International Students in Sydney: The Economic Driver it is.

It isn’t until I started working in Boston University’s Sydney study abroad program that I realized education is Australia’s biggest service export. Like most people, I never thought of education as being such a big player in a country’s economy. Education services accounts for $16.3 billion in exports for Australia.

I live in Chippendale right across from UTS, so I see the impact of internationals on the streets every day. The UTS- USYD area depends on these students for growth, which allows big residential complexes to be put up. I got word that the Central Park project is funded by Singaporean investors. Two building away from my apartment is a residence hall designed specifically for Chinese students and their living habits (individual apartments).


We all know how Asians have begun gentrifying this sector of Sydney, which is why it’s so fascinating to think what Broadway will look like in 15-20 years. I imagine it to have a look and feel similar to Singapore, if it doesn’t already.

Another stat I found interesting was the proportion of Chinese and Indian students who are contributing to Australia’s economy.  $4.1 billion (25.1%) is related to China, $2 billion (12.3%) to India, and $.9 billion (12.3%) to Korea.

One point to note though is that 2010-2011 was the first year education exports decreased from $18.6 billion to $16.3 billion. My guess is that this is due to the global recession. It will be interesting to see where the numbers stand for 2011-2012.



Documents needed for a 457 Visa (August 2012)

I’ve recently had to go through the 457 visa process for Australia, which was a bit of a pain when it came to documentation. I thought it would be useful to let people know what docs I needed to complete my application and get approved.


Note: This is what I had to submit. You may be asked to provide additional documents.

– Submit your 457 Visa online:

– You need to find a job code that correlates with your role:

Things you need to submit after the online application:

  • Proof of Health Insurance in Australia (Can be an international health insurance plan). I’m from the U.S. and got my health insurance through
  • Official College Transcript from your University.
  • Resume or CV.
  • Certified Passport Copy.
  • Letter of Offer from your employer which includes your role and such.
  • Competitive Salary Proof – This consists of screenshots of various job posting sites and their rates for the same position. This is to prove that you are being paid a competitive salary with the market.
  • Copy of employment references.

Your company needs to submit:

1196N: This is a request to sponsor you from the company.

  • Hiring rationale – A doc that explains, from the company, their reasons for hiring you over an Australian.
  • Organizational Structure- A doc/image that shows where you stand within a the organization’s structure.
  • Letter of Offer with both the employer and employee’s signature.