International Students Arrival Guide

Welcome to Australia and AISI

International Student Arrival Guide

Your choice to study in Australia will be one of the most rewarding experiences. It will be the most memorable and fulfilling time of your life. Over your study period, you will experience what Australia is renowned for a nation of multiculturalism. You will experience many different cultures, a new lifestyle and the excitement of meeting new people from all over the world.

In the initial weeks of your study journey in Australia, you might find yourself challenged more than you expected. This is only normal and happens to all international students. It’s importantto remember that you are not alone. Other students at AISI have come from overseas and know exactly how you feel and what you are going through.

Reaching out to your fellow classmates and peers will make your journey a lot easier as they may be able to provide some assistance or point you to that right direction.

As you begin to settle into your new environments and find your way around you will feel much more at ease. We are always here to help. This guide is designed to assist you will ensure your arrival in Australia is a smooth quick and easy transition, from airport arrival to student orientation.

Arrival at the airport

When you arrive at one of the Australian airports you will first need to pass through immigration and customs clearance. Should you need help finding your way around, just ask one of the friendly airline or airport staff or even one of the border officials in the arrivals area. To find out more information on what to expect when arriving at an Australian airport please follow this link. If you are arriving in Melbourne please visit the Student Welcome Desk for more information).

Airport Transfers

There are various airport transport transfer options. These include:

Taxi: Taxi ranks are located across from the Terminals. Melbourne CBD  is approximately 30 minutes from Melbourne Airport. Estimate and book your fare here. To book via phone please call 13 2227

Public Transport: Sky bus (shuttle bus) that is located at Terminal 1. Plan your public transport trip.

Chauffeur or Hire Cars: these can be pre-arranged to meet you at any  of our terminals. Drivers will meet at the Chauffeur/Hire cars meeting points inside the airport. The fee is agreed to in advance as there is no meter in the vehicle. Chauffeur/Hire Cars must be pre-arranged as there are no service desks at the airport. You should be aware that it is against the law for drivers to solicit a fair from you.

Rideshare: rideshare drivers pick up travellers from lane 3 of the forecourt or level 2 inside the T4 Ground Transport Hub. A rideshare access fee of $4.48 inc GST applies per trip. Passengers can be dropped off anywhere along Departure Drive and T4 Transport Hub drop off zone on level 1. This  is the same for all the public drop off zones.

For more information please visit the Melbourne Airport website.

Finding Accommodation

Once you have received confirmation that you will be studying in Australia and the location of your campus(s), you should arrange accommodation before you arrive. Finding accommodation should meet your financial budget and individual needs. Student accommodation is usually highly sought after and requires thorough planning.

Things to consider when looking for accommodation:

– The cost can vary depending on your state, city and type of accommodation

  • You should confirm the total costs of accommodation. These include rent per week/month, bond payment and utility fees. These should be included in your accommodation agreement
  • Accessibility of public transport and your accommodation. Make sure that you can get to your campus with public transport to your campus. If you are going to be living in Melbourne you can plan yourpublic transport trip.

To find accommodation please visit these websites below:

Your Family

Your partner and/or children can come with you to Australia while you study but you will need to consider the following:

Visa: most student visas will allow you to bring your family members to Australia as your dependants if these conditions apply to you:

  • assessment level 1 or 2
  • assessment level 3 or 4 and your course is longer than 12 months
  • you have been in Australia for 12 months or more

For further information please visit the Department of Home Affairs website where you can learn more about your family’s eligibility.

Employment: your partner will need to obtain permission to work in Australia and will have to comply with the restrictions outlined in his/her vis. Your partner can apply for a Work Visa after they have received a Dependent Student Visa. The Number of hours your partner can work will depend on the course you are studying: Partners of VET international students = 20 hours per week. Your partner may start looking for employment opportunities through these employment websites below:

Learn English

Your partner can enrol at AISI or another college of their choice where they will learn English in a multicultural classroom environment.

Enrol your children in School:

Children between 5 – 18 years old and have been living in Australia for more than three months will need to be enrolled in an Australian School.

To find a school that is appropriate for your children please visit study in Victoria.

If you are intending to study and live in Melbourne with school aged dependants and require further information you are advised to contact the Department of Education & Training

Open an Australian Bank Account

Opening Hours of Banks in Australia:

• Monday – Thursday: 9:30am until 4:00pm
• Friday: 9:30am until 5:00pm
• Saturday: Limited trading
• Sunday: CLOSED

Please note that opening hours may vary between branches. Please check with your local bank or visit their website.

Credit Cards:
All international credit cards such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club can be used in Australia. Please be aware that higher surcharges may apply for purchases made using an international credit card. For more information please visit the Department of Home Affairs.

Australian Currency:
The Australian dollar ($ or AUD$) is a decimal unit of currency. 100 cents equals one dollar.
Notes come in denomination of:
• $100
• $50
• $20
• $10
• $5

Coins come in denominations of:
• $1 and $2 (Gold Coins)
• 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents (Silver Coins)

See how your currency compares to the Australian dollar via a currency converter.

To open an Australian bank account, you will need to show 100 points of Identification (Each form of identification has a points value from 25 to 100 points. You will need a total of 100 points).

These forms of identification include:
• Birth Certificate
• Drivers Licence
• Passport
• ATM card with another bank

You are advised to speak with your financial institution of choice about the identification documents that you will need to bring with you on the day of opening your account.

Banks in Australia:
• Westpac (AISIs Banker)
• Bank of Melbourne
• National Australia Bank
• Commonwealth Bank of Australia
• ANZ Bank
• Bendigo Bank
• Bank of Australia

Please make sure to read and understand the terms and conditions when applying for a bank account. Be sure to ask about:

• Fees and charges
• Withdrawal Limits
• Internet/phone banking options

Get a mobile phone

You can either use your existing mobile phone or buy a new one when you arrive.

You can also decide to use your existing sim card in Australia if your mobile provider at home has an international roaming agreement with a network in Australia. Your existing provider will be able to provide further information about using your mobile overseas including international roaming charges. It can be expensive to use your existing phone in Australia so it’s important to be aware of the charges that may apply. You will also need to ensure your mobile phone or device is compatible with Australian networks.

Buying a new Mobile & Sim Card

For more information about buying a new mobile or sim card please visit one of the Australian mobile networks below:

Get a drivers Licence

You can drive using your overseas drivers’ licence when you first arrive in Victoria. If You are planning on staying for more than 6 months, you will need to convert your overseas licence to a Victorian licence within this time. Your overseas licence must be current and valid. If your overseas licence is in a language other than English, you will need to carry an English Translation or international driving permit whenever you drive.

Find out how to get your Victorian Driver Licence.