Q: What are the Australia Awards?
A: Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government.
Q: Are there any short-term courses to study in Australia?
A: No. The Scholarships are for one to five years depending on the course of study.
Q: Who are the target groups?
A: Any citizen of a participating country or citizen of Timor-Leste, however, we strongly encourage applications from women, people living with disability and people from rural areas (i.e. people from the traditionally disadvantaged groups). People who have recently returned from an Australia Awards Scholarship are excluded from applying for a period of time (refer to the Australia Awards Policy Handbook).
Q: What are the levels of study?
A: Scholarships are available for the following levels of study:
- Diploma and Advanced Diploma (Only for applicants with disability)
- Bachelor’s Degree (Only for applicants with disability)
- Masters or PhD.
- For people living with disability courses at Certificate III or IV maybe considered
Q: When are the Scholarships available?
A: The next application period opens in November 2015 for studies commencing in Australia in 2017.
Q: Am I eligible?
A: You need to read the eligibility criteria listed on the “Am I eligible” page
Q: Do I get a choice of where to study?
A: Yes, in consultation with the Australia Awards Course Adviser (a respected academic from Australia). Your locations of study is an important consideration for a range of reasons which are different for each applicant. Our course adviser will discuss this with you when looking at the field of study and the learning and skills outcomes you aim to achieve through your scholarship.
Q: Do I choose the university and the course I want to study before or after I find out if I have a Scholarship?
A: You make the choice after you have been offered an Australia Awards Scholarship. However, this decision will be made in consultation with a course adviser. Consultation will cover a number of issues such as your desired career outcomes, course articulation and early exit, course availability at a university where the same course maybe offered with lower course fees, location of campus, cost of living (if travelling with dependents), and a number of other important considerations to ensure the success of your scholarships.
Q: How do I choose where to study?
A: You should research the different universities in Australia, attend the Universities’ Expo on 1 August and discuss your preferences with the higher education specialist who will be available to assist you with your decision. Please make time to have informed and meaningful discussions with our course adviser both in face to face meetings and through on-going dialogue via email and skype.
Q: Can I study whatever I like?
A: No. Your course of study must be within the field of study you have nominated in your application form which must be in one of the priority areas for development. (See Priority Fields of Study)
Q: What are the priority areas for development in Timor-Leste?
A: Priority areas for 2016 intake. (The Australian Government reviews its priorities regularly, so this list may change.)
- Education and training
- Private sector development
- Agriculture and rural development
- Tourism and hospitality
- Community and social development.
Q: What is the process and how long does it take?
A: Here is a diagram of all the stages from the time the Australia Awards Office promotes the Scholarships until the Scholarship recipient departs for Australia. This whole process takes about 14 months.
Q: What are the English language requirements?
A: To be offered an Australia Awards Scholarship, applicants must meet the English language proficiency requirements.
Q: Is there an age limit?
A: The Australian Government does not discriminate because of age.
Q: Can I bring my family with me to Australia?
A: Yes, but at your own expense. You would be fully responsible for your family’s well-being and that includes financially.
Q: What are the Scholarship benefits?
A: Australia Awards Scholarships generally cover the following fees and entitlements.
Q: How can I make sure my application is a good one?
A: Here are some hints that may help strengthen your application. Not every point may relate to your application, but we encourage you to consider them all.
You need to apply for a course in a field of study that is appropriate to your academic and work experience background. If you want to change your career path completely, then you need to justify why you are doing so and be able to link it to the development needs of Timor-Leste.
Your English language skills are an important part of the selection process. Don’t wait to improve your English skills. Start today! It does not have to be expensive or done through formal training. Read English language fiction and non-fiction, engage in conversations with English speakers. Expand your vocabulary one word at a time! Learning a new language requires commitment and perseverance. Some people learn at a faster pace than others. Start today.
Attend education fairs in the year before applying for the Scholarship and speak to Australian university representatives and advisers. (The next University Expo will be on 1 August 2015.)
If you are a fresh high school graduate who has not had any paid employment since leaving school you can strengthen your application by demonstrating that you have been involved in voluntary work in the community.
It is not enough to have a good academic background; you need also to have a good understanding of the strategic priorities for Timor-Leste, to be aware of the development issues, and to have thought about possible solutions for resolving them.
You need to be able to speak about the benefits that the scholarship would bring not just to yourself but also to the organisation or institution and to the country.
If you are intending to undertake a Masters course by research or a PhD, before you approach a potential supervisor in Australia, you should approach the ministry that is responsible for that sector to get a research topic that is applicable to Timor-Leste.
The Panel rated more highly those applicants who could potentially contribute to Timor-Leste’s development as an academic (as well as being a practitioner) after they returned home from their studies in Australia.
You need to check your spelling and grammar because your English language skills are very important. A hint is to try reading your responses aloud, or ask someone else to read your responses back to you.
Ensure that your responses actually answer the questions; you may need to do some research first to help with them.