What's it like to be an international student at Chisholm?

What's it like to be an international student at Chisholm?

Are you an international student looking to study in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia? Chisholm offers a range of courses for international students in a supported learning environment.


Arriving in a foreign country to study can be both exciting and daunting.

At Chisholm, we understand. It’s why we support our international students throughout their entire education journey.

If you are considering studying abroad and you think Melbourne, Victoria, Australia could be the place for you, Chisholm offers a range of courses to help you achieve your goals.

“The majority of Chisholm’s international students come from South Asia,” says Chisholm manager of International Student Recruitment and Admissions Prashanth Prasanna.

“Our number one source destination country is India, followed by Nepal, then we have students from Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

“We also actively recruit from South East Asia – we are a popular brand in Vietnam and we are growing our presence in Indonesia and the Philippines. And one of our up-and-coming markets at the moment is Kenya.”

So, why choose Chisholm if you’re looking to study abroad?

Government-owned education and training

With eight campuses in Melbourne, Chisholm is one of the largest vocational education and training providers in Victoria and is government owned.

Prashanth says because of this, it’s considered a “safe” option for international students.

“They can be assured that they will get access to all the services, support and infrastructure facilities that an international student is looking for,” he says.

Personal support and small class sizes

Chisholm’s small class sizes mean you get more one-on-one time with your teacher, rather than being lost in a larger lecture hall or auditorium.

Chisholm’s teachers are skilled and knowledgeable. They make the learning fun and engaging, whether you’re doing supervised practical activities or industry visits.

“Teachers take an active interest in the wellbeing of international students,” says Prashanth.

“If they find that an international student is struggling, we get our international student wellbeing officer involved.”

Practical programs for real job outcomes

According to the 2022 GOS International Report (QILT) report, “Chisholm has one of the highest rates of full-time employment for international undergraduate students among TAFEs in Australia.”

“The most important thing an international student can get at Chisholm is we offer them that practical training,” says Prashanth.

“The majority of students are looking to gain that hands-on experience.

“Being a TAFE, the majority of courses lead to practical outcomes.”

Prashanth says often courses include internships and/or practical placements in the final semester, so students get practical experience while studying. This leads to employment for many students.

International student support services

Chisholm offers a range of support services for international services to ensure you feel at home on campus. These include a comprehensive orientation program, counselling services, career services, and more.

Chisholm can also provide advice around finding accommodation near campus. You can find more information on Chisholm’s accommodation for international students page.

Social clubs

Life’s not just about study. Half the fun of studying abroad is meeting different people and having new experiences!

As an international student, there are all sorts of fun things to get involved in at Chisholm, from campus events to social clubs.

“We have students from over 165 different nationalities at Chisholm and we run a lot of events for international students to make them feel welcome,” says Prashanth.

World-class facilities

As a state-government owned provider, Chisholm has state-of-the-art facilities.

From prayer rooms to top-notch laboratories and libraries, Chisholm’s campuses are designed with students’ needs in mind.

“We have the largest mechatronics lab in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne and state-of-the-art facilities when it comes to courses like nursing,” says Prashanth.

“The classrooms are very well equipped. Thanks to the pandemic, Chisholm has made a lot of investment into digital tools.”

Flexible timetables

The class timetables offer a lot of flexibility for international students looking to work while they study.

“A lot of courses run three days a week, which is great for international students,” says Prashanth.

“They can study the other days or there’s the opportunity to work part time to support their living costs.”

Courses for international students

A range of courses are available for international students, from certificates and diplomas to higher education degrees.

Head to the international courses page to browse courses in:

  • Accounting
  • Alcohol and other drugs and mental health
  • Business management
  • Cookery and patisserie
  • Early childhood education
  • Engineering

How to enrol as an international student at Chisholm

As an international student, you’ll need to meet the Australian government’s Genuine Temporary Entrant requirements for international students. More information is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

“The student needs to have adequate financial resources to support their living and tuition fees for the first year,” says Prashanth.

“The student also needs to have sufficient academic and English scores in order to meet the entry requirements at Chisholm. The student needs to pass an entrance test for a couple of our degrees. All of these are assessed from a Genuine Temporary Entrant perspective.”

An authorised Chisholm International Education Agent can help you prepare and submit the documentation to apply to Chisholm.

“We cannot provide visa assistance to the students but we do work with several international Education Agents across the globe, whom the students can reach out to for visa services,” says Prashanth.


You can find more information on the applying to Chisholm as an international student page.

Scholarships for international students

Chisholm offers several scholarships for international students

You can find up-to-date information on Chisholm’s scholarships for international students page.

Like to know more about studying in Australia?

To find out more about studying at Chisholm, check out our International Student Guide 2024.

Alternatively, contact Chisholm International.

Fabian’s story

Professional cricket player Fabian Fernando enrolled in Chisholm’s Bachelor of Community Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs after arriving from Sri Lanka.

He enjoyed the flexibility offered through Chisholm, which allowed him to study while playing at Northcote United Cricket Club.

“At Chisholm it’s very balanced and they understand what it’s like to be an international student,” he says.

“They are very flexible with the work and study days. It means you can do other stuff.”

When Fabian arrived, he was 21 years old. He admits it was nerve-wracking.

“It was my first time overseas so it was a bit scary at the beginning,” he says.

“Afterwards it felt very much like home. Chisholm had a lot of student services and counselling services.”

In Fabian’s final year, he did work placement and was offered a job as a behaviour practitioner.

His message to other international students considering coming to Australia was to go for it.

“It’s not going to be easy, but there is plenty of help here,” he says. “What I learned is that if you ask for help, there will be people willing to assist.”

Kabita’s story

Kabita Belbase arrived as an international student at Chisholm from her home country of Nepal.

She enrolled in Chisholm’s Certificate IV in Mental Health and Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs, then went on to do the Bachelor of Community Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs.

“In the start I was really nervous because I didn’t know anyone,” she says.

“But it was so good being able to study in an environment where students are from different parts of the world.”

Kabita studied two to three days a week and worked part time.

She enjoyed her time at Chisholm immensely and says she felt very supported.

“There was a lot of support available – mental health support, study support, careers support,” she says.

Kabita is currently working towards her goal of finding work as a counsellor.