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Aussie q's

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by leorl, Oct 19, 2001.

  1. leorl

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    Hi,

    For those studying or who have studied in Australia (or New Zealand), mind if I ask a few q's?

    1) about how much would airfare be from Australia (say melbourne) to the US?

    2) how much is airfare from AUS to England/Ireland/South Africa?

    3) about how much does rent go for? (again, Melbourne, or whatever else you might think would help for a comparison)

    4) how much for utilities, food, phone (mobile or landline?)

    Hehe, if you haven't guessed, I'm trying to compare financial advantages/disadvantages to going to Australia

    5) How easy is it to work part-time as a medical student? And, is it easy for foreigners to find work?

    Thanks so much! I'm sure I'll have more q's, but this is it for now. Following in your footsteps :).
     
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  3. Winged Scapula

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    1) Depends on the season (our winter is their High Season) but you can generally expect to pay at *least* $1,000 - $1300 USD RT from Melbourne to LA. The cheapest I saw was a companion fare which worked out to be around $750 per person during the Oz winter and I've paid as much as $1800 RT. Prices go up with open ended tickets, direct flights, and with the big name US carriers (ie, American, United). Cheapest is to fly with several stops and use an Asian carrier.

    2)No idea, but from what I've seen MORE than a flight to the US - volume and greater distance from Oz to those locales.

    3) Melbourne is more expensive than Adelaide (my experience) but in general comparable with US cities, although if you are paying in US dollars the exchange rate will help you. I'll defer to a Melbourne denizen for comments on rents there. I paid the equivalent of $500 USD/month for a 4 bedroom home in Adelaide.

    4) Utilities, phone, etc. are about the same as in the US although you are charged BY the LOCAL call - 25 cents per so they can easily add up. Our gas, electric, and basic phone ran us around $100 AUD a month (divided by the roomies).

    5) Most of the foreigners I know had considerable trouble finding work - reasons given were that these people were older and employers are required to pay more for employees over the age of 21 - since customer service is not highly valued there IMHO, why not hire a 16 year old to do the same job over an older person whom you'd have to pay more? Everyone pretty much took casual jobs - childcare, waitressing, etc. as to get a "skilled" job - ie, white collar, employers generally have to show that they cannot find a suitable Australian to do the job.

    Frankly, I'd wait and see how school went before considering even working. You can get by with just the loans if you watch your spending. And remember the favorable exchange rate works in your favor.
     
  4. treesap

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    Airfare to Australia is amazingly high, with few non-peak months! It is a huge expense, but I have a suggestion if you are still an undergrad or a few years out. I put all my undergraduate expenses on my Alaska Airline credit card and paid it off every month. Between tuition, books, food, etc...I have at least two RT tickets to Australia on Quantas. I am very glad I saved them because that is going to be a big expense (and I definitely want to come home for the holidays, especially between years 1 and 2). If you can get a mileage plan on those airlines early...it will certainly be useful.

    An unrelated question...about housing. I will be attending Flinders in January and my family has been hounding me about where I will be living after I get there. Does anyone know of a "housing board" where people post when they need roommates? Or to sell furniture? It would be great if we could just take over the apt of an MS-4 who had graduated!

    I did some searches on this site and others and have turned up some info but not a whole lot...any help is appreciated (and probably will ease my parents stress!)
    Thanks!
     
  5. Winged Scapula

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    Treesap...

    Thanks for the great suggestion on using your credit card to gain FF miles. I had my parents charge my tuition (which I paid back via loans) and pretty much everything else for which I got FF miles, etc.

    The cheapest flights I've found are through Asia, often on JAL or other SE Asian airlines. Many of my classmates would pay $2,000+ for their tickets because they would buy open ended ones at the beginning of the year, before they knew exact holiday dates. Not a smart idea IMHO.

    Flinders has a housing office which does list rentals and may also have a service for listings for roommies but I haven't seen anything centralized. The campus is very similar to US schools - you'll find BBs with flyers posted requesting roommies, furniture for sale, etc. and there is also always the local paper.

