While student visa holders are now able to work 20 hours a week, it is important to have other money available as Australia is quite an expensive country to live in.
Shopping centres in Australia are open most days of the week, it will depend on how close to the city you are living. The major supermarket chains are open 6 days a week Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Thursdays are late night shopping, shops are open until 9:00pm. Saturdays shops are open usually from either 9:00am to 12:00pm or for the bigger shops from 9:00am to 12:00pm.
There are bank branches located in all suburban areas, they are open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 4:30pm, with some open until 5:00pm on Fridays. Bigger branches open to the public on Saturdays from 9:30am to 12:00pm.
ATMs or Automatic Teller Machines are available at all branches and shopping centres. They are available 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.
Australia Post runs the postal service in Australia, mail is picked up and delivered Monday to Friday. Australia Post outlets are available at most shopping centres and are open from Monday to Saturday. Monday to Friday they are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm, on Saturdays they are only open until 12:00pm.
Here customers can buy stationary, office supplies, stamps and post parcels, letters. They can also pay certain bills here.
Telephones & Internet
There are many telecommunications providers in Australia, most people are now purchasing mobile phones on a plan rather the using a land line all the time. For international uses though, it will be best to shop around to find the right deal for you. This will most likely be a joint mobile, phone and internet plan. Dial up, ADSL and wireless internet are all available in Australia.
There are many phone shops in shopping centres, where mobile phones can be purchased. However most of the shopping around for plans and phones can now be done over the phone or online.
There are libraries available at all educational institutes and within close location to shires and council houses. Contact the local council in your area to find one closest to you.
Here customers can borrow books, CDs and DVDs. There is only the first membership fee to pay. This is a very cost effective way to read books, it will also help with study.
Currently Australian television is starting to use digital TV, to use this watchers need to use a digital ready TV and box to watch additional channels free of charge. At the moment there are 5 free to air channels available on all televisions. For cable television, consumers will need to sign up with either Foxtel or Austar this is usually quite costly.
Foreign, local and community papers are all available in Australia these can either be delivered to your house at an extra charge or can be brought at the local supermarket or newsagency. To find all your local papers and where they can be brought from visit www.newpapers.com.au.
Making Friends and Multicultural Community Groups
Moving to a foreign country is a very daunting experience, to make this transitions easier many international students will attend a Multicultural Community Group. These groups have people in similar situations all attend. This may help students feel a little more at home.
Australia is a very accepting country with even more friendly people, students will find that they will easily meet new friends at there educational institute. Here there will be frequent social events listed, and people will be more then happy to help you settle in. Most Australian Universities are now filled with international students, so don’t fear being the odd one out there will be many students in the same situation.
As with any country, be positive and polite. If you need directions or assistance be polite and ask for it there will always be someone there to provide help. Australia prides itself on its equality. No one is judged on race, gender, sexuality or religion, be accepting of others and others will accept you.
Dress appropriately for the situation, most Australians dress fairly casually. If attending a job interview, formal function or restaurant it would be more appropriate to wear something formal.
Littering is illegal in Australia, as is smoking in public places. Spitting in public is also seen as dirty and is an offence.
You may have a feeling of frustration when first moving to Australia this is known as culture shock. Feelings such as this should pass once the student has settled in, if it stays with you seek counselling, services are available for international students at all educational institutes.
There are strict laws in Australia, a few have already been mentioned. You must be over 18 to purchase alcohol and cigarettes, photo identification will be required such as drivers license, passport, proof of identification. Weapons and drugs are illegal big penalties to apply. Violence and harassment is not tolerated in Australia, neither is acts of sexism and sexual assault. Huge penalties apply. If planning to drive in Australia be sure to know the road rules, speed limit and do not drive if you have consumed alcohol or drugs.