Student Information

Congratulations on your decision to study at Sarina Russo Institute in Australia. Please read through this important information before your arrival to assist in making your Australian study adventure less stressful.

Before You Arrive


Getting Started

To ensure that you arrive ready to begin your studies it is important that your pre-departure preparation is done adequately.

Visa Information
All overseas students must apply for a student visa before travelling to Australia. To find out more, please contact your nearest Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission, or visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Comprehensive information about visa application, student work rights and restrictions, health requirements and much more can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
OSHC is insurance to assist international students meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia.

As an international student, it is a condition of your student visa that you have OSHC for the entire length of your student visa.

Exceptions to this requirement only apply where the Department recognises a suitable alternative health cover arrangement. This includes Swedish and Norwegian students who have health cover with the approved home government insurer. Belgian student are covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia. Please visit the Department website for more information.

“Dual Family” or “Multi Family” Overseas Student Health Cover provided by Allianz Partners must be arranged if you intend to travel to Australia with your family members as dependents on your student visa.

Students who do not arrive in Australia on a student visa will not be covered by OSHC until they have obtained a student visa.
Click here for more information about OSHC.

Obtaining Your Overseas Student Health Cover
When you receive your letter of offer from Sarina Russo Institute, it will indicate the duration and cost of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) you need for your stay in Australia if you will be studying on a student visa. In most cases, Sarina Russo Institute will arrange OSHC membership for the whole duration of your student visa (called ‘visa length cover’).

If you are applying independently, you will need to send your payment directly to Sarina Russo Institute at the time that you accept your offer. If you are applying through a partner institution or sponsor, payment will be arranged in accordance with the relevant agreement.

Sarina Russo Institute establishes your initial OSHC membership on your behalf so you can meet your student visa requirements. The commencement date will initially be set as approximately 10 days prior to your course commencement. It is up to you to adjust the start date to coincide with the date you entered Australia on a student visa.

Sarina Russo Institute’s preferred provider of Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is Allianz Partners. Soon after your arrival at Sarina Russo Institute you will be directed to the Allianz Partners website to apply online for your OSHC Membership Card.

If you have any queries related to Overseas Student Health Cover provided by Allianz Partners including membership, claims and renewals, please contact Allianz Partners directly.

Important Information about OSHC with Allianz Partners

How to login and register

Renewing Your Overseas Student Health Cover
To comply with your Student Visa conditions, it is essential that you have current Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) membership for the full duration of your student visa.

If your cover expires before you complete your program, you will have to renew it yourself. If you have a sponsor/scholarship or are from a partner institution and your OSHC is due to expire, please contact Allianz Partners.

Renewal can be made online at Allianz Partners.

Dual Family or Multi-Family Overseas Student Health Cover
Any family members joining or accompanying you to Australia as dependants on your student visa must also have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

To include your family in your OSHC membership at the time you accept your Sarina Russo Institute Offer, you will need to pay the family OSHC premium stated on your Letter of Offer. If you have already arrived and/or commenced your studies and need to change your membership from single to Dual Family or Multi Family cover, please contact Allianz Partners directly.

For more information on visa requirements, you can visit the Department website.

Overseas Visitors Health Cover
Do you have family and friends visiting?  They can get Overseas Visitors Health Cover at a discounted rate with Allianz Partners.

Guidelines, Policies and Regulations
The Australian Government wants overseas students in Australia to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding place to study. Australia’s laws promote quality education and consumer protection for overseas students. These laws are known as the ESOS legislative framework and they include the Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code 2018.

Emergency Numbers
An emergency is:
The actual or imminent occurrence of an event which endangers or threatens the safety or health of any person in the area; and/or destroys, or threatens to destroy or damage any property.

In any life threatening Emergency Call (0) 000 (112 from Mobile) and request Police, Fire or Ambulance.

There are a number of accommodation facilities available for students in Brisbane.  Finding the right accommodation for yourself is important, as it allows you to settle into your new environment faster so you can concentrate on your studies.

Student One

When deciding where to live, it’s important to consider more than just your place of study. You’re choosing your new home, so your surroundings, cost of living, work life, and social life should all be taken into account. S1 location in Brisbane’s central business district puts you just a short walk away from major universities, shopping centers, entertainment, and nightlife. With easy access to all that Brisbane has to offer, you can explore the city and get where you need to go quickly. That’s the smart way to live.

Why choose s1?

  • Super central City locations
  • Free unlimited WiFi internet
  • Flexible lease options & choice of room types
  • Kitchen essentials included in all rooms
  • Active resident community and full activities calendar
  • Free use of pool, gym, cinema, games areas, and many more facilities to use
  • Safe & secure living
  • Friendly multi-lingual staff available 24/7
  • Free morning shuttle to University of Queensland

Visit Student One – Brisbane’s Smartest Student Accommodation for more information.

AHN Homestay

A homestay is a cultural exchange between an international student or visitor and a local individual or family in the host country. The “host” provides accommodation and support for an agreed-upon period of time and rate. Homestays can be tailored to provide meals, assistance and other activities.

