Sydney is a vibrant and diverse multicultural city. With a population of 4.76 million people spanning over 180 different national backgrounds, it’s a great choice for those looking to study in a safe, scenic and lively environment.
What to expect when you arrive:
Sydney is renowned for having lovely weather all year around, so the first thing you’ll notice when you hop off the plane in Sydney is the beautiful blue sky and the perfect temperature. Summer boasts long sunny days that stretch into comfortable, warm evenings, and winter temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.
The Australian dollar (AUD) is the currency used in Australia. There are bank notes for $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100, as well as coins for $2, $1, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents. It’s a good idea to always have some cash on hand, as some shops don’t allow payment by card. You will be able to withdraw money from one of the many automatic teller machines (ATMs) throughout Sydney. For more advice on managing your money, visit living costs.
From the very beginning you’ll find it easy to get around in Sydney. Catching the train from the airport to the city takes just 12 minutes, and from the city you can get anywhere you need via train, bus, ferry or light rail. But remember: you’ll need to grab an Opal card from one of the many convenient outlets before you can ride.
Learn more about Sydney’s public transport at https://transportnsw.info.
The Australian Government estimates students need at least A$21,041 per year to cover living expenses. But this will vary from individual to individual. This number takes into consideration:
- accommodation costs (ranging from approx. A$220 to A$579 p/w depending on your choice)
- groceries (approx. A$100 p/w)
- gas, electricity and other bills (approx. A$20 p/w)
- phone and internet (ranging from A$20 – A$55 p/w depending on your plan)
- public transport (approx. A$40 p/w)
- entertainment (ranging from approx. A$80 to A$150 p/w).
For international students
International student visa holders are required to have approximately A$25,000 per year for living expenses. This is to ensure you’re adequately covered for the cost of travel, tuition, school costs for any dependants and other living expenses. For more information about international student financial requirements, visit the Australian Government’s Studying in Australia website.
Opening a bank account
Now that you’re moving to Sydney, you’ll need to open an Australian bank account. It’s best to do this before you arrive so you can have immediate access to your money. Most banks will allow you to apply online, and many even offer discounts for international students. Just make sure to do enough research to ensure you’re getting the account that’s best for your needs. The major four banks operating in Australia are ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac, but there are also many other smaller banks to choose from.