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Australia vs US Education

If you decided to study abroad, we are sure you considered different destinations. Most popular countries for study for Turkish students are USA and Australia. Let’s explore together the difference between Australian and American education, compare universities in both countries and find the one that is right for you.

1.University vs College — What’s the Difference?

-In the US, a university is a group of schools or colleges all operating together. Both colleges and universities can issue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

-However, in Australia, there is a big difference between colleges and universities. Universities in Australia award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Meanwhile, Australian colleges are focused on technical or continuing education.

2. Application Process.

-The application process for international students at US universities:

  • Decide which colleges you would like to attend.

  • Submit a unique application for each school on your list, including an essay, results, and any other required information.

  • Apply to as many colleges as you want.

  • Hear back from each school.

  • Accept an offer from one college and begin the visa application process.

-University application process for international students in Australia:

  • Decide on a subject area or course of study.

  • Select the university that you would like to attend.

  • Research your chosen institution to learn whether you should apply directly with the university or send all or part of your application to a third-party education agency.

  • Send your application, along with the results of your English language test and your academic transcripts.

  • Get an offer of acceptance and decide whether to attend.

3. How Are Colleges and Universities Structured Differently in the US and Australia?

  • A standard undergraduate program in the United States takes four years to complete. Most colleges and universities in the USA also run on a semester schedule. This schedule typically runs from the end of August to mid-May.

  • In Australia, a standard degree program takes three years. However, most students take double or combined degrees which can take longer. The academic year is split into two semesters: March through June and July through October.

4. Australian Education System vs American.

  • Classes in the US usually meet two or three times per week for the same amount of time each session. Classes are either lecture, lab, or small-group gatherings. Grades are based on a mixture of tests, quizzes, papers, in-class work, attendance, and participation.

  • In Australia, most classes include one lecture and one tutorial each week. Tutorials are discussion-based sessions designed to help students understand and learn more about lecture topics. Both lectures and tutorials are structured around preparing students for one major test or paper.

5. Grades in the US and Australia.

  • In Australia, 50% is a passing grade — grades tend to be based on one or two large tests or essays. Grades are assessed on a 7-point scale with 0 to 3.99 representing a failing grade and 7 representing High Distinction.

  • In the US, grades look at a variety of factors: homework, quizzes, tests, group projects, and class participation. US grades range from F to A+ with F representing a failing score and A+ the highest grade possible. At most colleges, grade point averages are assessed on a 4.0 scale. Under this system, a 4.0 is an A, 3.0 is a B, and so on.

6. Campus Life: The Biggest Difference Between Australian and American Education.

  • College life is an important part of the US college experience. Campus is not just a center for learning, it is also the basis of social life and college activities. Clubs, intramural sports, and group activities give students opportunities to gather with others who share their interests. Students often live in dorms, eat in a communal dining hall, and spend their leisure hours in the library, at campus coffee shops, or in other common areas.

  • Making friends can be more challenging in Australia because students are more spread out and spend less time on campus. Australia is a nation that loves the outdoors. Beaches, national parks, hiking, and biking are all common student activities. There are fewer clubs and organized campus activities on Australian campuses. Students mostly make their own entertainment.


Australian College Tuition vs American.

  • In the United States, the average cost of tuition for a public university is $26,820 per year. Students may pay more to attend a private college. Most students live on campus and the average room and board cost for the school year is $12,990.

  • Undergraduate international students in Australia will likely pay between $20,000 AUD and $45,000 AUD ($12,748 USD and $28,684 USD) per year. Graduate students will pay slightly more. This cost does not include housing, food, or other expenses. The cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Australia ranges from $1,298 AUD to $1,718 AUD ($830 USD to $1,096 USD) per month.

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