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University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Old Apr 22nd 2019, 4:51 am
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Default University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Sorry for the long message, any input is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

I'm hoping to get some information on going to University in Australia. My daughter is just finishing grade 10 here in Canada and has been talking the last few years about returning to Australia for University. She does have citizenship, we live in OZ from 2007-2010 and we all have citizenship now.

She will either graduate high school here in January or June 2021 (so approx 2 years away). I've done a search and looked online so I know the basics but still have a few questions.

1. Application Deadlines - it seems applications are due around November of each year. Could she apply much earlier if she finishes high school in Jan or June? Alternatively is it easy to defer studies for a year so that she would start the following January?

2. Semesters - I'm assuming most students start university at the end of February. Is it relatively common for students to start in the second semester instead? I just think it would be easier for her to start along with the majority of students but arriving for term 2 would give her more time to move back to Australia.

3. ATAR scores - I have found some grade equivalency charts from Canada to Australia. I've seen ATAR rankings mentioned a lot. I'm assuming she wouldn't be able to get one of those unless she lived in Australia. Is there a benefit to writing the american SAT test so there is another comparison?

4. HECS loans - Since she is a citizen I know she can apply as a domestic student. Does that also mean she can get a commonwealth supported place as well (I'm not sure if that's the same thing or not)? It appears as though she can also get a HECS loan too. Are there any requirements that we need to be currently living in Australia prior to university? Since we are Canada it would be a big move for her so it's important that she be able to get a loan for her studies. Is this income tested?

5. LAW degrees - She's still figuring out what she wants to do. It's looking like law or some type of criminology degree are her favourite options. Is there much demand for either of these careers? Any good universities that would be great for this? She seems to be maintaining around a 90% average and is very motivated and focused so I'm hoping that stays the same!

6. Under 18 years old (issues?) - I know she won't be the first kid to go off to University but I'm wondering if there could be issues given that she will be just 17 when she goes. We would still be in Canada so she would be on her own for the most part. I do have some friends from Brisbane area I still keep in touch with on Facebook so hopefully we'll at least have an emergency contact there. I'm just thinking any government dealings like getting drivers licences, health care, etc, would there need to be parent signatures? She would turn 17 the December before she graduates (in either Jan/June) so that's why it would be preferable if she could arrive a bit later and start with her age cohort the following January.

On an unrelated note my daughter loves to play softball (fastpitch) and it appears as though there isn't much of that there. If there happen to be any university that have teams that would be a bonus!

Last edited by comet555; Apr 22nd 2019 at 5:02 am.
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Old Apr 22nd 2019, 6:16 am
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

I am able to answer a few of these:

1. Tons of students defer entry to do a gap year or whatever.

2. Many universities will insist that a cohort travel through a program together, so starting Semester 2 may not be possible. Don't assume mid-year entry will be possible.

3. ATAR Scores - ATAR is a ranking of Australian high school students by score at the end of Year 12. To get an ATAR score you need to have done "ATAR" designated classes and exams at an Australian high school in Year 11 or 12. ATAR classes are taken by students on a university-entrance pathway in high school. Foreign marks/scores can be converted into an equivalent ATAR school but I am murky about the process (I do know, for instance, if your daughter has been doing AP, that translates very well to ATAR). I would recommend you call an international admissions counselor for one of your daughter's chosen universities to get a better sense of it, and whether SATs etc would be useful. Being a "domestic" student may complicate that. Some things are allowed to generate an equivalent ATAR, but only for international students, it gets thrown out if you apply as domestic. The international admissions person can hand-ball you to one of the domestic counselors as required.

4. HECS and CSPs are very different. HECS is a loan that needs to be paid back. CSPs are effectively Commonwealth grants that do not need to be paid back.

5. Law degrees - there is an absolute glut of lawyers in Australia at the moment, and many new law graduates are struggling massively to find work. The universities here pump out way too many graduates for available positions - not just in this field.

6. Yes, being under 18 could be a complicating factor in some things.

I assume she intends to remain in Australia. Doing an Australian university degree and then returning to Canada after, will create a lot of headaches, expense and unnecessary complications.

Last edited by carcajou; Apr 22nd 2019 at 6:18 am.
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Old Apr 22nd 2019, 7:03 am
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Thank you so much! Yes, as of right now she's planning on staying in Australia once she is done. She's young though so that could change but we have discussed the ramifications of transferring things back and forth. She has also seen myself and my husband transfer our qualifications overseas and across Canada so she understands it's a process! I have told her there looks to be a pile of lawyers out there so I'm happy to have confirmation of this! She had originally wanted physiotherapy however we have since discovered she has a condition that causes her joints to subluxate frequently. So physio is out and she's looking for a plan B. Thankfully she has a few other things that interest her other than just being a lawyer.

