International Students

Nan Tien Institute (NTI) welcomes students from all over the world. NTI is one of a relatively small number of institutions offering postgraduate studies grounded in Buddhist wisdom and values.

Our students are empowered with an education that is mobile, crosses geographic precincts and cultural, digital and educational borders, and has numerous transferable and adaptable applications.

NTI prides itself on being a truly international organisation that provides international students with a safe, nurturing, and culturally understanding environment that encourages excellence.

We provide an extensive support service to students coming from overseas. From advice on enrolment to accommodation arrangements and ongoing support services, NTI ensures that international students have a smooth transition to life in Australia, and a safe, stimulating and unique environment in which to complete their studies.

Preparing Your Application

When you are ready to apply, please have the following supporting documentation ready. You can upload these documents at Step 5 of your online application:

  • Passport
  • Academic transcripts/testamurs from previous tertiary study
  • Completed GTE form
  • Current resume/CV
  • Proof of change of name (if applicable)
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (please see English Language Requirements tab below)
  • Evidence of financial capacity (please see Financial Requirements tab below)

Do you have any questions about applying? Contact one of our friendly enrolment advisors:

Phone: +61 2 4258 0700
Phone/SMS: (+61) 0402 551 223
Email: study@nantien.edu.au or contact us via our contact page.

English Language Requirements

All NTI classes are taught in English. In addition to the academic requirements for course admission, all students are required to demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency, either through a recognised English language test, previous studies, or citizenship. The Selection and Admission Policy details NTI’s English language requirements.

English language test

The minimum English language test scores required for direct entry are provided below. English language test results must be no more than two (2) years old at the time of application:

Recognised English Language Test Minimum Scores Required for Direct Entry
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Test Overall score from 6.5, with no sub-band score less than 6.0.
C1 Advanced
(formerly known as Cambridge English: Advanced)
Overall score from 176, with no score less than 169 in any paper.
Person Test of English (PTE) Academic Overall score from 62, with no band score less than 54.
Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) Overall score from 79, with no score lower than 13 for reading, 12 for listening, 18 for speaking, and 21 for writing.



Due to COVID-19, many English language testing centres around the world have temporarily closed to protect the health and safety of test-takers and staff.

Due to this, NTI is currently accepting results from the following alternative English language tests:

TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition
TOEFL ITP® Plus for China Solution

For direct entry to NTI, students require an overall score from 548, with no score lower than 47 for reading, 47 for listening, and 59 for structure and written expression.

Students who complete the TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution test must send their test results to NTI via the Vericant School Portal. Students can contact Student Services with any questions about taking alternative English language tests during COVID-19.

NTI is currently also accepting results from:
IELTS Indicator
The test follows the same content, format and structure of an IELTS test. The score ranges are the same as the regular IELTS test.

 Previous study in English

Students who can demonstrate that they have successfully completed a substantial component (at least one-year full-time study) of an Australia higher education degree (at AQF Level 7 or higher), within the past two (2) years (and while studying on a student visa), may meet NTI’s English language requirements. Students can demonstrate this by providing their academic transcripts from an accredited Australian higher education institution.

Students may also meet NTI’s English language requirements if they have successfully completed two (2) years of higher education study with a recognised institution (within the last two years) where:

  • the language of instruction was English, OR
  • the institution is in a country where the official language is English

Exemptions based on a student’s previous study in English are granted on a case-by-case basis. A student’s previous study in English does not guarantee course admission.


Students who are a citizen of one (1) of the following countries may be exempt from providing evidence of English language proficiency:

  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Republic of Ireland

Exemptions based on a student’s citizenship are granted on a case-by-case basis. Citizenship does not guarantee course admission.

Students who have any questions about the English language requirements for studying with NTI can contact Student Services for further information.

Financial Requirements

You must be able to provide evidence that you can fund your studies in Australia.

How much money

You must have enough money to pay for:

  • your travel
  • 12 months of your course tuition fees
  • 12 months of living costs for you and any family members who might come to Australia with you
  • school fees for any school-aged children who might accompany you

Evidence of financial capacity

You can show proof of your financial capacity in the form of:

  • bank/financial institution statement showing deposits of money/savings
  • government or bank/financial institution loan
  • scholarship or similar financial support
  • your parents’ or your partner’s personal annual income in the 12 months immediately before you apply

You will be required to complete a financial declaration when accepting your offer, confirming that you or your sponsor have access to funds for your course, your travel costs, and your living expenses.

For more information about financial capacity to obtain international student visa, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website

Cost of Living/Accommodation – Wollongong & Sydney
The table below shows an index of living costs by city, calculated using a budget method.

The base-case budget is for a student who lives in Perth and spends $560 per week, including $200 on rent. This index was calculated using the latest data available on 30 April 2015.

*Referenced from Student Cities Australia

Living on campus for the duration of intensive lecture programs – e.g. the 5 day face-to-face subject component – is highly recommended. Students who have stayed on-campus during their studies say it adds significantly to their experience and learning.

