C H E A P S KAT E ’ S YOUR GUIDE TO SAVING MONEY ON AND OFF CAMPUS
CO N T ENTS Intro
Acknowledgement of Country The Arc Student Representative Council acknowledges the traditional custodians and rightful owners of this land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nations. We pay our respects to their elders past and present. The SRC supports the ongoing struggle of indigenous people for land rights, selfdetermination, reconciliation and justice. If you are reading this publication you are standing on Aboriginal land. All political comment is authorised by Anna Zhou and Brad Lorge (Co-Welfare Officers) Arc @ UNSW Blockhouse, UNSW 2033.
M aki n g C ents f or St u dents Between being smothered in high school and the rigours of a career, university is a great period of opportunity for students. Leaving high school and the comfort of your parents’ house can be both frightening and invigorating and you’re often left with lots of questions about everything from doctors to renting, with no idea where to find answers. An important part of being a student and making the transition into adulthood is managing a budget. Unfortunately, it is often achieved through weeks of trial and error when you’re forced to live off noodles because you ran out of money after a big weekend.
This is where the Cheapskates Guide comes in handy. We’re like that token old, wise student who has been around campus forever and knows the ins and outs of everything. This guide includes ways to save on pretty much everything from food and textbooks to household items and entertainment. Consider it your survival guide to UNSW and the best protection possible for your piggy bank. If you have any other issues, don’t hesitate to drop by the Welfare Room (Level 1 at the Blockhouse) or contact us at email@example.com. edu.au
FOOD Food is probably the largest cost that sneaks up on students. We all have an idea of how much food will cost (“I can easily live off $10 a day”), but that is often far from reality. Breakfast on the run, nights out and trips to the coffee cart can quickly add up, but it’s easy to make some changes. The cheapest, most obvious way to eat on campus is to bring your own food. Taking the extra 10 minutes every morning to pack your own food can save you around $50 by the end of the week. Really low on time? How about a sandwich, a piece of fruit or some of last night’s leftovers (see ‘Microwave Map’). Another simple way to cut costs and reduce waste is to bring your own reusable water bottle and reﬁll it at the water stations around campus. Look out for the free breakfast provided by the SRC each week in front of the library. A variety of cereals and milk are provided and sometimes banana bread, pancakes or other baked goods are on offer. Dates and times differ each semester so contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the most up to date information. The Vegetarian Society on campus (Vegesoc) also provides really cheap and healthy food every week outside the Blockhouse (see What’s On for deets), their most expensive option is around $5.50. The Food Co-op located at the back of the Roundhouse, provides lots of super-cheap organic fruit and vegetable boxes weekly, ingredients 2
and snacks. Visit their website www. thoughtfulfoods.org.au or drop by for more information.
markets Markets are a great opportunity to get cheaper, better quality fresh produce and a variety of other goods than what’s provided in the supermarkets. If you don’t have a car, make sure you buy a small trolley to save your hands on the trip home. you can find these at most discount stores. Kingsford Rotary Markets cnr Anzac Pde and Rainbow St, Kingsford, every Sunday 9am - 3pm. Paddy’s Markets cnr Hay and Thomas St Haymarket, every Thursday to Sunday, 9am - 5pm. Surry Hills Markets Shannon Reserve - cnr of Crown and Little Collins St, 1st Saturday of every month 7am 4pm. list of Sydney and NSW markets on www.marketsandfairs.com.au/marketsnsw. html. Check it out and see if there’s a market near you.
Tips for saving money at the supermarket: ••Don’t go on an empty stomach. If you’ve ever shopped when you’re hungry, you’ll know that you can often end up with massive packets of
The Vegetarian Society on campus (Vegesoc) cheap and healthy food every week everything around $5 outside the Blockhouse
chips and blocks of chocolate you didn’t intend on getting. ••Make a list. Planning your meals means you can buy certain items in bulk, like meat or vegetables that you can use throughout the week. It also means that you’re not tempted into expensive pre-packed meals because you couldn’t remember what you needed. ••Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re always saving money on multiple product offers. They work well for things like toilet paper, but it’s not necessarily worth buying an extra two packets of biscuits just to save 30¢ ••If you shop later in the day, you can often find baked items and other perishables at discounted prices. It’s not just the supermarkets though, if you head to any food store just before closing you might find a few cheap items. ••When comparing products, check the unit prices (cost per weight) to make sure you’re getting the best deal. ••Avoid relying on convenience stores. Their prices are much higher than a larger supermarket and they provide less variety. ••If you receive paper catalogues, identify items you use on sale and be prepared to visit a few supermarkets to get the best deals across the board. You can also view catalogues via the supermarket’s website.
••Don’t just visit Coles and Woolworths. You can find great savings outside the big two, especially at ALDI and local stores such as butchers and bakeries.
Supermarkets close to campus Coles Randwick 148 Belmore Rd, Randwick, Mon-Sat: 6am Midnight, Sun: 8am -10pm. Woolworths Randwick 73-109 Belmore Rd, Randwick, Mon-Sat: 7am10pm, Sun: 8am-10pm Foodworks Kensington 256 Anzac Pde, Kensington, Mon-Sat: 8am 9pm, Sun: 8am - 7pm. IGA Kingsford 361 Anzac Pde, Kingsford. Randwick Oriental Supermarket 54 Belmore Rd, Randwick. ALDI is usually cheaper than the major supermarkets, but there aren’t any near campus. There is one that’s pretty close to campus in Waterloo (Cnr Danks St and Bourke St) and one in Maroubra (Pacific Square Shopping Centre, 737 Anzac Parade), so you may be able to find bargains if you’re willing to trek outside of the general area of the uni.
