Student Support Services

Student Support Services

The teaching and administrative staffs of the Melbourne College of Hair and Beauty are available to provide general advice and assistance with matter such as studying, homework, accommodation, English language problems and counselling.

The following information is available:

  1. Accommodation
  2. Moving in
  3. Public transport
  4. Private transport
  5. Health & medical
  6. Money matters
  7. Employment
  8. Family support
  9. Religious organisations
  10. Legal issues
  11. Immigration
  12. Networking
  13. Returning home
  14. Useful Links

 

Accommodation

Finding somewhere to live is probably one of your greatest concerns on arrival. The college is pleased to assist you in locating accommodation but it is up to you to make the necessary arrangements and decisions.  The College has a list of vacant accommodation specifically for international students. We can liaise with landlords and real estate agents regarding any tenancy matters. At any time you can make an appointment to discuss your accommodation needs. If you have recently arrived in Melbourne the College can provide advice and transport for you when inspecting accommodation.

Sorting out your needs & finding accommodation is dependent upon you knowing which preferences are the most important to you. (eg. are you willing to spend more to be closer to the campus ?) Some questions you should be asking yourself include:

  • How flexible is my budget?
  • Can I live with more than 3 people?
  • Close to major shopping centres?
  • Do I need full security?
  • Close to the College?
  • Do I need meals provided?
  • Does it have to be fully-furnished?
  • Does it have to be brick or wooden?
  • Preferred mode of transport?

Once you know what preferences are most important to you, decide on the type of accommodation that best suits your needs. Be prepared to be flexible and change your preferences according to the accommodation available at that time.

The College can give you a realistic picture of what to expect given your requirements.

Is the type of accommodation you are looking for available immediately, are you prepared to wait, or perhaps compromise your preferences?  We can also put you in touch with others who may be looking for similar accommodation.

Inspecting suitable vacancies and making a decision

Use a checklist when inspecting possible accommodation. Don't be afraid to ask questions and be direct. It is not normal practice to bargain on rental prices.

It is in your interest to know what is involved in starting a tenancy and what your legal obligations are.

Types of Accommodation

Renting a whole house or unit Shared house or unit Residential colleges Home stay/ full board Hostels

Renting a whole house or unit

This is the most common type of accommodation chosen by international students. A weekly rent is charged for a furnished/unfurnished flat or house. Other costs include electricity, gas, and telephone.
When renting, a tenancy agreement - usually for a minimum of six months- will have to be signed. A tenancy agreement is a legal document which sets out rental conditions, together with the minimum period of time for which the property is rented. Rent is generally paid 2-4 weeks in advance.

Strengths

  • Quiet study environment
  • Greatest independence & personal freedom
  • Reduced costs if sharing
  • Freedom to choose compatible sharer's

Concerns

  • Bond/rental agreements
  • Provision of household utensils/ appliances/ furniture
  • Highest establishment cost
  • Increased tasks - reduced study time
  • Expensive (if renting alone)
  • Diminished cultural/language interactio

Shared house or unit

A set weekly rent is charged for use of a bedroom together with the use of other living areas (e.g. lounge, dining, bathroom, and kitchen) within the unit/house. It is important to check what furniture, if any, is provided with the room. Sometimes the rent includes the cost of electricity and/or gas; otherwise these bills are shared equally between all co-tenants.

Food costs are additional and are normally left up to the individual, however you should have use of all kitchen facilities. Shared accommodation may be offered by either a single person or couples, who might be local residents or other international students. Responsibilities involved in shared accommodation include shopping, cooking and cleaning for oneself. Also, the bond for the place can be shared among the share mates.

Strengths

  • Greater independence in lifestyle & food
  • Expand social network
  • Reduced weekly costs & greater control over weekly expenses
  • Mutually supportive environment
  • Opportunity to increase cultural awareness and English language skills
  • Cultural compatibility

Concerns

  • Personal difficulties with fellow sharers
  • Provision of household utensils/appliances
  • High establishment costs with bonds (security deposits)
  • Diminished cultural/language interaction
  • Diminished "family" support
  • Communication/cultural differences

Home stay

A set weekly fee is charged to cover all expenses associated with food and shelter, including two meals per day, provision of facilities (e.g. towels, blankets, sheets, eating utensils), fuel costs (gas and electricity) and cleaning services (e.g. sweeping and dusting of rooms). Unless otherwise requested, students have their own bedroom with study facilities (e.g. bookcase, desk, study light), together with the use of other living areas, (e.g. lounge, dining, bathroom and toilet) within the flat/house. The home stay provider may be either a single person or a family.

Strengths

  • Secure "family" environment
  • Daily needs catered for
  • Opportunity to increase cultural awareness and English language skills
  • Not restricted to a fixed period
  • No other establishment costs

Concerns

  • Communication/cultural differences
  • Type of food provided
  • Study distractions – noise
  • Lack of privacy and freedom – rules

Residential Colleges

Residential Colleges normally provide students with a single bedroom with study desk, shared bathrooms, common rooms and a dining hall. Meals are usually provided at set times and residents are encouraged to become part of the college community. It is suggested that students with special dietary requirements enquire as to how the college will cater for them. Generally Students are expected to stay for at least one semester.

Moving in

Once you have found your accommodation try and give as much notice as possible before   checking out of your temporary accommodation.   If there are two or three of you moving together call one of the taxi companies and ask for a station wagon to transport your luggage. The price is the same as for normal sedans. Otherwise ask for a Maxi taxi, Melbourne taxis are numerous and easy to spot – they are all uniformly yellow. As well, drivers must always wear a neat uniform and have an identity card on show at all times.

Hailing a cab

Cabs often wait in designated ranks that are clearly signposted at central locations like major hotels in the CBD, or busy spots such as Flinders Street Station. You can also hail a taxi in the street – if the rooftop light is illuminated, it means the taxi is available for hire – or book a taxi by telephone. Outside Melbourne, taxis widely operate in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, with additional cabs at country towns throughout the rest of the state.

Taxi totems

Melbourne has recently launched a number of 'taxi totems' around the city and in some regional centres, which will be lit and will make it easier to hail cabs and for cabs to notice you. The totems will feature your location name and the nearest cross street, a list of local taxi services and booking numbers including numbers for wheelchair accessible taxis and connections to train, tram and bus services where relevant.

Fares and surcharges

In general, taxi meters are clearly visible so you can keep check of your fare. Melbourne cabs also attract additional charges like a late night surcharge from midnight to 5 am, a fee for phone bookings, a fee for using the Citylink freeway and even a fee for taxis waiting at the airport rank.

Melbourne's major taxi companies include:

  • 13 CABS (13 22 27 – within Australia only)
  • Arrow (13 22 11 – within Australia only)
  • Embassy Taxis (13 17 55 – within Australia only)
  • Silver Top Taxis (13 10 08 – within Australia only)

Switching on – Electricity

Origin Energy Australia is responsible for supplying electricity and gas to Melbourne and the surrounding areas.

Firstly, check if the electricity is connected at your new premises. Then apply over the telephone. You will need to give some identification such as your passport number. The power will still be connected if the previous tenants have moved less than two weeks before. Your account will start from the date of supply.

If the power is not connected a visual safety inspection will have to be carried out by Origin. You will have to specify a 4 hour period when you will be available to allow the safety inspector access to the premises. After the initial invoice you will receive an electricity bill every three months. When you cease to be a customer of Origin, your security deposit will be credited on your final account. Two full working days notice must be given for a final meter reading.

Moving In

If the premises you want to move into was vacated less than two weeks before, it is more than likely the gas will still be connected. You can apply by phone. You will need some form of identification. If your application is lodged before 12 midday, the gas can usually be turned on that afternoon. If the premises has gas appliances (stove, hot water).   It is not possible to get your gas connected on weekends. Bills arrive every quarter. When you are ready to vacate the premises, giving three working days notice, to arrange transfer or refund of security deposit.

You can request a service/quote during normal business hours. If you are renting your property, you will need approval from your landlord prior to our licensed gas Service Technician or Fitter’s visit. You can apply over the telephone to have the gas connected. An invoice for the security deposit and establishment fee will be sent to you.

This can be paid at any Australia Post Office within 7 days. As long as there is access to the meters you will not be required to be at the premises when the gas is connected.

Origin Energy does not connect gas on weekends. You will be billed every quarter. When you are ready to vacate the premises, phone 132461, giving three working days notice, to arrange transfer or refund of security deposit. If there is gas cylinders at the premises phone the appropriate gas company to make the necessary transfer arrangements.

Telephone connection

Contact Telstra - 13 2200 and give your personal details and details of the existing service (i.e. whether your accommodation has a telephone or not). Telstra will then carry out a credit check and a service will be provided according to the results of that check. The actual cost of installing a telephone depends on the existing service at your new place. If there has never been a telephone Telstra will have to install a new line and telephone.

In shared accommodation only one person can apply for the telephone making him or her solely responsible and liable for the bill payments. For further details visit: www.telstra.com.au Optus is an alternative telecommunications company to Telstra, to connect to Optus, just ring 133 345 (Mon to Fri 8:30am-9:30pm, Sat 9:00am-6:00pm) or visit www.optus.com.au

It normally takes fourteen working days, but if you return the application form via fax, it can be quicker.

Mobile telephones

Buying a mobile phone usually involves paying for the phone, a connection fee, a monthly access fee and the actual time spent on calls. Many students find the pre-paid plan a cheaper alternative to signing a 12 month contract. It is in your best interest to check out prices and options at a customer service centre before deciding what the best mobile phone service for yourself is.

