Shopping and Services

Food, phones and internet

New South Wales is a diverse state with a range of eating and shopping choices This section gives you the basic information you need for day-to-day living while you are a student in NSW.

Buying food

Below are some prices for commonly purchased food and grocery items, but of course, prices vary between one supermarket and another. Prices are in Australian dollars, and are a guide only. Expect to spend roughly $100 a week on food.

  • 1 litre of milk: $2
  • 1 packet of noodles: $1
  • 1 kg rice: $3 – $4
  • 1 kg fresh fruit: $3 – $8
  • 1 loaf of bread $3 – $6
  • 6 eggs $3 – $8

If you are looking for fresh produce, most locations in NSW have regular markets, and you'll find South Asian, East Asian, Pacific and Middle Eastern supermarkets in most big towns and cities. The two major Australian supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, offer online ordering and home delivery for an additional fee.


There are several internet providers to choose from in Australia, and they offer prepaid or contract services (as above). Contracts often include a modem. You can compare mobile phone and internet contracts on this website.

Eating out in NSW

There are many great options for eating out in NSW, especially in the larger cities like Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle, but also in regional areas. Because NSW is a multicultural state there are a wide range of cuisines on offer, especially Middle Eastern and European (Lebanese, Turkish, Greek, Italian) and South-East Asian (Vietnamese, Malaysian, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian) cuisines.

There are also many Australian-style cafes serving brunch, breakfast and excellent coffee, pubs and bars serving food, as well as coffee carts, bakeries and snack bars. NSW also boasts many top level restaurants. Good places to find restaurants and cafes in your area include and

Cafes will generally open from around 7:00am until 3:00pm, with pubs generally serving food between midday and 9:00pm. Restaurants which open for lunch will generally open at midday and those that open for dinner at 6:00pm. Most places serving food will close by 10:00pm.

International calls

When you need to dial a number outside of Australia, use 0011 followed by the country code and the area code. To call Australia from overseas, dial 61 followed by the area code and the telephone number. You can read more about telephone, internet and mobile phone services in Australia on the Department of Communications website.


In Australia, there are several phone services available, including landlines, public phones and mobile phones.

Mobile phones: If you already have a phone it's probably a good idea to buy an Australian SIM card so that you have an Australian number, as using your overseas phone will incur higher charges.

There are two types of mobile phone accounts in Australia:

  • Prepaid: With prepaid accounts, you purchase a fixed amount of credit and use it until it runs out. This flexible option allows you to control how much you spend. You can buy prepaid SIM cards and top up with credit at many shops and supermarkets. You will need to use your existing phone (if it works in Australia) or purchase a new phone.
  • Contract: If you are staying in Australia for a fixed period or use your phone a lot, a contract can be a cheaper option. This offers you a phone plan, including the phone itself, and you pay a fixed price each month for calls, text messages and data and are billed each month and it is possible to exceed your monthly limit.