Banking 101 for international students in Australia

Shifting to Australia to study is exciting but the to-do list for international students can be quite extensive, which can add some extra stress to the process. One of the areas that can contribute to this anxiety is setting up a bank account in Australia but fortunately, we’ve compiled some tips to help ease the transition.

You can set up a bank account before you get to Australia

Some banks, especially large ones like Commonwealth Bank, will allow you to get an account while you’re still overseas. This is advantageous because not only does it give you one less thing to do when you arrive in Australia but it also means you transfer money so it is there waiting for you.

Do some research

You might be tempted to just select whatever bank comes up first on Google but it is worth putting some time and effort into comparing your options. You’ll likely be looking at one of the Big Four Australian banks (Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and NAB), all of which offer transaction accounts for international students.

Have the correct documentation

It can change from bank to bank, but as a rule, there are several documents that you should have in your possession once you arrive in Australia and want to finish setting up your account. Below is an example of what you will require for the Commonwealth Bank.

  • Copy of your welcome letter
  • Passport
  • Student ID/proof enrolment
  • Australian mobile number (if you have one).

If you’re not sure about something, ask

Domestic students have enough trouble getting their head around banking in Australia, so don’t feel bad if you don’t understand how an aspect of the system works. If you’re having trouble, just ask – all of the banks have a multitude of support services and contacts to help you resolve any issues.

Useful Links: 

How does health insurance work for international students?

The best ways for international students to find work in Australia

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