Who is considered an International Student?
Cairns Student Lodge considers international students as those who:
- a citizen of any country (except Australia, New Zealand or Papua New Guinea)
- a temporary resident of Australia, or
- a Permanent Resident of New Zealand or Papua New Guinea
Tips For International Students
Australia has a number of public holidays. Some are shared with other countries while others are unique to Australia. It is important to note that public holidays may impact university classes, public transport, retail shops, and medical services (excluding hospitals). For a full list of Australian public holidays visit the official website.
Mobile Phones and Sim Cards
Having a mobile phone is an easy way to keep in touch with family and friends at home. You can buy an Australian sim card that can be inserted directly into your existing phone, and many phone companies offer prepaid and short-term options. The primary phone providers in Australia are:
- Optus: http://www.optus.com.au/
- Telstra: https://www.telstra.com.au/
- Vodafone: http://www.vodafone.com.au/
- Virgin Mobile: http://www.virginmobile.com.au/
Banking in Australia
Your finances are important to consider when you are studying in Australia. There are a number of banks to choose from, and many offer student options and allow you to open your account before you arrive. The major banks in Australia are:
Your Visa and Health Care
There are a number of visas available to international students studying in Australia, including options that allow working while studying. Choosing the visa that is right for you will depend on your specific study situation, and all visas have conditions that need to be met by the visa applicant. For full information on visas for international students studying in Australia visit www.studyinaustralia.gov.au and www.border.gov.au
Depending on your chosen university and course you may also be required to fulfill English language requirements. Contact your chosen university for information on the English language requirements of various courses.
To study in Australia you are also required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). OSHC covers any health care costs you may incur during your stay. Find out more.
Emergency Assistance and Representation
There are a number of places that can offer you help in an emergency, or if you are in need of representation during your time studying in Australia. Options for assistance include foreign embassies, consulates, and your chosen university. To find out more visit the following websites:
Who is considered a Domestic Student?
From March 2017, Cairns Student Lodge considers domestic students as those that are:
- a citizen of Australia, New Zealand, or Papua New Guinea
- a dual citizen of Australia and any other country, or
- a Permanent Resident of Australia
Why do I need to set up a Direct Debit Authority?
All domestic students are required to provide a completed and signed Direct Debit Authority with an Australian bank account. This form is held in lieu of receiving a bond payment.
Can I set up a Direct Debit Authority using a Credit Card?
Unfortunately, we are unable to process direct debits to credit cards. Therefore we so can only accept direct debit authorities with Australian bank accounts.
Other General Queries
What are the different types of Rooming Agreements and when do they begin?
There are three types of rooming agreements available for residents.
- A 42-week rooming agreement paid in full in advance
- A 22-week rooming agreement paid in full in advance
- A 22-week rooming agreement paid fortnightly (every second week) in advance (available to domestic students only)
Cairns Student Lodge has 42-week rooming agreements start at the beginning of the year and span throughout Semester 1 and 2.
If you are studying in Australia for one semester (half a year) we also offer a limited number of 22-week rooming agreements subject to availability. 22-week agreements typically start at the beginning of the year (for students studying in Semester 1) and July (for students studying in Semester 2).
Three signatures are required on the rooming agreement:
- the person renting the room
- the Cairns Student Lodge General Manager, and
- a witness
A witness is defined as being any person over the age of 18 who knows the person renting the room.
Contracts start from the day you arrive at the Lodge. Students usually arrive one week prior to the beginning of the Semester for Orientation Week. So that would be the date your contract commences.
Can I choose my Room Mates?
At Cairns Student Lodge you can choose who to live with provided a few conditions are met:
- your preferred room mate must be included on your preferences, and you must be included on theirs
- your preferred room mate must be of the same gender, and
- rooms must be full
We encourage you to complete the section “” in the on-line reservation form. This helps us analyse your answers and place like minded people together.
Rent, Bond and Payments
In lieu of a rental bond, Cairns Student Lodge requires a signed direct debit authority for all domestic students.
At Cairns Student Lodge we have taken care that all our facilities look their best, but we understand that sometimes things happen. In the case of damage beyond normal wear and tear, we will fix it and charge you the cost; payment is then expected within 14 days of you being notified of the cost. For full details, please see the Fees and Charges Schedule.
