Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!

Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!
issue 03
Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!

Congratulations on choosing to study at Griffith
University, an education institution ranked
among the top 50 universities under 50 in the
world. I am extremely proud to be associated
with Griffith University and am confident you
will be too.
It is important to us that you feel supported
and secure throughout your studies, especially
during your first few months in Australia. Our
Destination Griffith guide has the information
you need to make your transition to a new
country, and university, an exciting, easy
and safe experience. The guide also includes
information that you will find useful throughout
your time at Griffith University so keep it
handy once you arrive. If you have any other
questions, our dedicated team of International
Student Advisors will be on hand to assist you
once you arrive in Australia. I warmly welcome
you to Griffith University and wish you every
success in your chosen education path.
Professor Sarah Todd
Pro Vice Chancellor (International)

Important note: All information is correct as at December
2015 but is subject to change as content is reviewed and
updated. Visit for updates.
Pictures courtesy of Brisbane Marketing appear on pages
37, 61
Picture courtesy of Gold Coast Tourism appears on page 62
Griffith University acknowledges the people who are the
traditional custodians of the land, pays respect to Elders, past
and present, and extends that respect to other indigenous
Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!
contents    8
             3   On the move to Australia

                 Finding your new home


                 Happy families -
                 bringing your family to Australia

           17 Money: how much do I need and where
           		 can I get it?

           21 Everything you need to know about
           		 life in Australia

           26    Orientation Week - your guide to Griffith

           30    Meet the Griffith Mates

           34    Walk, ride or drive

           38    Get amongst it! Life on-campus

           44    When you need a helping hand -
                 student support services

           50 Doctors and nurses - medical and
           		 health services

           52 All the details: Griffith University policies
           		 and procedures

           54 Great southern land -
           		 what is Australia like?

           58    The best of Brisbane and the Gold Coast

           64    Important contacts

           66    Checklist

           67    Notes


                 Thanks for the memories -
                 returning home
Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!
2   Destination Griffith issue 03
Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!
On the
Move to
Welcome and congratulations on choosing to study at
Griffith University! To help you get ready for this new
and exciting challenge, we’ve put together some useful
information to prepare you for your life in Australia
and at Griffith University. Please read the following
information before you leave home to help you know
what to pack, when to arrive, what to expect, how to
book your flights and Griffith airport reception service.
We look forward to seeing you soon!

                                                    Destination Griffith issue 03   3
Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!
on the move to australia

    Your new home:                                              What to pack:
    campus locations                                            climate and clothing
    Griffith has five campuses located in South East            The weather in Queensland is sub-tropical with warm
    Queensland, Australia - Gold Coast, Logan,                  summers and mild winters. Average temperatures range
    Mt Gravatt, Nathan and South Bank.                          between 10 to 21 degrees celsius in winter and 20 to
                                                                29 degrees celsius in summer. Although the climate in
    Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland and is home
                                                                Australia may be warmer than in your home country,
    to our Nathan, Mt Gravatt and South Bank campuses.
                                                                you should acclimatise to the weather in Australia after
    The Nathan and Mt Gravatt campuses are located a
                                                                a few months. So pack a jacket or sweater, as you may
    short 10-minute drive from Brisbane’s city centre,
                                                                start to feel cool in weather you may have previously
    with our South Bank campus located in Brisbane City’s
                                                                gone to the beach in!
    cultural precinct.
                                                                To give you an idea of what to pack, clothing worn
    Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city and boasts
                                                                on-campus is quite casual, with most students wearing
    a vibrant social, cultural and recreational scene. It has
                                                                shorts or jeans and a t-shirt all year round. You may
    been rated as one of the world’s most liveable cities and
                                                                need some more conservative clothes (such as dress
    offers all the excitement of a major capital city with a
                                                                pants and collared shirts) for work, or formal clothes
    relaxed atmosphere - a typical ‘Queensland’ combination.
                                                                (such as a suit and tie or formal dress) for special
    The Gold Coast is just an hour’s drive south of             events. If you forget to pack something, don’t worry,
    Brisbane and is one of Australia’s fastest growing          there are plenty of stores where you can purchase
    cities. The Gold Coast region is Australia’s number one     something inexpensive once you arrive.
    tourist destination and is home to over 70 kilometres
                                                                There are no laws or rules about clothing in Australia,
    of beautiful beaches and coastline. Griffith’s Gold Coast
                                                                however most public places do require that you wear
    campus is located in Southport at the northern end of
                                                                appropriate footwear.
    the Coast and about a 10-minute drive to the beach.
    Griffith’s Logan campus is located halfway between
    Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Logan is a young, diverse
    and vibrant city made up of over 185 different
    cultures and with around half of the population
    under the age of 30.

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Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!
Let’s fly away:
booking your flights
When booking your flights, it’s a good idea to arrive
a few days before Orientation Week to give yourself
time to get over any jetlag, settle in, and familiarise
yourself with your new surroundings.
Both Brisbane and the Gold Coast have international
airports, however you may find you need to first fly
into Sydney which is the main airport in Australia.
Flights between Sydney and the Gold Coast or
Brisbane take approximately one hour. If you’re
booking connecting flights, ensure you leave at least
two hours between your arrival and departure times
to allow for any unexpected delays.

