Internship in Australia: Checklist
Before travelling to a foreign country you have think of several things to do. 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 valid passport 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 entering Australia. Please pay attention to the fact that applying for a new passport can take up to six weeks.
The Occupational Trainee is the classical Visa for an internship. The Visa procedure is split and combines the acceptance of the internship (nomination) and the following Visa Application. Therefore you need to have an internship position before applying for the Visa. It is not bound to a study programme, but is also aimed at young professionals.
Working Holiday Visa
Since 1 July 2006 it's possible to work for one employer for 6 months with a Working Holiday Visa. It is a lot easier to be issued a Occupational Trainee Visa, because nomination by the employer is omitted and you can apply for it without an internship position. So it is possible for you to just come to Australia and knock on companies' doors to ask for an internship or work. But it is not easier to find a qualified internship position with a WHV. Therefore it is not advisable to just come to Australia at a venture, particularly for an internship. You might need to have the internship approved by your university in advance as well.
You need valid health insurance for the duration of your stay in Sydney. 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 2 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, more than 24 flight hours away from home. 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 of the local providers. One advantage of doing it that way is that the complete costs for a so called StartUp-Kit (SIM-card and starting balance) can be used up fully making calls or texting. Starter-Packs of the three big providers, Telstra, Yes (Optus) and Vodafone, can usually be purchased at every post office, in various local stores of the providers or newspaper stands.
Roaming prices for contract customers of German providers
Purchasing a mobile phone with a starting balance of up to 30 Australian Dollars does definitely pay off if you are staying at least 4 weeks. You do not have contract bindings. If the purchase requires an address, you can just use a hotel, hostel or camping site address. You will get an Australian mobile phone number upon purchase, under which you can be reached without paying for the incoming calls. It is not much more expensive for the callers as well. Call-By-Call Auch für diejenigen, die bei Ihnen anrufen wird es nicht teurer. By using the Call-by-Call system Australian mobile phones can be reached for as little as 10 cent per minute.
Buy prepaid cards for Australia in Germany
If you decide to get a prepaid card for your internship stay in Australia, our partners in Australia offer to buy them there and inform you about your number before your departure. By buying the foreign prepaid card before your trip you can let all your friends and family know about your Australian mobile phone number in advance. The prepaid cards are indeed a bit more expensive compared to buying them locally; however, you can save on texting or calling your family to tell them your new number from Australia.
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 after a turn. 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 can apply for your International License in Germany for about 15 EUR.
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.