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 to 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 students 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 Care Australia 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 Care Australia. Soon after your arrival at Sarina Russo Institute, you will be directed to the Allianz Care Australia website to apply online for your OSHC Membership Card.

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

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 Care Australia.

Renewal can be made online at Allianz Care Australia.

Dual Family or Multi-Family Overseas Student Health Cover
Any family members joining or accompanying you to Australia as dependents 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 Care Australia 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 Care Australia.

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 that 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, you’re choosing your new home, so your surroundings, cost of living, work life, and social life should all be taken into account, let alone the distance to your campus. Student One’s location in Brisbane’s central business district puts you just a short walk away from Sarina Russo Institute, 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.

With three residences to choose from offering room for over 2,000 residents, there is a wide range of living options to meet a variety of requirements and budgets, from single and twin studios, to private and lockable rooms in shared Four-, Five- or Six Bedroom apartments; and everyone has access to the support of our 24-hour customer service.

Our Facilities include:

  • fully furnished and air-conditioned rooms
  • high ceilings, with full-height windows and block-out fabric blinds
  • free unlimited high-speed internet
  • communal and breakout spaces for socialising and study
  • media and games rooms with large screens for movies and gaming
  • gym and free bicycles and purpose-built bicycle storage
  • communal kitchen and outdoor BBQ for cooking and entertaining
  • a swimming pool (at Wharf Street only)

Free and totally unlimited high-speed internet is provided throughout all buildings. Regardless of where you are in our residence, through our extensive WiFi network you will have access to your course notes, your friends and family and your favourite TV shows.

Our Student One Residences are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Our staff are focused on your needs and naturally, your safety and security is a primary focus.

Know that your rent will not change during the length of your lease and avoid any nasty and unbudgeted surprises knowing your water, electricity and internet are all included.

Be part of a community of likeminded people and make friends from all over the world. This is what living at Student One is about.

Click HERE to see the rooms and facilities, rates and inclusions and ask us any questions you might have.

AHN Homestay

Students can choose to live with a family in a homestay through the Australian Homestay Network (AHN). Students will enjoy everyday activities with their AHN homestay host including:

  • being shown around the community
  • help with the basics of Australian culture
  • taking part in everyday conversation
  • learning basics such as buying transport tickets, where the local shops are, how to access banking, internet, mobile phone and personal safety tips
  • help with English and ‘Aussie’ words and phrases
  • help with the search for appropriate longer-term accommodation options if required
  • ongoing support from AHN

AHN Homestay is recommended as the best option for all new International Students visiting Australia for the first time.

Click here to download the AHN 2019 Fee Schedule

Click here to download the AHN 2020 Fee Schedule

To book homestay, please click below and you will be redirected to the AHN website.

For Student Enquiries
For Agent Enquiries
For Host Enquiries

For all Homestay and Airport Pick-Up Services please visit: or email

Genesis 1

Genesis 1 Student Accommodation offers comfort, security and private en-suite bedrooms, along with contemporary design, full amenities and facilities, on-site management and a good location with a direct bus route and nearby Busway. Our 3 bedroom units have an air-conditioned common area, are fully furnished with all necessary kitchen utensils and laundry. Visit Genesis 1 for more information.

Atira Australian Student Accommodation

Atira Australian Student Accommodation is a provider of quality student accommodation with properties situated in and around Brisbane’s inner-city suburbs.  Students can choose from different accommodation options including share houses, units and accommodation buildings.

Visit for more information.


UniLodge Brisbane provides safe, fun and affordable student accommodation in the heart of Brisbane city.  The property offers well-appointed, furnished and self-contained student apartments, many of which provide panoramic city views.

Click here for more information about UniLodge.

Urbanest Student Accommodation

Located in the inner city area and minutes away from Southbank Beach is Urbanest Southbank, offering students highly secured and fully furnished rooms that include broadband internet, air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms, gas and electricity.

Fully inclusive rents range from A$159 Twin Share and A$245 Single Room per week.

Visit Urbanest for up to date pricing and availability.


Rental Accommodation

Rental accommodation is the preferred option for many students.  You need to expect to pay from $A150* 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.

Fees range from $50* per night. Credit card details are mandatory to secure booking.

Please visit:

Compare Accommodation Options

Services / Facilities Homestay Student Residence Hostels Share
Pre-booking Necessary Necessary Necessary Upon Arrival
Minimum length of stay 4 weeks** 1 semester From 1-2 nights From 3 months
Price $245*/wk (Single)
$215*/wk (Twin Share)
From $250* per week From $100* per week or
From $30* per night
From $130* per week
Accommodation Placement Fee $230* $230* $230* $230*
Security Bond No 4 times the weekly rate No 4 times the weekly rate
Arrival Service $110* – On Request $110* – On Request $110* – On Request No
Own Room Yes Yes On Request On Request
Breakfast Yes No No No
Lunch Weekend Only (Sat-Sun) No No No
Dinner Yes No No No
Bed Yes Yes Yes Included or Own
Linen Yes Included or Own Included or hire Included or Own
Study Desk Yes Yes No Included or Own
Water Yes Yes Yes Included or Share
Electricity Yes Yes Yes Included or Share
Telephone Calls Included or Own No No Share or Own
Computer / Internet Additional Payment or Own Yes No Share or Own
Cleaning Room as Required No Daily or Weekly No
Laundry Share Coin-Operated Laundry Coin-Operated Laundry Share
Public Transport Own cost Own cost Own cost Own cost

*All prices are subject to change
** 2 weeks stays can be requested, but may not always be possible.

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 to 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 an 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 has 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 Institute 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 the 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 computer rooms 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
Estimated Weekly costs $AU
Rent (Share accommodation) $95 – $215
Groceries & eating out $140 – $280
Gas, Electricity $10 – $20
Mobile phone & Internet $15 – $30
Public transport / Travel $30 – $80
Miscellaneous (Clothes, toiletries, medical) $30 – $80
Entertainment $80 – $150
Total Estimated Weekly Costs* $400 – $835

All prices are to be used as a guide and can vary based on individual circumstances.  For more information regarding living in Australia visit the Study in Australia website.

The Department of Home Affairs has financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a student visa.  The 12-month living costs are (current January 2020):

  • You: $21,014
  • Partner or Spouse: $7,362
  • Child: $3,152

All costs are per year in Australian dollars. To convert to your own currency, visit the XE Currency Exchange website.

Advice and information about support

The Australian Federal Government has introduced strict new travel restrictions and new travel advice.

Effective  1st February 2020, foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents) who are in mainland China are no longer allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left or transited through mainland China.

Australian citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter, as well as their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians or dependents only).

Anyone who travelled to Australia from China since 16 January 2020, still needs to remain in isolation for 14 days after leaving China, even if they do not have any symptoms.

This means staying at home or at their place of residence in Australia except when seeking medical assistance, and not receiving visitors. They should not attend their place of education and must avoid contact with other students and staff.

Management plans for our students and staff impacted by this travel restriction are being implemented. We are monitoring developments closely and meeting regularly to consider any developments and potential impacts on our community and operations. We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.

Please observe all precautions recommended by health authorities to prevent the virus from spreading.

Title:  CONVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Updates regarding CONVID-19 change regularly – please check the official website for the most up to up to date news releases.

If you have any questions about how this event may impact your studies, please contact

More information

If you need urgent medical advice call 000.

Useful links

Department of Health

World Health Organisation

Smart traveller

Department of Education

Information for: