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The first thing many students do when they arrive in Melbourne is to get a local mobile number. There are many mobile phone providers and stores, so check what deals are available and make a decision based on the services offered (e.g. call costs, coverage areas) and your own usage patterns.
When you first arrive, a prepaid plan is a quick way to get connected. You can also easily buy recharge vouchers at convenience stores, newsagents, supermarkets and the post office.
If your phone is not compatible in Australia (or you do not have a phone), you can buy one outright or consider a long-term mobile phone plan (contract/post-paid). These plans are usually one or two years long and may include a phone for free or a monthly fee.
Read ACMA's Going mobile - which plan is right for you? fact sheet for information about mobile phone plans.
You can usually keep the same number if you switch to a different mobile phone network. The major mobile phone networks in Australia are Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone.
The University of Melbourne provides a wide range of computing facilities. There are also computer labs in your faculty and graduate school, and you can borrow laptops from the library. You will also have access to the University's wireless network after you enrol.
Sometimes, having your own computer is more convenient. If you are bringing your own computer, make sure that it is compatible with Australia's power supply (220 - 240V, 50Hz), and buy a power plug adapter if needed.
Tip: Set up your computer from home so that you can immediately access the University's wireless network after you have enrolled.
Once you've found long-term accommodation, you may decide to set up a home phone (landline) and/or Internet connection. There are many options available, and you may get a better deal if you bundle your services with a single company (e.g. your home phone and Internet).
If you do not want to pay for a telephone line as well as internet, other options include Naked DSL or mobile broadband. Read online forums such as Whirlpool to determine the level of service that each Internet Service Provider (ISP) offers, and be aware of your rights as a consumer.
International calling cards are a cheap way to keep in touch with your family back home. They are sold in convenience stores, post offices, newsagencies and various other places. Some calling cards have better rates to specific countries and regions, so choose a suitable card for you.