If you are planning on living or studying in Australia for any length of time and acquiring a job – be it part time or full time – it is a good idea to open up a bank account. Most Australian employers pay their employees by using direct deposit where the funds are paid directly into a bank account you designate. Even government benefits are paid using direct deposit, making it easier for you to get your money in a timely manner. Plus, if you have a bank account in place and should need money from your home country – as many students do when they are first getting settled in – a bank account gives you a place for money to be wired to.
You should open up your bank account within the first few weeks of being in the country. You should only need your passport as a form of identification to open your account. If you wait until after six weeks to open up your account the bank you choose to use will ask you for additional forms of identification.
Students in higher education institutions in Australia will benefit from having a bank account while they are there. There are no monthly account keeping fees for students on their account for the duration of their studies. You will receive a key card that can be used at ATMs and EFTPOS terminals which will also work with Cirrus ATMs around the world.
Most Australian banks will waive the monthly accounting and withdrawal fees from your bank account when you show them proof of enrolment as a full time tertiary student of a higher education institution. You will need to bring in your enrolment papers as well as the date your courses start and the projected date of when they will end.