                                                          Destination Griffith issue 03   5
Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!
on the move to australia

    Overcoming jetlag                                           •   Trying to nap whenever you feel sleepy
                                                                •   Eating small meals frequently
    Jetlag is caused by traveling across different time zones
    and is often more severe when traveling in an easterly      •   Wearing loose, comfortable clothing
    direction. Some of the main symptoms include:               •   Wearing earplugs and an eye mask
    • Fatigue                                                   •   Walking around the plane cabin regularly.
    • Sleepiness                                                Once you arrive, it is likely your internal body clock will
    • Digestive upsets                                          still be operating on ‘home time’. This means you will be
    • Impaired judgment and decision making                     out of sync with your new time zone and your jetlagged
                                                                body will need a few days to acclimatise. Some
    • Memory lapses                                             suggestions on adjusting to your new time zone include:
    • Irritability                                              • Exposing yourself to daylight or, if this is not possible,
    • Apathy.                                                      bright light to help ‘reset’ your body clock
    While there is no cure for jetlag, its effects can be       • Drinking caffeinated drinks in moderation during
    reduced with careful planning. Lack of sleep before            the day
    and during traveling can also contribute to jetlag, so      • Avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks for a few
    make sure you get plenty of sleep before you leave.            hours prior to sleep at night
    Tips to manage jetlag while flying include:                 • Trying to stick to your usual bedtime routine
    • Limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks       • Using relaxation techniques.
    • Drinking plenty of water

6   Destination Griffith issue 03
Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!
Important information for
                                                                          all arrivals
                                                                      • Please advise us if other students or family
                                                                        will be traveling with you, so that the correct
                                                                        transport can be arranged. An additional fee
                                                                        of up to $70 per person will be charged for
                                                                        extra passengers.
                                                                      • Please notify us if you will be bringing
                                                                        oversized luggage (for example: a surfboard,
                                                                        bicycle or overweight baggage) as additional
                                                                        fees apply.
                                                                      • People who don’t arrive (absentees) at the
                                                                        airport will be charged a fee.
                                                                      • Please note that airport collection required
                                                                        after 9pm at night will incur an additional fee.
                                                                      • Please inform us of any flight cancellations,
                                                                        delays, changes to connecting flights or
                                                                        rescheduling as soon as possible.

Welcome to Australia:                                        To book your airport reception:
                                                             • You will need to provide your arrival date and time,
airport reception service                                      airline and flight number, which airport you will be
Griffith offers a FREE airport reception service for           flying into, and the address of your accommodation
all new students. It’s the easiest way to get from the         in Australia
airport to your local accommodation and can be booked        • If you are arriving in Australia on the weekend, please
online at Make sure         submit your application by the Wednesday before the
you book at least 72 hours before you leave your home          weekend of arrival
country to ensure you receive this fantastic service.
                                                             • Advise Griffith of any changes to your flight, as you
Airport pick up is available from the Brisbane Domestic        may be liable for an additional fee if you don’t arrive
and International airports, and the Gold Coast airport         at the airport as scheduled.
(known as Coolangatta Airport).
                                                             If you arrive at the Brisbane International Airport or
While Griffith’s airport reception service is free for all   Coolangatta Airport, you will see our representative
new students, it is also available for family, guardians     waiting for you on the left hand side of the Arrivals
and non-student friends traveling with you. Please           Area with a board displaying the Griffith University
include information for any additional passengers on         logo. If you arrive at the Brisbane Domestic Airport,
your airport reception application.                          you will be met at the luggage carousel.

                                                                                            Destination Griffith issue 03   7
Griffith Destination issue 03 - GOstralia!
    your new
    One of the most important decisions you will need to
    make about living in Australia is where you will live.
    There is a range of different accommodation options
    available to you depending on your needs and budget.
    As always, you don’t have to make this decision alone.
    The Student Guild on the Gold Coast, and Campus
    Life at our Brisbane campuses, provide off-campus
    accommodation listings and information about your
    on-campus accommodation options. The Student Guild
    also offers a mini-van service during Orientation Week
    to take students to view available rental properties.

    Student Guild (Gold Coast campus)
    Phone: +61 (0)7 5552 8724

    Campus Life accommodation service
    (Brisbane based campuses)
    Phone: +61 (0)7 3735 7575

8   Destination Griffith issue 03
Remember to:
  Book your free airport collection service
  Finalise your temporary accommodation

                          Destination Griffith issue 03   9
Finding your new home

     Griffith Homestay                                            You may find it’s easier to live on-campus for your first
                                                                  year of study, to familiarise yourself with your local area
     Griffith Homestay provides you with the option of living     and make some friends, and then decide to move off-
     with an Australian family while you study. Homestay          campus for the rest of your study.
     options are available for all Griffith University campuses
     and are a great way for you to develop your English          Gold Coast campus -
     language skills and experience the Australian way of life.   Griffith University Village
     There are both catered and self-catered options              Griffith University Village is an independently owned
     available where you rent a private, fully furnished room     and operated student residence, located on the Gold
     within the family’s home and share bathroom facilities       Coast campus, that has a range of accommodation
     and living and dining areas with your host family.           options, from five bedroom apartments to one-
     Internet and telephone facilities are generally provided,    bedroom studios. Facilities at the village include a
     with the cost of these being negotiated with your host       15-metre swimming pool, BBQ and picnic area, student
     family. If you are under 18 years old and are not coming     lounge and a half basketball court. The Village also has
     to live in Australia with a parent or legal guardian, you    a unique residential life program with activities such as
     must live in a Griffith University approved homestay         movie nights, themed parties, study groups, cooking
     accommodation until you turn 18 years of age.                classes and international food festivals.

     Griffith Homestay                                            Griffith University Village
     Phone: +61 (0)7 3735 7919                                    Phone: +61 (0)7 5539 4819
     Email:                              Email:
     Web:                                Web:

     On-campus accommodation                                      Logan campus - UniCentral Griffith
     options                                                      The Logan campus has private accommodation facilities
                                                                  at the nearby UniCentral Griffith which is located a
     On-campus accommodation is available at our Gold             five-minute walk from campus. The range of facilities
     Coast, Mt Gravatt and Nathan campuses. Privately             includes a gym, BBQs, tennis court and a 25-metre
     owned student accommodation is also available near           swimming pool. If you have a car, you also have the
     our Logan and South Bank campuses. There are                 option of an exclusive-use carport.
     many benefits to living on-campus, including:
     • Living within walking distance of the University           UniCentral Griffith
     • Meeting Australians and other international
                                                                  Phone: +61 (0)7 3200 4444
       students from all over the world
     • An exciting calendar of sporting, cultural and
       social events.                                             Web:

