We know as an international student moving to Australia to study at UOW College you must be excited! We also understand it might be a little daunting.
To help make this process as smooth as possible, we have put together some essential advice on topics that every new international student should be aware of.
Finding the right accommodation is crucial for a comfortable stay in Australia. Whether you choose private rental or shared living, make sure to pay attention to details on the lease/rental agreement. You can expect to pay anywhere between $150-$700 per week depending on your preferences. You might find it helpful to read some information about life off campus in Wollongong. StudyNSW also published a great article on type of accommodation options in New South Wales.
Banking in Australia:
To open a bank account in Australia, you will need your passport, proof of address in Australia, and proof of enrolment, such as a student ID card. Having an Australian bank account is an easy way to pay fees and receive wages from your employer.
The trains run regularly from Sydney to Wollongong and the local suburbs, and there is also a regular bus service in the local Wollongong area. To travel on public transport (buses and trains) you will need an Opal Card, which can be purchased at major supermarkets like IGA, Woolworths, and Coles.
Sydney to Wollongong:
If you are considering living in Sydney and studying in Wollongong, you may want to consider travel times. The travel distance to Wollongong campus from Sydney its 83 – 90 km depending on where you live in Sydney, which can take up to 2 hours. If you have to stay in Sydney and not Wollongong, consider some of the southern suburbs like Hurstville or Sutherland.
Airport Pick up:
A complimentary Airport Pickup service is available for all UOW International Students and UOW College students who have an offer to study at the Wollongong campus.
International students are permitted to work up to 48 hours per fortnight during a semester and unlimited hours during semester breaks. This information was correct as of April 2023.
To ensure you are taxed at the correct tax rate, it's important to obtain a Tax File Number (TFN). You should also consider making contributions to superannuation, which is a type of savings. When you leave Australia, you can claim back your superannuation contributions.
The Fair Work Ombudsman can help you prepare for your new job. It offers a range of free resources and tools, including a Guide to Starting a New Job and the ‘Starting a New Job’ online course
If you experience any forms of worker exploitation or underpaid employment, report it to the Fairwork Ombudsman (FWO). They are there to help you with any work-related issues.
Look Out for Scammers:
Unfortunately, scams do occur in Australia. To avoid being scammed, never click on any links in suspicious text messages or emails. Additionally, be cautious of rental scams that offer cheaper accommodation without allowing you to inspect the property. If you suspect a scam, report it to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) via Scamwatch. MoneySmart also has some great tips.
Connect Your Phone:
When you arrive in Australia, consider buying a local SIM card with a prepaid or monthly plan. Be sure to pay attention to the plan contract if you choose a monthly plan. To get a monthly plan, you will need to provide proof of an Australian bank account, student visa details, and a passport.
We hope this advice will help new international students who are starting their journey in Australia. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us at UOWC College Administration. We are here to help you make the most of your experience.