Before you arrive
Staying in a new country is rarely what you expect. Reading about a way of life and living it are very different. Our top tips for your time here are:
- Be sure to spend a decent amount of time researching and planning before booking your trip.
- Make sure you confirm important information and your plans in writing.
- Ask questions and get help if you need it.
- Make sure you're aware of your rights and responsibilities.
At CBHS International Health we want to make sure you have the best experience possible during your stay in Australia, if you're in doubt, give us a call, and we’ll help as much as we can.
Step one: Do your research
Your visa requirements will depend on the type of visa you're going to apply for. You'll need to start by working out why you're coming, and what you're going to do while you're here such as study, or work (or both). To help you find the right visa and to understand the visa requirements, use the Australian Government’s Visa Finder.
If you're coming for a holiday, find out as much as you can about the different regions of Australia and our tourist attractions to help you decide where to go and what to do/see.
If you're coming to study in Australia, learn as much as you can about the schools, colleges, and universities as you can. To help you with your study plans, visit the Study In Australia website as well as potential school, college and university websites. The Australian Government website also has links to many useful resources to help you with your research.
If you're planning to work while you're here, the Australian Government website also has a lot of useful information to help you work out your visa requirements and rules.
Step two: Plan your stay
Once you’ve done your research, you can start planning your visit. Put together a detailed list of what you want to do while you're here, look into where you will stay and where you might work or study. Depending on your visa, you may need to enrol for your studies or have some work lined up before you can apply for your visa. Make sure you know which visa you're applying for and what those requirements are before you apply.
Cost of living in Australia
The Australian Government have put together some guidelines of what your living costs in Australia might be. We’ve included them here for your reference. The costs will depend on where in Australia you're going to live, so see this as a guideline only. (To convert from Australian Dollars to your currency, visit http://www.xe.com/)
- Accommodation: depending on the type of housing you choose, your weekly accommodation costs can vary anywhere between AU$90 and AU$450 per week. A boarding school can costs anywhere between AU$11,000 and $22,000 a year.
- Food: you can spend between AU$80 and AU$300 a week on groceries and eating out
- Gas and electricity: AU$35 to AU$140 per week
- Phone and Internet: $20 to $55 per week
- Public transport: $15 to $55 per week
- Car (after purchase): $150 to $260 per week
- Entertainment: $80 to $150 per week
The estimated cost of living in Australia for 12 months (based on data from 2018) is estimated as:
- AU$20,290 for just you
- AU$7,100 for your partner or spouse
- AU$3,040 for a child
The Australian Department of Home Affairs has financial requirements you must meet to receive a student visa for Australia.
You can also use the ‘Insider Guides Costs of Living Calculator’ to estimate your costs of living in Australia.
Temporary Accommodation in Australia
Your budget will influence where you stay while you’re in Australia. Tourists can come and stay in backpackers accommodation, hotels, bed and breakfast, motels or even stay in holiday homes.
If you're coming to study or to work, arrange some temporary accommodation for your first few weeks here so you can take the time to plan and explore accommodation options and find what will work best for you once you're here. Click through to our accommodation page to find out more about accommodation options in Australia.
Australian Time zones
Australia operates with different time zones. To find out more about time zones visit australia.gov.au.
Step three: Apply for your visa
Meet your Australian visa requirements
Before you can apply for your visa, you may need to fulfil some of the visa requirements. Start by applying for relevant items such as enrolling in your chosen course, applying for work (if required by your visa), looking for health insurance and completing other visa requirements. (Hopefully, you will have noted these down when you were planning your stay. If not, then go to the Australian Government’s Visa Finder to find out what your visa requirements are.)
For students: Applying for your course
You'll need to supply your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for your visa. Your CoE is provided once you have accepted your Letter of Offer for your chosen Australian course(s).
When to apply for your visa
Once you’ve done your planning and comply with all your visa requirements, it’s time to apply for your visa.
Step four: Prepare for departure
If your visa is approved, you’ll need to prepare for departure. Study Australia has a great checklist for planning your departure as well as some additional information once you're here.
Once you're in Australia
You made it! You’re here! Your next step is most likely to make the most of your time here and get settled. We have some tips to help you do this:
- Make new friends in and out of school and/or work.
- Be willing to ask for help if you're confused, or need help understanding or doing something.
- Keep in touch with your family and friends back home.
- Collect some tourist guides and local information to help you find things to do and get to know your area as quickly as possible.
- Google maps can be an excellent resource for finding your way around. Keep your school/college/university/work and accommodation address with you so you can use it with Google maps to get home or to work or school.
- Expect some of your time here to be challenging. You’ll need to adjust to our culture, and depending on your proficiency in English, you may need to overcome some language barriers. Learn as much English as you can before you come and if you can, learn a little of the ‘local lingo’ (that’s the Australian slang words that might confuse you when you're speaking to us).
Internet and Phones
Australia has a range of service providers offering phone and internet services.
Once you're in Australia, you can buy a SIM card or pay for an Australian mobile phone number. You can choose from:
- Prepaid services: This involves paying upfront for your services and allows you to control your spend. Prepaid services are available from most phone service providers. Signing-up for most services is usually easy and can be done online.
- Contract Services: If you're staying in Australia for a while and know how long for, you can save money by getting a mobile phone contract. Contracts often include cheaper rates for texting and phone calls as well as an option to get your actual mobile phone (handset) included as part of your monthly fee.
Most mobile phone providers offer internet as part of your phone package (both for prepaid and contract services). You can also organise internet for your accommodation (if it isn’t included as part of the accommodation terms). If you get internet for your accommodation, your service provider will send you a modem. Ask the service providers you're considering for details on contract and prepaid options.
Making International Calls
To call your friends or family back home, dial 0011 followed by your country code, the area code (if needed) and then the telephone number.
CALL OVERSEAS: DIAL 0011 + COUNTRY CODE + AREA CODE + TELEPHONE NUMBER
To call you in Australia, your friends and family will need to dial 61 followed by your mobile phone number, or if calling you on a landline, they’ll need to dial 61, then the area code followed by the telephone number.
CALLING AUSTRALIA = DIAL 61 + MOBILE NUMBER or DIAL 61 + AREA CODE + TELEPHONE NUMBER
Communications.gov.au has more detailed information about phone services in Australia.
Finding Permanent Accommodation in Australia
Now you're here you have an opportunity to look at various types of accommodation in person to work out what will best suit your budget and preferences. To help you explore your options, we’ve put together details about the different types of accommodation available.
Transportation in Australia
Australia has a well-developed network of public transport. We’ve put together some details about what types of transportation are available and how to find out more.
Banking and Money
Remember to arrange some Australian dollars before you come to tide you over until you’ve set up an Australian bank account. Although there are currency exchanges available at most airports, being prepared can ensure you have money available to buy things before you get to the currency exchange desk. We’ve gathered a little more information on banking in Australia for you.