The Food Co-op www.thoughtfulfoods.org.au
Back of the Roundhouse super-cheap organic fruit vegetable boxes
IGA KENSINGTON UNSW Kensington Campus. 3
M I C R OWAV E M AP Swimming Pool
Gym Lowy Cancer Research Centre
Chancellery Morven Brown Bldg
Central Lecture Block
Australian School of Business
Science Law Building
Bank Library Stage 2
10 Biological Science s
The Scientia Newton Bldg
4 Rupert Myers Building
The Red Centre
Child Care Centre
Io Myers Theatre
1. 2. 3. 4.
Vallentine Annexe Civil Engineering
Law Student Lounge (Law Building, Level 1) Womenâ€™s Room (Blockhouse, Level 1) Chemical Engingeering Common Room Rupert Myers Common Room (Rupert Myers Building, Level 2) 5. Postgraduate Lounge (Blockhouse, Ground Floor) 6. Queerspace (Chemical Sciences, Level 9) 7. ASB (Team Room) 8. Welfare & Disabilities Room (Blockhouse, Level 1) 9. Samuels Bulding (Wilton Room, 113) 10. Biological Sciences (Level 2) 11. Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Building (Level 3) 12. International Students Lounge (John Goodsell Building, Ground Level)
ST UD ENT L IF E Uni is more than just going to class and cramming in the library. When you’re not studying, there’s plenty to do that won’t cost you heaps.
Arc Membership If you’re really looking to get the most out of your time as a student, you should definitely join Arc. Once you’re a member you can receive a bunch of discounts on and off campus, free entry to Unibar parties, legal advice and a bunch of other services. Check out www.arc.unsw.edu.au for more details, or drop by the Blockhouse.
Clubs and Societies During O-Week, you’ll be bombarded by a selection of clubs and societies, ranging from the usual faculty societies to ones about Pokemon. They’re a great way to get involved in areas you’re interested in, and their membership and events are often free or at a low cost.
Happy Hour If you haven’t heard of Happy Hour, you obviously haven’t been on campus long enough. Each day between 5pm and 6pm, the Roundhouse comes alive with students keen to make the most of their money. Wednesdays feature Double Happy Hour from 5pm to 7pm and The White House also has Happy Hour from 4pm to 5pm.
Unibar Parties A few times a semester, The Roundhouse has Session Parties and it’s a good chance to let your hair down and forget that you have class on Fridays. They’ve always got some wacky theme that all the college kids dress up for. If you’re an Arc Member, the regular parties are free! The big ones are Foundation Day (UNSW’s Birthday) and Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is the one day a year that UNSW seems to forget that it’s a uni and remember it’s a place of tens of thousands of young people. All up, the price is nothing in comparison to other festivals but you’ll get some great entertainment.
Blitz and Tharunka These two magazines can be found all around campus and are free. Blitz is produced weekly and keeps you up to date on what’s happening on campus and often includes interviews with celebrities, articles featuring legal advice and light hearted looks on uni life. Tharunka is produced six times a semester and provides a more in-depth look at issues around campus and those affecting students. Tharunka also produces a Queer issue and a Women’s issue each year.
Happy Hour RoundHouse 5pm-6pm WhiteHouse 4pm - 5pm
Double Happy Hour Wednesdays 5pm - 7pm
ST UDYI NG Textbooks It can be shocking to be confronted with a huge bill at the beginning of a semester for textbooks you need to buy. Buying second-hand saves heaps, but make sure you’re getting the same edition. Also, wait until the second week to buy your books to make sure they’re actually essential. UNSW Library (info.library.unsw.edu.au) - Sometimes you can save heaps of money by borrowing the book and photocopying the relevant sections. You can also renew your loans, hire laptops and book group study rooms online through ‘Your Borrower Record’. UNSW Second-Hand Bookshop (Ground Floor, Blockhouse, www.bookshop. unsw.edu.au/secondhand.html) - You can buy and sell textbooks through the Second-Hand Bookshop. They will buy your current texts at 35% of the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) and sell them with at least 30% off the RRP. If you want to sell your book directly to other students, you can advertise on the official noticeboards on the Basser Steps and outside the Second-Hand Bookshop - drop into the Bookshop and ﬁll in a notice. UNSW Bookshop (Quad building / www.bookshop.unsw.edu. au) - It’s always best to avoid buying new if you can, but if you do the Bookshop is a good place to start – and you’re guaranteed 10% of the RRP.
Textbook Exchange (www.textbookexchange.com.au) - You can often get books at half the RRP, ﬁlter results by campus then arrange to meet the seller. www.bookdepository.co.uk A hidden gem with free international shipping; worth a look to get the best deals on your textbooks and a variety of other books.
••Uniwide (www.it.unsw.edu.au/students/ uniwide/index.html) - Visit the website for a guide on to how to connect to the free wireless internet around campus. Note: Don’t download anything illegal via Uniwide; you could be ﬁned up to $1,000.
Stationery UNSW Stationery Re-Use Centre (Quad 1001a, Level 1, East Wing, Quad Building) Lots of free stationery, from in-trays to folders. OfFIceworks (www.ofﬁceworks.com.au, 14 - 26 Ebley St, Bondi Junction) – A massive stationery store with everything you’d ever need. Keep your receipts because your purchases might be tax deductible..
Computers Laptop Hire - The UNSW Library lets you hire laptops online through ‘Your Borrower Record’.
Calculator Borrowing Scheme Need a calculator for an exam or just studying for a short time? Borrow one from the SRC. Go to Arc Reception and leave $10 or a driver’s licence as a deposit to borrow an examapproved calculator for 48 hours.
Free Study Resources ••UNSW Learning Centre (Lower Ground Floor, North Wing, Chancellery Building / www. lc.unsw.edu.au) - If you want to improve your
essay writing, referencing and study skills, this is a great place to start. The programs run by the Learning Centre are free!
Timetabling Rectangles (www.mahler.cse.unsw.edu.au/ rectangles) - This awesome auto-timetabler helps you organise your classes around your other commitments (eg part-time work, childcare or just sleeping in every day).