Each company offers a variety of ‘plans’ that are specially made to suit a particular type of user, i.e. someone who uses it for ALL their calls or someone who just wants it for emergencies. So ask yourself: - Do I really need one? Can I afford a plan over 12 - 15 months (or whatever the contract is offering)? …How often will I be using it? As a rule the cheaper the monthly access fee, the higher the rate per 30 seconds. Flat rates are available from some companies. The main mobile phone companies are Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, 3G. Be sure to check out prices and options and ‘Beware’ that there is usually a penalty or payout figure if you break your contract. Make sure that you understand the legal implications of your contract before signing.

Shopping

Supermarkets like Coles, Woolworths, Franklins, and Bi-lo are the most popular food shops where you will find fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen foods, canned goods, meat, bread, laundry and cleaning supplies, personal needs and non-prescription drugs. Other shops such as K-Mart, Target, and Best and Less are known for inexpensive clothing and household items. Myers and David Jones tend to be more expensive. Hours of opening are usually 9:00am to 5:30pm (Monday to Friday), and 9:00am to 5pm on Saturday. On Sunday, stores are normally open from 10am-5pm. Asian and Islander grocery shops can be found around Chinatown takeaways/ restaurants.

Office of Fair Trading - Ph: 03 3246 1589

Should a business give you a refund?

Yes, if:

  • It is faulty or damaged: The article is broken or will not work.
  • It is unfit for the purpose: This means the item will not do what it is supposed to do.
  • It does not agree with the description: e.g. Leather upper and vinyl sole is not an all leather shoe.
  • It does not comply with the sample you were shown: What you were given was different from the one on display.

No, if:

  • You changed your mind after you purchased the item.
  • You found it cheaper elsewhere.
  • You decided it was too expensive.
  • You knew about that particular fault prior to purchase.
  • You were responsible for causing the fault.

Before buying you should:

  • Think about what you want the product to do
  • Shop around for the best deal.
  • Compare quality and price.
  • Ask for advice.
  • Inspect goods carefully.

If things go wrong:

  • Be sure you didn’t cause the fault.
  • Stop using the faulty goods
  • Give details of the fault and what you would like the trader to do about it.
  • If there is a dispute ask to speak to someone in charge.
  • Often you can settle things there and then.
  • Explain the problem clearly and calmly.
  • If you leave the goods with the store, make sure you get a receipt.
  • If you cannot see someone in authority, write a letter instead.
  • When returning goods, take proof of purchase with you – e.g. a receipt or credit card slip.
  • Let the seller know as soon as possible & return the faulty goods or write to the seller as soon as possible.

Furniture

As it becomes harder to find rental accommodation that is fully furnished, you are left with the options of:
* buying new * buying used / second hand * or renting the furniture & appliances you need.
As unfurnished accommodation usually does not include a refrigerator and washing machine, it is up to you to prioritise the items of furniture you need the most to be comfortable. If you are in shared accommodation – who will pay and how much?

New Furniture / Appliances

If you require new furniture and appliances, K-Mart, A-Mart and Target stores are to be found in most of the larger shopping centres. These stores are reasonably priced. A list of locations can be found in the telephone directory.

Used Furniture

One way of buying used furniture is to check the classified advertisements in The Trading Post Newspaper on a Saturday morning. The Trading Post (purchased at newsagents or supermarkets) is another paper listing all sorts of items for private sale. A new edition of the Trading Post is published every second Thursday. Items sold privately are normally cheaper and you can bargain (within reason) with the seller. It is normal practice to call the seller, ask questions about the item and get their address so you can inspect before buying. The biggest drawback is the time taken to travel to private homes to inspect the items.

Renting Furniture

PABS Furniture Rentals have a wide range of furniture and goods to rent.  www.pabs.com.au  Other companies;

Prices are determined by how long you want to rent and how many items (white goods and   furniture).

The advantage of renting the items you require is that you don’t have a huge initial outlay of money to purchase your requirements.
You also have the added security of knowing that should the appliance break down it is normally repaired or replaced by the company. But you must remember that renting is a continuing cost. Depending on the length of your stay in Melbourne, it can work out to be a very expensive method. Unlike second-hand goods that can be sold on departure, rented items are of no value to you when you no longer need them.

Second-hand shops

Other alternatives to private sellers are second-hand shops.

Some offer 10% discounts to students and has a wide variety of goods available. They are also willing to buy back the same items from you when you have finished your studies. Check with other shops about this when you purchase your furniture. A popular pawn shop called Cash Converters has TVs, VCR, stereos, computers, and kitchen   appliances. Any electrical item bought from these shops normally comes with a one month warranty (guarantee) at the time of purchase. Make sure you ask about their warranty or refund policy. Check the Yellow pages - Second hand Dealers - for the locations of Cash Converters and other dealers.

There are other second-hand shops that only deal in white goods, such as refrigerators or washing machines.  While their goods may come with a one month warranty period it is often possible to pay extra for a longer warranty period.

Classifieds on-line

www.yellowpages.com.au
www.tradingpost.com.au
www.news.com.au/classifieds 

Second-hand shops

Salvation Army Family Store

 

Public Transport

Victoria has a public transport network.

Private Transport

Drivers License

If you hold a valid driver license issued under the law of another country a “foreign drivers license”, you ARE allowed to drive any class of motor vehicle authorized on that license in Victoria along with your passport. You must have the license with you at all times when  driving and immediately show the license to a police officer when asked to do so. You must not drive in Victoria when:

  • your license is no longer a valid license or
  • your authority to drive in Victoria on that license has been suspended or
  • your authority to drive in Victoria on your driver’s license has been withdrawn

If your license is in a language other than English you should carry an official English translation of your license while driving. (see box “Obtaining Official Translation”). You MUST familiarise yourself with the Victoria road rules before attempting to drive in Victoria.

If you breach any traffic regulations your privilege to drive in Victoria can be taken away.
Your authority to drive in Victoria on your foreign driver license will be withdrawn 3 months after you become an Australian citizen or 3 months after you get a visa that allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely. You will need to get a Victorian driver license to continue driving in Victoria There are severe penalties for driving while unlicensed.

Getting a driver license

If you do not have a driver’s license and will be in Australia for more than 6 months you can apply o obtain Vic driver license, including a learner license. You maybe asked in your application to state your reasons for wanting a Vic license. Study “Your Keys to Driving in Vic” booklet.

This information can be accessed on

Note: You are not required to obtain a learner license before you attempt your first practical driving test if your foreign license is still valid. If you fail, you will need to obtain a learner license and be accompanied by a driver with an open Victorian license whilst driving until you pass a practical test.

Buying a car

Before you get carried away thinking about yourself behind the wheel of your dream car, get real and consider the cost.
www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/RoadSafety/BuyingASafeCar/

Cars aren’t cheap

Owning a car isn't cheap, running and maintenance cost can include:

  • registration fee (every car must be registered to be on the road)
  • annual insurance premiums (varies according to type of vehicle & policy)
  • regular maintenance
  • unexpected repairs
  • petrol (every week)
  • parking

Insurance

CTP - Compulsory Third Party Insurance is paid as part of your annual registration fee. CTP insurance protects you against any claims that could arise because of death or injury to another person, caused by the negligence of anyone driving your car. CTP does NOT cover damage to vehicles or property. It is advisable to purchase Third Party Liability Insurance. This covers any damage caused to someone else’s property, but does not cover the repair bill to your own car. This is the cheapest form of voluntary insurance you can buy and is good for older cars. Fire & theft cover is optional with this policy.
Full Car insurance or Comprehensive insurance gives you the greatest protection but cost the most. Shop around for the best value.

Buying from a licensed dealer

There are different steps while buying a registered car privately or buying from a motor dealer.
This is a summary of RACV's Car Buyer's Guide*. The ten points listed here provide a limited checklist of things you need to know before purchasing a car.

  • Buy the type, make and model of car that best suits your needs and your pocket. It is best to buy from a licensed dealer.
  • Always have a used car inspected by a qualified person you can trust, before you decide to buy it. It's your only protection against buying a "bomb." Don't rely on the road worthiness certificate.
  • Don't rush to buy your car, as you may regret it.
  • Ignore any promise, warranty or guarantee that isn't in writing, or that is conditional in any way.
  • Don't forget the "REVS" Certificate!
  • Never sign any contract or document until it is complete, you have thoroughly read and understood it, you are sure you want the car, can afford it, and it is in the condition you are prepared to accept. Once you sign it, it's yours.
  • Always get a copy of any contract you sign and a copy of the roadworthiness certificate. 
  • Never accept a loan or finance agreement just because it's quick, easy or convenient; it may be at a high interest rate. Have reliable finance arranged before buying your car (e.g. through your bank).
  • Insure your car with a company you feel you can trust to give you good value-for-money cover and an efficient claims service.
  • When you're buying your first car, it's so easy to get excited about the first one you see. But be careful. Put your heart in the back seat and let your head do the driving. Consider the many important points like warranty, price and condition. It's great to buy a car that looks good, but it's even better to buy one that suits your pocket and is reliable. For further information access the following website: www.racv.com.a

Cycling

Cycling is a healthy, cheap and environmentally friendly alternative mode of transport. Melbourne City Council he benefits of recreational and commuter cycling.
The Council has built more than 350 km of bikeways and 3000 km of footpaths across the City for easy travel and enjoyable recreation.

Bikeway maps

The best way to find your way around Melbourne bikeways is to get your hands on a copy of the Maps booklet. The booklet contains maps of completed bikeways, as well as examples of signs you'll see on your travels around the bikeways. There is also a guide to sharing footways and roads with other users. There are also some great tips on bike maintenance and a list of phone numbers if you want to know more. An interactive CD shows popular recreational bike rides, commuter routes Safety information and bike maps are available

Health & Medical

Each public hospital has a 24 hr Emergency and Casualty department where you may seek help after hours and during weekends.    Expect to wait a long time to see a doctor at a public hospital unless of course it is an emergency. You should check whether your OSHC provider covers out patient treatment.

