Before you arrive – Information
Is there any important information I should read?
Students are encouraged to read the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework in order to develop a greater understanding of how WSTC operates to service its international students. A copy of this can be found right here.
The requirements for a Student Visa application are as follows:
- A Letter of Offer from WSTC
- An electronic confirmation of enrolment (eCOE)
- A medical examination as required by regulations
- Proof of financial support
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
- Citizens of certain countries may need to obtain a Pre Visa Assessment from the Australian Diplomatic Mission before making any payment to WSTC.
What about assessments?
Language, Literacy and Numeracy Tests
International Students are required to have an IELTS score of 5.5 or equivalent.
For more information, please review this website https://ielts.com.au/ielts-in-australia/ielts-for-your-student-visa/.
Students experiencing difficulty with language, numeracy or literacy at any stage of their studies may access academic support from WSTC’s student admin staff. In the event that the required support exceeds WSTC’s abilities, the student will be referred to the appropriate NEAS accredited college.
Are you able to bring any family members with you while you study?
In some cases, family members can accompany students to Australia during their study. Please refer to the Department of Home Affairs for more information:
You can apply for eligible family members to come to Australia as dependants in one of two ways:
- By including them in your student visa application
- By applying for them to join you after you have been granted your student visa to study in Australia.
For more information on the student visa requirements for family members, please visit:
What about accommodation in Australia? How does it work?
In Australia people either buy or rent their own house or unit. In order to rent a home in Australia you will need to be prepared to sign a contract/lease agreement with a landlord. A landlord will often use a real estate company or agent to manage the property for them.
Leasing a property is often for a period of 6-12 months, although time can vary or change based on the agreement between you and the owner.
If you are about to sign a contract/lease agreement for a unit or a home, it is advised that you read through each of the terms and conditions carefully and are sure you understand each and every one of the points in the agreement.
It’s important to ensure that you are aware of all the payments you will need to make, including when you will need to make them, how often (weekly, fortnightly, monthly) and how you will make a payment. Additionally, it’s a good idea while you are in Australia to always keep a record of all of your payments (rent receipt or bank statement).
At the start of your tenancy, the landlord or agent should provide you with a Fair Trading Fact Sheet known as the “New Tenant Checklist”. You should ensure that you are able to answer “Yes” to every item in the checklist before you agree to sign.
A copy of the “New Tenant Checklist” can be found right here.
More information about renting a property in Australia can be found on the Fair Trading website right here. Please take some time to read through this important information as it will help you throughout your stay. It is highly recommended that you read all of it so that you are well informed before you arrive.
Expected living costs
Preparing yourself financially is a very important part of your visit to Australia. We advise you to create a budget and plan your expenses while you are here in Australia so that you don’t find yourself in any financial trouble during your stay.
What’s the minimum financial expectation?
The department of home affairs (DHA) has requirements that you must meet in order to receive a student visa. From 1 February 2018, the 12 month living cost is:
- student/guardian – AUD21,041
- partner/spouse – AUD7,362
- child – AUD3,152
For more information about living costs please check here.
These costs are in Australian dollars, you can use this website (http://www.xe.com/) to convert the value to your currency.
Please keep in mind that these costs are the minimum recommended requirements and it is a good idea to prepare for any additional costs you many occur when planning your finances.
What website can I use to find somewhere to stay in Australia?
Australia’s most popular rental property website is http://www.realestate.com.au. To find properties that are currently available and to browse through their prices you need to visit http://www.realestate.com.au/rent. Please be sure to research your choices well.
For more options, you can also find rental properties that are currently available through https://www.domain.com.au
Always inspect the property and check the details are correct. Never pay money in advance without inspecting the property, especially if you are overseas. Please be aware of rental scams and always do your research. Some important information can be found here.
What about living expenses?
The following expenses are averages of what you could expect to spend during your stay and may change based on your actual consumption each week.
- Groceries and eating out $140-$280 per week
- Gas, electricity $10 – $20 per week
- Phone and internet $15 – $30 per week
- Public transport $30 – $60 per week
- Car (after purchase) $150 – $260 per week
- Entertainment $80 – $150 per week
What if I would like to earn money? What work options are available?
Working while you study in Australia can help to keep you secure financially and improve your living experience. Most student visa’s will allow for working up to 40 hours every 2 weeks while your course is being taught
Before you undertake any paid work, please make sure that your visa allows you to work. You can find information about your right to work here (http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/)
Australia has a variety of industries which offer part-time employment, some of these include industries such as retail, hospitality, tourism, agriculture, sales/telemarketing, administration, clerical roles and tutoring.
If you have professional work experience, you may be able to find casual work in your field as well as internships, to gain more experience.
Do I need insurance?
As an international student in Australia, you are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your study. OSHC includes visits to see a doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited pharmaceutical (medicines).
Different OSHC insurers provide different services and deals which range from a basic cover to more premium cover options. It’s advised that you go through the company’s offers and research which is best for you so that you can make the best informed decision.
Which insurers offer OSHC?
- Australian Health Management
- BUPA Australia
- Medibank Private
- Allianz Global Assistance (subcontracted by Lysaght Peoplecare)
- nib OSHC
If you would like to find out more information about OSHC, you can read more on the Department Of Health website right here.
If you would like more cover on top of the basic OSHC requirements, students are advised to look into private health insurance, travel insurance, home and contents insurance or vehicle insurance depending on your needs during your stay.
Initial Arrival information – Sydney International Airport
At the airport
If you need to withdraw or exchange your money for Australian dollars, the following options are available for you at the Sydney International Airport.
