Living in Australia
Up-to-date and more detailed information about overseas students studying and living in Australia is available at the following website http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au. This website is established and maintained by the Australian government.
Australia is a land of contrasts: sweeping golden beaches, coral reefs rich with marine life, tropical rainforests, mountain ranges, vast grazing lands and sparse deserts.
One of the oldest continents, Australia is the only country to occupy an entire continent.
Surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Australia has many animals and plants, which are unique on the planet. The surface geology is typically old and flat with a major mountain range stretching down the eastern coast and another mountain range in the north west of the continent.
Sydney is the largest city in Australia with a population of approximately four million people. Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales. It is a multicultural city with people from different ethnic backgrounds. United Colleges of Australia (UCA) is located in the heart of city. It’s just a short walk from the train station or bus stop.
The Study in Sydney website is a useful source of information. The web site address is http://www.sydneyaustralia.com/en/study-in-sydney.
Sydney enjoys a temperate climate with four distinct seasons in the year - spring, summer, winter and autumn. Below is a guide to the average daily temperatures.
Spring: September - November 12-22 degrees
Summer: December to February 28-32 degrees
Autumn: March to May 12 - 20 degrees
Winter: June to August 10 - 15 degrees
Although English is the official language, a host of other languages are spoken in Australia. As one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world many Australians are naturally fluent in other languages. More than 2.4 million Australians speak a language other than English at home. Within the education and training system about 15 per cent of those of working age studying for an educational qualification have English as a second language. More than 800,000 Australians speak a European Union language, apart from English, in the home. Another 800,000 Australians speak an Asian language in the home.
In Australia not only is there the opportunity to improve your English through specialist study in an English-speaking environment but all sectors of Australian education and training provide tuition in many other languages as well.
English as it is spoken in Australia is very easily understood by nearly all people from other English-speaking nations. While there are some minor differences in accent between the cities and country areas the difference is much less than you will find in America, Britain and Canada where French is also spoken. As you improve your English in Australia you will learn some of our slang, and have much fun explaining the meanings to your friends and relatives at home.
Australia is predominantly a Christian country however; all religions are represented in our multicultural society. Australians respect the freedom of people to practice their choice of religion. Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues are located in most major cities. Some universities have their own spiritual groups on campus.
Australia has a very good health care system. All Australians pay a Medicare levy (additional tax) to fund the public health system and ensure everyone gets access to public system doctors, hospitals and other health care services. People who pay extra into a private health insurance fund receive certain privileges when they use private health care services. International students studying in Australia are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of their student visa.
Australia has a fantastic variety of food. Our top quality meat, fish, fruits and vegetables are exported to markets all around the globe. There is a large range of fruit and vegetables available at Australian produce markets. You should have no difficulty in finding the foods that you are used to at home.
With one of the highest standards of living in the world, Australia offers modern transport systems. Australia has an extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, tramways, ferries, two major national airlines and a number of regional airlines. Metropolitan areas are divided into zones and your ticket type and cost depends on which zone you are going to travel in and for how long. Tickets can be bought at train stations, on buses and trams and at newsagencies.
Tourist students may drive in Australia on a valid overseas drivers licence but if the document is not in the English language the visitor must carry a translation with the permit. An international driving licence is not sufficient by itself.
Metered taxicabs operate in all major cities and towns. You will find taxi ranks at transport terminals, main hotels or shopping centres or you can hail taxis in the street. A light and sign on the roof indicates if a cab is vacant. There is a minimum charge on hiring and then a charge per kilometre travelled. Taxi drivers do not have to be tipped.
Students may apply for an Opal Card for bus,train and ferry services via https://www.opal.com.au/ or just simply buy on from news agency, train stations or supermarkets.
Cost of Living
According to the data from the Department of Home Affair, the average cost of a primary student visa applicant is 21,041 AUD in 2018-2019.
The cost of an additional spuse or defacto partner will be 7,362 AUD on top of the primary visa applicant. The cost of a dependent child is 3,152 AUD each year.
Average costs of oversea students:*
accommodation: $130-$350 per week
bond in advanced: 4 weeks rent
Utility bills (electricity, gas, water): $30-$50 per week
Bus and train: $20-$50 per week
Mobile phone cost:$20-$50 per month
Fast food and take away food: $6-$25 per meal/per person
Milk (1 litre): $1.5-2&
Rice (1 kg): $2-$4
*Costs depend on your "style" of life, the number given above is the average number of an international student's cost, and it also depends on the distance of travel, reginal price differences and the restaurant/supermarket differences.
Options of Accommodation
UCA does not provide accommodation directly to prospective students, but we do support our overseas students in regard to their accommodation. If you need information and support for accommodation in Sydney, please contact our friendly student services staff by sending us an email or give us a call at least 21 days before you arrive in Australia. Options of accommodation available for International Students include: