Moving to Australia
Obtaining a student visa
A student visa is required before entering Australia and before the commencement of your program.
- Once the University has received your Acceptance Form, payment of invoiced fees and any outstanding documents, the University will issue a receipt and electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE). You need to have the eCoE to apply for a student visa.
- Apply online at www.homeaffairs.gov.au
- You may be requested to attend an interview, provide additional information, update passport details, provide biometric information or provide police certificates.
- Most visa applications take about four weeks to process, although they may take longer.
Maintaining your student visa
It is important that you are aware of the following conditions while studying on a student visa in Australia:
- The visa must be valid and not expired;
- You must have a current Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your visa;
- Program progress requirements must be maintained;
- You must notify the university within seven days if your contact details change.
For more detailed information about student visas and application procedures please visit www.homeaffairs.gov.au
Money: ATMs and EFTPOS
ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) are operated by a bank or credit union which dispense money and allow limited transactions, 24 hours per day.
EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) is widely used across Australia in supermarkets, shops, pharmacies, cafes, restaurants and bars.
Your credit cards and bankcards are valuable. Keep them in a safe place!
For students who are intending to remain in Australia for some time it is advisable to open a bank account. In order to open a bank account in Australia, overseas students need to provide written confirmation of their enrolment at their educational institution, student card, visa details and passport.
A quick guide to public transport in Perth
Perth has a modern transport network of trains and buses called Transperth. There is a good train service from Perth to Fremantle – Notre Dame is only a five minute walk from Fremantle station. Buses also terminate at Fremantle train station. For more information visit www.transperth.wa.gov.au.
Most students travel using a SmartRider card. To obtain a SmartRider:
- Fill out a form from Student Administration (ND7) and have it validated.
- Take the validated SmartRider form to any Transperth Info Centre or SmartRider Retail Sales Outlet.
- Purchase a SmartRider card.
The SmartRider card is valid for use on trains, buses and ferries. The journey cost is dependent on which zone (area) you live in and how far you are travelling. Student discounts are given at time of sign-up. Fremantle and Perth city both have a free Central Area Transit (CAT) bus service. This bus service operates within these two areas at no cost, running approximately every 15 minutes.
A quick guide to public transport in Sydney
Notre Dame’s Broadway campus is five minutes’ walk from Central Station, the city’s main terminus for underground and overground trains. Many intercity coaches also operate from here. Buses stop right outside the university, with an efficient service linking the city to every outlying suburb. Sydney also offers an impressive ferry service. From Circular Quay you can reach harbourside destinations such as Manly, Balmain and Watson’s Bay. For more information visit transportnsw.info/international-students
Buy an Opal Card
An Opal card allows you to board buses, trains, light rail and ferries across Sydney. Paper tickets are no longer used on the public transport network. Opal cards are available at newsagents, convenience stores, supermarkets and other outlets. You’ll also be able to purchase them at railway stations, bus termini and other transport hubs. The minimum cost for an adult card is $10 –and the card can be topped up depending on your use. Visit www.opal.com.au
Telephones and internet access
Mobile phones in Australia are readily available and can be purchased at mobile phone distributors as well as the Post Office, electronic stores and other retail outlets. It is strongly recommended that you speak with mobile phone providers for details of charges for both domestic and international calls and text messages.
Each month you purchase credit with a certain amount of ‘talk time’. This can include Pre-Paid Caps which give larger amounts of phone credit and usage.
You can sign up for one- or two-year plans with a mobile phone company, which sometimes comes with a free phone. When purchasing a plan you might have to provide a copy of your visa as a proof that you will stay in Australia and be able to pay the plan off. Major providers are Optus (www.optus.com.au), Telstra (www.telstra.com.au), Virgin Mobile (www.virginmobile.com.au), Vodafone (www. vodafone.com.au) and iinet (www.iinet.net.au).
At home NBN/DSL connections
An internet ‘cap plan’ is where you pay a set amount for usage allocation and speed. Most are through a home phone line, some have cable in selected areas. Most cap plans start at about $50 a month. You can purchase a wireless router to share your internet connection with people in your house. Some of the internet providers are: iiNet, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone.
3G and 4G wireless internet
If there is 3G or 4G wireless internet coverage in your area, you can purchase a portable wireless device that will enable you access to wireless internet. There are usage allocations and speed variances depending on the plan or product you purchase and your location. Wireless internet is available from mobile phone providers and specialty providers (like Vivid Wireless).
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
The Australian Government requires international students to have adequate medical insurance or health cover from an Australian Health Fund. There are currently five Providers which are approved by the Australian Government: Bupa, Allianz Global Assistance, Medibank Private, AHM and NIB.
Notre Dame partners with Bupa as our preferred provider. Bupa is Australia’s largest health care provider. All new international students (Study Abroad students included) enrolled at the University will be covered by this provider, unless proof of other cover is provided. The costs of your OSHC are invoiced to you for payment with your first year’s fees before you arrive in Australia.
