Before and After Arrival in Australia – International Students

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You have made a very important life decision to study at Acknowledge Education and we look forward to welcoming you. International students who are going to apply for their visas should read the following information and be prepared before arriving in Australia.

Applying to an Institution Offering CRICOS Registered Courses for International students.

Acknowledge Education (AE) is an accredited and approved education provider with a CRICOS registration, and international students seeking enrolment into AE and applying for a student visa can verify this by visiting the CRICOS website.

GTE (Genuine Temporary Entrant) Requirements.

It is important that students applying to study in Australia on a student visa are aware of the GTE requirements issued by the DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Patrol). For more information please visit the website.

Health Insurance for International Students – OSHC

Students applying for a student visa must have adequate health insurance cover while in Australia and must not arrive in Australia before their health insurance starts. If you are in Australia and do not have adequate health insurance, you are in breach of your student visa conditions. You need to purchase the OSHC (Overseas Students Health Cover) from insurance providers, or as an alternative, Acknowledge Education can arrange to obtain the required health cover for you. Students may opt for this service at no additional service fee cost, apart from paying for the actual insurance cover that is arranged from third party insurance companies.

Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO)

Once you have been granted a visa and arrived safely in Australia, please ensure you check that your visa details and conditions are all correct (including your passport details, date of birth and class of visa) by visiting the website.

Unique Student Identifier (USI)

Whether you are an international student or a domestic student who is undertaking nationally accredited training (including a vocational course such as a Certificate or Diploma course), you will need a USI number with effect from 1st January 2015. After you are granted a student visa, please register and ensure you have a number. For more information and how to register please visit:
https://www.usi.gov.au/about
https://www.usi.gov.au/students/create-your-usi

Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework

Acknowledge Education wants its international students to undertake their course of study in Australia in a safe environment. The Australian Government has regulations in place to ensure students enjoy quality education within the fair legal and consumer protection framework. The ESOS Act 2000 gives international students the policies, legislation and standards they should be aware of while a student at an education provider. For more information, please visit here.

Orientation Day, Time, and Location

Students must arrive for orientation, which is mandatory. Usually orientation is many days prior to the actual commencement of classes. It is important that students read the information on the Offer Letter and check our website for details.

At the Airport

Australian Immigration

When you arrive into any Australian airport, you must present to Australian Immigration your passport, passenger card (usually given to you on the flight before landing) and student visa evidence. When you have completed the entry stamping, you will then move to baggage claim to retrieve your checked-in bags (luggage).

Australian Customs and Quarantine

Australia is one of the countries that has strict quarantine laws and tough on-the-spot fines. Every piece of luggage could be screened, and it is mandatory to declare certain goods that you may be carrying. If you fail to declare or dispose of any quarantine items, or make a false declaration, in addition to on-the-spot fines, you could be prosecuted and fined more than AU$60,000 and risk 10 years in prison. All international mail is also screened. For more information about goods that are not allowed, please visit this website.

Some products may require treatment to make them safe. Items that are restricted because of the risk of pests and disease will be seized and destroyed by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). The Department of Immigration and Border Patrol (DIBP) could use quarantine detector dogs to check through baggage for food, plant material or animal products.

Documents

You should prepare a folder with your official documents to carry with you to Australia, including:

  • valid passport with student visa copy
  • offer letter from Acknowledge Education
  • Confirmation of Enrolment (eCOE) issued by Acknowledge Education
  • OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover) policy
  • receipts of payments (e.g. tuition fees, OSHC, bank statements etc.)
  • original or certified copies of your academic transcripts and qualifications
  • other personal identification documents, e.g. birth certificate, ID card, driver’s licence
  • medical records and/or prescriptions

If you are travelling with your family you will need to include their documents as well. Keep all documents in your carry-on luggage. In case you lose the originals, make copies that can be left behind with family and sent to you.

You and Your Family

Bringing Family

Most student visas allow you to bring your family members to Australia as your dependants. Family members include your spouse, your children or your spouse’s dependent children. Before bringing your spouse or children to Australia, you must prove that you can support them financially. The cost of supporting a family in Australia is very high. You may have to consider and discuss many issues with your family. For more information regarding documentary evidence of financial capacity, please visit this website.

Issues to Consider

Rather than bringing your family together with you to Australia, some students may find it useful to arrive first, settle into studies, find appropriate accommodation, adjust to living in Australia and then arrange for their family to join them.

Before making a decision to bring your family to Australia it is important to consider the following issues:

  • the cost of OSHC cover can be very high for couples and families as compared to single student
  • the cost of airfares for your family to and from Australia
  • possible higher rent for a larger home
  • limited employment opportunities for your spouse
  • extra costs for food, clothing and other necessities
  • the effect on you and your studies if your family is not happy in Australia
  • whether your children will adjust to school in Australia
  • waiting lists for child care centres; and
  • whether to come alone to Australia first and arrange things for your family, or to all come at the same time

Child Care

Finding suitable childcare in Australia requires patience and planning. Waiting lists for places in most childcare centres are long.

