Pros and Cons of Deferring a Course

As the Australian borders remain closed for the time being, many international students are considering their options for studying in Australia and one of the key thing they have to consider is whether they want to defer a course or to start studying online.

So in this article we are going to discuss about some of the pros and cons of deferring a course

Pros or benefits of deferring a course

1. Study in Australia

One of the first and most important benefit is that when you defer course, most likely you might be able to come back to Australia and start your study when the borders reopen. So deferring a semester or two does make a perfect sense if you can come to Australia and start studying in Australia.

Studying in your home country online to studying in Australia will be a completely different experience, so that is an obvious benefit of deferring a course.

2. Face-to-Face study

While online study can be good for some students, other students might struggle when they are studying online and study experience is completely different in class and online.

So you really can’t compare those two study options and that is another benefit if you defer a course there is a possibility that when you come back to Australia you can complete your study in class.

3. Access to campus facilities

When you do come back to Australia and start studying here, you will have access to the campus facilities and other facilities offered by your university or college. Lots of universities have got great campus facilities including gyms, swimming pools, libraries, computer labs and many other.

So deferring a semester or two could mean that you will have access to these facilities when you come back in Australia.

4. Australian lifestyle

Australia is a multicultural country. So when you start study in Australia, you will have a chance to meet new people, make new friends, mix up with other cultures and understand the lifestyle in Australia.

Lifestyle in your home country could be really different to the lifestyle in Australia and that can be a great learning curve as an international student for you. It is one of the most important element of studying abroad, so consider this factor for deferring your course.

5. Work in Australia

As an international student you are allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight and unlimited hours during your school holidays.

If you defer your course and when you come back to Australia, you can start working as per your visa requirements along with your studies. It can be great for your career to get some work experience and some cash to meet some of your expenses.

6. Time to reconsider your options

Last but not the least, it gives you time to reconsider your options for studies. So obviously, you will have time to rethink regarding your goals, your institution, course or even your country you have chosen to study.

The deferment of the course certainly gives you time to rethink all these options and consider what’s the best option for you as student as you are investing time, money and efforts.

Cons or drawbacks of deferring a course

1. Extension of a visa

One of the key concern for many international students is that once they defer a course, there is a possibility that they may have to extend their visas at the end of their course.

Usually, when your visa is granted by the Department of Home Affairs, it will end on a specifc date. So if you do end up deferring a semester or two, it could mean that your study could end up after the expiry of your visa which means you may need to apply for a new student visa.

For more information on this, please consult with your educational consultant or registered migration agent.

2. Impact on career Progression

Now, deferring a course could mean that there is an issue with your career progression. It could directly impact your long-term plans and career goals.

So for example, after your studies, if you become eligible to apply for a skilled migration visa and deferring a course means that you could lose some points based on your age, then it could impact your career goals and progression.

Please note that the primary aim of the student visa is to come and study in Australia and not only seeking a migration benefit. But you still need to keep in mind that deferring a course could impact your career.

3. Deferral fees

Some universities or colleges can charge a deferral fee for deferring a course.

While some universities or colleges might wave it off but there is a possibility that your university or college will charge that fees. So consider that fees as well when you are making a decision whether to defer or not defer the course.

4. Condition of the course

Some courses or universities may have a very specific entry requirements to the course, which includes english testing, entry requirements, age or some other specific requirements.

If that’s the case, then you may have to reconsider your options for differing as the deferral here could mean that you may have to meet those requirements again or you have to do some specific things again in order to get entry into the course.

There could be issues regarding intakes as well because some universities have a specific intake during the year for a particular courses.

If you miss that intake or you defer that intake that could mean you may have to wait longer in order to get entry to that course again.

5. Conditions of the scholarship

Last but not the least, if you have got a scholarship for your course, some universities will have a condition as a part of your scholarship that if you defer a course it could mean no grant of the scholarship.

So it’s very important to read the terms and conditions of your scholarship to understand what does a deferral of the course means for your scholarship.


Obviously, it is a huge decision to defer a course for any international student and there are many factors you will need to consider whether to defer or not defer a course.

Apart from the pros and cons we discussed above, every individual may have their own personal circumstances to consider as well.

So we certainly can’t give you an answer whether you should defer or not defer a course as it depends on lot of factors and your personal circumstances but hopefully this information has given you some ideas on what factors you should consider when deferring a course.

We would love to hear from you regarding what options are you considering for deferring or not deferring a course. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.