Melbourne Airport Transportation
Most of the first comer international students travel using taxi from airport to their accommodation. By using taxi, you do not have to worry about carrying your luggage and using Melbourne’s public transportation that you are not familiar with yet. In general, it will cost about $60 to Melbourne CBD and $90 to Clayton (Monash University).
Skybus is a public transportation that connects Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station in Melbourne CBD. You only need to pay $18 for Skybus and it departs every 10-15 minutes from Melbourne Airport. For more information about Skybus, click here.
Using AIRPORT PICKUP SERVICE
Some college and university provide airport pickup service for first comer international students. In general, this service is free and could take you anywhere you want. Check the information booklet from your college/university to use this service. In normal traffic condition, you could reach Melbourne CBD in only 20-25 minutes from Melbourne Airport.
Internet and Communication
As most of us use mobile phone/smart phone for our daily life, choosing and using the right mobile service would avoid high expense on communication. Just like in Indonesia, with the right combination, communication expense could be controlled with your budget.
Australia has 4 big operators and some other operators. The main operators are Telstra, Vodafone, Optus and 3 (Three).
These 4 operators have their own plus points.
- Telstra has the fastest 3G/HSDPA network
- Vodafone has the advantage of its value added such as mobile TV
- Optus has the advantage of its friendliness to help international students and 3 (three) offers cheap call between 3 (three) users.
Australia is one of the first countries that apply number portability which means, you could change your operator without changing your phone number. Number portability will ease the process of switching operators and the process of switching from prepaid to post-paid service. This part will give you information about communication service and internet in Victoria, including how to utilize available choices to get the superior value.
PRE-PAID MOBILE SERVICE
Just like in Indonesia, pre-paid mobile service is the most favorable choice for Indonesian students in Australia. With prepaid mobile service, you do not have to pay monthly payment and you can control your expenses. All you have to do is to buy a pre-paid SIM starter pack at the nearest operator store.
You could use your new SIM card to communicate after registering to the operator. To be noted, you have to give the full right information to ease you if any problem occurs in the future such as switching operator. You will be asked to give 4 digits PIN number to identify yourself. You have to memorise and save this PIN safely as it will be needed if any problem occurs in the future.
In Australia, you could buy credit with a value more than how much you have paid. For example, by buying credit $19 caps, you could get value of $50 or credit $49 caps could give you value of $300 and so on. With this system, you could get more value than you have paid but the credit will expire after a certain of time (e.g.: one month).
POST-PAID MOBILE SERVICE
Some students in Melbourne choose to use post-paid mobile service as they could get new cell-phones for free or at a more favourable price. In general, you have to sign a contract for one or two years to get a free cell-phone (or at a more favourable price) with an operator.
In general, to use post-paid mobile service, you will need:
Your passport and Certificate of Enrolment for the institution that you will be studying at and address (in the form of bank statement or invoice) and bank statement with balance of at least $1,000 and statement of income from your sponsor (scholarship, parents or any other private source).
If you have credit card from bank in Australia, it will be an advantage as it will help you to pass credit check for the registration of post-paid service contract. To be noted, the contract for Vodafone rejects all the statement of income from outside Australia. If you do not have any income from a job in Australia, you could not use Vodafone’s post-paid mobile service.
Just like pre-paid mobile service, you could choose between normal contract or caps contract in post-paid mobile service.
In the two options of contract, you have to pay amount of contract that you have chosen every month. The difference is, with the normal contract, you would not be given as much value as you would if you choose caps contract however the value given could be used for next month (rollover).
If you choose a pricy cell-phone, or shorter period of contract (e.g.: 1 year contract), you would pay a handset repayment with the contract each month.
SKYPE CALL AND TEXT (SMS)
If you have not heard of Skype, now is the right time to learn. Skype is a call service via Internet that could save your expense on communication effectively. Beside free call, text and video call between computers, Skype also has Skype out that makes it possible for you to call and send texts (SMS) to cell-phones (to phone numbers) anywhere around the world including Australia and Indonesia, with reasonable price.
For example, $16 could be used to call home telephone in Indonesia up to 8 hours or send up to 90 SMS to cell-phones in Indonesia using Skype out. To call home telephone and cell-phone in Australia, Skype also has cheap monthly offer by paying only $4 for unlimited call. You only need a computer with Internet connection, Skype app, mic and speaker.
To pay Skype call service, you need to have Paypal account. To have a Paypal account, you need to have a bank account in Australia or a credit card from bank in Australia. You could request Paypal to debit the bill from you bank account or send an invoice to your credit card. Not only to make payment for Skype call service, Paypal could also be used to shop online on eBay and other online shopping sites.
WIRELESS BROADBAND INTERNET SERVICE
Just like in Indonesia, you could also use wireless broadband (3G / HSDPA) from cell-operators in Australia. Wireless broadband Internet service would ease you if you do not have ADSL broadband service in your accommodation while you need Internet connection for your computer/laptop.
Operators that provide wireless broadband Internet service in Australia are Unwired, 3 (Three), Vodafone, Telstra and Optus.
ADSL INTERNET SERVICE
Most of Indonesian students in Melbourne, ADSL Internet service is the most popular choice. This Internet service uses ADSL cable that gives high speed Internet access, high download capacity and reasonable price per-month.
The top providers for ADSL Internet service in Melbourne are TPG, iiNet, Optus and Bigpond. In general, you would get an ADSL modem in form of wireless (WiFi) router for free if you sign a contract for one or two years.
Bank and Finance
One of the priorities when you arrive in Melbourne is to open a bank account. It makes things easier for you to manage your financial needs, such as receiving money from Indonesia.