10   Destination Griffith issue 03
Mt Gravatt and Nathan campuses                            Griffith Accommodation
Bellenden Ker College on the Nathan campus and            Phone: +61 (0)7 3735 7575 (Nathan)
Mt Gravatt College on the Mt Gravatt campus offer                 +61 (0)7 3735 5808 (Mt Gravatt)
catered on-campus accommodation. You rent a fully         Email:
furnished, private, lockable bedroom in a dormitory
and share bathroom facilities and common rooms with
your fellow residents. Three meals per day are provided   South Bank campus - Urbanest
in the college dining rooms.
                                                          Located a five-minute walk from Griffith’s South Bank
There are also three colleges on the Nathan campus that   campus, Urbanest is a privately owned and operated,
offer self-catered accommodation: Barakula College,       purpose built student accommodation facility. Located
Girraween College and Kinaba College. These colleges      directly opposite South Bank train station and busway,
offer fully furnished flats for between four and eight    Urbanest also has a student common room, BBQ and
students. You have your own private, lockable bedroom     courtyard, games area with foosball and pool table, TV
and share a kitchen, dining/lounge room and bathroom      room with pay-TV, secure bike storage facility and a
with your housemates. You and your housemates make        fun-packed monthly activities calendar.
your own arrangements for the purchase of food,
cooking and cleaning. Each college also has a common
                                                          Urbanest Student Accommodation
room which provides entertainment and study facilities.
                                                          Phone: +61 (0)2 8091 9959
Carnarvon College at Nathan campus provides self-
catered accommodation for postgraduate students.          Web:
You have your own fully furnished, private, lockable
bedroom and share a kitchen, dining/lounge room and       Temporary accommodation
bathroom with three other housemates. You and your
housemates make your own arrangements for the             options
purchase of food, cooking and cleaning. Carnarvon         If you would like to arrange your own accommodation
College also has a common room, a computer room,          once you are in Australia, we would recommend you
and an activity room with table tennis equipment and      book temporary accommodation for your first few
a piano.                                                  days in the country. There are many hotels, motels and
                                                          backpacker hostels located near each of our campuses
                                                          that are easily accessible by public transport. To
                                                          compare rates and availability, there are a number of
                                                          websites you can visit including,
                                                , or

                                                                                       Destination Griffith issue 03   11
Finding your new home
     On-campus Accommodation Facilities checklist by location:
         Mt Gravatt          Nathan       Logan       South Bank        Gold Coast

                                      (Catered)   (Self-catered) (Postgraduate)

        Convection microwave
         (functions as an oven)


          4 x electric hotplates



                 Lockable food
              storage cupboard

              Sofa/lounge suite

         Dining table and chairs


          Iron and ironing board

                       Single bed

                     Double bed

                 Internet access

            Desk and desk chair

                    (above desk)

      Wardrobe and cupboards


                      Ceiling fan

                 Air conditioning


                      Towel rack

               Shared bathroom                                                       2 or 5 bed

        Toilet and shower block

      Private ensuite bathroom                                                         1 bed


12   Destination Griffith issue 03
Off-campus accommodation                                       Garage sales and trading posts:
                                                               • Traderoo -
                                                               • -
While living on-campus has its advantages, you may     
find that living off-campus gives you greater freedom,
                                                               • Trading Post -
including the ability to choose your housemates and
location. Also, you may find that living off-campus            Online trading sites:
can be one of the cheapest accommodation options               • Gumtree -
available, especially if you are living in a share house
                                                               • eBay -
with friends.
                                                               If you would prefer to buy new merchandise, try the
To start with, it is best to decide which suburb you
                                                               following stores for affordable furniture and home
would like to live in. As a guide, the following suburbs
are close to our campuses:
                                                               • IKEA -
               Ashmore, Arundel, Labrador,
    Gold Coast Molendinar, Parkwood, Southport                 • Super Amart -
                                                               • Fantastic Furniture -
                    Kingston, Logan Central, Loganlea,
    Logan           Meadowbrook, Shailer Park,
                    Tanah Merah                                Top tips for renting
                                                               If you rent your own house (or sometimes if you rent
               Holland Park, Holland Park West,
                                                               a room in a share house) you will need to sign a lease.
    Mt Gravatt Mt Gravatt, Mt Gravatt East,
                                                               A lease is a legally binding contract that outlines the
               Upper Mt Gravatt
                                                               legal responsibilities of the landlord to provide you
                    Coopers Plains, Macgregor,                 with accommodation and your responsibility to pay the
    Nathan          Nathan, Robertson, Salisbury               agreed rent for the duration of the lease. Leases are
                                                               generally six months or one year in length. If given the
               Dutton Park, Highgate Hill,                     option, always sign a six month lease rather than being
    South Bank Kangaroo Point, Spring Hill, West End
                                                               locked in for a whole year.
You can choose one of the following accommodation              It’s important to remember that even if you move out
options that best suits your needs and budget:                 or your circumstances change, once you have signed a
• Rent a self-contained one bedroom or studio                  lease you (and your housemates if they are also on the
  apartment                                                    lease) will be legally responsible for paying the rent for
• Rent a house, apartment, unit or flat with a group           that property for the specified time period, so consider
  of friends                                                   carefully before signing. We suggest that you read
                                                               your lease documents thoroughly as there will usually
• Rent a room in an existing share house
                                                               be conditions relating to the maximum number of
The Student Guild on the Gold Coast, and Campus                occupants, pets, and any additional costs such as gas or
Life at our Brisbane campuses, provide off-campus              water. Electricity bills are generally an extra cost on top
accommodation listings in the local area. Check out            of rent and require you to contact an electricity supplier
the accommodation notice board at the Student Guild            to “turn on” your power and organise an electricity
or visit and search for             account. To compare your local electricity providers,
accommodation options near your campus. You can                visit
search for either single rooms or whole properties, and
                                                               You will also be required to pay bond or a security
you can also filter your results based on how much you
                                                               deposit, which is usually a cash deposit equal to four
want to spend on rent per week. Another good website
                                                               weeks’ rent. When you move out, if there is no damage
for finding properties for rent is
                                                               to the property, you will receive your bond back in full.
Local newspapers - such as The Courier Mail and                However, if you cause damage to the accommodation,
the Gold Coast Bulletin - also have local rental listings.     or fail to clean the house adequately when you move
If you would like to find a room in an existing share          out, the cost of repairs or cleaning will come out of
house, check out websites like                your bond. If your house has carpet, you will also be
and as they have listings of               required to have the carpet professionally cleaned when
people looking for housemates, or you can post an              you move out. Your real estate agent will usually have
advertisement yourself. Please ensure you research             a preferred supplier, or you can organise your own, but
thoroughly and preferably inspect the property                 remember to keep the receipt to show your agent at
in-person before making any commitments.                       the final inspection.
If you need to furnish your new home, consider going to        When renting, you and your housemates will be
second hand stores to buy cheap furniture. Department          responsible for cleaning and maintaining the house.
stores such as Big W, Kmart and Target have all the            You may want to draw up a cleaning roster to share the
household items you’ll need including linen, crockery,         responsibilities of cleaning equally between you and
cutlery, glassware, kitchen appliances and electrical goods.   your housemates. Although most Australians generally
                                                               perform their own household tasks, if you’re living with
Second hand stores:                                            a few people you may find that it is easier to hire a
• St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies) -                       cleaning service and split the costs among you.
                                                               For more information on renting in Queensland, and
• Lifeline -                 for assistance if you have a tenancy dispute, visit the
• Salvation Army (Salvos) -                                    Residential Tenancies Authority website

