Studying and Living in Australia

Location of First Base Training - City of Parramatta
First Base Training Location
As our campus facilities are ideally located in Parramatta CBD, you have only a short trip by public transport to and from Sydney city itself (approximately half an hour travelling by train). There are numerous social and cultural events that are abound in Sydney and Parramatta. When you arrive, we encourage you to make friendships with other students and explore together what Australia has to offer. Parramatta is a Western District of Sydney, a city in its own right within the Sydney Metropolitan Area and the second oldest European Settlement on the Australian mainland. Located 24 km from Sydney CBD, Parramatta has elegant parks, the world class Riverside Theatres and many vibrant restaurants.
Parramatta Westfield Shopping Centre, where First Base Training (FBT) is located, is one of the largest shopping malls in New South Wales and offers an easily accessible alternative to city shopping. There are two full-line department stores (David Jones and Myers), two discount department stores (Kmart and Target), and many specialty and fashion stores. There are also two food courts, numerous restaurants and a movie theatre. The shopping centre, being connected to Parramatta railway station via an underground retail concourse and pedestrian link, offers easy access to Sydney CBD. It is easy to get around Parramatta. The city council free bus service (The Loop) runs every 10 minutes around a loop that covers most areas of Parramatta. Indicator boards on the bus make it easy to find your destination, Westfield Shopping Centre (Argyle Street side) being one of them. If you like to travel by car there is limited on-street and free parking in Parramatta. Expect to have difficulty parking in the CBD on weekdays and near the shops on weekends. Paid parking, is available and is considerably cheaper in Parramatta compared with Sydney CBD. Westfield Shopping Centre has free parking for the first three hours. You will have easy access to library services as Parramatta City Library is less than 5 minutes walking distance from FBT. The Parramatta Library service consists of the central library at Parramatta and the Parramatta Heritage Centre (which includes the Visitors Information centre). Activities and special events are held every week, ranging from story-times for children to visits by well-known authors, computer classes, health and financial planning seminars, and much more. NSW Justices Association provides a JP Service at Parramatta City Library every Tuesday 9:30am-12pm. This service is voluntary and subject to availability. Parramatta City Library 1-3 Fitzwilliam St, Parramatta NSW 2150 (02) 9806 5159 Hours: Monday-Friday 9.30am - 8.00pm Saturday 9.30am - 4.00pm Sunday 2.00pm - 5.00pm Equipment of Campus
  • Aged Care Resources Hospital beds, Personal Transfer Equipment (Electronic Hoist; Slide Sheets), Bed Linen, Mobility Aids, Blood pressure units, Continence Aids, Glucometre, Urine test kit, Thermometers (Oral and Tympanic), Wound Management Packs, Wheelchair, Dressing Trolley, and Nursing Mannequin.
  • Early Childhood Resources DVDs, Child development pamphlets, Children song CDs, Readings for all Units of Study, Theory Assessment Tasks, and Workplace Assessment Tasks and Assessment Report.
Studying and Living in Australia

Living in Australia will be a new experience, but there are support services at First Base Training to help make adjusting to life in Australia easier.As Australia is ranked the number one in Education in the world (2015 Legatum Prosperity Index) you are sure to enjoy your time here. No matter what type of study you are doing in Australia, whether you are here for 6 months or a 1 year, some research and planning will help you have a safe and rewarding study experience. Important considerations and planning includes:

  • Planning your departure.
  • Arriving in Australia.
  • Accessing support services.
  • Remaining visa compliant.
  • Working while you study.
  • Living costs and finding accommodation.
  • Health and safety.

How do I apply for a Student Visa?

The application procedure is different from country to country and for your individual circumstances. Information about how to lodge a student visa is available on 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-arrival checklist which may help you prepare for your stay in Australia. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our pre-arrival checklist.

Arrival in Australia

Your plane will arrive at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport. From the airport, you may choose to travel by taxi (approximately $35-$40) or by train (approximately $2.50 - $8.50) to Sydney city. Travelling by taxi will take approximately half an hour to travel to Sydney CBD and by train it will take approximately 15 minutes. If you have any questions about settling in Australia before you start your course, please contact First Base Training and our Student Support Team can help you settle in.


Australia is well-known for its unique temperate climate especially during the winter period; you can go up north to a tropical climate in Queensland. At the same time, you can go snow skiing down the south in Victoria. Sydney has a mostly beautiful, sunny coastal climate with winter temperatures averaging 18 degrees Celsius and a summer temperature averaging between 28 - 30 degrees. That doesn't mean, however, that 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.

Recreation and Sport

The 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.

How much to live in Australia

Before starting your studies 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 for the whole duration in Australia 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 and / 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.

Item Monthly cost Annual cost
Bond (one month's rent)   $600
Telephone connection fee   $150
Other initial costs   $1000
Books, stationery   $1000
Clothing   $900
Health cover   $380
Average rent (based on sharing with 2 persons) $600 $7200
Food $600 $7200
Power, phone $150 $1800
Travel expenses $250 $3000
Other (e.g. entertainment) $300 $3600
Total $1900 $26830

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.


