AE 448 – Interview: A Step by Step Guide to Moving to Australia to Study English with Lorena Yeves
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Man, do I have a killer episode for you guys today!
So, I don’t know if you’ve seen it in the previous episode, but I’ve chatted to Lorena from Go Study Australia in a previous interview, and this episode was a 338. So, make sure that you go back and check that out if you would like to hear more from Lorena after this interview.
But today, I’ve got her, she’s from Go Study Australia, which is a company that helps English students, students that have come to Australia to learn English. This company helps them find jobs, find accommodation, find really decent schools, even get flights from some countries here at a discount. So, they’re free service, guys. I really recommend Go Study Australia if you guys need any kind of advice or help, whether you’re already in Australia learn English or you’re thinking about coming here.
So, Go Study Australia, definitely recommend checking them out.
Anyway, as it’s probably obvious, today I chat with Lorena about, effectively, a step by step guide to moving to Australia to study English. So, I set this up by saying, you know, imagine I am a foreign English learner from, say, Spain. What do I need to do? What is the step by step process that I need to go through in order to get to Australia, in order to get established in Australia, to find somewhere to live, to find a school, to get a job, to get food, to find friends, to socialise?
So, anyway, it is a great interview. Massive thanks to Lorena for spending about an hour chatting to me on Skype. I really appreciated her time, and I know that you guys are going to get a lot out of this.
So, without any further ado, guys, here is Lorena from Go Study Australia.
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English I have Lorena back again. Hopefully you saw the first episode with Lorena and if you haven’t, it’s episode 338 and there’s also a video on YouTube called How to study English in Australia… Go study in Australia. So Lorena Welcome back. How are you going?
Good, thank you.
Let’s start up! what is Go Study Australia? And give us a bit of your back story again. How did you end up living in Australia, working for this awesome company that’s helping people with their studying of English in Australia?
Yea sure! So I’ve been working for Go Study for five years. I started in Madrid and we… When I say “we” I mean my partner and I got offered this opportunity to come to Australia two and a half years ago and to come to the Melbourne office. So I started in Madrid. What we did there was help and guide students through their journey coming towards Australia and here in Melbourne what we do is more of reception. So Go Study Australia is an agency, or student organisation, that does… That gives help to students and working holiday visa makers come to Australia. We primarily help in the sector of studying. So English courses or vocational training or bachelor degrees. And the other part of our role or job is to guide students who are in Australia. We do a lot of events, activities, sort of give them support while they are here in Melbourne. We also have offices in Sydney and in Perth and in Brisbane. So I sort of give the all round support while they’re here in Australia.
And so I guess… How do people find you? First off for you to just get that out of the way… Is it a a cheeky Google search or can I come and see you at your office?
So our doors are always open. They can obviously write to us through our website or through our social media. If they Google Go Study Australia They’ll definitely find us… In the offices that we have here in Australia we always have our doors open so students can just come in and we have a lot of walk-ins with people that just need a little bit of help either finding a job or finding the right course for them or even just a little bit of help in terms of finding their way around Australia. So they can always just come to our office whenever they want.
Brilliant! And is this just students or… I guess people in Australia from any other countries? it doesn’t matter where or are they from certain countries that you guys cater for specifically?
So our main “catering” let’s say is just for European… European countries and Latin American countries. We recently opened offices in Bogota and Medellin, in Colombia. So hopefully we’ll all start catering to that to that area as well.
I mean that’s a huge market. There’s a lot of Columbians going to Australia!
Especially in Melbourne. So hopefully we’ll do a good job of giving them a little bit of support. But we don’t… I mean anyone can really just come in. Although our experiences, just in terms of visas, are experience is more towards Latin America and Europe. Other countries have variations. The visas are a little bit different so we’re not . .. Might not be the best agency for them.
So, if we just imagine me now being someone who’s living in Spain, Italy, France, or South America and I’m really really keen to learn English abroad, Why would you suggest Australia?
so Australia has a lot of good things compared to other English speaking countries. One of the best things is the work opportunities. Other English speaking countries don’t have as many opportunities in terms of jobs. So for example student visas for U.S. don’t come with working rights . So that’s where you go, you study but you can’t work. Canada has… I’m not really sure but there’s a limit, so there’s… I think up to the first six months you can’t work and Astralia is one of the only countries that lets students actually be able to work part time while they’re doing their studies. Another great thing about Australia obviously is that because it’s so far away from everything else there’s not a lot of people from your own nationality…
For now, for now right?
And that’s good because when you’re looking for a school or a place to learn English you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re surrounded by your own nationality and your own language. That’s the only way that you can really make forward with language.