Escape from the world for a short time and enhance your learning by immersing yourself – without any distractions – in Buddhist culture.

On-site students have the added benefit of being able to participate in a number of after-hours activities including Buddhist Drum and Bell Ceremonies; walking, outdoor and traditional meditation; Tai Chi; chanting; and Tea Ch’an.

On-Campus accommodation

Pilgrim Lodge’s unique 3.5-star accommodation is located on the grounds of Nan Tien Temple – the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. The Lodge overlooks the peaceful Temple, beautiful lotus pond, award-winning gardens, and out to the magnificent Illawarra escarpment.

Classrooms, lecture theatres, library and other NTI facilities are just a five-minute walk away. On-site facilities include social and study spaces, meeting rooms, wireless internet, dining halls and a coffee shop/tea house.

Special student accommodation rates are available.

Visit the Pilgrim Lodge Website for more information.

Off-Campus accommodation

The Institute has listed the following alternative accommodation as a reference for students, however, does not provide any endorsement for these accommodation services, nor takes any financial or other exchange from these establishments for the listing on this website. 

Students will need to make their own investigations as to the facilities and suitability of these accommodation venues provide. The Institute does not accept any liability for any loss or damage that you might suffer due to any unsatisfactory accommodation arrangements made by you. Nor will the Institute pay you for any loss or damage suffered.  

The arrangements made by you are entirely at your own risk. Please take care when making those arrangements.

Located in Parkinson Street, Wollongong. Sky Accommodation is a short walk from the Central Business District and close to shops and public transport. Dormitory rooms, single rooms and studio apartments are available. 
Phone: +61 (2) 4228 9320 
Email: skyaccom@tpg.com.au 
Website: www.skyaccommodation.com.au

Located on the Princes Highway in Figtree. The Sovereign Inn is a short walk to Westfield Shopping Centre or Unanderra Train Station. Suitable accommodation for a single person or a family of 6. 
Phone: +61 (2) 4271 1122 
Email: managerwollongong@sovereigninns.com.au 
Website: https://www.solomoninn.com.au/

The Downtown Motel is located in the heart of Wollongong CBD and is a short walk to the Entertainment Centre, Beach, Golf Course, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and Shops. 
Phone: +61 (2) 4229 8344 
Email: info@downtownmotel.com.au 
Website: www.downtownmotel.com.au

Flinders Motel is a newly renovated, 64 room motel located in the heart of Wollongong.  Flinders has onsite parking available, a guest laundry, BBQ area and an onsite restaurant. 
Phone: +61 (2) 4226 6566
Email: info@flindersmotel.com
Website: www.flindersbudgetmotel.com.au

Elsinor Motor Lodge provides quality three and a half star accommodation located in Dapto, Wollongong. 
Phone: +61 (2) 4261 3366
Website: www.norrismotels.com.au

International Student Rights and Responsibilities

The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act), establishes legislative requirements and standards to assure the quality of Australian education and training institutions offering courses to international students studying on a student visa.

Education institutions (such as NTI) can only deliver education services to international students on a student visa in Australia if they are registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

In order to be registered with CRICOS providers must have met, and continue to meet, the requirements of the ESOS Act and National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (the National Code). NTI is a registered provider with CRICOS (provider code 03233C).

International students studying with NTI have the following rights under the ESOS Act:

  • The right to receive current and accurate information about NTI’s courses, fees, modes of study, and other important information from NTI and your agent.
  • The right to have access to support services, complaints processes, and information about changes to your enrolment with NTI.
  • The right to sign a written agreement with NTI before paying your fees. A Letter of Offer and Acceptance Form issued by NTI form this written agreement. You are not required to pay any fees to NTI until you read your Letter of Offer, sign, and submit the Acceptance Form attached.
  • The right to receive assistance under the Tuition Protection Service (TPS). The TPS is a placement and refund service for international students, which protects students if an institution is unable to teach their course.

Institutions have the following responsibilities to international students under the ESOS Act:

  • To offer orientation and support services to help you live and study in Australia.
  • To provide contact details for support staff available to help you.
  • To let you know if you can apply for course credit
  • To let you know when your enrolment with NTI can be deferred, suspended, or cancelled.
  • To let you know NTI’s requirements for satisfactory progress in the course you are studying, and the support services available to you if you are not progressing well.
  • To let you know if attendance will be monitored for your course
  • To let you know about NTI’s complaints and appeals processes

Students can find more information about the student rights and institutional responsibilities legislated by the ESOS Act by visiting the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website, or by visiting the Study in Australia website.

