Essential Guide to life in Tasmania
When you choose to study in Tasmania, you choose the Tassie lifestyle. Life in Tasmania is unlike anywhere else - refreshing, affordable and full of adventure.
In Tasmania, we breathe the world’s cleanest air, drink some of its purest water and have a reputation for fresh gourmet food and beverages of all varieties. Tasmania is home to some of the safest communities within Australia. We embrace diversity and welcome new migrants, which is why many people from around the world choose to live in Tasmania.
Our cities and towns are rich in history yet with all the modern amenities and services you would expect. By living in Tasmania, will have the ability to visit the many local boutique shops, trendy cafes, stunning restaurants and weekly markets along with a line-up of vibrant festivals, events and internationally renowned museums and art galleries.
Tasmania has a refreshing maritime climate where you can enjoy the stunning seasonal changes in the scenery. Explore the pristine Tasmanian wilderness – There are over 1 000 mountains to climb, stunning sandy beaches, unique flora, fauna and ancient rainforests.
When you choose to study in Tasmania, you also choose the ‘Tassie’ lifestyle. Truly unlike anywhere else in the world, life in Tasmania is pure, refreshing, beautiful, accessible, affordable and of course, adventurous and opportunistic for all those who choose to live here.
In Tasmania there is accommodation to suit any budget and preference. With some of the lowest living costs in Australia, shortest commute times between home and campus and safest cities in the world, Tasmania is a great place to live during your studies.
Please see below the many different accommodation options available in Tasmania. Contact your education provider for even more information regarding accommodation.
Available to students at any age or study level, a home-stay gives you the opportunity to live an authentic local experience with a Tasmanian family. Improve your English skills and live the real Australian lifestyle!
Here are a list of the homestay options in Tasmania:
Many Tasmanian Independent Schools Offer Boarding Facilities for students aged under 18. Boarding gives you the opportunity to live in a safe, structured environment with a mix of other students from Australia and the rest of the world.
Here are a list of the boarding options in Tasmania:
- Launceston Church Grammar School
- Scotch Oakburn College
- Fahan School
- The Friends School
- The Hutchins School
- St Michaels Collegiate
A very common option for international students, renting a flat or house is one of easiest and most convenient types of accommodation. Students can rent a room, their own flat, or rent a house together with several other students, known in Australia as “housemates”.
Be part of a vibrant student community and enjoy the convenience of student accommodation. With many different types of on-campus and off-campus accommodation available throughout Tasmania, you can choose to live where and how you want whilst you study.
Here are a list of some of the rental accommodation websites in Tasmania:
In Tasmania there is a large range of extra curricular activities on offer to students. Whether it is joining a sports club, participating in a cultural festival, visiting a museum, shopping, or exploring the beautiful natural environment and scenery, you will always find something interesting to do.
Tasmania is recognised as Australia’s most affordable state to study, with our capital Hobart having the lowest cost of living from any major Australian university city. For example living in Hobart costs over 30% less than living in Sydney, meaning you have more money every week to spend tasting our incredible food, browsing the shops or exploring the state. Tasmania’s other major student city, Launceston, is even more affordable than Hobart. Whilst your budget can be bigger when living in Tasmania compared to other Australian states due to its greater affordability, it is still a great idea to work out a weekly budget that includes your income from savings, part-time work and any family support as well as expected costs.
Using this budget calculator is a great way to stay on top of where your money is going as a student.
Visit the Australian money smart website for further tips on budgeting as a student.
Tasmania shares the same latitude as Mediterranean cities Barcelona and Rome. The surrounding oceans give Tasmania a moderate climate without the scorching heat of many parts of Australia or the deep freeze winters that effect northern hemisphere countries at similar latitudes. Tasmania has four very distinct seasons, which means there are beautiful and striking visual contrasts in the natural environment as one season transitions to the next.Summer
December to February - summer is the season of fun and festivals such as the Launceston ‘Festivale’, the Hobart ‘Taste’ and the coveted Mona Foma festival throughout the state. The average temperature in summer is a moderate 23 degrees, but can reach the high 30’s.Autumn
March to May - autumn is a settled season with calm, sunny days and blue skies. The trees blaze red, orange and gold and the state’s delicious produce is at its best. This is often a good time to visit Tasmania with warm days and cool nights.Winter
June to August - winter brings snow to highland peaks and evenings spent sitting by open fires. The famed Mount Wellington behind Hobart is blanketed with snow, while skiers go to Ben Lomand, near Launceston, for alpine winter sports. Winter days are often crisp with beautiful clear blue skies. You will need to dress warmly, and always be prepared for a brief shower of rain.Spring
September to November – Gardens, fields and vineyards around the State look magnificent at this time as they come into bloom. This is the time of year where you can literally experience four seasons in one day – so dress for all occasions!Temperature
www.bom.gov.au- for further information regarding Tasmania’s weather.
