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Has anybody earned their *entire* degree overseas (Australia)

MawsonMawson Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
edited June 2013 in Study Abroad
Or do you know anyone who has? I plan to earn my undergrad degree from an Australian university — I lived in Brisbane for a year during one of my dad's business trips and during that time, I altogether fell in love with Oz and I'm hoping to return to study my undergrad (thankfully, my parents are lending me their financial support for this).

I plan to study a Bachelor of Science in Geology or Biology, Australia being a great location for research in both fields. Hopefully I'll be able to find an employment position following my graduation, allowing me to obtain a work visa and further my goals of living in Australia, but if I am unable to find a job, I am hoping that my Australian degree would be well recognized in the United States and internationally.

So, my question to the community is if anyone has earned their entire degree overseas (specifically Australia, as Canada and the UK are actually quite common) — or do you know anyone who has? If so, what uni did you attend, what did you study, and what did you end up doing following graduation: did you find employment in Australia, or did you return home and find employment in the US?

I know someone (an American) currently studying her entire degree at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, but until she graduates and finds (or doesn't find) a job, I won't know if it turned out to be a viable plan.

Study abroad is always an option of course, but I really hate this idea as it would make me feel like a tourist and rob me of the chance to make lasting connections — I've lived in Australia before so this time around I'm looking for more than what is essentially an extended vacation trip.
Post edited by Mawson on

Replies to: Has anybody earned their *entire* degree overseas (Australia)

  • keepittoyourselfkeepittoyourself Registered User Posts: 1,546 Senior Member
    Study abroad is always an option of course, but I really hate this idea as it would make me feel like a tourist and rob me of the chance to make lasting connections — I've lived in Australia before so this time around I'm looking for more than what is essentially an extended vacation trip.

    Way to burst the bubble of your audience.
  • schrodingerscatschrodingerscat Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    I've done the reverse - I'm an Australian earning my entire degree in the US.

    How well your degree is received would probably depend on where you go. A lot of Americans who I've met - particularly those in more academic settings - have heard of ANU, Melbourne University, University of Sydney, and so on. Top tier universities in Australia are equivalent to second tier universities in the US (Berkeley, UCLA, Duke, etc) but might have fewer financial resources than the American private equivalents. I think you'll be fine in terms of your education, especially if you do biology or geology. The best place for geology is ANU; the best place for biomedicine is the University of Melbourne. Both are excellent in those fields.
  • MawsonMawson Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    keepittoyourself —*Personal preference really. Sorry if I came across as arrogant, I did kind of get that vibe reading it back.
  • MawsonMawson Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    schrodingerscat —

    That's very cool, what US school are you attending?

    The Group of Eight (UM, ANU, UQ, etc.) were my initial considerations but their international tuition is really high, so I've been looking more at the second tier Aussie schools like Wollongong, Newcastle, Uni SA, Griffith, and U Tasmania — which still out-perform many well regarded US schools in world rankings. Wollongong and a couple of other schools give pretty generous scholarships for int. students as well.
  • keepittoyourselfkeepittoyourself Registered User Posts: 1,546 Senior Member
    keepittoyourself —*Personal preference really. Sorry if I came across as arrogant, I did kind of get that vibe reading it back.

    No problem! For what it's worth I agree with you, but it's not a popular opinion around here.
  • schrodingerscatschrodingerscat Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    I go to Yale.

    Hmm do you have a firm idea of what you'll major in? Because if you're interested in something like tropical medicine/ecology, a "second tier" school in Queensland might actually be better for you than another place (even a G8). Think about what you're interested in, and target the schools with strong programs in these areas which also have good scholarships. Even the scholarships at second tier places will be competitive, as Australia has a lot of international students, particularly from China and South-East Asia. Places like RMIT are also pretty well respected, even though they're not G8.
  • MawsonMawson Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thank you for the advice, I'm fairly certain that Geology will be my choice for a major.

    The scholarships I mentioned (from Wollongong and UTAS) are 'no quota' scholarships where you receive a tuition discount as long as you meet high-performing academic requirements (I contacted Wollongong and I do in fact meet theirs).

    Overall, Uni South Australia is one of my favorite options because of the livability of Adelaide, the potential immigration sponsorship from a regional state, and because the university seems to be a well-rounded and modern school of good quality.

    Another question I have is if there is a huge difference between a Bachelor's degree with Honours (4 years) and a regular Bachelor's degree (3 years). Three years at a G8 school would likely cost about the same as 4 years at one of the other schools I've mentioned, so this is something worth considering. Also, would a 3 year Bachelor's degree (without Honours) from Australia be held in the same regard as a 4 year degree from the US? I know that degrees in Australia are shorter than US degrees because of the more focused curriculum, but I'm not sure if US employers will be aware of this difference.

    My uni choice will definitely require balancing academic quality, financial costs, and other factors.
  • schrodingerscatschrodingerscat Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    If you want to do geology, I'd say that you probably need at least honours to be competitive, as a lot more people are starting to take geology given the mining boom. Generally a three year degree in Australia is regarded the same way as a four year degree in the US, but honours is always a prerequisite for research.
  • MawsonMawson Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thanks heaps for all of your help, schrodingerscat.

    Reviewing the tuition costs for different Aussie unis, ANU may actually be a viable option for me. International tuition for a BSc will be roughly $30k, which is pretty low for a G8 school — Uni Queensland is $37k, for example. Because ANU has one of the best geology / earth sciences programs in the world (as you mentioned) and it is also one of the world's highest ranked unis, it would actually make a lot of sense to go to ANU, so I'll definitely be applying. Canberra seems like a pretty nice place, in spite of all the trash talk it gets.
  • schrodingerscatschrodingerscat Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    Ah, Canberra. I spent 6 months living there, so if you need advice about things related to ANU or Canberra itself, feel free to message me privately. Best of luck with all of your applications!
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