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Studying in Australia? A Guide for Canadian Students

Study Abroad in Australia

Thinking of studying abroad in Australia as a Canadian student? Forget the "scary and dangerous animals" stereotype and explore your options with an open mind.

Australia has something to offer for every Canadian looking to study there. Whether you want to check out the coastal areas, the outback, or the vibrant cities, there's plenty to explore in-between classes.

The Land Down Under is home to "drop bears," the reef, Vegemite, and friendly people that come as a package deal with fairly well-renowned tertiary education.

Read this guide to learn more about studying in Australia as a Canadian.

Cost of Studying In Australia

Tuition fees in Australia¹depend on your study level, qualifications, lifestyle, and personal requirements. You can expect to pay $20,000 to $45,000 for an undergraduate bachelor's degree, $22,000 to $50,000 for a postgraduate masters' degree, and $18,000 to $42,000 for a doctoral degree.

Generally, Australia's cost of living is slightly higher² than Canada's. It's essential to have a solid budget for food, activities, clothes, and general items. According to livingcost.org³, Australia is the 10th most expensive place to live in. As a result, you may need to budget as much as $21,000⁴  or more to cover living costs over a 12-month period. 

The overall cost of studying in Australia as a Canadian student will include tuition, health insurance, travel, accommodation, and general expenses.

Still, while studying in Australia doesn't come cheap, you can find many affordable options when it comes to accommodation and places to study. In any case, the upside is that studying in Australia is typically cheaper than going to the USA or the UK.

You May Be Interested to Know That Australia Has Expensive Beer

Beer is one of the main components of Australian culture, so it's no surprise the nightlife is mainly centered around drinking. Given the relatively high cost of living, it's also no surprise that beer is expensive in Australia. 

According to Statista⁵, Sydney and Melbourne are two of the top most expensive cities for a pint of beer worldwide due to the high taxes on alcohol.

What You Need and How to Apply

Canadian students need a Student Visa to study in Australia, which you can obtain if you're enrolled in a full-time course at a recognized educational institution. You also need to provide proof of health insurance and proof that you can cover your living expenses during your stay in Australia.

Once you have narrowed your focus, you can apply directly to the universities of your choice. Most Australian universities allow you to submit applications online via the school's website. You can also contact the universities to enquire about the application process.

Debunking Common Myths About Australia

It's normal to have some misconceptions about a different country. After all, the TV and media don't always portray what's on the ground. To get the facts right, you can start by getting the following common misconceptions about Australia out of the way.

Myth #1: 99% of Things Will Kill You 

Giant lizards, mythical drop bears, wild kangaroos, venomous snakes, man-eating spiders, great white sharks, vicious koalas – you name it, they have all been used as proof of Australia's frightening and deadly wildlife. 

Some of these things exist, but the chances of running into them are low. The rule of thumb is you should be fine if you respect the wildlife and leave it alone.

Myth #2: There are No High Ranking Universities in Australia

There are many prestigious Australian universities⁶  that command some respect on the international scene, more specifically, The Group of Eight (Go8). 

  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • University of Adelaide
  • Monash University
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of New South Wales

Myth #3: Australian Culture Is Laid Back and Bogan

Australia is made up of many different people, like any country. However, most of Australia is urbanized, and many people live in the city, which goes against the "rugged semi-outback" stereotype.

Myth #4: Australians Like "Putting Another Shrimp on the Barbie"

Australians actually call them prawns, and they don't barbeque them as much as some people would like to believe.

Myth #5: The Whole Country Is a Desert

Granted, the vast majority of Australia is uninhabited and the country sparsely populated, but it's not just a whole bunch of nothing. Most of the Australian population lives along the coast, and Australia is like any Western country, similar to the US and Europe.

Why Study In Australia?

  • Top-ranking universities. Many Australian universities feature in different worldwide university rankings. These world-class universities offer globally-recognized qualifications that can help fast-track your career.
  • Liveable cities. Cities like Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and Brisbane have consistently dominated the EUI index of the most livable cities⁷ in the world. This is according to stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
  • Friendly locals. Australians are genuinely friendly, and international students are generally well accepted, making adjusting to student life in a foreign city easier.
  • Popular study destination. As an English-speaking country, Australia attracts many international students. The thriving multicultural environment is a fact for personal growth.