The Hub The Hub is a shared space where students can engage in study and group work activities, use meeting rooms for group study purposes or hang out with friends. Working space is provided for interns, Social Work students on placement and those working on joint staff/ student projects. They can also link you with UNSW services available on campus and answer any of your questions. The team of Student Participation Advisors can help you with your welfare and uni related matters, including financial concerns, housing options, tenancy matters, study concerns, referral to legal services, health matters and academic issues. These services are free, confidential and professional.
For more information, you can find The Hub at Lower Ground Floor, Morven Brown Building (opposite CLB theatres) or visit www.thehub. unsw.edu.au.
Student Central Student Central is the enquiry and service centre for UNSW’s central administration processes. Find them on the Lower Ground Floor of the Chancellery Building or visit www. studentcentral.unsw.edu.au.
There are some scholarships available for people who can prove that they are experiencing difficulty with the costs of living and studying. To prove that you face financial hardship, you can make a claim to the university by providing either: ••A receipt of a Centrelink (or other Commonwealth) means-tested income support payment (such as Austudy, ABSTUDY, Youth Allowance etc), or ••Comprehensive information (supported by documentation) demonstrating exceptional financial hardship.
Scholarships The university offers a wide range of scholarships, which can be a lifesaver for cash-strapped students. The scholarships can be based on a large variety of factors; some scholarships are faculty or school-based, industry linked, exclusively for rural students, Indigenous Australians or International students. Others are for high achieving students in high school, accommodation needs or based on financial need. There are a range available, so the only way to know if you’re eligible is to search through them - luckily UNSW has a scholarships website with a great search bar - visit www.scholarships.online. unsw.edu.au/scholarship. To register for a scholarship you have to go through ‘My Application Online’, which you can access through the scholarship website. If you qualify for more than one, then the university will let you know if you can use both of them simultaneously.
Relocation Scholarship Relocation scholarship is a payment made once a year to help uni students who live away from their family home while they’re studying. This is available if you are getting ABSTUDY (for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students only) or Youth Allowance as a full-time student. You also need to be: ••Studying full-time in an approved scholarship course, and either ••Be a dependent person who has to live away from home to study, or ••Meet specific scholarship independence criteria. You don’t need to make a separate claim to access the relocation scholarship. When you claim a Centrelink payment, your eligibility for the Relocation Scholarship is assessed at the same time.
The Relocation Scholarship for students whose family home is in an area classified as Inner Regional Australia, Outer Regional Australia, Remote Australia or Very Remote Australia is: ••$4,000 if it is the first year in which a student is required to live away from home to undertake full-time study in an approved scholarship course ••$2,000 if it is the second or third year ••$1,000 if it is the fourth year or subsequent year. The Relocation Scholarship for students whose family home is in an area that is not classified as Inner Regional Australia, Outer Regional Australia, Remote Australia or Very Remote Australia is: ••$4,000 if it is the first year in which a student is required to live away from home to undertake full-time study in an approved scholarship course$1,000 in any subsequent years. For more information, visit www.humanservices. gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/ relocation-scholarship.
Remember, most scholarships cannot be deferred so don’t apply for one if you’re planning on taking a gap year. Generally, you can only get one scholarship at a time, although there are exceptions for some academic-based awards. 7
SH O P P I N G Whether you’re getting clothes or attempting to ﬁt out your ﬁrst place after moving out, shopping can be a very expensive experience. The easiest way across the board way to save money is to buy second hand. Become familiar with your local op shop; not only is it cheap but you’re bound to ﬁnd a few gems. The internet is also always a great place to ﬁnd people who are selling things second-hand or even giving them away. Attempting to tailor or ﬁx your own clothes is not only extremely cost effective, but a life-long skill. For the price of a needle and thread, you can take up pants, ﬁx splits and reinvent pieces. YouTube tutorials are an easy way to learn how to sew. Also check out Arc’s Flea Markets. They’re held on the first Wednesday of each month, near the Blockhouse at the bottom of the main walkway. You can find almost anything at these markets, from cheap clothes and handbags to one-off pieces and phone cases - there’s always a great variety so be sure to check them out. It’s also free to host a stall if you’re an Arc member, visit www.arc.unsw.edu.au/ entertainment/events-and-parties/arc-fleamarkets for more.
www.salvosstores.salvos.org.au Find your nearest Salvos store or buy online. If you’ve got access to a car, it’s worth visiting their massive warehouse store in Tempe which is full of second-hand furniture, clothes, appliances and more at great prices. You can also find information about donating and volunteering via their website.
www.gumtree.com.au You can search for almost anything on Gumtree, from pets or a place to live to any household item second-hand (and sometimes free). Some sellers are also willing to deliver your item if you don’t have a car.
Throughout the year there are tonnes of revues on campus, which are basically student-run musical comedy shows. These include Med Revue, Law Revue, CSE Revue, New College Revue and Jew Revue. They’re usually about $10 a ticket. Get a ticket early, they often sell quick!
www.ebay.com.au If you haven’t used Ebay before, get acquainted. Ebay has absolutely everything you could imagine; there are almost no limits. Ebay comes in especially handy when you’re looking for an outfit to a Roundhouse party, particularly Oktoberfest, as a costume is pretty much the uniform. Also check out sites like Scoopon, Groupon, Cudo, Spreets and Catch of the Day for heavily discounted products and services. Keep in mind that vouchers may have an expiry date, and book early for services as they can sell out advance.
Clubs and Societies A wide array of clubs and societies on campus often hold events where you can meet awesome, interesting people. These events are set up with students in mind and most likely won’t break the bank. To find out more about clubs and societies, go to www.arc.unsw.edu.au/get-involved/clubsand-societies or pick up the nearest copy of Blitz to see what events are on each week.
On Campus If you’re interested in culture or comedy, you’re well served on campus too! There are plays and performances at Figtree Theatre and the nearby NIDA throughout the year. Look out for the NSW University Theatre Society (or NUTS for short) and the Comedy Society Studio 4.