Fees for 22-week and 42-week paid in full in advance rooming agreements can be paid by direct credit, cash (in person at reception), or by credit card (over the phone or in person). Please note that credit card fees apply and will depend on the type of credit card being used.
For 22-week paid fortnightly in advance rooming agreements, a direct debit authority must be completed and payment made via direct debit from an Australian bank account. Payment cannot be accepted via credit card or direct credit.
Cairns Student Lodge guarantees that rent will not be increased during the length of your rooming agreement.
Religious and Sporting Facilities
Cairns offers support for multiple religious denominations. If you have identified a religious organisation that you wish to attend, our helpful staff will assist you in finding the best way to get there. James Cook University (JCU) Cairns also has a number of religious student groups that may be of interest.
James Cook University (JCU) Cairns Student Association has a student support centre can help you to connect with locally run sporting clubs. There are a number of clubs in the area offering a wide variety of sports.
There is a gym located cross the road from Cairns Student Lodge in the Campus Shopping Village, and a YMCA gym within walking distance that offers student discounts. The JCU Student Association also runs a popular gym at reduced rates for students. Please contact the JCU Student Association for more information.
The Smithfield Marlin Coast pool is within walking distance. They offer a 50-metre outdoor pool, a 25-metre covered pool, swim squad, and swim coaching.
A car is not necessary as Cairns Student Lodge is located within walking distance to James Cook University, biking distance to the northern beaches, and is nearby public transport links. If you do wish to bring a car there is ample parking available. Cairns Student Lodge ready access to free on and off-street parking. For use of the free off-street parking, you are required to register your car with reception.
Cairns Student Lodge is located approximately 15km from the Cairns airport. Transport options from the airport are via taxi or shuttle bus.
The cost of a taxi is approximately $50 and can be booked by phoning 131 008. A transfer with Trinity Beach Transfers costs approximately $35; to book please contact John or Debbi via Facebook (Trinity Beach Transfers), email , or by phone: 0417 767 642 (John), 0408 878 530 (Debbi), 07 4055 3363 (Office).
The Sun Palm shuttle bus costs approximately $20; for details on booking visit the website at sunpalmtransport.com.au
Public transport is available from the end of Faculty Close, or from James Cook University. The bus ride from Cairns Student Lodge or James Cook University into Cairns city is approximately 30 minutes’ duration, or 10 minutes to the northern beaches Sunbus
Cairns Student Lodge provides plenty of covered bike storage areas. If you don’t have a bicycle but would like one, James Cook University has a recycled bicycle program. Bicycles sell for approximately $50 each and they can be sold back to the program when you leave.
Medical, Deliveries and Retail
Yes, Smithfield Medical Centre is opposite Cairns Student Lodge and appointments are available until 5.30pm. Phone 4057 7300 or book online at Smithfield Medical Centre
Marlin Coast Amcal pharmacy (phone 4057 8944) is also located opposite Cairns Student Lodge and is open 8am to 8pm.
For after hours appointments House Call Doctors can visit you at your unit too. Appointments can be booked by phoning 13 55 66, online at House Call Doctor, or via the mobile app. International students can find specific information at House Call Doctor
Residents’ mail is delivered via the mailbox system in the dining hall. If you receive a delivery that is too big to fit in your mailbox, a note will be left notifying you that you have a delivery. If you receive a notice in your mailbox you can collect your parcel from reception. Staff can sign on your behalf if a parcel requires a signature on delivery.
You can find everything you need with a number of shopping facilities located within easy access. Campus Shopping Village, located directly opposite Cairns Student Lodge, is home to a grocery store, chemist, medical and dental facilities, hair and beauty services, gymnasium, and a number of food outlets including takeaway options. A wider range of shopping options is available via a short bus or bicycle ride away at Smithfield Shopping Centre; shopping options include Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, banks, a post office, doctor’s offices, chemists, clothing stores, hair and beauty services, and a bookstore.
Campus Shopping Village, Smithfield Shopping Centre, and the surrounding area offer numerous off-campus food options. Options include Thai and Indian cuisine, ramen, KFC, Red Rooster, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, pizza, kebabs and sushi, as well as a number of cafés.