    As for finding an MS-4 who is leaving - I'd venture that will be difficult in January. Most of those who will leave Adelaide (ie, Americans and inter-state students) will do so long before January. For example, most North American MS-4s will spend the last 4-6 months of their 4th year doing electives in the US (including vacation term). I moved out of Australia in June of my 4th year and expect most others will do the same. Interstate Aussies will also likely leave long before you arrive (school is out at the end of November if you don't have vacation your last 6 weeks - which could mean finishing up October - so most will have moved out December to prepare for starting internship out of state at the very beginning of January).

    Your best bet is to live in the student dorms (for as little time as possible; they are spartan defined) and try to hook up with a classmate the first 2 weeks or so. There are heaps of used furniture stores if you can't find something in the papers or on a BB somewhere on campus. Best of all is to find an upperclassmate who will let you move in!

    Best of luck! :D
     
  6. leorl

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    Thanks very much for the hints...i'll have to see when their winter breaks are and all, so I can try to plan cheaper airfare...at least the first time around. Maybe that'll be easier if I go to Melbourne, since graduate entry students don't have to enter until 2nd semester. My family also has Northwest ff, but it would take a lot of accumulation to get a ticket to Australia. I'll check out the Asian routes as well. loooong flight.

    Another q: All in all, was med school there (plus living expenses and travel) cheaper than attending med school in the states? I don't know what tuition here is like, I just know very high, depending on where you go.

    Will also check out loans, but my family is very loan-aversive.

    Thanks! You've been very helpful :)

    ~Leorl
     
  7. KungFuMaster

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    I don't think airfare is that expensive. Probably a little more expensive if you were to fly from the east coast to Adelaide. It is more expensive if you were to buy ticket from U.S.A. What I did was I bought a one way ticket to Sydney the first time I went there. It was expensive at first but I get to start the cycle from Sydney instead. I fly Qantas all the time and it only costs me at MOST about 1400 AUD(about 700 USD) round trip. It's cheaper than flying to from L.A. to Maine!! But that's only round trip from L.A. to Sydney. As far as calling home is concern, you can buy those extremely cheap phone card, they are everywhere and they only cost you about 3 cents a minute calling from Australia to anywhere in the states. I usually buy those 10 dollars phone card which I can talk for more than 5 hours. Things aren't that expensive if you know what to do. I would guess they should have the same thing in adelaide.
     
  8. leorl

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    Oh, I thought of another. For sports, are their divisions? like in the US, once you've done undergrad, you're no longer eligible really to participate in varsity sports, and have to either go pro (yeah right) or join on a club level. If I went to Melbourne, would I still be able to row for the University of Melbourne, or would I have to join a separate club?

    thanks :)
     
  9. wmg

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    Hi Kids...I found a website "AirTreks.com" that has great one way deals. The only catch is that you must stop in another continent! I am flying Seattle-Bangkok-Adelaide for around 1300 one way. Not bad given the Bangkok stop (and a Taipei stop!) Also, I am relieved to know others are counting on using Alaska miles for Qantas flights. Another unrelated question - what books are you guys taking? I know there is a used bookstore at Flinders but am concerned about getting the titles I want. Shipping costs from Amazon obviously will be a factor. ANy experience? Wait? Buy? Punch it and sail off the mountainside? Later, wade
     
  10. Winged Scapula

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    The Asian flights are long, but you stop overnight - usually in Seoul, Tokyo, or Osaka (depending on the airline) - on the way to Australia.

    All in all, studying in Oz was cheaper than attending a private US school of medicine. The cost of living in Adelaide was much cheaper than living in the US and the tuition at around $17,000 USD per year (depending on the exchange rate) is better than most US schools as well. Obviously you have to factor in the travel home as well, but I didn't go home more than twice per year.

    I'm not sure how you will afford it without loans - unless your family is well off financially. Do they have > $100,000 to give you toward medical school (tuition and living expenses for 4 years)? If so, more power to ya! :D
     
  11. Winged Scapula

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    As a medical student you are still considered an undergraduate. I'm not sure about varsity sports, most schools have intramural type of things, and whether or not Melbourne Uni has a rowing team. The collegiate sports scene is not as active as in the US.
     