Off Campus If you’re looking for a great night out that won’t break the bank, Coyote Tuesday has you covered. It’s on every Tuesday at the Trademark Hotel, right under the massive Coke sign in Kings Cross. For UNSW students, tickets cost only $5 and come with a free drink. They have themed nights most weeks and have some of Australia’s best DJs perform. If more than 30 students are coming from UNSW, a bus will be organized to go from the campus straight there. Call Millie on 0406422309 for tickets and go to www.coyotetuesday.com.au if you want more info. et tick
T RA N SPO R T Buses Circular Quay & Central Station Express Buses: ••890 goes from Circular Quay to High St. ••The 891 (prepaid) travels between High St and Central Station. ••The 892 between High St. and Circular Quay and ••the 895 (prepaid) goes from Anzac Parade to Central Station. ••All buses to and from Circular Quay are via the City. Metrobuses (M50 / M10): ••The M10 travels between Leichardt and Maroubra Junction via the City and can be caught on Anzac Parade. The M50 travels between Drummoyne and Coogee via Rozelle, the City and Surry Hills and can be caught on High St. Bondi Junction: ••The 400 and 410 (prepaid) from Burwood, Rockdale or Eastgardens and can be caught on High St or Anzac Parade. ••The 348 goes to Bondi Junction from Wolli Creek and can be caught on High St. Coogee: ••The 370 can be caught on High St and travels to and from Leichardt via Glebe and Newtown. Maroubra Junction: ••The X96, X97 and X99 are all express buses
to Maroubra Junction and can be caught on Anzac Parade. For more information visit www. sydneybuses.com.au for maps, routes and trip planners.
Cycling Cycling to uni is good for your health, the environment and saves you money. Make sure you research your route well and use cycleways where possible, and always wear a helmet or you could face a fine. If you’re riding in late in the afternoon remember to have lights fitted to your bike. It may not seem dark, but bikes can be very difficult to see in traffic. Recently the SRC’s Environment Collective lobbied and achieved more bike racks for students, so there are now plenty all over campus. ••UNSW Bike Club (unswbikeclub.org.au) The UNSW Bike Club runs weekly repair workshops. If you’ve got a problem with your bike they can teach you how to fix it or you can also fix up one of their donated bikes for yourself. Ask them for information about riding to and from uni and check their website for details.
! When you bring everything back, they subtract a small amount of money from your deposit, and give you the rest back. Visit their website for more details.
Carpooling Do you drive to uni with empty seats in your car? UNSW has a carpooling service! You can find other people to drive with, who either have a car or are looking for a lift. Check it out at unsw. mycarpools.com.
Public Transport Concessions Don’t forget to update your student concession sticker every year at FM Assist! If you get caught with a student ticket and no proof of concession, you can get fined up to $100. You can buy MyBus Single and MyBus Ten bus tickets at any of the stores on campus.
••Bike Loans - The Bike Club also runs a program that lets you borrow a bike for up to one year. All you need to do is give them a small monetary deposit and a photocopy of your student card and you will get a bike, helmet, a lock and lights. You can keep it for up to a year. Every month, you bring it along to a bike workshop for a check-up and maintenance. 9
ST UD ENT HO U S I N G One of the biggest decisions you’ll face while you’re at uni is where to live. If you’re lucky enough to stay with your parents, it’s definitely the cheapest option, but if you’re forced to move from a regional area or interstate, you’ll be forced to pay up. A share house will be the most cost effective, but there are a few things to keep in mind when renting with ‘friends’.
Renting Renting can be quite expensive if you’re on your own, so choosing to move in with friends can ease the burden. Be realistic going into it about what the experience will be like: it’s not going to be fun all the time, especially when you’re trying to sleep at 3am and your housemates come home drunk. Don’t fall into the trap of moving in with your partner too soon just to save money - it may end up costing you in the long run if you part ways before your lease ends. However, with a bit of respect on all sides, renting can be a great experience.
lease, you won’t be considered a tenant and you’ll have very limited legal protection ••Make sure your landlord or agent has lodged your money with the NSW Office of Fair Trading Renting Services. It is illegal for them to hang onto your bond if you’re a tenant (although not if you are just boarding or in homestay). You will receive a Confirmation of Bond Lodgment notice from Fair Trading shortly after your bond has been lodged, and you can check whether it has been lodged by calling 133 220. ••Be very thorough when checking your Condition Report. You have seven days to return it to your agent with any additional damage they may have missed. It is always best to be extremely diligent, as you don’t know how particular they may be when they’re inspecting the property when you move out. Remember to check hidden places like inside the oven and cabinets, not just for damage but also check for signs of mould and proof the property is unclean. Taking photos for proof is always a good idea.
Moving in: ••Usually you will need to pay one month’s rent in advance, plus a bond that you will get back when you move out (if there’s no damage or unpaid bills or rent). Get all housemates to put their names on the lease, then everyone is culpable for damage, and you won’t be solely responsible (at least legally) for the bill. ••If you are moving in with others, make sure your name is on the lease. If you aren’t on the 10
During your tenancy: ••Don’t do anything contrary to your lease and keep your landlord/agent informed if you have any problems/if any damage is caused. ••If you notice any faults with the property such as leaks or mould, notify the real estate agent or landlord immediately. They must address these faults within a reasonable period of time. If not, you have the option to go to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT).
••Keep any copies of any letters you’ve sent to the agent or any they’ve sent you, and make a note of phone conversations.
Moving out ••You don’t necessarily end your tenancy when the lease ends. If you have a written agreement, be sure to check the number of days’ notice you have to give your landlord or you could risk losing bond money if you leave too early. Make sure you seek advice before you end your lease. ••For more information, contact the Welfare Officer or Arc Student Support for legal advice (email@example.com). ••You can also contact the Tenants Union through www.tenants.org.au who can put you in touch with your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service.