                                                                                              Destination Griffith issue 03   13
     Families -
     your Family
     to Australia

 Remember to:
   List all your family members on your student visa

14   Destination Griffith issue 03
If you are planning to bring your family with you to Australia,
there are a few things you need to consider. You will need to make
appropriate arrangements for visas, child care and schooling, and also
ensure that you will have access to the necessary funds to support
your family financially. Our team of International Student Advisors can
provide you with additional information and assistance.

What are the visa                                            Griffith University offers day care for children three
                                                             months to five years of age. For more information,
requirements?                                                visit
When applying for your student visa, you must list all       education For a comprehensive list of child care
family members in your application even if they are          centres in Queensland, go to
not travelling with you to Australia. The Australian         child-care-centre/qld.
Department of Immigration and Border Protection              Please be aware that even though it is not a legal
(DIBP) considers family members to be your spouse            requirement for children who attend child care to be
and/or any dependant children of you or your spouse          fully immunised, some child care centres may not
who are unmarried and under 18 years old. Your family        accept children who are not fully vaccinated. Please
members may then be able to apply for Dependant              ensure you bring all relevant immunisation documents
Visas and join you in Australia.                             for your child with you when you come to Australia.
Please be aware that family members on Dependant             If your child is not fully immunised, the Brisbane,
Visas will be treated as being financially dependent on      Gold Coast and Logan City Councils provide a free
you. The minimum annual costs you are expected to            immunisation service for children. For clinic times
have access to in order to support your family while you     and locations, visit the applicable council website
study in Australia are:                                      and search for “immunisation.”
• Living costs of $18,610                                    • Brisbane City Council -
• An additional $6,515 for your spouse                       • Gold Coast City Council -
• A further $3,720 for your first child (plus $8,000         • Logan City Council -
  if your child is of school age)
• A further $2,790 for each additional child (plus           What if I become pregnant
  $8,000 if your child is of school age).
                                                             in Australia?
For more information about bringing your family to
                                                             If you become pregnant in Australia, firstly notify
Australia, please visit
                                                             your OSHC provider as you will need to upgrade to
                                                             a family policy. Children born in Australia are only
                                                             Australian citizens if at least one parent was an
Can my children attend school?                               Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of
                                                             their birth.
In Queensland, children of compulsory school age
must attend school. Compulsory school age starts             As having a child will impact on your ability to complete
at six years and six months of age (Year 1) and              your studies, you may need to extend your visa and
continues until the completion of Year 10. Children          change your Confirmation of Enrolment. Contact an
who have turned five by 30 June of that year may             International Student Advisor as soon as possible so
be enrolled in Prep if their parents choose. You will        they can assist you in making appropriate arrangements.
be required to pay school tuition fees for your
children to attend school. For fees and further
information, please visit

What child care services
are available?
If you need to arrange child care for your children, there
are a number of different options available. Please keep
in mind that child care in Australia is in high demand
and can be costly, so you may have to contact a range
of different providers until you find one that suits your
needs and budget.

                                                                                            Destination Griffith issue 03   15
Remember to:
   Open an Australian bank account

16   Destination Griffith issue 03
do I need
can I
get it?
Accessing your money and understanding the costs
involved in living in Australia are important steps in settling
into your new life in Australia. To get an idea of what the
exchange rate is between the Australian dollar and your
local currency, visit As in all
countries, you can spend a little or a lot on your everyday
costs of living. We’ve done the hard work for you and
provide some estimates to give you a rough idea of what
these costs can be.

