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Study at an Australian College

College Vocational Education And TrainingDo you want to become a personal trainer? Take an entrepreneurial course? Become a car mechanic? Get a painting & decorating qualification? Learn about digital media? Become a better surfer? Teach children? Work in building & construction? Become an enrolled nurse? You can study anything you like! 

Let us help you find a college in Australia.

In Australia 'Community College' is known as Vocational Education and Training (VET). You can undertake your Vocational Education and Training course through either a TAFE or a private colleges know as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Unlike university courses that are highly theory-based, VET courses focus more on practical application. The programs develop the skills required for each occupation in consultation with its industry body. For this reason, the curriculum tends to be very up-to-date, and meets industry standards and needs. The teachers also have a great amount industry experience.

Benefits of VET courses for international students

Affordable tuition

The average certificate or diploma course will cost about $4,000 for 6 months and up to $6,000-7,000 for one year. Many colleges offer packaged programs, for example Cert III + Cert IV + Diploma + Advanced Diploma, for about $15,000 for up to 3 years of study. Perfect if you would like a nice long student visa.

Colleges require tuition payments every 3 months. The initial deposit required for the Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) used for the visa application is usually the first 3 months of tuition. However, some colleges allow a much smaller amount. You will also be required to pay an enrolment fee of $150-$250, depending on the college. Some also charge a 'resources' fee of about $100. TAFE is the exception on the deposit as they require the first 6 months tuition be paid to release the CoE.

Drake is often offered special deals for our students. These do not get advertised on the college websites, so make sure to check with us before you do anything on your own. Our services are 100% free, so let us do all the hard work for you!

Flexible timetable

Flexible College TimetableIn comparison to a university qualification where the program tends to be 3-4 years, a VET program is much shorter in duration.  If you plan to seek an entry-level role once you graduate, your course may only take 3 months. However, if you want to become a manager, your studies may last up to 3 years.  If you have questions about the direction of your career, contact one of our education counsellors for advice.

Another benefit of the VET system is short timetables. You will generally study 2-3 days a week, with many colleges also offering evening classes. This gives you time to benefit from your work rights. On a student visa, you are required to study 20 hours per week.  Of the 20 hours, 5 hours can be done online. You are then required to attend 75% of the remaining 15 hours of face-to-face teaching.  

There are two ways by which a college measures compliance of your student visa - attendance or academic achievement. For obvious reasons, many international students prefer to attend colleges that measure achievement (assignments and tests). 

VET Qualifications

Depending on the length of your program, upon completing a VET program, you will be awarded one or more of the following:

  • Certificate I
  • Certificate II
  • Certificate III
  • Certificate IV
  • Diploma
  • Associate Degree
  • Advanced Diploma

Industries that support VET qualifications include automotive, media & advertising, hospitality & tourism, IT, construction, some engineering roles, health & community services, business, and fitness, among others.


Hands-on training

Practical work experience is one of the key benefits of studying a VET college. The training is generally 'hands on', meaning you will feel very comfortable in your role when you start in the workplace. In addition, employers know that you will have experienced most work-related scenarios in your training, providing an additional sense of confidence in your skills. This training will be highly valuable if you decide to stay in Australia long-term.

Transferable credit

Should you wish to continue your training to a higher level, you can often transfer your VET credits to a university program. through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) system.