On Campus Living on campus can be a great transition into the housing world. Although it is often more expensive than sharing accommodation, you’re left with few responsibilities and you don’t have to worry about traveling to uni. There are a variety of options on campus that range from the colleges to private accommodation. College life provides a great community and support network, whereas private accommodation offers a more independent lifestyle where you’ll be doing all of your own cooking and cleaning. One thing to remember about living on campus is that it does not instantly mean you’ll be spending more time at the library, as you’re just
as close to Unibar too. Visit www.housing.unsw. edu.au for more information about your choices on campus.
you’re looking for a room to rent or if you’ve got a spare room in your place to rent out, including http://studentflatmates.com.au and gumtree
Boarding/Lodging and Homestay
If you are a boarder, lodger or in a homestay, you have far fewer rights and you are not protected by tenancy law. You’ll probably be a boarder/ lodger if you don’t have a lockable room, there is a caretaker for your property or you are supplied with essentials like toiletries or food. If you are boarding, your landlord only needs to give you ‘reasonable’ notice if they want to evict you, and you don’t have protection against increased rents or minimum standards for the property. However you can leave with very little notice and don’t have the same obligations as tenants.
Staying at Home As soon as you start uni, it can be tempting to jump into the world of adulthood headfirst and move out. Whilst for some this can work out, especially if you live far from uni, for others it’s better to stay at home. If you’re at home, it is definitely the cheapest option, and gives you the opportunity to save money to move out further down the track. Don’t underestimate the emotional support from staying at home either. When you’re stressed, there’s nothing like support from your family and a home-cooked meal.
People with less than $3,000 in savings may be eligible for a Rentstart interest-free bond loan to help them pay for up to 75% of their bond. However note if you don’t receive the bond back from the landlord due to damage etc, you still have to pay the money back. The Department of Housing provides other payments and support if you’re struggling in a rental situation. You can find more information at www.housingpathways. nsw.gov.au.
Utilities If this is your first time living out of home and you’ve been enjoying life for three months, it can be a shock to get your first electricity bill after all those long showers and electric heaters (see money saving tips at the end). Also, At the end of the day, after you’ve sorted it all out and weighed up your options, remember that sharing can be a hassle too. There’ll be moments when you’re fighting at 2am over toilet paper and a 60c contribution to dishwashing liquid. Staying with your parents if you’ve got that option is definitely preferable, especially when you’re still a first year. If you do move from a regional area, check out our section on scholarships to ensure you’re not missing out on any government schemes designed to help your transition.
MONEY SAVING TIPS avoid paying your bills late some companies will charge you extra for this on your next bill look over your bills carefully you might be getting charged extras on your phone or other services that you never use. To receive your bills via email Some companies will charge extra to send paper bills to your address installed energy-efficient lightglobes, shower-heads and tap flowlimiters some companies will install them for free pay your bills monthly keep track of your usage
There are a variety of websites you can visit if 11
HE A LT H Medicare Card With one of these, you can see a doctor without having to pay (if the doctor bulk bills). The UNSW Health Service bulk bills, but even if your local doctor doesn’t the government subsidises some of the cost. To get one, visit www. medicareaustralia.gov.au to find your nearest Medicare office.
to help them adjust to their new environment. For more information and counselling and the services they provide, visit their website.
Overseas Student Health Cover
Ground Floor, East Wing, Quad Building, Tel: 9385 5425
For international students it is a visa requirement to maintain health cover while in Australia. It might be useful for students to do research before signing a health cover deal. There are four main companies that provide health cover for international students: BUPA, Medibank, OSHC Health Cover (Worldcare) and AMP. t
Mon-Thurs: 8:30am-5:30pm, Friday: 8:30am5pm, http://www.healthservices.unsw.edu.au/
Health Care Cards
UNSW Health Service
This is a general practice, with male and female doctors, part-time psychiatrists and orthopedic surgeons. They bulk-bill, meaning you don’t have to pay if you have a Medicare card.
UNSW Counselling Service (Kensington) Level 2, East Wing, Quad Building, Tel: 9385 5418 (COFA) Ground Floor, G Block, Room 05, Tel: 9385 0733 www.counselling.unsw.edu.au / counselling@ unsw.edu.au University can be an extremely stressful time, especially for new students. The Counselling Service offers free counselling to all UNSW students and staff. Counselling can provide you with guidance and support for dealing with your studies to personal issues. Peer mentoring is available for students, with programs for students from rural and regional backgrounds 12
If you have a low income while you are studying you might be eligible for a Health Care Card. This allows for health and basic living cost concessions such as discounts on some medications and bills. Visit www.humanservices. gov.au for more information about Health Care Cards.
Sexual Health STI Check Ups Regular STI testing, especially when you change partners, is a very good idea. Medicare will provide for free STI testing (except for AIDS) and the Health Service bulk bills so you’ve got no excuse. Pap Smears This is yet another service covered by Medicare, so it’s free. If you’re female, it’s recommended that you get a pap smear test within six months of becoming sexually
active or once you turn 18 and every two years after that. Pap smears are very quick and easy procedures and are only slightly uncomfortable. The test will detect cervical cancer before it develops. Free Condoms and Dental Dams These are available from Contact, as well as the Women’s Room (if you’re a woman) and the Queer Space. Cervical Cancer Vaccine Visit your local GP to get this vaccine, which protects you against one of the most common cancers in females.
MO N E Y Tax Returns
You will need to lodge a tax return by October 31st every year if:
TaxHelp is a program run by the Australian Taxation Office that provides assistance to people who can earn less than $35,000, as long as they meet certain criteria (like not having sold shares, or owned a rental property). Check the website for the full criteria. It runs between July and October, so call the ATO as soon as you get the paperwork from your employer. Visit www.ato. gov.au/taxhelp/ for more information.
