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«Gurkhas Institute of Technology Pty. Ltd., trading as RGIT Australia. National Provider No. 22088 ABN 68 127 999 CRICOS Code 03002G. Student Handbook ...»

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• Spring: September-November (7-18°C) The weather can be quite unpredictable and can experience four seasons in a day. It is not uncommon to see snowfall at Mount Wellington during summertime!

3. Language English is the official language for Australians. They are minor differences in accents between other English speaking countries as well as difference between city areas and country areas. And there is much to learn about the unique Australian slang!

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However, significant numbers of people speak language other than English at home, around 6 percent of Hobart population (Australian average being 18.2 percent). Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, French are the common languages other than English spoken at home.

4. Religion Australia is a predominantly Christian country. However, all religions are represented. Australians respect freedom of choice of people to practice their religion and have churches, mosques, temples and synagogues situated in most major cities.

5. Healthcare Australia has a very good healthcare system. All Australians pay a Medicare levy (additional tax) to fund the public health system to ensure that everyone has access to public-system doctors, hospitals and other healthcare services.

People who pay extra into a private health insurance fund receive extra privileges when using private healthcare services. You will find the usual healthcare services available in Australian suburbs. Most institutions provide healthcare advice, and sometimes healthcare services, like counselling, for students. International students studying in Australia are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of their student visa (See, Student Visa Obligations, in this section).

6. Food Australia has a fantastic variety of food. Its top quality meat, fish, fruits and vegetables are exported to markets worldwide. There is a large range of fruit and vegetables available at Australian produce markets. Students should have no difficulty finding the foods that they are used to at home. Good food at reasonable prices can be found at bistros, cafés and Aussie pubs. For those who like takeaway, most of the major global fast food chains are well represented. The adventurous might want to sample Australia’s bush tucker and national specialties like Kangaroo and Crocodile.

7. Sports and Recreation Australians are very keen on sport and outdoor activities and have gained a worldwide reputation as tough competitors in individual and team sporting events. Australia has more than 120 national sporting organisations and thousands of state and regional sporting bodies. Australians are also enthusiastic about bushwalking, fishing, boating and water sports. Hobart has a wide range of beautiful parks, natural reserves, sporting facilities and high quality recreational facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

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8. Festivals and Entertainment There are plenty of festivals happening around Hobart all year round to entertain the locals as well as visitors from interstate or other countries. Major ones include: Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, Dark MOFO, Royal Hobart Regatta, Sustainable Living Festival, Taste of Tasmania, Ten days on the Island, MONA FOMA, Cygnet Folk Festival, Festival of Voices, Hobart International Tennis, and Tasmanian International Arts Festivals.

RGIT Hobart Campus is located in the heart of Hobart and within the central business district. It is an easy walking distance to various beautiful Parks, Malls, Post Office, State Library, Museum, Cafés, historic Salamanca precinct and the Hobart Wharf. There are plenty of opportunities for International Students to have an enjoyable time with friends.

9. Multiculturalism.

More than 100 ethnic groups are represented in Australia, making it one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Australia’s dynamic multiculturalism can be attributed to its unique combination of indigenous cultures, early European settlement and immigration from all parts of the world.

Australians value the wealth of cultural diversity and social sophistication that international students bring to our campuses and communities. RGIT takes great care in looking after international students and helping them to adjust to the Australian way of life. International students also gain great benefits from their education in Australia and make lifelong friendships.

10. Electricity The electrical current in Australia is 240/250 volts AC, 50 cycles. The Australian three-pin plug is absolutely safe. Adaptors are usually required for most foreign appliances. A transformer may be required if students bring an appliance from overseas that operates on a different voltage.

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12. Telephones Australia has a modern telecommunications system with mobile and internet access generally available at low cost. Public telephones are available at all post offices, shopping centres and are often situated on street corners. Public pay phones accept a variety of coins and phone cards. Phone cards are prepaid for use in public pay phones and can be bought at a large number of retail outlets such as post offices and newsagents in denominations of $A5, $A10, $A20 and $A50. Credit phones take most major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard and can be found at international and domestic airports, central city locations and hotels. Mobile phones are very popular and can be purchased from a number of retailers.





13. Budgeting Students should work out a budget that covers accommodation, food, transport, clothing and entertainment. Childcare, if applicable, should also be taken into account. For more information on Living in Australia costs, visit www.studyinaustralia.gov.au

14. Travel During semester breaks, students might like to venture beyond Hobart to experience more of Australia’s distinctive and diverse natural environments, unique wildlife, spectacular landscapes, including many National Parks and World Heritage Areas within Tasmania. Alternatively, they may visit interstate like Melbourne, Sydney, Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and get a feel of Australia’s amazing beauty and diverse cultures.

