6. What is Health insurance for students?

You must have adequate health insurance while in Australia. This is done by obtaining the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which provides medical and hospital insurance in Australia. You must not arrive in Australia before your health insurance starts. If you are in Australia and do not have adequate health insurance, you are in breach of your visa conditions.

Your education provider might organise your OSHC coverage for you, or you can select an approved OSHC provider yourself and pay the policy.

If your education provider arranges your OSHC coverage, you will need to know the name of your health insurance provider, the date that your policy starts and finishes and you should be aware of the terms and conditions of your policy. If you arrange for OSHC coverage yourself you will also need to know the policy number to include in the visa application.

Exceptions: You do not need OSHC if you are:

a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme

a Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet

a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.

If you are studying at more than one educational provider and both are arranging OSHC, you will have to ensure that there is no gap between policies. This means that as one policy expires the next commences immediately.

OSHC is available for a period of up to five years. If your course exceeds five years in length, then OSHC providers may issue cover for a longer period.

If you have a child born after your arrival in Australia, and you only have a single OSHC policy you must change that to a family policy. If family members join you after your arrival in Australia they will have to demonstrate that they have an OSHC policy for the duration of their visas.


(Quote: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Stud/More/Health-Insurance-for-Students)

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7. How much are living costs?

According to The Department of Immigration and Border Protection, from 1 July 2016, the 12 month- living- costs are:

  • student/guardian AUD $19,830
  • partner/spouse AUD $6,940
  • child AUD $2,970.  

 Please refer to https://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/global/live-in-australia/living-costs for more information.

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8. Which transport method should I choose when living in Sydney?

Transport in Sydney is by bus, train, light rail, cycling and ferries.


The large train network of Sydney not only links the remote areas with the city, but also facilitates transportation to nearby cities and tourist attractions. A majority of students use public transport for its cheap price and convenience.


Learn more about pricing and steps of purchasing at Transport NSW website

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9. Can I work while studying in Australia?

It is very important for you to remember that the primary reason for student visa holders to be in Australia is to study. While this may seem obvious, some students may end up losing their student visa by giving priority to their job rather than their studies. When work takes preference over your study commitments, it can cause two main difficulties that are directly related to your student visa conditions:

1.Your attendance falls below the required 80% attendance rate because work is taking priority over study;

2.You fail to maintain satisfactory course progress because you are giving priority to work rather than studying in addition to your course hours.

Scots English College expects all its students to commit to their English language studies by maintaining both satisfactory attendance and satisfactory course progress.

Work conditions for student visa holders

If you are a student visa holder, you and your dependent family members have permission to work based on the hours stipulated in your visa. You and your family members must not breach the work conditions that apply to your visas. Students and their families must not breach the work conditions that apply to their visas.

You cannot work until you have commenced your course in Australia. Once your course has commenced you are permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session, and unlimited hours when your course is not in session.

A fortnight is a period of 14 days commencing on any Monday and ending on the second following Sunday.

(Quote: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Stud/More/Work-conditions-for-Student-visa-holders)

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10. What is Tax File Number (TFN)?

You must obtain a Tax File Number to be able to work in Australia. This is available from the Australian Tax Office.


Getting a Tax File Number


Follow this link to the ATO to apply for a Tax File Number: Apply for a Tax File Number




Taxes are managed through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The tax you pay depends on how much you earn.


Taxation Returns


If you pay too much tax you are entitled to a refund.  To get a refund you will need to lodge a tax return.  You can lodge online using e-tax (free), by mailing a paper tax return, or by paying a registered tax agent to complete and lodge the return for you.  If you lodge by e-tax your refund will normally be issued within 14 days.


At the end of the tax year (30th June) your employer must give you a document called a Payment Summary (Group Certificate). This document includes your Gross Salary/Wages, Allowances, Lump Sum payments Union Fees/tax deductions, and Taxation for the previous financial year. You will need the information on this certificate to complete your annual tax return.


  • Lodge online using e-tax at www.ato.gov.au
  • For a registered tax agent visit www.tbd.gov.au
  • Tax returns are lodged at the end of the Australian tax year (1 July to 30 October).




To check your eligibility to claim your superannuation and to apply for your payment, visit:  www.ato.gov.au/departaustralia

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