  12. Winged Scapula

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    The exchange rate has dropped considerably since I was in Oz. In addition, the air fare from Adelaide to Sydney adds at least another $250 USD onto the tab, Melbourne probably half that. If you can fly directly from Sydney to LA for $700 USD that's a great deal. I actually paid less than $1300 to fly from LAX to Adelaide my first trip around OW; there are lots of cheap fares out there - it behooves the prudent shopper to check them frequently.

    Thanks for your tips.
     
  13. castaway

    castaway Senior Member

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    Hello everyone. Just informed by Flinders that I've been accepted to their 2003 class by early decision. Now, I have to think of what I'll spend the next 12 months doing if I do go. Does anyone know the maximum amount of time a Flinders med student can spend on away rotations in the U.S.? Dr Teubner said that Flinders had arrangements with UCLA, Columbia and UNM. Has anyone done these rotations? What was the experience like? I noticed from the 1st year timetable that there are few breaks once the semester starts in Feb. Is med school at Flinders an all-year thing? When and how long are the breaks?

    Sorry about the gush of q's--I am just thrilled about the prospect of going to Flinders for med school!! Take care.
     
  14. Winged Scapula

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    The max time you can spend on away rotations can be up to 24 weeks: 12 weeks of electives and you *might* get permission to do your Rural and Undesignated terms away as well.

    Flinders has formal affiliations with many US universities. However, you are by no means limited to doing your 4th year electives at these institutions. I set up all my own - it takes some time and paperwork but really isn't that difficult. I did mine at UVA, Baylor, University of Louisville, UCSF and Hopkins. Lots of places will take IMGs and many will do so even when their web page says they won't (they'll often admit they're trying to "scare" away students from certain schools).

    Med school at Flinders starts in February for the first couple of years and in January for the last two. You are usually done by the end of November. You have breaks here and there throughout the year - usually a max of 2-4 weeks (generally in 1 week blocks) and all of December and January off. Breaks through the year are generally scheduled every 10 weeks or so. You will NOT have typical "American" holidays off - ie, Thanksgiving, July 4th, President's Day, but there are some Australian holidays that you also get off in addition to the scheduled vacations. The schedule varies from year to year, so you'd have to check with the school about scheduled dates. When I was a student there they were more lax about letting you take some extra days off (as its hard to go back to the states for just 1 week); since then they've cracked down because too many people were missing too many PBL sessions, etc.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. leorl

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    You applied to Flinders so early? I'm applying for 2003 as well, but the Acer applications site is closed until May, and I got an application from them...but the date was for 2002. ?? I hope that's how it works anyway...regular applications due in June, interview (phone) for commencement in Jan or Feb?
     
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  17. leorl

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    And CONGRATS For getting into Flinders!!!! :) I'm applying to University of Melbourne 1st choice, but 2nd choice is Flinders :) Maybe we'll meet :)
     
  18. castaway

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    Actually I applied for 2002, but after the deadline. They still have me on the waitlist for 2002 in case spots become available. But, I'm told, a lot of people have accepted offers from Flinders this time,making it difficult for late applicants like me to get in. Given this success, I am tempted to apply to other Aussie schools as well. Like you, I am interested in Melbourne--mainly because I know people there. Still, the Mediterranean climate in Adelaide beckons! Good luck with your ACER applications.
     
  19. castaway

    castaway Senior Member

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    Leorl: Forgot to add: you can apply to Flinders independently; there's no need to go through ACER. All you have to do is go to their website and download their app. That's how I applied, at any rate.
     
  20. lizzy21

    lizzy21 Senior Member

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    hey kungfu master..can i ask where do u get ur tickets from in sydney?
    thanks...
     
  21. tidy_kiwi

    tidy_kiwi Senior Member

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    leorl - I have a friend who has recently set up in Melbourne - I will ask him for a general run down on costs for you......I'll get back to you in a couple of days......

    wade - the shipping costs from Amazon aren't too bad but delivery can take 2-3 weeks (unless u go for the expensive express shipping), however the exchange rate is a bit of a killer at the moment......
     