Metropolitan Melbourne Hospitals & Health Services

Austin Health
The Austin Campus
The Repatriation Campus
The Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre
Bayside Health
The Alfred
Caufield General Medical Centre
Sandringham and District Memorial Hospital
Calvary Health Care Bethlehem

Dental Health Services Victoria
Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne
School Dental Service
Eastern Health
Angliss Hospital
Box Hill Hospital
Healesville & District Hospital
Maroondah Hospital

Peter James Centre
Mercy Health & Aged Care Inc
Mercy Hospital for Women
Mercy Hospice
O'Connell Family Centre
Werribee Mercy Hospital
Northern Health
Broadmeadows Health Service
Bundoora Extended Care Centre
Northern Hospital
Peninsula Health
Frankston Hospital
Mt Eliza Aged Care & Rehabilitation Service
Rosebud Hospital

Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute
Melbourne Health
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Melbourne Extended Care & Rehabilitation Service
Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory
North West Dialysis Service
North Western Shared Support Services
North Western Mental Health Program
Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital
Southern Health
Dandenong Hospital
Hampton Rehabilitation Hospital
Kingston Centre
Monash Medical Centre - Clayton
Monash Medical Centre - Moorabin
Berwickwide Community Health Service
Cardinia Community Health Service
Cranbourne & District Community Health Service
Cranbourne Integrated Care Service
Dandenong Community Health Service
Springvale Community Health Service
St Vincent's Health Melbourne
St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne
St George's Health Services
Caritas Christi Hospice
Prague House
Western Health
Sunshine Hospital
Western Hospital
Williamstown Hospital
Royal Children's Hospital
Royal Women's Hospital
Well Women's Services
(Royal Women's Hospital)

 

Doctors are referred to as a GP, General Practitioner or MP, Medical Practitioner. A list of doctors’ names, locations, and phone numbers can be found in the Yellow Pages, L-Z, under Medical Practitioners - Locality Guide for the nearest medical centre in your suburb.

Pharmaceutical Prescriptions

Pharmaceuticals prescribed by a doctor are not free nor are they available from doctors. They must be purchased at a Chemist. If the cost of the prescribed medication is over a certain amount you can get a refund of the amount through OSHC provider. Pharmaceuticals prescribed under this are not claimable. For for details, see www.medibank.com.au.

 

Overseas Student Health Cover - OSHC

The Dept of Immigration requires all international students and their families (on “dependent” visa) to have medical insurance while in Australia. Currently there are four insurance companies that provide OSHC, these are:

Each company provides a basic health insurance which covers the cost of consultations with a General Practitioner, blood test, x-rays, hospital treatment, some pharmaceuticals, and emergency ambulance. Make sure you know what is covered by your provider and what is NOT covered. Read the policy carefully particularly with regards to pre-existing conditions.

Membership

Your health cover membership begins the day you land in Australia or the day payment is received. New students who have paid their OSHC and are insured with “Medibank Private” will need to order their OSHC card. Your card will then be sent to your Australian address.
If you have to see a doctor but have not received your card, make sure you keep the receipt to claim the doctor’s charge back at a later date. You are responsible for ensuring your OSHC remains valid throughout your stay in Australia. As long as you remain in Australia on a student visa you MUST be covered by OSHC.

Claiming a refund

To get a refund for doctors’ fees and prescription medication, submit a claim form and original receipts to your OSHC provider. You should get the full amount if you have been charged the scheduled fee. For further details access www.medibank.com.au

Extra health insurance cover

You may wish to take additional insurance for services such as dental, optical, chiropractic, physiotherapy, clinical psychology all of which are not normally covered by the basic OSHC package. Check with individual insurance companies for extra cover and make sure you are aware of the conditions that apply for certain coverage.

Dental services

OSHC does not cover dental services. You will have to see a private dentist. You should be given a good estimate/cost of the work to be done after your first visit. If in doubt seek a second opinion. Some dentists are more expensive than others. Appointments are necessary to visit a dentist, and payment at time of service is always expected.

Family Planning

Family planning, contraceptives, and sexuality issues can be discussed with nurses, doctors, or counsellors. There are also several centres throughout Melbourne providing advice and specialist services to the community.

OTHER SERVICES

Counselling

Feeling homesick is normal and can affect anyone at any age. Being in a new country and new university is difficult and can be overwhelming for anyone regardless of cultural background, age, gender, and life experiences. In Australia it is common to seek help and speak to a counsellor about fears, stresses or distresses, grief, academic anxieties, relationship issues; any concern affecting your lifestyle. Counselling can help you achieve and maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

“Lifeline Victoria - Personal and Family Counselling” unit provides personal and marital counselling for people of all ages who want to make changes in their lives. Lifeline (phone 13 11 14 open 24hrs) is a safe and supportive environment adhering to respect of an individual and maintaining confidentiality of all its cases.

 

Money Matters

Banking

The main types of financial institutions in Australia offering banking and financial services are banks, credit unions and building societies. Banks are licensed and regulated under Federal or State Government legislation whilst credit unions and building societies are registered and regulated through Government legislation in each State and can vary from state to state.

Most of the banks located in the City are:

  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)
  • National Australia Bank (NAB)
  • Westpac
  • ANZ
  •                                                                                                            
  • Hong Kong Bank (HKGB)
  •                                                  
  • Bank of Singapore
  • Citibank

Business hours for most banks are from 9:30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 5.00pm (except public holidays). Some banks are open on Saturday’s.

Opening an account

You will need to show your passport and any other identification when opening an account. Every bank has an account suitable for your day to day needs, a key card account. Key card accounts allow you to deposit, withdraw cash and transfer money from any automatic teller machine (ATMs) or use EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale).

This allows for any goods or services, including petrol and groceries, directly from your bank accounts or credit card. You can usually withdraw cash at the same time, so you don’t have to go to a branch or ATM. You use the same PIN (Personal Identification Number) for both ATMs and EFTPOS, leaving you only one number to remember. You are normally given a limited number of free ATM and EFTPOS transactions.
If you exceed that amount, charges will apply. All bank charges and transaction fees should appear on your bank statement. Regardless of which bank you choose, you can usually withdraw your money from another bank’s ATM, although bank fees will always apply unless stated by the bank.

Interest on accounts

Interest earned in accounts is regarded as income and will be taxed if you earn more than a certain amount per month. You will be asked to give your tax file number to the bank when opening a term deposit. For more details read the Fact Sheet on Employment – taxation matters.

Net & Phone bank

All banks and credit unions have facilities for you to do your banking through the telephone or internet. Using a touchtone phone you can get your account balance, transfer money, and pay bills to companies such as Telstra, Origin, Optus. BPAY is a universal method of paying bills. When you see the BPAY logo on a bill, you can use the phone and internet banking system of your bank to pay that bill. You can pay any number of bills at one time - 24hours a day, 7 days a week. Remember to keep a record of your receipt numbers after making payments. There will normally be a bank charge to use BPAY facility. All banks will require you to register with them before using their phone or internet banking facilities. Enquire at your bank or visit their homepages at:

ANZ – www.anz.com.au
CBA – www.combank.com.au
NAB – www.nab.com.au
Westpac – www.westpac.com.au

Transferring money from overseas

The safest way to receive money from your home country is by sending it via a Telegraphic Transfer, which is an electronic method of transferring funds. It is safe because the funds are cleared upon receipt and deposited directly to your account. This eliminates the chances of lost drafts in the post, and being fraudulently amended as well as giving you immediate access to your funds once received in Australia. A cheaper alternative for the sender is an international bank draft.

Clearing the funds will take three days if the draft has been issued in AUD and drawn on an Australian Branch of a recognised bank. If the draft is however drawn on a foreign bank and in a foreign currency, banks usually place a 20 working day hold on the funds until the cheque has been paid.. Students can pay for their tuition fees via credit card, bank draft or telegraphic transfer.

Foreign currency restrictions


There may be currency export restrictions in certain countries. If so, you will need to obtain a letter to prove your status as a student and itemized amounts for your tuition fees and living expenses.
It is always advisable to clarify information from the bank in your home country before requesting the letters.

Budgeting


(The following are extracts from “Budgeting - Making it easy ‘published by Credit Union).
Budgeting is the best way for you to take control of your finances, save money and plan for the future. To avoid the pitfalls of overspending and be able to handle the unexpected bills which occur from time to time, a budget is an essential part of everyday living. Financial planning - budgeting - is the best way to achieve your short and long term goals. Benefits of good money management

  • You will have more control and direction over your personal affairs.
  • You will be able to trim those trivial purchases and concentrate on your most important goals.
  • You will achieve savings to carry you through any emergencies.

Setting short and long-term goals

At the start of your BUDGET plan you should ask yourself “What are my short-term and long-term financial goals?” Making these choices will give you a number of targets incentives for drawing up your budget. It is important to be REALISTIC. Once you have worked out how much you have left to spend, set aside a certain amount for savings towards your goals. You may be able to arrange a special saving account by having your savings specially allocated towards buying your new computer or overseas holiday.

Control your spending

Deciding to budget does not mean that you have to completely cut out spending on optional items that are important to your lifestyle. However it is important to be realistic about optional items and become a disciplined shopper as well as a disciplined budgeter.