Homestays are designed to support international students and visitors who come to the host country to learn about its culture and lifestyle, improve their language skills, or study academic courses. Properly managed homestay is the ideal way to be introduced to a new country. Students learn to understand the language, culture and customs of the region in which they are studying. Many of our students make life-long friends with their host.

The Australian Homestay Network believes that a homestay program should provide international students with much more than a place to sleep and eat. Each homestay experience should provide an opportunity for the student and the host family to learn from each other, share interests, and establish a foundation for a successful stay in Australia.

Visit AHN – Australian Homestay Network – Hosting Australia for more information.

UniLodge Hestron

UniLodge Herston is an affordable purpose-built student accommodation community created within the refurbished towers of the heritage-listed Lady Lamington Building and located within the Herston Quarter Redevelopment 3.5 km from the Brisbane CBD.  Situated in the inner-city suburb, UniLodge Herston is a short 1.5 km walk to Brisbane’s nightlife mecca, The Valley, and is well serviced by major road networks, with the Herston bus interchange also directly across the road.

UniLodge Herston is a unique and exciting addition for students in Brisbane and provides accommodation options including single dormitory rooms, loft bedrooms, and bunk shared rooms, all with complimentary superfast NBN broadband WiFi. They also designed state-of-the-art common facilities including a Master Chef-inspired kitchen, cinema, a range of common areas and games rooms, courtyards, and a gymnasium.

Visit Student Accommodation Herston | Cheap QUT Kelvin Grove rooms for rent ( for more information.

Rental Accommodation

Rental accommodation is the preferred option for many students.  You need to expect to pay an amount per week, and share household expenses with your flatmates (eg. water, electricity etc).

Students can arrange for their own rental accommodation by using online resources such as:


For the flexible student looking for something in the short to long term, we recommend staying a few nights in a hostel whilst we talk with you in person on arrival to assist you with what’s on offer around Brisbane city.

We want your stay in Brisbane to be both rewarding and enjoyable.

Below is a range of information to help you adjust to life at Sarina Russo Institute and living in Brisbane.

Getting Started

It is vital that you get off to a good start.  That way you will be fully equipped to excel in your chosen program, understand what is expected of you and be familiar with your new surroundings.

Getting Connected

We have a variety of formal and informal programs that are aimed at getting students connected with each other, but one of the best ways is to join our Facebook community so you can keep in touch, and stay up to date with all the things that are going on around campus.

Click here to access our facebook page

Getting Around

Brisbane offers a modern and comprehensive public transport network, including rail, bus and ferry links which can all be accessed through the purchase of a single ticket. Student concessions apply on these services. Two taxi companies operate in the Brisbane metropolitan area.  *Please note: Concession tickets are not available to English students.

Public Transport

Public transport in Brisbane is coordinated by TransLink which provides a single public transport network covering South East Queensland. One TransLink ticket can take you wherever you want to go on buses, trains and ferries within the system. TransLink works together with the Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council, Queensland Rail and private operators to improve the integration of services – making it easier for you to get to where you want to go. Student concession tickets are available; you will be given more information regarding this during orientation week.

Uber – Ride Share Application

Uber is and easy and cost effective way to travel around Brisbane 24/7. To use the service you can download the application on your mobile device. For more information, please visit the Uber website.


Taxis can be expensive but when travelling in a group they can be cheaper, and more convenient than the bus. Special taxis called ‘maxi-taxis’ take as many as eight to twelve passengers. It is the law in Australia for all passengers in taxis to wear seat belts. You cannot bargain with a taxi driver for a fare. The taxi fare will be indicated on the metre located on the front panel of the taxi. Two taxi companies operate in Brisbane: Black & White Cabs (Ph 131 008) and Yellow Cabs (Ph 131924). Various limousine companies are also available, for contact details please consult the Yellow Pages phone directory.

Driving in Australia

You must have a valid, legal driver’s licence to drive in Queensland and you should be aware of, and follow the Australian road rules. You may drive in the state of Queensland with your current overseas licence for the duration of your stay in Australia (as a student on a student visa). This is on the condition that the licence is in English, or that you carry a certified translation of it with you. If your home country licence expires while you are in Australia, you will need to obtain a Queensland driver’s licence from Queensland Transport. Further information about obtaining certified translations and driving licences will be provided upon arrival. For detailed information about traffic road rules, obtain a booklet from Queensland Transport.

Cycling in Australia

Cycling is a popular mode of transport for students in Brisbane. You can buy second-hand bicycles from bicycle shops for approximately $100. These bicycles are usually reconditioned and have a short guarantee. The price of new bikes varies greatly depending on the brand and type. There are 520 kilometres of dedicated bikeways in Brisbane that are ideal for commuting or exploring the city. In Queensland, it is the law for all cyclists to wear an approved bicycle helmet and you can be fined for not wearing a helmet. Cyclists must obey the road rules, just like cars and other motor vehicles. They must ride on the left-hand side of the road at all times, obey traffic lights and road signs, and give way to pedestrians at pedestrian crossings. Cyclists may also be convicted for drink driving offences. Care must be taken at all times particularly when riding on major roads or during peak traffic periods.

