rmitintstudentguidetoliving

for all new international students

Category: essential information

PR


PR stands for Permanent Residency and for many students it is really hard to get this. As you need really really good English. Ie: a band of 7.5. With Permanent residency you can work more hours and you might be eligible for concessions.
You also need to hold down a career that is most in demand and that you have studied at University. YOu’ll need a letter from University as well as the transcript of results. This can be really hard as many jobs are going in the big companies at the moment. Most of the careers in demand are engineers and doctors. There is a doctor shortage at the moment.
You also need to be a high achiever at university and not be at risk of exclusion.
But RMIT University has many careers fairs in place that attracts many students local and international. Some companies recruit international students and are willing to sponsor them.
With some of the TAFE courses being cut it will be harder to get PR here as internationals need to meet the skills requirements. TAFE is the only way for some students to gain some skills in order for this requirement to be met.
You need to complete one round of study in Australia before you can apply. It has to be 24 months or more of study and you should apply in the last six months of your studies as applications can take a while.

It is getting even harder to gain PR (Permanent Residency) as you either need to be sponsored by an Australian employer or have gotten really good marks and a good IELTS score to get this (Independent Skilled Migration). As well as working in Regional Australia for a period of time.
According to the Age (1/10/12) “Time for bosses to adopt a more worldly view” gaining sponsorship is quite hard and rigourous as no one wants to give International students sponsorship. Not even RMIT. Most employers would want somebody with Permanent Residency.
It is hard for students to find decent jobs in Melbourne as it has been for years.
But for an International student to gain that they have to have 65 points. These are based on good English, working in a rural area, completing a degree for the skills in need. For the English skills students need to achieve a band of 8 in IELTS for all the components. This is really hard for locals such as myself hence this would be even harder for international students.
It is an offense to live here and work illegally. To live here illegally without a visa would mean that you would be kicked out of the country and the employer might face fines of up to $13000 per worker.

Work out your accomodation before you come to Melbourne


“Do you know where you are staying?” asks a Immigration official at Melbourne Airport as you clear customs.
If the answer is no then clearly you have not done any research before you arrive and before you know it you might be sent back home with a three year exclusion period.
Or you might have to stay in a hotel which costs around $200-$600 per night and then it is race against time to find suitable accomodation.
Melbourne is still in a rental crisis where rent is about $700-$1500 per month depending on where you are living.
Think about how much you plan to spend on rent and think about how you will get the money. Jobs are really hard to find.
Most student apartment complexes cost $300-$400 per week and most of them include bills and some include meals.  For that price you would get one small room, maybe a common room, activities and the bills paid. With the laundry you’d go to a laundromat which can charge about $4 per load.
Homestay is another option. But that usually includes a $220 placement fee by RMIT and rent as well. But you get to live with an Australian family and improve your English. But you might have to live far away.
Share housing is popular with students too. But that might involve some travel to and from Uni.
For those that are lucky you might live in rent free accomodation with your family/relatives. Don’t forget to factor in the travel to and from Uni as International students are not eligible for concession.

Enrolling at RMIT


Every University is different but for RMIT this is how we do things. This is done via the Online system. It used to be done at the school level but now it is all online.
Go to www.rmit.edu.au and select Current students and then you can click on enrol online.
A screen will show up and you will need your username which is your student id and your password which is your date of birth backwards.
You fill in all of the personal details and then you go and add subjects in. Note: It would be a great idea to go to your program information session before you do this part as there is some vital information as to what subjects to enrol in are given there. The class ids are also given as well so it would be useful to take note of these.
You can search for the class in Enrolment online and then you click on Add now and you will need to do this eight times before you are enrolled for the whole year. And you repeat this process in the next year and the year after.
You can opt to join the Student Union but it is not compulsory.
If you are a local student you can opt for HECS HELP but if you are an International student you have to pay full fees.
Allow two days for your enrolment to be proccessed before you can timetable youself into classes.

