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What Is The Difference Between US and Australian Education System?

Apart from the culture, the education system in America is different from that of Australia. Some differences are in the naming system to the structure of the curriculum.

Both the American and Australian education systems provide opportunities for quality education. Let’s talk about the notable difference between Australia and America that might help you decide which system works for you.


In America, after high school, you progress to college, which refers to University. In the Australian system, college refers to a tertiary institution, smaller than a University. In the U.S, children aged 6 years attend elementary school, which is a primary school in Australia.

After that, you have a secondary school in both systems, but Americans divide it into middle school and high school. In the U.S, students get a diploma when they complete their high school education. When students in Australia finish secondary school, they receive the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE).


It is common practice for all Australian High Schools to have a uniform. That is not the case when it comes to the U.S. Public schools do not have a uniform, but have certain rules about their dress code. The only place you will see students in uniform is a private school. Even in this case, not all private schools have a uniform.

The Australian system is more affordable

Student loans are a huge part of a student’s life in America. It is not a surprise that many people are finding it a burden. The Australian system is different as you pay for each course you take. The school fees you pay in a U.S college is inclusive of other expenses like food. In Australia, meals are not inclusive of the fee payment.

The average annual cost of studying in a U.S college is approximately $33,215. In Australia, the average annual tuition fees would be roughly $22,700. The amount of tuition fees depends on the school you attend plus the number of units you take.

Course structure

One of the differences in the two systems is the course structure. Tests are a huge part of American Schools. For admission into University, students need to take different exams like SATs, ACT, write an admission essay and go through a personal interview.

The Australian systems have fewer exam requirements with students required to produce an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. This whole emphasis or lack of, regarding exams, is evident in the course structure of higher education institutions.

In an Australian university, students have to deal with fewer tests and essays as compared to American colleges. You can easily access essay writing services Australia for help on any writing task. Australian writing service won’t leave you hanging. In the U.S, students have to deal with numerous assignments, essays and quizzes.


In American schools, you have PE which covers sports. In the Australian system, there is PDHPE(Physical Development, Health & Physical Education). This is more than sports. There is a set time when students get to choose a competitive sport and come up with a training schedule.

Football and baseball make up a huge part of the sports played in U.S schools. In Australia, students have more opportunities to participate in tennis, netball, cricket, and rugby.


The experience you get studying in America is definitely different from that in Australia. For students in Australian universities, alcohol is easily accessible. You can easily find a bar on the campus. In U.S colleges you will have to drive off campus to get a bar.

In as much as students in Australia have easier access to alcohol, they don’t have an intense party mentality as their American counterparts. Most American students live on-campus, while a majority of Australian students stay at home.

There are a lot of social activities to take part in while studying in America as compared to Australia. In American schools, there is great emphasis on community engagement in social events. Such events include prom, graduation, yearbook and homecoming.


When it comes to similarities between the two systems. It is evident that the quality of education is of importance in the American vs Australian System. Social and emotional learning (SEL) and character education is a major factor in the curriculum of both systems.

In America and Australia, teachers pay attention to the health development of their students. This has made such subjects like Sex education an effective addition to the curriculum.


Choosing the best among the two depends on your needs as a student. If you are looking for an affordable option, then Australia offers you exactly that.

Getting a work permit in America after you graduate is more restrictive than in Australia. The low employment rate in Australia, compared to the U.S makes it easy to get job opportunities. Both countries provide English education, but TOEFL is prominent in America compared to IELTS in Australia.

With those few factors in mind, you are capable of making a wise decision on which system is best for you.



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