Education, Language

Australia Visa Requirements for Foreign Students

Australia is one of the homes of prestigious universities and colleges in the world. Because of this, foreign students, including Filipinos, are encouraged and persuaded to further their studies in Australia. It is a fact that getting a visa for Australia takes quite some time and some money. It would take some time as applicants seek to acquire all the requirements and money for the fees that go along with it. Hence, it is something that applicants should really plan and prepare for months before the school year starts in Australia.

To help applicants have a checklist of their visa requirements. Below are the things that they need to have on their checklists in applying for an Australian student visa.

1. Visa application form
Before you start filling out the application form for student visas, be sure what kind of program you will be studying in the country. Applicants are assessed according to their student visa type. The following are list of students visas available in the country: Independent ELICOS (Subclass 570), Schools (Subclass 571), Vocational Education and Training (Subclass 572), Higher Education (Subclass 573), Postgraduate Research (Subclass 574), Non-award (Subclass 575), AusAID or Defence (Subclass 576).

2. Visa application fee
Applicants need to pay the processing of their visa applications. Applicants can visit to know more on the different fees.

3. Lodgment/Courier Fee

4. 4 passport size photographs

5. Valid passport

6. Confirmation of Enrollment

The CoE is really important as the visa application relies on this. What the candidate needs to do is to find a school or academic institution to enroll. Once the person pays all the fees in that school, the academic institution will be sending the Confirmation of Enrollment which is a requirement in filling out the visa application form.

7. Certificate of English Proficiency Examination
An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) certificate is an important requirement as it proves one’s fluency in the usage of the English language. Because of this requirement, there is a growing number of Filipinos who start reviewing for the IELTS in the Philippines.

8. Academic transcripts

9. Evidence of financial ability
This will prove that the individual will be able to survive in Australia financially. This includes tuition and cost of living expenses.

10. Evidence of sufficient income

For applicants, the best thing to do is to acquire the Confirmation of Enrollment from the school they are enrolling and get the require IELTS score of this academic institution.

Education, Language

Top Ten Immigration Facts Filipinos Need to Know About Australia

The Land Down Under – Australia is very promising in terms of living a good life and finding better career opportunities. Australia is known as the largest island and the world’s smallest flattest continent. Moreover, it is one of the oldest countries in the planet with the richest cultures that they pride of. Who would not want to live in Australia?

There are big opportunities waiting for any individuals, including Filipinos, in working and living in Australia. As a matter of fact, due to skills shortage and the threat of the ageing population in the country, Australia has opened a door of opportunity to accept more foreign workers to work for their companies and institutions. Here are some immigration facts for Filipinos to need to know about Australia.

1. If you are someone applying for an Australian citizenship, you need to be a migrant who is a permanent resident. Permanent resident status means that you have a visa that permits you to live in Australia indefinitely.

2. Being a long-term resident in Australia does not mean you are an Australian citizen.

3. With regards to family migration, the processing time depends on several factors considering the complexity of the case, planning levels and priority of the visa category.

4. Lots of people who have gained entry in Australia are those people who are sponsored by companies. Not only does it guarantee an entry to the country but also an assurance of a career opportunity.

5. Partners and fiancés of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents may enter or remain permanently in Australia.

6. Parents have the possibility to migrate in Australia if they have a child who is an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident.

7. Aged dependent relatives, remaining relatives and care givers of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents may apply for visas to come to Australia permanently.

8. Visitor visas should not be used for long-term stays, for residence in Australia or for the purpose of remaining in Australia for extended periods to await a migration outcome.

9. If an application for a family stream visa was made outside Australia the visa generally cannot be granted while the applicant is in Australia.

10. Visa applicants must be sure that they have completed all the requirements needed which include an English proficiency examination to ensure their competency in using the English language in an English speaking country.
Any individuals planning to migrate in Australia needs to consider the things that were mentioned above. For more information regarding types of visas and immigration policies, visit


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Education, Language

Why Do Skilled Workers Need to Take IELTS?

Skilled workers include butchers, carpenters, chefs, and welders. These kinds of job are in demand in English-communicating countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. People with skill sets that match these jobs have wonderful opportunities abroad – not just monetary rewards, but also other benefits such as health insurance, petition of family, and other assistance.

There are several requirements in being a skilled worker in English-communicating countries. Age, number of years of experience, training, and good health are just some. Another common requirement by employers and agencies is proof of English communication ability. This is where the IELTS come in. Skilled workers would often be required to take the General Training module, with a band score requirement ranging from 4.5-6.5, depending on the institution asking for the exam.

