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After Arriving

Now that you're here, there are a few things you need to take care of.

These include setting up a Bank Account, learning how to stay safe, finding Accommodation, and working out how to use Public Transport in Adelaide.

  • Banking

    Financial institutions in Australia that offer banking and financial services include banks, credit unions and building societies.

    When choosing a bank or financial institution such as a credit union, find out if they have a branch or ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines; also known as ABMs or Automatic Banking Machines, cash machines or Cashpoints) located near to where you live and study. Do they have branches overseas? What are their account keeping fees and service charges? Most importantly, ask about their student accounts-you may earn less interest with a student account, but the account keeping fees will be less.

    Most banks and credit unions offer student banking packages, you will need to show the bank or credit union your student ID card when you open the account or very soon after.

    Remember to ask about student banking or international student banking when you are choosing your bank or credit union.

    We have provided a list of the major banks located near the University, in the Adelaide CBD (Central Business District). Most major banks also have branches and ATMs throughout metropolitan Adelaide. For information about Credit Unions and Building Societies search under those headings in the telephone directory:

    ATMs on campus

    Located on Ground Floor, Union House and on Level 4 of Hub Central:

    • BankSA
    • ANZ Bank
    • Commonwealth Bank

    Please note: Most banks will charge a fee if you withdraw money from an ATM that isn't from your own institution (i.e. you may be charged if you have a Commonwealth ATM card, but withdraw money from a BankSA ATM).

    Opening a bank account

    To open a bank account, you will need to complete the Australian Government's 100-point identity check. To do this you will need to provide identification, such as your passport, student card and/or driver's license, credit card, telephone or electricity bill.

    Once you have opened a bank account in Adelaide, you can arrange for other funds to be transferred from overseas by International Money Transfer or Bank Draft.

    Every bank offers a keycard account, which is suitable for your day-to-day needs. These accounts allow you to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money from ATMs or use EFTPOS. Other methods of banking available to you include Internet and phone banking. Ask your bank for more information.

    Banks in the Adelaide CBD

    *Cantonese and Mandarin

  • Personal Safety

    Adelaide is generally a safe city to live in but there are some precautions you should keep in mind.

    Emergency Numbers

    dial 000 Police, Fire, Ambulance
    dial 112 from your mobile phone.

    dial 106 for text-based Emergency Call Service for people with a disability.
    This is a TTY (teletypewriter) service only.

    dial 131 444 for police assistance.

    The University Security Services offers information on staying safe on campus

    Everyone has the right to be safe and live without fear. This information provides the basis for you to be safe and encourages you and your friends to think about your own 'personal safety plan'. Your plan should include simple practical steps that can prevent a threat to your safety or at least help you prepare if your safety is threatened.

    There are no hard and fast rules to protect yourself-use common sense and don't put yourself in situations where you could be at risk. Please note that it is an offence under Australian law to carry any object or weapon for self-defence.

    University Security Services

    General enquiries: 8313 5990
    Emergency: 8313 5444

    If you have an immediate safety concern such as fire or accident use the contact details listed in the Important Numbers section on this page. We recommend all students to pre-program emergency and security contact numbers into their mobile phone.

    Visit Security or the International Student Centre for non urgent general enquiries or questions about the following:

  • Accommodation

    Being comfortable with your living arrangements will often assist you to be successful in your studies.

    Looking for Accommodation?

    Until you are settled, finding good accommodation should be one of your main concerns.

    Use the time you are in temporary accommodation to recover from jet lag, have a look around the campus and the city, and ultimately find longer term accommodation.

    Ask yourself:

    • do you want to be close to public transport?
    • do you want to live somewhere quiet for study?
    • do you want to live alone, or with other students?
    • how much can you afford to spend on rent each week?

    Also consider, do you want to live in:

    Get to know the suburbs near the city, so that you have more choice when finding a place to live.
    Next, visit the Accommodation Service in Hub Central, North Terrace campus.
    The University Accommodation Service (reference J11 on the North Terrace campus map) staff can assist you in your search for accommodation. They have a database that lists different types of accommodation available to rent.

    They can also answer any questions you have about accommodation, such as:

    • how do I apply for accommodation?
    • where is this suburb?
    • what are the legal requirements of a lease?
    • what is a bond and how do I lodge one?

    It is important that you think carefully about what accommodation you want before you sign any documents. Decisions are reversible, but can take a lot of time and money to change. For example, if you leave your accommodation before the lease expires, you may lose all of your bond money, or may have to pay rent until another tenant can be found to replace you. It is also important to understand the lease before you sign it.

