Applying to Australian universities: How does it work?

18 March 2021

If you’re considering applying to Australian universities, you might have a few questions about “how this whole thing works.” Let us explain!

While all-day stretchy pants are indeed a COVID perk, one big trade-off is actually being able to get out and meet students face-to-face on campus, at coffee shops, or at one of our Study in Australia fairs. These 10-minute chats are so helpful in being able to explain, even briefly, how this whole thing “works.”

study in australia
Learn more about how you can study in Australia

By the time we meet, most of our students have gone through some central application system and understand the concept of a university application. However, very few have applied to universities in another country, using a different grade-point scale, with seasons that are opposite, and new words like “sem” and “uni.”

Welcome to the world where school starts in February, summer is over the holidays, and winter is, well, just not.

So, let’s have that little chat in the form of our “Top 5 questions” we’re asked at the beginning of this journey!

1. When do I start the process?
Most students will start the process about a year prior to the time the program starts. For most, “semester 1” (think Fall semester!) intake, most of our students have started their applications with OzTREKK in January / February of the year before.

Most programs (especially programs with heavy clinical practice) like medicine, dentistry, vet, etc. will start in February. Physio is a program that doesn’t abide by this rule. We have physio programs that start in January, February, May, July, and November. When in doubt, just ask your admissions officer.

2. What happens after I start the application? What’s ahead?
When you start your application with OzTREKK, it’s a bit of a placeholder. It allows us to understand your academic history and in which program area you’re interested. It’s pretty simple and should take about 5 minutes. Once we get your file started, we’ll send you an email with a list of documents that we’ll require to complete your application(s) and we’ll let you know as we receive them. Of course, we’ll remind you if we’re missing anything or if there is a deadline ahead. Our goal is to make it super simple and straightforward. During the waiting period (which can be very stressful!), we’ll give you information that you’ll require if you are to receive an offer—financing, payments, accommodation, student visas, etc.

3. Can I speak with you?
Absolutely! This is one of our favorite parts. Often a 15-minute phone chat or Zoom call can be the most efficient and effective way for us to get to really understand your goals and desires. We also offer counselling sessions if you’re not yet ready to apply and want to understand your options, too. Just contact or your admissions officer directly. As we literally see tens of thousands of transcripts annually, we’re in a pretty good place to give you the truth. There are never “too many questions.” You have earned the right to ask whatever is on your mind.

4. Can I bring my degree back to Canada?
The short answer is yes, but it’s really important for you to know that each profession and, often, each province has a different process and may have different requirements. It is your responsibility to understand what you need to return. We do our best and have created a lot of information and guidance on our Licensing page, but strongly encourage you to contact your provincial regulatory body to ensure you’re 100% clear on returning.

If you’re in a program in which hours are important (e.g., physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech path, etc.), we encourage you to keep track of your hours as you progress through the degree. The last thing you want to discover, six months after graduation, is that you need 10 more hours in a certain field.

5. What else should I know?
Initially, this is a good start. But the last little “tip” or piece of advice we’d offer all students is this: Show us your cards—there is a lot going on for all our students. For some, Australia is a back-up plan. For others, they just want to see “what if.” And some have the exact university picked out already. Tell us. We are on your side. The more information you can share with us, the more helpful we can be. Know that we’ll always be honest, too. We can’t make too many promises, but we do promise to tell you the truth.

So, with that, do you have any questions? 😊

OzTREKK Director Jaime Notman

We’re here to help!

You’re invited to our upcoming OzTREKK 101 webinar! Find out how OzTREKK supports students to make their dream of studying in Australia or New Zealand come true!

During this webinar, OzTREKK’s Admissions Manager Krista McVeigh will explain it all, including the many services we provide. She’ll also share our tips and tricks for submitting your best application!

OzTREKK 101: How This Actually Works!

Monday, March 22, 2021
3 p.m. EDT/ 1 p.m. MDT/ 12 p.m. PDT
Register here!

Do you have any questions about this webinar? Please contact us at for more details!