Practical Advice


There are many important things you may need to know about studying and living on the Gold Coast. These might include how to open a bank account while you are in Australia, how your health insurance works, or what to do in case of an emergency.

On this page you will find the following useful information:

use for health cover and medical services
use for in an emergency


If you are an international student, you will need an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the complete time of your stay in Australia. This will allow you to visit a General Doctor and also will cover you in case of an emergency.

Medical services, including 24-hour clinics, private hospitals, and public hospitals, are readily available on the Gold Coast. Major public hospitals include:

  • Gold Coast University Hospital
  • Robina Hospital
  • Tweed Hospital

To understand how your health insurance works, contact your education institution or your health insurance provider directly.


If an emergency arises and you need an ambulance, the police or fire services, dial 000 from a fixed line or 112 from a mobile phone. When you call, try to know and explain the following information:

  • Do you want police, fire or ambulance?
  • Is someone seriously injured or in need of urgent medical help?
  • Is your life or property being threatened?
  • Have you just witnessed a serious accident or crime?

An interpreter service is available if you are having trouble with English. It will help the call-taker if you can state in English, which language you need. For example, “I need to speak Hindi” or “I only speak Spanish”.

The National Relay Service provides phone services for people who are deaf or have a speech or hearing impairment (and use a TTY device).

  • TTY users phone 133 677, then ask for 07 3234 0111
  • Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 07 3234 0111


As an international student, understanding and managing your finances is a very important task. Having an Australian bank account can be a good way to organise your expenses and manage your budget.

There are 4 major banks in Australia:

  • Commonwealth Bank
  • National Australian Bank (NAB)
  • ANZ
  • Westpac

To open a student account, you will need a copy of your Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE), your passport, a letter of offer, and any other forms of identification you can provide. To choose the best option for you, you can ask for advice from your education institution or go to the bank and request information about bank accounts available for students.

Once you get your bank account set up, you will be able to enjoy a different range of options like electronic payments (EFTPOS), access to all the ATM’s available across Australia, and 24-hour online access to your bank account.

Make sure you check if there are any fees you may need to pay for the services of your account. Most of the student accounts are free from monthly fees but you must check this directly with your chosen bank before opening the account.

use for safety


Although the Gold Coast is considered a safe city, it is still necessary to be careful and understand the city well. Here are some general safety tips to keep in mind whilst you are on the Gold Coast.

  • Ask local friends about places to avoid at night
  • Keep valuable possessions out of sight and be aware of your surroundings when using public transport
  • Travel in the front carriage near the driver if riding in a train that is almost empty
  • Check transport timetables in advance to avoid long waits and, when you are waiting, stand in well-lit areas and not in the dark
  • Avoid short-cuts through dark isolated areas 
  • If you feel scared or threatened in any way when walking, go to a shop or house (with lights on at night) and ask a person to help you or phone the police
  • Avoid using cash machines (ATMs) when you are in an isolated area at night, particularly if you are alone


Be sure to look for Surf Life Savers when choosing your place on the beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags.

The most important rules for swimmers are:

  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags on patrolled beaches
  • Always read the flags and safety signs and understand what they mean before entering the water
  • If you feel unsure about whether you are in a safe area, do not swim

What the flags mean:

  • Red and yellow flag – swim between the red and yellow flags
  • Yellow flag – Swim with caution, be extra careful!
  • Red flag – dangerous conditions, do not enter the water
  • No swimming – swimming is prohibited, do not enter the water
  • Surfboard rider – Surfboard riding only, do not swim

For more information on surf safety visit