                                               Destination Griffith issue 03   17
What is the cost of living                                     In the long term, the easiest and most affordable way to
                                                                    access your money in Australia is to set up an Australian
     in Australia?                                                  bank account. The major banks in Australia are:
     The Australian government requires students to have            • ANZ -
     access to AUD$18,610 per year to meet their living             • Commonwealth Bank -
     costs. As an example, below is a breakdown of possible         • National Australia Bank (NAB) -
     weekly living costs:
                                                                    • Westpac -
     • Shared accommodation rent - $160 to $250
                                                                    ANZ provides specialised information for international
     • Groceries and eating out - $80 to $200
                                                                    students on how to set up an Australian bank account
     • Gas and electricity - $60 to $100                            before you leave for Australia at movingtoaustralia.
     • Phone and Internet - $20 to $50                     Once you arrive in Australia,
     • Public transport - $10 to $50                                you can then activate your account by showing
                                                                    photo identification (such as your passport) and your
     • Entertainment - $50 to $100                                  Confirmation of Enrolment documentation.
     australia/living-costs                                         Can I work on my student visa?
     Depending on your budget, you can either spend a lot or        Your student visa allows you to work in Australia while
     a little on your day-to-day expenses. If you want to live      you are studying. Once your course has started, you can
     alone in the CBD, this will cost a lot more than if you live   work up to 40 hours per fortnight (2 week period) during
     in a share house in the outer suburbs. If you eat out all      semester (including exam periods) and unlimited hours
     the time, you will spend a lot more money on food than         during university holidays. It is important that you keep
     if you buy groceries and cook your own meals. You’ll           track of your hours at work because if you work more
     save even more money if you go to a local farmers’             than your student visa allows, it could be cancelled.
     market and buy in bulk.
                                                                    The 40 hours per fortnight refers to any two
     For helpful tips on budgeting, saving and banking,             consecutive weeks (commencing on a Monday and
     plus useful information to keep in mind when getting           ending on the second Sunday). Take a look at the
     a mobile phone contract, or signing a lease, visit             example below. After their course has commenced,                                              a student visa holder works the following number of
                                                                    hours over a four week period:
     How can I access my money?                                     • Week 1 - 15 hours
     When you arrive in Australia, we recommended that you          • Week 2 - 25 hours
     have access to approximately AUD$3,000 to cover your           • Week 3 - 25 hours
     immediate costs such as accommodation, bond, food              • Week 4 - 10 hours
     and transport. The easiest way to immediately access
     your money is with a credit or debit card. MasterCard,         In the fortnight of Weeks 1 and 2, the student has
     Visa, American Express and Diners Club cards are all           worked 40 hours, which meets their student visa
     accepted in Australia (although you may be charged a           conditions. In Weeks 3 and 4, the student works only 35
     surcharge for using American Express or Diners).               hours, and so still meets their student visa conditions.
                                                                    However in Weeks 2 and 3, the student works 50
     If your debit card is a part of the Plus, Cirrus or Visa       hours, which is a breach of their student visa conditions.
     networks you will be able to withdraw cash at Australian       For more information about working on a student visa,
     ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines). Please ensure you            visit
     check with your bank before you leave for Australia,           study/international-student-visa/conditions-for-
     as you may need an updated card or PIN to access this          working-while-studying
     service. It’s also a good idea to have a small amount
     of Australian dollars in cash when you arrive. You can         You will also need to obtain a Tax File Number (TFN) to
     exchange your local currency into Australian dollars at        be able to work in Australia. This is available from the
     the currency exchange offices at the airport.                  Australian Tax Office. Apply online at

18   Destination Griffith issue 03
         • Before you start your job search, apply for a Tax File Number online at You
            will need to give this to your employer to avoid paying the highest tax rate.
         • If you’re paid in cash, check your pay slip to make sure you’re getting the right amount
            and that tax has been taken out of your pay.
         • Don’t accept ‘cash in hand’ arrangements where your employer pays you in cash
            without taking tax from your pay, as this is against the law and also doesn’t protect you
            with any employee rights.
         • It’s illegal for anyone to treat you unfairly at work, or when you apply for a job, because
            of your race, nationality, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability,
            marital status, family or carer’s duties, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national
            extraction or social origin.
         • It’s not okay for your employer to fire you for being away from work temporarily
            because you are sick or hurt.
         • Your employer can’t put undue pressure or use undue influence to get you to sign an
            agreement or agree to certain arrangements.

Job search: how do I find work?                             • You can usually be paid in cash (unless your award
                                                              or agreement states otherwise), but your employer
Griffith’s Careers and Employment Service is a great          has to take out tax and give you a pay slip
place to start your job search. They list available job
                                                            • You should start and finish your shift at your rostered
vacancies, help you with your resume and give you
                                                              time, even if work is busy or quiet, unless you and
helpful advice to assist you with your job search.
                                                              your employer agree to change your circumstances
For more information, check out their website at Also be sure            • You should generally get a half-hour unpaid meal
to have a look at the employment notice boards at The         break after five hours of work.
Hub (N11) on the Nathan campus and The Link (G07)           Griffith’s Careers and Employment Service website
on the Gold Coast campus.                                   has some useful information on work permits, hours
For other job vacancies check out, which        you can work, wages, taxation, workplace rights, and
has extensive listings of casual, part-time and full-time   where and how international students should look for
positions that you can search by industry and location.     work. Visit
For part-time and casual jobs, it can also be worthwhile    for-students/international-students for more
looking in the employment section of your local paper       information. For more information on working in
(The Gold Coast Bulletin or The Courier Mail) or            Australia, you can also visit
approaching suitable businesses directly.                   help-for/visa-holders-and-migrants

Your rights at work                                         Tax time: lodging your
Australia has a national industrial relations system that   tax return
protects your rights at work. The following is a list of    If you work in Australia, you will need to complete a
the general working conditions that apply to most jobs:     yearly tax return. Tax returns must be completed by
• You should be paid for all hours you work, including      31st October for the previous financial year (1 July to
  trial shifts and probation, meetings, training, and for   30 June). The Griffith University Welfare and Student
  opening and closing the business                          Liaison Office provides volunteers trained by the
• Your employer should pay you at least the minimum         Australian Taxation Office to help students complete
  rate in your award or agreement - they can pay you        their tax returns
  more than the minimum, but not less                       from July to October each year. To find out more
                                                            and/or make an appointment, contact Student Services.
• You should be paid at least once a month and get a
  pay slip within one working day of being paid             Gold Coast: +61 (0)7 5552 8734
• Your employer can’t take money out of your pay if         Nathan: +61 (0)7 3735 7470
  customers leave without paying, the cash registers
  are short, or if you accidentally break something
• Your employer can’t give you goods or services
  (including food) instead of pay

                                                                                          Destination Griffith issue 03   19
Remember to:
   Organise an Australian mobile phone number

20   Destination Griffith issue 03
you need
to know
about life in

We know that the most interesting challenges about living in a
foreign country are all the little things that are different from
home. While you might enjoy some differences (like our subtropical
climate), other things (such as missing your favourite food) might be
a bit more difficult to adjust to. Luckily, we’ve already done some of
the hard work for you. We’ve compiled some information on the key
areas of difference and everything you need to know to help you
settle into your new life in Australia.

