Living in Australia
The cost of living will vary from campus to campus, from one type of accommodation to another, and from one individual student's needs to another.
The Australian Government's studyinaustralia website provides a general guide to costs associated with living and studying in Australia, which may help you to plan and budget for your stay in Australia.
In the summer months, from December to February, temperatures in coastal Victoria average the mid to high 20's, while in the winter months, from June to August, maximum temperatures drop to 14° on average. Autumn, from March to May, and spring, from September to November, are generally much milder.
Light clothing is recommended for summer and warm, waterproof clothing would suit winter. It is often recommended to layer clothing, as Victoria's weather can be very changeable, even within a day!
Summer can see hot and dry spells of weather, with temperatures soaring to the high 30's and occasionally reaching 40°. It is very important to drink plenty of water on hot days to avoid dehydration, to always wear SPF30+ sunscreen and a hat.
Australia has some of the highest levels of UV radiation in the world. Too much exposure to UV radiation can cause sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer. From September to April, when average UV levels are 3 and above in Victoria, sun protection is required. At this level, the UV radiation is strong enough to damage the skin and eyes. SunSmart informs you about sun protection measures.
Reliable information on Australia's climate, including weather forecasts, can be found at the Bureau of Meteorology
Australia has a modern and efficient banking system, which is accessible and easy to use. It is advisable to set up a bank account as soon as possible after your arrival and discuss your needs with the bank. New students are given assistance with their banking needs on arrival through the Welcome Desk.
To open an account you need your COE, passport, Letter of Offer, or other forms of identification. The standard banking hours for major banks are Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4pm.
There is an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) on each campus which can be accessed 24 hours a day if you have an access or key card from an Australian bank. To locate the ATM on your campus, have a look at your campus map.
Need more help with your finances while studying in Australia? Student Financial Support can help you with budgeting.
Myki is a reusable smartcard that allows you to travel on Melbourne's trains, trams and buses, V/Line commuter train services, buses in Geelong, as well as buses in a number of other regional areas.
Find out more about myki, how to get one, and how to top it up.
Deakin's Travel and Transport pages provides comprehensive information about travel to and from your Deakin campus, both via public transport and other means of travel.
There are two types of insurance that international students should be aware of, your compulsory Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), and personal insurance - particularly car insurance.
International students are required to take out Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of their studies in Australia. Deakin's preferred provider for OSHC is Bupa, a major health insurer.
Don't forget to order your Bupa member card online after your arrival in Australia. You will have to show your card whenever you visit a doctor or have to go to hospital.
Some students may have OSHC through another provider, such as WorldCare or Medibank Private.
Deakin Medical Centre will not charge you for a doctor's consultation if you present an OSHC member card from one of the above mentioned providers.
If you are bringing expensive items with you to Australia, such as your laptop, digital camera or jewellery, you may wish to consider applying for personal property insurance to insure your belongings against loss or theft.
Students interested in purchasing a car while in Australia should consider taking out comprehensive insurance or Third Party Property insurance. The Transport Accident Commission provides personal injury insurance which is included in your annual registration fee. It does not, however, cover any property damage. Please read the VicRoads website for further information.
Deakin's Jobshop has information about finding work and lists available jobs. In addition, Jobshop provides a wealth of resources, including online tools, that will help increase your chances of finding part time work whilst studying.
For information about your rights as a worker in Victoria, Job Watch is a useful tool. It's important to be aware of your rights as a worker so that you don't make yourself vulnerable to exploitation by less scrupulous employers.
One of the conditions of your student visa stipulates that you can work no more than 40 hours per fortnight while your course is "in session", that is, during the trimester. A fortnight is calculated as any period commencing on a Monday and ending at the end of the second following Sunday.
During the trimester breaks and holidays you can work unlimited hours. Trimester 3 is a non-compulsory trimester. If you are not enrolled in any units in Trimester 3, you can also work unlimited hours in that period.
For more information, please refer to the Compliance website.
Australia is a relatively safe and secure country to live in. However, learning more about your environment and the local culture will help you stay safe and healthy.
Security Officers are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are based at all Deakin campuses. You can identify Security Officers by their uniforms which display the Deakin Security badge.
Deakin Security recommends you avoid walking alone on campus at night. They provide an escorting service, accompanying students to any location on campus, including car parks, student residences, and bus and tram stops. Learn more about the escorting service from the Deakin Security website.
Tips for keeping safe when traveling on public transport:
- Stay in well-lit areas
- At night, travel with friends
- Put your valuable items out of sight
- Make sure you have topped up your myki before traveling
- Plan your journey, know where you're heading
Introducing George: George is the face of the international student safety campaign and has a number of tips for international students on how to keep safe on public transport.
Australia has a water-based culture and if you intend to enjoy your visit here by seeing some of Australia you will no doubt visit a beach or river.
Only swim at a beach patrolled by lifesavers. And always remember 'FLAGS':
F: Find and swim between the red and yellow flags
L: Look at and read the safety signs
A: Talk to and ask the lifesavers about the beach and how to stay safe
G: Get a friend to swim with you. Never swim alone
S: Stick your hand up and wave your arm if you do get into trouble in the water.
The free Beachsafe app developed by Surf Life Saving Australia allows users to monitor surf and weather conditions at over 12,000 Australian beaches from their iPhones, and is an essential tool for anyone planning to visit Australia's coastline.
When spending time near a river or other inland waterway, you should take note of the safety checklist compiled by the Royal Lifesaving Society of Australia.
A number of checklists for a variety of other situations regarding water safety are available for downloading.
Australian attitudes to sex and relationships may differ from those of your home country. It's important you don't feel pressured to start a sexual relationship. However, if you are sexually active, you need to protect your health by seeking advice about:
- preventing pregnancy (by using effective contraception)
- preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Deakin Medical Centre staff are experienced in providing students with confidential and sensitive sexual health advice and testing. The Sexual health and relationships page on the Deakin website provides further information on this important topic.
International students traveling between their home country and Australia should take note of the information on the Travel health page on the Deakin website.
Students with dependant family members not only have to consider their own arrival, accommodation and education, but also that of their families.
The type of accommodation you will need will obviously differ from that required by students without families and this will affect the cost. Deakin's Off-campus Housing Service can be of help when you are looking for suitable accommodation for yourself and your family.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection lists visa conditions for dependants on international students' visas.
If you have children up to age 6 and are in need of childcare, it is highly recommended that you apply for this as soon as possible after arriving in Australia. Waiting times for a place in childcare can be as long as 12 months. It is also important to know that childcare in Australia is costly.
Information on childcare services can be found at the Deakin University Childcare website.
Schooling is compulsory in Victoria for children between six and 17 years of age. Children can study at a government or non-government school. Parents who are enrolled in an undergraduate or Masters by Coursework degree pay full fees for their children's education. Only parents who are recipients of an Australian Government-funded scholarship (i.e. Australia Awards students) or students who are completing a Masters by Research or a PhD program are exempt from paying school fees for their children.
Please check the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for the most up-to-date information on schooling for children in Victoria.
International students with dependent family members who have been granted permission to work should find out from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection what their work entitlements are.