Active by nature? In Tasmania there is a large range of extra curricular activities on offer to students. Whether it is joining a sports club, participating in a cultural festival, visiting a museum, shopping or exploring the beautiful natural environment and scenery, you will always find something interesting to do.
Tasmania’s capital city is based on the port of the River Derwent and offers a unique blend of contemporary living with heritage and wilderness experiences right on your doorstep.
Hobart has four University and TasTAFE campuses, providing students with endless study opportunities provided by world-class educators. Being Australia’s most affordable student cities, Hobart has become a key study destination with more than 1 in 5 students being international students.
Boasting a buzzing cultural scene, Hobart’s waterfront precinct Salamanca is always alive with top restaurants, pubs, shopping and the famous weekly Salamanca Markets. A short commute from the Central Business District (CBD) are smaller suburbs such as North Hobart, South Hobart and Sandy Bay, each with their own unique blend of coffee shops, artisan eateries and boutique stores – uniquely Hobart and often with a multicultural twist.
Towering above Hobart is Kunanyi/Mount Wellington, surrounded by pristine bushland perfect for mountain biking, bushwalking and taking in the breathtaking view of the city below. A short drive in most directions from the CBD will see you experiencing the unique Tasmanian wilderness, allowing you to visit parks, beaches and walking trails with ease.
A short flight from Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane will land you in Launceston, the gateway to northern Tasmania and the home of the picturesque Tamar Valley.
Launceston is known for being big enough to provide excellent cultural, leisure and lifestyle experiences but small enough for students to feel safe and instantly part of a community. Filled with beautiful architecture, fabulous eateries and a thriving festival and creative culture scene, Launceston is a perfectly balanced city.
As a student city, Launceston boasts comfortable living, world-class education opportunities and a welcoming and supportive community. Launceston is also one of Australia’s most affordable cities with brand new student accommodation in the heart of the city. It also offers specialised education facilities with subjects exclusive to Launceston, including Architecture, Maritime Studies at the Australian Maritime College, Aquaculture, Laboratory medicine, Exercise science, nursing and hospitality.
Being so close to the mainland of Australia means that Launceston’s direct flights are short and consistently some of the cheapest in Australia. Launceston is also a perfect home for exploring some of Tasmania’s most well-known tourist attractions including the Bay of Fires, Coles Bay, Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair.
Devonport and Burnie
Devonport and Burnie sit on the Northern Coast of Tasmania, an area responsible for producing 40 per cent of Tasmania’s vegetables and fresh produce. The Spirit of Tasmania ferries travel daily from Devonport to Melbourne and each carries over 1400 passengers. Devonport in the gateway to the North West and beyond, boasting access to some of Tasmania’s best natural scenery including Cradle Mountain. Being a recreational seaside town, Devonport has access to great beaches and water activities as well as walking and cycling tracks.
Burnie is historically an industrial hub but has become more known for being a vibrant and creative city focused on artisans and makers. Burnie is also home to the University of Tasmania’s Cradle Coast Campus, with modern purpose-built facilities and a flexible learning spaces that offer a balance of study and recreation. The Cradle Coast Campus includes the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and the Rural Clinical School for medical students, both of which focus on specialised research and training.
Part Time Employment
Working part time while you are studying in Tasmania is a great idea. You can earn some extra money to help with living and travel costs as well as meet lots of local people. On a student visa you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session and unlimited hours when it is not. Please refer to the Department of Home Affairs guidelines for more information on working rights and restrictions in Australia.
