Thursday, September 17, 2020

Audible Streams Story Books for Free

Audible, an Amazon company, has made available audio-story books streaming for free. According to Audible, for as long as schools are closed (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across eight different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. 

All stories are free to stream to a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. There is no login needed, just head on to the Audible landing page or click here to explore the titles directly




DISCLAIMER:

This information is being provided as public service so people would know of this free resource. We are not in any way connected with Amazon Audible and make no representation of any kind that we are. 


3:33 AMManny Diaz

Saturday, August 29, 2020

How to Work as a Teacher in Australia

 


Lately, there has been an increase in forum questions about teaching in Australia, or indirectly, what are the prospects of a teacher or of a graduate of an education degree in Australia. If you are an overseas-trained teacher or prospective teacher and you are interested to teach in Australia, you might find this article useful.

What do you need to work as a teacher in Australia?

To work as a teacher in Australia, you need two things: (1) registration as a teacher and (2) visa with work rights. Before even considering obtaining a work visa, you probably should ask first if Australia is in need of teachers.

Are teachers needed in Australia? 

The public and private school system all over the world seems to be in need of teachers. Australia is no exception. Based on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) that the Australian Government publishes regularly to indicate skilled occupations that Australia needs, teaching has always been listed. The Migration (LIN 19/051: Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities) Instrument 2019, the following teachers are needed in Australia:  

241111 Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teacher
241411 Secondary School Teacher
241511 Special Needs Teacher
241512 Teacher of the Hearing Impaired
241513 Teacher of the Sight Impaired
241599 Special Education Teacher (Not Elsewhere Classified)
241213 Primary School Teacher
241311 Middle School Teacher

242111 University Lecturer
249211 Art Teacher (Private Tuition)
249212 Dance Teacher (Private Tuition)
249214 Music Teacher (Private Tuition)
249299 Private Tutors and Teachers (Not Elsewhere Classified)
249311 Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The 6-digit number beside the teacher classification is called the ANZSCO Code. ANZSCO stands for Australia-New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. The ANZSCO Code is a unique identifier of specific occupations.

If the visa you are applying for requires you to nominate an occupation from the SOL, you need to know the ANZSCO Code or the occupation name that corresponds to the code. Generally, nominating an occupation in the SOL will require that you have been assessed by an assessing authority. For teachers, there are two assessing authority designated by the Australian Government for purposes of a visa. These are: the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and the Vocational Education and Training Assessment Services (VETASSESS). The first set of teaching roles in the list above is assessed by AITSL, while the second list is assessed by VETASSESS.

It is important to note that even if the AITSL or the VETASSESS has given you a positive assessment, (and assuming you obtain a working visa) it does not mean that you can already teach in the Australian school system. The exception is private tuition, teaching in a tutorial centre or teaching as a private tutor.

How do you obtain a teacher accreditation?

The AITSL and VETASSESS do not register teachers. There is no national registration of teachers in Australia. Registration is done at the state level. You get registered in the state where you want to teach and you register with the state teacher regulation agency. In addition, if you are teaching in the Catholic education system, you may also need to be classified.

Below are the teacher regulation agencies in the Australian states and territories:

To be registered as a teacher, you must meet the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.  Each state and territory will have a slightly different process or set of requirements for registration, but once registered with one, transferring to another state is easy.

Most overseas-trained teachers may need some bridging course to be able to register as a teacher in Australia. If you are planning to study in Australia to obtain a teaching qualification, see to it that you enrol in an accredited program of study. The AITSL lists the accredited teacher training programs in its website, or click here.

How do you obtain a working visa?

To obtain a working visa, apply for the appropriate visa at the Department of Home Affairs. Click here for more information on the visa that is suitable for the work that you intend to do. Meanwhile, if you need to obtain a suitable Australian teacher qualification first, send us a message and we'd be glad to assist.




8:35 AMManny Diaz

Entire catalogue of courses for FREE at US Institute of Peace



The United States Institute of Peace has made its entire catalogue of online courses FREE from now until the end of 2020. According to the Institute, it is trying to meet the increased demand for resources and training created by the current responses to COVID-19 and the structural racism around the world. By making the courses free, it aims to help today's peace builders transform violent conflicts in their communities and to assist people who are seeking non-violent change around the world.

