Australia is amongst the top-rated education destinations in the world that attracts thousands of applications to its world-class universities every year. Australia stands at the 3rd position in terms of the number of international students it hosts in an academic year. Besides the high quality of education, the country promises great work opportunities and a desirable standard of living. These reasons make Australia a popular study abroad destination among international students.
Securing a seat at a reputed university in Australia demands sincere dedication. It is to be noted that taking a gap after students graduate from high school or their undergraduate program has become a common practice in recent years. The reasons may vary from personal or financial issues to work experience, tenure, or time needed to prepare for the course students wish to study. But, you must take into account exactly how much gap is acceptable for study in Australia. Usually, a gap of one year is considered quite normal, but there may be other voluntary and involuntary factors that lead to a student seeking a longer gap period.
Although each university in Australia has its individual admissions criteria, most of them accept small gaps of one or two years. However, you will need to provide valid reasons if the gap increases by three or four years.
Other factors that decide the gap acceptability include whether you are applying for an undergraduate or postgraduate course, but irrespective of that, justification is mandatory, with evidence in some cases.
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How Many Years of the Gap is Accepted Under a Student Visa in Australia?
A majority of universities in Australia have specific criteria for admitting students. While the acceptability quotient for a gap year will vary across Australian universities, there are general guidelines that you can follow. You should know that most universities will usually accept study gaps of 1-2 years in general.
However, bigger gaps of 3-4 years will require justification on your end. Other aspects of acceptability depend upon the course type, i.e., whether you wish to enrol in a postgraduate or undergraduate course. At the same time, you will have to prove why you took the gap year. Those taking gap years for employment purposes may have to prove their salary slips and employment documents. Those taking gap years for medical reasons will have to show documentary evidence. As a thumb rule, 1-2 gap years are accepted.
Impact of Gap Years for Students Planning to Study in Australia
Universities in Australia allow gap years in a student’s resume, provided the student can present genuine reasons backed with reliable documents for the same. But you should keep in mind that a gap of more than one year may negatively affect your scope of admission at the higher-ranked institutions. So, you must ensure that you have valid documents to support reasons like health issues, personal problems, or other similar reasons.
To avoid repercussions due to gap years on your application portfolio, it is suggested that you engage yourself in some productive activity relevant to your area of specialization, to show to the university. This helps in building a good professional impression and goes on to show your sincerity and seriousness.
University admission offices in Australia take fake/inaccurate document submissions very seriously and any such action on your behalf may lead to a permanent ban on travel to the country. So it is understandable that honesty is indeed the best policy when you are assembling documents to authenticate your reasons for taking a gap in your education.
Is a Gap of 5 years or More Acceptable?
A gap year of one or two years is acceptable by most universities in Australia. However, a longer period of break in education such as five years can act as a setback for you in the admission race. If for any reason you have had to take a gap of five years or more after finishing your last course, it is highly advisable that you have a strong resume of work experience or valid documents to prove any other cause. Be prepared to provide evidence in case you show personal reasons such as health or financial issues for your break. It is essential to note that Australian admission offices take the authenticity of the documents you submit very seriously, it will be foolish to furnish inaccurate or fake information.
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How to Get Student Visa for Australia?
The Overseas Program offered by the Australian government gives international students a relatively easy way to attain a student visa. You may follow these steps to acquire your student visa for study in Australia:
1. Application to a university in Australia and getting a Confirmation of Enrolment or CoE is the first step and works as a foundation for the visa process.
2. Creating a profile with the Australian immigration authorities.
3. Getting all the required documents digitized is immensely important in today’s scenario where everything is online.
4. Completion of your Visa application online – There are official websites for visa applications that are user friendly and informative.
5. Acquire a Transaction Reference Number or TRN- You need to pay a fee for the visa after completion of the application to get this number.
6. Get your health check-up in place- The visa approval needs your medical check-up; so it is best to have it done in good time. Additionally you need to get an interview slot with the officials.
7. Get your visa decision- You will have to assign some time for the decision to be announced.
Australia is a fantastic choice to pursue higher education and seek job opportunities after you graduate. An Australian degree is highly regarded across the globe and the medium of instruction for the courses is English, making it a desirable destination for Indian students. Planning your application well in advance gives you an edge and lets you overcome factors such as gap years. There is a lot of information available on the internet about various ways that you can justify your gap positively, as well as about how you can work on your Australian student visa with ease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the study gap acceptable in Australia?
A study gap is acceptable in Australia even though most universities have their criteria for admitting students. The requirements for gap years will vary across universities in the country. Smaller gaps of 1-2 years are usually considered normal in these scenarios. Yet, you will have to provide suitable justification for bigger holes of 3-4 years on average. Some other aspects are the course that you wish to join. Postgraduate courses may have higher acceptability for gap years since you may have taken this time for employment or even competitive examinations. Undergraduate gap years may be limited to 1-2 years based on acceptability. Anything more may be hard to justify. You should always back up your claims with authentic paperwork and other proof. This will help you get swift approval from your institution and visa authorities alike. However, a general principle to follow is that your gap year duration should not cross 12 months or one year if you apply to an institution in Australia. Most experts strongly recommend this.
How many years of the gap are accepted for study in Australia?
Individual Australian institutions and universities have varying criteria for student admissions. Some may accept a single year’s gap, while some allow gap year periods up to two years. However, anything around 3-4 years will require sizable proof for justification in most cases. You may also have to substantiate 1-2 years with evidence of employment, competitive examination preparation, medical illnesses, or other unforeseen reasons. Keep one year as a thumb rule while applying to Australian universities.
What is considered an education gap?
A gap year in education will be the slot between higher studies and Class XII. It can also be the time between your UG course and pursuing further education. After graduation, the amount spent without employment will be taken as the gap year. Any time you are not undertaking academically or professionally productive work is regarded as the gap year. The term is mostly for students taking a year or two away from regular education, mostly between high school and college/university. This is the basic definition that is followed everywhere.
How can you cover your study gap in Australia?
You can always cover up for your study gap while in Australia. You have to support your claims by taking a gap year with all necessary documents. This will help you get fast approval from your educational institution. You can submit documents like experience/internship letters, salary slips, and offer letters to demonstrate work and employment in the gap year. You can also submit health or medical certificates as proof of taking a gap year for any medical treatment or other health purposes. You may also submit evidence of applications and other paperwork related to competitive examinations that you took a gap year to prepare for. Depending upon the actual reason, you have to substantiate the same and cover up the study gap while applying to a university in Australia.