Living in Sydney

About Sydney

Modern and Safe City

  • Friendly lifestyle
  • Safe environment
  • World-class recreation, transport and telecommunication facilities

Sydney Attractions

  • Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Westfield Centre Point Tower, Sydney Aquarium, Taronga Zoo, Darling Harbour, Botanical Gardens, Bondi Beach, and more.

Multi-cultural City

  • Multi-cultural population of almost 4 million
  • People from more than 120 countries
  • Large international student population
  • Local communities from many cultural backgrounds
  • Ethnic food, grocery stores, restaurants, and community newspapers and magazines in many languages

Temperature Climate

  • Sydney has a comfortable temperate climate with 4 seasons. Summer is generally hot, and winter is cool. Temperatures are mild enough to allow a year-round outdoor lifestyle
  • On campus, most students dress casually: T-shirts, jeans, sweaters, shorts, windcheaters and comfortable shoes. Students are expected to wear their sport uniform for all practical classes

Sydney Transport

You can travel around Sydney on trains, buses and ferries. Taxis are also easy to find, although they cost more than trains, buses or ferries. You can buy tickets for most train, bus and ferry services at the railway station or ferry station.

To plan a trip around Sydney, please use this website: Transport NSW

Study and Work in Sydney

International students can work part-time while studying. There is plenty of part-time work available in Sydney and surrounding regions.

Many students like to work part time while they are studying.

Part-time work:

  • Gives you extra money;
  • Can help you make friends and improve your English.


  • Work should not interfere with your studies or attendance in class
  • You should not rely on income from part-time work to pay your living or tuition expenses.

Tax file number (TFN)

What is a Tax File Number (TFN)?

An identity number issued to you by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Do I need a TFN?

  • It is not compulsory to have a TFN. However, if you do not have a TFN, you may pay more tax than necessary on your income from your job, or on the interest on savings in your bank account.
  • When you earn money from a part-time job you must pay Australian taxes. At the end of each financial year (30 June), you claim back the income tax from the ATO. This is easy to do. You then receive a tax refund cheque from the ATO.
  • Your employer and your bank (if you open a bank account) will ask you for your Tax File Number.

When should I apply for a TFN?

  • Before you start part-time work
  • You can only apply for a TFN when you arrive in Australia

Postal services

Australia Post is Australia’s national postal service. Australia Post delivers letters and cards to your home.

Living Costs & Banking

The Australian Government estimates that the average living costs for an international student is A$19,830 per year. This pays for food, accommodation, telephone, gas, electricity, transport and entertainment.

Your living costs could be higher or lower than this, depending on where you study and the lifestyle that you live. It usually costs more to live in Sydney than in other cities or towns in New South Wales.

Guide to living costs for one week

Item Weekly Cost Range (Australian dollars)

  • Accommodation (house or apartment shared with others): A$160 – A$270
  • Food: A$110 – A$215
  • Utilities: telephone, electricity, gas (shared costs with others) A$85 – A$160
  • Public transport: A$20 – A$55
  • Entertainment: A$35 – A$65
    TOTAL: A$410 – A$760


There are a large number of local and foreign banks and other financial institutions in Australia.  Banks are usually open between 9:30am and 4:00pm Mondays to Thursdays, and between 9:30am and 5:00pm on Fridays. Some banks open on Saturday mornings in suburban shopping centres.

You can withdraw cash at any time (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) from Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs).

Shopping in Sydney

Most shops open from 9:00am to 5:00pm Mondays to Saturdays, except on Thursdays, when shops are usually open from 9:00am to 9:00pm.

Shops in the Central Business District and major suburban shopping centres also open from 10:00am to 4:00pm on Sundays.

Safety & Protection

Australia is much safer than many other countries. However, it is still wise to:

  • Avoid dangerous situations
  • Keep yourself safe

Here are some safety tips.

  • Always tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return
  • Be careful when you are travelling at night on your own
  • Do not leave personal belongings unattended
  • Always carry a mobile phone or a phone card
  • Follow any security guidelines provided by your college
  • Avoid giving personal information to strangers
  • Lock doors and windows before you leave your house or apartment
  • Be careful when using automatic teller machines (ATMs) and put your cash away quickly
  • Keep valuables out of sight when travelling

International students consumer guide  

In Australia, every person has the right to be protected from unfair business practices. NSW Fair Trading is the state government agency that resolves disputes between consumers and businesses on issues such as shopping, refunds, renting, cars, buying and selling property, home building, product safety, scams and more. This information aims to help you understand your consumer rights and responsibilities in NSW.

Click Here for more details

Health in Sydney

Australia has one of the world’s best health systems. Modern, well-equipped hospitals, medical centres and doctors’ surgeries are located throughout Sydney and regions throughout NSW.

What is Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?

  • OSHC is health insurance. OSHC is compulsory for international students studying in Australia.

What does OHSC provide?

  • OSHC covers international students for certain medical costs if you need to visit a doctor or go to hospital
  • Check the policy carefully, including the details of what is covered
  • Extra cover is available for an additional fee
  • Serious medical problems should be treated before you come to Australia, as standard OSHC generally does not cover pre-existing medical conditions

How do I arrange OHSC?

  • You can arrange OSHC yourself, or
  • Academies Australasia can arrange standard OSHC cover for you with the medical fund insurer, BUPA.

ESOS Framework

Australia’s laws promote quality education and consumer protection for overseas students. These laws are known as the ESOS Framework and they include the Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Act 200 and the National Code 2007.

For more information about the ESOS Framework, please visit Here.

Places of Worship

In Australia, people are free to practise and follow their own beliefs and religion. Cultural and religious diversity is an important part of life in Australia. You will find many churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship in Sydney and in other cities and towns in NSW.

A number of major religions and their Australian websites are listed below:



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