Student Health Insurance

As an international student in Australia, you are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your study in Australia. But there are also other types of insurance which you may find useful.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

International students undertaking formal studies in Australia, and their dependents (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old), must obtain OSHC. It includes cover for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals (medicines). OSHC insurers can provide a range of different OSHC products. These may range from a basic product which covers only the compulsory minimum services to comprehensive products which cover, in addition to the compulsory minimum services, extra services as specified under the particular policy. Learn more about OSHC, including a list of the providers at www.privatehealth.gov.au.

The Department of Home Affairs requires overseas students to maintain OSHC for the duration of time they are in Australia. For further information please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Home and contents insurance

Home and contents insurance covers the building you live in and your belongings, such as furniture, clothes and appliances. If you rent a property, building insurance is the responsibility of the owner and you do not need to worry about it. But contents insurance is worth considering if you have valuable items you couldn’t afford to replace very easily if something happened to them.

Vehicle insurance

If you purchase a car, motorbike or other vehicle you will need to consider what type of insurance you will need to purchase. Depending on what state or territory of Australia you live in there may be compulsory insurance you need to purchase.  For example, in NSW you must purchase Compulsory Third Party insurance which covers you for personal injuries caused to someone else in an accident. You should check with the relevant government agency in your state or territory to find out what, if any, compulsory insurance you might need.

You can also choose to purchase vehicle insurance that covers your car for accidental damage, malicious damage, theft, fire, flood or storm. There are a wide range of providers in Australia that offer vehicle insurance so make sure you research your options and consider what your specific insurance needs are before you purchase vehicle insurance.

Banking

Australia has a range of choices when it comes to managing your money, from banks that cover the whole country to local credit unions and building societies.  Here are some quick tips on setting up your bank accounts.

  • You can set up a bank account before or after you arrive.
  • To open an account you will need to have your Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE), passport, Letter of Offer and other forms of identification
  • You may also need an Australian Tax File Number (TFN). You can find information about getting a TFN at the Australian Tax Office website.
  • Financial or student support officers at your university or college will be able to give you information on how to set up a bank account.
  • You can also read advice from the Australian Government’s Moneysmart website.

Accessing your money

You can withdraw your money at automatic teller machines (ATMs) which can be found all over Australia. It is generally free to withdraw money from an ATM that is associated with your financial provider.  Be aware that if you use another provider’s ATM they will usually charge you a fee. The ATM will advise you of the fee at the point of withdrawal.

Even if you haven’t set up a bank account before you get here, most ATMs recognise international cards, so you will be able to use your credit or debit card from your home country. Just remember that there are fees associated with withdrawing money from your home account including transaction fees and the currency exchange rate. These vary by provider so check with your home financial provider before you arrive in Australia.

Moving money overseas or to Australia

Australian banks offer various services for moving money to and from Australia. For all these services, fees and charges will apply. These can be found on financial provider websites.

You can have funds electronically transferred into your Australian bank account from overseas banks. To send money to another country you will need to provide the banking details of the person you wish to send money to. Your financial provider will then electronically transfer the funds from your account to their account.