Every year, thousands of students enrol at various universities in Australia, and it’s easy to see why. International students have a plethora of options in Australia, ranging from academic programmes to post-graduate work opportunities.
Despite the pandemic, there were still over 500,000 international students on student visas in December 2021, demonstrating the country’s popularity. For those interested in studying in Australia, it’s worth noting that some universities have multiple intakes from which to choose.
Choosing the “best” intake would differ from student to student, as factors such as the availability of your programme and when you wish to graduate would need to be considered. As a result, when making the big move to Australia as an international student, it is critical to consider which university intake to choose and which university intake to avoid.
Universities in Australia typically have two academic terms: the February intake (or, in some cases, the March intake) and the July intake (or in some cases, it starts a bit later in August). Many institutions consider the February intake to be their primary intake. Some institutions may offer an additional intake beginning in November (or later in December), just as Australia begins its summer season.
Intakes at vocational, education and training (VET) colleges can range from four to eight, depending on the institution. The academic year at colleges with four VET intakes may begin in February, April, July, or September. Major institutions in Australia accept students on a weekly or monthly basis for English courses such as intensive English courses and pathway programmes.
The November intake may be regarded as a “unwanted” intake by some international students in Australia, and there are numerous reasons to support this viewpoint. Most students who have already enrolled in the February or July intakes are either finishing up their exams or making arrangements for the long vacation that awaits them until the next academic term begins in either February or March. This, of course, does not apply to students who choose to enrol in the summer semester.
International students may find it difficult to begin their first semester during the summer season. Campuses at various Australian universities are typically crowded from late February to June, and from July to early November, as two of the major academic terms are typically held during these times. There may be fewer students and staff on university campus grounds during the summer season, which runs from November to February (with the exception of a few academicians and summer school attendants). As a result, students can expect a less active orientation session than in February or July.
Introductions to clubs and organisations, as well as other on and off-campus prospects, will be limited as most students and staff prepare for the summer vacation. International students’ academic options may be limited as well. Because most lecturers and academics take a vacation during the summer, the number of classes available to international students will be limited. Several courses offered during this time period will have limited schedule variations, resulting in a lack of flexibility for students, particularly when deciding which lectures or tutorials to attend.
Many international students who do not return to their home country or travel abroad for vacation during the holidays will choose to work part-time during the summer as a means to enhance their income. With Australia temporarily relaxing international students’ working hours (which could last until June), students have more hours to participate in part-time work to supplement their income. According to the Australian Department of Home Affairs, students on a Subclass 500 student visa can temporarily work unlimited hours in any sector. During the summer, there are numerous job opportunities in the hospitality and events industries.
Perhaps this is difficult for students enrolled in the November intake because not only is it their first semester, but their heavy workload may also prevent them from participating in part-time work. Finally, there is no hard and fast rule on which intake is best for students because it depends on what students are looking for. Students may decide to take time off during the November or summer semesters, which may result in a less active campus for new students.
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