Monday, June 18, 2007

How to look for a place to stay in Australia - Part 2

I missed out LaTrobe University Melbourne and Deakin University in my last post about how to look for a place to stay.

For Deakin University, good suburbs would be Camberwell, Burwood, Auburn or if you look on any 4-5 stations between this train line on this site -

For LaTrobe University. Bundoora campus is close to Preston, Croxton, Thornbury and Northcote suburbs. There is a city campus as well, in case all your subjects are at the city campus please look at the RMIT University option as all trains and most trams lead to the city.

For students at cities other than Melbourne, I apologise. I haven't lived in any other city for long, but here is a handy help. Look for the public transport website of each city (google for 'public transport ') and look for friends, relatives or any other suburb which is closer to your university campus by public transport.

For Sydney:

For Brisbane:

For Perth:

For the first few days that you are here staying at a dormitory and sharing your beds with a few travellers is a norm. Look for 'Backpacker accomodation' on google for the city you are going to.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A few links for Accomodation

Most universities do have their own accomodation services which include both on campus and off campus services. Here are a few of the links for most universities. If your university is not included you can find it on their website, or ask me and I will find it for you.

Monash Residential Services
Victoria University Housing Service
RMIT Housing Advisory Service
La Trobe Uni - Accomodation Services
CQU Student Services
University of Sydney Accomodation Service
UTS - Housing
Student Housing Services - Uni Melb
Swinburne University - Renting and Sharing

These links will remain on the sidebar for your reference.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

How to look for a place to stay in Australia

Most of you will be landing here in the next two weeks. One of the first major tasks is to look for a place to live. Don't panic, has been done by thousands before you, but it is a task you should not take lightly.

University announcement boards are located near the Union offices or the cafeterias, they are easy to locate. You will find ads for roommates needed all the time.

Other options are to find a homestay. Homestay is where old couples or families let one room out while charging you for it. Kind of like a paying-guest thing. These are advertised on the boards as well. Homestay's are a bit costlier but you save on the time to cook and you get a room all for yourself.

Possibly the cheapest is to find a flat to rent in the suburb or near your university. For this, you need some effort. These are the steps you take..

  1. Make a group of like minded people. Students who are in your own class or the same university.
  2. Decide on a suburb. List of suburbs to follow.
  3. Buy a street directory. Last year's directories are cheap and available at most news stores. In Melbourne these are called Melway, in Sydney - Sydway.
  4. Look for a place on the internet. or are good places to start.
  5. Decide on two three places to look at. They take time to look. Each place takes about 30min to an hour to visit.
  6. Leave early next day. The offices open at 9, so be there at 9 to avoid disappointment of not getting keys. Saturdays they are open for only 2-3 hours. Closed on Sundays.
  7. Take $50 for each place. This is refundable deposit you need to make to take the keys. Take your passport along or any photo id as they don't give keys if you don't show Id. Don't forget the street directory. Wear good shoes.
  8. When deciding for a place make sure it is near to public transport. Check for frequencies of trams. Trains all run on the same timings in all suburbs.
These are the suburbs best for your particular university. Apologies for students not coming to Melbourne, I don't know about other cities.

RMIT University (City campus) - Any suburb within 20 minutes of travel. All trains lead to the city. Specially look at Thornbury, Croxton, Northcote as some classes may be in Bundoora campus, the above three suburbs are equidistant from Bundoora.

RMIT University (Bundoora campus) - Thornbury, Croxton, Northcote, all suburbs along the Epping train line.

Melbourne University (Parkville campus) - Carlton, Brunswick, Kensington are good suburbs if you are going to Melbourne.

Monash University (Caulfield) - Carnegie, Hawthorne, Malvern and Caulfield itself are good places to live.

Monash University (Clayton) - Clayton, Murrumbeena, Oakleigh are good places to live.

Victoria Uni (Footscray) - Footscray, Moonee Ponds, Ascot Vale, Maidstone are close to Vic Uni.

Swineburne (Hawthorne) - Hawthorne, Malvern, Caulfield, Carnegie are all accessible by public transport.

Ballarat Uni (City), CQU (City) - Both are in the city so any suburb is ok as they will lead you to the city.

If I missed anything please let me know, I will update this.

Again all the best for your stay in Australia.

