|that's so true! I've been looking online and I've found there are so many more courses in the US and Canada|
I started out in Perth at Tafe doing graphic design and to be honest its the only thing I really needed to get going. You learn the fundamentals of color, form and composition there which is what they seem to skip over a lot in the more pricey institutions. Unless your the sort of person who needs structured learning, I would suggest getting the fundamentals down and then taking time off to teach yourself 3d with the aid of dvds and tutorials.
No one cares about what school you went to as long as you can show off some good skills to potential employers.