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Cost of Living

It is estimated that it costs around AUD $20,290 per year plus tuition fees and other expenses to live in Australia. There is an additional living cost of 35% per year for a student’s spouse and a further 20% per year for one child and an additional 15% per year for any other children. More details can be found on www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/global/live-in-australia/living-costs

On a student visa, students are permitted to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during study periods to supplement their income. During non-study periods such as timetabled breaks, students may work additional hours. Student working rights are intended to add to student income rather than be the main supporting factor.

To work, students need a Tax File Number (TFN). To apply for a TFN, students can undertake any of the following: 

Online Application process:

  • Go to ato.gov.au and apply online
  • Go to ‘For Individuals’ and click ‘Apply for a Tax File Number’
  • Go to applying for a TFN and click ‘Online individual tax file number registration (Nat4157)’
  • Go to ‘Apply for Tax File Number’
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘next’
  • Follow the instructions until you are finished

The website is the best way to obtain a Tax File Number (TFN). You must be in Australia to do this. If you wish to speak to a person, you are advised to visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The central City branch is at Shop 1, 32 Martin Place, Sydney.

Alternate branches can be found at www.ato.gov.au

Note: International students will need a passport number and Australian home address.


To open a bank account in Australia or get an ATM card with a PIN (Personal Identification Number), International Students must have:

  • New Era Institute Certificate of Enrolment (request this at the reception)
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Each bank will have other forms of identification – check with the bank

Check with your bank for the process of transferring funds to or from overseas.

Banking hours:

Monday to Thursday 9:30 am to 4:00 pm

Friday            9:30 am to 5:00 pm

Homestay and alternative accommodation

Homestay accommodation provides students with an opportunity to experience life with a typical Australian family and develop English language communication skills. Students are expected to follow a few simple considerations:

  • Arrive home before the usual dinner time of your host family. Politely inform your host family if you will not be home for dinner
  • Ask if you can help with dinner to actively participate in the host family life
  • Ask permission before using the washing machine, phone, television, computer etc.
  • Pay your host for any phone calls and do not use the phone for longer than 5 minutes
  • Keep your bedroom clean
  • Ask host family whether they wash/iron your clothes or you wash/iron your own clothes
  • Do not use the bathroom for more than 15 minutes
  • Clean the bathroom after use
  • Use your own toiletries and buy your own washing powder
  • Ask permission before you invite friends to the host family’s home
  • Friends are not allowed to stay late at night
  • Communicate in English as much as possible
  • Be polite to your Homestay family
  • Turn the television and lights off at night
  • Lock the doors when you leave and return home
  • Avoid noise at all time (loud music and shutting doors)

Homestay is not a hotel. The Homestay host is not a servant but a person who is offering you a bedroom and facilities in their home and the opportunity to experience Australian family life.

Homestay Advice

A part of your enrolment form, New Era Institute will contact a homestay provider who will in turn contact you to provide initial accommodation. If a student chooses to terminate their Homestay, 2 weeks’ notice is generally required or 2 weeks cancellation fee is charged (the homestay may have a longer notice period – check before agreeing). Homestay provider may have additional fees if you change your homestay. All homestay related matters should be referred to the provider.

Alternative Accommodation

New Era Institute has a list of alternative accommodation available for students. Please advise Student Services if you require assistance with alternative accommodation. A list of alternative accommodation providers is below:







Health Services


In Australia, sickness is usually dealt with a general practitioner in a local medical centre. Some medical centres accept appointments other allow you to wait in a queue (walk in patient).

You need to request a doctor’s certificate to account for any absences caused by sickness or injury. On the first day of absence, please inform reception and upon return provide our student services officer with a copy of the medical certificate and retain the original.

More details can be found under the Student Support page.


There are plenty of local dentists in each area of Sydney where you need emergency treatment.

Hospitals/Emergency Treatment

A list of public hospitals can be found at http://www.health.gov.au/

Students can go directly to a hospital if the situation is urgent. However, there may be long waiting periods. The following link will guide you on the waiting period in the hospitals:


NSW Health contact numbers

School Aged Dependants

If you are bringing school aged children with you when you study in Australia, you will need to arrange for them to attend school. Schools fees apply to most dependents of temporary residents in New South Wales.

School attendance is compulsory for all children in Australia aged between six and 17 years of age, with most children commencing school at five years of age. In Australia, there are two main types of schools: government or state (which are public schools) and private or independent schools.

It is an immigration policy that school-age dependents of international students undertake formal schooling while they are in Australia. Students will need to provisionally enrol their children in a school before leaving their home country and will normally have to pay school fees 12 months in advance.

