Many students prefer to stay in homestay accommodation whilst studying. Homestay accommodation provides you with the opportunity to share the lifestyle of a local family and gain an understanding of life in Australia.
An average homestay accommodation costs about $290 per week. Still we recommend you to check online for cheaper price.
Satisfaction with student homestay arrangements is monitored by the VACTS Student Welfare Officer.
Accommodation and Welfare Questionnaires are to be completed by students within four weeks of beginning every new homestay placement and then at the end of every three months during the placement.
Leased and Shared Accommodation
It is important to consider the full range of costs and responsibilities with leased accommodation. The demand is usually high and ranges generally from AUD80 – AUD 550 per week unfurnished or AUD100 – AUD600 per week furnished depending on the size, condition and location of the house/apartment. Shared accommodation also varies greatly in price.
Where to look for accommodation
The following is a list of places where you can go to find advertisements for accommodation:
Newspaper classifieds - The Melbourne Age has advertisements for flats (apartments) and share houses every week. The Domain section of the Age, published every Saturday, has a very extensive list of available rental properties in Melbourne.
Online information - The following websites are useful sources of information about shared and rental accommodation:
Costs of Living
Table of Prices
The following table provides a list of approximate prices, in Australian dollars, of some typical foods, goods and services that you can compare with those in your home country:
Litre of Milk $1.10
Popular CD $30.00
Movie Ticket $18.00
Loaf of Bread $3.50
Rice (1kg) $3.50
McDonald’s Big Mac $9.85
Phone call (Local) $0.50
Apples (1 kg) $4.00
Kilo of Potatoes $3.00
Can of soft drink $3.00
Petrol per Litre $1.50
Whole Chicken $10.00
It is estimated that in addition to your accommodation costs, a single international student requires a minimum of AUD18, 000 per year (or AUD350 per week) for living expenses.
Medical and Health
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
You must be covered by approved health insurance while you are in Australia. You will be asked to pay for your annual membership of Medibank Private’s Overseas Student Health Cover (OHSC) when you receive your VACTS enrolment offer and acceptance agreement.
Medibank Private's Overseas Student Health Cover is approved by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. You should check the following website for information about Medibank Private’s Overseas Student Health Cover:
There are a number of medical professionals in the vicinity of the campus. Please see the Important Information and Emergency Contacts page at the start of this document. If you require help with any medical concerns, you should inform the Student Services Manager or the Admin staff who will assist you to find a doctor.
Access and Equity
VACTS provides equal access to training and delivery services for all students. If a student with a disability meets the course entry requirements, VACTS will make reasonable adjustments necessary for that person to perform their undertaken course.
through consideration of how an adjustment might be made;
discussions with the student and/or
consultation with government agencies or organisations that represent or provide services to people with a disability.
Our trainers will implement learning support strategies to assist you in achieving the required competencies. However, students with learning difficulties beyond our areas of expertise are referred to external specialist agencies.
Recruitment at VACTS is carried out in an ethical manner in accordance with principles of access and equity.
Trainers and assessors at VACTS:
recognise the cultural diversity of all students;
ensure equal treatment of all students;
encourage full participation and assisting all students to achieve course outcomes;
provide equal access to resources and
refer students with specific learning problems to appropriate agencies.
Places of Worship
There is complete freedom of religion in Australia. Most of the religions of the world are represented in Melbourne and have their own places of worship. These can be found in the City`s White Pages telephone directory, listed alphabetically under the denomination.
The majority of Australians are Christian, the three largest denominations being Anglican, Roman Catholic and Uniting Church. Smaller Christian denominations include Lutheran, Jehovah’s Witness, Seventh Day Adventist and Baptist. Other major religions with a great many adherents in Australia include Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism.
Driving in Australia
You may be eligible to drive in Australia If you have a driver's licence from another country. Your driver’s license must be in English or officially translated into English. Please refer to the following website to obtain information about how to gain a VIC driver’s license: www.vicroads.vic.gov.au and for NSW driver’s license: www.rms.nsw.gov.au
In Australia, driving is on the left side of the road. You must ensure that you obey all driving laws while driving in Australia. The penalties for disobeying driving laws can be quite severe, especially those which apply to drinking alcohol and driving.
It is your responsibility to have knowledge of Australian law. Some basic information is available at the following website: www.border.gov.au
Also from 1st January 2015, all the students should have a Unique Student Identifier (USI#) in order to enrol in the qualifications. If you do not have a USI number, VACTS can create one for you with your approval. You can also create one by going to: www.usi.gov.au
Australia has a climate which varies from cool during the winter months in the middle of the year to occasionally very hot during summer, which occurs from about November through the Christmas/New Year holiday season, until about the end of February.
You can obtain information about weather from the Bureau of Meteorology website: www.bom.gov.au
Australia time is GMT plus 10 hours. Australia changes to Daylight Saving time at the end of October. At the start of the daylight saving period, in Victoria, we move clocks forward one hour.
