I’ve had discussions with various people over the last year about scholarships in different countries. I’m starting this topic to share information and answer any questions about the scholarships in Australia.
All the Albanians and Kosovans I’ve met have a really good level of English. If you choose to continue your studies in an English-speaking country (Australia, Ireland, England, Scotland, USA, Singapore, etc) then you don’t have to learn any other language unless you want to.
The Australian academic year runs from March to November.
December, January and February are the summer holidays. Some universities offer a summer semester (semester 3) but most students either have beach time or summer internships with Australian companies.
The biggest scholarship program is called Destination Australia
This scholarship is only for Regional universities. It excludes the big cities like Melbourne and Sydney.
Here is a detailed list of the campuses where you can study with the scholarship. Notice University of Melbourne in the list: it is only the Dookie campus (the Agriculture school). It is in the global top 10 for agriculture but there is no computing school at Dookie. Another entry in the list, La Trobe University (Bendigo Campus) is the closest to Melbourne. Bendigo to Melbourne is 90 minutes by car.
As another example, James Cook University in Cairns has a Masters in Data Science and various other courses in Engineering and IT. Please don’t tell anybody, but this is a tropical paradise. The web site says they have a fee of $26,000 and the scholarship is $15,000. In practice, you can negotiate with the universities. They will ask students from wealthy countries like the UK to pay the full fee. Many of them offer additional scholarships and assistance, especially for diversity purposes. If you do voluntary work for OSCAL, hackathons and other activities then this also helps your application for scholarships. Most of the universities want to take the $15,000 from the Federal government budget and so they will reduce their fees so that you qualify. They prefer to have the $15,000 instead of an empty seat.
Most international students in Australia are given permission to work 40 hours per fortnight
If you work for a big company, they will report the hours to the immigration office. If you do freelance IT work, you need to count the hours yourself.
Australia has many conferences and events, Linux.conf.au is happening soon and they have travel grants for diversity. It takes about 3 weeks to get the visa so apply now.
Even if you take this scholarship for a regional university, you will visit many conferences and events in Australian cities. After doing a masters, if you want to do a PhD in Australia, you can move to one of the big universities in the cities.
During the one or two years of the masters, you can talk to Australian companies about jobs. If a company offers you a job they will get the next visa for you so you can stay in Australia. The companies do this for a lot of international students.
There are 1,200 of these scholarships and the next semester starts in February 2020. If you are interested, now is the time to apply. Good luck.