- Australian currency can be withdrawn from ATM’s located both before and after customs:
- Travelex ATM’s offer multiple currencies and are located all throughout the airport. Travelex ATM’s will allow you to withdraw Australian dollars if you use them.
- If you have traveller cheques, these can be exchanged for cash at the Travelex foreign exchange retail outlet which you can find by visiting T1 after customs.
After leaving the airport
Australia has four major banks, all with branches spread across the country. Australia’s four largest banks include the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and National Australia Bank (NAB).
- During business hours banks such as the Commonwealth Bank facilitate the exchange of foreign currency at their various branches in Sydney.
- Banks also facilitate the cashing of travellers cheques
- Please be aware that you may need to take your passport as a form of identification at these banks.
For more information about foreign cash services with Commonwealth Bank, you can find it right here.
Loss of luggage or other items
If you arrive at the Sydney International Airport and your luggage is lost, you have two options available:
- For luggage lost during your flight you will need to contact your airline directly.
- For luggage lost within the T1 International terminal, you will need to contact Sydney Airport lost property on (02) 9667 9583
Additionally, if you happen to lose anything while at the airport, you can also call Sydney Airport lost property who will kindly help and advise you on what you can do for anything that has been lost at the airport.
How can you contact your family or friends to let them know of your arrival in Sydney?
- International calling card: You can purchase international call cards from news agencies, Australia Post or at Supermarkets.
- Dialling overseas: To call overseas dial 0011, followed by the country code, area code and phone number.
- Internet at the airport
- Sydney International airport offers internet access at various internet kiosks which are located at the following locations at the International Terminal (T1).
- Departures level: After customs near gate 31
- Departures level: After customs near gate 24
- Departures level: After customs near gate 53
Arrival information – After leaving the airport
Where to buy food or other essential supplies in Australia
Australia’s largest supermarkets are Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and IGA. All of which are open 7 days a week. Many of these supermarkets can be found at shopping centres in amongst a variety of retail stores.
WSTC is located inside Westfield Parramatta which is one of the largest shopping centres in Sydney. Multiple supermarkets are available inside Westfield Parramatta for you to shop at, these include:
Inside the shopping centre there are a variety of butchers, bakeries, fruit shops and fast food outlets that you can choose from.
If in need of medical supplies or first aid equipment, you can purchase these at a chemist. However, for serious medical treatment it is advised that you visit a doctor first as you will need a prescription for some medication.
You can find a chemist inside Westfield Parramatta but they are located all throughout Sydney.
For a detailed look at all the stores and services available to you at Westfield Parramatta visit:
What do you do in case of an emergency or if you are unwell and need medical attention?
- If you need either the police, fire brigade or ambulance services call 000
In Australia if you need some medical services, you will need to contact a doctor. A doctor in Australia is known as a GP (General Practitioner) and can be found at a medical centre, of which there are many throughout the country which can be found by searching for “medical centre” in google maps.
In Westfield Parramatta there is a medical centre inside the shopping centre called Argyle Street Medical Centre, for more details on this medical centre you can find it on their website here. (http://www.ipn.com.au/gp/nsw-parramatta-argyle-street-medical-centre/)
How can you set up a mobile phone in Australia?
Australia has two payment options for mobile phones with the most popular providers in the country being Telstra, Vodafone and Optus who offer both prepaid and post-paid plans.
- Pre-paid Plans: On a prepaid plan you will need to purchase a mobile phone outright and you won’t need to pay a monthly bill for the phone. However to make a call you will need to purchase a sim card from any of the mobile phone companies. Purchasing a sim card will provide you with phone credit which you can use for making calls until it runs out of credit, you then purchase more credit if you would like to make more calls.
- Post-Paid Plans: In Australia, post-paid plans are generally 12-24 months. If you sign up for one of these post-paid plans you will need to pay an agreed monthly amount to your chosen phone company. The plan will include both the phone and the phone provider’s services.
Please be sure to read the terms and conditions of your phone plan from your phone company before signing up for any mobile phone plan so that you are aware of the costs. It is best to research a variety of companies and offers to make the best and most informed decision that suits your needs while in Australia.
More information about mobile phone plans can be found on the Money Smart website.
What do I do about my electrical items?
You will need to have either a voltage converter, which is a device that transforms the voltage from the power outlet into one your electrical product can use. You will also need a power adapter which is a device that allows you to plug your electrical products into an Australian power outlet.
Voltage in Australia is 230V 50Hz. Travellers from most nations in Asia, Africa and Europe should have electrical products that work on the same mains voltage as Australia so you won’t need a voltage converter. Notable exceptions to this are Japan, USA and Canada which use 100/120V 50/60Hz.
If you have the same power voltage in your country as Australia, then you won’t need a voltage converter and will only need to get a power adapter. Australian power outlets are shaped in a V formation.
Getting started At WSTC
- Once your visa has been approved please advise WSTC about the visa approval.
- Before leaving your country please:
- Notify WSTC of the date of your arrival so that we can organize your induction day
- Notify WSTC if you need accommodation or pick up from the airport
- When you arrive in Australia, you must let us know immediately your address and contact number in Australia
- Attend your induction day, on this day
- You will be introduced to WSTC staff and given a tour of the college,
- You will also be given your timetable, and your student ID will be processed.
- On your induction day you will also be notified of your official timetable, your designated trainer/assessor and the rules and regulations of WSTC as well as reiterating your student statutory obligation under a Student Visa arrangement.
Get the mystudentguide now!
You can now find all the information you need as a new arrival to Australia at http://www.mystudentguide.net/ . You can also download the app to find out more about the city with regards to work, living and studying opportunities in the city.