Those important things you need to do when you arrive.
Once you arrive in Australia, everything will be so new and exciting. Finally, after all the planning and organising, you finally find yourself within the Australian culture. I understand that you will want to celebrate your new freedom, and go out and explore your new city. However, within first two weeks in Australia, it is essential to spend some time taking care of the more formal and important errands to set you up for your stay.
While some of these tasks are more essential than others, and not all may apply to you (some can be completed before departure), it is worth keeping them in mind to understand what needs to be done after you land in Australia.
Come and talk to us!
For many of the students who enrol through Spiible.com, one of the first things they do when they arrive is come visit us! Even if you haven’t enrolled with us, we would love to meet you. We can answer any questions you have, tell you everything you need to know, and give you a welcome kit that includes all essential information. We will even tell you about the next event we have planned, so you can start to meet new people!
Open a bank account
It is a good idea to have an Australian bank account open over your time in Australia, to ensure that your funds are secure and accessible. In Australia, there are four main large banks; Commonwealth Bank, NAB, ANZ and Westpac. Each bank has branches all across the country, and can quickly and easily open an account for you. One easy way to set this up is CommBank’s Student Smart Access page. By registering here, your account can be ready before you arrive.
Opening a bank account must be done within six weeks of arriving in Australia, so don’t leave it too late. To open a student account you can visit a branch, and must have your passport (with valid visa). Many banks will also ask for a proof of enrolment, so be sure to have your COE or student card ready. Once your account is open, a teller will explain how your money can be transferred. While you are able to open an account before you arrive, you will only be able withdraw money after completing an identity check in a branch (present your passport and proof of enrolment).
Purchase an Australian SIM card
To stay in touch with your friends and family back home (as well as your new friends in Australia), it will be worth purchasing an Australian SIM card for your phone. To do so, your first step is to make sure your mobile phone is unlocked from your past carrier, otherwise it can be a lot of trouble to try to unlock a phone from overseas. When looking for a SIM card, look out for phone companies that offer prepaid plans (so you are not locked into a contract) and allow international calls to your home country. The main mobile companies (carriers) are Vodafone, Telstra and Optus, but do be sure to shop around and research some of the smaller mobile carriers, because usually you can find a good deal.
Apply for a Tax File Number
If you intend to work in Australia, you will need a Tax File Number (TFN). All employers will ask for your TFN in order to process your payment and tax contribution, so it is worth applying for it early. You can apply for you TFN online at www.iar.ato.gov.au, and you must have a valid passport and visa documents (that allow you to work). Your TFN will remain the same over the entirety of your stay in Australia.
Prepare for your studies
Soon after your arrival in Australia, you will be commencing your studies. Therefore it is paramount to ensure your enrolment is properly completed, the necessary fees are paid, your school accounts are set up, and any needed textbooks or school equipment is purchased. If you are unsure of what you need, you can ask us, or contact your school directly.
Purchase a public transport card
To catch most public transport in Australia, you will need to a valid public transport card or ticket. These transport cards and payment systems differ within each city. Make sure you purchase the transport card or ticket, and that it is valid with sufficient funds before you travel, because in many cases it cannot be purchased once you are on the train, tram or bus. Please note that as an international student you may be unable to travel on a concession or student card, so check with the transport authority. For more information, check out the following links, or just ask us!
Myki in Melbourne and Victoria
Opal Cards in Sydney and NSW
go card and seeQ card in Brisbane, Gold Coast and QLD
Metrocard in Adelaide
Greencard in Hobart and Tasmania
SmartRider in Perth and WA