130+ countries. In the critical areas of writing, speaking, listening and reading, TOEFL scores are considered a preferred option by universities. Apart from education institutions, the following are some other organisations that accept TOEFL scores.

  • Immigration offices consider TOEFL scores to process work and residential visas.
  • Physical Therapy, Dental, Pharmacy and similar medical licensing boards.
  • Any individual who wants to assess their English proficiency level.

Comparative Analysis:


  • Validity – 2 years
  • Fees – AUD 330
  • Qualifying Marks – 6.5 Bands
  • Modules Tested – Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening


  • Validity – 2 Years
  • Fees – USD 300
  • Qualifying Marks – 73- Bachelor’s and 79- Master’s
  • Modules Tested  – Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening

Test curriculum:

  • The TOEFL is an American-style standardized test containing two essays, 6 brief spoken responses, and many multiple-choice questions or fill in the blanks.
  • The IELTS has almost the same format, with two essays, multiple-choice and fill in the blank questions, and an oral interview.

Internet-based TOEFL exam sections:

The TOEFL iBT online exam comprises four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

  • TOEFL Reading Section

The objective of this task is to assess a student’s reading skills. It involves reading comprehension on various topics, including Psychology, Arts, Science, and History. Every passage has around 14 questions. Most Universities accept international students who have scored a minimum of 20 marks in the reading section.

Time limit: 60-80 minutes Questions: 36-56 questions

  • TOEFL Listening Section

In the listening section of TOEFL iBT, each lecture has a time limit of 5 minutes with 6 questions to be answered. The conversation section is around 3 minutes, followed by 5 questions that are to be answered. Most universities accept a listening score of anything over 21.

Note: For each question, a unique audio clip will be played.

Time limit: 60-90 minutesQuestions: 34-51 questions

  • TOEFL Speaking Section

The TOEFL iBT speaking section comprises six tasks under 2 categories, i.e. Independent tasks (Task 1 & 2) and Integrated tasks (Task 3 to 6). During the admission process, universities consider students who have scored over 22 marks in the verbal/speaking section.

  • Independent Speaking Task

Under the speaking test, students will be asked to perform tasks 1 and 2 (a combination of reading, writing, and listening). For both tasks, students get 15 seconds to prepare and 45 seconds to answer.

  • Integrated Speaking Tasks

For tasks 3 and 4, the following steps are involved:

  • Step 1 – 45 seconds to skim through a passage.
  • Step 2 – One minute to listen to an audio clip.
  • Step 3 – Half a minute to prepare.
  • Step 4 – One minute to answer the questions raised by the proctor.

For tasks 5 and 6, students will listen to an audio clip (around 2 minutes). Soon after hearing the audio clip, the proctor will initiate a 20-second timer where students will have to recollect the audio clip to answer the questions.

Note: The proctor will begin a timer of 60 seconds as soon as the students start to respond to the questions.

  • TOEFL Writing Section

The TOEFL iBT test’s final section is the writing section, where students will be asked to draft a couple of essays. One is integrated, and the other is an independent essay. The total duration of this task is around an hour.

  • Integrated Writing

Students will be provided with three minutes to read a passage of around 300 words under integrated writing. Following that, the proctor will play a lecture. Based on the lecture and the passage’s input, students must frame an essay of around 220 words.

  • Independent Writing

Independent writing allows students to write their own thoughts and opinions. As a part of the task, students will be asked to write a 300-word essay in 30 minutes.

Internet-based IELTS Online Test:

With the advancements in technology, students can now take the IELTS test online via computers and receive their results quickly within 7 days. Students need to complete reading, writing and listening in one sitting. Besides, the speaking test must be taken before the listening test or after taking the other 3 tests.

IELTS Test Process

IELTS Listening Test (30 minutes)

Students will listen to 4 texts or conversations between native speakers, and they are asked to produce answers based on the conversation they heard. These questions will analyse students’ ability to understand ideas, factual information, opinions, and the purpose of the conversation.

The listening test comprises 3 stages:

1st part –  A casual conversation between two humans.
2nd part –  A detailed speech.
3rd part – A conversation between people of different hierarchies (employer and employee)

IELTS Reading Test (60 minutes)

The Reading test in IELTS consists of forty questions. During the test, a variety of questions will be put forth to test students’ reading skills. The reading materials include 3 lengthy texts in the academic version, either factual, analytical, or descriptive. The texts are usually derived from journals, magazines, and newspapers.

IELTS Writing Test (60 minutes)

The Writing test of the IELTS Academic version consists of 2 tasks. All the chosen topics are suitable for students from all walks of life entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses.

IELTS Writing Task 1: Students will receive a diagram/chart/table and are asked to summarize the context in their own words (formal tone).

IELTS Writing Task 2: Students must write an essay based on an argument or problem statement during the test.