    The Accommodation Service can assist with checking that the lease is in order, and you can also visit the SA Government website for more information on leasing accommodation.

    There are two types of residential tenancy agreements: fixed-term and periodic. If the one you are given by the landlord is different to these, we strongly encourage you to seek advice from the Accommodation Service, or use the free legal service for students through the Adelaide University Union (phone 8313 5401 for appointments), before you sign the agreement.

    Household contents insurance

    When you rent accommodation in Australia, contents insurance is not usually included in the rental agreement. ‘Contents insurance' is insurance against the damage or loss of items in your household. It is standard practice in Australia to buy contents insurance. Like most cities around the world, Adelaide experiences crime and theft. Therefore it is important to insure your valuable items (e.g. laptop computers, cameras, mobile telephones, jewellery, clothing, white goods).

    Things to consider:

    • Insurance companies do not normally issue separate policies for different individuals living in one house.
    • The cost of your contents insurance policy depends on the value of your contents. The more your contents are worth, the more insurance you will have to pay-talk to several different insurance companies and compare their costs and coverage before you settle on one. Quotes can be given online or over the phone.
    • Keep a list of your valuable items. Write down, photograph or film the serial and model numbers of your goods. Record how much you paid for them. This will be needed if they are damaged or stolen. Try to list as much as possible-not just the stereo but CDs too-for example, how many and how much they cost. A handy way to do this is to walk through each room of your house and record everything. If you do not remember the cost of an item, check at a local shop or in a catalogue to find out its replacement cost.
    • If you are living in a suburb the insurance company classes as ‘high-risk', you may be required to make sure your house is secure by installing extra deadlocks or key locks on windows etc. You should talk to your landlord about this if your insurance company raises the issue.
    • Some companies have policies designed specifically for people in rental accommodation. It is often low cost insurance that ensures that you are not paying for features you don't need.
    • Check if policies have ‘away from home' cover for items such as jewellery, mobile devices and laptop computers. Ask lots of questions; check for details such as minimum timeframes, fees, excess amounts and if there are loading fees charged if you pay monthly rather than annually. Remember to inform the insurance company when people move in or out of your accommodation.

    Insurance companies in Adelaide

    Accommodation hints

    • Check Adelaide's The Advertiser newspaper on Wednesday and Saturday as these are the issues that have the classified advertisement sections featuring accommodation.
    • There are plenty of websites that advertise accommodation-refer the following sites to start:
    • You may also find information about rental opportunities on the notice boards around the campus.
    Insurer Contact Minimum
    People Allowed*
    Pay by the Month?
    AAMI 13 22 44 Not specified Unlimited Yes
    Allianz 13 10 00 $25,000 3 Yes
    Suncorp 13 11 55 Not Specified 2 bedrooms;
    unlimited people
    Yes (+15% admin fee)
    RAA 8202 4567 $20,000 3 Yes
    SGIC 13 32 33 $30,000 Unlimited Yes

    This information was correct as at October 2011
    *Please note any unrelated people on your policy such as a housemate must be listed on the policy to be covered.

  • Public Transport

    Adelaide Metro is the city's transport system, servicing the greater metropolitan region with trains, buses, and trams.

    If you travel on public transport, you will need to buy a ticket. Holders of a student card are entitled to a concession fare on public transport in Adelaide. However, you must pay full fare until you receive your student ID card, which you will get during orientation.

    The links below have information that explains the ticketing system used by Adelaide Metro for Trains, Buses and the Tram. You can also view the details of the InfoCentre run by Adelaide Metro and free public transport in the city.

    Singletrips and MetroCards

    You can use these tickets on all buses, trains and trams with the Metroticket sign.

    There are two fare structures for Adelaide Metro transport:

    • Interpeak: used between 9.00 am - 3.00 pm, Monday to Friday
    • All Times: can use 24 hours.

    Most University of Adelaide students will use the Concession and Tertiary Student Daytrips, Single trips or MetroCard.  To use this you must carry your University of Adelaide Student Card with a full time student label attached.

    You can purchase Metrotickets from newsagents, post offices, some cafés/ delicatessens, or when you board the transport-from the bus driver or tram conductor, or the ticket vending machine on the train (vending machines only accept coins). When you board, you must validate (stamp) your ticket and keep it until your journey has ended. Visit the Adelaide Metro website for information on the cost of Daytrip, Single Trip and MetroCard tickets.


