Inter-Continental Colleges Pty Ltd
RTO ID: 90668
CRICOS Provider Number 02214C

Living in AustraliaSydney

Before Arriving

Before departing for Australia, you should think about the things that you may need to take with you. We have prepared a Pre-departure checklist which may help you prepare for your stay in Australia.

Arrival in Australia

Your plane will probably arrive at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport. From the airport, you may choose to travel by taxi or by train (generally cheaper) to Sydney city.

If you have any questions about settling in Australia before you start your course, please contact the College and our Overseas Co-ordinator can help you settle in.

Living in Sydney

Sydney is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city equal to any of the world’s major cities. As well as being Australia’s largest city, Sydney offers a lifestyle that is exciting and diverse. Sydney is on Australia's eastern seaboard and offers a coastline of magnificent beaches. Sydney is a cosmopolitan city offering large supermarkets and shopping centres, churches of various denominations, a recreation theme park, national parks and natural rainforests, a botanical garden, movie theatres, an entertainment centre, ten-pin bowling alleys, golfing greens, social clubs and discos and much more. It is a city that is open 24 hours a day combining the best of Australia's casual lifestyle with everything that makes it a truly international city.

Australia ’s population is multi-cultural, which means that there are numerous migrant organisations that welcome newly-arrived international visitors.

Living in Australia Kangaroos


Australia is well-known for its temperate climate.  Sydney has a beautiful, sunny coastal climate with winter temperatures averaging 18 degrees celsius and a summer temperature averaging between 28 – 30 degrees celsius. That doesn’t mean you come without a coat and some warm clothes, as there are occasions when the temperature falls to a low 8 degrees celsius in Sydney with some parts of New South Wales having temperatures of 0 degrees or –0 degrees. Of course, if you wish to go skiing in the winter months, then you do need to bring warm clothing.

For more infromation please visit the Bureau of Meteorology.

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Recreation and Sport

Sydney region offers a variety of sporting and recreational activities. These include swimming, golf, tennis, sailing, scuba diving, tennis, horse riding, abseiling, hang-gliding, bush walking, soccer, rugby, boating, cricket, fishing, archery – the list is endless. A five-hour trip takes you to the magnificent Australian ski slopes where you can ski to your heart's content in winter. For those who prefer the warmth in winter, a trip to Queensland’s well-known tourist attractions can also provide endless hours of fun.

Around Sydney there are numerous venues for picnics, sightseeing and – in nearby animal parks – you can feed kangaroos, pat koalas and watch wombats. Beautiful, colourful parrots; white cockatoos; pink and grey galahs are plentiful in the region. Sydney has its own Botanical Gardens located right next to our magnificent Sydney Harbour and Opera House.

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Cost of living

Before starting studying and arriving in Australia, it is a good idea to prepare a budget. This will help you when you arrive in Australia and need to pay for accommodation, travel, food and other expenses (in addition to tuition fees).

You must have enough money to cover all living expenses before you leave your home country. Whilst you may have the right to work in Australia (depending on your visa conditions), you cannot assume that you will earn enough money through working in Australia to meet your tuition fees or living expenses.

The table below is an approximate guide to the costs of living in Australia. They do not include the costs of telephone calls (including mobiles) or internet connections or tuition fees. Exact costs will vary depending on what your living arrangements will be, where you choose to live, inflation and currency fluctuations.


Monthly cost

Annual cost

Bond (one month’s rent)



Telephone connection fee



Other initial costs



Books, stationery






Health cover



Average rent (based on 2 person share)






Power, phone



Travel expenses



Other (eg entertainment)






Remember to estimate further costs for any spouse that may be travelling with you or dependent child. Any school-aged dependants travelling with you will be required to pay full tuition fees at a private or government school in Australia.

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Accommodation is available by renting a home unit, town house, villa or a free-standing house. A free-standing house normally has a fenced garden with lawns surrounding the house – ideal for families with children. These homes/villas/units/houses can be rented with one to four bedrooms and normally include a kitchen, bathroom, internal toilet, lounge room (salon) and eating area (dining room).

The average costs of renting these types of premises in the Sydney area ranges from $120.00 to $450.00 per week. Electricity and telephone usage are additional costs. Students can choose to share accommodation.

The following websites may be helpful: and

Inter-Continental Colleges has teamed up with the Australian Homestay Network (AHN) to give international students the opportunity to be hosted by a specially trained AHN homestay host for their introduction to accommodation and living in Australia. 

Homestay is a wonderful way to share a unique cultural experience.  

AHN Homestay hosts will help you to settle in to life in Australia, and advise you of general safety, accommodation and welfare information.   

AHN offers students a better quality and secure homestay experience.  All of our homestay families have undergone extensive training, police checks (as required), are personally interviewed and homes professionally inspected. 

More information is available below:

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Course Details

A number of our courses have pre-requisites which you must have if you wish to enrol in those courses. For example, our Diploma level courses require you to have the equivalent of Year 12 level Australian schooling (e.g., Higher School Certificate).

English Language

International students who wish to study in Australia must be able to speak English unless you enrol in an English course (see information on English Academy). If English is not your first language and you are not enrolling in an English course, you may be required to be tested in your English language proficiency or you will be required to enrol in an English language course with the English Academy. For prospective vocational students, your score must be to the IELTS level of 5.5 or TOEFL level of 550 English standard if you are from an Assessment Level 3, 4 or 5 country. Testing is available in your country.

Click here for more information

Emphasis on Quality and Curriculum

Our courses are all accredited by the Australian Government and by Australian Industry Training Advisory Bodies. This gives students the assurance that the training received is of the highest quality and the curriculum being followed is relevant to, and endorsed by, the industry that the training is relevant to.

Government Recognition

Inter-Continental Colleges Pty Ltd is registered as an RTO with Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). Overseas students can be assured that their training is being conducted by an organisation that is on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students CRICOS). This means that the College is registered to provide courses to people studying in Australia on student visas.

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Health Insurance

International students must take out health cover whilst they are in Australia. This is a requirement of the Australian Government. Please note that if your family accompanies you to Australia, you must take out family rate of cover.
What this means is that for a small charge called the Overseas Student Health Charge (OSHC), international students (and their families) receive free public hospital care (in a shared hospital ward) and a rebate of 85% of standard medical fees. Students are usually covered for pathology, radiology, eye-sight testing and emergency ambulance.

Your Overseas Student Health Cover must be in place prior to your commencment of your curse and must cover the entire length of your proposed study in Australia.

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Money and Banks

Australian dollars are the only legal tender accepted in Australia. Australia uses decimal currency with 100 cents in a dollar. Bank notes are in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 plus there are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, $2 coins. Money from other countries can be changed at our international airport, larger banks and major hotels. Travellers cheques are easy to use if already in Australian dollars. Automatic Teller Machines are readily available.
The most commonly accepted credit cards are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners International.


Australia has a plentiful supply of food. Our multicultural profile means that we have foods from countries all over the world, so you should have no trouble finding foods that you are used to in your country. You will also have the opportunity of sampling food from many other cultures.

Working in Australia

As an overseas student, you can work part-time as a way of earning extra spending money whilst studying and living in Australia. Remember that you must have enough money to support yourself before you leave your home country.
If you have been granted a student visa after 26 April 2008, you will automatically receive permission to work with your visa grant.

You are not allowed to work until you start your course and you can only work up to 20 hours a week while the course is in session (excluding any work undertaken as a registered component of your course) and you can work unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks.

If you want to work in Australia whilst studying you must apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) from the Australian Taxation Office (visit for more information).

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