Dr Vaidyanathan Jayaraman is the Global Dean of Undergraduate Programs at SP Jain School of Global Management. He oversees the undergraduate programs across the School’s campuses in Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore and Sydney. Prior to taking on this role, Dr Jayaraman was the Principal and Associate Dean at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India. In addition to his extensive consulting engagement with many Fortune 100 companies, he has more than 25 years of teaching (Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Executive MBA, and PhD) and research experience, and several years of experience in teaching Executive Education for various companies. He has received numerous awards in teaching and research. He has published more than 100 research articles and his work in the area of Supply Chains and Service Operations has been heavily cited by researchers and practitioners. He has co-authored three books and is writing the fourth book in the area of Supply Chain Analytics.
It’s important for any international student to do some extensive research on a few things before they step into the beautiful country of Australia – Be aware of existing social norms, food, history, culture, and health.
The top 5 things prospective International students should know before they travel to Australia are:
- Health Insurance – The government of Australia requires all international students to obtain Overseas student health coverage that typically comes with a range of different products that have some exceptions as well. It’s important for any student to contact their counsellor or student experience manager in the Office of International student services and obtain all the relevant information before they choose a certain type of coverage. This is priority # 1 on my list of things to do – health care costs are prohibitively expensive and International students can easily get bankrupt if they do not have the required health insurance coverage.
- Work on a student visa – Australia being a student-friendly destination allows International students on a valid study visa to work for a maximum of 20 hours/week while school is in session. Here’s the good news – students can work for an unlimited number of hours during recognized student school vacations. Typically, students who have obtained an education loan to fund their studies find this an attractive option – they are entitled to earn a minimum wage of close to $18 (AUD)/hour for working both on-campus and off-campus during the period of their study.
- Budget your expenses – Australian cities including Sydney and Melbourne regularly make it to the top ten lists of the world’s most expensive cities. It’s important for all students, especially International, to create a budget that accounts for housing, groceries, and day-to-day expenses including travel. It’s fine to own a credit card as long as the students do not carry over any balance at the end of the month because the interest on any outstanding balance can burn a big hole in the student’s savings.
- Promote a healthy lifestyle – The country attracts people from over 200 countries. Several of them come to Australia to fulfil their educational goals. With a highly developed (public) transportation system, world-class health care facilities, and top-notch medical access, the country promotes an optimal work-life balance that leads to a healthy lifestyle. Students are encouraged to appreciate the attitude, good vibes, and love for nature that is evident among Australians.
- World–class education – In various rankings that rank order the top 100 universities across the world, around seven Australian universities typically appear on the list. Accreditations such as the TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality System Assurance) as part of the Australian Quality training framework have been put into place by the government to strengthen the quality assurance processes in education. Such national quality assurance systems in place are truly unique in their rigour and structure.
To summarize, Australia has a reputation for being friendly, peaceful, and safe for one and all while International students are readily accepted by their professors and fellow colleagues. The key is to be prepared before you embark on this amazing, journey. A proper planning process in place would make it a beautiful, life-changing experience for all International students that could be a game-changer for their career and future.