                                                                    Destination Griffith issue 03   21
Everything you need to know
     about life in Australia

     What do Australians eat?                                         You may find that your local fruit and vegetable store
                                                                      (or green grocer, as they are also known) has cheaper
     (Can I buy my favourite foods?)                                  fresh produce than the supermarkets. Local farmers’
     Australians have a similar diet to Americans and Western         markets are another great place to pick up cheap
     Europeans with a typical day consisting of cereal or             and in-season fresh produce. To find markets on the
     toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and meat              Gold Coast, go to
     and three veggies (vegetables) for dinner. Despite this,         For markets in Brisbane, visit
     Australia is a very multicultural country and, as such,          whats-on/type/Markets
     most Australians enjoy a wide variety of foods from              If you have specific dietary requirements or are craving
     a range of cultures. International cuisines commonly             food from home, don’t worry. Australia has a wide range
     available in Australia include Chinese, Thai, Indian,            of specialty food stores such as Asian grocers, health
     Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian, Greek, French, Mexican            food stores and Halal butchers. You will even find that
     and Spanish.                                                     the larger supermarket chains often have sections of
     You will find that Australians are familiar with, and            food from different cultures such as Asian, Mexican
     commonly eat, foods from a variety of different                  and Indian.
     cultures, such as sushi, kebabs, hummus, tofu, pizza,            For more information on specific dietary needs, visit the
     rice, curries, tacos, falafel, stir-fry, laksa, teppanyaki and   following websites:
     souvlaki. Another recent trend is to have restaurants
                                                                      • Halal restaurants and grocery stores in Brisbane and
     and food outlets specialise in food that is organic and/
                                                                        the Gold Coast
     or caters to specific dietary needs such as gluten free,
     vegetarian or vegan.                                             • Supermarkets and food outlets that provide Kosher
                                                                        food in Queensland
     The main supermarket chains in Australia are
                                                                      • For organic and gluten free products in South East
     Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and IGA, although there are also
     a number of other smaller chains around. Aldi is a large
     supermarket chain that is renowned for its low-cost
     products and warehouse-style shopping environment.
     Woolworths, Coles and IGA supermarkets tend to have
     a wider range of products.

22   Destination Griffith issue 03
The major Internet
providers in Australia are:
   •   Telstra-Bigpond
   •   Optus
   •   Vodafone
   •   iiNet
   •   TPG
   •   iPrimus
   •   Dodo

How can I access the internet                              Finally, please remember that you are signing a contract
                                                           when you sign up for an Internet or mobile phone plan -
and get a mobile phone?                                    a legally binding agreement. It is important to carefully
Australia has high-speed Internet access and 3G/4G         consider your situation, budget, requirements and
mobile phone networks. As a Griffith student you           remaining length of stay before you make a decision.
will receive free Internet access on-campus – with         You may want to find an Internet provider that offers
computers in the library and computer labs – and           month-to-month contracts or choose a pre-paid
through your own laptop, tablet or smart phone using       mobile phone plan, rather than being locked into a two-
our wireless network.                                      year contract.

Each international student receives 5GB of downloads       Where can I practise my
per month; however, any downloads used in off-peak
periods (all weekend and between 5pm and 8am on            religion?
weekdays) don’t contribute to this total. The 5GB          Australia has no official state religion and people are
refreshes on the first day of each month. If you exceed    free to practise any religion they choose. Christianity
your limit, you can still access the Internet, but your    is the most common religion in Australia, however due
browsing speed will be reduced. You can also purchase      to our multicultural society, most other major religious
additional data if necessary, and during off-peak hours    faiths are also practised. If you’re asked about your
you can browse at the normal high speeds regardless of     beliefs, don’t be offended. Australians openly talk about
your quota balance.                                        most things, including their religious beliefs, and may
If you are living off-campus, you may want to set up       simply be interested to learn more about a religion they
Internet access in your home. To see which provider and    aren’t familiar with.
plan will best meet your needs and budget, visit           Griffith has prayer room facilities at all five of                                   our campuses:
You may be able to use your mobile phone in Australia      • Nathan: Centre for Interfaith & Cultural
if your phone can access the Australian mobile network,      Dialogue (N35)
and you have international roaming turned on. Speak        • Gold Coast: International Building (G52) and
to your mobile phone carrier for more information.           Business 1 (G01) room 2.31
Please note that this service can be very expensive,
                                                           • Mt Gravatt: International Building (M14) room 4.19
so the best thing to do is to buy an Australian SIM card
when you arrive.                                           • Logan: Community Place (L04) room 1.41
                                                           • South Bank: Non-Denominational Prayer Room
You can either go on a pre-paid or post-paid phone
                                                             (located underneath the C Block stairwell)
plan. Pre-paid is a good option if you have your own
phone (please ensure that it is ‘unlocked’ so you can      There are also a number of religious organisations at
use it on another carrier) or if you want to buy an        Griffith, including:
inexpensive handset. Pre-paid means that you will          • Griffith University Muslim Students Association
never have unexpected, expensive phone bills, and you        (GUMSA)
aren’t locked into a contract. Post-paid plans usually
                                                           • Campus Christian Movement (CCM)
come with a ‘free’ phone (or small monthly handset
repayments) and give you more included calls for your
money. However, you are usually locked into a two-year     • Evangelical Christian Students (Student Life)
contract, which you will have to pay out even if you
return home, lose or break your phone.                     Religous communities in Queensland website.
To compare mobile phone providers, visit          For some helpful           communities-in-qld has other helpful websites to
information on setting up a mobile phone in Australia,     get you familiarised with your local religious groups,
visit            services and places of worship.