Banks in Melbourne usually open at 9.30 AM till 4 PM, except on Friday, they open till 5 PM. Some of the banks, such as Commonwealth Bank and NAB, have the weekend banking facilities on Saturday.
Openning Your Bank Account
To open a bank account, you will need:
- Your passport and a copy of the first page of it.
- Your Certificate of Enrollment (CoE) and student ID card (if any)
- Cash, if you are planning to put it into your account
- Tax File Number (TFN) if any (more info about TFN, click here)
You can go to any of the branches that you feel the most convenient to open your bank account. Banks usually open up their branches at the universities or you can find some branches near your house or apartment. It does not matter which bank you choose, they are all pretty much the same in terms of the payment of universities. Hence, you do not need to worry about it.
List of banks in Victoria:
Note: Bank usually need one week to issue your debit card. The card will be sent to your address. If the documents stated above are already handy to you, the process may take less than 35 minutes.
EFTPOS or Electronic Fund Transfer at Point of Sale is an electronic payment system that is used in Australia. With EFTPOS, you do not need to bring a lot of cash to finance your daily needs. All you need to bring is your debit card. Almost all the merchant in Melbourne have the EFTPOS machine, even some taxies do have it.
TRANSFER FUNDS OVERSEAS
Most of Indonesian students in Australia are sponsored by their parents, where they usually send the money from Indonesia. Next is the detail you need to be able to receive money from Indonesia:
Bank: (the name of your bank)
Branch: (the address of the branch where you open the bank account)
Beneficiary Name: (your full name)
BSB: (some numbers that the bank give to you)
Account No: (some numbers that the bank give to you)
SWIFT Code: (some numbers that the bank give to you)
Financial Telecomunication: (some numbers that the bank give to you)
Make sure you ask all of the detail above when you open a bank account.
OVERSEAS STUDENT HEALTH COVER (OSHC)
Health insurance while you are in Australia is a must, for a student vise holder. In general, you will have the OSHC.
With the OSHC care, you do not need to pay for doctor (general practitioner) fees as long as the doctor are listed to do bulk billing to OSHC.
OSHC cardholders are limited to claim for medicine up to $300 per year. The medicine has to cost above $80 and listed on the Australian Medical Benefit Scheme. Please confirm this to the doctor before he gives you prescription.
If you are in an emergency, call 1800 814 781 for ambulance. You will be exempted from the ambulance fees that can be more than $2,500.
Make sure you receive your OSHC card at the university orientation. If you do not attend the orientation, find out where you can get your card.
In general, all you need to have with you when you are about to take the card is identification card. If you lost the card, make sure you write down your customer number and order a new card from http://www.oshcworldcare.com.au
Even though Melbourne is nominated as the most livable city in the world and considered to be safe, some bad things still can happen if you are not being vigilant. Below are the steps to prevent bad things happen to you:
- Do not walk alone at night times since the number of drunken people there is quite high
- Please do follow the traffic lights all the time. People there are very strict to the law and intolerant to offender. Moreover, the fine of breaking the law is very high; it may cost you a fortune.
- Always remember to check your accommodation before going outside. Make sure the stove is off, windows and doors are locked.
- If you live alone, make sure you get to know your neighbors.
000 – Emergency call (police, fire brigade or ambulance) Note: call only at emergency.
1800 814 781 – Emergency number from Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), includes ambulance.
131 126 - Poison Information Center
132 500 - State Emergency Service (SES), emergency number when you are outside Melbourne.
1800 33 000 – Crime Stoppers, to give anonymous information to the Victoria Police
Consulate general of Indonesia in Australia (KJRI)
Consulate general of Indonesia in Victoria and Tasmania is located in Melbourne. It is an authorized representation of Indonesian government. For your information, Indonesian Republic Embassy in Australia is located in Canberra.
KJRI Melbourne is located in St Kilda Rd, around 5 minutes away from Melbourne CBD. Once you arrive in Victoria, you are obliged to come to KJRI Melbourne to report your attendance as Indonesian citizen or student from Indonesia and to get some errands done for free-fiscal-charge purpose when flying back to Indonesia within study period.
As a student organization approved by KJRI Melbourne, PPIA Victoria frequently holds some events in KJRI office. For example, Alun-Alun PPIA which has always been held in March to welcome new students from Indonesia that is commencing their study in Melbourne and its surroundings. KJRI Melbourne office, further, becomes a place for hospitability for Indonesians in Hari Raya Idul Fitri, Idul Adha and Independence day on August 17th.
As a responsible Indonesian citizen, student moving in to Australia are subjected to protection and should vindicate right of citizenship from Indonesian government. To assess these, you are obliged to report your arrival in Melbourne.
The necessary steps are as followed:
- Fill in arrival report form in completely
- Attach passport photo with student’s arrival report form
These forms are available in KJRI Melbourne.
After you have verified your home address in Australia in the form of Credit card bill, telephone invoice or bank statement, you could attach the address on your passport. As the address has been attached, you are free from fiscal charge when flying back to Indonesia within your study period. To be noted, the free charge would only apply up to 4 times each year and you are not allowed to stay in Indonesia for more than 183 days per year.
The cost of address attachment is $10 and it would take up to 4 business days.
Attending KJRI Melbourne
KJRI Melbourne is located in 72 Queens Rd with access from St Kilda Rd. To get there, you could take tram number 3, 5, 6, 16 or 64 and get off at tram stop 27 in front of Westley College. Afterwards, cross the street to the nearest post office. Following the aisle next to post office will get you to KJRI Melbourne South gate.