Here's an excerpt from the US Institute of Peace (USIP) Academy:

"The USIP Academy provides a wide range of education and training opportunities to fit the needs of any person working to resolve global conflict. Utilising technology and expert human capital, our mission is to help the global peace-building community share knowledge, develop skills, and grow both professionally and personally, in order to better contribute toward building sustainable peace. Since 1997, the USIP Academy has helped more than 65,000 individuals build peace in their communities." 

The full catalogue of English courses is as follows:

DISCLAIMER: Manny Diaz IIEC and brightidiaz.com are not affiliated in any way with the United States Institute of Peace. This article is published only for information purposes as there may be readers that are interested in courses on non-violent conflict resolution.



3:10 AMManny Diaz

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Cost of an MBA in Victoria

The intended audience of this article is the international student or prospect. The fees indicated herein are based on the published fees in the online CRICOS register. 


International students and prospective international students wanting to pursue a Master of Business Administration in Victoria would always ask about fees. There are other factors that influence decisions, such as cost of living, quality of education, and the prestige of the educational institution. If cost of living is a concern, this 2019 article is still quite valid (click on the link; opens up in a new window). The quality of education will be better in some, but the standard of education across Australia might be sufficient assurance that there is a minimum level of quality and that, even at the minimum, is good enough. Finally, prestige always goes first to the big universities and in Victoria, the University of Melbourne is number one. Perhaps the least prestigious would be the higher education institutions that are not universities, because these are generally private in nature, small in size, and not research-based (research activity is the primary source of federal funding for education institutions).

So, how much does it cost for a full program of the 104-week Master of Business Administration in Victoria? The list below is based on CRICOS-registered programs, and where multiple programs are registered, only data for the Master of Business Administration program is used (there are some MBA programs which have specialisations, or qualified with 'Advanced', 'Executive', and other program differentiators. Where there is no 104-week program, the program with the course duration nearest 104 weeks is chosen. Now, for the list:

Australian Catholic University (CRICOS 084682G) - $62,000 

Central Queensland University (CRICOS 084501F) - $59,490 

Charles Darwin University (CRICOS 077875A) - $37,6001 

Charles Sturt University (CRICOS 068168C) - $65,4382  

Deakin University (CRICOS 056889B) - $80,8003  

Edith Cowan University (CRICOS 079116B) - $59,800 

Federation University (CRICOS 085210J) - $56,950 

Holmes Institute (CRICOS 102781F) - $38,650 

Kaplan Business School (CRICOS 078565G) - $45,885 

La Trobe University (CRICOS 080774B) - $80,400 

Monash University (CRICOS 001461G) - $90,640 

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (CRICOS 077514D) - $88,936 

Southern Cross University (CRICOS 080919A) - $65,800 

Swinburne University (CRICOS 102648M) - $76,200 

University of Melbourne (CRICOS 089359M) - $101,4704 

Torrens University (CRICOS 090241D) - $47,6005 

University of the Sunshine Coast (CRICOS 088887F) - $54,8006

Victoria University (CRICOS 083299M) - 47,0807

Victoria Institute (CRICOS 096671M) - $48,500

Based on the foregoing, if only the dollar sign will be used as basis, the least-cost program is that of Charles Darwin University at $37,600 and the most expensive is that of the University of Melbourne at $101,470. Meanwhile, the dual degree programs from Torrens University and University of the Sunshine Coast can be appealing, as you obtain a dual qualification at the end, for the price of one (almost).   

NOTES

In the list above, educational institutions not based in Victoria will generally have study centres in Melbourne. Further notes are indicated below.

1 MBA (Professional Practice)

2 Delivered by Study Group Australia

3 MBA (International)

4 Course duration is 102 weeks only

5 Dual degree with Master of Global Project Management

6 Dual degree with Master of International Business

7 MBA (Professional)

DISCLAIMER: Data provided above is based on published information at cricos.education.gov.au at the time of writing. It should not bind us or any third party. Contact the educational institution directly for up-to-date program costs. This Disclaimer further applies.



Do you need help with your study plans?


7:10 PMManny Diaz

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Google's The Anywhere School 2020

In response to the massive, worldwide and unprecedented disruption in education due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has organised The Anywhere School, an online event to celebrate educators and explore the future of education with thought-provoking panels, keynotes, and more.



