OzTREKK Ambassadors: Top tips for international students

19 November 2019

Update on Transportation, OSHC Coverage, Jobs, Finances (Transferring Money)

Biking is cheap and keeps you in shape!

This blog is an update on all things that I have posted about before and is a must-read for international students travelling to Australia (and The University of Queensland) for any program.


As I mentioned in my previous blog about transportation, I have had a few students message me about if they should buy a car or look into renting one.  I would highly suggest that you would not spend money on buying or renting a car.  You will have friends here that will have a car and or there are many different car renting companies that you can use for day trips etc.

The transportation system in Brisbane is very good and your GoCard works for all buses, trains and ferries in the city and beyond (Gold coast etc).  You also get concession when you register your student card so it’s around 50% off all trips, which is very good.  But if you don’t want to spend the money on the bus, I would highly suggest buying a cheap bike to ride to school (depending on how far you live).  I bought a decent bike and it is way faster to get to campus, better for your health (gets you in shape), and I’m finding myself to be more focused in school in those early morning classes getting a little bit of exercise pre-class time.  You can find a good bike on either Facebook marketplace or Gumtree (their version of Kijiji).

OSHC Coverage

Over the course of the last 5–6 months I have found out what is all included in our OSHC (Overseas Student Health Coverage) from Allianz Global Assistance. You need to buy this before they will accept you into the country so it’s a good idea to understand what this health coverage gets you and if you need any extra. Good thing I’m going to tell you everything you need and what this health coverage entails!

Need an x-ray? Covered.

So I cannot with 100% certainty say that if you go private that this will cover everything, but if you go through your campus clinic on UQ most of the things I’m going to say will be covered/have been for myself.  Any prescription medicine will either be totally covered or make it very cheap rather than private health care coverage.  All and I repeat all x-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds will be covered by Allianz if you need them (because I’ve had all those so far and haven’t paid one penny).  They will be covered right away so you won’t need to pay and be reimbursed which is nice.  If you want more info visit this website: https://peoplecare.com.au/Health-insurance/Overseas-students–visitors/OSHC-Extras/Overseas-Student-Health-Cover

Not Covered
Things that are not covered are dental visits, physio, chiro, other assessments from specialists unless you buy into their extended heath care which can be found here: https://peoplecare.com.au/Health-insurance/Overseas-students–visitors/OSHC-Extras/OSHC-Extras


Before I was talking about the fact that I wanted a job and I can safely say that I am now employed in the hospitality industry and have been working for two weeks. There was speculation and talks within the OzTREKK Facebook group that you cannot work in a restaurant on a student 500 visa (or else this would void your visa) which is only half true.

If you want to work in the hospitality industry while you study on a student 500 visa you can but first your need to get your RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certification.

You can get your RSA certification. Just be sure it’s from a CRICOS-registered provider.

This is where it gets tricky.  There are many places offering the RSA but are not registered under CRICOS as a certified provider.  If you take the RSA under one of these institutes you will void your visa and may be deported because of it. There is only one available RSA course offered by a CRICOS certified venue and that is from this website: http://www.qii.qld.edu.au/news-events/responsible-service-of-alcohol-rsa-intake-dates-for-september-2019.html

Once you have this you can apply for any hospitality job. If you don’t want to have a job within the hospitality field you can look up student jobs which is posted on UQ’s website: https://studenthub.uq.edu.au/Employers/Services_for_employers.chpx

That or go on

The minimum you will earn will be around $20 so even a part-time job can really help with paying off rent, food, and monthly bills.


Over the last couple of months the CAD – AUD has been very good (in our favour).  I just am adding this to reiterate this as the best mode of transferring your CAD funds into AUD funds.  Currently as I type this the transfer rate is 1 CAD = 1.1255 AUD which is great.  If you want to use TransferWise once you arrive in Aus follow this link below: https://transferwise.com/u/anthonyc201

Hope this helps!

First-year UQ Physiotherapy student


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