                                                                                         Destination Griffith issue 03   23
Everything you need to know
     about life in Australia

     Beach and sun safety                                          Safety and security in Australia
     The sun in Queensland is very strong and you may find         In the event of an emergency, call 000 for police,
     that your skin will burn easily if you spend a lot of time    fire and ambulance services.
     outdoors. You need to use sun protection all year round,      The Queensland Police Service is dedicated to ensuring
     even in winter or on cloudy days, but especially if you’re    the safety and security of the community, including our
     on or in the water or at the beach.                           international students. Police often have a presence
     Protect yourself from the sun by:                             at major events such as music festivals and sporting
                                                                   games, and you might even see them at your local
     • Staying in the shade where possible
                                                                   shopping centre. If you ever feel in danger, do not
     • Wearing appropriate clothing such as a t-shirt with         hesitate to call the police or visit your nearest police
       sleeves and a collar, a hat, and sunglasses (your eyes      station as they are here to help you.
       can also be damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays)
                                                                   You can recognise Queensland police officers by their
     • Applying SPF30+ sunscreen every two hours.
                                                                   blue uniform: darkblue or navy pants and light-blue
     Australians love the beach and you will too! However          shirts. Their uniform also has a badge on each shoulder.
     keep in mind that most Australians are familiar with the      Police cars in Australia are usually white with a white
     beach and are strong swimmers, so don’t assume that           and blue check pattern around the car and large red and
     just because someone else is swimming in an area, that        blue flashing lights on top.
     you will be safe swimming there as well.
                                                                   For more information on the Queensland Police Service,
     Important safety tips to keep in mind when you’re at          and helpful hints and information on how to stay safe in
     the beach:                                                    Australia, please visit
     • Always swim between the red and yellow flags. These         cscp/visitors/default.htm
       flags show you the safe area of the beach that is           All Griffith campuses are patrolled by 24-hour Campus
       patrolled by lifeguards                                     Security. You can call Campus Security on 77777 from
     • Follow the lifeguards’ instructions                         the dedicated security phones located around campus
     • Swim close to the shore where you can still stand up        to escort you to and from your car or class if you are
                                                                   on-campus late at night or ever feel in danger.
     • If you don’t understand any flags or signs at the
       beach the lifeguards will be happy to explain them
       to you                                                      Campus         Location               Telephone
     • Don’t dive into any unknown water as there may be           Nathan         The Circuit            +61 (0)7 3735 7777
       hidden sandbanks, rocks and debris, and you can
       never be sure of the water depth.                                          Information Services
                                                                   Mt Gravatt                            +61 (0)7 3735 7777
                                                                                  Building (M23)
     Be aware that strong currents can pull people out to
     sea. These are known as rips. This is why it is important     GUQC           Foyer                  +61 (0)7 3735 6363
     to swim between the flags as the lifeguards can
     spot rips and will place the flags away from these
                                                                   QCA            Courtyard              +61 (0)7 3735 6200
     dangerous currents or will warn swimmers if there is
     one developing. If you feel yourself getting caught in                       Information Services
     a rip, don’t try to swim against it as you will simply tire   Logan                                 +61 (0)7 3382 1717
     yourself out. Instead, tread water and raise your hand to
     alert the lifeguard.                                                         Level 3, Business 1
                                                                   Gold Coast                            +61 (0)7 5552 7777
                                                                                  (near Student Guild)
     The Surf Lifesaving Queensland website has lots
     more useful tips on beach and sun safety in Australia         For more on-campus security tips, visit Griffith’s                                             Security Office website

24   Destination Griffith issue 03
Law and order: the Australian                                      Australian road rules
legal system                                                       For information on the road rules in Australia,
While you are in Australia, remember that you are                  try the following websites:
subject to all Australian laws. It is illegal to disobey           •
a police order, so you must follow any instructions                  Road-Rules
given by a police officer. If you find yourself in trouble
with the law, you can make an appointment with an
International Student Advisor who will be able to direct
you to the appropriate support services.                           •
If the matter is urgent, you can call the International
Student Advisors after-hours emergency number:
0418 159 419 (All campuses)
                                                                It is illegal to smoke inside most public places and within
Some useful tips on the law in Australia:
                                                                four metres of an entrance to a building. It is also illegal
• The legal drinking age in Australia is 18 and it is illegal   to smoke at patrolled beaches. On Griffith campuses,
  to supply people under 18 with alcohol                        it is prohibited to smoke inside all buildings or parts
• It is legal to drink alcohol in your home and purchase        of buildings, within five metres of air intakes, external
  alcohol at a bar, however it is illegal to be drunk           doors, open windows, ventilation louvres of buildings
  in public and to refuse to leave a bar if asked by a          and in certain designated outdoor areas. If you are with
  bouncer or police officer                                     other people, it is polite to ask them first if they mind
• It is legal to gamble at casinos, on pokies                   you smoking.
  (poker machines) or at a TAB, however it is not               If you drive a car in Australia, you must have a valid
  recommended as you can easily find yourself losing            Australian driver’s licence (or current overseas driver’s
  large amounts of money                                        licence) and obey all road rules - this includes stopping
• It is illegal to buy, sell or use illicit drugs including     at designated crossings to let pedestrians cross. You
  marijuana, amphetamines and opiates                           must always wear your seatbelt and the driver is
• It is illegal to carry weapons including knives and guns      responsible for ensuring all passengers are also wearing
                                                                their seatbelts. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle
• When riding a bicycle, motorbike or scooter you must          under the influence of alcohol (with a blood-alcohol
  wear a helmet                                                 content of more than 0.05 per cent) or illicit drugs.
• It is illegal to pay a bribe to a police officer or           It is also illegal to drive while using your mobile phone.
  government official
                                                                While driving, you may be pulled over by the police
• You can receive a fine for littering (including cigarette     for a random breath test (RBT). If this happens, you
  butts) or for spitting in public                              will be asked to blow into a device that measures your
• Discrimination against any person because of their            blood-alcohol content. The legal limit for drivers on an
  gender, race, nationality, political beliefs, religion,       open license in Australia is 0.05. It is better to be safe
  marital status, disability or sexual orientation is           than sorry, so if you are planning to drink, then do not
  not tolerated                                                 drive - catch a taxi, take public transport, or organise a
• Violence towards other people or property is a                designated (non-drinking) driver for the night.
  criminal offence
• You can be fined for making excessive noise at any
  time, but especially at night
• There are laws against mistreating and
  neglecting animals.