So it sounds like the most workable plan would be for her to graduate in Jan or June 2021 and then defer her entrance to the following January. Which would be great since she would be 18 by then and would also be back with her age group in Australia. This would also give her 6-12 months to get over there and work for a while before school starts. We'd still have a few issues if she was 17 when she arrived but lots of time to work that out.

Will definitely be in touch with the admissions office as I was having the same questions regarding overseas qualifications and also being a domestic student at the same time. It's not your normal scenario so will definitely get their input.
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Old Apr 22nd 2019, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

HECS was replaced by HELP (Higher Education Loan Program) some time ago. Students with a CSP can apply for a HECS-HELP loan, those without a CSP can apply for a FEE-HELP loan. Up to date information, including eligibility criteria, here https://www.education.gov.au/higher-...n-program-help
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Old Apr 22nd 2019, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

What are the criteria for getting a CSP? Does every domestic student get a CSP or is it somehow income tested? From what I can see there isn't a residence requirement unless you hold a New Zealand special category visa or something.

I'm not as worried about the CSP place I just want her to be able to get a student loan, and to get that it looks like you need a CSP!
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Old Apr 22nd 2019, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Originally Posted by comet555 View Post
What are the criteria for getting a CSP? Does every domestic student get a CSP or is it somehow income tested? From what I can see there isn't a residence requirement unless you hold a New Zealand special category visa or something.

I'm not as worried about the CSP place I just want her to be able to get a student loan, and to get that it looks like you need a CSP!
https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-...ed-places-csps
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Old Apr 22nd 2019, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

I can second the issue of overseas qualifications and being an Australian citizen. My son applied with A levels (incidentally he started mid year for his course) and as a domestic student and the central admissions computer said “no”.
He had to go and speak to a councillor at the UNi to sort it. The application still needed to go through the central system but she told him how to fill it in to stop the automatic rejection.

You need to speak directly to the university under consideration so the admissions tutor can advise if qualifications are acceptable. Sometimes it isn’t just the level but the content that is important. My son needed more maths for his course, but the modular system here meant he could start another closely related degree to do that module then transfer to the preferred degree with that and other modules in hand.

The system is also flexible, he is doing one less module per semester to allow him to work and live independently (no loan for that here) he can catch up at summer school or add them on later. You pay as you go per module so no extra charge if you take another year (apart from some admin charges). It also means that you can pack them all into less time if you want.

The amount of flexibility will depend on the uni and the actual course of study.

As many students take a year out after year 12 she will be young for her cohort. I would consider deferring a place allowing her to get some work experience (anything dealing with the public is good) and find her feet in a new country. As most students here live at home there isn’t as much opportunity to make close friends like you do living in student digs.

My my son is older, hence living independently and says it can be a remote experience as many don’t even go to lectures as they are available on line.
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Old Apr 22nd 2019, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Thank you! Will definitely be speaking with admissions on the phone then when the time comes. I figured it would be more complicated being domestic with overseas qualifications but I'm certain they can sort it out with a little time and effort!

I think the rough plan would be to graduate by January/June 2021 at the latest and differ that until Feb 2022. That would give her at least 7-12 months to move over early and spend a lot of time working in the area and getting used to things. When she starts uni in Feb 2022 she would be 18 so would be with her age group although would still be on the young side there I believe. I don't really want her to push it back any farther though!

Thanks for the heads up on the course content. I will do some looking online for some course comparisons and will probably try and talk to admission too in case they have some more information to help guide us.
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Old Apr 24th 2019, 3:43 am
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

hey folks here's some additional info that might help

1. Application Deadlines - it seems applications are due around November of each year. Could she apply much earlier if she finishes high school in Jan or June? Alternatively is it easy to defer studies for a year so that she would start the following January?
I think you're talking about your daughter studying in in Brisbane so the application centre that deals with Queensland is QTAC - ideally she should apply by end of September if she wants to start uni in the following Feb, or if she is going for mid-year entry apply by end of May = here is qtac's link: https://applications.qtac.edu.au/account/register.xhtml. apply before the end of September as it is double price after that - she could definitely still apply in November will just cost more money. Based on what others have said, I agree that waiting until she is 18 before starting uni would be best. You can definitely defer, most unis will let you defer for a year, and some unis two years. So she could apply next year and be offered a place then defer it.