Student Visa Responsibilities

If you are studying with NTI on a student visa, you are responsible for complying with the conditions of your visa. The details and conditions of your student visa are stated in the visa grant letter issued by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). You can also check your visa status and conditions through VEVO (Visa Entitlement Verification Online). Some of your student responsibilities include:

Reporting Your Residential Address and Change of Details

As per the ESOS Act, international students must update NTI of their Australian residential address within seven (7) days of arriving in Australia. To inform NTI, you must email the Student Services Office (enquiry@nantien.edu.au) to confirm your Australian residential address in writing.

You must inform the Student Services Office of any further changes to your Australian residential address (for example, if you move to a new house or apartment) within seven (7) days of the changes. You are also required to notify the Student Services Office if your other contact details change, such as your overseas address, phone/mobile number, personal email address, or emergency contact person. You must inform Student Services of any changes to these contact details via email, within seven (7) days of any changes.

Maintaining Overseas Student Health Cover

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is designed to cover the cost of basic medical and hospital care for international students while they study in Australia. OSHC is compulsory for your, your spouse/partner, and any dependants included on your student visa application. You must maintain OSHC for the entire duration of your studies with NTI. DHA advises that failure to provide proof of OSHC will result in your visa application being refused.

OSHC is provided by a number of different Australian health insurers. Please visit the Private Health website for more information on health insurers who offer OSHC. You can also find out more information on OSHC on the Study in Australia website.

Maintaining Enrolment and Full-Time Study Load

International students studying on a student visa must maintain their enrolment in a registered course. If a student’s enrolment is deferred, suspended, or cancelled, the ESOS Act requires NTI to report this change in enrolment status to DHA (please see the Enrolment Suspension and Cancellation section below for more information).

You must complete your studies within the standard full-time duration of your course (as is registered with CRICOS). This means that you must maintain a full-time study load throughout your studies with NTI. The standard full-time study load is eight (8) subjects per year and four (4) subjects per semester. It is your responsibility to ensure that you maintain a full-time study load.

There are specific circumstances in which a you may exceed the standard full-time duration of your course (such as an approved leave of absence). Further details about these circumstances are explained in the Student Enrolment Policy.

The duration of your course may be shortened if you receive recognition of prior learning (RPL). Further information about RPL is detailed below, and in the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy. If an approved RPL request results in reduced course duration, you will be informed in writing of this decision and the consequent shortening of your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

International students can contact the Student Services Office with any questions they have regarding subject enrolment, subject withdrawal, reduction in study load, or applying for RPL.

Maintaining Satisfactory Course Progress

International students studying on a student visa must meet their course progress requirements. NTI’s Student Enrolment Policy provides detailed information about the course progress requirements for international students.

A student who passes more than fifty per cent (50%) of the credit points they attempt in a semester will meet their course progress requirements.

For example: A student who is enrolled in four subjects (6 credit points each) in Semester 1, passes three subjects (18 credit points). As they have achieved 18 of their 24 credit points, they have met their course progress requirements.

A student who fails more than fifty per cent (50%) of the credit points they attempt in a semester will fail to meet their course progress requirements.

For example: A student who is enrolled in four subjects (6 credit points each) in Semester 2, fails three subjects (18 credit points). As they failed more than half of their total 24 credit points, they do not meet their course progress requirements.

If you do not meet your course progress requirements, you will be reported to your Head of Program and the Academic Dean. An intervention strategy will be put in place to help you achieve satisfactory course progress going forward. Further information about informal and formal intervention strategies is detailed in the Student Enrolment Policy.

If you do not comply with an intervention strategy, or fail to achieve satisfactory course progress going forward, you may have your enrolment suspended or cancelled and will be reported to the DHA. Further information about suspension and cancellation of enrolment may be found below, or within the Student Enrolment Policy.

Any student with concerns about their course progress should contact their Head of Program (Faculty and Staff) or the Student Services Office as soon as possible.

Maintaining Education Arrangements for School-Age Dependants

International students travelling to Australia with school-age dependents (children aged between 5 and 18 years) may be required to arrange schooling/education for their dependents. You should refer to the DHA website, and the conditions listed on your visa grant letter for further information.

School fees in Australia vary depending on the age of a child, whether a school is public or private, and which state or territory the school is located in. Please refer to the Study in Australia website for further information.

Not Exceeding the Restricted Work Hours

International students can work a maximum of forty (40) hours every two weeks (also known as a fortnight) during the semester, and unlimited hours during semester breaks. International students (and any family members accompanying them to Australia) must not start working in Australia until the student’s course officially starts (for example, when the student’s first semester begins).

You can contact the Student Services Office to request a Holiday Letter which confirms your enrolment with NTI, and also confirms NTI’s semester dates (including breaks).

Students working in Australia should refer to the DHA website and the Study in Australia website for further information about work restrictions associated with a student visa. See the Student Wellbeing page for more information about your working rights and responsibilities.





Offering a high degree of flexibility, our courses can be studied online or on campus, full or part-time. Our courses are designed for health and wellness professionals, counsellors, educators, and other leaders who are balancing a work schedule and already have an undergraduate degree. Enrol now or at a time that suits you.