Getting Support

The Sarina Russo Institute has a very caring and supportive environment and have a range of people for you to contact depending on the kind of support you require.  For specific support enquiries click here

Getting Money

The Sarina Russo Instutue main campus is in very close proximity to most major banks.

Keeping In Touch

We like to encourage our students to keep in touch with family and friends, especially our international students. The best way to contact your family and friends is by email and the internet or international telephone calls.

International Telephone Calls

After you arrive in Australia; you will be able to phone friends and family in your home country using public phones, landline phones, or mobile phones. The rates for international calls vary, depending on the telephone provider, length of call, time of day, and the country you are calling. In Australia, a popular way to call overseas is with an International Calling Card. These cards offer very reasonable rates and you can either use a public phone or landline telephone to make the call. International Calling Cards are readily available for purchase in newsagents, petrol stations and supermarkets.
Public Internet Access
Internet Cafes for public use are located throughout Brisbane. Brisbane City Libraries have free internet access for the general public. Bookings may be required in busy periods. Printers are also available to print information from the internet. Printing costs are usually around 10 – 20c a copy.

Sarina Russo Internet Access

For those students who are studying programs at either of our inner city Campus’s, Sarina Russo Institute has provided modern computerrooms and most floors have free wi-fi available for those students who wish to use their own equipment.

Adjusting to a New Culture

Adjusting to life in a foreign country can be both an exciting and daunting experience. Culture Shock is a term used to describe the anxiety a person may feel when they move to a new environment where everything is different, e.g. food, climate, language, customs. Sarina Russo has support services in place as your first point of contact if you are feeling homesick or if you need someone to talk to. They will be able to provide friendly support and advice about relevant services both on-campus and within the community.

Getting To Know Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and the third largest and fastest growing city in Australia, with a population of 1.7 million. The subtropical climate, lifestyle, picturesque river precinct, modern shopping, cultural and entertainment options make it one of Australia’s most liveable cities. Brisbane’s economy is diverse, with many emerging and established export industries including aviation and aerospace, creative industries, food and beverage production, and international education. Brisbane is regularly cited in surveys as one of the least expensive capital cities in Australia in which to live.

Dining and Shopping

Some of Brisbane’s finest restaurants and many inexpensive cafes, food halls and eatery’s and are a short walk away from both our inner city campus’s . There are two supermarkets within five minutes’ , Chinatown, which is a short walk from the campus, also offers a huge range of eating and entertainment options. Close by are the shopping and eating strips of Riverside and Queen Street Mall. Halal cuisine is also available from various outlets within walking distance.

Culture and Entertainment

The Brisbane River flows close to the city centre, offering stunning views and the opportunity for river cruises. Public transport provides easy access to many diverse cultural and entertainment venues including the Queensland Art Gallery, Botanical Gardens, ‘The Gabba’ (famous for hosting many international cricket matches), Queensland Museum, Southbank Convention and Entertainment Centre and other shopping malls.

One of the many attractions of life in Brisbane is the city’s proximity to the exciting tourist destinations of the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast with access via road, bus or train. Situated just an hour’s drive to the south of the city, the Gold Coast is home to world class beaches and amusement parks. The pristine beaches of the Sunshine Coast are an hour and a half’s drive to the north of Brisbane, along with spectacular National Park rainforests and major tourist attractions such as the Australia Zoo.

The Weather

While the summer maximum average temperate is only 30°C with some hot sunny days, the winter is also mild and very pleasant. Most winter days are sunny with average temperatures of around 15°C.

Month Avg. Max Temp Avg. Min Temp
Jan 29°C 21°C
Feb 29°C 20°C
Mar 28°C 19°C
Apr 26°C 16°C
May 23°C 13°C
Jun 21°C 11°C
Jul 20°C 9°C
Aug 22°C 10°C
Sep 24°C 13°C
Oct 26°C 16°C
Nov 28°C 18°C
Dec 29°C 20°C

For more Information about life in Brisbane can be found at:

Cost Of Living

Australia offers excellent value for money and one of the highest standards of living in the world. The cost of living in Brisbane is generally lower than other capital cities in Australia such as Sydney and Melbourne. These average costs should be viewed as an indication only and are based on the combined weekly costs of: rent (share), food, electricity and utility costs, transport/travel and miscellaneous items.

The cost of rental accommodation varies greatly according to considerations such as the number of people sharing, distance from the city centre, type of accommodation and proximity to public transport.

Students are advised to allow for on average, $A400 per trimester for books and supplies.  Living costs to consider includes:

  • food
  • accommodation (rent/electricity)
  • transport
  • clothes and social activities
  • communication (phones/internet/postage)
  • Overseas Student Health Cover

Approximate Living Costs in Australian Dollars per week

Type Cost $AU
Rent (share accommodation) $85 – $215
Groceries and eating out $80 – $280
Gas, electricity $35 – $140
Mobile phone and internet $25 – $55
Public transport / travel $15 – $55
Miscellaneous (clothes, toiletries, medical) $30 – $80
Total Estimated weekly costs $270 – $825