- Can I work will studying?
- What employment options do I have?
- How do I find a part time job?
- What do I include in my resume? How do I write a resume?
- What do I need to know about tax?
- How do I learn more about my work rights?
- What are internships and work experience?
Here are a list of key sites to look for jobs in Tasmania:
UTAS Career Hub - http://www.utas.edu.au/students/careers
Tasmania has a strong culture of volunteering in their local community, whereby 4 out of 5 Tasmanians engage in volunteering every year. Volunteering is a great way to gather new skills, gain valuable work experience, develop social networks and improve your own mental health and self-worth! These websites can help you find volunteering opportunities in Tasmania.
In Tasmania you can complement your world-class education with internship opportunities, so that you can have practical experience in developing your skills within a real work environment. Many education providers in Tasmania offer their own internship units as part of your studies or can help you find internship opportunities. You can also search for own internship opportunities using these sites:
I-PREP Work Ready Program
In order to maximise your employability, Study Tasmania has partnered with the University of Tasmania to expand its highly regarded I-PREP program. I-PREP is a Work Ready Program designed specifically for International students from UTAS and TasTAFE, which focusses on expanding your understanding of the Australian workplace culture, specific English language for the workplace, the job application process and the interview process. The program includes online learning modules, industry site visits, networking events, simulated interviews and internship opportunities within UTAS, local and state government, business, industry and community organisations within Tasmania. Internships will be offered in the fields of:
- business and entrepreneurship
- information and communication technologies
- tourism and hospitality
Please visit the I-PREP website for further information on this exciting program.
After Graduation you may decide to stay in Tasmania and apply for a temporary graduate visa or additional visas through the Tasmanian skilled migration program in order to live and work in the state. Tasmania has demand for skills in many different areas including IT, construction, hospitality, healthcare, finance and professional services. Because Tasmania has a relatively high average age of workers in many industries, there are increased opportunities for graduates to take on rewarding and challenging roles.
Many Tasmanian companies hire international students for their year’s graduate programs. To search and apply for such roles visit these sites:
Tasmanian cities have an extremely high level of personal safety. Tasmania has 3 cities – Hobart, Launceston and Burnie – all ranked in Australia’s top 6 safest cities, with Hobart being ranked the safest of Australia’s capitals!
Despite our incredibly safe and welcoming communities, it is important to take care and look after yourself.
In an emergency dial 000 (it is a free call) to contact the police, fire brigade or ambulance.
Here are some top tips by Tasmanian Police to have the safest stay possible in Tasmania:
A big part of staying healthy during your studies is leading a balanced lifestyle with plenty of exercise as well as eating a healthy diet. In Tasmania we have the advantage of a superb natural environment in which to exercise, healthy local food of exceptional quality as well as breathing the cleanest air in the world.
If you need medical assistance high quality health services are available across Tasmania. As part of student visa requirements in Australia you must have health insurance cover for the entire length of your enrolment. Your education provider will discuss this with you and your options when you enrol, as well as the many specific health and mental health services they provide. When making an appointment, let the doctor know that you are an international student to get the best rate possible.
We understand that study can be a stressful time and in Tasmania there are many services to help address any mental health challenges. Speak to your education provider when you arrive for information on their specific health and mental health services available. Some of Australia’s national mental health services with 24 hour free hotlines are:
Call 13 11 14 to access crisis support
Call 1300 22 4636 to speak to someone about anxiety, depression and suicide.
Tasmania’s soul lies in its’ nature, it’s a place where outdoor opportunities are endless. Almost half the island is covered by national parks and reserves, giving you an incredible environment to explore and unwind from study. While living in Tasmania many students take up activities such as diving, mountain biking, sailing, kayaking, horse riding or surfing. There are many community clubs which are focussed on these activities and are a great way to get involved and make new friends. Click here to explore the outdoor adventures in your new life in Tasmania.
Perhaps the best way to experience Tasmania is to hike (and camp). Some of the world’s most beautiful, dramatic and awarded hikes can be found just a short drive from our major cities. Whether you’re interested in coming face to face with unique animals, traversing coastal cliffs and white beaches, chasing the southern lights, climbing highland mountains or relaxing in luxury eco lodges, Tasmania has it all!