But why is the IELTS required for skilled workers? There are several reasons.

  1. It is a requirement, who are we to complain? Employers want proof of your competency to communicate in their native language, and the way to prove that objectively is through the English exam. Without this English exam – and the acceptable marks – then your employer will not accept you. The choice has no grey areas: either submit your test result or get another employer.
  2. It provides the skilled worker an edge over others. Proof of communication abilities, especially if the score you have is high. Employers would set standards of communication proficiency that must be attained by those who wish to work in their industry. Also, employers would most likely consider the communication skills of an employee when it comes to giving opportunities for promotions.
  3. It provides assurance to the employer that the skilled worker will be able to perform his job well. Regardless of how skilled you are in performing tasks, there will always be instructions that you must follow, rules that you must comply with, and standards that you must maintain that may be exclusive to that particular employer. How will your employer be assured that you will be able to comply with all of these? Proving that you are able to understand and express in their native language is the key.

Although seen by many as a hurdle that they must overcome, the IELTS is not required for no reason. It is a real necessity for skilled workers and their employers as it serves as a form of certification regarding the competency of an employee to communicate.

The next question is this: How do we prepare for it?

Education, Language

What are the Basic Requirements for Butchery Applicants?

Butchers are now one of the most in-demand skilled working class. They are needed not just in some Asian countries, but in English-communicating nations such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. However, there are certain requirements that Filipino butchers need to comply with. These requirements depend on the agency that will be your bridge to your employers and the existing policies of the employers themselves.

Here are the basic requirements for becoming a butcher.

  1. Training. For natives of these countries, they can get into a butcher job without training by going through apprenticeships. However, for foreigners, it is better to be trained. Government institutions such as TESDA offer butcher training for those who are required to present certifications.
  2. 2.       Experience. Many agencies and employers prefer trained workers. Some may require as much as five (5) years’ experience, whereas others would accept three (3) years. Others will not require any experience at all, as skills in being a butcher can be learned while doing the job.
  3. 3.       Proof of English proficiency.  This is of particular importance for non-native communicators of the language. Filipinos, for instance, who wish to work as butchers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the UK, would most likely be required to take the International English Language Test System (IELTS) to be able to provide concrete proof of their abilities to communicate. The band score requirement would vary, but the average is a Band 5 in Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
  4. 4.       Good health. A butcher may need to be on his feet for 8 hours a day, so he must have the stamina to be able to do his job. Health problems such as seizure disorder may hinder your ability to be a butcher. Good eyesight is also important if you wish to be a butcher. Also, hand-eye coordination is a must for the job, as butchers would be working with their hands and very sharp objects. In cases such as this, good health precedes safety.
  5. Eligibility to work. Of course, to be able to work abroad, you need to comply with all of the requirements for your legal papers. You cannot be a butcher in another country without a work permit there. Not legally, at least.

Being a butcher abroad is a lucrative form of employment and may serve as an entry point to bigger and better things.

Are you qualified? 

Education, Language

How to Write Effectively

This is by far my favorite topic to write about, as I am also a writer. Any English examination would require that you be an effective writer. I would like to clarify this: this does NOT mean that you have to be in the same creative genius as J.K. Rowling, Louisa May Alcott, or Nick Joaquin. Effective writing means making sense.  The more sense you make – the more the readers can follow the train of your thought – the more effective you are.

Here are some things that can help you become an effective writer.

  1. 1.       Work on your grammar and lexical resource. To be understandable, you and your reader must be on the same page. This does not mean a similarity of opinion. What you write about may not necessarily reflect what your reader feels about the subject. You and your reader, however, must use the same language structure. The more accurate your language use is, the more understandable you will be to your reader.
  2. 2.       Make sure that your ideas flow smoothly. To avoid resembling a chop-chop murder victim, the use of transition words and the organization of ideas must be practiced. Your article should resemble water, with ideas flowing smoothly into one another, forming a cohesive narrative or exposition.
  3. 3.       Make use of the correct “voice of the writer”. Your writing style must comply with the audience you are targeting. Think of it this way: an author who writes stories for children will not make use of the same style as someone who is writing for corporate publication. You must make use of the appropriate level of formality depending on the audience you are writing for.
  4. 4.       Write with boundaries. Creative writers would write whatever would come into their heads. This is alright, if you simply want to put on paper whatever ideas you have. These writers would often have time to edit their work later on. However, in English examinations, you would most likely have the shortest amount of time possible for revisions. Make sure that you zero in on what you are supposed to write. To make everything simple, here is a tip: Stay within the bounds of the topic given.
  5. 5.       Know what you are writing about. You can never write about something you have not got the slightest idea about. Build your stock knowledge and then work the ideas you have in order to strengthen the narrative or the exposition that you are writing.