So what would be the next step? So imagine that I am in Spain. I’ve decided, you know what, I want to learn English overseas, I want to come to Australia. What is the next step for me to then do, with regards to making that dream come true or happen?
So there’s various ways that people can come to Australia. The one that is the most use is the student visa. So we are… In order to come to Australia with a student visa, the first thing obviously that you have to take into consideration is grabbing a course. So that’s where any of our offices offshore/onshore will be able to give a little bit of insight to the student depending on what you want to study: English vocational courses, higher education. Once you’ve chosen the course the next steps are doing a little bit of paper work and which we’ll obviously lend a hand and to do the actual visa. Once the visa is granted then the student can come into Australia. So the first… That’s sort of the most used visa, which will be the student visa
And so obviously you can do this all on your own. , You can get online you can find the school, you can coordinate with them. Then you can go and organise your visa, but you guys kind of are the shortcut if you want to make life easier for yourself. They can get in touch with companies like Go study Australia in order to sort of get a little bit of hand-holding so that they don’t have to do it all on their own.
Exactly yeah. In terms of pricing all of the courses will cost exactly the same whether you do it by yourself or if you do it through us. That’s a misconception. A lot of times people think “oh if I do it with an agency that means that I’ll be charged something.” No, actually we don’t charge anything to a student. Whether you do it by yourself and you do it everything through directly to the school or through the agency you will everything will be the same fee.
So you’re paying a set fee to the school and then you guys, as Go Study Australia, any money you receive isn’t from the students themselves but from the schools or from other organizations, right?
Exactly. So everything will be exactly the same… Sorry…
No no no, you’re good.
Can you hear the student come in?
A little bit, a little bit, but it’s fine it doesn’t matter. I can hear you clearly.
So, in terms of… In terms of pricing everything is exactly the same with the added value, obviously, that when you go with an organisation like Go Study, you obviously get the added bonus… The school… Usually when you do things directly with the school, the school obviously help you with the paperwork of the enrolment in the school, but they won’t be able to give you any support with the visa. So that’s where a lot of people actually find themselves in a little bit of a pickle. They’ll go directly to school, do everything because they think that it’s going to be cheaper , do everything through the school, and the moment comes when they go in to their immigration stage, try to do the visa and they get a little bit stuck. So it’s always better rate to have that added support from an agency. Not only for the visa but also throughout the entire journey, so you will assure yourself of obviously getting support throughout the entire time, not just for the visa, but to the entire time that you’re in Australia.
Brilliant! Alright, so where were we? Alright, so there’s obviously no excuse not to be using an agency like Go study Australia because it’s free. And so what happens if if someone comes to you for help and they don’t actually end up getting through the process of getting a school and everything, is that still free or?
So yeah. All of our services are free. We’re never going to charge students. So legally speaking we are only able to lend a hand… A tool in terms of visa to students that come through . .. That do the schooling through us . When students have done the entire visa process or, another visa process, but the school process by themselves, and we’ve had the situation right. So somebody goes to school, does everything by themselves, and then comes to the office… More than likely we will be able to obviously lend a hand. We won’t be able to be as involved in the actual visa process as we would to one of our students, but we would be able to sort of push them in the right direction. In terms of all of the other services, our parties, our seminars, our information sessions: All of that is open to anyone whether they are students or not.
So that they can use that as a learning experience, whether or not though they’re actually going to use those. Brilliant, brilliant! And so what would be the next step then? you’re a young man living in Spain, you’ve decided you want to come to Australia, you’ve gone through Go Study, you’ve found an English school, I take it. How do you guys pair up someone with the right English school, and is there any advice there for how to find an English school that suits you or is any school okay?
So the short answer is No – not all schools are okay. So there’s a there’s a lot of different things that one needs to take into account. The first thing, obviously, is we try to pair the student with the right school, in terms of quality and in terms of price, and so different schools will have different pricing. There’s a certain line of quality that Go Study Australia does not go under so there’s… We try to work with schools that have passed our quality standard – Our seal, Let’s say. there’s a… Obviously in terms of… That’s why you ask an agency to guide you through the process. Because we have the experience of letting you know which are the schools that actually are vouched for and which not. The other thing that we do, apart from the quality, is obviously matching what the student is willing to pay for the experience with which the pricing of the school. So the first thing that we do is… So this would happen once we’re trying to find the correct schools for the student. We’ll ask, obviously, what kind of experience they want to do what their goal is in Australia. What are they looking for in the end. So . .. Oh, and how much time they want to be here for. Let’s say that they want to be for six months and study English, then we’ll offer… Usually what we do is we offer three or four different schools, depending on what they have been telling us that they’re looking for, and try to match the student with the school. There’s a lot of schools in Australia, so we’ll never offer you all of the schools, just because otherwise we’ll, you know… We’ll make the student go crazy, so we will try to find two or three schools that might match and go from there.
