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  • Writer's pictureThe Welcome Team

12 Things International Students Need To Know Before Arriving In Australia

Congrats! You made it through the daunting visa application process. You've been approved to come study in Australia, you're enrolled into a college and your flights are probably booked. Exciting times coming ahead right?

This post will prepare you on everything you need to know and do, right after your arrival. Don't worry, is nothing harder than a visa application, but being prepared will help you take the most of your experience as an international student!

If by the end of this post you have any questions, contact us today so we can help you out!

First things first:

What you need to do when you arrive?

Firstly, just come visit us at our office (Level 22/127 Creek St, Brisbane City QLD 4000). We would love to meet you in person and we'll make your life easier. Here you can learn about opening a bank account, apply for a Tax File Number (TFN), Australian Business Number (ABN) and many other tips that will make the experience smooth and pleasant!

What type of jobs are easier to get?

The most popular jobs for international students that just arrived in Australia are in the cleaning, construction, hospitality and childcare industry. These generally are well-paid jobs and have flexible schedules for students looking to work part time.

Your level of English will have a strong impact on the type of job you can get, so we always recommend focusing on your studies and practicing the language as much as you can!

What is the average weekly income of a student in Australia?

The average income of an international student that works up to 20 hours per week ranges from $300 to $550. The minimum hourly wage is $18.93 before taxes.

Keep in mind international students are allowed to work only up to 40 hours per fortnight.

What are the minimum requirements to get a job in Australia?

Initially international students will need to hold a Tax File Number (TFN) or Australian Business Number (ABN) depending on the job.

Depending on the industry you want to work, you'll need certain certifications such as Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA), Responsible Service for Gambling (RCG), a Blue Card if you are planning to work with children or a White Card to work in construction. Sometimes, police checks or other certifications can be also needed.

It might be overwhelming at first, but when in doubt just contact your Welcome Consultant and we will let you know exactly what you need and how to obtain it.

What is a Tax File Number?

TFN is a number issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to each tax paying worker. This number is used by your employer to make payments for the work you do. This is also necessary when doing your tax return.

What is an Australian Business Number?

An ABN is a unique 11-digit number that identifies a business. Not everyone needs an ABN and not everyone is entitled to one, but if you’re starting up business; running a business; or providing services as a freelancer you may need to register for one.

How do bank accounts work for International Students in Australia?

International Students don't have to pay any fees to open and maintain a bank account in Australia. However, you need to show the bank that you hold a Student visa and have a COE (Confirmation of Enrolment) from your school or college.

How to get an Australian Phone number?

Australia has several mobile companies where you can get a phone number and a mobile plan. If you're granted a visa for over 2 years you can even get a brand new phone and pay it monthly with you mobile plan.

The most popular companies are:

Do international students have discounts on transport fares?

This depends on the city you want to live in. For specific information on the city you have chosen to study, such as weather and cost of living, check out our guides under the Explore Australia page.

In Brisbane for example, students who are studying an ELICOS course don't have discounts on transport fares. However, if you are enrolled on a Vocational Course (VET) or University Course, you can apply for a concession card to pay half the price of a regular fare.

What does your Overseas Student Health (OSHC) cover?

Health in Australia can be expensive, which is why it's a requirement to get a health cover to get a student visa in Australia. You'll be covered for any consultations with General Practitioners (GP) and any emergencies that need to be treated at a Hospital.

Students registered with an OSHC provider will be mostly on a free entail basis and in some cases, they'd need to pay a small fee. Anything that it’s not fully covered directly by your provider, can be partially refunded. We recommend the student always check with the doctor to see if your health provider will cover for the costs.

Where can you find a Doctor or a Hospital?

The website of your health insurance company will offer recommendations on both doctors and hospitals they work with. By finding a practitioner there, you'll also have guarantee they will cover all expenses.

Where to buy cheap food, clothes and hygiene products?

Australia is a very multicultural country, it’s easy to find overseas food in small stores and big supermarkets all around the city. Home brand products at big supermarkets tend to be cheaper and there's a wide variety of product to choose from. That’s a great way to save!

Biggest supermarkets:

Stores for cheap clothes, hygiene and medicine:

If you have any doubts or questions contact us today so we can help you out! Our job is to make your experience as an international student as smooth and pleasant as possible.

We are waiting for you!

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