    The Adelaide Public Transport network has a MetroCard Ticketing system. You will be able to top up the credit on your card at retail outlets that sell AdelaideMetro tickets. Even if your card is lost or stolen you will be able to report it lost and have the card cancelled and be issues with a new card. Any credit from your old card will be added to the replacement card. Refer to the MetroCard section of the Adelaide Metro website for more information. Please note: Multitrips cannot be purchased onboard the transport. You can purchase a MetroCard on Campus in the Hub.

    Adelaide Metro InfoCentre

    For more information about tickets, route maps and timetables you can visit the AdelaideMetro InfoCentre, located on the corner of King William Street and Currie Street, Adelaide.

    Opening hours

    8.00 am - 6.00 pm Mon to Fri
    9.00 am - 5.00 pm Sat
    11.00 am - 4.00 pm Sun
    Call the Adelaide Metro InfoLine 1300 311 108
    (TTY 8303 0844) from 7.00 am - 8.00 pm
    daily, or visit the Adelaide Metro website for more information.

    Free city transport

    99C City Loop

    Catch this bus in front of the State Library (just west of the University) on North Terrace seven days a week. It will take you on a loop around the City to Rundle Street and East Terrace, Hindmarsh Square, the Central Market, Hindley Street and back to North Terrace passing the universities on its way.

    Centre tram service

    The tram line extension offers free travel from South Terrace to the Entertainment Centre. Trams arrive, on average:

    • weekdays every 7.5 mins; 8.00 am to 6.00 pm
    • weekends and public holidays every 15 mins; 9.00 am to 6.00 pm
    • night services every 20 mins; 6.00 pm to midnight.

    Jetty Road, Glenelg

    Travel along Jetty Road Glenelg on the Tram is free from Mosely Square to Brighton Road. See the Glenelg Tram timetable on the AdelaideMetro web.

    Adelaide Connector bus

    Linking North Adelaide and the city area, it runs:
    8.00 am - 6.00 pm Mon to Thurs
    8.00 am - 9.30 pm Fri
    10.00 am - 5.00 pm Sat and Sun.
    A timetable can be obtained from the Adelaide City Council Customer Centre, 25 Pirie Street, Adelaide.

  • Settling In

    Examine your expectations

    If you find that you are disappointed or confused when you arrive, it is helpful to ask yourself: Why? What did you expect? Are your expectations unreasonable? If, after considering these questions, you find that your expectations do not match what is happening for you now, there are many things you can do to limit your feelings of dissatisfaction or confusion. To really make the most of this process it is important to test, rethink and modify the expectations that you arrived with to reflect your new experiences.

    Watch and listen

    You are not likely to be familiar with Australian social rules or customs. People’s attitudes, habits and non-verbal signals will be different to those you know from home. Spend some time watching people’s body language when they are talking to each other or to you, and listen carefully to what they are saying to you.

    Spending time observing people’s body language, and listening to what they are saying, will help you to understand non-verbal and verbal communication in context.

    Ask questions

    After watching people communicate with you, and each other, you may not always be clear about what they are saying to you or the importance of what is being said or done. For this reason it is important to ask questions and be sure that you have understood what has been said or done. Remember, other people will not know that you need an explanation unless you ask them!

    Keep an open mind

    Australian values may be different to your own. You are likely to see people do or say things that may not be acceptable at home. It is important to consider that the way Australians behave is shaped by values that may be different to your own. As a result you may find yourself making inaccurate judgments about people because you do not have all of the information required to understand what you have experienced.

    Even if someone’s behaviour seems very strange, or even wrong, according to your own culture, before making a judgment ask yourself—does it make sense in the context of Australian culture? If you are still unsure about what you see and hear you can visit the International Student Centre and ask one of our Student Advisors.

    Sense of humour

    Everybody makes mistakes when they are doing something for the first time! Laughing about mistakes that you make while adjusting to a new culture will help you to learn more and gain confidence quickly. Many Australians will appreciate your sense of humour and you will find them to be friendlier.

    New experiences

    You will meet other students through classes, at your accommodation and through student organisations and clubs. New friends can help you and make you feel welcome. They may even be able to tell you where you can get the ingredients to make a meal that reminds you of home. Many international students feel a lot of pressure in their first few weeks with some finding that their feelings of exhilaration change to anxiety or distress. This is because there are often a lot of decisions to make.