And so what’s the price range usually? What are the options? What is the lowest sort of threshold, and what does it offer versus the highest part of that threshold, as well?
So in terms of English, more or less the price that we’re talking about is between $200 and $270 per week. For $200 per week, usually are schools that are all for night classes and are usually less populated, let’s say. $250, $270 are usually morning classes. Again it depends; Usually schools also offer a lot of different promotions. So at a certain point a school may cost usually $270 but they’re doing a promotion in which if you buy 10 weeks you’ll get two for free. So we also tried to work around those promotions to make sure that students can also a good value out of what they’re… What they’re looking for.
And what do these schools usually offer in terms of classes and hours? If someone wants to study in Australia they sign up with the school, is that, you know, eight hours a day every single day? is it 1 hour a day every single day? What are the expectations that the students should have with regards to studying English?
So student visas for international students will require the student to actually study 20 hours per week, minimum. And they will have to attend 80 percent of the school or the classes, otherwise they’ll be reported to immigration. So their stay in Australia is based exclusively on their compliance with the laws of their school, right? So usually schools will be between 20 and 25 hours per week, the minimum obviously being the 20 hours per week that they have to attend. It’ll be between four and five hours per hour per day. And they will, again, they will have to attend the 80 percent of the classes. There’s differing kinds of courses. So the most general course will be General English. It will touch a little bit of everything. A little bit of, you know, pronunciation, a little bit of speaking, of writing. Usually general English courses are better viewed for students that don’t have a lot of a level of English. And then you go in to more profound courses like IELTs preparation or Cambridge preparation, which is… Prepares the students to actually take the official exam. Those courses usually are a little bit more intense, and will give a little bit more work to the student.
And so what is there a… Is there a minimum level of English that you you must have in order to be that young man in Spain that leaves Spain and comes to Australia and gets into an Australian school, or get a visa? Do you need a certain level to do that?
Not for English. If you want to study vocational training or higher education you will have to have a previous level of English just because, obviously, there are more skilled courses and you will require to at least understand what’s going on in the class. Otherwise for English courses you don’t require any level of English , any previous level of English. We have students that come with very basic, basic elementary level of English. Those students will more likely go into courses like general English. More experienced, or people that have a little bit more higher level will try to go into more specific English courses.
Alright, so you’ve done that. You’ve organised which school you’re going to go to. I don’t know whether or not to touch on getting airfares for Australia. Is there any advice that you would have regarding how to get to Australia and how to save money doing so?
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Well, from Spain and Italy, we both have an agreement. So in Spain, I think it’s with Singapore Airlines and with Emirates, the students get a little discount from being our students, and if they go directly to the airline they’ll be able to get to, for example, Singapore Airlines will give the students the ability to, if they fly from Spain to Australia, they’ll have instead of 30 kilos of luggage they’ll be able to have 40. So it’s a little bit… They’ll have a little bit of extra room to bring personal stuff. Emirates will give them a little student discount. In terms of tips to get… I mean, there’s no real formula to get a cheap deal to come to Australia, it’s very far away. So usually prices are very standard and doesn’t really vary too much.
But it’s worth checking with you guys, just in case you know, that you have the option of either getting bonuses or more space to take stuff on the plane or to save a little bit of money ?
Oh brilliant, alright. Okay so you’ve got your flight. You get to Australia. You jump off the plane. What do you do then? Where do you live? And what are the options? And should you have organised that before getting on the plane, or is it okay to wing it and just get off the plane and you’ll be sweet?
So I think both of the options are okay. A lot of students prefer organising the first month of accommodation from Europe. The options usually are a little bit more expensive than if you just come into Australia and look for other options. Usually accommodation from Europe will cost… Will include obviously a family . .. Accommodation . .. The options are either family living within family, so you’ll . .. You’ll sleep with or live with the family and it’s included lunch, breakfast and dinner. The other option is the possibility of living in a student accommodation. But usually what we do recommend students is that they get a hostel for the first 10 days when they arrive here. It’s the cheapest option honestly. Come here and then once they’re here find a better… There’s heaps and heaps of pages – facebook pages, Gumtree. There’s a lot of places where you can actually then find better deals.
Is it a really good way to socialise first, too? To get to a hostel and meet a few other foreigners and other people travelling around and at least, sort of, hit the ground running with your social life and make some friends, right?