The Anywhere School is organised for three regions: the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. Educators and others interested can sign-up to attend the virtual event in any of these regions.




8:23 PMManny Diaz

Monday, June 1, 2020

Free Certificate Courses on Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has been a trend for a while already and until recently, many traditional businesses have not fully appreciated the need for it. The lockdown due to the novel coronavirus compelled almost every business to adapt to an online model, thus pushing forward the digital transformation agenda.

Those who lost their jobs due to the lockdown would need to compete harder to get back to the job market, and being trained in a digital transformation skill or a set of skills might help improve the odds. Meanwhile, others who are new to the job market may want to further equip themselves with digital transformation skills that are currently what the job market needs. There are also those who simply want to maintain their competence through relevant professional development.



Torrens University Australia has decided to make its online certificate courses FREE as its response to the chaos the pandemic has brought upon the workforce. There are 18 courses under the Digital Transformation category and each used to cost AUD139. By using the coupon code TORRENS2020 on checkout, a 100% discount will be applied, reducing the course fee to zero.

To enrol in a course, you will need an account. Create one if you do not have one yet. It is easy and straightforward. You will be asked to login and after choosing your course, you can then proceed to checkout. You will be asked for credit card information on checkout. Note that you do not need to provide credit card information for the discount to be applied. Click on the Got a coupon? and validate the coupon code TORRENS2020. Once validated, click on Checkout and you're all set.

The following digital transformation courses are available:

Adopting Agile
Artificial Intelligence
AWS vs Azure vs Google
Business Growth Strategy
Capital Investment Process
Cloud Security
CSR and Customer Engagement
Competitive Advantage
Debugging
Distribution Channels and OTA
Domain Driven Design
Executive Guide to DevOps
Introduction to CSR
Private vs Public vs Hybrid
SEO and Marketing
Secure Failure
Source Control
User Experience Design

What are you waiting for?

IMPORTANT

By clicking the SUBMIT button, you consent to us collecting the information you have provided, under our the Terms and Conditions in conjunction with the Disclosure and Disclaimer.
8:20 PMManny Diaz

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Boredom Buster

The following logic problems are intended for the Filipino audience only. These are translated from the English originals.



There is no missing Php10. The correct statement to account for the Php150 is as follows: Php100 paid for the meal + Php 30 returned to each of the 3 + Php20 in the tip box = Php150. To account for the Php120 expense (3 x Php40), use Php100 paid to the cashier + Php20 in the tip box.



In this problem, you only need to open one box knowing that all labels are incorrect. If you open "Apples and Grapes" and you know that it cannot have both apples and grapes, the only conclusion is that it can have apples only or grapes only. If you get apples inside, get the label "Apples" and put it on this box. The box which used to have the label for apples will necessarily have grapes in it. Put the label "Grapes" on that box and the box that used to have the label for grapes should end up with the label "Apples and Grapes".



This is a classic problem, with variants only on who the characters are. If we assume the delawan to be X and the dede-es to be Y, while the current side of the river they are on is side A and the other side is side B, the river crossing will be as follows:

(1) XXX Y at side A | YY crossing to side B
(2) XXX Y at side A | Y crossing back to side A | Y at side B
(3) XXX at side A | YY crossing to side B | Y at side B
(4) XXX at side A | Y crossing back to side A | YY at side B
(5) XY at side A | XX crossing to side B | YY at side B
(6) XY at side A | XY crossing back to side A | XY at side B
(7) YY at side A | XX crossing to side B | XY at side B
(8) YY at side A | Y crossing back to side A | XXX at side B

From point (8) above, Y will just cross back and forth to shuttle the rest of Y's, while all X's are already at side B. In no time from point (1) to point (8) has there been a number of X less than Y, so the group can cross the river this way without a fight ensuing, Y's are kept at bay by being equal to or less in number than X.



