Sydney, Australia General Information

Main Language – English

Time – Sydney is within Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). Australian Eastern Daylight Time(AEDT) is used in New South Wales, where clocks are put forward one hour on the first Sunday in October and put back one hour on the first Sunday in April.

Currency – Australian Dollar AUD$

Climate – Australia has four seasons. In Sydney the average temperatures are:

  • Summer – December to February : 18.6 - 25.8°C (65.5 - 78.4°F)
  • Autumn – March to May : 14.6 - 22.2°C (58.3 - 72°F)
  • Winter – June to August : 8.8 - 17°C (47.8 - 62.6°F)
  • Spring – September to November : 11 - 23°C (51.8 - 73.4°F)

Emergency Number – 000

Phone Area Codes – 61 (Australia) 02 (Sydney)

Customs and Etiquette

Greetings – When meeting someone for the first time, it is polite to shake their right hand. In Australia generally people call each other by their first names.

Clothing - The dress in Australia has emerged from country living, modern leisure activities and beach culture.

There are no laws or regulations about clothing in Australia. Most people dress to suit the weather, situation and their own style.

Australian Slang – Although the official language is English, most Australian’s use slang. This might be confusing at first but ask if you are confused and anyone will be happy to explain the slang’s meaning.

Sports – There are so many different sports played in Australia which are a favourite way to socialise for many people.

Entertainment – There are many different forms of entertainment in Australia including, food, art, film, culture, fashion, music and sport. These reflect the multiculturalism of the country and are a fun thing to do with friends.

Health and Safety

Australia is a safe country to live and study in, however it is still important that you take care of your personal health and safety.

Emergency Services – ‘000’ – This number is free from all phones and it is direct to the police, fire and ambulance. It is also recommended to download the Emergency + app on your phone, so you have the information needed if you are in an emergency.

emergency services

Beach Safety – Australia has some of the most stunning beaches in the world, however they do present some potential risks. Please ensure you swim between the red and yellow flags and in a location where lifeguards can see you.

Lifeguards patrol beaches between September and March during the day, ensure you swim at beaches with lifeguards, such as Bondi and Balmoral to stay safe. For more information on beach safety click here.

Sun Protection – Although the sun is nice and warm, Australia experiences some of the highest UV radiation in the world, so it is important that you protect yourself from the sun to present skin burn. Ensure you apply sunscreen (SPF +15 or SPF +30) to all exposed skin. You should reapply your sunscreen every three to four hours when in the sun.

Useful Contact Numbers

  • If there is an emergency and you require ambulance, fire brigade or police : 000
  • Home doctor service : 137 425 / 13 SICK
  • Health Direct 24-hour helpline : 1800 022 222

24 Hour Counselling and Psychological Support

  • Lifeline : 131 114
  • Beyond Blue : 1300 224 636
  • Suicide call back service : 1300 659 467

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

  • 1800 Respect : 1800 424 017
  • NSW Rape Crisis : 1800 211 028
  • Sexual Assault Counselling Australia : 1800 211 028

Local Police Station

  • Day Street Police Station : 02 9265 6499
  • Surry Hills Police Station : 02 9265 4144
  • Glebe Police Station : 02 9552 8099

Local Hospital

  • If there is an emergency and you require an ambulance : 000
  • Sydney Hospital : 02 9382 7111
  • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital : 02 9515 6111

Legal and Advocacy Services

  • Redfern Legal Centre : 02 9698 7277
  • Overseas Student Ombudsman : 1300 362 072

Phone Area Codes – 61 (Australia) 02 (Sydney)


Living in Australia

Australians love the coastline and therefore all our major cities are located alone a body of water and majority of people live in cities and urban centres along the coastline.

In Australia it is common for couples to live together before being married or men and women living in a share-house together with friends or roommates.

Living in Sydney

LIHE is located in Sydney city, which is the capital of New South Wales (NSW). It is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world and attracts thousands of visitors a year both domestically and internationally due to its natural parklands and beach lifestyle. Sydney is also the most populated city in Australia with over 4,500,000 people.

Sydney Harbour is situated in the centre of Sydney and provides a spectacular view, with a wide range of places to eat, and activities to do.

If you would like to explore the many things to do and events in Sydney it is recommended you visit - or Sydney is a great location with many places to travel for a day trip or for a weekend away on your days off study and work. For an inspiration of these places visit -

Accommodation Styles

Depending on your preference there are many styles of accommodation in Sydney.

- Hostels and Guesthouses - $90 - $150 per week
Budget hotels and guesthouses typically involve accommodation in a dormitory or a private room excluding meals and are common among language or short course students and backpackers. Costs vary between A$90 to A$150 per day. Electricity and gas are usually included.

- Shared Accommodation - $95 - $215 per week
This usually involves the payment of bond (commonly 2 weeks rent), which is refundable if the room is vacated in good condition. Telephone, gas and electricity costs are shared between the tenants. Prices can vary between A$100 and A$300 per week depending on size, location and facilities. Notice boards, newspapers and are generally the most common places to find share accommodation.