More information:

DEC International


List of public schools


List of NSW independent schools


Useful Phone Numbers

Emergency – Police / Ambulance /Fire 000
Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) 131 881
BUPA (OSHC) 1800 888 942
Public Transport Information Line 131 500
Lifeline Counselling Service (telephone counselling) 131 114
Translating and Interpreting Service (24 hours) 131 450

Mobile Phones and Wifi

Mobile Phones:

  • You can buy a cheap sim when you arrive in Australia, that can easily be inserted into your current phone
  • There are many phone carriers that offer short term contracts or commitment-free prepaid plans that you can top up whenever you’re out of credit
  • You can also purchase pre-paid international calling cards

Useful phone company contacts


Free Wifi can be found in the following places and is often accessed with an email address:

New Era Institute campus

Cafes and  Fast Food Burger Restaurants

(McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks, Oporto)

Library – You may have to be a member of the particular Library

Airport terminals

Westfield Shopping Malls

Other shopping malls.


Bus Train Ferry Information Line

PH: 131 500 www.transportnsw.info  

An OPAL Card is for use on buses, trains and ferries. It`s free to get, you just have to top up the credit for travelling. You can get an Opal card from a rail station or order online: https://www.opal.com.au

Tickets can be purchased from bus drivers (except on PrePay buses), State Transit ticket vending machines, Transport Shop and ticket outlets such as news agencies and convenience stores.

The tickets can be purchased at newsagents or train stations.

Drivers Licence

International students are able to drive in Australia using a licence from your home country as long as it is current and valid.

If your licence is not written in English, you must also carry a certified translation in English or apply for an International Driving Permit from your home country and carry it with you at all times while driving.

More details on this website:


Foreign Embassies and Consulates

Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Australia

Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Australia can be found at www.embassypages.com/australia

Newspapers and Free Publications

Daily Newspapers

Sydney Morning Herald: Metro guide every Friday


The Daily Telegraph: “7 Days” every Thursday


Free publications

Beat Magazine – Music, concerts etc.

Sydney: The Official Guide – Tourist information booklet

Can be found outside newsagents, in music/video stores & tourist information centres

Free Legal Services

International students in NSW can get advice about housing problems, fines, debts, car accidents, employment, discrimination, family law, domestic violence, and complaints about colleges or universities at Redfern Legal Centre. The student can also be advised on how these problems affect student visas.

Redfern Legal Centre is found at www.rlc.org.au/our-services/international-students

This service can also be accessed via the following phone number: 02 9698 7645. Advice is by appointment on a Wednesday evening, either in person, by phone or using video-link up.

Using a free telephone interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.

International students in NSW can get advice about housing problems, fines, debts, car accidents, employment, discrimination, family law, domestic violence, and complaints about colleges or universities at Redfern Legal Centre. The student can also be advised on how these problems affect student visas.

Redfern Legal Centre is found at www.rlc.org.au/our-services/international-students

This service can also be accessed via the following phone number: 02 9698 7645. Advice is by appointment on a Wednesday evening, either in person, by phone or using video-link up.

External Support Websites


13 11 14


Thy have Free Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)

Beyond Blue

1300 22 4636


They have a language service for multicultural people.


Salvation Army Family Welfare Centres

13 72 58


Catholic Care, Family Support Service

(02) 9307 8100

They have a multicultural service for non – English speakers.


On Tuesday nights most movies are half price and cinema details can be found in the newspaper’s entertainment section or on the cinema’s website:

Hoyts: www.hoyts.com.au

Event cinemas: www.eventcinemas.com.au

(Burwood has an Event Cinema in The Westfield Shopping Centre)


The following is a list of some of the most popular sightseeing destinations in Sydney

Sydney Opera House: www.sydneyoperahouse.com.au

The Rocks: www.therocks.com.au

Darling Harbour : www.darlingharbour.com

Chinatown: www.chinatown.com.au

Art Gallery of NSW: www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au

Queen Victoria Building: www.qvb.com.au

Sydney Aquarium: www.sydneyaquarium.com.au

Bondi Beach: www.bondibeach.com

Taronga Zoo: http://taronga.org.au/

Luna Park: http://www.lunaparksydney.com

Wet’n Wild: https://wetnwildsydney.com.au

Featherdale Park: http://www.featherdale.com.au

Madam Tussauds: https://www.madametussauds.com.au

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium: https://www.sydneyaquarium.com.au

Blue Mountains: http://www.bluemts.com.au

All Beaches: www.sydney.com/things-to-do/beach-lifestyle

A comprehensive guide on the 100 best things to do in Australia can find here: https://www.your-rv-lifestyle.com/things-to-do-in-australia/

Swimming Pools

Prince Alfred Park pool (Near Central Station):


Cook and Phillip Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre : http://www.cookandphillip.org.au

Ian Thorpe Aquatic and Fitness Centre: http://www.itac.org.au

Enfield Aquatic Centre– Close to Burwood:


Sydney Olympic Park – Aquatic Centre: http://www.aquaticcentre.com.au/