••You earned over $18,000 in the last financial year (July to June). ••You paid as-you-go tax while you were earning, but earned under $18,000, in which case you’ll get it all refunded. ••You earned less than $18,000 but you are a non-resident. All international students must lodge a tax return if they earn money in Australia, but if you’re studying a course for longer than six months you’re considered a resident for tax purposes. Go to www.ato.gov.au to find out how to file your tax return.
Getting a Tax File Number (TFN) You need a TFN, or else you’ll be taxed at the maximum threshold which is 45c in every dollar. Apply at an ATO office or online at www.ato. gov.au.
Student Bank Accounts Most banks offer students bank accounts with reduced costs and fees. Many banks charge no annual fees for these accounts and provide free MasterCard or Visa debit cards (different from a credit card - you can only spend your own money). Just be sure to provide them a Student ID once a year or they might start charging you.
UNSW Interest-Free Student Loans my.unsw.edu.au/student/atoz/StudentLoans. html / firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 9385 8500
Loans are for up to $1,500, but in some circumstances loans of $4,000 may be available. Loans of up to $300 must be repaid within 2 months, up to $500 repaid within six months and up to $1,500 repaid within 12 months. Available to domestic UNSW students who have completed one semester, are in good academic standing and don’t have any current debt to UNSW. You may have to supply a guarantor (someone who will pay back your loan if you can’t). For loans of over $200 you will have to supply documentation, including bank statements and pay slips. If you fail to make repayments, the University will terminate the loan and initiate legal proceedings. Make sure you negotiate a realistic payment schedule.
EMP LOYMENT Finding a good job and knowing your rights can mean more money, more time for your social life, and a better time while you’re at uni. It sucks that students have to work and study concurrently. 70% of full-time students are employed during the academic year and many find it difficult to balance the two commitments. Keep in mind that UNSW does not consider work commitments to be grounds for special consideration or non-attendance (unless in exceptional circumstances). You need to make sure that your work commitments don’t clash with your classes and that they allow you the time to study for your subjects and complete your assignments.
Your Rights at Work Part-time or casual work is an unfortunate reality for many students. Unscrupulous employers often exploit your lack of experience in the workplace and your limited knowledge of your rights at work, so it’s vital that you know them and what to do if they aren’t upheld. The situation isn’t made any easier by Australia’s complex workplace laws. If you try to navigate the industrial relations system yourself, you’re likely to miss something. You’re much safer joining a union, which exists to provide information and assistance to its members. Arc can also provide legal advice at the Blockhouse to help you out.
You have the right to be
••Parental leave and related entitlements
••Paid fairly and regularly for the work that you have done;
••Long service leave
••Treated fairly and with respect in your place of work, and not experience discrimination or harassment;
••Annual leave – Four weeks paid leave per year, plus an additional week for certain shift workers.
••Safe from health hazards at work, and
••Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave
••Part of a union. You cannot be pressured into joining or not joining a union, and you cannot be dismissed if you are a member.
••A paid day off on a public holiday, except where reasonably requested to work.
National Employment Standards Most employees in Australia are now covered by the national workplace relations system overseen by Fair Work Australia. If you work for a state or local government, you will be covered by the state system. The national system provides a minimum set of standards which operate in conjunction with ‘awards’ or individual workplace agreements. full or part time employee If you are a full or part time employee, your employer must provide these standards as a minimum: ••Maximum weekly hours of work - 38 hours per week, plus reasonable additional hours. ••Requests for flexible working arrangements allow parents or carers of a child under school age or under 18 with a disability to request a change in working conditions to assist with the child’s care.
••Notice of termination and redundancy pay - up to four weeks notice of termination and up to 16 weeks redundancy pay, both based on length of service. ••Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement Casual Employees If you are a casual employee, you have fewer rights and protections: ••Two days unpaid carer’s leave and two days unpaid compassionate leave per occasion. ••Maximum weekly hours ••Community service leave (except paid jury service) ••To have a day off on a public holiday, unless reasonably requested to work by the employer. ••Provision of the Fair Work Information Statement.
Unpaid Trial Work Unpaid trial work is what happens when you apply for your job and the employer asks you to do a couple of shifts for free, to ‘check if you’re right for the position’. It’s common practice in hospitality and retail. Unpaid trial work is illegal. You have a legal right to be paid for the work you do. Unpaid Out-Of-Shop Hours Some employers, particularly in retail, will only pay workers for the hours that the shop is open for business. This can mean up to an hour a day spent opening and closing the shop (cleaning etc) that you’re not being paid for. This is illegal - you have a legal right to be paid for every hour you work.
Unions Unions are there to protect and advance your rights at work. There are unions for most sectors of the workforce and you have the legal right to join a union. Joining a union is an investment in your pay and conditions - employees are in a stronger bargaining position when they work together. A union will generally take a small membership fee, but you can claim it as a tax deduction. Contact the ACTU Hotline (see below) for more details.
you to earn more than $400 in other fortnights without your payments being reduced.
Finding a Job Arc @ UNSW (www.arc.unsw.edu.au/Jobs.aspx / see Blitz magazine) – Arc @ UNSW is your student organisation on campus. It’’’s run by students, for students and offers services like free legal advice, student support and fun activities like O-Week, the UniBar and Oktoberfest, so there are lots of rewarding, enjoyable and studentfocused jobs available in Arc, UNSW and externally listed here. Nothing better than a job on campus! UNSW Careers and Employment (www.careers.unsw.edu.au, Tel: 9385 5429) They will provide you with free help to look for work in Sydney and beyond.
Contact Kingsford Legal Centre (www.law.unsw.edu.au/centres/klc, Tel: 9398 6366) - This is a centre providing legal advice, including on employment. Australian Council of Trade Unions (www.actu.asn.au, Tel: 1300 4 UNION ) - The ACTU will put you in touch with the appropriate union for your area of employment or simply give you advice. Arc Student Support (email@example.com, Tel: 9385 7700) Legal advice and advocacy. SRC Welfare Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) - If you prefer to speak to your elected representative about your employment rights, email them.
