If you are planning to study in Australia, one thing that you have to consider is whether you want to apply for your educational institute by yourself or you want to apply through an education agent.
If you are self-assured and know exactly what you’re doing – for example, you know which university or institute you want to apply to, which course you want to study and how to apply for your student visa online – then you can complete the entire process on your own.
But if you’re not sure about any of this, then it’s a good idea to consult an education agent who can guide you through the whole process.
As per the latest data available from the Department of Education, in 2018, around 75% of the student enrollments were made by education agents.
So you can understand how important education agents are in Australia’s international education system.
In this article we are discussing everything you need to know about how to choose an education agent to study in Australia. We are covering details about:
- What services do they provide, and what can’t they do?
- The benefits of using their services.
- The drawbacks of using them
- How to choose the right education agent.
🔍 Services provided by Education Agents
Education Agents can provide multiple services to international students.
They can give you lots of information regarding study options, the universities you can choose from and other relevant information regarding studies.
Apart from studies, they also provide good information regarding life in Australia.
For example, helping you find accommodation, finding a job, what kind of insurance can you apply for, etc.
They can also help you apply for the institution of your choice and if you decide to apply for a scholarship, they can also help you with that.
Unless they are a registered migration agent, they can’t really apply for your student visa. However, they can assist you in applying for your student visa with a help of registered migration agent. Many education agents usually have tie-ups with various migration agencies for these purposes.
In Australia, if an education agent is not a registered migration agent, they cannot apply for your visa. However, the same cannot be said when your education agent is overseas.
✅ Benefits of using education agents
Let’s look at some benefits of using educational agents.
Many educational agents usually have excellent knowledge of the Australian education system. They most likely have worked with hundreds of other students before you.
Sometimes you may not know about the local areas or various study options that you can actually choose from. Educational agents can help you with that.
2. Choosing The Right Course
A good educational consultant would usually understand the students’ personal interests and their needs before suggesting any course to them.
That’s another benefit of using them, as they can provide you with the right information about the right courses and the right institutions that meet your requirements and career.
3.Special Offers and Deals
Consider these educational agents as wholesalers. From time to time, universities, and educational institutes in Australia can give some special offers to these educational consultants.
They can actually get exclusive offers and can pass this on to their customers in the form of saving some money for them. So you could benefit from that as well.
4. Completing Application Forms
Completing the application form can be really challenging for some students and there could be confusion about what should I write in this column or what should I write in that box.
Educational consultants can actually help you to complete these application forms easily without much hassle.
5. Visa Application
A lot of educational consultants actually work with lots of registered migration agents to lodge your visa applications. And it’s usually a part of the services they offer to international students.
As a result, many people will benefit from this and avoid the hassle of applying for the visa on their own.
6. Support Services
Lots of educational consultants do not only have offices overseas, they also have offices in Australia as well.
This can be extremely beneficial to many international students, especially when they’re looking for support regarding jobs, accommodation, and many other things.
❌ Drawbacks of using education agents
1. Biased Opinions
As we know, most education agents make their money through the commissions they get from the educational institutes.
How much money they get will depend on the contract that they have with the educational institute.
To give you an idea, they could earn anywhere from 5% to 30% of the school fees you paid to your Australian educational provider.
Some education agents will actually direct you only to the place where they’re getting the highest commission, rather than the one that benefits your career.
2. Limited Choices
It is a requirement that every institution in Australia must have a contract in place with every educational agent.
Some education agents don’t have a contract with many institutions, so what happens is that they won’t recommend you to certain colleges or institutions because they don’t have those options available for you.
In that regard, when it comes to choosing the right course, sometimes you may have very limited options to choose from.
3. Incorrect Applications
There could be a chance that some education agent don’t know what they’re doing and they could be incorrectly completing your applications.
It means that you could be getting a refusal from the Department of Home Affairs for your student visa, which will obviously have a devastating effect on your career.
Now the question is: how can you choose the right education agent?
🤔 How to choose an education agent to study in Australia?
These are some of the factors we suggest you consider when choosing an education agent to study in Australia:
1.Do Your Research Properly
As we mentioned earlier, every institution must have an agreement in place with an education agent.
Regardless of the country they are in, they must have an agreement in place with the institute that you’re planning to study at.
We suggest you check the website of the education provider to ensure they have an agreement in place with the institution.
For example, if you are planning to study at the University of Melbourne, go to their website and look for the list of agents on their website. By law, they should have a list of all the approved education consultants, whether they are in Australia or overseas.
It’s also a good idea to do research through your friends and other people who have gone through the process before you.
You can ask your family or your friends – or you can ask someone who’s actually studying in Australia – if they have any recommendations for good education agents that they can refer you to.
2. Consult Multiple Agents
Rather than relying on information from one education agent, it is advisable to actually meet a few education agents before choosing the right one for you.
You can easily look up education agents around your area through any search engine or even through social media platforms.
3. Ask Questions
As education agents are there to help and serve you for study in Australia, it is very important that you ask them questions.
You should also ask them about the fees that they’re going to charge you, so you can compare the fees charged by other agents in your area as well.
You can also ask them questions like: “Are they a registered migration agent or are they just educational consultants” or “What’s their success rate?” etc.
It’s important that you never pay the school fees to your agent or in their name. You should pay them to your education provider. Good education agents will guide you on how to arrange to pay your fees.
4. Thoroughly Read The Documents
Before signing any agreement with education agents, make sure you read all the documents and terms and conditions carefully and if you are unsure, you can always ask someone else to read through those documents for you.
Never sign a document before reading it and understanding it well.
5. Keep A Written Record
We highly suggest that you get everything in writing. If you’re getting some information, it’s always good to get it in an email or in any other written format which could help you save yourself if anything goes wrong.
6. No Guarantee of Permanent Residency (PR)
No educational consultant or educational agent can guarantee that you will be able to obtain permanent residency after completing your studies in Australia.
So this is our guide on how to choose an education agent to study in Australia.
In a nutshell, a good, reliable education agent can always save your time, effort, money, and headaches.