With a little Math, you'd find out that most probably, the father is currently working overtime with the mother for purposes of procreation. Here's the algebra behind it:

Let x be the mother's age and y be the child's age.
If the mother is 21 years older than her child, this means that x = y + 21.
If the mother will be exactly 5 times as old as the child in exactly 6 years from now, then x + 6 = 5 (y + 6). So we have:

(Equation 1) x = y + 21
(Equation 2) x + 6 = 5 (y + 6)

Substituting the value of x from Equation 1 in Equation 2:
y + 21 + 6 = 5 (y + 6)
y + 27 = 5y + 30
27 - 30 = 5y - y
- 3 = 4y
y = -(3/4)

We all know that 3/4 of a year is 9 months. The negative sign in front means that it is to be in future. 



If we know that one of the guards always tell the truth while the other always tell a lie, then we can ask this: "If I were to ask the other guard, what will he/she tell me?" Whatever answer is given, go for its opposite. 

In the case above, let's say that the correct choice is Door A.

If you spoke to the liar, the liar will tell you that the other guard will say "Door B" because although the other guard will actually tell you "Door A" the liar will change it and lie to you. So you go for the opposite of the answer which is Door A.

On the other hand, if you spoke to the guard that always tells the truth, he/she would tell you "Door B" because although he/she knows the correct choice is Door A, he/she knows that the other guard will lie, so he will tell you truthfully that the other guard will say "Door B". So you go for the opposite, which is Door A.
3:43 AMManny Diaz

Friday, April 10, 2020

Buried Treasure

This is a question which is taken from the Australian Computational Thinking Challenge 2019 set of questions:



There are 4 ways the 5 Forest Imps can bury their treasure in the woods without seeing each other.













8:40 PMManny Diaz

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Unlimited Calls to the Philippines from Australia on Prepaid Mobile

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
While in Australia and you intend to regularly keep in touch with loved ones and friends back in the Philippines, the best prepaid mobile phone service to have is one that allows for unlimited international calls to the Philippines. The reasons for this are simple:

First, you can call anytime and for any duration.

Second, while you can use Facebook Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp and other voice-over-IP solutions, it will require that the person you are calling should also have Facebook Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp and the relevant voice-over-IP solution, in addition to an active data plan or at least access to a WiFi network with Internet connectivity. This may not work well for some, particularly if the person you are trying to reach is one who occasionally runs out of load.

In addition, do note that unlimited calls to the Philippines are just add ons to unlimited calls Australia-wide. So it means that, if you have unli calls to the Philippines, you will also have unli calls to anywhere in Australia, which you'd probably need.

Belong Mobile (https://www.belong.com.au) offers a $5 add-on to its $10-per-month prepaid plan which appears to be the most economical option. This $5 add-on allows you to call the Philippines for an unlimited period. You have the option not to top-up your plan with this $5 unlimited call option, bringing down your monthly maintenance for mobile service to just $10 for unlimited text and call within Australia. The only caveat here is the 1GB data cap, which for just reading emails and browsing through Facebook (without watching videos) may be enough. If you do not use up your 1GB, it can be carried over to the next month.

For a bigger data cap, Belong has the 10GB option for the $25 monthly plan. The unlimited calls and text to a Philippine number will be a $5 add-on. Otherwise, the $40 monthly plan is already inclusive of unlimited text and call within Australia and to a Philippine number plus 40GB data allowance. This is probably too much, unless you are a heavy data user watching Korean novelas over 4G.

The other option is from Boost Mobile (https://boost.com.au) starting from its $150 per year prepaid plan which includes 80GB of data. This is roughly $12.50 for 6.7GB of data per month plus unlimited calls and texts to Australian and Philippine numbers. This will seem more economical than the Belong offer, but the caveat is that you will need to pay $150 upfront. If cash flow is not an issue, go for the Boost Mobile option. It gives you good data allowance, which will come in handy if you need to go online at home and your accommodation has limited Internet facilities.

Please note that I am not affiliated with Belong or Boost. I am not paid in any way writing this, and the information I have provided above is current as of writing. You are advised to check their respective websites for updated information on current mobile plans on offer.

Meanwhile, if you are planning to bring your mobile phone from the Philippines to Australia, you may want to read this article, Bringing a Mobile Phone to Australia.


9:07 PMManny Diaz

Bringing a Mobile Phone to Australia

Bringing a mobile phone with you to Australia may be a prudent option. However, you should be mindful of the frequency bands mobile telecommunication providers use in Australia. If your mobile phone does not support the frequency bands used by Australian mobile telecommunication providers, your phone will not work in Australia and you might find yourself needing to buy a new phone if you want to use the Australian mobile network.