If you are a Study Abroad student you will be charged for this in accordance with arrangement that The University of Notre Dame Australia has with your home University.
OSHC is effective from one week before the Orientation Week and is valid for the length of your visa, so you will not need to worry about renewing your cover while you are studying. If you intend to arrive in Australia before the cover starts, please notify the Admissions Office so that appropriate health cover can be arranged.
If you change or extend your study program, it is your responsibility to ensure that you remain covered as long as your length of visa. If you do not have sufficient OSHC coverage, your visa could be cancelled and you will not be covered for any medical bills that you incur during the lapsed time.
Cost of living
According to the Department of Home Affairs, from 1 November 2019, the 12 month cost of living in Australia is estimated at:
- Student/guardian AUD $21,041
- Partner/spouse AUD $7,362
- Child AUD $3,152
Approximate weekly living costs are as follows:
Indicative establishment costs – one off payment
Accommodation bond (dependant on number of residents)
Note: dependant on number of residents in the accommodation
$1,200 - $1,600
$640 - $1,000
Advance rent (usually two weeks in advance)
$600 - $800
$320 - $500
Furniture and household goods (for unfurnished accommodation)
$800 - $1,200
$800 - $1,200
Expenses per week
Rent (shared accommodation)
$300 - $400
$160 - $250
Food (eating out and groceries)
Public Transport – Opal or SmartRider card
$40 - $60
$40 - $60
Bills (utilities, phone, internet)
Note – Sometimes utilities may be included in rent
Total weekly expenses
$670 - $730
$530 - $640
Please note: This information is provided as a guide only. All figures are quoted in Australian Dollars (A$).
For full information, please consult the study in Australia website which is the official Australian government site for advice on study in Australia studyinaustralia.gov.au.
Dependent schooling information
If international students intend to bring school-age dependants to Australia, it is compulsory for them to attend school.
International students are responsible for the full applicable school fees for government or non- government schooling of their children, plus the additional costs of uniforms, books, stationery, food, school excursions and travel expenses. For further information on government school fees, refer to the NSW Department of Education and Communities International webpage: www.decinternational.nsw.edu.au
Please note that dependants of Postgraduate Doctorate students in NSW institutions may be exempt from government school fees (conditions apply link).
For government schools, the placement process is managed by the NSW Department of Education and Communities. The school student must be in the country before the enrolment process can commence and the Department aims to place the child at the school closest to the student’s residential address. All students must provide evidence of their immunisation status to the school at the time of enrolment.
For visa purposes, the student may obtain a ‘confirmation of placement’ letter for their child before they arrive in Australia, which will state their intention to enrol their child in schooling once they arrive in Australia.
For further information on how to enrol your child in a government school, please refer to the NSW Department of Education and Communities webpage at www.decinternational.nsw.edu.au. For information on how to enrol your child in a non‑government school, please contact the individual school.
Further information, including details and fees applicable to government schools, about the schooling system in Western Australia can be found on the TAFE International WA website: www.tafeinternational.wa.edu.au
Master’s or doctoral international students with school‑aged children
Dependants of Masters or Doctoral degree students are not required to pay tuition fees for accompanying dependant students for the duration of their postgraduate study period when studying in a public school. All students are required to pay the contributions and charges that apply to all public primary and secondary schools.
The tuition fee waiver only applies when the visa holders are currently enrolled in full-time postgraduate studies at a recognised Western Australian university. The tuition fee waiver does not apply before or after the study period. During this time the dependant is a full fee-payer.
Undergraduate (also includes Honours, Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma) international students with school-aged children
International students who are enrolled in an undergraduate degree, honours, a postgraduate certificate, or a postgraduate diploma will be responsible for the full fees of either the government or non‑government school placement for their children.
Process of enrolment for school-aged children of Notre Dame students
- Contact the Admissions Office regarding the school placement: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Notre Dame’s International Admissions Officer will send you the necessary forms
- Submit the forms and certified copies of children’s passport to the Admissions Office: email@example.com
- Admissions Office will request for the school placement directly to the Department of Training and Workforce Development
- Once approved, the Department of Training and Workforce Development will issue a ‘confirmation of placement letter’ for the children
- Once the visa is approved, the Department will start the process of placement. When the school placement is confirmed, the Department will send you a confirmation email. Please note that the due to limited spaces for overseas students, placement locations may vary
- If children of international students require special needs educational services and/or teaching in English as an Additional Dialect or Language), international students will be invoiced for the cost of these services by the Department of Training and Workforce Training
- There will be fees for all children who are placed in government schools. If a student wishes to enrol their child or children in a non‑government school, the student is responsible for the full fees, at the discretion of the school chosen