So I mean there’s pros and cons and everything right? Like everything in life. But if you get accommodation from Europe and you already organise the first month it’s going to be a little bit easier for you to, obviously, come you’re a little bit more relaxed. You have to think about having to find anything else.
And you got time to look, right?
Exactly. On the contrary it’s a little bit more expensive than if you just come and find a hostel. My recommendation usually is just come here for the first 10 days get a hostel. Meet a lot of new people at the hostel. Socialize. Start looking around… Once you arrive start looking with your… Especially in the school you’ll meet a lot of people and be able to find a better accommodation.
And I guess you would suggest don’t move in with people from your country . Like try and avoid organising a share house or something with other Spanish speakers or Italian speakers.
Yeah we see it a lot with people that want to travel together. Actually we get people that want to do the experience together. Two or three friends book the course, book everything together. We usually push them to go to different schools but sometimes they’ll want to go to the same school and that’s fine. Most of the schools won’t put them in the same class anyway. They try to divide nationalities so it is likely that even if they do come together that they will end up in the same class. But if they do all come together, what we do recommend is that at least they try to live separately. That way their experience will be more immersive. So it’s not the same as coming and living in a house full of people that you need to speak English with, otherwise you can communicate then being in a house with your mates from Spain and speaking in Spanish all day.
Well, not even that too. There is the language aspect of but then there’s the social aspect; If you’ve already got a friend or two friends here, you are a lot less likely to go out and try and meet people, and feel about pressure. No good. So what would hostel’s usually set you back, money-wise, per night? Do you have any figures off the top of your head?
I think a more or less we’re talking about maybe 30 40 dollars per night. So it really depends. There are some cheaper options if you share with eight people instead of with three or four. There’s various options, but usually it’s around to between 20 and 40 dollars per night.
And what’s it like renting in Melbourne? so you’ve you’ve come you’ve stayed in a hostel or you stay with a family for a short period of time. What would the next step be then for trying to find a house? What would you suggest people do and should they look for things like a shared house or should they try and get a house of their own? You know, on the on the bond. Get the bond paid and do that. Or I guess… what would you suggest?
Yeah. So when students arrive what we usually recommend is that they go into all of the Facebook pages on which people are renting a room. It depends on how much the student wants… How about how much they want to spend. Usually in a room if you share a room with someone else obviously will be cheaper than if you have your own room.
The answer is usually if you can if you can list them off the top of your head roughly…
In Melbourne you’re looking around between 150 and 200 dollars for a shared room. 200 250 for your own room. Again it depends. We have students that get really sweet deals and get their own room for 170. Get students that maybe you want to be more centralised than the CBD and pay a little bit more for your own room. It’s also a lot of luck. What we do recommend though is that unless you’re a going to be in Australia for a long time, and by a long time I mean a year and a half/two years, not going into getting an actual lease of the your own. It’s always there… There’s plenty of places that you can sub rent the room and it’s easier, also, to leave those places rather than having your own lease and having to have the hassle of having to find someone else to pick up your lease where you left it.
And they’re a lot less likely to give you a lease to a place of it’s only six months. They’re going to want the year, two years on that sort of thing. Okay, so for people who have kept up to now, schools are going to be between what? two or three hundred dollars a week, roughly? and then rent for a house might be slightly less than that. So you’re probably looking at between what? Maybe 450 to six hundred dollars for your weekly expenses with regards to what a school’s going to cost and rents going to cost. Do you have any quick advice with regards to groceries and food? How to find food here in Australia that’s affordable and the price that you’d look out for that as well?
So we always talk about when… Actually when students arrive we give them a little welcome package in which we give them a little bit of tips of when to do their shopping and where to find cheap stuff. In terms of groceries here, I can speak for Melbourne. That’s my experience. The cheapest supermarket is ALDI which any Spanish person will actually recognise because there are ALDIs in Spain as well. But other than that, usually Coles is pretty, relatively cheap. We do push students to also go to actually local markets like the Queen Victoria Market or the south market. It’s in terms of, you know, fruit and veggies it’s a cheaper option. We also try to tell them to stay within things that are in a season and so that’s something that sometimes we forget living in such a globalized world where we have everything at our hand. But if you usually stay in season in autumn you buy your mushrooms and in summer you buy your mangoes. Usually your you’ll stay within a good… a good budget.
And the food’s probably going to be better quality right? it hasn’t been frozen or traded or imported from a long way away. So what would people be looking at spending for groceries on a weekly kind of budget? Maybe one to two hundred dollars?