Photo by Bruce Mars from Pexels

Cutting the chase, see to it that the particular make and model of your phone supports use of the 850MHz and 900MHz bands. These are the frequency bands Australian mobile networks use for the 3G service. Note, however, that the 3G network will be shutdown in Australia by 2024.

Australian mobile networks operate the 4G service over the 700MHz, 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands. Check that the phone you are bringing supports these frequency bands. Even if you are not a tech person, you must understand that mobile coverage throughout Australia does not operate on a single band or frequency. As you move from place to place, the network may be using a different band. Your phone automatically shifts to the right band, but you need to ensure that your phone supports the bands in use in Australia.

Again, to summarise, Australia uses the following frequency bands:

3G over 850MHz and 900MHz bands to phase out 2024
4G over 700MHz, 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz

To verify that your phone supports these bands, check the fine print on the phone packaging box, the manual and other printed matter that came with the phone when you purchased it and, if the packaging or manual are not available, go online and look up your phone at the phone manufacturer's website.

By this time, you should already know that your charger will most probably not plug into the power outlet in Australia. You will be needing a power plug adapter, and it comes as cheap as $5 from Officeworks.

But that is not all.

Upon arrival at any Australian airport, note that you cannot use your mobile phone while undergoing clearance process or when asked not to by a Border Force officer.​

The Border Force will have the power to confiscate your mobile phone for forensic examination under section 186 of the Customs Act. Your phone, if confiscated, will be returned to you within 14 days if it does not contain any material which renders the device subject to seizure under Customs-related laws. It means that it should not contain any form of pornography, pirated movies and software, and other contents of similar nature.

Now that you have your mobile phone, you might be interested to know what the best prepaid mobile phone plan is for you. Read the article Unlimited Calls to the Philippines from Australia on Prepaid Mobile for information.

7:47 PMManny Diaz

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Manny Diaz now a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor



PRESS RELEASE — (Marsfield NSW) In a bid to further professionalise advising prospective international students, Manny Diaz has achieved registration as Qualified Education Agent Counsellor (QEAC). To achieve registration as QEAC, one has to complete the Education Agent Training Course (EATC) developed by Australian Education International (AEI) and the then Department of Immigration and Border Protection (or the DIBP, now the Department of Home Affairs or DHA). Upon completion of the EATC, candidates for QEAC status have to sit and pass the QEAC Certification Exam which covers the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), regulations and legislation pertinent to international education, ethics and working effectively as education agent.

Click here for more information on and things you need to know about agents and agencies.

Manny Diaz is an independent international education counsellor offering FREE education counselling to prospective international students in Australia. Visit the Manny Diaz IIEC website or click here to get in touch.


9:17 PMManny Diaz

Monday, January 20, 2020

The End-to-end Process for Prospective International Students


For non-Australians to come to Australia to study in any of its education providers, one must be enrolled as a student in an education provider (EP) and should hold a valid student visa (SV). In brief, therefore, there are two fundamental requirements for international students: a current enrollment and a valid visa. Below is your quick three-step process guide.

Photo by Anastasiya Gepp from Pexels

Step 1 - Enroll in a School

Enrollment is proven by a certificate of enrollment (COE). An EP issues the COE if one has paid the minimum fee payable. You can pay the minimum fee payable if you have been admitted to a course of study in the EP.

To be admitted to a course of study, you must apply for admission to the EP and when the EP deems your application to be of merit, it makes an offer of placement usually through an offer letter which contains details of the course of study, particularly the fees to be paid and the period of study (otherwise you will receive a notice of rejection in which case your application will not progress anymore).

If an offer is made, you either decline the offer or accept it. To decline an offer, you can simply ignore it or you can send a formal rejection of the offer. The latter, in my opinion, is the better option. On the other hand, to accept an offer, you do not just formally inform the EP of your acceptance—you also pay the minimum amount payable and take out an overseas health cover (OSHC).

The OSHC is basically a medical insurance which international students are required to have and it should cover the period of study indicated in the letter of offer. The OSHC is proven by a certificate of cover, which together with your proof of payment, you send to the EP as part of your acceptance of the offer.

The EP will then issue the COE.