                                                                                                Destination Griffith issue 03   25
     Week - Your
     Guide to

 Remember to:
   Book your flights to arrive a few days before Orientation Week
   Check your welcome and orientation schedule at
   Check your Griffith email
   Get your student ID card from Student Administration
   Attend both your international welcome and orientation session and
   your school orientation session

26   Destination Griffith issue 03
We understand that studying away
from home can be daunting. That’s why
we have designed a comprehensive
orientation program for you. Orientation
Week covers all the important information
about living in Australia, studying at
Griffith and maintaining the conditions of
your student visa. Orientation Week will
also give you essential information about
your study program, Griffith School and
Griffith’s handy support services. You will
also get to meet the Griffith Mates who
will be on-campus during Orientation
Week organising social events and
answering questions.

                           Destination Griffith issue 03   27
Orientation Week -
     Your Guide to Griffith

     What’s on at Orientation Week?
     There are lots of social events and information sessions    • International Student Fair - hosted on the
     happening during this action-packed week. Here’s a list       Monday afternoon of Orientation Week at Nathan
     of the most important activities:                             and Gold Coast campuses. Meet the Griffith Mates,
     • Compulsory International Student Welcome                    enjoy traditional Australian food and snacks, learn
       and Orientation - presented by International                about support services available for international
       Student Advisors, this is an introduction to life at        students, meet Australian animals and listen to live
       Griffith, the essentials for staying safe and well in       music and entertainment.
       Australia, and what you need to know to maintain          • Campus Tours - the Griffith Mates will introduce
       your student visa conditions.                               you to your new campus including building locations,
     • Compulsory Global Mobility Inbound Student                  library, study areas, eateries and on-site facilities.
       Orientation - to welcome all new Study Abroad             • How to Improve Your English at Griffith
       and Exchange students to Griffith. The session              University - learn about the many services Griffith
       includes important information and advice for making        University facilitates to enhance your English
       the most of your experience abroad, and includes            language during your studies.
       activities, prizes, and competitions.                     • Twilight Walking Tours - discover your new city in
     • Compulsory School Orientation Sessions -                    this free walking tour hosted by the Griffith Mates.
       each Griffith School holds its own orientation session    • Gold Coast Beach Excursion - meet other new
       to provide all new students with information specific       students and enjoy a day exploring the Gold Coast
       to their field of study.                                    with a BBQ and beach games.
     • UniSmart - giving you a head start on university life     • Essential Shopping Tours - the Griffith Mates
       and how to make best use of the support services            will assist you with setting up the essentials for
       available to you.                                           life in Australia including bank account, phone and
     • Employment and Career Development for                       home basics.
       International Students - learn how the Careers            • Community Volunteering - connect with the local
       and Employment Service can help you with your job           environment at Bush Care, Brisbane or Beach Care on
       search and interview skills.                                the Gold Coast.
     • Fast Friends for First Years - fast paced and fun,
       Fast Friends is your chance to meet lots of other first   To view the Orientation Week schedule and plan out
       year students. Hosted by the Griffith Mates (current      your week, check out the online event planner at
       students) this workshop is a stress-free way to make
       new friends!
     • The Amazing Race - the Griffith Mates’ signature
       event of the semester! Form teams with other
       students and race around Brisbane or the Gold Coast
       visiting key landmarks and collecting points as you go.

28   Destination Griffith issue 03
Get ready to learn!
Whenever we survey our international students, we always receive positive
feedback on the lecturers and learning environment at Griffith. As you’ve taken
the extraordinary step of traveling around the world to study with us, it’s really
important to us that you have a good time.

Your time at Griffith will provide a stepping stone towards your future career,
and the modern, interactive and interesting learning environment we have           English Language
created will ensure your study experience with us is a high quality one.
                                                                                   Enhancement Course
However, adjusting to a new study environment and culture and, in some cases,
a new language, can be a big challenge. That’s why we have put together a          At Griffith, we know that studying in a second
range of academic support services that will give you the very                     language is both rewarding and challenging. To
best opportunity to do well at your studies.                                       make sure you have a solid English language
                                                                                   foundation for your full-degree program, we have
Learning support                                                                   developed the English Language Enhancement
                                                                                   Course (ELEC). Delivered by the award winning
Get online to find out more about these support services and get connected         Griffith English Language Institute, ELEC helps you
with them as soon as you arrive:                                                   to develop your oral and written academic English
• Course Convenors and Program Convenors - search on the Griffith                  language skills so you have the confidence and
  website for your program or course             competence to excel at your studies.
  The relevant staff and their contact details are listed under Student Support.
                                                                                   ELEC is a 10 credit point course that counts
• Academic Workshops - the library offers a range of free workshops,               towards your degree and is offered at no extra
  consultations and other services which can assist students to develop their      cost. It is compulsory in the first semester of
  academic, computing and library research skills         study for students with an academic IELTS below
  workshops-training                                                               7.0 and sub-scores below 6.5 (or equivalent)*.
• International Student Advisors - offer personal support, advice and              There are different ELEC streams depending
  information on issues that affect your life in Australia and your studies        on whether you are studying Business and
  at Griffith                   Commerce, Health, Science, Environment,
  international-student-advisors                                                   Engineering and Technology or the Arts. To find
• EnglishHELP program - English language support for students who are              out more go to:
  from a non-English speaking background               english-enhancement-course

We wish you all the very best for your study at Griffith!                          *subject to certain exemptions

                                                                                                        Destination Griffith issue 03   29
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