Yeah I would say maybe a hundred, a hundred and fifty dollars per hour per week. It also really depends how much how much food you eat.
And what your standards are, right?
Exactly. So I’m very tiny and I don’t need a lot so probably my intake is not as much and my partner who is like double my size. But yeah we’re talking about maybe a hundred hundred and fifty dollars per week in groceries. It also depends on the city that you’re in.
So you’re between maybe six hundred and seven hundred fifty bucks now a week. How can we offset that by finding a job, okay? So you’ve obviously had to pay for your school ahead of time and then you get . .. I guess to get the visa you kind of have to show that you have a certain amount of money to pay for things like accommodation and support yourself. What job prospects are there for people who are studying? And what are they allowed to do in terms of hours per week? and what are they likely to be paid?
So let me just jump back at a comment you made. So not all of the countries that come to Australia with the student they will need to show funds so. Countries like Spain, Italy, France – they will not have to show funds when they ask for the visa. In terms of the government, they can always ask whatever they want to, obviously. So they can still have the chance that they do ask. But usually in general terms that’s not something that you have to show. So you can have your little savings and have paid the school, and not necessarily have to show any funds to the government. Countries like Colombia will need… Or Brazil, they will need to show a little bit more stability.
And what amount of money would they need to accrue for those Columbian Brazilian listeners? How much would be a minimum amount of money to have saved up?
So usually we’re talking about 1600 dollars per every month that you want to be in Australia.
So more or less is what we are… Is what we would recommend.
So that’s why it really does depend on how long you want to stay. It’s not just that there’s a minimum that you need to arrive with, it’s your stay. Your length of time.
Exactly. And from that, once that come here we’ll give them all of the options are towords working. So we do a lot of job sessions. So you do jump sessions and Spanish and Italian and French, and we help all students with all of the processes and all of the steps that they need to take towards starting to find a job. So we’ll help them upon arrival also to talk about how to get the TFN and how to start their job-world in Australia.
And what is the TFN, quickly?
Yes, the TFN is the tax file number. it’s what all students or all people in Australia will need in order to be able to work legally in Australia. Once we apply for the tax file number then we can start legally working and looking for jobs. Our job will generally, depending obviously on what the kind of job and how many hours and everything but usually a student will be able to sustain him or herself in Australia while working their 20 allowed hours per week. So even if they did have… They paid out of the school from offshore. They came and they paid all of the fees and accommodation and everything. They’ll be able to pay for their everyday expenses with their job that they acquire here in Australia.
What kind of job opportunities are there and what is the amount of money they’re likely to be paid per hour?
So usually it obviously depends on a lot of factors but the majority of the students end up working in hospitality. That’s where the most jobs are available. Not because that’s the sector where there’s more jobs but because it’s a sector that is the most flexible with the student visa. So we have to remember that the student visa will allow the student to work only 20 hours per week while school is in session. They will actually be able to work full time when school is not in session. So when school is in session they’ll have their five hours per day that they’re in school or in their English course and then they’ll have the rest of the day to be able to work. Obviously that gives them roughly 20 hours per week to work. Casual working which is what students will likely get pays between 20 and 23 dollars per hour. So that should be able to cover the cost of accommodation, groceries and a little bit of… It depends on your way of life I think.
As a quick side note I was working at a restaurant in Melbourne called Portillo Rosseau which was a Spanish restaurant and I was just a waiter while I was studying and it was twenty five dollars an hour. Casual, flexible hours. So it is the kind of thing where you will get… you will get paid very well and I guess too… Should you make sure that you are doing it legally on the books as well? If you want to get paid the proper wage and not be taken advantage of?
Yeah obviously we always warn students there’s always going to be establishments that try to take advantage of the student. Generally speaking it’s pretty regulated so I wouldn’t… Like anything in the world, right, you always have to be wary about things that are legal or they take you out of the legality but generally speaking it’s pretty, pretty regulated. We also put students in contact with Fair Work in case they do have this problem of not getting paid or people that have been paid less than what they were supposed to. We have some success stories of people that, you know, didn’t know that they were being paid less than what they were supposed to, then finding out, going to Fair Work and actually going to court and winning. So Australia… That’s also one of the things that I love about Australia – is that it’s very regulated and that you will have the support of the government when it comes to the illegality that of establishments that do try to take advantage.
