Internship in Australia: Checklist
Before travelling to a foreign country you have prepare your trip. We recommend considering the following things:
As soon as you get your internship agreement, book your flight! The best thing to do is to gather information from different airlines, compare them and make a reservation on the flight you want to take. That will ensure you the cheapest rates.
You need a passport (no national ID card) which must be valid for another 6 months after your stay in Australia. It also needs at least one page left for the stamp you will get when entering Australia. Please pay attention to the fact that applying for a new passport can take up to six weeks.
For an internship in Australia you will need to apply for the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) or Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462). Please check the list of eligible nationalities. The WHV allows you to stay in Australia for 1 year, do a professional internship for a duration of up to 6 months and to also travel and work.
Alternatively, you may consider applying through another visa such as Subclass 600 which has its own specific requirements and provisions.
You need a valid health insurance and personal liability insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia. Make sure that in case of illness the insurance covers a return transport to your home country. Our partner in Sydney is offering a good insurance package for 20 AUD per day. Please request an offer during your application for an internship in Australia.
Making Calls in Australia
Your mobile phone will automatically search for an Australian network to log in even if you are on the other side of the world. It does not care about prices though. You will have to pay attention to that. If you are staying in Australia for a longer period of time you can avoid the expensive roaming costs. Just buy a prepaid card from one of the local providers and choose the data volume need. WIFI is available in most cafés, restaurants, hostels and in some public places.
Traffic in Australia
There are a few particularities to watch out for regarding traffic in Australia. First of all, there's left-hand driving and in urban areas you will often be confronted with a round-about. Highways and country roads are usually double-tracked at the best with strategically located parts for overtaking. You will only find highways with multi lanes in and around the big cities. Overtaking on the wrong side is common. It is not permitted, but obviously drivers ignore that. The police, however, is very strict when it comes to speed limits. The general speed limit on rural highways is 100 km/h and you should strictly stick to that. Speed is often measured via radar devices or directly from the driving police vehicle. Highways are not fenced off, so there might be a flock of cows on the road. Watch out after dark also, because then the kangaroos get active. Those can leave considerable damage and are often, although not always, just very dumb! So don't think that they will clear the way when they see you coming!
International Driver's License
You should carry an International Driver's License! Although car rental agencies hardly ask for a translation an International Driver's license is mandatory.
You will find Rental car agencies in every bigger city. A lot of smaller companies are in competition with the big agencies and if you grant yourself some time with finding a car, you can find a bargain. Usually you will only be able to rent a car if you are over 21! Often there is also a maximum age limit and with many companies that is 75. If you book early at Australia's big ones -Hertz, Avis, Thrifty - it usually is cheaper. The average price for a small car is around 70 AUD a day. The smaller rental car agencies often offer prices of 30 or 40 AUD a day. Rental contracts usually have a clause that prohibits you to drive on unsecured roads. Almost all national parks and natural sights can only be reached via gravel roads. If you should have an accident on one of those roads your insurance will not cover it. You can rent a car with only a German Driver's License, but you are legally committed to carry an International Driver's License.
Buying a car
Buying a car to be mobile in Australia is a very good alternative to renting a car. Additionally, it is quite uncomplicated: find a car, sign the contract, get car insurance and go! It is, however, hard to go looking for a car without one. "Backpackermobiles" are certainly the easiest way. But often these cars have seen quite a lot of Australia already. Obviously a car maintains considerably longer in Australia compared to Europe. Good used cars with 170.000 - 280.000 km are not rare. Unfortunately, they are not cheap either.