Writing assignments and passing them


Hints to writing assignments:
1) Read the topic- its a surprise as to how many students don’t read the topic and write about the wrong thing. In the end they get no marks for it. If you are not sure of the topic ask your tutor/lecturer (basically whoever will mark your work). Use the tutorial time to ask these questions.

2) Start early- the earlier the merrier. Get all of your resources. If RMIT Library doesn’t have a certain item you can visit other libraries. You just need to apply for a special card that will allow you to borrow from other Unis libraries at RMIT. And then you can go and borrow stuff

3) Engage in the Study and Learning centre ( note: their resources are limited and students need to book appointments to see an adviser. They can only have three a semester). If you are a Business student the Student Learning Advisor Mentors can help you find your feet. You can drop in to see them at the times they are available.

4)An essay usually has an Introduction, Body and Conclusion and the list of references at the back. A report has more sections. It usually has an Executive Summary, Introduction, Literature review, Methodology, Results and a Conclusion.  If applicable an Appendix section. You would usually need a reference list.

5) The reference list varies between course so it is usually a good idea to ask lecturers and tutors what they require.

6) If English is your second language have someone read over your work whether it’d be your mentor or your local friends. And they can tell you where you went wrong. But just don’t leave it to the last minute though.

How to not live with the flatmate from hell.


Sometimes it can be very trying living with the flatmate from hell. You’re in a share house with them and they won’t give anything/communicate/do their chores etc. In fact some of the tenants expect you to pay their bills/rent for them.
Here’s how not to live with them.
1) Communication is the key- tell all your flatmates how you live and what you expect from them in the interview. Ask lots of questions about the house you will be staying at such as curfews, bills, house kitty etc. And always share some of your thoughts on the important household matters with them such as the roster. Ask them about the way that they live and tell them about the way that you live. When you go out, try and tell your mates if you can.
2) If you are the head tennant- kick them out if they won’t budge. Now is not the time to be nice to them as they will find somewhere else that will accept them.
3)Try to see their point of view. ie chores: If they forget to put the rubbish out, maybe they brought in your washing with theirs or they cooked a few meals for you.

4) Do your fair share of the chores and tell them if you can’t for some reason. Or otherwise they will see that you are just being lazy.

5) Pay all the bills on time and make sure that everyone pays their fair share. If someone isn’t paying their fair share communicate. Tell them to and tell them that it is not fair on you. And if they won’t budge (especially with rent) let the landlord know.

6) Have house meetings once in a while. These give everyone a chance to voice their opinions.

Good luck in finding your flatmate. Remember that the first one that you come across might not be the one that you want to live with. You’ll eventually get there within time. Honesty is the best policy in finding your flatmate.

 

Exclusion


Have you been recommended for exclusion by your School? Have you failed more than one subject or the same subject twice for another semester? If so the School will recommend you for Exclusion and will ask you to write a “Show Cause letter”. In this letter you need to explain what went wrong and what you will do to fix these problems. It might be asking for extra support from RMIT or asking for a grade to be mended. You have ten working days from the time the email was sent to your student email.

You might want to consider getting some help from RMIT student union for this.

Exclusion is a serious matter and if you are an International student you will be kicked out of the country for failing to meet VISA requirements.

If you lodge the letter within the 10 working days and the School approves you will be let back into your course and be given some help.

If your letter to the Student Progress committee fails you will be sent an email from the school saying that they will email the Academic Registrar. The Academic Registrar makes sure that the Exclusion policy is followed and then they will email you. They will usually do it sometime during the semester when you are studying. They will then give you a chance to appeal to the University Appeals committee and that has very strict policies. You will have to appeal within 20 working days so as not be excluded from the course. If not they will assume that you want to be excluded.

If the appeal is upheld the UAC will call a meeting which will consist of a student representative (someone trained by the Student Union), a few academics, a chairperson, yourself and any support people you bring to the meeting.

Then the UAC will decide on the appeal.

If it is not upheld you will be excluded for twelve months. Within that twelve months you can apply for programs in RMIT or elsewhere. You must also make an appointment to see your program coordinator to discuss readmission. He or she gets the final say but a Student Rights officer can help you convince them.