Well that’s what I’ve experienced a bit too. I mean I’ve in the past worked for establishments where they pay you what we get what we call “cash in hand”, where it’s off the books. It’s not legal. They give you the money but they give you… They require a certain amount of time. And they’ll generally pay you less than they would if you are on the books because they’re not getting taxed. So you do end up in that sort of situation it happens and maybe that’s your only option but I would say if you get… If you’re getting paid less than seventeen dollars an hour and they’re asking you to work more hours than say you’re legally allowed to be, I would be getting out of that situation and trying to find something better. And obviously if I can come and talk to you at Go Study to get advice and they can go to Fair Work too because I think the average Australian, too, won’t take too kindly to hearing about foreign people coming here and being taken advantage of. It pisses me off a lot.
That’ s a foreign person. if you don’t feel like it’s okay… if you feel uncomfortable about something that’s happening at work or even at the English schools, I take it, don’t just let it happen because of the language barrier or it’s a foreign country. Do definitely report it to someone and…
For sure, yeah! We always push people to actually report everything in the two instances. so if something is wrong at school we always push students to actually come and talk to us. That’s why we’re here: We’re here to help, we’re here to be able to support you, and if they are thinking that they’re being taken advantage of at work a lot of people have this worry “Oh! I’ve been working for two weeks. Cash in hand. I don’t like it. I think this is not what I’m supposed to do but I don’t want to report it because I am the one them working cash in hand!” Actually they are covered. Their work will not tell them that they’re the wrong ones, but the person that is in the wrong is the establishment that is paying cash in hand. So in that sense people who are… Think that they’re in… That they’re scared of reporting because they are working cash in hand, they shouldn’t because The wrongdoing is on the side of the establishment.
Exactly! If the government is going after anyone it’s not going to be you it’s the company. Alright, and so you’ve come to Australia, you’ve got the schools sorted, you’ve gotten housing sorted, you’ve got a job now. I guess, do you have anything to say with regards to the resume and how to get the job? Should you go to these places and hand them the resume yourself or can you do it online? What what sort of advice would you have?
We always tell students that 80 percent of the jobs that are available are not advertised online. So we always push students to actually go with their CVs, go around and give them personally. We are… In our job sessions that we do with our students, we help them with the creation of the CVs and adapting the CVs from their European version or their home country version to the Australian version. It’s a little bit different – it varies from country to country. But we try to adapt it obviously to Australian standards.
What do employers here usually want to see on the resume? Because I guess one key thing is, for me at least, working and handing out resumes. Keep it short and sweet, right? People don’t want to a novel. They don’t want you to hand them something like this and be like “I’m qualified!”.
So we always tell them to keep it short, keep it one page. And a lot of other countries you put a picture but in Australia you usually don’t include a picture.
Especially if you’ve walked in the yourself, obviously.
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Especially, yes. And another big thing is making sure that the jobs that you’re listing are things that will make sense with the job. So one of the most common things that, as international students we hear, when people grab our resumes, because we’re used to from Spain or Italy, to put it on is “You are all overqualified for this job!” So we tend to write everything that we’ve done and everything that we studied, so I’ll say “I have a masters degree in this and a bachelor degree in that and I worked in United Nations,” and then when they actually look at your CV and you’re applying for a waitress position they’ll say “Okay, well you’re overqualified. Why is someone that worked at the UN want to work in ah as a waitress?” So we always make sure that the student puts only the work that is related to the position that they’re asking for.
And that’s a really good point because that happens with us as well – with Australians here. I have to be careful when I go… when I went for jobs like that not to oversell myself because if they see that you’ve got you know a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree and you’re wanting to do you know waiting they’re going to be like this guy’s going to get bored he’s going to probably want a better job that pays more, so he is not going to stay here. He is going to leave a few months after starting. And so yeah, only put down the work that’s relevant to that job. Great, and so what are the opportunities though, too? Are you likely to get, you know, once you’ve finished the English school are there places that you can get jobs where you could lead to permanent residency or living in Australia too? Are there jobs that people should try and aim for if that’s their goal as opposed to just working in a cafe or?
So there’s many different possibilities right. A lot of people will come to Australia love and want to stay further the best way obviously to stay further let’s say you haven’t been studying for six months. It’s going into vocational training. So studying something that will increase your CV, will increase your knowledge, will still be able to give you a little bit more time to be in Australia and find a more qualified job. If the goal is to migrate to Australia that is a conversation that should be done with a migration agent. There’s obviously certain jobs or certain fields in which it is more likely to get a sponsor or there are jobs that are more likely to lead to a longer stay in Australia. But again that is something that needs to be discussed with a migration agent.
And that’s going to depend on you, right? That’s going to be a person-by-person kind of thing.