Tips for shopping on a budget

With a little bit of planning beforehand, wise shoppers should keep the following rules to get the best value for money:

  • Make a list of needed groceries and only buy the items on your list. Keep a note of items which run short each week and add to your list.
  • Have a meal before going shopping. Hungry shoppers are tempted by food  delicacies which can make holes in the budget
  • Plan a weekly household menu which takes account of individual preferences, nutrition and value for money
  • Scan newspapers and ‘junk mail’ for weekly grocery specials and compare
  • Prices in shops and supermarkets in your area. Fruit and vegetables in season are much cheaper than those ‘out of season’.
  • Beware of impulse buying. You are less likely to buy on impulse if   you get to know where goods are placed on your local supermarket shelves and organize your shopping route in the store in a regular pattern. You will be less likely to find tempting items while searching for needed products
  • The cheapest brand may not always give the best value. Read labels carefully to compare contents, quantity and weight • Learn to estimate the price per unit (or even carry a small calculator) of products to determine value for money
  • Be careful not to buy more than you need in perishable items such as meat and fresh vegetables or they could become stale and need to be thrown out before they are used
  • Always check the ‘Use by’ date on the item being purchased. The ‘Use by’ date is an indication of the freshness of the item and, whilst some supermarkets offer low prices for out-of-date items, it is not always advisable to buy these as they may be stale or contaminated.
  • Supermarket shelves usually have the higher priced items placed at eye level. Check the lower shelves for lower priced items of similar quality
  • Check with senior students for information regarding the best places to shop for certain goods
  • Get together with friends and form a food cooperative. This can result in lower prices for you. For example some butchers offer cheaper prices for bulk orders of meat

Working out a budget

Set aside several hours to complete your budget.

This will make it easier for you to change or update your figures. Try and be as realistic as possible. Do not make the budget so tight and demanding it will be impossible to achieve your goals. Do not make it too generous or you will destroy your incentive to budget and save. It is a good idea to involve everyone in your household. Tell them about your budget and saving goals and why it is so important to achieve them. This way everyone is committed to the budget. Don’t be discouraged if you cannot get your budget to work - try again. Once you have set up a workable budget you will find that budgeting becomes a habit. Today is the best day to begin budgeting.

Income

List all your incoming money (after tax) in the budget planner on a weekly and yearly basis.
If you receive an allowance from parents on a regular basis break it down to a weekly figure ($2000 for 3 months = $2000/13 weeks = $154/week). If the amount is irregular, then work out the average based on the past 6 months. Any wages for part-time jobs, Interest on term deposits, savings, etc

Allowance $____________
Part-time wages $____________
Bank interest $____________
Total income $____________
Expenses $____________

 

Make a careful list of all your expenses. If you don’t have any idea of what some bills are likely to cost refer to the budget calculator on our website. Remember to also keep a detailed list of your spending over the next few months, so you know exactly where your money is going and where you can cut back. Divide your expenditure into different categories to enable you to decide on your spending and saving priorities.

  • Basic Expenses
  • Lifestyle 
  • Savings
  • Payments

You will find that some items will be weekly (food, transport), some monthly (telephone), some quarterly (electricity, gas), and some yearly (health insurance). To arrive at annual figures multiple weekly amounts by \52, fortnightly by 26, etc...

Adding it all up

When you have completed filling in the planner, subtract your expenditure total from your income total. If you have spare money left over, that is your potential savings but if there is a shortfall - you’re spending more than you earn. You will have to reassess your expenditure or look for ways to increase your income. Remember; do not regard your budget as set in concrete. Change it when your circumstances change, but never lose sight of your savings goal.

Budget Planner

  Weekly Annual
Basic Expenses    
Rent $____________ $____________
Electricity $____________ $____________
Gas $____________ $____________
Telephone $____________ $____________
Food    
Groceries & meats $____________ $____________
Fruit & vegetables $____________ $____________
Bread & milk $____________ $____________
Lunches $____________ $____________
Educational    
Stationery, textbooks $____________ $____________
Photocopying, printing $____________ $____________
School expenses $____________ $____________
Transport $____________ $____________
Health & Medical    
Health insurance $____________ $____________
Consultations, medications $____________ $____________
Dental, Optical $____________ $____________
     
Subtotal:    $____________ $____________
     
Lifestyle Expenses    
Clothing $____________ $____________
Footwear, hair care $____________ $____________
Entertainment (clubs) $____________ $____________
Movies $____________ $____________
CD's, tapes, mags, books $____________ $____________
Hobbies, sport $____________ $____________
Holidays, sightseeing $____________ $____________
Gifts $____________ $____________
     
Subtotal:    $____________ $____________
     
Savings    
General savings $____________ $____________
Emergency savings $____________ $____________
Special savings $____________ $____________
     
Subtotal:    $____________ $____________
     
Payments    
Loan $____________ $____________
Furniture rental $____________ $____________
Credit Card $____________ $____________
     
Subtotal:    $____________ $____________
     
     
( Subtract the costs from your savings) Total:    $____________ $____________

 

 

Employment

Finding part-time employment in a different country is a daunting experience. But with a little research and patience you may be able to find a part-time job to suit you.

The job must not interfere with your study course as study is your number one priority. It’s not designed to subsidies your course or living costs. Under Student Visa regulations international students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week in part-time employment, except during semester breaks when there is no limit to the number of hours you can work. You must first apply for a change to your visa condition the student visa in your passport will be stamped with a “no work” condition and you will have to apply for permission to work from the Department of Immigration, and Citizenship (DIAC). However you may only do this after you have commenced your study in Australia.

Getting permission to work

Permission to Work arrangements for Student visa holders have changed.  If you were granted a Student visa on or after 26 April 2008, you will already have Permission to Work automatically included with your visa. See: New permission to work arrangements for student visa holders

You must obtain a Tax File Number to be able to work in Australia. This is available from the Australian Tax Office.
See: How to apply for a tax file number - Individuals

Under student visa regulations, international students can work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the term and unlimited hours when your course is not in session in part-time or casual employment.

  • Work that is a formal registered part of your course is not included in the limit of 20 hours per week.
  • If you are doing voluntary or unpaid work you must apply for Permission to Work. It is included in the limit of 20 hours per week.

The job must not interfere with your study course, as study is your number one priority. It is not designed to subsidise your course or living costs. Students should also always check the immigration website for information. See Conditions for Working While Studying

Step Action

  • Ask the College to notify DIAC electronically to confirm that you have commenced your course. Important: Allow at least one hour for the transfer of this information into the department's system before going to Step 2.
  • Complete the online application on the department's website. See: Online Services www.ecom.immi.gov.au/visas

Follow the prompts to complete and pay for your online application for permission to work.

Note: You will need a credit card to apply online. If you are mailing your application, you will need to post a money order with your Form 157P application signed & stamped by the College who ask you to come to the office to finalise your permission to work visa. If you need to know more about work visas, you should call the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) on 13 1881 or visit the website address of DIAC is www.immi.gov.au.

If you are required to work to obtain your degree, that is, if it is a formal requirement of your course, you will not have to apply for permission to work and you may exceed the limit of working 20 hours per week.

 

Looking for work

Newspapers - The main Melbourne daily newspaper is the Age and the Saturday and Wednesday editions have the main listings, although other days have specialised listings. The Melbourne Times.

Professional organisations - as a student you can become an associate member of the relevant professional body in your field. Job opportunities are often listed in their publications, as are the latest developments. Attending functions organised by the association will prove an invaluable source for networking.

Community – notice boards in local shopping centres or public meeting places such as community centres and clubs.

Networking - this is one of the main ways that students get jobs. Talk to your friends, class colleagues, graduating students who may be leaving their casual jobs, friends’ families, local shopkeepers, etc…. anyone & everyone is a potential lead to a job.

Volunteering - consider volunteering your services as it will help you develop valuable work skills, improve your communication skills, make new friends and contacts and most importantly expand your network. You can explore new career options and add another dimension to your resume. Volunteering Victoria support and consultation for non-profit organisations and is a good place to start. www.careerone.com.au

 

Door knocking or “cold canvassing”

Approach staff in shops, restaurants or offices and ask to speak to the manager. Send a letter expressing interest in working at a particular place or make a phone call. Most of the fast-food outlets hire staff this way. Have a letter or short resume to leave with the manager. Make sure that you choose a quiet time to approach prospective employers.      Have you thought of...?   Hospitality cleaning newspaper or leaflet delivery, pizza delivery, factory or seasonal work, tutoring, farm work

 

Part-Time Work

Part-time paid employment is another good way to meet Australians. Often when you work alongside others, you get to know people well and make good friends with your colleagues. At the same time you can earn some money. You need to obtain a work permit through the Dept of Immigration and Multicultural Indigenous Affairs as well as tax file number from the Australia Tax Office. The Student Guild also keeps lists of part-time jobs and casual vacancies.

Local Community Groups

Different community groups and networks on your local area.
For a comprehensive list of organisations in Melbourne search the
The Victorian Multicultural Resource Directory.

Accommodation - Living with Australians

The best way to learn about another culture is by living together. You can experience this while studying in Melbourne by choosing to share with local students in a flat or house; living with a home stay family.

Do You Have?

Driver’s licence Work visa your own car Resume Time (to look for a job) First aid certificate
Computing skills .......put these in your resume.

Essentials

Make sure that you have permission to work from DIAC. Apply for a tax file number (TFN) from the ATO (Australian Taxation Office). Without a TFN your income will be taxed at the maximum tax rate (45%). - see TFN
Set aside some regular time each week for job hunting: checking newspapers & on-line site; following up on leads and contacts; attending workshops and expanding your network.
Keep a record of your job search activities and contacts. If your contact details change (e.g. new mobile number) make sure that you update your records with agencies and on any databases. It is a good reason to give your contacts a call.

Your employment rights

Most employees’ rights are set out in awards. These awards specify minimum conditions that apply. Wage rates: employers covered by an award must pay award wages for that industry (see www.workplaceauthority.gov.au )
Equality: no employer is allowed to discriminate on the basis of gender, race or religion.
Liability for damages if you accidentally cause property damage while working, your employer must pay the cost - not you. However, if the damage is deliberate, responsibility for the cost rests on you.