15. Money and banks When students first arrive, money from other countries can be changed at the exchange facilities located at international airports, banks and major hotels.

Travellers’ cheques are easier to use if already in Australian dollars, however,

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banks will cash travellers’ cheques in virtually any currency. Major hotels and some shops, depending on individual store policy, will also cash travellers’ cheques. It is a good idea to set up an Australian bank account. You will need to provide visa details and evidence of residency. Banking services in Australia are extremely competitive. All major banks have branches in cities and regional centres. Most shopping centres have Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) facilities.

These machines can be used for deposits and, in many instances, withdrawals 24-hours-a-day. Many department stores, supermarkets and specialist shops have electronic transfer terminals (EFTPOS) where cash withdrawals can also be made in addition to purchasing goods. More information on banking is available at www.studyinaustralia.gov.au. Normal bank trading hours Monday to Thursday 9.30 am – 4.00 pm Friday 9.30 am – 5.00 pm.

Some banks are open Saturday mornings, please check with your provider.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are widely accepted around Australia. The most commonly accepted credit cards are Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club.

Currency: Australia uses a dollars and cents system of decimal currency with 100 cents in a dollar. The bank notes in use are $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins used are the silver-coloured 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent coins and the gold-coloured $1 and $2 coins.

Tipping: Tipping is not the general custom in Australia and service charges are not added to accounts by hotels and restaurants. In better class restaurants however, it is usual to tip food and drink waiters up to 10% of the bill for good service. Porters have set charges at railway terminals, but not at hotels.

However, at any time, tipping is a matter of individual choice.

16. Finding Accommodation The following types of accommodation are available for international students.

Home Stay: This option is an opportunity for students to live in a private home, with a local family, couple or single person and learn about Australian life. You may need to compromise with living arrangements as you will need to fit in with the household’s routines and expectations. You will need to think about the things that are important to you. You may need to ask about how adaptable meal times are in relation to your studies and other commitments. You may also want to consider how the other people will feel about your friends visiting, your music and the hours that you keep. There are different types of home stay

arrangements:

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1. Full Board: usually includes a furnished room (bed, desk, lamp, and wardrobe), three meals per day and bills (electricity, gas and water, but not telephone and internet). Some homestay providers may even do your laundry.

2. Half Board: Usually includes a furnished room (bed, desk, lamp, and wardrobe) and bills (electricity, gas and water, but not telephone and internet). You have the use of the cooking and laundry facilities in the house.

3. Board in Exchange: Usually means free, or low cost, accommodation (including bills), in return for household duties such as cleaning, or childcare.

Lease/Rent: Renting an apartment or house is done through a real estate agent. You must sign a contract called a “lease” to rent the house, either month-by-month, or sometimes a 6-month, 12-month or 2-year lease is required.

The lease entitles you to private use of the property for the duration of the lease.

The advantage of this is privacy and independence. You must pay a bond (the equivalent of one month’s rent, to cover any damage you may do to the premises). You are responsible for paying all bills (except water and council rates), maintenance of the property and providing all your own furniture and household items. If you choose a house or apartment in a popular area, there will be much competition. The real estate agent selects the tenants who they believe are the most stable and able to meet the requirements of the lease.

The following types of accommodation are available with its approximate cost

per week:

1. Full Board (Home stay): A$110.00 - A$270.00

2. Half Board: A$ 70.00 - A$ 100.00 (plus expenses)

3. Board in Exchange: Free or low cost (below A$70.00)

4. leasing a House/Flat (shared): A$80.00 - A$300.00 (unfurnished)

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Cost of Living Australia is a sophisticated, friendly country that enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world. Hobart is a reasonably priced city providing good quality living and accommodation.

According to the Australia Government website www.studyinaustralia.gov.au, the average international student in Australia spends about $360 per week on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transport, international and domestic travel and other incidental costs. Students will need a minimum of AUD $18,600 per year (excluding tuition) to cover living expenses. The cost of living, however, depends a lot on the kind of accommodation a student chooses. A married student with dependents will need approximately an additional AUD $4,000 per year for each dependent.

Below is a price table of typical daily items. This is only a guide. Remember that you can shop around for items, such as clothing and shoes, to find a cheaper source.

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For a full list of our policies and procedures please visit our website www.rgit.edu.au or ask our friendly Student Administration staff.

Hobart Campus:

162 Macquarie Street, Hobart TAS 7000 T: (+61 3) 6217 9000, 1300 844 866 | Free Call: 1800 844 866 Email: hobart@rgit.edu.au

Head Office:

Postal: GPO Box 5466, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia Fax: (+61 3) 8639 9001 Email: admin@rgit.edu.au Website: www.rgit.edu.au

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