Living Essentials

To assist with your adjustment to living in Australia, it is recommended that you learn about everyday services, including:

Public transport types, prices and methods of payment vary between Australian states. Most major cities use a combination of bus and train systems, while smaller cities may only have buses. It is important to get to know your local public transport system so that you can get around your new city quickly and easily. Select your city from the list below for more information:

Before you arrive, or shortly after your arrival, you should open a bank account so you can easily access your money. There is a range of banks to choose from in Australia and most offer student accounts with low or no fees. The main banks are ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac.

The Commonwealth Bank provides specialised information for people moving to Australia and you can even set up your bank account before you depart your home country. If you set up an account before you arrive, once you are in Australia, you will need to visit the bank to confirm your identity and activate your account. Take your passport, student ID card or COE and your address information with you.

Money can be withdrawn from ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) 24 hours a day. There is usually a limit of AUD$1000 per day. Never disclose your pin number to anyone. When you withdraw money at any ATM, be sure to put the money in your bag or wallet before walking away.

EFTPOS – Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale is widely accepted in Australia. Using EFTPOS reduces the need for you to carry large sums of cash (Please check with your bank regarding fees and charges for this service). Contactless payment options such as PayWave and PayPass are becoming increasingly popular.

Australia has a range of mobile phone and internet providers to choose from. Make sure you compare prices and inclusions before signing a contract.

Mobile Phones

It is best to purchase a SIM card or Australian mobile number when you arrive in Australia, as using your home phone number may incur high costs. There are two types of mobile phone accounts you can choose from:

Prepaid - allows you to control how much you spend and you can stop using the service at any time. Prepaid SIM cards and recharge vouchers are sold in many shops, such as newsagents and convenience stores and supermarkets.

Contract (Postpaid) - If you will be using your mobile a lot, a contract might work out cheaper for you. There are many mobile phone providers in Australia. Once you choose your phone plan, you will pay a fixed price per month for a certain amount of calls, text messages and data.

International Calls

To make an international call from within Australia, dial:

  1. International access code (0011)
  2. The country code
  3. The area code (if required)
  4. The local phone number

Example: 0011 91 xxxxxxxxx

It is usually cheaper to use a pre-paid international calling card as they offer cheaper rates. Alternatively, you can keep in touch with family and friends overseas by using many apps and online services such as Skype, Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp.


The University offers free Wi-Fi for all students. You can access this using your University log-in details. Click here to learn more about accessing eduroam.

If you are an international visitor on a student visa, and you hold a current overseas driver licence you do not have to obtain an Australian drivers licence so long as:

  • You remain a visitor
  • Your overseas licence remains valid and current
  • You have not been suspended or disqualified from driving in Australia or elsewhere
  • You have not had your licence suspended or cancelled or your visiting driver privileges withdrawn
  • Your licence must be either written in English or, if the licence is not in English, you must carry an authorised English translation.

Road laws in Australia are very strict and can differ from state to state. Before attempting to drive on any road in Australia make sure that you have a valid licence and you know the road rules.

There are certain criminal offences, such as drink driving, where the police can suspend your licence on the spot. You cannot drive while your licence is suspended. We drive on the left-hand side of the road in Australia and it is a legal requirement that seatbelts must be worn by the driver as well as all passengers.

For more information on driving in Australia including licences and road rules, please visit the following websites in your state: