Frequently Asked Questions

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Is there Internet access at school and do I have to pay for it?

Yes, there is internet access at the Nortwest college and it is free. Students can access the internet from computers provided or they can bring their own laptops.

How many different nationalities are there in the classroom?

Nortwest college aims to have a good nationality mix in our classrooms. We anticipate 30% of students from Europe, 30% of students from South America, 35% of students from South-East Asia and 5% from the rest of the world.

What should be my English level to be eligible for studying at Nortwest college?

Nortwest college requires an IELTS or equivalent score of 5.5 (which is equal to an Upper-Intermediate level of English).

When are classes?

There are morning classes (8am-1:15pm) and evening classes (4:15pm-9:30pm) at the Nortwest college usually Mondays and Tuesdays or Wednesdays and Thursdays. (It is a visa condition for overseas students to study a full time course for at least 20 hours per week).

Can I apply for a student visa if I am not a student in my own country?

Yes. You do not have to be a student to apply for a student visa for Australia. However, you need to meet all the requirements to get a student visa granted.

Do I need a visa to study in Australia?

Yes. In order to study in Australia, you must hold a valid student visa. As an overseas student you can only study a full-time course (at least 20 contact hours per week).

Can I come to Australia on a tourist visa and change it for a student visa?

Only applicants from Assessment Level 1 (see Department of Immigration for more information on assessment levels) can apply for a student visa while in Australia. All other applicants can apply only in very special circumstances such as SVP. Click here for more information about SVP.

How long can I apply for?

The length of the visa depends on the duration of the course.

Can I travel while studying?

Yes. You can travel during semester breaks and during the time before or after you study. Australia has a huge range of places to see, from beautiful white sand beaches to striking outback settings, from multicultural metropolitan cities to small, quaint towns, and everything in between! Australia is also in close travel proximity with New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region so there are many travel options for you.

Do I need health insurance to obtain a student visa? What is Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?

It is compulsory to all overseas students to have health insurance to obtain a visa. You have to be insured for the whole period of study in Australia. OHSC is a health insurance that covers basic medical treatment, emergency transport, hospital treatment and visits to a general practitioner (GP). Part of your medical bill payment is returned by the insurance company (you can claim some of your money back). Contact us for more information about OSHC or to start or renew your insurance policy.

What is the Australian currency?

Australian currency is the Australian Dollar which has 100 cents.

Driving

Be aware that the traffic in Australia is on the left side of the road. The police are very strict on speeding, using mobile phones while driving and following the traffic rules in general. Police use undercover patrol cars, speed cameras and check on drink driving quite often.

What is Australian food? Can I eat at school and bring my own food?

There is a mixed range of food shops and restaurants available within walking distance from the college and you will find many places serving Italian, Spanish and Mexican, Indian, Chinese and Japanese food. And yes, you can bring your own food to school. We provide kitchenette where students can heat up and eat their food.

What kind of transport does Australia have? How much does it cost?

Australia has a wide range transport options including buses, trains and ferries.

What is the cost of living in Australia? What is a weekly budget for living expenses? How much money do I need to take with me?

The cost of living in Australia is cheaper than in other English speaking countries such as the UK and USA but it may not be as cheap as living at home with your family. Overseas students also have the opportunity to work on a part time basis and support themselves during their stay in Australia. A weekly budget will depend on your own requirements. We recommend to anticipate around $1,500 for basic expenses per month.

What kind of accommodation can I find in Australia?

There is a variety of accommodation available to suit different budgets and needs, including private accommodation or a homestay with an Australian family. Shared accommodation with other students is a popular option, and student noticeboards and newspapers often advertise rooms, apartments and houses for rent. If you decide for shared accommodation then you will be living with some other students who rent and share a unit or a house. Home stay gives the option of staying with an Australian family who takes care of you, but it is also more expensive. Other options are accommodation in hostel, backpackers or hotels. Prices in these vary from cheap to expensive.

Useful websites which will help you look for your own accommodation in Sydney are: www.domain.com.au , www.flatmates.com.au, www.justlisted.com.au,www.realestate.com.au and www.gumtree.com.au. If you are interested in boarding with Australian families (Homestay) please contact Homestay Network directly on www.homestaynetwork.com.au. Students should insist to inspect any accommodation before agreeing to move in.

How can I contact my family while I am in Australia?

You can use your mobile phone, home phone, Skype or buy a prepaid card for cheap phone calls to overseas.

Can I use my mobile in Australia?

Yes, you can use your mobile in Australia if your handset is unlocked and works on GSM 900/1800.

Can I ride a bike in Australia?

Yes, you can ride a bike in Australia. It is compulsory to wear a helmet.

What kind of sports are popular in Australia?

The most popular sport in Australia are: swimming, surfing, football. With its warm climate offers a great opportunity for outdoor sports. Australia has many beaches where people can surf, windsurf, scuba dive, and enjoy a nice day with family or friends. There are many opportunities to be active on a daily basis, for example rockclimbing, bicycling, basketball, hockey, windsurfing.

How can I get to the beach and how far is it from the city?

It is quite easy to get to a beaches from the city (Sydney), depending on where you live. The closest beaches to Sydney CBD are Bondi, Bronte, Maroubra, Coogee, Cronulla, and Manly. All beaches are accessible by bus, train, ferry or car.

What if I am under 18 years of age?

Nortwest college does not accept any students under 18 years.Contact us for further information if you are under 18 or visit Department of Immigration website.

Do I need a permit to start working in Australia?

On a student visa, you cannot work until you have commenced your course in Australia. Once your course has commenced you are permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session, and unlimited hours when your course is not in session.

What type of job can I get as a student?

It depends on your level of English and work previous experience. Students mostly work in hospitality, bars and restaurants, cleaning and construction.

How many hours can I work as a student?

Once your course has commenced you are permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session, and unlimited hours when your course is not in session.