Working in Canberra
We have the lowest unemployment rate in Australia. If you need part-time or casual work while you study, you’ll have plenty of options.Read more
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Leaving home to live and study in Australia is exciting. But it is important to plan for your move to Canberra.
There are ways you can make your arrival in Canberra go as smoothly as possible, and we’re here to help.
You will feel welcome as soon as you arrive. Our team of Student Ambassadors are on hand at Canberra airport to greet you. You’ll find the Welcome Desk on the ground floor in the arrival’s hall. The desk is staffed during peak arrival periods each semester.
You’ll be given a welcome pack with information to help you settle in quickly. The Australian National University and University of Canberra offer free transfer services from the airport.
It’s important to know who to call if you need police, fire or ambulance services. In Australia, the emergency number is triple zero, 000.
It’s essential to open a bank account in Australia. Most banks will let you do this before you arrive. If you prefer to wait until you’re here, you can visit your local branch in person.
Your account will be used to:
You’ll need to provide your personal details and passport within 6 weeks of your arrival. After this time, you can still open an account, but you’ll have to provide more identification documents.
Further information on banking and money is available from Study in Australia.
Once you arrive, you’ll want to stay connected to family and friends. Check this guide on what to know about phone and internet in Australia.
Canberra has many phone and internet services available. It’s a good idea to research and compare options before you arrive.
You can access free wireless internet (wi-fi) around parts of Canberra including:
Public libraries, community centres and your campus may offer free wi-fi too. You’ll find many cafes around Canberra offer internet access, either for free or when you buy something else.
Travel on buses and the light rail is discounted for students in Canberra. Make sure you carry your student ID when using public transport. You can get an even bigger discount with a student MyWay card. You can apply for it online.
All international students must buy Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) in Australia. This is an Australian Government requirement. Insurance must cover the length of your visa.
Your OSHC will help you pay for any medical or hospital care you may need here. It will also help pay for most prescription medicines. It gives you ambulance cover in emergencies.
Your OSHC covers COVID-19 related illnesses. More information can be found here.
You will need OSHC for yourself and any family member travelling with you. It must be arranged before you arrive in Australia.
OSHC does not cover secondary medical services such as:
There are other types of insurance available. These are not essential. You will find further information in the Study in Australia guide.
Before you move here, it’s important to know the average living costs in Australia. You may find the cost of living in Canberra is different from your own country.
You can use this online calculator to work out approximately what you’ll spend.
You’ll find large shopping centres and malls in the city and in each town centre. Groceries and fresh produce can also be found at smaller local stores around the suburbs. You can order from the larger supermarkets online and have your groceries delivered to your door.
There are several things you can do to ensure you feel at home in Canberra quickly. The fastest way to settle in is to explore the city, meet new people and get involved in activities.
You’ll find helpful information in the International Student Guide. It’s written by local students, with international students in mind. You can pick up a hard copy on campus.
Visit Canberra provide useful brochures, maps and apps. Find out about Canberra’s:
Most institutions hold Orientation Week, also known as O-Week, for new students at the start of each semester. O-Week helps you learn how to get the most out of your institution and study experience. It’s also the perfect time to take a tour of the facilities, make friends and ease into campus life before classes start.
O-Week typically includes an introduction to:
If you ever need help, you’ll find a lot of support available at your campus and in Canberra generally. Reach out to people who can make your study experience easier. You’ll find support on a range of topics, including:
Check with your institution for specific activities, groups and student support available.