Practical Matters and Tips
The only important contact is Arkady.
Basically there are three options for visa – but processes can differ depending on your origin:
- Training and Research (subclass 402) visa – CSIRO needs to nominate you. The visa is a bit cheaper than the Working Holiday Visa, but the process is very complicated – the application can’t be done online, the payment neither, 20+ pages application form needs to be filled and a nomination of CSIRO is required for application. If you want to go for it, make sure to get this letter in time – the acceptance of the application can take up to 2 months or more and CSIRO will take its time for administrational stuff, too.
- Working Holiday Visa – Very easy process online – acceptance usually received in a few minutes, a bit more expensive.
- Visitor Visa – Only allows you to stay for 3 months periods within a year, i.e. you need to leave the country after three years and then reenter. Not sure if technically allowed to work. Visa is for free.
Find a private insurance for yourself which covers a 5-6 months stay in Australia. I would say this depends highly on your country.
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.gov.vic.ptv public transport
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yarratrams.tramtracker live tram data
Find a flight to Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. From there a Shuttle Bus (18$, there is cheaper public transport option, but not recommended if you are new to the city) takes you to “Southern Cross” in the city center. From there almost any station in the city is easy to reach. Officials will help you out if you look lost. Or if you ask them.
Traveling when in Melbourne
Possible trips include:
- Great Ocean Road
- Wilsons Promontory
- Yarra Valley
Melbourne is a huge city and Australia in general very touristic – it is very easy to find information about trips to wherever you want to go. Google helps, talking to people or going to the tourist office on Federation Square should do the trick.
Melbourne & Transportation
Public transport is expensive and can be frustrating at times. Day pass is 8$ per day, if you get a 28 day pass or longer it’s about 4$ per day. Melbourne has one of the biggest tram network in the world. The connection from the city to CSIRO Clayton Side is not very efficient.
- Either take the metro to Huntingdale and take the Shuttle Bus to Monash University – from there about 10 minutes walk
- Or the metro to Oakleigh and 742 bus towards Eastland – stops right in front of CSIRO (bus is often delayed due to traffic jams, leaves only twice an hour)
City center to CSIRO takes about 1 hour with public transport.
Australia is way more expensive than the average European country. Your first concern will be to find a place to stay. Best way is to book a hostel or AirBnB place for the first few days and have a look at places when you arrive. I wouldn’t recommend renting something without having seen the place – there is some fraud happening.
Clayton is a rather simple Australian suburb – there is the Monash Uni which will be the main source for all kind of activities – bars or restaurants, even supermarkets will be difficult to find. Surprising, considering that there is this huge university campus. The closer you get to the city center, the busier it will get and the more expensive the prices for renting will be. I suggest to expect a monthly rent about 200AUD/week – but it’s possible to find cheaper places, but in my experience not less than 180AUD.
Websites that may help you to find a place:
If you prefer to live closer to the city find a place along the cranbourne/westall metro line so that the commute doesn’t become too long.
Shops & Grocery Stores
Aldi is the cheapest grocery store, but there are not so many shops of them – Coles and Woolworth are more expensive but more common. Chadstone is close to Clayton and the biggest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere. If you don’t find what you are looking for, the CBD (city center) will offer you happily the access to all kind of stores you can think of.
The Monash sport is open for non uni students and offers a lot. Note that the semester starts end of February and that most of the university is shut down until then, even some sports courses. The campus will get incredibly crowded once the semester starts. There is a gym and swimming pool on the campus too.
CSIRO is next to the Monash campus – you can go there for lunch etc. There are pianos in the basement of the campus center free to play for everyone.
Student Activities and Clubs
Monash student has a huge variety of social clubs which are usually open to non Monash students (with a bit higher fee to join). Almost all the students will know about CSIRO and will understand why you want to join even though you are not studying at Monash.