Work and Centrelink If you are receiving Youth Allowance/Austudy/ Abstudy, you can earn up to $400 per fortnight before your Centrelink payments start decreasing. If you earn less than $400 some fortnights, your ‘income bank’ grows, allowing 15
YO U T H A LLOWA NCE Youth Allowance is a government scheme that provides financial support to ‘young’ people who are studying. Unfortunately, many of its payments are wrapped up in enormous amounts of red tape; payslips and birth certificates are often necessary. It can be difficult and painful to get (and keep) Centrelink payments, but the payments make up for the effort. Below are some tips to help you through the system, however if it’s all just too confusing, make an appointment to see someone at Centrelink. Take every form and document you’ve ever received, and your questions, and they can help you sort it out.
Basic Requirements You can apply for Youth Allowance if you are: ••A full-time student, or undertaking at least 75% of the full-time load (18 units of credit at UNSW), ••Have lived in Australia for over two years, ••Are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent resident visa.
Dependent vs Independent Which one are you? There are two ways to apply for Youth Allowance payments. The first is the ‘dependent’ criteria, in which your eligibility to receive Youth Allowance 16
is based on your parents’ income and assets. The second is the ‘independent’ criteria. Under this criteria, the rate of Youth Allowance is higher and isn’t affected by your parents’ income and assets. You are considered to be ‘independent’ if you are:
transport to travel from your parents’ home to uni. However, there is a compulsory requirement to reside at your uni while you study. If you are 25 and over, you can apply for Austudy (very similar to Youth Allowance) if you: ••Meet residence requirements, and
••22 or older and a full-time student,
••Are studying at least 75% of the full-time load, and
••Are or have been legally married, in a registered relationship or in a de facto relationship,
••Pass a personal and partner income and assets test
••You have or have had a dependent child, ••You have worked to support yourself, ••You have parents who can’t exercise their responsibilities, ••You are unable to live at home because of extreme family breakdown, violence or threats to your wellbeing, ••You are a refugee without parents who live in Australia, ••You are an orphan and haven’t been legally adopted, ••You are in state care or only stopped being in state care because of your age. Note that you might be able to access a higher ‘Away From Home’ rate of Youth Allowance if you need to live away from your parents’ home in order to study. For uni students, you may be eligible if it takes more than 90 minutes by public
If you need any more details, go to www. humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/ centrelink/youth-allowance or contact Arc Student Support at email@example.com
Working on Youth Allowance As a student you can earn up to $400 before tax per fortnight before your payment is affected. Income over $400 and up to $480 reduces your payment by 50c in the dollar. Income over $480 per fortnight reduces your payment by 60c in the dollar. You can also use the Income Bank to build up ‘credit’ when you earn less than $400 per fortnight. You can accumulate up to $10,000 credit in your income bank. If there are times when you earn more than $400 in a fortnight, Centrelink will deduct credit from your income bank rather than from your payments. If you are independent, the personal assets
test will be used to work out how much Youth Allowance you can obtain based on any property or possessions which you partially or completely own. These include financial assets like cash, homes (other than your principal home), the value of your household contents and other personal effects. If you have liquid assets (eg cash in the bank) equal to or greater than $3000 (single) or $6000 (couple or single with dependents), then Youth Allowance payments may be delayed. Your liquid assets can be reduced by some costs related to studying, including: ••Up front course fees, ••HECS payments, ••Union fees, ••The cost of textbooks, ••The cost of any tools or equipment required to undertake the course, including computer software, ••Expenses directly related to any field trips you need to taken for your course.
R E P R ESENTATIO N Starting out at uni can be a daunting experience, especially if you’ve got a lot of questions but don’t know where to go. This is where the Student Representative Council (SRC) can help. They are students, elected by students to represent anything that affects students. The SRC:Put pressure on the university to improve the quality of your education ••Provide a voice to students through Tharunka newspaper (it’s a great read, pick it up for free across campus) ••Represent UNSW students on a campus, state and international level ••Provide support for special groups all across campus, especially through collectives ••Provide essential services such as advocacy, and ••Strive to ensure that your education is affordable. The SRC consists of departments and collectives to cater for the needs of our diverse student population. They’re all very friendly and happy to help with any problems, questions or issues you feel passionate about and want to get involved in. You can find out more information at: www. arc.unsw.edu.au/src or visit us in the Blockhouse (Level 1, East Wing). Each department’s contact details are also listed below.
Welfare firstname.lastname@example.org The Welfare Department aim to ensure each 18
student has the opportunity to enjoy university. They help with matters that range from housing and Centrelink to getting cheap food on campus. They run a free breakfast each week outside the library; and also run the Welfare Room in the Blockhouse, which provides students with a variety of free food, a place to study and a bed if you’re feeling tired. They have also produced this guide!
Education email@example.com Education is the reason why you’re at uni, but you can often feel frustrated with your classes or you don’t know where to go with your questions. Our Education Collective often runs campaigns around course cuts and the quality of your education. If you have any questions about your degree, if you’re frustrated about your classes or you just want to get involved, contact our Education Officer.
extra bike racks around campus and calling on the uni for the use of 100% renewable energy. If you’d like to get involved or know the collective meeting times for this semester, send them an email.
Ethnic Affairs firstname.lastname@example.org The Ethnic Affairs Collective is here to celebrate the rich melting pot of cultures that makes UNSW unique. They want to help you embrace the fact that we have students at the university from all around the world, and that understanding each other’s cultures will help make everybody’s experience at uni much more worthwhile. The Ethnic Affairs Collective is a place where you can discuss your views and opinions in a safe and friendly environment, where everyone is welcome. Email them to find out collective times for this semester.