Writing is indeed a creative process, but it is more than that. To be an effective writer, writing once or twice is enough. Be patient with yourself. There is no such thing as an overnight transformation when it comes to writing skills. It takes time, patience, discipline, and a lot of revisions and edits. Learn from it. Practice it. Write.

Good luck. 


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Education, Language

How to Write a Formal Letter

The IELTS General Training Writing subtest, commonly taken by skilled workers and those who wish to be migrants, include letter writing. Most of the time, the letter test takers are required to write are formal – meant for people you work with or those who you do not test takers would do well to know how to write a formal letter. Also, formal letters are still applicable in many situations, particularly if you are working in the corporate world.

Here are some tips on how to write a formal letter.

  1. Use a full-block style. This is the easiest form of the formal letter. In the full-block style, all parts of the letter are flushed to the left. No indentions are made for paragraphs.
  2. Make sure to adopt a formal “tone of the writer”. This means avoiding slang or colloquial words and expressions. Slang means informal language – the language of the streets. This has no place in formal writing.
  3. Be organized. Make sure that you address only a point per paragraph. This creates a smooth flow to your story and it helps the reader better understand your narrative better. Remember to make use of transition words that indicate logical and chronological sequence to create cohesion in your letter
  4. Remember to KISS (Keep it Simple and Straightforward). In the IELTS, you have a word limit of a minimum of 150 words. Despite this, you must keep in mind that in formal correspondence, the people you are writing to will not have much time to read your letter. You may add details, to fill in the 150-word requirement, but these details should be completely relevant to the narrative that you are trying to create. Also, word usage must be aimed at clarity. Formal letters must be absolutely clear in intention and in the narrative itself.
  5. Do not overdo sophistication, or else it just becomes tacky. People often make the mistake of overturning an entire bucket of multi-syllabic words in a formal letter. Sophistication calls for subtlety, not screams. Instead of peppering your letter with hard-to-fathom vocabulary, settle for weaving these words into the text. It keeps the letter simple, but still gives the reader an insight to your English writing prowess.

The primary challenge of writing a formal letter is combining good writing skills, beating the word limit, and making sure that the details are enough to tell the tale in a way that is acceptable in the world of professionals. Practice, as these letters will not only be for your IELTS exam but for real life as well.

Good luck!

Education, Language

How to Sound Corporate During an Interview

In the process of getting a job, the interview is most often the last hurdle. During the interview, the interpersonal communication skill of the candidate is one of the things assessed by the interviewer. The same is true for English proficiency speaking examinations like the IELTS. The main thing to remember when it comes to these speaking challengers is that you are speaking with professionals and in a professional setting. Thus, your tone as a speaker must be corporate.

There are several ways to do this.

  1. Avoid using slang. Contrary to popular belief, slang does not refer to the American accent – it refers to colloquial or informal use of language. To put it simply, slang is street language. This will most certainly not do in the corporate setting.
  2. Modulate your voice. Modulation of voice refers to the speed of which you speak and the tone which you take. Speak neither too fast nor too slow. Make sure that the words you say come out clearly. Also, make sure that the loudness and the pitch that you take is neutral.
  3. Sprinkle sophisticated words into the conversation. Show your English prowess by making use of sophisticated words while conversing with the interviewer. The trick, however, is to use these words subtly and not use an entire lot in every single sentence. Be simple and sophisticated at the same time.
  4. Be friendly, not creepy. You are meeting your interviewer for the first time. A show of warmth will endear you to most people, and this is definitely advantageous. Being friendly with your interviewer also shows that you are confidence. However, you must remember that this person is not your friend, but someone who is judging your skill as a professional, interpersonal communication included. Learn to set boundaries between you and the interviewer. Your primary job is to impress your interviewer.
  5. Know about what you are talking about. Whether the interview is for a job or for an English examination, sounding professional also means sounding like you know what the topic is about. If it is a job interview, then make sure you know what the job description of the position you applied for is, and a bit of background regarding the company. If it is an English examination, make sure to have increased your stock knowledge because topics can be anything under the sun.

Sounding professional during an interview, regardless of whether it is for a job or for an English test, is important as reinforces the interviewee’s communication skill and is a show of confidence. Remember to practice this whenever you have interviews.

Good luck!