If you need help in the application, offer and enrollment process, or if you need advise in choosing the right course for you, click here to get in touch with your independent international education counselor.

Step 2 - Apply for a Visa

Once you already have the COE, you apply for a student visa. This is best done online by creating an account at https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/login and thereafter apply for a student visa (subclass 500). All information about the SV can be found at the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website.

Click here for information on eligibility, i.e. get to know what will qualify you for a student visa or what the requirements are for a student visa.

Click here for the documents checklist, a handy tool provided by the DHA to help you identify what documents you need to have in preparation for your application for SV.

And if you need a step-by-step guide to the student visa application process, click here for the DHA Step-by-Step Guide. If you have engaged the services of an agent, usually your agent will apply for the visa on your behalf, so you do not need to worry about the process. You need, however, to understand what documents you need to prepare.

All too much for you to absorb? Click here to get help from your independent international education counselor fill out forms and attach your documents.

Step 3 - Act on Visa Outcome

The DHA recommends that you apply for your student visa at least six (6) weeks before classes start (see Step 1 in the Step-by-step Guide). According to the Global Visa Processing Times section of the DHA website, 75% of applications from the VET (vocational education and training) sector are processed in 46 days, or 90% in 67 days. Higher education is a bit better with 75% of applications processed in 32 days, or 90% in 53 days. If you are in the unlucky 10%, it may take more than two months to process your visa. So do not fret, wait for the decision.

The visa outcome is either a grant or a refusal. If your visa is refused, do not think of appealing. On one hand, the decision will indicate that the decision cannot be appealed and on the other, the appeals process will be more expensive. Nothing prevents you from re-applying again in case your visa is refused.

If your visa gets approved, pack your bags and say goodbye to family and friends.

Do you need help with any of these? Still confused or are you not confident that you should do-it-yourself? Help is available from your independent international education counselor, just click here.

3:51 AMManny Diaz

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Quick Guide to the SOP and GTE Requirement

Those planning to come to Australia to study will inevitably come across SOP and GTE. SOP stands for Statement of Purpose, which technically is an essay submitted to an education provider much like a job application letter trying to establish a business case on the merits of the application. The SOP in the context of the Australian education market, however, is a bit off the mark. According to the University of Canberra, the "purpose of the SOP is to demonstrate that the student meets the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s (DIBP) Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirements." Incidentally, the DIBP is now known as the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). [Click here to download the University of Canberra's How to Write a Statement of Purpose guide]. Some education providers may ask for your SOP as part of the admission process, some will not. Whichever the case may be, you will need to write your SOP/GTE at some point.



According to the DHA, all applicants for a student visa must show they are coming to Australia temporarily to gain a quality education. The GTE requirement (which you now know to mean the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement) is used to make sure the student visa program is accessed as intended. It helps identify applicants who are using the student visa program for motives other than gaining a quality education. Remember, the student visa program is not a way for international students to maintain ongoing residency in Australia. The DHA, however, clarifies that the GTE requirement is also not intended to exclude students who, after studying in Australia, develop skills Australia needs and who then go on to apply for permanent residence.

Pointers in Writing the SOP/GTE

Before writing your SOP/GTE, read the Ministerial Direction 69 (52KB PDF) first. It is not a checklist, but it sets out a number of factors the DHA takes into account when determining if you meet the GTE requirement.

The DHA looks at your SOP/GTE statement in four broad areas. These are:

1. Situation in your home country - the DHA considers your reason for not studying in your home country or region if a similar course is available there, your ties to your home country that support an intention to return after study is finished, your economic situation, your military service commitments, if at all, and the political and civil unrest in your home country.

2. Potential situation in Australia - the DHA considers your ties to Australia that present a strong incentive to stay in Australia, your level of knowledge of the proposed course and education provider, your previous study and qualifications, your planned living arrangements and your financial stability.

3. Value of the course to your future - the DHA considers if the course is consistent with your current level of education, if the course is relevant to past or proposed future employment in your home country or a third country and the expected salary and other benefits in your home country or a third country obtained with your qualifications from the proposed course of study.

4. Your immigration history - the DHA considers your previous visa applications for Australia or other countries and if you have had previous visa refusals or cancellations.

[Click here for the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement discussion at the Department of Home Affairs website].