So grab a good pair of shoes, a large water bottle, a waterproof jacket (the weather can change quickly!) and head out on the adventure of a lifetime! Click here for more information on how and where to hike in Tasmania.
Tasmanians survive on three things; the world’s cleanest air, purest water and great coffee! Coffee culture is key to what it means to be a Tasmanian, in fact Hobart ranks second in Australia, only after Melbourne, for the frequency that people visit cafes.
Like all produce in Tasmania, quality and perfection is the focus, and the competition is fierce between baristas who source the best beans and pour the best coffee.
Cafés are not all about the coffee – they are a place to socialise with friends or study in a cosy environment. Many offer free Wifi and cheaper prices for students too. Want a treat? Our cafes offer a great range of delicious pastries, local and exotics tea to try as well.
Some of Tasmania’s newest and most trendy cafes have been opened and operated by international students following graduation. Tasmanian vocational schools offer courses in coffee making and many international students train and work as baristas during their studies, so you too could turn your love of coffee into a career.
Beanhunter is a great resource to find out which cafes are currently popular throughout Tasmania – otherwise why not try them all and decide yourself!?
The barbecue is crucial part of Tasmanian culture, especially in the warm summer months when the sun shines for over 15 hours a day. In these perfect conditions, friends and family gather around the barbecue to cook, eat, drink and socialise – a true Tasmanian experience is not complete without attending or organising your own!
The common food to barbecue are sausages, steak or beef burgers – however vegetarian options like fresh veggie burgers, eggplant or mushrooms are increasingly enjoyed by many.
There are free public barbecues found at beaches, parks, and camping grounds throughout Tasmania. These are electric and will start with the simple press of a button, and turn off automatically after 15 minutes.
Use this helpful guide for searching for free barbecues in Tasmania, simply enter in your suburb and get cooking!! If you are ever invited to a local’s house for a barbecue, here are some great tips about barbecue etiquette to insure you will be the perfect guest!
Tasmanians embrace vibrant music, arts, food and cultural festivals. The islands surroundings and changing seasons provide much of the inspiration. Our communities are home to proportionately more artists, writers and musicians than any other Australian state.
The must-see events on the calendar are the winter Dark Mofo festival, and summer festivals Taste of Tasmania, Festivale, Ten days on an island and Mona Foma, which see hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the island for a variety of events suitable for every age and interest. Many international students in Tasmania are involved in the festivals through volunteering, working, or as performers.
Multicultural festivals such as Chinese New Year and Diwali are also strongly celebrated by both the migrant and local community. Have a look Whats On to see the true range of exciting festivals to fill your free time!
Harvest and fresh food markets
Tasmania is a food lovers paradise – Take a break from your studies to enjoy some of the islands specialties such as local cheeses, fresh salmon, lobster, truffles, honey and exceptional beef, beer and wine regarded as some of the best in the world.
Every weekend around Tasmania, harvest markets are held where producers sell their quality fresh food and drink directly to the public. These markets also feature stalls selling delicious food from all over the world, many run by or employing international students. While some Tasmanians come to the markets to shop, many attend for the atmosphere and to simply socialise with friends and celebrate the produce of the island.
The most popular markets in Tasmania are Salamanca Market, held every Saturday morning on the Hobart waterfront and featuring over 300 stalls, or the Farm Gate Market which takes place on Sunday mornings. In the north of Tasmania, the Harvest Market in Launceston, which has been awarded Australia’s most outstanding farmers market, is the place to go for the freshest seasonal food.
Use the Market Guide to locate a market close to where you are studying, there are more than 50 happening every single month!
One of the most important things you will need to do when moving to study in Tasmania is opening up a bank account for everyday bills and to deposit your wages if working. To do this you will need several forms of identification such as your passport, Student ID card or driver’s licence. Most banks allow you to apply online prior to arriving, and once you get to Tasmania simply visit a branch to access your money and receive your bank card. Remember to tell the bank that you are a student as you may be entitled to accounts with reduced or no bank fees!
What to look for when selecting a bank in Tasmania
- Are there any application fees to open an account?
- Can you open an online savings account before you arrive in Tasmania?
