Maximum of Nepalese students have a dream of abroad studies. And the major choice of students is Australia or United States of America. So here we are with few survey answers in the question “What is the difference between studying at a US university and an Australian one?” Here we go:
A student of Flinders University answers:
Both Australia and the USA have well regarded higher education systems. Both countries have Universities and cities where the cost of living differs widely. It would be be fair to say that the top US Universities have a more prestigious reputation than those in Australia, although having said that, the “sandstone” Universities are also quite prestigious, and several are in the top 100 universities globally.
Others have commented that studying in Australia is more expensive than the USA. This was true following the GFC until the recent easing of the Australian dollar by about 30% from about US$1.10 down to around US$0.75. Thus the cost of studying at any Australian University is now much cheaper than even a year ago, and thus cost is unlikely to be a significant difference.
If you are cost sensitive, consider studying in Adelaide, since as another responder has pointed out, the cost of living in Adelaide is quite a bit lower than in Melbourne or Sydney. The lifestyle in Adelaide is quite relaxed (even compared with the other major Australian cities) with relatively low population density, so you are less likely to have external stressors impact on your studies than in the bigger cities. Public transport is very affordable, and all of the Universities in Adelaide have plenty of nearby suburbs from which you could easily ride a bike.
If you are coming from a country in the greater Asian region, the time zone difference to Australia could be as little as 1/2 hour, and would be unlikely to be more than five hours, making it easier to keep in touch with family back home.
As an Australian who has studied only in Australian institutions, I cannot speak directly to the day to day experience of studying at a University in the USA. However, a comment that has been raised a number of times by international students is the observation about how flat the hierarchy is in Australia. It is quite normal and accepted for a first year student to knock on the door of a professor, ask a question, and for the professor to take the time to answer. If you are assertive enough to take advantage of this, it can increase the value of your time, and also help to make the relationships that can be helpful when you are looking for a PhD or final-year project.
Finally, you are unlikely to face snow during your studies in Australia, which may or may not be a feature depending on your outlook.
Senior IELTS Tutor writes:
This depends on too many factors such as discipline, level of study, budget and how competitive your qualifications for admission are.
The experience can be extremely similar of very different.
A main difference is that Bachelor Degrees in Australia can be three years (some are four) whereas most are four years in the US. In Australia, most universities offer a fourth year honors program for credit average students, so it is a myth that this is always the major difference.
In my personal opinion, the major difference between studying in Australia and the United States is the variation in quality between the types of institutions.
I argue that the US easily has a much higher number of elite universities/colleges and a much higher number of questionable universities. Australia does not have a single university on par with Stanford, Yale, Harvard etc, although certain schools within a university definitely are top 10 in the world (example, Classic Philosophy and Classical Studies at Sydney University).
Most of Australia’s universities are very good or acceptable by world standards. There are only 42 universities and the government keeps standards under tight control. America has so many universities, that merely saying “you hold a degree from an American university” has no meaning, unless you say which one.
I argue this is the main difference:
-Top tier ultra elite universities on par with Oxford etc: USA = Yes, Australia = No.
-Very good highly respected universities: Australia and USA = Yes
-Respected universities that are adequate for qualifying for professional registration and receiving a good education: Australia and USA = Yes
-Universities that hold an accreditation recognized by the government, but have little recognition in by industry and good universities: Australia = No, USA = Yes.
-Universities that have no accreditation (illegal) or are exempt from accreditation (religious universities) but offer adequate education: Australia = No, USA = Yes.
-Illegal diploma mills that authorities have not yet tracked down, but continue to sell online degrees without requiring coursework/research: Australia = No, USA=Yes.
To say “I have a degree from an Australian university” does automatically imply quality of education, so some degree.
Having earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Sydney and having two kids presently at a large state flagship university in the U.S., I can speak to a number of differences in the tertiary education systems of these two countries.
The biggest difference is that schools in the U.S. generally offer a “liberal” education, whereas Australian universities generally offer course-specific instruction. What this means is that, in the U.S., students must satisfy broad “distribution” or “general education” requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements for their major. These extra requirements vary by institution, but typically include such subjects as English, foreign language, science, social science, and sometimes areas such as “culture” and “diversity,” and can amount to close to half of the coursework required towards a U.S. undergraduate degree. In Australia, on the other hand, students study more narrowly but delve more deeply into one subject area. Some Australian undergraduate degrees are normally completed in just three years, versus a four years in the U.S. for an equivalent degree.
A corollary is that the same philosophy of depth vs breadth applies at the high school level in the two countries. As a result, Australians arriving at university are typically well ahead of their American counterparts, because they have already studied their area of interest in much more depth.
For example, during my last two years of high school in Australia, I studied only English, Math, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, including two math courses right through both 11th and 12th grades. That would have been impossible in an American high school, where there are requirements for history, foreign language, physical education, health, and so on.
I went on to complete a double major in computer science and math at the University of Sydney in a standard three years, and studied not one English, foreign language, or social science course. In fact, as I recall, the only subjects I studied were chemistry, physics, math and computer science, with nothing but math and CS classes the last two years!
Another difference is that university (or “college” as it’s often called in the states) is more widely attended in the U.S. than in Australia. Well over 50% of the population in the U.S. attends at least some college after high school, whereas, at the time I attended university in the early 80s, only about 6% of Australian high school graduates attended university. Attendance rates have risen quite a bit since then (to about 25% in 2011 per the Australian Bureau of Statistics), but still far less than in the U.S.. So while it appears to be changing, there is a different culture about tertiary education in the two countries — in the U.S., college is the “new high school,” whereas in Australia, only the most talented students attend university.
In my experience, the above factors mean that the quality of education in most Australian universities is more comparable to the better colleges in the U.S.. This is in part because without the liberal education requirements, Australian schools provide more opportunity (and indeed require) more depth in one’s major, and in part because with a stronger secondary education system and a smaller proportion of high schoolers going on to university, the overall “quality” of the student body is higher in Australia than in an average U.S. college, and more comparable to a highly selective U.S. university.
These were the few answers that we got over the internet. Decision is in your hand. One can take this article as a reference only.