Living & Working In Australia
When most people think of Australia, they see wide open spaces of outback bush, kangaroos, koalas and clean air and water. Not a bad picture to be portraying to the world! However, Australia has so much more to offer than just these stereotypical images. As we all know, paying for a quality education in Australia maybe cheaper than other countries.
Australia has a high standard of living. Australia has some of the world’s least expensive cities. The cost of living in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth is dramatically less than that of the world’s most expensive cities. At the same time, Australia’s major cities are all ranked among the world’s top 30 cities for quality of life. The cost of living in Western Australia is generally lower than in other Australian states. One can expect to pay more per year for rent, transportation, and food in Australia’s east-coast cities. Prices are relatively low for essentials such as food, drink, and clothes. Manufactured goods, on the other hand, are generally expensive because many are imported.
Most universities and some vocational institutions offer a variety of accommodation on or near campus, such as apartments, residential colleges or halls of residence. Residential colleges are slightly more expensive and provide accommodation with meals. They may also have sporting and social facilities, tutoring, libraries and computer facilities. Halls of residence are located on or near institution campuses. Students usually have meals and some cleaning services provided. Students need to apply early because demand for places is high. The cost varies on the type of accommodation.
No matter what type of study you are doing in Australia or the duration of your stay, some research and planning will help you have a safe and rewarding study experience. Important considerations and planning includes:
- Planning your departure.
- Arriving in Australia.
- Accessing support services.
- Remaining visa compliant.
- Working while you study.
- Living costs and finding accommodation.
- Health and safety.
Some important aspects
Australia has a variety of high standard student accommodation available to suit different budgets and needs and there are several long-term housing options available for students. Students have options for on campus and off campus stay.
One can choose as per their budget and convenience.
On – Campus Accommodation
Campus living can be a great option to minimise travel. Most universities have comfortable and furnished apartment-style living on campus or close by, sometimes with cleaning and meals included.
- On campus – AUD$80 to AUD$250 per week
- Boarding schools – AUD$10,000 to AUD$20,000 a year
Off – Campus Accommodation
With homestay, you will live with a family in their home. Homestay can be a good option for younger students as you will have all the comforts of an established home, often with meals and cleaning included. Families offering homestay accommodation to international students are thoroughly screened to ensure they can provide a suitable living environment for students.
- Homestay – AUD$110 to AUD$270 per week
Short-term accommodation options that you might want to consider when you first arrive in Australia include:
- Hostels and discounted rates on hotels.
- Temporary housing which may be offered through your institution while you get settled.
- Hostels and Guesthouses – AUD$80 to AUD$135 per week
You can rent or ‘lease’ a property by yourself or with friends. This can be done through a real estate agent or privately.
When renting a property you will need to pay a security deposit or ‘bond’ (which is usually four weeks rent), as well as rent in advance (also usually four weeks). The bond is held to repair any damage that you, your house mates or house guests cause to the property while renting. Some, or all, of this amount may be refunded to you once your tenancy agreement has terminated.
- Shared Rental – AUD$70 to AUD$250 per week
- Rental – AUD$100 to AUD$400 per week
The transport options available in Australia include buses, trains, trams and ferries. Your access to these transport services will vary depending on where you live. You will also be able to access private and public car services, available to take you from door to door. Public transport costs vary depending on where you live and the type of transport you are using.
Some larger education providers will also have their own in-house transport system, especially useful if you have to leave your campus late at night or live in a hard-to-reach area.
Working in Australia
Working while you study in Australia can help complement your study and living experience. There are a number of reasons you might want to undertake part time work while studying in Australia, including assisting with living expenses and gaining work experience in your study area.
If you have existing qualifications and/or professional work experience, you may be able to secure casual or part time work in your field. You will also need to get a tax file number to work in Australia.
Australia has a wide range of industries and many have part time employment opportunities
- Retail – supermarkets, department and clothing stores.
- Hospitality – cafes, bars and restaurants.
- Tourism – hotels and motels.
- Agricultural – farming and fruit-picking.
- Sales and telemarketing.
- Administration or Clerical roles.
There are plenty of ways to find work that suits you, including
- Newspapers and online job sites.
- Some institutions provide job notice-boards on campus and online. Contact your institution’s international student support staff to find out what options they offer.
- Register your details at a recruitment firm; many of them help place people in casual or short-term work.
Employment while studying
Part Time Employment:
Most student visas allow you to work for up to 20 hours a weeks while your course is in session, and unrestricted hours during any scheduled course break, but before you undertake any paid work you need to make sure your visa allows you to work.
- On an average a student can earn around AUD$ 6-13 per hour.
- Casual Jobs are available (AUD$14-18 per hour) as PT work option.
Paid or unpaid internships can be a great way to get exposure to the professional, financial and creative industries. Internships more or less can also be found as a part of you curriculum.
There are many charities and non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia and they always need volunteers to help out. It can be a great way to meet friends, get some hands on work experience and give back to the community.
Employment Post – studies
If you are considering staying in Australia and working after your current visa expires, you will need to get a new visa that lets you do this.
If you have completed a Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral degree, you may be eligible for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.
Skilled – Graduate Visa
It is an 18 months visa given to students on completion of 2 years of study in Australia. During this time the student can work full time, or improve their English to gain additional points for General Skilled Migrant Policy of PR.
Skilled Graduate Visa Holders are eligible to apply for any of the following visa categories withiln the 18 months duration:
- Provisional Skilled – Regional sponsored visa (Subclass 487)
- Permanent Skilled – Independent visa (Subclass 885)
- Permanent Skilled – Sponsored Visa (Subclass 886)
- Or they can also apply for an employer sponsored visa at any time.