Student safety in Australia
Australia attracts many students from all over the world for pursuing their higher education. The multicultural environment is undoubtedly a safe one for the students. Having said that, it is important to take some precautions to remain on the safer side.
Contact your university security service
All campuses in Australia have a special body to ensure the safety of their international students. So, as the first step, check if your school offers one and keep the security officer’s number saved in your phone.
Various universities and schools also offer services like shuttles and security escorts to drop you to your accommodation or stations after hours. Some go a step further and have their own mobile apps with a direct line for students to get in touch with the security.
If, at any point of time, you feel unsafe in and around your campus or accommodation, do not hesitate to get in touch with your college authorities.
If you happen to face any emergency, call the toll free number 000. This is a common number that can be used for fire, police or ambulance.
Some other emergency contact numbers you should have saved are:
- SES assistance in floods and storms: 132 500
- Police attendance: 131 444 (all states except Victoria)
- International incident emergency helpline: 1300 555 135 (within Australia)
- Outside Australia– external site: +61 2 6261 3305
It is important to stay alert
- Avoid travelling alone especially during the night. Pre-book a taxi or have your friend to drop you. Carry sufficient emergency cash
- Do not carry your passport when you go out exploring. If you do not have a permanent place to live, contact your university’s international support team to get you campus storage facilities
- Never carry an inordinate amount of cash with you. Use your cards and online banking for transactions
- Australian laws may differ from your home country. So, learn them beforehand to avoid breaking them unintentionally
The public transportation system in Australia is particularly well-developed and convenient to use, especially in the urban and metro areas. But it’s always better to be alert:
- Never board an isolated bus or train or metro
- Familiarise yourself with transport timetables especially if you travel at night. Stick to well-lit routes
- Board a carriage closest to the driver or the guard to avoid untoward incidents
- If you are in a carriage with only one other person and it makes you uncomfortable, move on to the next compartment
- Know the address of your destination
- Explain to the driver the route you are comfortable with and if he deviates, politely remind him
- Ask the driver to drop you off near your house if you do not want to reveal your exact location
Lastly, remember the Internet too can be dangerous. So be wise about how you conduct yourself both online and offline.