2. Semesters - I'm assuming most students start university at the end of February. Is it relatively common for students to start in the second semester instead? I just think it would be easier for her to start along with the majority of students but arriving for term 2 would give her more time to move back to Australia.
As mentioned by someone else, some degrees don't have a mid-year intake so that will determine whether she starts Feb or July. Sometimes starting mid-year can mess things around with the study plan being a bit back to front so Feb start is fine.

3. ATAR scores - I have found some grade equivalency charts from Canada to Australia. I've seen ATAR rankings mentioned a lot. I'm assuming she wouldn't be able to get one of those unless she lived in Australia. Is there a benefit to writing the american SAT test so there is another comparison?
QTAC will assess her Canadian qualifications - and then assign her an atar score based on those. You mentioned the American sat test, yes that score will also be used by qtac to assign an atar score. In QLD there is also an equivalent STAT test, I think it's a very hard test to sit but again this can be used to be assigned an atar score - here's some more info on the stat: https://stat.acer.org/files/STAT_CIB.pdf - you can actually call qtac on 1300 467 822 - ask them about the schooling your daughter is doing and what possible atar score she might get - they are usually very helpful.

4. HECS loans - Since she is a citizen I know she can apply as a domestic student. Does that also mean she can get a commonwealth supported place as well (I'm not sure if that's the same thing or not)? It appears as though she can also get a HECS loan too. Are there any requirements that we need to be currently living in Australia prior to university? Since we are Canada it would be a big move for her so it's important that she be able to get a loan for her studies. Is this income tested?
Commonwealth supported (csp) means you get a discount e.g. if she studies law her fee for a year (8 subjects) will be around $11000 per year, if she was not eligible for a csp this would be around three times as much. The hecs loan is separate thing - yes she is a citizen so she will not have to pay upfront to study, each time she enrols in a subject the uni will ask her how she is paying for that subject and she will tick the 'hecs' box. At the moment repayments are only made on hecs loans if someone is earning around $900 per week, and the repayment is about $40 or $50 per week and you don't see it as it goes from your tax. hecs is not income tested - she's good to go.

5. LAW degrees - She's still figuring out what she wants to do. It's looking like law or some type of criminology degree are her favourite options. Is there much demand for either of these careers? Any good universities that would be great for this? She seems to be maintaining around a 90% average and is very motivated and focused so I'm hoping that stays the same!
Choose a uni that's convenient, most employers are not concerned with where people study - I am linked to the Australian Association of Graduate Employers, all of their recruiters will say it does not matter which uni people attend - they're looking for a combination of good grades, work experience and employability skills. Many of these employers will recruit from any degree - have a look here at the types of employers that recruit from a law degree, I think you'll find it very interesting - at the end of uni she will be applying for a graduate program not a job - I find that less than a third of law graduates go onto become a legal practitioner, most law graduates go onto other areas of work - law is a very attractive degree to employers (that's not saying others aren't) - check out this link:
https://au.gradconnection.com/graduate-jobs/law/


Here's an example degree if she likes law and criminology
https://www.qut.edu.au/courses/bache...f-laws-honours


6. Under 18 years old (issues?) - I know she won't be the first kid to go off to University but I'm wondering if there could be issues given that she will be just 17 when she goes. We would still be in Canada so she would be on her own for the most part. I do have some friends from Brisbane area I still keep in touch with on Facebook so hopefully we'll at least have an emergency contact there. I'm just thinking any government dealings like getting drivers licences, health care, etc, would there need to be parent signatures? She would turn 17 the December before she graduates (in either Jan/June) so that's why it would be preferable if she could arrive a bit later and start with her age cohort the following January.
Wait until she is 18 to start uni

On an unrelated note my daughter loves to play softball (fastpitch) and it appears as though there isn't much of that there. If there happen to be any university that have teams that would be a bonus![/QUOTE]
Lots of unis have softball teams - check out social media sport pages of the unis around Brisbane - here's an example:
https://www.facebook.com/UQ-Universi...4734283424947/

There's also a Brisbane softball association she should hook up with:
Brisbane | Softball Queensland

Hope that helps, let me know if have any other q's
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Old Apr 24th 2019, 4:11 am
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Thanks for that joeyballantyne!

That definitely clarified a few things for me. I had come across the QTAC site and was going to look into that later, so I think I'll get her to set up an account and see if she can start gathering some info. I haven't heard of the STAT test before and it looks like it can be done online while overseas so that is fantastic news! I will try to see how her Canadian credentials transfer over first but it's good to know if that doesn't go well there would be the option to try a placement test. Because of her early graduation time it should help give her time to take the test a couple times.

