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Foundation courses --- a pathway into
Foundation courses allow students to prepare for academic study and adjust to Australian culture
and the style of teaching before beginning their studies. Some courses provide academic credit and
direct entry to related degree programs.
for in-depth information about courses,
institutions and scholarships.
Who offers foundation courses?
Technical and Further Education (TAFE)
institutes, universities and specialist
foundation colleges all offer foundation
courses to international students.
Some foundation courses are taught at
university (or other institution) campuses,
which gives students the advantage of
having access to institution facilities such
as libraries and computer laboratories, as
well as health and housing services, sports
centres and student clubs.
Courses and qualifications
There are two major advantages of studying
a foundation course in Australia:
• Foundation courses allow students to
get accustomed to the Australian
education system and way of life before
they start their degree. Some include
special programs and tours to support
students in their transition.
• Successful completion of a foundation
course may guarantee entry into specific
Foundation courses are typically intensive
one-year preparatory programs, but
this time frame can sometimes change
according to the student's needs. Students
capable of accelerated learning may be
able to complete programs in nine months.
Other courses are longer to allow students
more time to prepare for their degree
studies. Some foundation courses have a
need to meet standards for written and
The exact requirements vary between
courses, so it's important to contact the
course provider for details. Successful
completion of a foundation course may
guarantee entry into specific degree courses
and may even grant entry into the second
year of a related degree.
Foundation studies student profile
Quynh Trang Dang --- Vietnam
Australia seems a
mysterious place to
many people. Most
of us think Australia
is a place where
around and everyone
greets each other
with 'G'day mate!'.
Australia has a rich culture that is more
than that. It is a place where international
students can learn a lot: learn to live, learn
to grow up and learn to be independent.
The reason I chose to come to Australia is
quite simple: I have an aunt who advised
me to come to Australia for a better
education. I spent my first year in Perth, the
capital of Western Australia, completing my
foundation studies. The quiet and peaceful
city of Perth helped me to settle in and get
to know the Australian way of life. Coming
to Australia involved changes in all sorts of
ways, and the foundation year has helped
me to adapt to them all, from food to
cultural changes. After the foundation year
I decided to move to Melbourne for further
tertiary study. I am currently completing
a bachelor degree. The education here is
more practical than in my home country.
We gain actual knowledge by doing the
assignments. I really enjoy the feeling of
receiving grades for assignments I have put
a lot of effort into. Living in a multicultural
country you get to know people from all
around the world. I am really enjoying my
flexible structure that allows students to
enter at different times of the year and
at different levels of English language or
Foundation courses usually offer
university-style teaching through lectures
and tutorials. This ensures that students
become familiar with this way of learning.
Courses are usually divided into subject
streams, such as business, humanities or
science studies, according to the student's
choice of undergraduate course. Most
foundation courses offer a range of
compulsory and elective subjects, and
English language support is often a major
Many institutions also offer 'bridging'
courses, which are shorter and more
intensive courses designed for students
who want to enter a degree course but do
not meet assumed knowledge requirements
or who wish to be better prepared for
Average tuition costs
Foundation courses generally cost between
AUD$15,000 and $37,000 in total.
These figures were sourced from institution
websites in 2016.
Please note that fees vary widely and may
differ depending on the duration of your
program. Information about fees should
always be sourced from the relevant
To gain entry to a foundation course,
students will need to have completed or
nearly completed their home country's
end-of-school certificate. They will also
Many institutions also offer
'bridging' courses, which are
shorter and more intensive
courses designed for
students who want to enter
a degree course but do not
meet assumed knowledge
requirements or who wish to
be better prepared for
Foundation courses usually
offer university-style teaching
through lectures and
tutorials. This ensures that
students become familiar
with this way of learning.
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