If you are excluded you will have to leave the country. You will need to speak to a migration agent if things become this bad. But things don’t have to be that bad if you sort out your problems from early on. Speak to a student rights officer when you first receive the notice as they can help you with the letter.

Good luck with all of this

oshc


I know that this is expensive but it is a MUST for every student. It is one of the visa conditions. Medibank has good OSHC and you can apply for it online before you come to Australia and when you are here you can pick up your card from the Hub @RMIT. If and when you go to the doctor/pharmacy show them your card and you might not have to pay a single cent and if you do you can go to Medibank to get your money (or some of it depending your policy)  If you are a new student at RMIT you also get a free goodie bag at the start of semester which includes a copy of the FeelBetter rewards program. You can sign up for this and if you do you will get heaps of discounts on health and lifestyle products. You can have oshc for your entire program. So for three years its about $1440.00 and for four years its about $1920.00. You can claim straightaway on most extras.

http://www.medibank.com.au/Client/StaticPages/Join/OSHC/quote.aspx#yourQuote

Join up with St Johns Ambulance as you save on ambulance fees if you need to. Its about $60 for singles.

Events and Public Holidays in Melbourne


In Melbourne there are quite a few events and public holidays that we all adhere to. On the public holidays most shops and offices are closed. Some of them have limited opening hours.

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/AboutMelbourne/ArtsandEvents/Pages/EventsCalendar.aspx

Fire safety


At the time I was in Unilodge there was a huge fire that broke out at 12am downstairs in the Orr st cafe. Luckily the fire was only contained to the restaurant, but I didn’t really want to be woken up in the middle of the night to attend the fire.

I was shivering outside in just my pajama top and pants with no dressing gown on and just thongs. It was a cold winters night at 12am in the morning. About 200 of us were evacuated; most of us were still studying for exams because we had them the very next day. We all wanted to sleep.

We all didn’t know what to do and it was chaotic.

So the message is make sure that you have and practice your fire safety plan as soon as you move in. And before you move in make sure that you have a working smoke alarm, as smoke alarms saves lives. By law all Victorian properties need to make sure that they have a working smoke alram. If yours doesn’t talk to your landlord about this and make sure that they put one in. If they refuse, don’t move in!

Make sure that the electrical appliance cords are not frayed or damaged. If they are don’t use it. Have it checked by an electrician.

Don’t leave electrical appliances on overnight or when you are out.

Always turn appliances off at the switch when you are not using them.

Never leave cooking unattended. Always turn the handles in.

When you are drying your clothes don’t forget to empty the lint filter in the dryer.

If you have a candle burning or a fire make sure that you extinguish them if you have to leave the house or before bed.

Find out more at: http://www.mfb.vic.gov.au

illegal fees


RMIT cannot charge you illegal fees. These are for things that you haven’t sign up to or are not really essential to your course. For example: RMIT can’t charge you for a laptop unless you really need it for a specific thing and you can’t buy it elsewhere. They can charge you fees for your course but they can’t charge fees for your books, trips (unless you opt to take them), equipment, notebooks and other things.
The Uni must provide these materials free of charge for students to loan from the library.
They can charge you if you opt to buy them. But they cannot charge you if you can’t afford them or you don’t want them. They cannot charge them at very expensive or steep fees. They must let you buy it from outside ie : secondhand.
Too often RMIT does this and in the end students fall into debt. This year RMIT student union has seen quite a few students with this sort of issue.
If you think that RMIT is being unreasonable and charging you these fees speak to someone from the student union. We can help you with all sorts of problems with the university.

For more information check out: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;FORMQRY=ADV%253DSearch%2526all%253Downer%25253D100%2526any%253Dillegal%252Bfees;ID=4zjjtunx46j5;STATUS=A?QRY=%2B(owner%3D100)%20%2B(|illegal%20|fees)

Also see: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=4jzh8r0mp23c1 for Incidental fees that RMIT can charge and what they can’t charge.

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