    At university, the expectation is that you are totally responsible for organising your life, study and other commitments. For example, you might have to find accommodation or find a school for your children. You will be trying to cope with a new and unfamiliar environment: learning where to buy food, how to travel, and speak English in daily life.

    You might have to make important decisions while you are still jet lagged. Then there are also the demands of study. Even the most independent person can find it daunting. Try to relax, take your time, and don’t be pressured into making hasty decisions.

    Anxiety and frustration

    Everyday activities in a new culture can be stressful. Sometimes you might not know what to expect from other people, or what they expect from you. You may feel anxious and frustrated by these situations. It is helpful to understand that your feelings of unhappiness or frustration are a natural result of cross-cultural situations.

    As you spend more time with other people over the next few weeks and months you will begin to feel more comfortable as your experience and understanding of Australian culture develops.

    Get involved!

    You will meet many new people, both local and international, during your time in Adelaide. These experiences are very valuable because you will learn a lot about other cultures and people, and at the same time you may discover things about your own culture that you were unaware of.

    By making an effort to meet people during orientation, through your studies, and through involvement with the many sporting and social clubs available through the Adelaide University Union, you will be rewarded with new friendships and a greater understanding of yourself and others.

    New friends

    Making friends takes time, and for this to happen someone needs to take the first step! While making new friends can be enjoyable and rewarding, you will also have experiences that are disappointing. But, don’t allow a few bad experiences discourage you.

    Australians are well known for smiling a lot, making jokes with people and are often eager to talk to new people. This can be confusing because while someone new is relaxed and friendly around you they may not want to become your close friend. People may seem friendly even if they do not expect to develop a close friendship with you.

    In the next few days and weeks there will be many opportunities to meet people and make friends on campus. These include lectures, tutorials and practicals, and participating in activities hosted by the various clubs and societies supported by the Adelaide University Union. Contact the Adelaide University Union on 8313 5401 or visit the AUU site for details of these groups—you will find more information about the AUU’s activities later in this manual.

    Finally, remember that while making friends is important it is also vital that you relax and take time for yourself. Do things you enjoy; things that support your good view of yourself and your abilities. Know that stress and conflict can be signs of challenge, growth and change. The more positive you are, the easier it will be to adjust.

    Managing unexpected events

    For many of you this will be the first time you have lived away from your families. This will also be the first time you have had to deal with problems and issues without support from family and friends.

    Most of these experiences are fun: deciding what to eat, who to spend time with, where to go, etc. But if problems arise, they might feel overwhelming—especially new problems that you don’t know how to solve. If something does not go to plan, it might feel upsetting at first. It is unlikely that you will experience a crisis, but read the following information to help you think about how you might deal with one ahead of time.

    Stressful situations

    Stressful situations include:

    • accommodation (it’s not what you wanted; you misunderstood the lease and other legal issues; you have problems with neighbours; or a burglary)
    • a crisis in your home country (conflict, war, political instability, natural disaster) • accidents—particularly on the roads
    • things that are different about your new environment (strange food, illness, different emotions, feelings of no control)
    • change in your financial support or a financial crisis
    • an illness or death of a loved one.

    In these events you might experience some or all of the following emotional responses: panic, shock, fear, denial, guilt, anger, depression, feeling alone, isolated, hopeless, desperate, or difficulty concentrating, sleeping and/or eating.

    Physical symptoms may also appear such as extreme tiredness, stomach aches, headaches, diarrhoea, fast heart rate, or stiffness of joints (i.e. neck or back pain).

    Your academic work might be affected. You may need to take some time off from your university work or even withdraw completely from your courses.

    You may be concerned about how to pay for a flight home at short notice or other issues requiring immediate attention.

    Where to get help

    It is important to know that there are staff in International Student Support who are here to assist you. You can contact us via email or telephone 8313 4828 to make an appointment to speak with an International Student Advisor; or simply drop into our Office on the Ground Floor of the Kenneth Wills building to speak with our staff.  Please see the interactive University map for details.

    It is a good idea to think and talk about your problems and get some advice.

    It is helpful to think about how you may have dealt with difficult situations in the past and to remember that these events offer you an opportunity to develop new skills.

    It also might be beneficial to let friends and other significant people in Australia know how they can best assist you in certain circumstances (e.g. who to contact if you were in an accident).

    It may be important for others here to know how your customs and ways of handling problems may differ from the way things are done in Australia. It is important to try and communicate this to others.


International Student Support (Kenneth Wills Building)

Call us +61 8 8313 4828
Opening Hours: Monday 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Friday 9am-5pm
Contact us
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