Suggested Outline of your SOP/GTE

Following guidance from multiple sources (see the Links to Guides below), it would be prudent to consider the following outline for your SOP/GTE:

About Yourself

Briefly introduce yourself and family (or relationships). You can establish intention to come back home with family relations, e.g. you have a spouse and children who are staying behind.

Discuss previous studies. If you have not been to school for a long time or if you have a history of not completing studies, better explain why this time around you can be expected to complete your studies. Show how your previous studies relate to your proposed Australian study.

Discuss current and previous work. Show how your work history relates to your study plans. If you have gaps in employment or if you are currently unemployed, you need to have a satisfactory explanation. A clear career path and a reasonable expectation of further career advancement, such as an employer who is willing to take you back upon your return, will help establish intention to return.

Discuss other circumstances that will serve as motivation to return after completing your studies, such as business ownership or interests, real and personal property (house, parcel of land, car), reasonable expectation for inheritance, and the like.

If you have traveled abroad before, provide the details. Having been to other countries and returning home every time will establish a pattern that you are one who always returns home. 

About Your Planned Study

Briefly discuss what the course program you want to pursue and why you are pursuing that course program. Relate it to your previous studies and work history, and if it is a complete change in career direction, satisfactorily explain how it is a logical course of action.

Discuss why you chose to study in Australia and why you chose to study in the school you have enrolled at. It is important to show that you have done due diligence in understanding what you are proposing to study and this due diligence extends beyond an understanding of the course program, of the school, and life in the city and state where the school is situated-- you need to explain why you need to go to Australia for that course when it may be available elsewhere, such as locally in your own country and at much lower cost.

If you have made arrangements already for your stay, it is good to mention it here. It will show that you are well prepared. Meanwhile, a round trip ticket is good indicator of intention to return home. This assumes of course that those visits abroad did not include instances of breach of visa conditions and the like.

The Value of Your Planned Study

It is very important to show the value of your proposed study to you-- it is like a cost-benefit analysis: why spend so much to study in Australia? What value will an Australian qualification bring you and how does it justify the costs of obtaining that qualification?

If you claim career advancement, you need to provide evidence, such as letter of support from current employer. If you claim reasonable expectation of future employment, you need to cite official data showing career outlook and salary trends for instance.

Your SOP/GTE does not have to be very long, but keep in mind that if it is too long, you probably are just verbose and repeating yourself which makes your SOP/GTE a very uninteresting read. Despite claims of being objective and fair, case officers who read your SOP/GTE are also humans. Be considerate, they too can get a headache trying to understand cryptic and cyclic essays.

Evidence to Include

It is important that, where available, you should provide evidence of statements you make in your SOP/GTE. Below are some evidence you may want to include:

Evidence of Relationships such as birth certificate and marriage certificate. For de factor relationships, you may want to include a sworn statement or affidavit from family members of both sides corroborated by residence certificates or statements from local officials and disinterested parties.

Evidence of Previous Study which includes certificates or the diploma (in Australia this is called a testamur because a diploma is a qualification, not a document), transcript of records and the like.

Evidence of Previous or Current Work which could be certificates of employment and other statements from previous and current employer. If your study is supported by your current employer, it would also be good to include a statement of support.

Evidence of Property Ownership such as car registration, real estate tax declaration, business registration and tax returns, deed of donation, probate of will and the like or any document that proves ownership or future ownership.

Evidence of Financial Circumstances such as bank statements and other financial instruments, tax return or pay slip, affidavit of support and the like. At the moment there is no need for show money for applicants from the Philippines, but showing you have the means to support yourself in your studies as well as financial incentives to return home will work to your advantage.

Evidence of Other Arrangements such as lease contract or agreement with the person who owns the place where you will stay while in Australia and return airplane tickets will help.

URL of official data you have based your statements on, such as job market outlook, salary expectations, alternatives to your proposed studies, and the like.

Summary 

With the SOP/GTE, you are trying to establish that you are really a student coming to Australia to study because studying in Australia will benefit you in the long run, considering that it is very expensive to study in Australia. Upon completion of your study, it should also be clear that you will return home. Talk is cheap, so you must back up your statements with evidence or proof. 

Links to Guides

Department of Home Affairs
University of Canberra

8:15 PMManny Diaz