- Homestay - $200 - $300 per week
Home-stay accommodation is popular among English language students and involves living with an Australian family in a shared or private room. Home-stay accommodation is arranged privately by the student at homestaynetwork. Homestay can cost anywhere between A$200 and A$300 per week inclusive of most meals.

- Rental house or apartment - $250 - $700 per week
Rental properties involves the signing of a lease contract and paying a 4-week government held bond, which is refundable if the dwelling is left in good condition. Lease contracts are typically 12 months or six months in length. Multi room units and houses can be anything from $250 - $700 or more per week depending on the size and location.

Please note: These prices are an estimate and can vary depending on the market and your personal preference.

Living Expenses / Cost of Living

The Australian Government requires students to have the funds to meet living costs. This amount is $21,041 (Australian dollars) per year. Your living cost will vary depending on your lifestyle and personal preferences.

Estimated Living Expenses (per person)

Food and Groceries – $80 - $280 per week (The best places to get your groceries would be the local supermarkets including, Coles, Woolworths and Aldi).

Gas and Electricity - $10 - $20 per week

Phone and Internet - $15 - $30 per week

Public Transport - $30 - $60 per week

Entertainment / Socialising - $80 - $150 per week

Please note: All these prices are averages and estimates, and do not includes items such as; textbooks, clothing, gym memberships and medical expenses.


Sydney has a large range of transportation network available, that is easy to use. LIHE city campus is located in the Central Business District or CBD of Sydney.

Visit the transport NSW website to plan you trip on public transport and find out any details.

If you ever require assistance on public transport, there is always a staff member around the stations who will be happy to help you.

Trains – Sydney has many train lines that cover the greater Sydney suburban region. You can catch a train in all directions from Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD). The trains run from 4am to midnight on most train lines. You can view more information about the trains at Transport Sydney Trains website.

A map of the train network can be found here.

The closest station to LIHE city campus is the Central station, which is Sydney’s largest train station and located in the centre of the city.

Each colour on the map represents a different train line. For example to get to Eastwood station you will need to travel on T9 (the red line).

Circled (in brown) are the airport lines. When you arrive at Sydney airport, you can catch the train into the city.

Bus – Sydney Buses operate in the city and cover most of Sydney’s surrounding suburbs, almost 24 hours a day. The wait times can be between 5-20 minutes. You can use the trip planner to look up buses and plan your travel. Make sure when you are coming close to your destination stop press the red stop button close to your seat on the bus, so that the driver knows you want to get off the bus and stops accordingly.

Ferries – On a relaxing day, a ferry is a great way to see the beautiful sceneries and travel to popular destinations such as Taronga Zoo and Manly Beach. Hopping on a ferry at the Circular Quay terminal is easy. You can view the ferry timetable here.

Tickets – You can access all public transport with an Opal Card, which you can purchase online, or from a registered retailer, or at any station, including the airport train station. You cannot travel on public transport without an opal card or a single trip ticket or a day travel ticket.

  • If you are a domestic full-time student you may be eligible for a concession card, however you must ensure you have your student ID with you at all times.
  • International students are currently unable to receive concession cards, so you will need to purchase an adult card or a ticket.

Remember, you need to tap on and tap off with your Opal card to avoid being charged a higher rate.

Taxis/Cabs – You can hail a taxi/cab from the kerb on the street or at designed areas. You can also book online or call:

Uber – Uber is used in many countries around the world and is available 24/7. Set up an account online and download the Uber app on your smart phone. Here you can choose your ride and set your location.

Bicycle – To minimise your time on public transport and obtain some exercise you may choose to ride a bike. Sydney has many designated bike lanes and tracks to keep you safe. Visit Sydney Cycle Ways website, so see a map of the bike lanes.

Remember that in Australia it is illegal to cycle without a helmet and you must have a bell and light on your bike.

Arriving in Australia

Before arriving in a new country, there are important steps to ensure you are prepared.

Medication and Medical Devices – If you have a medical condition, it is recommended you bring a letter from your doctor outlining the condition and any medication. When you arrive at border control, medication must be declared. If you need prescription medication in Australia, you can visit a local doctor. Read the regulations about bringing medical into Australia at the Department of Health.

Vaccinations – There are no specific vaccinations or medications required to enter Australia, unless you have been to a Yellow-Fever infected country in the six-days before arrival.

Airport/Flights – Sydney airport is the largest and busiest airport in Australia. Talk to your local travel advisor in your country to organise a flight to Sydney (SYD).

Travel Insurance – If you plan on doing any travel while you are in Australia, we recommend you organise travel insurance that covers theft, loss, accidents and travel incidents. Travel insurance is in addition to your Overseas Student Health Cover. You can read about travel insurance on the Smartraveller website.

Airport Transport – When you arrive at Sydney airport, there are many ways you can travel to your accommodation. You can use Sydney public transport system or book an airport transfer. Airport transfers can be booked here, prior to arriving in Australia.

Working in Australia

Working hours are based on visa conditions

Many students who work and study participate in jobs such as, café waiter, retail sales, barrister, bar tender or dog walking.

Popular places to search for jobs is Seek or Indeed.