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 units/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 $220.00 to $550.00 per week. Electricity and telephone usage are additional costs. Students can choose to share accommodation, average costs $120.00 to $250.00 per week. For accommodation you can visit: Or you can contact the following Real Estate Agents in Sydney Parramatta Area:

LJ Hooker Parramatta (02) 9635 5000 10 Phillip St, Parramatta NSW 2150 CENTURY 21 Western Real Estate (02) 9635 5530 2/144 Marsden St, Parramatta NSW 2150
McGrath Estate Agents Parramatta (02) 9407 7800 366-368 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150 D & D Real Estate (02) 9687 6555 26 George St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Richardson & Wrench Parramatta (02) 9630 4888 370 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150 Raine & Horne (02) 9635 4788 96 George St, Parramatta NSW 2150

In addition, the following websites may be helpful: and

Student Health Cover

It is a condition of a Student Visa that students maintain adequate health insurance for the duration of their visa. Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) can assist students to meet the costs of medical and hospital care if needed in Australia. OSHC does not cover costs such as dental, optical, physiotherapy services or treatment of conditions existing prior to arrival in Australia. It is not general travel insurance, and will not cover the loss of personal items (e.g. camera, laptop). From 1 July 2010, student visa applicants must obtain OSHC for the proposed duration of their student visa; to facilitate this, OSHC for your total student visa duration must be purchased when accepting your offer of admission. Your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (required for student visa application) cannot be issued until a copy of your OSHC (as evidence that you have current OSHC) is received. Information about this change has been posted on the DIAC website. It is the responsibility of each student to ensure that they maintain OSHC throughout their stay in Australia and that the OSHC coverage matches the actual dates of their student visa. Further detailed information about OSHC is provided in and

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. Coins are in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, $2. Money from other countries can be changed at our international airport, larger banks, money exchange 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, and Diners International.

Australia's four major banks are Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation.

Australia has a plentiful supply of food. Our multicultural profile means that we have foods from countries from 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 from the Australian Taxation Office (visit for more information).
School aged dependants
Any school aged dependants accompanying international students to Australia will be required to enrol in a school in Australia. These students can attend a government school or private school and full fees must be paid. For more information about visas for dependants of student visa holders, please visit
Legal advice and services

Student support services

The Student support team can provide support and information on where to obtain advice regarding legal services and advice in the community including:

  • Traffic offences and motor vehicle accidents
  • Assault charges/criminal charges
  • Frauds and scams
  • Employment rights
  • Consumer rights
  • Harassment/discrimination
  • Family law matters
  • Domestic violence matters
  • Immigration matters

Government and community services Law in New South Wales (NSW) Redfern Legal Centre Free legal advice is given to international students on Wednesday nights. Advice about housing problems, fines, debts, car accidents, employment, discrimination, family law, domestic violence can be sought from Redfern Legal Centre. Advice is by appointment only. Contact (02) 9698 7645 or Legal Aid Legal Aid NSW provides a range of legal services to disadvantaged people. LawAccess NSW works very closely with Legal Aid NSW. If you have a legal problem and are thinking of applying for legal aid then you can call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 to discuss your legal problem and what assistance may be available from Legal Aid. You should be aware of how the Australian legal system might affect you. The Legal Aid service provides a digital introduction to the law on their website and it covers many of the common areas that people experience:

  • legal system
  • car accidents
  • policy
  • driving
  • buying a car
  • tenancy (renting)

Videos and further information: You should also be aware that police in Australia may be different to police services you have experienced before. The NSW Police Force are both enforcers of law but also serve to assist the community. Information on your rights and responsibilities regarding police powers. If you are working while in Australia and experience an issue with your work place that you require assistance with, you can also utilise the legal aid service. T: 1300 888 529 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). LawAccess NSW LawAccess NSW is a free government telephone service that provides legal information, referrals and in some cases, advice for people who have a legal problem in NSW. Types of legal problems LawAccess help with:

  • debt and credit
  • domestic and family violence
  • family law
  • consumer law
  • fines and traffic offences
  • motor vehicle accidents
  • employment law
  • general information about
  • criminal law
  • the law and you

T: 1300 888 529 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday NSW Fair Trading NSW Fair Trading safeguards the rights of all consumers and advises business and traders on fair and ethical practice. Fair Trading provides services directly to individuals and businesses to create a fair, safe and equitable marketplace. The laws they administer set the rules for fairness in the countless daily transactions between consumers and traders. Fair Trading investigate unfair practices and ensure that the products sold in NSW are safe and meet their regulations and safety standards. You can lodge a complaint online following easy step-by-step instructions, or at your local Fair Trading Centre. This is a free service.

Health and safety

Australia is generally a very safe place to live and study. The 2015 OECD Better Life Index rated Australia 9.6 out of 10 for safety, one of the highest ratings awarded to any country. But it is still important to look after yourself and be aware of the risks that exist - and ways to minimise them. This is particularly important for when you first arrive and are adjusting to your new way of life. Emergencies The assistance and emergency networks in Australia are widespread and well equipped for any potential emergencies. Fire, ambulance, and police services will be able to provide you with any health and safety assistance you may need. Wherever you are in Australia, if there's a life-threatening emergency, call 000 (zero zero zero). It is a free call (even from your mobile). An operator will answer and will ask which of the following services you need:

  • Police
  • Fire
  • Ambulance

If you're not sure which one you need just tell the operator what you are calling about and they will help guide you. It is important to remain calm. The operator will ask questions, such as: where are you located, what the emergency is, and how many people are involved. Here are some examples of when you should call 000:

  • Someone has been seriously injured or is in urgent need of medical help.
  • If your life or property is being threatened.
  • If you have just witnessed a serious accident or crime.

Most institutions provide on-campus security who can be easily contacted. Their contact details should be in your enrolment information, but if they are not, contact your institution's international student support staff to get their phone number or office location. If it's a life-threatening emergency, you should still call 000 even if you are at school or on campus.

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