You can obtain information about Time Difference in the following website: www.timeanddate.com/worldclock
The Business Environment in Australia
The business environment in Australia is vibrant and exciting. There are many opportunities for dedicated and talented people who have a desire to succeed. Employers place great value on individuals who have acquired relevant skills during their studies and who are able to apply those skills in the work environment. VACTS’s courses are designed to put you in this group of highly desired workers.
List of Helpful Websites
Australian Street Maps: www.whereis.com
Currency Conversions: www.xe.com
Australian Tourist Commission: www.australia.com
Australian Weather: www.bom.gov.au
World Times: www.timeanddate.com/worldclock
Government Department Websites
Department of Immigration and Citizenship: www.border.gov.au
Study in Australia:
Medibank Private: www.medibank.com.au
Department of Education (DOE): http://www.education.gov.au
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:
Laws in Australia:
Telephone Directory - Sensis (White and Yellow Pages): www.whitepages.com.au / www.yellowpages.com.au
Events and Public Holidays:
In Case of Emergency: For Police, Fire or Ambulance services, dial 000 or if calling from a mobile phone, dial 112.
Workplace Health and Safety
VACTS aims at all times to provide a healthy and safe environment in which to study. If you see anything that you think might be unsafe or dangerous, please tell a member of VACTS staff.
Emergency evacuation procedures will be explained to all students during the orientation presentation.
“No Smoking” in any area of VACTS premises. We encourage you to not smoke, but if you wish to, you must leave the premises.
A First Aid Kit is located at the reception desk.
You are responsible for:
Always conducting yourself in a safe and healthy manner.
ensuring the prevention of injury and disease to yourself, fellow students and VACTS staff
Identifying and reporting to your trainer any possible hazards from equipment, facilities and the environment.
Refraining from drinking and/or eating in classrooms.
You must make sure you know where the fire exits are (See the plan of VACTS on the back of every classroom door, and on the last page of this student handbook). The fire exits are clearly labelled and your teacher will show you where the nearest one is located.
During your time at VACTS you may be asked to take part in an evacuation of the building. This may be a practice, or a real emergency evacuation and you must follow your teachers/fire wardens’ instruction and evacuate the building and assemble at the designated meeting location. You should move quickly and calmly to the evacuation site with your teacher. Once there, your teacher will mark off your name on the class roll. It is important that all students are accounted for, otherwise someone will have to look for you. You will not be permitted to re-enter the building until you are informed by VACTS staff that it is safe to go back into the building.
Legal Services (Victoria)
You can contact the Victoria or Legal Aid Service for free general information over the phone about the law and how we can help you. It’s open Monday to Friday, 8.45am to 5.15pm. The telephone number is (03) 9269 0120.
The Legal Aid website is: www.legalaid.vic.gov.au
Law Institute Victoria
If you need legal advice from a solicitor you can go to the online legal referral service of the Law Institute of Victoria. This is a free referral service. With a referral letter, participating law firms will see clients for up to the first 30 minutes, free of charge. After the first thirty minutes, you will need to pay.
The website of the Law Institute of Victoria is: www.liv.asn.au
You can call the Law Institute of Victoria on (03) 9607 9311.
Useful contact numbers (in alphabetical sequence of service)
Abortion Trauma and Crisis Pregnancy Help: 1300 737 732
Australian Health Management (AHM): 134 246
AHM Emergency helpline: 1800 006 745
Alcohol & Drug Information Service: 1800 177 833
Department of Immigration and Border Protection: 131 881
Wageline: 1300 369 945
Workplace Rights Hotline: 1300 737 841
Domestic Violence: 1800 811 811
Emergency Services (Police and Ambulance and Fire: 000
Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission: (02) 9284 9600
Complaints Infoline: 1300 656 419
Privacy Hotline: 1300 363 992
International Directory Service: 1225
Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800
Legal Aid Australia: 1300 651 188
Lifeline 24 Hours: 13 11 14
Quit Line: 131 848
Telephone Directory Service: 12455
Telephone Interpreting Services: 131 450
State Emergency Service: 132 500
Telstra Call Tracing Service: 1800 007 097
Poisons Information: 13 11 26
Gas Emergency: 132 0771
Electricity Emergencies: 13 12 80
Salvation Army Counselling Services: 1300 627 727
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Mensline: 1300 78 99 78
Suicide Helpline Victoria: 1300 651 251
Victorian Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1800 806 292
Funeral Advice Line: 1300 306 670
Road Trauma Support Team: 1300 367 797
Things to do when you first arrive
Open a bank account
Select a bank – each bank is different and offers different types of accounts. It is best to visit several banks before deciding which one suits you best. Remember to ask about fees and charges.
Ensure that you are allowed to work
VACTS will advise DIBP in your first week of study that you have arrived. You should visit www.border.gov.au/e_visa/students.htm and follow the links to understand the rules regarding working in Australia.
Apply for a tax file number