And not only that it also depends on a lot of luck. So we have a lot of students that might come here for six months do an interview for a part time job in a let’s say architects studio and have the luck that they were trying to sponsor or that they really love the way you work or for whatever reason you land a sponsorship within six months of being here. and I have students that’ve been here for four years studying and I have never landed anything more permanent. So really also depends on how you move yourself around.
I think a good example of that for me was having a friend who I worked with at the restaurant at Portillo Rosso who was Chilean and she’d come to Australia with her boyfriend who was studying at university on a partner visa, but she ended up becoming a shared manager of this restaurant. And then as a result of that… So she’d worked as a waitress and then got sort of promoted to managing and through managing they could sponsor her then to permanently live in Australia, potentially at least for the next four years, and so that’s something to think about too. When you get one of these jobs in a cafe you may still be able to climb the ladder and get an important role that they could then sponsor you for to keep you’re in Australia.
Now one of the biggest tips that can be given to the student who comes to Australia maybe likes or wants to stay is to remember that they can move diagonally within their sector so that even if they did study microbiology in their home country maybe they come here and they start working in the restaurant. If their goal is to be able to stay here maybe they will have to sort of explore the possibility of you know going towards restaurant manager or move diagonally towards a different goal than what they thought that they wanted to do.
And so what have you found with students who have come to Australia and they’ve done these English courses, they’ve got their English to a really good level, they’ve got a decent job like this. What tends to be the outcomes after that. Do they end up, you know, getting hired getting PR here? migrating to Australia or travelling Australia or do they end up leaving Australia? What tends to be the patterns of what happens?
So it really actually is interesting because it really depends on, and this is very broadly speaking, but it depends a lot on nationalities. So different nationalities would look for different outcomes for them in Australia. So generally speaking for example the Spanish student will look to have an experience here in Australia. Will be here for generally a year or two years and then they’ll go back home. Italians, on the contrary, will come here and will try to stay here forever and ever. So it really depends on where they come from or what their goals are. Generally speaking let’s say the lifespan of a student will start with English, go into vocational training, and once they’ve done vocational training are sort of splits in two. so one side of the population , or let’s say of the students, who will try to find either sponsorship or skill migration vias or partner visas or say without furthering their studies. The other the other part will try to do something like master’s degree and spend a little more time pursuing a career in furthering their knowledge.
So that’s a good segway too. You’ve come here, you’ve enrolled initially into an English course because you had zero english or you had you know a little bit of English. You’ve gotten into fluent and you can communicate. What are the options and what should you do once that first course finishes?
So once a first course, and let’s say that the first cours is the English course, the best way or the easiest way to be able to stay in Australia and further your career is like I said going in to VET courses. so VET courses are vocational training courses and those courses will be able to give a little bit extra push in what you’ve already studied. So usually are things like business and management or a leadership management courses business marketing and communications so it’s things that will give extra skills to the to the student. Those courses generally are let’s say are more specific and will give a little bit extra to the student but might not necessarily mean that are open PR opportunities.
So do you have to hunt for those yourself to some degree? it’s a little more on you to try and find certain jobs or opportunities with companies in order to try and get PR?
So in order to. If a student’s goal is to get PR again they need to sit down with the migration lawyer. They’ll be able to actually sit down, look at what you’ve done home, what you have been doing here, what your career looks like, and be able to guide you and say “okay look perfect you you’ve been an architect look there are looking for architects in rural Australia you’re up your best option is to go and try to work in Adelaide,” for example, “for 2 years.” And that will be able to give you a little bit more opportunities.
So is that something that you should have in mind when you get here a year early you just realise that it may not be that you just get to decide “I want to go to Melbourne I want to live in Melbourne I want to get PR and citizenship,” you need to be open to moving around Australia, doing different jobs, at least in the short term before those things are likely to happen.
Definitely! Definitely if the goal is to try to migrate permanently, obviously keep an open mind in being able to find your place wherever it’s needed, right. But The best thing that we can do… And students can come here and I’ll be more than happy to give them options in migration lawyers that we work with…
That was my next question – how do I get in touch with these people?
So usually we recommend i-Migration. They are our preferred partner but there are plenty of partners all around Australia that obviously cater to international students. If students go to i-Migration and say that they’ve come through Go Study of they’re learned from coming to the office or from this are from this interview, they’ll be able to get a little discount on the first on the first consultation. But I would definitely, definitely push students that if their goal is to move permanently to Australia they need to speak to a qualified migration agent.
Ah brilliant! And I guess, before we sort of finish up since you’ve given us so much good information here I want to get it out there but, what’s your experience been, and I guess reported experiences from other people in all the different cities in Australia? Are there places that you would recommend going or trying first or not going? How have you found that?