Best Australian Places to Study

There are many factors to consider when deciding on the best place to study in Australia. For instance, you can consider night/city life, cultural experiences, the weather, and whether there are any beaches nearby. 

However, the essential factors will always be the university and the course you want to study. That said, the following places are generally considered to be some of the best places to study in Australia.

  • Melbourne is a diverse city with good food, great vibes, a beautiful art scene, and fun nightlife. 
  • Perth is one of the most isolated cities but has stunning beaches, unique attractions, and a warm, pleasant climate.
  • Sydney is a beautiful big city and the designated financial center of the country, with a high number of international students.
  • Brisbane is Australia's New World City with a touristy vibe and an up-and-coming booming economy.
  • The Gold Coast is home to Surfers Paradise, major theme parks, and amazing beaches.

Paying for Your Education Online

If you're living and studying in Australia for a considerable time, finding affordable ways to transfer money internationally is well worth it. For instance, if you want to avoid the above-average fees that your bank will charge, all you have to do is register your MTFX account.

The MTFX platform is accessible 24/7 and allows secure, automated payments. You can also enjoy competitive exchange rates 3-5% lower than the banks. This translates to savings of $1,500 for each $30,000 you move across borders. 

One last thing: Use the live rate calculator to check the AUD/CAD exchange rate before initiating each transfer.

Studying in Australia? Get the best AUD rates with MTFX

Study in Australia as a Canadian – FAQs


What are some Australian words/phrases I might be unfamiliar with?

  • Heaps – It means "a lot"
  • Thongs – Flip flops
  • Grog – Alcohol
  • Bottle-o – Liquor store/ Bottle shop
  • Ta – Thank you
  • She'll be apples – Everything will be all right
  • Yeah, Nah – Yes, but no

What are some things international students are often surprised to learn about Australia?

  • Australia is huge, so not everywhere will be accessible by train and you may have to buy cheap flights to get anywhere faster.
  • Australians rarely tip unless the service is exceptional.
  • Australians like to abbreviate. For instance, Australian is Aussie; arvo is afternoon; mosquito is mozzie; kangaroo is roo; servo is service/gas station; barbeque is barbie, and so on.

How can I manage the cost of living in Australia?

  • You can always find bargains for uni students if you know where to look.
  • Use a foreign exchange service like MTFX to send money from Canada to Australia and avoid expensive exchange rates and transfer fees.
  • You can work while studying and earn extra money on the side.
  • Explore various scholarship opportunities ⁸.

Popular related articles;


  1. Cost of Living in Australia
  2. Australia vs Canada - Cost of Living Comparison
  3. International Cost of Living Calculator
  4. International Student Populations
  5. Most expensive cities worldwide
  6. Top Universities in Australia
  7. World's most livable cities
  8. Education Partnerships and Scholarships

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Individuals and businesses who need to send money in foreign currency internationally can use MTFX’s services. The beneficiary of the transfer must have a bank account for the funds to be paid into. Personal clients usually use our services to transfer money between their own accounts in two different countries. Business clients usually use our services to transfer funds to suppliers, fund international operations, or repatriate overseas earnings.
MTFX offers currency exchange rates that are 2-5% better than those offered by the banks. Personal clients usually save hundreds of dollars per transfer and for larger transfers, the savings can run into the thousands. We also offer excellent customer service, dedicated currency specialists, and a 24/7 online platform with best-in-class technology that allows you to complete transfers from any device virtually anywhere in the world. Business customers save with better currency exchange rates and proven solutions geared towards managing and mitigating foreign exchange risk. Our solutions include forward contracts, market orders, rate alert services, and much more - all backed by great technology and great people.
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Our global network of banking partners allows us to get funds to virtually anywhere in the world quickly and efficiently. Most wire transfers from MTFX will be received by your beneficiary within 24-48 hours. MTFX also offers same-day transfers that are almost instantaneous, as well as low-cost in-country payment services for your less urgent transfers. For further information please speak to one of our currency specialists.