Australia is serviced by a number of large reputable banks with many branches throughout Sydney. You can usually open a bank account online. Some accounts attract monthly service fees if you do not deposit a certain amount each month so it is important to read fee information before opening an account. There is only one bank with a branch located on our Kensington campus, and that is the Commonwealth Bank. However, there are many ATMs on campus where you can withdraw money. If you want to visit a bank branch there are a number of different bank branches in nearby Randwick. Australia is a leader in online banking and you will be able to pay most bills and transfer money easily online with an Australian bank account.
Some providers are listed below. Please note this is not a complete list and students should make their own investigations into a suitable banking institution.
The University has free Wi-Fi on campus, however if you want internet at home you will need to contact an internet provider. Many internet providers in Australia are also mobile or fixed phone carriers and offer pre-paid or contract internet plans that you can sign up to. If you sign up to a contract service, you will receive a modem and pay a monthly rate to get a certain data allowance.
You also have the option of ‘Bundles’ with most providers where you can combine your home phone and internet together for a set monthly rate. Often this can include unlimited data, but you need to check with the company the terms and conditions, as most monthly plans have a minimum of 12 – 24 months that you are contracted to the plan.
Some internet providers are listed below, however you need to do your own research to find the best internet provider and plan that will suit your needs.
Factsheet: mobile phone stores near UNSW
Australia has several large telecommunication companies who provide mobile phone plans both pre-paid (no contract) and post-paid (with contract). Most plans include a monthly dollar value for calls and text messages and a certain data amount. These prices remain fixed when talking or texting anyone in Australia; however, international calls and text messages attract higher costs. It is important to consider your budget and whether you will be using your own compatible handset on an Australian mobile phone plan. To get a mobile phone plan, visit one of the store locations of the companies below and make sure to take identification with you.
TIP: Pre-paid options help you budget your spending on your mobile phone as you pay for phone credit upfront.
Fixed landline home phones
If your property has a working home phone line socket you can usually connect a landline phone. If you intend to have a fixed home phone line make sure you ask if the property has a working phone line before moving in. The advantages of a home phone are cheaper local and international calls than a mobile phone. You will still pay a monthly access fee and may be required to enter into a contract for 12 – 24 months.
TIP: Think about bundling home phone and internet into a package with one provider for a better deal.
Some home phone providers:
Gas and electricity
You will need to get your electricity connected as soon as you move into a rented property. In some cases you will need to also get gas connected for stove tops, ovens and sometimes hot water systems. Ask about gas and electricity when you are inspecting rental properties and share houses. Budget between $35 - $140 a week for energy costs.
TIP: Avoid using clothes dryers as they increase electricity bills substantially.
Some gas and electricity companies:
If you are renting an apartment you will not be required to pay for water usage. If you are renting a house you will be required to pay for water on a quarterly basis (every 3 months) unless otherwise indicated in the tenancy agreement. Water usage will vary on the number of tenants so budget about $20 - $50 a month for water usage in an entire house.
TIP: If you are in a house and paying for water usage, make sure you keep your showers to 5 minutes or under.