Also... I thought November was a bit early to apply for uni so I'm happy you mentioned September. Our summer vacation is July to August so we'll have lots of time to get that sorted.

I will pass on that program to her and the lawyer links as it's good for her to see alternatives in the field. She has expressed an interest in the crimonology aspect for things like crime statistics, anti-terrorism, etc. I'm trying to get her to pick jobs she is interested and work backwards a bit to find a degree that best suits her interests.
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Old Apr 24th 2019, 4:32 am
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Originally Posted by comet555 View Post
Thanks for that joeyballantyne!

That definitely clarified a few things for me. I had come across the QTAC site and was going to look into that later, so I think I'll get her to set up an account and see if she can start gathering some info. I haven't heard of the STAT test before and it looks like it can be done online while overseas so that is fantastic news! I will try to see how her Canadian credentials transfer over first but it's good to know if that doesn't go well there would be the option to try a placement test. Because of her early graduation time it should help give her time to take the test a couple times.

Also... I thought November was a bit early to apply for uni so I'm happy you mentioned September. Our summer vacation is July to August so we'll have lots of time to get that sorted.

I will pass on that program to her and the lawyer links as it's good for her to see alternatives in the field. She has expressed an interest in the crimonology aspect for things like crime statistics, anti-terrorism, etc. I'm trying to get her to pick jobs she is interested and work backwards a bit to find a degree that best suits her interests.
If she is keen on anti terrorism etc these are a couple of example grad programs:

https://www.afp.gov.au/careers/graduate-program

https://www.asis.gov.au/Careers/Graduate-Program.html

you're welcome to the admissions info - there are other plan B's so don't panic - if for any reasons she does not get an atar based on senior schooling there is a program called tertiary preparation which anyone can take - it gives you an equivalent atar score for uni and also helps you practice uni subjects and how to study at uni - and it's free - here's a couple of examples:

https://future-students.uq.edu.au/st...Non-Award-1100

https://www.usc.edu.au/learn/courses...on-pathway-tpp

Let me know how you go - cheers!
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Old Apr 24th 2019, 4:33 am
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Originally Posted by comet555 View Post
Thanks for that joeyballantyne!

That definitely clarified a few things for me. I had come across the QTAC site and was going to look into that later, so I think I'll get her to set up an account and see if she can start gathering some info. I haven't heard of the STAT test before and it looks like it can be done online while overseas so that is fantastic news! I will try to see how her Canadian credentials transfer over first but it's good to know if that doesn't go well there would be the option to try a placement test. Because of her early graduation time it should help give her time to take the test a couple times.

Also... I thought November was a bit early to apply for uni so I'm happy you mentioned September. Our summer vacation is July to August so we'll have lots of time to get that sorted.

I will pass on that program to her and the lawyer links as it's good for her to see alternatives in the field. She has expressed an interest in the crimonology aspect for things like crime statistics, anti-terrorism, etc. I'm trying to get her to pick jobs she is interested and work backwards a bit to find a degree that best suits her interests.

best website for picking jobs and then looking at the related courses is this one:
https://www.gooduniversitiesguide.com.au/careers-guide
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Old Apr 24th 2019, 4:53 am
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Thanks! That looks like a great site
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Old Apr 24th 2019, 5:13 am
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Seeing that you are a high school teacher in the Canada forum, and your signature line, did you teach in Australia? Are you willing/wanting to come back? If so, that may be the easiest/simplest solution.

If you are willing to go country for a few years, I believe Queensland still has the transfer point system in place and so while getting a position in Brisbane / Gold Coast / etc will be monumentally difficult initially, it is viable if you are willing to put in the "hard yards" out country for a little while.
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Old Apr 24th 2019, 5:25 am
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Default Re: University Questions - OZ citizenship but in Canada now

Yes, I am a teacher here in Canada. I didn't teach while in Australia as I had two very small children when we were there. I did have my teaching certificate switched over so I do hold a Queensland one (although not kept current). So teaching there would be a possibility in the future.

There are no plans to return just yet. I want to make sure the youngest graduates high school and there aren't any kids left at home. After that we will see but I would definitely love to return someday. If my daughter stays there as she intends to there will all the more reason to move over again eventually. Teaching regionally would definitely be an option as my husband is a mining engineer so there are decent odds he would be placed somewhere around a mine which usually means lots of teaching positions. So good combination of jobs for us!

We'll see where the next few years takes us. The youngest will graduate high school in about 5 years and after that who knows.
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