IELTS Speaking Test (11 to 14 minutes)

The Speaking test consists of 3 parts in IELTS. Each assesses a student’s spoken English. Altogether it takes between 11 to 14 minutes to finish 3 parts of the speaking test. As a part of the practice, all speaking tests will be recorded by the proctor.

  • Stage 1 – Students will be asked to speak about themselves and for similar questions such as their family, studies, and interests. Ideally, this part consumes up to 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stage 2 – In the next part, students will be given a topic before 2 minutes of stage 2 process. Here, the proctor gives students 60 seconds to think and answer one or two questions from the given topic.
  • Stage 3 – Here, students will be provided with an opportunity to converse some abstract ideas and thoughts. The time taken for this part is around 5 minutes.

To enroll in an English language test preparation class, fill in the inquiry form. Our test preparation experts will reach out to you and provide you with further information.

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Which Country is Better to Study Abroad? Australia vs New Zealand

Studying abroad is a dream come true moment for any student who wishes to broaden their knowledge in the desired field. As a student, choosing a country to pursue higher education can be an overwhelming process. For students aspiring to study in a multicultural country, Australia or New Zealand would be a great option considering the countries’ people, culture, and top-notch educational institutions. 

To make things simpler for you, we have compared country-specific, academic and other vital factors of Australia and New Zealand. Sit back and give it a read!

Living Cost Comparison – Australia vs New Zealand 

Living Cost in Australia – Cities such as Melbourne and Sydney rank top on the list for most expensive cities globally. However, the other cities in Australia offer many free and affordable services, along with special offers and discounts to international students pursuing higher education. 

Though retail prices in Australia and New Zealand look similar, you may notice a higher variation when it comes to certain expenses. For instance, a typical day-meal at a restaurant will cost you at least between $15 and 20 in the Southern part of Australia. As per the Australian Government’s record, international students Study-AustraliaCity are bound to spend over $17,000 (USD) for their living costs. This amount excludes tuition fees and flight charges. 

Living Cost in New Zealand – When compared to Australia, Study in New Zealand is less expensive. While the average cost of living for students ranges between $12,000 and $13,000 (USD), the New Zealand Immigration suggests it would be good for international students to keep a budget of $15,000, including emergency airfares.

While Wellington and Auckland offer better programs in their cityscapes, the country has many more budget-friendly options like Hamilton and Palmerston North, which are just a couple of hours away from big cities thus have lower costs of living. Overall, New Zealand is known to be a comparatively affordable country for students looking to study at a budget-friendly destination.

Education System and Study Experience – Australia vs New Zealand

People in New Zealand are welcoming and are incredibly hospitable. The citizens across the little island often look out for one another and that translates into their classrooms. The environment is casual, relaxed, supportive and exciting, allowing students to ask as many questions to professors and get their doubts clarified. Irrespective of courses such as Medicine, Engineering, Law or Journalism and Media, New Zealand has qualified and top-ranking institutions across the country.

Australian institutions are more extensive and support a vast number of international students every year. Considering the learning opportunities the country provides for international students, one should not skip the chance to study in an Australian Institution.

Wellington and Auckland’s universities are spread across the city. Australia’s institutions focus on offering less classroom centric curriculum and more practical and research-oriented curriculum. Students can spend their leisure time lounging in beautiful botanical gardens and city cafes from skyscrapers during breaks and between classes.  

Course Duration

Many Australian and New Zealand universities follow a 2-semester process. Hence international students have a choice to study a semester at a time or for an entire year. While the initial or first semester commences in February and ends in June, the second semester commences and ends in July and November respectively. 

Some Australian Universities also follow trimesters. You need to consider studying in Australia or New Zealand depending upon the academic calendar that best fits your time frame and schedule. A few institutions in Australia and New Zealand provide international students with internship opportunities to take up alongside their regular classes.

Accommodation and Entertainment Factor – Australia vs New Zealand

Accommodation in New Zealand – Though home stays are available in walking distance from shops and restaurants, International students studying in New Zealand prefer living in an apartment or flat with other students. Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand, accommodating many international students year after year. 

Many multimedia courses in New Zealand include sightseeing and activity trips for international students to all the nearby Islands, where you can get an opportunity to witness diverse landscapes! Apart from that, New Zealand is the best place for Bungee Jumping. So, get ready to experience jumping from over 100 feet in height if you are an adrenaline junkie! 

Accommodation in Australia – Over 70% of international students, prefer flats for their accommodation and the remaining prefer home stays. You can enroll in plenty of programs in Australia’s largest city Sydney – usually known as the Harbour City, where beaches, charm, and nightlife attract international students.

We hope you conclude choosing between Australia and New Zealand based on your study requirements. If you need to know more about these destinations, fill in the inquiry form. Our destination-specific expert counselors will get in touch with you in helping your study abroad dreams come true! We wish you the very best!

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