In the previous two parts of my story I described my endeavors to seek for the researcher seat for PhD in Australia. In the first part I revealed all issues and peculiarities related to admission documents and requirements set to international students to be enrolled to any Australian university. I was there in the country and I could tell on how I got to know with it, how the university looked like from inside and what my new thesis topic was like. Now I’m going to focus your attention to minor but very essential topic as the cost for food, mobile communication and accommodation. By the way, I snatch all opportunities to tell about the nature peculiar to each region and other points of interest.
How my money slipped through my fingers?
The item of expenditure is the most thrilling point an international student. I am not going to hide the truth and mask the amount of my Postgraduate Award Industry. I made sure by myself that in practice that amount was not that high that it could appear. The scholarship amount was a bit higher than the university scholarship. I was paid A$1100(the Australian dollar is approximately equal to the U.S.D.)
once/two weeks that annually mad A$28 000 (APAI - Australian Postgraduate Award Industry). That amount I spent to cover airline expenses which made about 700 Euro. I am extremely happy to get such an amount as an allowance to live on a good level though Sydney is known to be one the most expensive cities in the world. Thus, all my dreams on living a luxury and comfortable life were found tough.
Accommodation costs in Sydney
It takes $130 to $230 to rent a flat or a house in Sydney for 7 days. Just a week! The cost is reduced in case of co-tenants to share the rent fee. The rent fee value depends on the place and surroundings. A single flat or a studio will take the third of the scholarship amount, which amounts to almost A$300 per week just for living.
Though, all good things come to he who wait and seeks and accommodation prices can be browsed online, for example, at http://www.realestate.com.au.
Cost for food and other commodities
Food is not cheap in here but residents are quite fine with that, yet everyone does what it needs. It took me $60 to $80 per week for food, on average. Here, a cup of coffee at the student fast-court is $3, and lunch - about $6-8.
You will have a kilo of beef for $18-20. It may sound too much money but real Brazilian- and Australian-origin beef is something special to taste.
Fruits are of superior value in here. They are always fresh and tasty. The hint: wholesale buying is preferred to cut the cost cheaper.
Isolated location of the country tells on the limited choice of goods. The average wage is enough though to purchase what is required. The stuff not marketed might be ordered through online auctions like ebay. This is a good choice to cut prices and save money.
As for mobile communication, the prices are smaller with the great choice of billing plans. Residents and students prefer contractual plans for a period of 1 to 2 years. In general, about A$60 is enough to get a good device with unlimited SMS, call credits and certain Internet traffic.
Urban travel and public transport
The city is well divided into districts with Sydney to be its only business center. All other places are thought as suburbs. As for me, I studied in the suburb where the Macqaurie University was located in 20 km away from the business center.
That’s interesting that public service transport is not cheap. Moreover, no discard system is allowed for students. The trip distance is responsible for the fee. The minimum charge for one bus trip is A$2.10.
Suburbian train is another option. It will take A$6.80 to travel from the university station to the business center and back. Prices change due to seasons, months and weeks. By the way, only Macqaurie University has its own station among all other universities.
How to get a vehicle in Australia
Sydney is an overextended city and it sounds reasonable to try to save and get a used car. That’s not so easy but quite feasible. Prices for cars are not so striking to quit. So, a used Toyota (12-15 mileage) is available for A$3000 or even less. The city adopts left-hand traffic and thus, it might cause some problems in the very beginning for those who are not used to it, but it’s a matter of time.
Prices for fuel go up and down depending on particular days of the week with the average of $1.3 to $1.5 per liter. I noticed that on Tuesdays and Wednesdays the prices were lower – $1.05/L.
Prices for cars may be estimated on the page of carsales.com.au.
Cars in Australia are known for high quality and long service period, indeed. It takes about $600 per year to have a car registered. The tax is paid for the cost of the car.
Weather in Australia
Australia is a huge “island” and the climate is variable in here. The weather is moderately cold with lower humidity rate in Melbourne and is a bit warmer in Adelaide. It’s warmer in Sydney though I found Darwin and Brisbane to be more humid. Perth is a happy medium to be not so cold and not so moist in there.
The weather temperature in Sydney in summer time (December to February) is 26°C, it is sometimes warm, sometimes – too hot in here. It is a little bit more humid in summer though it causes no discomfort. The Australian winter comes from June to August with the average temperature of 16°C. It’s sometimes cold at nights since heating system is not used in Australia though in the daytime it is very comfortable to breathe and walk.
January and February are the warmest month to swim, just for note. Otherwise you will need a wetsuit to swim as water is very cold.
That should be highlighted: Australia is inhabited with 8 out of 10 most dangerous and poisonous spiders. It’s questionable if you meet even one of them in your daily life. That’s quite difficult. Though your chances increase in proportion to your place of residence. The northern parts of the country are more housed with them and if you live in the very northern area in the country, your chances are growing then.
Sharks and sea wasps also live in northern waters.
My overview of Australia
Resume: this is the country that boils in its grooving and placid life. Safety is set to the highest priority and thus, no one feels worried about extreme or criminal cases; serious crime is not common in here. Pedestrians are respected go by crosswalks though I met several hot rodders there.
This is kind of paradise for children: they are offered a world of playgrounds and other entertainments to enjoy the place.
Medicine is for free as compared to that in other countries. Dentistry and other minor medical service are paid, though.
P.S. I believe Australia is the perfect place in the world to live and study.
I am rather pleased with where I am, with my student life, people, climate and weather. The country gave me a good run for all of these and I had to get to know many new things to open for the first time and broaden my outlook.
I might miss something in my story. It is absolutely impossible to describe a good deal of life in paper. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that my experience will be of good value for a lot more people to pave the way for study and life in Australia.