Compared to other countries, getting a bank account in Australia is relatively easy. The good news is that you can open account up to three months before you move to Australia. Applying online is often an easy 5 minute process. This will allow you to transfer money into your Australian bank account before you arrive.
Once you arrive you’ll need to go to a branch of the bank with which you set up the account. There you’ll need to provide a variety of documents including, including passport, your student ID or proof of enrolment. Once you’ve been verified you will be given a debit card and be able to withdraw money from your account.
There are four main banks in Australia; Australian and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac). There are also a variety of small banks. Most Australian banks have specific student accounts. These accounts offer benefits for students, including no monthly account fees. Research these banks before you arrive to determine which bank has the right account for you.
Finally, when transferring money from another currency be aware of exchange rates. You should also seek out one of the multiple international transfer businesses, such as TransferWise or CurrencyFair.
When moving to Australia it’s important to have good accommodation that is relaxing, safe and in proximity to your university. This will enable you to focus on your studies and enjoying your time abroad.
There are a variety of accommodation types for international students. These include:
- Colleges or halls of residence: this is on campus accommodation, usually owned by the university. Places are limited so be sure to reach out in advance to moving.
- Private student accommodation: this is purpose built accommodation in close proximity to universities. A variety of business run these options and they are good for international students as they provide, comfort, security and a community.
- Private accommodation: you may rent from accommodation from a private landlord or real estate agent. This approach will provide you with a variety of options, however be sure that you’re engaged with a reputable party. For more assistance please contact your university.
- Homestay: this is an arrangement whereby you stay with a family in their home. This is a great way to engage in the local community and culture. There are multiple businesses that provide this option of accommodation, that can be researched online.
For all these options it is important that you don’t leave it to the last minute. Start making arrangements as you as you have been accepted. Research all options thoroughly and do not be afraid to ask for advice from your university or Spark. Finally, know your rights around accommodation. As a tenant you have certain rights that the government ensure. If you have any questions about this, please contact your University or Spark.