At the same time as being a student, you’ve got a life to live: finding a place to stay, navigating the world of flatmates, getting a job. All of these things are important. This section is all about the practicalities of navigating your life outside of RMIT. Whether you need tips on finding a place to live, finding medical care, or some helpful hints on finding work, this section is for you.
Medical Hub is a new Medical Centre situated right on Swanston Street, at RMIT City Campus. Direct billing is available, which means there are no up-front costs, and a wide range of health services are offered. Students must bring their student card and OSHC card to every appointment to ensure eligibility.
Some of the doctors at the Medical Hub @ RMIT are multilingual. Languages spoken include Mandarin, Malay, Hokkien, Cantonese, Telugu, Pidgin, Polish and Tamil.
Medical Hub is a confidential service, and is completely separate from RMIT University – your medical information will not be shared with RMIT University under any circumstances. Visit the website for more information.
The emergency services number for ambulance, fire and police is 000. This number is ONLY to be used in absolute emergencies, and there can be a fee for false alarm call outs, so be careful.
Ambulances are not a free service, and you must either make sure that your health insurance covers ambulance costs, or sign up separately for ambulance insurance through Ambulance Victoria – it’s cheap, and definitely worth the cost.
You should also find out exactly where your local Emergency Department is, nearest to your home, just in case.
Everybody needs a place to call home. Somewhere we can relax and unwind, study, and just be ourselves for a while. But there’s a lot to consider before you take the leap into a new home. The big question is, what do you want from your housing?
Do you like the quiet life, or perhaps you feel more comfort in the noise and bustle of the big city. No matter what you prefer, chances are that somewhere in Melbourne will have the perfect place for you to call home. Now is the time to think about what you really want from an area, and it’s worth putting in the research, so you aren’t disappointed later.
Factors to think about include: rental costs, proximity to the uni and your place of work, transport links, safety, access to shopping & markets, local amenities, parks and other recreation areas, restaurants and bars. If you’re stuck for ideas, make sure to check out our recommendations on different suburbs, below.
What does your ideal home look like? If you love to cook, a well fitted kitchen might be top of your list. A huge garden means you can spend more time outside, grow your own organic veggies and have epic BBQs in the summer, but it also means you have to maintain it by doing the weeding, watering, etc. Conversely, apartment living is generally more cramped, but is also secure and low maintenance. Add-ons such as air con or dishwasher might be of high importance to you. Weigh up exactly what it is you want, and go from there.
The likelihood is, you’ll be sharing a flat or house to keep your costs down. And whether you are moving in with friends or strangers, it’s important to be clear about what you want – if it’s the quiet life you seek, moving in with party animals is a terrible idea. Conversely, if you are keen to grow your friendship circle, living with social butterflies might be the best option for you.
Student accommodation providers are worth a mention, as they can be an easy option when you first start out, given that they come with furnishing, are usually centrally located, and internet & bills are taken care of. But while convenient, student accommodation is generally expensive, and it’s worth noting that most students end up moving to a flatshare eventually.
On average, you’ll pay between $200-$300 per week to live in a flatshare, although cost is highly dependent on location, size and quality of the accommodation. Of course, you will have bills on top of that, which generally aren’t included. And you may need to buy furniture as well (see our guide, below).
Make sure you always inspect the property before you commit to anything. But once you have, you will generally need to submit an application form to prove who you are and how you’ll pay, before a lease is offered. The lease is a legal document outlining the length of tenure, rental costs, and the conditions of your living there, so make sure you read it thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line.
Most landlords will require you to pay a bond (the equivalent of one or two months rent), which is a security deposit held by the property owner, and covers costs in the event of damage to the property. Provided you care for the property, you’ll get this amount back when you move out. Make a note of anything in the house that doesn’t work or needs fixing (take photos) when you complete and sign the property condition report. Once you have paid your bond and signed the lease, you can go ahead and apply for utilities (phone, water, gas, electricity).
Below are just a few suburb recommendations from fellow RMIT staff and students. This list is by no means exhaustive, so don’t be limited by what’s here – you may find your own local gem that you can recommend to us! From A to Z, but otherwise in no particular order of preference…
Don’t pay over the odds for big furniture items. Go for quality second-hand goods, which are better for the planet, and way lighter on the wallet!
Many charities operate large stores in some of the outer suburbs, and you can score yourself some quality used furniture, if you spend a day shopping around. Places to look for include:
Most of these places do offer delivery, but you’ll pay per item, and it will cost, depending on delivery distance. Save yourself a pretty penny on delivery costs by doing it yourself – borrow a friend’s car (make sure you have boot space), use a local car share company, or hire a flatbed ute from Bunnings for the afternoon – 4 hours rental is around $50. Just make sure you tie everything down safely, and enlist a mate to help you with the heavy lifting. Job done!
To score yourself cheap, new items (such as bedding, kettle, etc), check out the popular discount retail stores, such as Kmart, Big W and Ikea – you can usually order online for a small delivery charge, which saves you the hassle of going there yourself.
Living with other people is hard. There are plenty of positives, of course: having someone around to complain about work with; having help to build that IKEA bed; borrowing a shirt for a wedding; not having to watch scary movies alone; and just generally sharing life’s ups and downs.
Living together is often the only option if you want to live close to uni, work and maybe even save some money. But there are certainly times when it can be frustrating. Here are some top tips on how to be a good housemate...
Word of mouth is great, but it only works if you know someone. So, online might be your best place to start. inspecting any property, make sure you follow safety protocols – don’t go alone, and make sure you have your charged mobile with you. It’s always beter to be safe than sorry. The following are a few good websites to start your search:
Jobs on Campus gives you the opportunity to gain paid employment on campus. The roles are available on RMIT Career Hub and vary from entry level positions to high level industry specific roles. You can build a great network with RMIT Staff and other Students as Staff members!
You don’t have to figure out whether your resume is good or needs more work. You don’t need to stress if you don’t have a headshot. At the JobShop, the friendly staff can help you with everything career-related. And best of all, this service is free!
The JobShop offers services such as:
Experience, experience, experience. All jobs require experience but, how can you get experience if nobody hires you? Luckily, you can gain experience in different ways.
You can get into volunteering (you can volunteer at both RMIT and RUSU), or you can look into some casual work or internships. The Job Shop staff can help you in finding volunteer, internship and work opportunities relevant to the type of job you wish to apply to.
RMIT Creds are also available to you in many different disciplines. These digital credentials can help you build skills to improve your employability, career outcomes and life skills.