Starting work

When you start work for a new employer (payer) you will be required to complete a Tax File Number Declaration form. The payer will send the form to the ATO (Australian Taxation Office). The information on this form is used by the payer to determine the amount of tax deducted from your pay. Most employers (payers) now use electronic pay systems and you will need to provide them with your banking details - name & address of the bank, BSB number (a 6 digit code) and your account number.

Income Tax and International Students

You will need to understand some basic taxation requirements to assist you during your stay in Australia. Generally, taxation laws will affect you when:

• You open a bank account, or
• You commence employment.

These situations will require you to obtain a tax file number (TFN) from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). A TFN is used by the ATO to ensure correct identification of the people it interacts with. This is usually when individuals lodge their income tax returns.

Residency

Your status as a resident will determine the amount of tax that is withheld as you earn or receive income, for example, from employment or bank interest. As a general rule, an overseas student who comes to Australia to pursue a course of study which is longer than 6 months will be treated as a resident of Australia for taxation purposes. Residents can earn up to a certain amount per week before tax is withheld, whereas non-residents pay tax on all earnings. If you are in any doubt about your residency status, you should contact the ATO for clarification. If your course of study is less than 6 months, you are generally not considered a resident for taxation purposes, and may not be eligible for a tax file number.

When opening a bank account, you should supply your overseas address to the bank and the bank will automatically deduct 10% tax from any interest earned from your investments.

Please note that residency for taxation purposes may be different from residency for immigration purposes.

Tax file numbers (TFN’s)

You must complete an application to enable the ATO to allocate a TFN to you. You will need to supply information relating to your name, current address, date of birth, and date of arrival in Australia.

International students who have obtained work rights on their visa should apply for their TFN on-line. Go to www.ato.gov.au individuals for more information.

If you do not have work rights on your visa, you will need to fill out a paper application form which is available from the ATO website, ISS and from Newsagents. For international students the ATO requires proof of enrolment, such as a student card or a confirmation of enrolment issued by the university. In addition, international students are required to provide their current overseas passport (with current entry permit). TFN forms must be submitted to the Australia Taxation Office.

Your TFN will be mailed to your postal address within 28 days of receipt of your application. If you are a resident i.e. studying for more than 6 months, the residential address on your application   should be an Australian address.

If you are a non-resident i.e. studying for less than 6 months, the residential address on your application should be an overseas address. Once you receive a TFN, it is yours for life. This is the case even if you change jobs, marry, move interstate, or even leave Australia and return at a later date. You give this same TFN to your bank and employer.

Taxation

Australia uses the Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) system of tax. This means your employer deducts tax from your wages as you earn (see below for exceptions). It is not a final assessment of your tax liability but estimation, so that you will not have a large tax bill at the end of the financial year. The financial year is from July 1- June 30 e.g. 1 July 2006 - June 30 2007. Your employer does NOT have to deduct tax from your wages if;

  • You receive less than a certain amount per week and you have lodged an Employment Declaration quoting your TFN and claiming the tax free threshold from this job.
  • You receive less than a certain amount per week and your wages are not related to your employer’s business e.g. tutoring, babysitting, gardening, etc.. If you are paid in cash you may not even be given a Employment Declaration form to complete.
  • You are considered a contractor, ie. paid money for completing a specific job not in a traditional role as employee, e.g. traffic surveys, delivery of pamphlets, lawn mowing

How is tax calculated?

You have to pay tax on the taxable income earned in one financial year. Taxable income is the total gross income minus allowable deductions (i.e. deductions are expenses you incurred to earn that income).
Tax is calculated by applying the tax rates (refer to tax rate table) to taxable income. Any rebates or tax offsets are deducted from this amount, giving you the total tax you have to pay. If you have paid more than this amount you lodge a Tax Return to claim this money back from ATO. If you have not paid enough tax you will have a tax debt.

Income Tax Return

At the end of the financial year, your employer will provide you with a Payment Summaries, previously called Group Certificate. This provides information on your total income and the amount which you have been taxed while working for that particular employer. These Payment Summaries must be attached to your tax return and lodged at your nearest Taxation Office.

If you are required to lodge an income tax return, the following information may assist you: You need to lodge a tax return if tax has been withheld from your earnings as an employee, or from interest credited by a bank, credit union or building society. An assessment will be issued to you advising of any extra tax you have to pay on your income, or alternatively, making a refund of any excess tax you may have paid.

More information on how to lodge a tax return can be obtained from a “Tax Pack” which you can get from any Australian Taxation Office or news agencies. International students are not entitled to Medicare and can seek an exemption to the Medicare Levy in their income tax return. To claim an exemption you need to supply a copy of your Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate which is obtained by applying to Australia Taxation Office using the appropriate form. More details are www.ato.gov.au

Superannuation

Superannuation is a way of saving for retirement. Australia law requires employers to make contributions for you into a superannuation fund. This applies for full-time, part-time and casual employees.

Most Australian must wait until they are at least 55 or 60 years of age before they are allowed access to the money paid by employers. Changes to Australian Law now allow international students to access their superannuation funds after they have permanently departed Australia, and their visa has expired or been cancelled. The system also allows for temporary residents to start their application the day they arrive in Australia, and add the details of their superannuation funds as they move from job to job.

For more information, go to the ATO website and look for - Departing Australia Superannuation Payments (DASP).

Tax rates - How much tax will you pay?

See this link for the most up-to-date tax brackets and examples - http://www.ato.gov.au/youth/content.asp?doc=/Content/40811.htm

 

Issues to consider


Financial
Most students find that living with their family in Melbourne can be very expensive. Expect to use your savings unless you are fortunate enough to have your employer still paying your salary throughout your studies. Expenses to consider include: airfares, school fees (see schooling), child care fee, higher rent, educational cost (i.e. lunches, books, excursions, and uniforms), transport, medical insurance, clothing and other necessities. There is no AusAID accompanied (i.e. family) stipend. AusAID students must pay for all family members expenses (unless you are an APS AusAID student). AusAID does not pay for the cost of airfares for your family to and from Australia. But it does pay a family re-union fare after 1st year if you have no family members with you in Australia (Please see AusAID Advisor for more details).

 

Family Support

If you are an undergraduate student, your spouse (husband/wife) is only allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week. You and your spouse must apply for work rights after the commencement of your course. Spouses of Post Graduate students (student visa 574) are permitted to work full-time, after the commencement of your course, and only 20 hours beforehand. For spouses of AusAID scholars, please contact DIAC (See Info Sheet 7 for contact details. Currently there is relatively high unemployment in Australia, and unskilled jobs can be hard to find. It would be unrealistic to expect your spouse to earn enough money to cover the living expenses of your family. For more information about finding work, refer to Info Sheet 7.

Social

Your spouse and children will have to adjust to life in Australia, just like you did. There may be difficult times in the first few months as they adjust to different roles. For example if your spouse is leaving a job to come to be with you, he/she will need to be mentally prepared for the temporary loss of their job and their new role of caring for the children. Without the usual support from relatives and friends, family members may feel very isolated and lonely, more so if they are not confident with their English. Children may also find it hard adjusting to a new school and making new friends. While studying full-time you may not always be able to help or spend time   with them.  Some couples encounter problems in their relationship because of the new stresses placed on them. In some cases these stresses may seem overwhelming and lead to conflicts. If you feel situations at home are beyond your control, it is important to find help immediately.

It is an offence under Australian law for a spouse to abuse (physically and emotionally) their family. There are strict penalties associated with this. One useful contact is Relationships Australia - www.vicnet.net.au/community/issues/relationships/

Parenting styles in Australia may be very different from the accepted way in your country. Children of a young age cannot be left at home without adult supervision. (See Child Care) The government can step in if children are found to be unattended or in need of care and protection.

Bringing your family to

Australia

While we encourage all students to come alone at first, we understand that this may not always be possible.

Past students have told us that having their family here was very comforting, but they also said they had to prepare themselves for this in many ways. During the few months waiting time, you can settle into your course of study, find suitable accommodation, and secure places for your children in Child Care or Schools.

AusAID students will not receive any family allowance if accompanied by their family (unless you are an APS AusAID student.)

Family entry

Applications for family entry to Australia can be made under two categories:

1. Visitors visa

A visitor’s visa is appropriate for family members who wish to stay for 6 months or less. Applications for visitors’ visa are made directly to the Australian High Commission/ Embassy in your country. Requirements vary depending on the country but generally you will be required to show:

  • bank statements with enough funds to support your family’s visit while in Australia.
  • proposed itinerary or return airfare tickets.  Family members who enter Australia on a visitor’s visa
  • are NOT covered by Overseas Students Health Cover.
  • are NOT entitled to attend government schools.
  • are NOT allowed to work.
  • usually CANNOT change to a dependent visa

(see below) after they have arrived in Australia.

2. Dependent visas

Spouses and children of international students are considered “dependants” of the person holding the student visa. Student Dependent Visas are issued to family members who will stay for more than 6 months. Children over 18 years are not considered dependants and cannot be included in this category. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has conditions which must be met in your home country before a student dependent’s visa can be issued. These include:

  • family entry application and associated fees
  • proof of relationship to you (e.g. marriage certificate or birth certificate)
  • payment of family medical insurance (Colleges preferred health care provider is Medibank Private”)  
  • the dependant’s visa must not exceed the length of your own visa. Your dependants must return home either before or at the same time as you.
  • personal health clearances for all members
  • clearance of character checks
  • A Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) for all children of school age (see schooling) It is important that your family does NOT leave home until all the entry requirements have been met, and a visa has been issued.

