If you are planning to attend an academic or language training program at a college, university or any other accredited academic institution in Australia, you will need an Australian study visa as an international student. You also have to convince the interview panel to grant you the student visa in order to pursue your studies in Australia. You can do this with greater ease when you know how to prepare for an Australian Study Visa interview.
After completing your Australian Study visa application process, the next hurdle to cross is attending the interview session. The interview determines whether or not you qualify to receive the visa. This can be a nervous moment for many applicants, but there is absolutely nothing to fear once you are well prepared for the visa interview.
Not only will the students need to ensure that they attend the interview with all of the required documentation, but they also need to be prepared to answer specific, personal questions regarding their plans for their study and their stay. Most times, Australian study visa interview questions bother on: your study plans; your university choice; your academic capability; your financial status and your post-graduation plans.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for an Australian study visa interview:
Know the Usual Questions
The applicant is expected to source for adequate information on possible study visa interview questions that could be posed to them. This will build readiness and increase the confidence level of the applicant.
Be Brief and Comprehensive
Generally, interviews are quick and to the point, lasting only a few minutes. Plan on spending 2 – 10 minutes with the interviewer. The work demand puts consular officers under considerable time pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. They must make a decision, for the most part, on the impressions they form during the first minute or two of the interview. Consequently, what you say first and the initial impression you create are critical to your success.
Do not bring parents or family members with you to your interview. The consular officer wants to interview you, not your family. A negative impression is created if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf. If you are a minor applying for a high school program and need your parents there in case there are questions, for example, about funding, they should wait in the waiting room.
Know the Program and How it Suits Your Career
If you are not able to articulate the reasons you want to study in a particular program, you may not succeed in convincing the consular officer that you are indeed planning to study, rather than to immigrate. You should also be able to explain how your studying relates to your future professional career in your home country.
It should be clear at a glance to the consular officer what written documents you are presenting and what they signify. Lengthy written explanations cannot be quickly read or evaluated. Remember that you will have 2-3 minutes of interview time if you are lucky.
Know the Perception of Your Country
Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the country as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas. Applicants from those countries are more likely to be asked about job opportunities at home after their study.
Your main purpose should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. While many students do work off-campus during their studies, such employment is incidental to their main purpose of completing their education. You must be able to clearly articulate your plan to return home at the end of your program.
Dependents Remaining at Home
This can be an especially tricky area if you are the primary source of income for your family. If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence. If your family does decide to join you at a later time, it is helpful to have them apply at the same post where you applied for your visa
Have a Positive Attitude
Each applicant’s situation is different, and there is no explanation or piece of literature which can guarantee a study visa. Peradventure you are denied a student visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal and try to get the reason you were denied in writing. Do not engage the consular officer in an argument.
Focus Areas For Interviewers
The Australian study visa interview questions often focus on four main issues: ties to your home country; academic qualifications; your chosen college or university; and how you will finance your education. These and other issues will be considered consecutively:
- You will probably be asked questions about the universities that you applied to, whether you were accepted at each one, and why you chose those particular institutions.
- Also, be ready to explain your financial situation and what motivates you to return home after your studies.
- Interviewers are looking for students who have the ability, intent, and means to study, but who also have strong ties to their home country, and can demonstrate their resolve to return.
- Be ready to explain your career hopes, why you chose to study in Australia, and what you intend to do after graduation. Be honest and genuine and avoid (as much as possible) rehearsed speeches.
- The most important thing to remember during your study visa interview is to remain calm. Being well prepared is extremely important. Be sure to have all of the required documents and receipts with you so that you can focus on your interview questions. Answer all of the questions asked of you, and remember to be open and honest!
- You must, therefore, be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country. Applicants for non-immigrant visas are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the consular officer that they are not.
- The interviewing officer may ask about your specific intentions or promise of future employment, family or other relationships, educational objectives, grades, long-long range plans, and career prospects in your home country.
The student visa process can be overwhelming, to say the least- but the experience of studying in your chosen country is worth the paperwork. You are expected to take it step-by-step and be sure that you are following the up-to-date instructions found on the Australian website or distributed through your local embassy or consulate.
Finally, remember that first impressions matter. Dress appropriately for the interview and rehearse your answers so no question takes you by surprise. If you follow all of these steps to prepare for your interview, you will have no reason to be nervous and it should go off without a hitch.