Population: 22,557,635 (2011 estimate)
Ethnicities: 92% Caucasian, 7% Asian, 1% Aboriginal and other
Religion: 26.1% Anglican, 26% Roman Catholic, 24.3% other Christian, 11% non-Christian, 12% other
Currency: Australian dollar (AUS$), A$1.0 = RMB6.6
English is the official language of Australia, and their slang-filled version of it is nicknamed “Strine.” Non-native speakers may find it slightly difficult to understand at first, but will soon get used to its quirks.
Aboriginal languages are spoken among Australia’s indigenous people; and Mandarin, Cantonese, Italian, Greek and Arabic are widely spoken thanks to migration from Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Forty thousand years before Europeans arrived on Australia’s shores, the island was populated by Aboriginals and Torres Straits islanders. By the time Dutch explorers landed in 1606, there were 300,000 indigenous people living there. The eastern half of the island was claimed by the British in 1770 and used as a penal colony to replace the ones that were lost when America claimed independence. The first convicts arrived in Botany Bay in 1788, and the penal colony eventually grew into Sydney.
Transportation of convicts officially ended in 1849, but continued in Western Australia until 1868. Over a period of 80 years, 160,000 convicts arrived on the island, along with around 50,000 free settlers per year. The gold rush of the 1850s attracted even more, and the colonies joined together in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia.
Initially, Australia’s population was made up of Aborigines and people of British and Irish heritage. The years immediately after World War Two brought heavy migration from Europe, particularly from Greece, Lebanon, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey. Recent years have seen an influx of migrants from Southeast Asia, creating the multicultural population that Australia is so proud of today.
All of Australia’s major cities have excellent public transport systems, and the pleasant weather means that getting around on foot is a viable option too.
Australian student visas are organized into four classifications, and the MBA falls into Assessment 4. You can apply for your visa when you receive your university offer letter and the electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE). However, be aware that the visa office cannot grant your visa without the eCoE; the offer letter is not sufficient.
To apply for a visa, visit the nearest Australian embassy or consulate. An online application system is also available. Applicants must prove they have access to at least AUS$18,000 for living costs.
Applicants must also obtain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of their stay in Australia. The private health insurance scheme must be paid for before a visa can be issued. The OSHC is renewable every year, and in many cases, universities or business schools in Australia will organize it for international students.