 

Aus AID conditions

  • A spouse can study in Australia for up to 3 months. If the spouse wishes to study for more than 3 months, then they will need to apply for their own student visa (This can be done in Australia or at home).
  • For spouse work hours please contact DIAC for conditions specific to your award. Refer to the DIAC Website, www.immi.gov.au
  • If no family member accompanies the AusAID student in Australia, then they are entitled to a re-union airfare after completing their 1st year of study (this is arranged before the student comes to Australia and is not to be used to bring family members out).
  • Reunion airfares are available annually, except for final year.
  • Students need to book their own airfare and then the institution pays

 

Schooling

All children of school age from 5.5years -17 years old are required to attend school. You can choose between public schools (State Schools), which are funded by the Victorian Government, or private schools which are generally more expensive. All classes in State Schools are co-educational in sexes with most private schools being single sexed. Some schools provide strong support to children from a non-English speaking background.

School fees will vary depending on the school and grade of your child. The part-fee that is charged for dependents children varies according to the level of schooling for which they will be enrolled.

In addition to school fees, the school may ask parents to pay a school levy or contribution. This levy covers the cost of books, pencils, writing pads, school excursion fees, etc... School uniforms are an additional cost.

Enrolling your children

Once you have selected a school go to. You will provide the Education Victoria International with evidence of your enrolment at the College, details of your children and, the school you wish to enrol them in.

Pay the Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) at the family rate to your health care provider, if you have not done so already. If attending a public school submit a cheque with payment notification to Education Victoria International for a minimum of one semester school fees per child.

They will then issue you, with a COE for your children. Send the COE to your family overseas who can then obtain a visa from the Australian High Commission/ Embassy.

Child Care

When you and your spouse are unable to personally look after your children you may have to use a Childcare Centre. Childcare Centres have qualified child care workers who can care for young babies up to children 5 years old. Australian law requires that children under the age of 12 must be fully supervised at all times. It is against the law to leave young children home alone. Childcare centres operate between 7am - 6pm. All centres are registered with the government to ensure a minimum standard of care is maintained. Some childcare centres require you to provide milk, fruit, and other snacks for your children. Another alternative is

Family Day Care

Family day care is a home based child care where your children are cared for in private homes by people who have been registered and approved by Family Day Care. There is a limitation to the number of children one carer can look after in their home. Care is provided for children up to 12 years of age. While these carers may not have the full facilities of a centre (e.g. playground, educational books, etc..)
They offer flexible hours and can give more individualized attention. They may also be in your   local neighbourhood. Short-term care may also be arranged depending on family circumstances.
To apply and see if there are Family Day Care providers in your area call ph - 3395 7044.

Out of School Care

For children of school age, most schools provide a Before Hours School Care (BSHC), 7-9am, and Out of School Hours Care or After School Hours care (ASHC) programs, 3-6pm. Childcare and Out of School Hours Care are all run on a fee-paying basis. Childcare fees depend on the type of care (regular or casual) and the hours attended. There are normally long waiting lists for vacancies at most childcare centres. Most full-fee paying international students are expected to meet full child care fees for their children. Students sponsored or subsidised by the Australian Government may be eligible for child care fee relief.

Fee-Relief

Some students on scholarships may be eligible for financial assistance with child care fees. There are 2 forms of assistance:

1. Child Care Assistance: Through Centrelink care, a subsidy of up to 85% of the cost of child care is available depending on income levels. Further information can be obtained from a Centrelink office in Victoria, or call 136150  www.centrelink.gov.au

2. Child Care Cash Rebate: Medicare also provides a Child Care Rebate for some of the fees. Further information can be obtained from a Medicare office or call 13 2861.  Child care access Hotline: 1800 670 305.  The process of applying can be complicated.
For up to date information on:

  • Child Care services in your area
  • the type of care available
  • Government help with the cost of child care

Religious Organizations

While living away from family and friends students often gain support and comfort through their religion. For some, finding spiritual guidance may be a simple matter of locating where and when gatherings and services are held. Others may experience personal difficulties before reacquainting themselves with their faith. In Victoria there are formal and informal religious organisations which cater for international students. A few are easily located in the community.

During your time in Australia, however, you could be befriended by members of a different religious faith. You need to give careful thought to the long term consequences of getting too involved in another religion. Some of these groups may require a financial contribution or a dedication that could disrupt your studies.

In the Community

A comprehensive list of religious services and places of worship can be found in the Telephone Yellow Pages, under the heading “Churches, Mosques & Temples” or in the White Pages, in the first section of the book (business listings)
The information presented here serves only as an introduction to students who may be unfamiliar with the law.

 

Legal Issues

If you have a legal problem, seek help early!

Many people suffer unnecessarily because they believe seeking legal advice will be expensive. Legal advice and assistance can be obtained for free or at a reduced cost. If in doubt, speak to an adviser about your situation to determine whether professional assistance is needed.

What is the legal age in Australia?

  • A person 17 years or over is considered an adult under Criminal Law
  • A person 18 years and over is considered an adult under General Law. 18 is the legal age in Australia where you can lawfully access nightclubs, casinos and other licensed venues. Underage drinking, illegal use of drugs and other criminal offences are unlawful and will be punishable according to the law.

Your rights:

A person is not required to go to a police station to answer questions unless they have been arrested. Police have the right to question any person, but the person being questioned is not obliged to answer except:

  • to provide their name and address
  • to produce a driver’s license for traffic offences or accidents
  • to identify a driver who was driving at the time an offence was  committed unless that answer  will incriminate the person answering
  • to provide information to a customs officer about the import and export of narcotics
  • to provide date and place of birth where the police are investigating a drug matter and they are a suspect, or have been detained for search.

 

If a person is arrested and does not give their name or address, this may result in a refusal of bail by the police. A person under investigation or questioning for an offence has the right to remain silent unless required to answer under any Act. Before a police officer starts to question a person in custody for an indictable offence, the officer must inform the person of the right to communicate with a friend, relative or lawyer. Inadequate knowledge of the English language or a physical disability. There is a right to an accused person in custody to have the interview electronically recorded.

Immigration

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) administers immigration law. Student visas are a temporary visa and are available to people who intend to enter Australia temporarily for full-time study.
A student visa is granted if the applicant:

  • accepts a full-time course of study registered by the Australian Government
  • has adequate means of support; and
  • arranges health insurance International students who possess student visas are not automatically granted permission to work in Australia.

Students can only apply for a visa with work rights after they arrive in Australia and have begun his or her course of study. Students are limited to 20 hours work per week while studying full-time, but may work full-time during the holidays (see Info Sheet 7 - Employment).

If you require any assistance with migration matters you should visit the DIAC website at www.immi.gov.au or telephone them on 131 881 (there may be extensive waiting times on these telephone calls). The frequently asked questions section is useful for providing some answers to common issues. A registered migration agent can provide you with information or advice concerning immigration matters. You can find a registered migration agent by searching the Register of Agents in the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA)  website - www.themara.com.au or by calling their national number at +61-2-9299 5446 during the working hours. If in doubt, speak to an ISS adviser about your situation to determine whether professional assistance is needed.

Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC)  www.immi.gov.au Tel: 13 18 81

Refugee and Immigration Legal Services Solicitors available Mon to Wed & Fri nights 6pm Drop-in Service.

Discrimination

It is unlawful to act in any such way that excludes or restricts on the basis of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin. It is also unlawful to discriminate on the basis of sex, marital status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy in everyday life such as education, accommodation and employment. The College is committed to providing a freedom from all forms of discrimination in education and employment. Claims for discrimination must be made within 12 months of the incident of discrimination. The process of resolving discrimination matters emphasizes conciliation. However, if the matter is still not resolved, it can proceed to a formal hearing.

Locations of Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Federal) Complaints Info line: 1300 656 419

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is the abuse of a person by a family member. Where the relationship between the persons involved is that of a spouse, de facto partner or they are both the parents of the same child, a Domestic Violence Protection Order may be available. This order is commonly made for 2 years and can restrict contact with the parties involved. Essentially, there are 7 types of abuse that can occur:

  • Verbal abuse (e.g., put downs, comments  about incompetence)
  • Financial abuse (e.g., refusal to give money for basic necessities)
  • Social abuse (e.g., denying the right to earn money, prevention of socializing with other family members and friends) • Sexual abuse (e.g., forced sexual intercourse or sexual behaviour not wanted by the other person)
  • Physical abuse (e.g., punching, pushing, kicking, slapping, pulling hair)
  • Psychological abuse (e.g., destroying their self confidence, enforcing a feeling of insanity or uselessness in another person)
  • Damage to property (e.g., punching a hole in the wall, damaging the car) When safe emergency accommodation is needed for a woman and, where applicable, her children, contact: Women’s Domestic Violence Connect Phone - 1800 811 811    Women’s Legal Service  Free call 1800 677 278

 

Tenancy Law

What is a Tenancy?
A “tenancy” usually exists where a person (the tenant) pays money to another (the Landlord) for the right to occupy the landlord’s premises for some definite period of time (a term). This right to occupy the premises is more than just a contract; it is a right to the land. The Residential Tenancies Act 1994 defines the rights and responsibilities of tenants, their lessors and agents in a wide variety of situations. Many issues and disputes that may arise relate to these rights and responsibilities set out in the Act. Under the tenancy agreement, tenants are required to occupy the premises quietly and not create excessive noise. If the tenant is at least 14 days in overdue rent payments, the Commission can give 14 days notice to quit and a warrant can be issued to possess the land if the tenant is still on the premises. If the landlord, without having ended the tenancy, enters and tries to evict either peacefully or forcibly, she or he may be liable to a criminal prosecution as well as civil proceedings.
Make sure you have all dealings with the landlord or agent in writing. Always keep your rent receipts as proof of payment. Fact Sheets from the Residential Tenancies Authority & the Tenancies Union of Vic are available.