- Does the bank have a student account which does not charge monthly fees?
- Can you transfer money into the local bank account from your home country before arrival?
- Does the account include a Visa or Mastercard debit card?
- Does your bank speak your language and do the ATM cash machines have multiple language options?
- Does your bank have a branch on or near your study campus?
If you are planning on working in Tasmania, you will have income tax deducted from your wages. In order to lodge a tax return and claim back money you have paid in tax you will need to provide a Tax File Number. This number is your own personal reference number issued by the Australian Tax office and is used to identify you and what you owe and have paid in tax whilst working. Without this number you will pay more in tax and be unable to lodge your tax return online. A tax file number is free to obtain from the Australian Taxation office Website.
In Australia there is a compulsory superannuation (also known as “super”) scheme to help people save money for retirement. All businesses are legally required to pay a percentage of your wage into your superannuation fund, which can be accessed when you retire. As temporary residents, all international students who have worked in Australia are eligible to access their superannuation once they permanently depart Australia. Instructions on how to access your superannuation are available on the ATO website.
Tasmanian cities feature a blend of modern and classical, European styled buildings and like all Australian states has a multicultural population which means many styles and types of food, cultural and religious activities and strong communities are available to students.
Most Tasmanian schools, colleges and universities have a multicultural student population and many host international students and foreign exchange programmes.
Tasmania is serviced by five commercial airlines, with hundreds of flights a week coming to the island, mainly through the key airports of Hobart and Launceston. There are direct flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and the Gold Coast, which easily connect you to international routes.
The following airlines fly to Tasmania:
Spirit of Tasmania
The Spirit of Tasmania ferries travel daily from Devonport to Melbourne and each carries over 1400 passengers. This option allows passengers to bring their cars and enjoy the many bars, restaurants, gaming room and cinema on the ferry. The journey usually takes nine hours. More information and prices are available on their website: www.spiritoftasmania.com.au
Getting around Tasmania
With great public transport links, quality roads and short travelling times, Tasmania is an easy place to both commute and explore. Here is a link of travel times between key Tasmanian cities and tourist destinations:
Tasmania has an excellent and affordable bus service, Metro, in the largest cities that will easily get you from home to campus.
Here are some tips by Metro Bus on how to purchase tickets, download the app and catch a metro bus: https://www.metrotas.com.au/travel-tips/
Walk or ride
With smaller city centres and less traffic than other Australian cities, many Tasmanians also enjoy walking or riding their bikes to campus or work. It is a great way to get some exercise and breathe some of the world’s cleanest air! Just remember that we ride and drive on the left hand side of the road in Australia!
As a student you are permitted to drive on your current licence for up to 3 months from the date of your arrival. After this you will be required to obtain a Tasmanian drivers licence. For further information on coming to Tasmania with an overseas licence or how to obtain a local license see the Tasmanian transport website.
In order to complete most courses you will require a student visa (Subclass 500). This visa will enable you to:
- stay in Australia for the duration of your course
- enter and exit Australia multiple times
- work up to 40 hours per fortnight while your course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled breaks
- be accompanied by an eligible family members (conditions apply).
We recommend visiting the Department of Home Affairs website for further information on the wide range of Visa options.
Graduate visa options
- Temporary Graduate Visa
Upon graduating from a university of vocational course if you wish to live and work in Tasmania you will be eligible to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). This visa will allow you to stay in Australia from 18 months up to four years depending on the course you have graduated from.
Please refer to the Department of Home Affairs for more information regarding this visa.
State nominated migration
In recognition of the significant contribution migrants make to Tasmania’s economy and cultural diversity, the state government actively pursues graduates who have the skills that Tasmania needs.
As a Tasmanian Graduate who intends to live and work in Tasmania, you may be eligible for state-nomination (Visa Subclass 190 and 489) in Tasmania’s business and skilled migration program.
The Migration Tasmania website has all the information you need if you are interested in living and working in Tasmania upon completion of studies.
Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship
Information relating to visas and migration.
Information about Tasmania’s amazing attractions, climate and culture.
Graduate Careers Australia
Information about graduation statistics, average salaries and growth industries.
A major recruitment website for job seekers in Australia.