Monday, June 19, 2006

What not to forget to bring

Please realise that my advice is just that, Advice. You can choose to follow it, what makes it better is that I have been through the situations you will all probably be in after you land here.

Most of you probably have started shopping for your journey, so this is just a list of what not to forget to bring. Please also note that if this is your first time travelling to Australia your weight limit will be 40 kgs, confirm with your travel agent. This limit will also be written on your ticket.

While almost everything which is available in India is also available here in Australia, you may spend time looking for the following thereby wasting your time which can be otherwise spent looking for new places or a job.

1. Thermal wear. It was 3 deg C today morning in Melbourne, not looking good for the rest of the winter.

2. Rice cooker. Will be very helpful for your cooking needs.

3. A good utility bag. Moving from home to Uni, you will be lugging around a few books. One with many pockets.

4. Formal clothes. Atleast one suit for the guys/Western style formal wear for the girls. When you get calls for some interviews, they request you to wear formals. Even for those part time jobs.

5. Comfortable sports shoes. Cannot stress this point enough, walking is a way of life for the first few months.

6. USB stick. Will be useful, trust me.

7. Good luggage. Samsonite or VIP luggage is recommended, these will stay long with you.

8. Woollen blanket. There are different types of blankets available here, called Doonas. But woollen is best.

The list is a long one. But remember these are the things you should not forget to bring. All the best again.

Monday, June 12, 2006

How much money to bring

This question has been raised many times by my friends and on orkut as well who were coming for the first time, how much money to bring? Also the final few weeks are the best time to organise your finances to have a stress free journey.

Off the mark, about 3000 dollars is a good amount to get as it is both enough to sustain your first few days and also not very difficult to organise. That will be about 1 lakh rupees.

If you have a friend or relative who will organise your accomodation when you land, then a lesser amount should do. About 2000 dollars is the absolute minimum.

The major things you will be spending on is accomodation for the first few days when you are looking for a place to rent. Backpacker places/Motels charge anywhere between $20 per night to $50 per night depending on the type of room and sharing.

The other thing is travel, the trip from the airport would also cost you depending on where you are going. Again, check with your university to arrange for travel, you can save some money. Melbourne has a service called Skybus which will get you to the city for about $15. You can look for a backpackers place or a motel in the city itself. Other cities have direct trains or buses to their main city.

Your books and rent bond will also cost you a bit. All of this is before you can find a job.

I have seen that the best way to get money is to buy Travellers cheques. These are insured and can be recovered if you lose them. Most banks accept travellers cheques for a small fee. Keep about $200 in cash. If you can arrange it then get a credit card, it is the best way to have money and of course is accepted any where.

Update: If you are planning on bringing more than 10,000 dollars, you will have to declare it at the customs entry point.

American Express Traveller Cheques

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Coming to Australia to study. Part 1

I came to Australia as a student in February 2003 and hoped that there is some site or some help given first hand by someone already living here. Here is a guide if you are planning to come to Australia to study. The guide is helpful if you are coming to Australia in general and Melbourne in particular.

Please note that this is just a guide and hopefully will help you the first few days you land here.

Things to do before you leave:

As a student, your budget may be tight and you probably are planning to work part time in Australia. So, please remember to do these things before you leave for Australia.

1. Pack warm clothing as it is winter here now. It is not too cold as in freezing or snowing but cold enough to make you sick as it gets windy during winter. Layers of clothing are recommended.

2. Get a driver's license. If you plan to drive, you can use your country's driver's license while you are on a student visa, if it is in English. You can get different types of part time jobs if you can drive. Also, some jobs require you to work night shifts.

3. Check with your education agency if they can introduce you to someone who is leaving at the same time with you. Get to know that person before you leave, you can live together when you come here.

4. Check your university site for recommended books. Buy them before you come here as you will save. Also, read through the course requirements to make sure you have enrolled for the right course. You may need to change some subjects after you start, so make the right decision.

5. Most universities provide free transport from the airport for first timers. Check with your agency or email the university in advance of your travel plans. You may save on the taxi fare.

6. If you can afford it, get a lap top. Will help you in working on your assignments from home.

These are the few tips I have for now. Will update after any questions posed. Will also give more pointers on what to do after landing in Australia. All the best.

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