So again there are so many people in the world that it depends a lot on what you’re looking for, right. In terms of choosing your destination. I would definitely see what it is that the is. So for example if it is very important for student to be able to work to sustain themselves I would push them to come to Melbourne. Melbourne, for right now, is the best city to come to be able to actually work and sustain yourself while your studying. There isn’t a lot of competition per say with other international students so all of us students right now are working. If you’re looking to have an experience a little bit more towards what is sold to us from offshore of Beaches and surfing, I’d probably go to Queensland, not to Melbourne.
You going to be about an hour and a half away from any decent beach in Melbourne.
Exactly! So… But if they want to have sort of that experience of… Look, maybe the job is not as important but what I want is having a good surfing experience and having a great Australian, how we see it in TV, Let’s say, I would go up to Queensland. But from all the cities that I’ve been… Obviously I haven’t been in all of the cities of Australia but from my experience all of the students that come to Melbourne usually have the most complete experience in terms of their Australian experience.
So would you even just suggest start here and… You know, because you can move cities, I take it, if they want to move English schools to is that a possibility?
Yes a lot of schools actually have campuses in various cities. I would also probably recommend coming to Melbourne, starting your experience in Melbourne, maybe in summer, and then move towards… In winter move towards other destinations. You can definitely already plan your trip or your stay in Australia like that. A lot of students do. Three months in one city, three months in another. Experience both cities and have a little bit more of an overall experience.
And so are there any places you should stay away from? Not necessarily because they’re bad but because you will have fewer opportunities to get a decent school or to get work or to get accommodation?
Not necessarily. Smaller cities obviously will have less job opportunities. So for example, when we talk about a student that really really needs to be able to find a job quickly to be able to sustain themselves in Australia I’d probably wouldn’t recommend them to go to Gold Coast in winter. Gold Coast in winter, there won’t be a lot of opportunity. There’s not a lot of jobs. Gold Coast in summer? Yes! lots of approachable…
Lots of tourist lots of jobs!
A lot of stuff to do and probably be able to find a job. So there isn’t anything that you would be… That I would steer off. In any city you’d be able to find a decent school and decent opportunity.
I guess a good point to make there, a good anecdote, is my girlfriend came to Australia maybe two and a half years ago and she went straight to Townsville, which is an isolated small town. I think it’s like one or two hundred thousand people in northern Queensland, and she couldn’t find a job for a year, so she had enough money to support herself and she was studying. But yeah, she couldn’t find a decent job for a year. But the good thing was she did all this volunteer work. So for people who can’t find a job and if you’re seeing the job as a way of interacting with native speakers I’m sure that you’ll be able to find a plethora of volunteering opportunities if you want to work with animals or people or events that you will still enable you to practice your English. That was how she did it for the first year she… I think she was during school but then she was also just volunteering all the time and it really took her English up and then after that actually she got all these references from the volunteer places that helped her get a really good job. So there’s opportunities there. Awesome, no worries! Well Lorena from Go Study Australia. Thank you so much. How can people find out more about Go Study Australia and get in contact with you guys?
Yeah you can go to our Website: GoStudy.com.au . You can find us on Facebook, you can add me on my personal Facebook profile. And yeah I mean, from, if you’re offshore, if you’re in Italy France or Spain you can go to our offices there. If you’re here in Australia, in Melbourne Sydney, Perth or Brisbane you can stop by. Or if you need anything you can just contact us online.
Brilliant! And I guess that’s the biggest takeaway, guys; Don’t do this alone. Contact places like Go study Australia and get help. If you have questions… If they can’t help you they’re going to let you know but you’re not going to know unless you ask. So, awesome! Well thank you so much for your time.
No I thank you Pete!
My pleasure! We’ll have to do this again soon and I guess if you guys have any questions that we didn’t cover in today’s interview make sure to put them below wherever you’re watching this or listening to this and hopefully I can get there around here again in the future and ask her those questions so Cheers guys! Cya soon!
Alright, guys, so I hope you enjoy that interview. Remember that if you would like any kind of help or advice with regards to studying English in Australia, finding accommodation, finding a job, make sure that you contact Go Study Australia, guys. Okay?
And yeah, big thanks to Lorena. I’m going to try and get her again on the podcast and interview her about some other things with regards to coming to Australia and studying here. So, if you guys have any kinds of questions that you would like me to ask her specifically next time, make sure that you e-mail me them or comment them on this episode of the podcast. Just get in contact with me and let me know what more I can do to get you information from Go Study Australia or from Lorena.
Anyway, thanks for joining me today, guys. I really appreciate it. And I’ll see you soon. See ya.