  22. tidy_kiwi

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    leorl - u have probably already checked this out, but here is a link to Melb Universities accomodations service (this page is specific to int students) - it has some useful info on both university residence and private rentals......

    International Students
     
  23. leorl

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    GREAT! Thanks much Tidy, whatever breakdown your friend can provide would help my parents and I a lot!

    In addition, I'll add $40 bucks for an All Blacks rugyby shirt :) I love watching the New Zealanders row too b/c the blades...and sometimes the whole shells are completely black. It's a cool effect :).
     
  24. tidy_kiwi

    tidy_kiwi Senior Member

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    Leorl - this is a rough guide that my friend and I hacked out together (he wants to know if you are single by the way… ;) ) - I would take this all with a grain of salt but it should give you a rough idea that you and your parents can work from….

    Note: costs are approximate and in australian dollars (I think the exchange rate is currently around AUD$1=US$0.50)

    Rent…$.80-$120/week share accommodation (more if you want to go solo)
    Utilities…(gas, water, electricity etc)….$50/month
    Phone….$.40 per month + tolls etc (get you r family to call you!)
    Food….$50-70/week
    Set-up costs (utility connection, bond & advance rent, 2nd hand furniture, temp accommodation etc) $2, 300

    Transport costs will vary depending on whether you buy a car, walk, bus or whatever and of course how far you are from the school ….but I would budget for around $20-$25/week for the bus (based on a distance of 2 fare stages each way).

    Bond is usually equal to four weeks rent, and most places expect rent two weeks in advance (although this will vary). Utility connection costs approx. $150 (one time cost).

    Other costs I can think of include entertainment, textbooks, photocopying & stationery, overseas student health insurance (I think this is compulsory for non-Aussie and Kiwi students), BEER (although if you flirt with the aussie guys you will be able to cut down on this cost a fair bit) and car insurance, registration etc if you are going to get one (although second hand cars are relatively expensive over there).

    In terms of part-time work, I don't know how hard it is to find for non-Aussies, but I know that there is a limit of 20hrs/week on a student visa (although 20hrs/wk would be a heck of a lot while studying med).

    Anyway, hope this helps….give me a buzz if u want anymore info and I'll see what I can find out for you.
    Kiwi
     
  25. leorl

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    Gee...thanks a lot. $0.40 for phone bill???!!!! ??!!??!!?!? damn....oh, and about that...is mobile usage extensive in Australia? I know it's essential in europe to have one, what about Australia? (I'm addicted. I love text messaging). If so, how much do mobile costs run around? And how can rent cost as low as &0.80 a week???!!!!

    If my twin gets into Univ. of Melb forensic psychology graduate program, we'd be sharing (although this time, I want my own room!).

    Oh, and yes I'm single :) and the twin is too. HALLOOOO to your friend :D

    Thanks sooo much, that was really helpful!
     
  26. tidy_kiwi

    tidy_kiwi Senior Member

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    Oops! Sorry about that - those costs were $40 and $80 respectively (I copy and pasted from MS-Word, something appeared to go funny with the text). Not sure about the mobile plans but will ask him for you.

    LOL - he will just adore that.... ;)
     
  27. Winged Scapula

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    RE: Mobile phone usage in Oz

    Much more extensive there than in the US. Practically a necessity when traveling (especially in more rural areas). I don't know the costs of the plans (as I resisted the temptation) but I'm sure you'll be able to find one to suit your needs.
     
  28. leorl

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    Great :). US mobile phone deals/plans are quite annoying, trust us to be different from everywhere else :)

    Tidy, could you tell me a rough estimate of prices for plane fare in AUD from
    1) Melbourne to the US (say Chicago or NYC)
    2) Melbourne to Ireland, England, South Africa? If I'm able to earn a bit of money, would like to visit my friends!

    I've heard weather in Adelaide is gorgeous, but what about Melbourne? I've heard they get "tazmanian winters" but I'm a cold weather person, so it wouldn't bother me that much.

    I'll buy you a beer once I get there! "Fosters...Australian...for beer." where did I hear the commercial? :)
     

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