Alcohol & drug use

Illegal drugs, classified as narcotics, include such drugs as heroin, cocaine, angel dust, cannabis, hashish, amphetamines (speed, uppers) and tranquillizers. The Drugs Misuse Act sets out that it is illegal to possess, supply, traffic in or cultivate the illegal drugs stated above plus others.
Under the Customs Act, there are four principal offences that are related to illegal drugs:

  • possession of narcotics on board a ship or aircraft
  • importing or exporting or attempts to import or export
  • possession or attempted possession of illegally imported drugs; and
  • possession or attempted possession of drugs suspected of having been illegally imported

Police have the power to:

  • search without a warrant if there is reasonable belief that there are drugs present
  • search a person (by an officer of the same sex) without a warrant if there is reasonable belief that there are drugs present
  • use tracking devices if they reasonably suspect that a vehicle contains drugs
  • A police officer that reasonably suspects that a drug offence has been committed may require a person to supply his/her name and address and date and place of birth.

If convicted of supplying dangerous drugs, the maximum penalty is 25 years imprisonment if it is supplied by an adult (a person 17 years or over in criminal law) to:

  • a minor (a person less than 18 years in general law)
  • a person with an intellectual disability
  • someone within an educational institution or jail; or
  • a person who does not know he or she is being supplied with a dangerous drug

Alcohol & Drug Information Service (ADIS) - www.health.vic.gov.au/drugs

Alcohol and Drug Foundation – www.adin.com.au

 

Motor Vehicles

It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle on a road while unlicensed, or to allow another person known to be unlicensed to drive a motor vehicle on a road. The drivers involved in an accident are legally obliged to stop immediately and help anyone who may be injured. Drivers are also required to give their name and address, the name and address of the car’s owner (if different from their own) and the registration number of the car to any person injured, or to the owner of any property damaged or to any police officer present. If anyone is killed or injured in a motor vehicle accident, or if property damage worth more than certain amount, drivers must give full details of the accident to any police officer at the scene. If there are no police officers present, drivers must report the accident to the nearest police station as soon as possible, unless personal injuries prevent them from doing so. The accident should be reported to an insurer as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in an attempt by the insurance company to deny compensation under the policy.

A person who drives a motor vehicle on a road or elsewhere without due care or consideration for others is committing an offence under the Traffic Act and can be fined or 6 months imprisonment. This includes such things as crossing a double line, failure to signal an intention to turn etc. Dangerous driving is a criminal offence and punishment can include a fine and/or imprisonment. This includes speeding and disobeying traffic rules and regulations.

Drinking and drugs:

It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of drinks or drugs, either illegal or lawfully prescribed by a doctor. It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood or higher (.05) If the driver is under 25 years of age and does not hold a full driver’s license; any blood alcohol level is illegal. A police officer investigating any traffic offence or accident is empowered to require:

 

  • A person to produce their driver’s license. This can be either on the spot or within 48 hours at a specified police station.
  • Every person to supply names and addresses of people directly or indirectly involved in an   accident. You do not need to supply information regarding the accident if that information may incriminate you.

The College also employs a professional legal service to provide students with legal advice.
Solicitors are available Mondays – Fridays, 9am - 9pm;
Legal Aid Office - www.legalaid.vic.gov.au    -  (03) 9269 0120 Melbourne

 

Immigration

Student visa

A student visa allows you to enter and remain in Australia as a temporary resident for a specified period of time. International students are ONLY considered residents for taxation purposes.

All student visas are multiple entry visas for the duration of your course. Australian immigration laws are very strict and students who do not comply with the visa conditions may, in certain circumstances, have their visas cancelled. The penalties for non-compliance of a Student Visa condition can be severe and may include exclusion from Australia for 3 years.

Conditions of a Student Visa

Some mandatory conditions are:

  • 8202 - You must satisfy attendance and/or course requirements & maintain a valid enrolment for your chosen course of study.
  • 8101 - You (and members of your family) must not work unless you have been granted permission to work after starting your study (Refer to Info Sheet 7 - Employment).
  • 8501 - You must maintain your approved Overseas Student Health Cover while in Australia (Refer to Info Sheet 5 - Health & Medical).
  • 8206 - You must remain with the education provider (i.e. MCOHB) with whom you originally enrolled for the first 12 months of your course or if your course is less than 12 month, for the duration of the course. If you are in a packaged program, you must stay for the first 12 months of the principal (or main) course and for the duration of any prerequisite course/s. Only in exceptional circumstances will you be allowed to change education provider during the first 12 months.
  • 8533 - You must inform the college of any change of address within 7 days.
  • 8202 - You must maintain a full-time study load ie. at least 75% of the standard normal  semester study load (which for the majority of courses is 48 credit points but you should check your particular course to ensure that you are complying). It is important that you be aware of all the conditions of your visa which can best be viewed via the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website at www.immi.gov.au/students/students/573-4/index.htm

 

Applying for a new Student Visa

You will need to apply for a new student visa

  • if your current student visa is expiring AND you need to stay longer to complete your course
  • if you have completed a qualification and have been accepted into a new course (except under a package offer)
  • if you change from one university (or educational provider) to another The likelihood and requirements to apply for a student visa onshore (i.e. in Australia) will depend on which country of nationality you are from and which educational sector you are applying for eg. ELICOS, TAFE, University

A complete list of visa subclasses and assessment levels and forms can also be found at www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1219i.pdf There are facilities to apply for a visa online, please check the latest information by going to www.immi.gov.au/allforms/booklets/index.htm  and also see On-line application section, under “Applications & Forms.

Factors & Requirements

Provide Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) for a full-time course of study registered by the
Australian Government for overseas students;

  • Offer letter from the College
  • have evidence of   having obtained Overseas Student Health Cover - OSHC (see Info Sheet 5)
  • capacity to cover cost of airfares, tuition fee, and living expenses for the period of your course
  • be a genuine student intending to undertake studies, abide by visa conditions and depart on completion of authorised stay;
  • capacity to support any family members including arrangements for the  education of any school-aged dependent
  • have sufficient English language comprehension for the course they will undertake
  • meet Australian health and public interest requirements.

On-line visa applications

You can apply on-line for

  • A further Student Visa and/or
  • Student visa with permission to work.

To apply on-line you must be 18 years of age, hold a valid visa, and be enrolled in a course. You will also need a credit card for payment of the visa. Visit DIAC’s website (www.immi.gov.au) to apply online. Choose the type of visa wanted, read the General Information pages, agree to the Terms and Conditions, and fill in the application screens.

After lodging your application a Transaction Reference Number (TRN) is assigned to you as your receipt no. You MUST print this. You MUST go to the Next screen & print the document checklist specific to your education sector and assessment level. DIMIA will contact you by email or phone within 3 working days to advise you of the next step. Most students will have an appointment made for an interview and will be advised to bring all documents to the interview. You will be assessed at interview and, where possible, a decision will be made.

If necessary an automatic Bridging Visa will be granted. If you are applying for permission to work, you will be provided electronically with a declaration, for the College to complete, certifying that you have commenced your studies. If you can not make an eVisa application; or if an error message occurs, you should contact DIAC to make an appointment for an interview. Phone 131 881

Visitor’s visa

If you want to stop studying but still remain in Australia you maybe able to transfer to a visitor visa. Similarly if you would like to stay in Australia to attend the graduation ceremony a visitor visa is your only option. Also, you have to be cautious to change to a visitors visa if you intend to apply for PR afterwards, as there may be restrictions attached to a visitors visa. Students from some countries may NOT be able to change from a visitor visa back to a student visa AND still remain on-shore i.e. in Australia. You will NOT be permitted to stay longer if you have

‘8503 No Further Stay’

As a condition of your student visa. You must apply for your visa at least 4 weeks BEFORE your current visa expires. The requirements for a visitor visa are:

  • you have complied with the conditions of your student visa, and
  • be able to meet the criteria for a visitor visa, that is
  • must be of good health & character
  • you must not undertake employment during your stay as a visitor
  • you are not completing a course of study or undertaking a new course
  • proof that you have completed your course, i.e. Official Academic Transcript
  • proof of funds to support yourself and funds for return fare, PLUS actual return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one.
  • show flight details /itinerary of departure 3. Pay the DIAC application fee (short stay up to 3 months).

Migration help

If you require any assistance with migration matters speak to an ISS adviser about your situation to determine whether professional assistance is needed. Also visit the DIAC website at www.immi.gov.au or telephone them on 131 881 (there may be extensive waiting times on these telephone calls). The frequently asked questions section on the DIAC website is useful for providing some answers to common issues. A registered migration agent can provide you with information or advice concerning immigration matters. You can find a registered migration agent by searching the Register of Agents on the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) website www.themara.com.au

Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)
Tel - 131 881
Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre (RILC)
Advise Line: (03) 9483 1140

 

Networking

An important issue for both international students and resident Australian students is getting better acquainted with each other. There are positive outcomes for both parties. International Students can get to know Australian culture better. Often the best way to increase proficiency in a language is to immerse oneself in it. In addition it is a very enriching experience to share one’s culture and learn about other cultures. Through this, you can expand your knowledge and gain a greater understanding and empathy - important skills for just about anything in life.

Expanding one’s friendship circle has numerous benefits for Australian and international students, with the opportunity to help each other out with study as well as socialise when you need to take a well-deserved break. Socialising with local students may also allow you to discover parts of Melbourne previously unknown to you. However, given these advantages, meeting and getting to know new people can also be quite daunting and it is not always easy to do.

This fact sheet is aimed to give you some starting points for doing just that. There are numerous avenues for meeting and socializing. Especially in the community, it is likely that you’ll meet other people of all ages,   including non-student and this could certainly provide a different perspective of life in Australia.

