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Adjusting to University Life

We want your stay in Brisbane to be both rewarding and enjoyable.  Below is a range of information to help you adjust to university life and living in Brisbane.

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 on these services. Two taxi companies operate in the Brisbane metropolitan area.

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, ferries and citycylce 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 to uni students through go card:
* Save at least 30% compared to the cost of a single paper ticket.
* Travel at half the cost of an adult fare.
* Save an additional 20% when travelling off peak.
* Make 9 paid go card journeys in a week and travel free for the rest of the week.

So don't let the savings slip through your fingers, grab a go card online.

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.

For more information on how to travel safely when riding a bicycle please click here.


Getting Money

We are in very close proximity to most major banks.  During Orientation opening bank accounts is discussed. If you need any further information or assistance contact the team from Learning Resource Centre

International Phone 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 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.

JCU Internet Access

All JCU students and staff are provided with computer internet access on campus.

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. JCU Brisbane's Learning & Support Services should be 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.