Indigenous Environment email@example.com The environment department represents the environmental priorities of students at UNSW as expressed by the Environment Collective. The Environment Collective is a diverse and dedicated bunch of students committed to environmental sustainability, both on and off campus. They also have strong links to the UNSW Bike Club and the Thoughtful Foods Co-op. Some of their great work in the past has included lobbying the uni for bubblers and
firstname.lastname@example.org The Indigenous Collective campaigns for and promotes the interests of Indigenous students in the university, the government and the wider community. The main focus of the collective is to promote reconciliation, and ensure that Indigenous students are not only visible but active on campus through organising events that bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous students together. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the collective for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.
Nura Gili Student Centre (www.nuragili.unsw.edu.au) - For Indigenous students, the Nura Gili Student Centre provides computing and printing facilities, assistance on issues including student administration, academic support, housing and accommodation assistance and scholarship and cadetship assistance. The centre is a place where Indigenous people come together, share ideas, gain inspiration, have fun and find motivation to discover and move into new and exciting pathways. ABSTUDY If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student, are enrolled full time in an approved course of study and normally living in Australia, the chances are you will be eligible for government payments. Contact Arc Student Support at email@example.com. au or email the SRC Indigenous Officer (email above) or visit www.humanservices.gov.au/ customer/services/centrelink/abstudy for more information.
International firstname.lastname@example.org The SRC International is the representative body for the wide and diverse community of international students studying at UNSW. They seek to best serve the interests and needs of international students by providing a variety of services and activities. The International Students Collective forms the backbone of SRC International, made up of enthusiastic volunteers. Each year they run the popular International Night Markets and have continued the ongoing campaign for international student concessions on public transport.
Student Development International (SDI) offers services and programs to international students from the time you arrive at UNSW through to your graduation. Their International Student Advisors can help you with accommodation, health insurance, finance, visa requirements, university administration, cultural transition, academic performance and progress and advocacy, and can refer you to other services available. They also have a peer mentoring program to provide extra support. For more information visit their website at www. internationalstudent.unsw.edu.au.
Y.A.R.N.@UNSW The Youth Awareness Resource Network is a program that was created by one of our own students and has progressed to universities nationally. Y.A.R.N. is for students who want to build a understanding of Indigenous Culture and their experiences to provide better relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians for generations to come. Email your Y.A.R.N. rep at yarn.unsw@ gmail.com to find out how to become involved.
R E P R ESENTATIO N
Students with Disabilities
We have two Queer/LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) Officers, one female identifying and one nonfemale identifying. The collective meets twice a week and hosts a wide range of events and activities throughout the year. It is a safe space to meet other queer students, learn about queer issues and just to chill out. Use the email about to find out when the collective meets this semester, or look inside ‘What’s On’ in Blitz magazine.
The Students with Disabilities Officer represents all students living with a disability (including those living with a mental illness). They recognise that university can be a challenge for any student, but even more so for students living with disabilities. Their aim is to make university a more positive experience for these students, without disadvantage or discrimination and to maximise the support available.
••Queer Space - The Queer Space, located in Room 921 on Level 9 of the Applied Sciences Building, provides a space for the LGBTQI community and supporters on campus to feel safe. It also serves as the primary venue for Queer/LGBTQI Collective meetings and activities. ••ALLY@UNSW - This is an active network that meets regularly to discuss issues, host guest speakers and events, and remain in touch with queer issues that impact on staff and students at UNSW. Visit their website at http://www. studentequity.unsw.edu.au/allyunsw.
SEADU The Student Equity and Disabilities Unit aims to facilitate inclusive educational policy and practices across UNSW. Their services, support and professional advice help to break down the social, attitudinal and physical barriers that prevent students from diverse backgrounds and circumstances achieving a successful university education. SEADU offers educational support and programs for any student who is managing any form of disability or a carer, lives in regional or remote NSW, belongs to a minority group or has encountered harassment or discrimination from a student or staff member on campus. Visit them on the Ground Floor of the John Goodsell building or at www.studentequity. unsw.edu.au.
Disability Resource Room Located on Level 2 of the Library, you must register with SEADU to gain access to this room. Inside are a variety of facilities including computer facilities with large print display monitors and accessories. Disability and Welfare Room Located on Level 1 of the Blockhouse (ask for a visitors card from Arc Reception), this room is designed to accommodate both students with disabilities and those undergoing financial hardship. It’s is equipped with a kitchen, microwave, table, lounge, bed and a supply of basic food.
The Women’s Department represents the needs of female-identifying students. The Women’s Collective drives this representation and voices the need for services such as childcare and safety on campus. The collective is a social, political and organising space for all women. To find out more, email our Women’s Officer.
COFA has their own SRC, an energetic bunch of students prepared to tackle all of the issues COFA students face while also making their time at uni enjoyable. The COFA SRC includes all of the same positions as the Kensington campus SRC, so send them an email if you’ve got any questions or you’d like to get involved.
UNSW Women’s Space Located on Level 1 of the Blockhouse, this is a space for female-identifying students. It offers a safe and secure environment, as well as a kitchenette, study facilities, a computer with internet and a phone. It also includes a bed and a couch to get some rest during your day on campus. Pregnancy Counselling (The Bessie Smyth Foundation Tel: 9649 9744, Family Planning Australia - Tel: 1300 658 886) - These services will provide free information on all three possible options that follow an unplanned pregnancy abortion, adoption or having a child. Coogee Women’s Ocean Pool Located at Grant Reserve, Beach St. Coogee. For only 20¢, you can visit this beautiful ocean water pool reserved solely for women and children.
Student Representative Council (SRC) Phone: 02 9385 7712 Email: email@example.com
Arc @ UNSW Phone: 02 9385 7700 Fax: 02 9313 8626 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: PO Box 173 Kingsford NSW 2032 Address: Ground Floor, The Blockhouse (1st building on left inside main entrance on Anzac Pde)