Volunteering

Volunteering can be an ideal way to develop personal and work skills and enhance your CV.
Volunteering Victoria is an organisation that places volunteers within community non-profit organisations. There is a wide range of areas in which you can gain work experience:  entertainment, welfare, clerical/administrative, manual, marketing, retail, hospitality and special functions.

The Social Movie Group

The group meets for new movies and coffee on Thursday nights. They also have car rallies, theatre nights and dine-outs. There is no joining fee. Further details can be obtained by calling 3321 1191 or 0411 880 320. Please refer to the “What’s on” lift out in Friday’s edition of The Age newspaper under the advertisement for EG (Entertainment Extra) & The Gig Guide on Thursdays in the Sunday Newspaper

The Young Professionals Association Inc

Members can enjoy social events like dinners, picnics, movies and weekend trips. The association is aimed at people 21-35 years of age. The events are usually on a weekly basis and held on Saturday nights. Call 0409 341 196 for more information.

TAFE (Technical and Further Education) Adult Community Education Courses

These short courses range from 1 day to up to 16 weeks in duration. There is a diverse range of courses to choose from including arts and crafts, outdoors, computing, photography and dancing. There are a number of TAFE institutes across Melbourne where most courses are conducted. Often the emphasis is on learning or developing skills rather than passing examinations. It could be an enjoyable break.  Here you’re likely to meet people from a range of backgrounds and of many different ages.

Police Citizens Youth Clubs

At these clubs you can participate in activities like martial arts, gymnastics and boxing under the guidance of experienced and qualified instructors. There are clubs in various suburbs around Melbourne.

Yellow Pages telephone directory

This can be a starting point for getting out and about in Melbourne hopefully you can find something of interest to you. Look under “Clubs”.

National Organisations

One way of meeting locals and learning about the Melbourne environment is to link up with the National Organisation with members who are Australian residents but may have come from your home country or are from a common religious background. Contacts for these associations are listed in the Ethnic Affairs Directory.

 

Returning Home

Returning Home

Remember back to when you were preparing to leave home and come to Melbourne for the first time? Returning home is just as significant and you need to ensure that you are well prepared.

As your time at the college comes to an end, you will probably be looking forward to seeing friends, family and familiar faces. It is very common to go through a period of adjustment upon your return home, which is sometimes referred to as “re-entry shock” or “reverse culture shock.”

This may be the case whether you return home for a brief visit, for a few months or to move home permanently. For some people, readjusting to the home culture can be even more challenging than the initial adjustment to the host culture. Fortunately, you can take steps to ensure a smooth transition. Studies have shown that preparation can help to reduce the disorientation, and also helps people to settle back into home more easily. Although many people go through periods of feeling unsettled after returning home, re-adjustment does occur naturally. Most people look back with pleasure on the experience and skills they acquired while abroad. We are confident that by reading the following information re-entry transition will be a positive experience for you.

The following are some possible situations that may add to your stress in re-adjusting when you return home:

  • changes in life-styles and daily routines
  • family and/or community pressures to conform
  • changes from an emphasis on individualism in Australian society to a more family/group-centred attitude
  • adjustment to having friends and family close by
  • social alienation due to long stay abroad
  • unfamiliarity with forms of communication or styles of expressions that have become current during your absence
  • verbal and non-verbal modes and mannerisms  adopted in Australia may be misinterpreted by others
  • challenges of re-interpreting and adapting your skills to the local situations
  • lack of facilities or resources for research
  • wrong expectations on the part of colleagues
  • difficulties with finding suitable employment in one’s chosen field
  • no opportunity to communicate what was learned overseas resistance to change by one’s co-workers, especially those in authority

 

How can I prepare?

Here are some suggestions that other students have found useful:
Feel familiar, but you may also feel that there is something out of place, which you just cannot see at first glance.

  • It will be helpful to give yourself time to think about what you are feeling, and how your view of your familiar home and culture have changed and why. Allow time for you and your family to settle back into the rhythm.
  • Try to remember to respond slowly when you first return to your home and work. Do not try to change the way they do things because you see a ‘different’ way. Different does not always mean better. Show people that you appreciate the way things are done locally, and as opportunities arise, integrate your new knowledge with the ways things are done traditionally.
  • Reserve judgement. Give yourself time to process what you learned, and think through the wider impact of introducing new ways of doing things. What works in one situation, may not work in another. Pick ideas which will work well for you, and discard those which will not. Try new things…but not immediately!
  • Try to be sensitive to other people’s feelings. Are they really not interested in your experiences, or are they envious of the opportunities you have had.
  • Try not to idealise Australia, or criticise your own country… and vice-versa. Attempt to remain objective. Be careful about how you phrase your comments and criticism about your country.
  • You may be used to Australians being free and quick to criticise. Do not forget that it may not be acceptable to do the same at home.
  • Be flexible, keep your sense of humour and try not to do too much too quickly.
  • Write your ideas and feelings to friends and staff in Australia if you cannot find someone locally with whom to talk. Adapted from: Denny, M. Going Home: A guide to Professional Integration. NAFSA, 1986, Washington D.C

Checklist of THINGS TO DO

There may seem to be a million tasks to complete before you can get on the plane for your return trip home! This list may help you to organise your time, and remind you of some jobs which you may not have considered. You may like to add other items to the list….

1. BOOK RETURN FLIGHT HOME
Take into consideration the date of your last exam, progressive release of semester results (third week after exam period, when your visa expiries.

2. NOTIFY YOUR FAMILY OF YOUR ARRIVAL DATE
Don’t surprise them- they may need time to prepare for your return home too!

3. ORGANISE YOUR POSSESSIONS
Identify what you want to bring home and what you can sell (advertise with Student Guild, Trading Post, among friends, second hand shops etc).

4. CHOOSE THE WAY TO BRING HOME LUGGAGE
If you have excess baggage organise freight overseas

5. FILE OUTSTANDING MEDICAL INSURANCE CLAIMS

6. LODGE A TAX RETURN
If you have been working part-time, bring the following documents to the Australian Taxation
• Your return airline ticket
• Your passport
• The group certificate from your employer (if you can not get a group certificate, request a letter from your employer stating the number of hours you worked, the gross amount paid to you and the amount of tax deducted).   When completing the tax pack at the taxation office mark it ‘Final Return’. You must include your forwarding address (in your home country) so that the tax refund cheque will be sent directly to you. Students who have been working and are leaving Australia permanently can now apply to access their superannuation payments. Complete a “Request for departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) - Temporary Resident” form which you can download from the ATO website.

7. CLEAR DEBTS WITH MCOHB
For example library penalties, student loans, tuition fees, so that your degree and transcript can be released.

8. ASK LECTURERS AND EMPLOYERS FOR REFERENCES
Start to collect personal and work references for your resume.  Information about organisations you have worked for either paid or unpaid will also be useful.

9. APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP TO PROFESSIONAL BODIES
Find out about requirements and application procedures for joining associations and bodies relevant to your profession. Ask them to send the information to your address overseas.

10. GIVE NOTICE TO LANDLORD
Inform the landlord/agent of the date you wish to terminate your lease through a Notice of Intention to leave (form 13) available from the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) OR the Post Office. (Give at least 14 days notice). Check the expiry date in your lease you may be able to negotiate to stay until your departure date. Should you find it necessary to move out of your accommodation before the lease expires, negotiate with the landlord to avoid any penalties. Organise temporary accommodation if you have to move out before you depart.

11. ARRANGE A TIME FOR INSPECTION
Find a time to inspect the property with your landlord/agent. Use your copy of the Entry Condition Report. Make sure you give yourself time to clean and ensure that the current state of the property matches the condition report. It is best to have an inspection one or two days before the tenancy expires. Then fill out an Exit Condition Report Form 14A with your landlord/agent.

12. BRING A COPY OF APPLICATION FOR REFUND OF RENTAL BOND
If you and your landlord/agent agree on the amount of bond to be refunded fill in Form 4 available from the RTA or a Post Office with a fax. They will give you the bond as a cheque or deposit it in your bank account. You will need identification. If you and your landlord/agent do not agree on the amount of bond, lodge Form 4 without your landlord/agent’s signature. RTA will give the landlord/agent 14days to respond. If you do have any disputes you can contact ISS to assist you.
You lodge this form after you move out so make sure that you give the RTA your new address if there is a dispute. If you signed the lease as in a share house/flat and not everyone is leaving the house, you will need to fill in a Change of Shared Bond Agreement form 6 from the RTA.

13. DISCONNECTION AND REFUND OF BONDS FOR ELECTRICITY/ GAS/ TELEPHONE
The final bill is usually deducted from the bond for all services. Do not wait for the bill to come in the mail.
Origin Energy Phone 132461 www.originenergy.com.au
Telstra Phone 132200 www.telstra.com
Optus Phone 133345 www.optus.com.au

Set the date for disconnection of all services. Ensure that you inform all of the services that you will be going overseas. If you are in a shared tenancy, make sure that you remove your name from all accounts with these services otherwise you are still liable.

14. CLOSE ALL BANK ACCOUNTS
Make sure you do this after you receive any outstanding payments.

15. OTHER
Australia Post - You can redirect your mail for a small fee to someone in Australia only. Apply at a Post Office and take ID with you.
Academic Transcript - You need to complete an RR Form ‘Request for Academic Records’ and pay a fee to the cashier at Administration. Allow 10 working days for it to be completed, but records can be posted overseas.

 

Useful Links

Job search sites

www.seek.com
www.careerone.com.au
www.jobsearch.gov.au

Immigration

www.immi.gov.au

Australian Websites

Australian Tourism www.australia.com
Australia City Search www.citysearch.com.au
Melbourne City Search melbourne.citysearch.com.au
Financial Review www.afr.com/home
ABC online www.abc.net.au
The Age www.theage.com.au
Facts about Australia www.ga.gov.au/education/facts