Many schools offer before and after school care programs (usually 7:30am–8:45am and 3:30pm–6:00pm). Children who need these programs must be registered with the school.

Schools

If you would like to bring your children to Australia with you, you must be aware of the following schooling issues:

  • It is an immigration policy that school-age dependants of international students undertake formal schooling while they are in Australia.
  • Children who have their fifth birthday on or before 31 July of that calendar year are eligible to start school.
  • You will need to provisionally enrol your child in a school before you leave your home country and you will normally have to pay the school fees one semester in advance. The school will issue an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment Form (eCOE) stating the program and its duration, so that you can obtain the appropriate visa for your child.

For more information on schools enrolling international students in Melbourne, visit:
https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/500-
http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/parents/primary

  • You will be responsible for school fees and other costs including school uniforms, books, excursions, and stationery.
  • When choosing the most appropriate school for your child, it is best to ask questions about the school’s curriculum, size, extra-curricular activities and the size of individual classes.
  • You should also take into consideration the distance from the school to your education institution, the suburb in which you intend to live and the method of transport you plan to use.

Keeping in Contact

Before you leave home, you should provide your family and friends, and Acknowledge Education, with details of your flights to Australia and where you will be staying when you arrive. (Do not change these details without informing them.) Once you have arrived in Australia, you should then let your family and friends know that you have arrived safely. It is important to ALWAYS let someone know where you are and how to contact you by phone, by email or by post. It is a mandatory requirement of your visa grant to inform Acknowledge Education of any change to your contact details, which includes your phone number and address of your accommodation.

Arranging Your Finances

Living Expenses

The cost of living in Australia will vary depending on your choice of accommodation and the suburb. More information may be accessed by visiting this website.

How Much to Bring

You will need to make sure you have access to sufficient funds to support you when you first arrive. It is recommended that you have approximately AU$1,500 to AU$2,000 available for the first one month to pay for temporary accommodation and transport. You could bring this money in the form of cash or international credit card. Please do not make deals with or hand over cash or credit cards to a stranger, even if they claim to be from the college.

Currency Exchange

Only Australian currency can be used in Australia. If you have not brought Australian dollars with you, then you must convert your money into dollars. There are Currency Exchange depots available at the airports.

Electronic Transfer

When you are attempting to transfer funds while you are overseas, you may do so either by electronic telegraph or telegraphic transfer. Such transfers do take approximately 48 hours to be credited into the receiving bank account. Bank charges may apply. While in Australia, it is very simple to make electronic transfers by downloading the bank app or using Internet banking.

ATMs

Automatic Teller Machines are located everywhere (including at the airport) and you can immediately withdraw cash from your overseas bank account at ATMs displaying the Cirrus Logo (if your ATM card has international access). Check this with your financial institution before leaving home. An international transaction fee may apply.

Credit Cards

All major international credit cards (VISA/MasterCard/AMEX) are accepted in Australia but you must remember that repayments to many of these cards can only be made in the country where they were issued. Do not rely on being able to get a credit card once you arrive in Australia because this is very difficult due to credit and identification laws.

Bringing Cash or Dutiable Goods Into Australia

Please refer the limits applied by DIBP for Cash and dutiable goods. Please see the Incoming Passenger card.

What else to bring?

Items that you may need to bring along.

Most can also be purchased in Australia.

  • Alarm clock
  • Bath towels, bed sheets, pillow cases
  • Dictionary (bilingual)
  • Small sewing kit
  • Music CDs or iPod
  • Sporting equipment
  • Toiletries
  • Umbrella
  • Scientific or graphics calculator
  • Camera
  • Micro recorder for lectures
  • Spare spectacles or contact lenses
  • Your optical prescription
  • Photos of friends and family
  • Swimming costume
  • Small gifts from home
  • Australian power adapter

Bringing Your Computer and Mobile phones

Bringing a PC or laptop and mobile phones into Australia may be slightly complicated. Please ensure that the voltage and power adapter or plug is as per Australian standards and requirements. It is always advisable to purchase your laptop within Australia as it allows warranty and repairs within the warranty period.

After Arrival

Settle into Australian Lifestyle

  • Open a Bank Account. There are several banks which would allow International students to open a bank account. You will need to provide information including Student ID, Passport, Visa copy and any other documents that may be requested.
  • You will need to apply for Tax File Number (TFN). This is required when seeking to work, as employers will need to deduct tax and pay against your TFN.
  • Ensure you inform your OSHC provider the date of your arrival so the insurance cover starts the day of arrival or Acknowledge Education will inform the OSHC provider, if we arrange a cover for you.
  • You will have more information in Orientation on your first day at Acknowledge Education.

Other Useful Websites

Why Study in Australia?
http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/global/why-australia
http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/global/why-australia/facts-and-figures

Study in Melbourne & Victoria
http://www.studymelbourne.vic.gov.au/