28 June 2006

Opening a bank account in Australia

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Opening a bank account

The Australian bankers association says

"When you open a bank account, for the first time or with a new bank, you’ll be required to complete a ‘100-point check’. This is a test that the bank uses to make sure you are you, and not someone posing as you, in an attempt to commit fraud. It’s the bank’s first line of defence against identity theft and money laundering.

To open the account you’ll need to take along some identification (ID), such as a birth certificate, a driver’s licence, and/or a Medicare card (you need to make up 100 points according to the list below). Once you’ve provided sufficient ID, the bank will be able to open your account.

You will also need to provide your tax file number (TFN) so that you can be identified for tax purposes. While this isn’t essential, if you don’t provide your TFN, any interest your accounts earn will be taxed at the highest rate."

Some banks may insist that you have a permanent address in Australia, although I don't think this is a legal requirement.

The 100 point check:

Group A Must include at least one of these
*Birth Certificate (persons under 18) 100 points
*Passport (for persons under 18) 100 points
*Passport (for persons arriving in Australia in the past 6 weeks) 100 points
*Passport (current or expired within 2 years) 70 points
Australian Drivers' licence (if the licence is a replacement for a lost licence at least 2 other forms of ID are required) 40 points
Australian Tertiary Education Institution Photo ID card 40 points

Group B
*Birth Certificate 70 points
* Citizenship certificate 70 points
Public Utilities record 25 points
Medicare Card 25 points
Financial Institution Passbook, debit or credit card 25 points

*only one of these may be used. i.e. a Passport and birth certificate only count as 1 form of ID.

27 June 2006

Clothes to bring for a Melbourne winter

First of all, if you're staying for a year or more, don't buy a whole lot of warm clothes in your home country to wear in Melbourne. Inevitably the fashions here will be different & you'll either be left with a whole lot of clothes you won't use or feel out of place for the next six months. If you arrive in June or July, there should be warm clothes here in the shops at half the normal price, as they sell out of their winter stock.

My advice seems to conflict with others talking of the high price of clothing here. Do bring any warm clothes you already have, especially underwear and bedding, as clothes are cheaper in some parts of the world. You can expect to pay $A50 for a sweater, $A100 for a coat, $50-$100 for a pair of shoes. If you bug me, I'll write a blog on where to go to get clothes cheaply.

What you'll need:

  • sweater / jumper / pullover / windcheater
  • coat or jacket
  • closed footware eg: shoes, boots, etc.
  • probably a scarf
  • gloves and hat are purely optional. You don't need to buy these before you arrive.
Melbourne winter temperatures get down to 2°C regularly, but only at night. The daily variation is wide, with daytime temperatures commonly reaching 14 or 15° C or even higher, even in the winter months.

22 June 2006

Accommodation advice to an arriving overseas student.

I assume you are on a low budget, in which case a "hostel" will probably be the best place for the first few days while you sort out something else. That is unless you have a close friend or relative you can stay with. I just had a quick look for temporary accomodation for you. These two websites
and have plenty of options & the rates are what I would expect. You would be sharing a room there & don't expect security to be fantastic, but they are cheap, convenient & you'll get to know your way around. If you're going to be studying at Caulfield, the hostels in the Melbourne city centre are the most convenient, at only a 15 minute train ride away. You should be able to book a hostel online before you arrive, & then sort out your permanent accommodation when you get here.

If you're going to one of the universities which has on campus accommodation, I would suggest you try that first...I was an OS student in London & the experience of on campus accommodation when I first arrived was invaluable. Monash Clayton, Melbourne Parkville & La Trobe Bundoora have on campus accommodation. Gets you orientated & u get to know some people. For example, places like University College or Mannix College.

Other than on-campus accommodation, your second best option for permanent accomodation will be to band together with a few other students & rent a house or flat.
If you find friends who want to rent a flat or house with you, then you can look on eg:

Shared accommodation in an existing household is a cheap option, but more difficult to organise before you arrive. You'll get a quick guide to prices and availability here:

Most of the Universities have online facilities to help you find somewhere to live. For example, you could try the Monash off-campus accommodation listing Once you're here and enrolled, there will be student noticeboards you can check for shared accommodation.

21 June 2006

Phone Rates to India - phone, card & PC

Example Rates to New Delhi:

Skype - Free for PC to PC - Free for PC to PC

Skype Out - PC to Phone 20 c / min

Time calling card at Connection fee 69c, 9.9 c/min

Mega India Calling Card 9.8 c per min -

Jajah 19 c per min

Asiadigicall 18 c per min (PIN-less account) Connection fees apply to some destinations.

Telstra $1.10 per minute.

Melbourne Campus Map

View Melbourne Campus in a larger map