Relationships and Health Insurance: How to Immigrate to Australia Within a Week

To refer to the check-list that you will guide you in immigrating to Australia within a week please refer to the Introduction post in the series.


We are in the home stretch! I thought I would make this final article short, sweet and to the point.

Gold Coast

People You Should Know

1) Family: If you have family here. Cling on to them and make sure you don’t lose contact with them. Take care of each other, many times, no one else will.

2) Immigrant Families: If you know any immigrant families-where the parents and their children have immigrated over- it’s great to hang around them because:

a) Families are more stable and so less problems, especially self-inflicted problems.

b) This stability tends to make them more trustworthy and dependable.

c) You get to see how the immigrant experience affects people of different ages: It tends to hit some older African men quite hard, leaving a place where they were royalty and all of a sudden coming to a place where things are more leveled across sex and race. You get to see how they react to that.

Gold Coast

A lot of women are hugely affected by the high level of freedoms and rights they all of a sudden have-across all age groups-and you get to see how they react to that.

I am not saying this as an empty provocative statement: A lot of people who come here in their teens or childhood end up being so empty, ignorant and superficial. Others on the other hand….hmmm…….on the other hand..I really need new acquaintances don’t I? I don’t see much of the other ones, only the empty ones.Btw if you are an Australian who came here in the mid-teens or younger and came out more intelligent and as a deeper human being, contact….oh yes, I have remembered. Some DO end up as deeper, more conscious human beings…….You have now gotten a glimpse into how my mind works ;)

This contrast in experience amongst age groups is interesting to watch and gives you a menu of perspectives and vantage points on this immigrant experience.

Gold Coast 3

3) The Older Immigrants: Not necessarily restricted to the family unit. People who have been here for ages can show you the ropes and give you a glimpse into what you will be a decade down the road. Maybe you want to be like them, so do what they do.

4) The Outsiders: A lot of people who come here, completely disconnect from communities associated with the country of their birth and carve out their own journeys. You may find these people on the tram or in the city or in general settings. In general a lot of these people don’t want to be found. Find them, talk to them. They can open you up to worlds and possibilities that you never even imagined existed. The amount of variety in the human experience that can exist here is startling at times.

5) The Australians: This is especially for those who want to move up the socioeconomic ladder and/or make this place feel more like a home. Extend your hand out and get to know the people who built this country. A lot of people have a lot of fulfilling business ties, friendships and romantic relationships with people here so you never know. Check out this free report I got from a Sri Lankan living in Australia that expounds on this idea some more. (It’s a pdf file so please download Adobe Reader)

Gold Coast 4

6) Other Immigrants: You realize that this whole ‘being African’ thing is separate and apart from so many things such as ‘being Arab’, ‘being Greek’, ‘being Lebanese’, ‘being Italian’, ‘being South Korean’ etc etc. You will get along with people from a lot of immigrant communities naturally- Indians and Sri Lankans for example-because you are all in the same boat: you are outsiders. Make friends with immigrants, if for no other reason, to enjoy the beautiful irony of having so much in common with people who are so different.

7) The Students: If you want to see how someone below forty-some are actually over- can manage to stay alive on two hours of sleep while going to school five days a week, going to work eight days a week and still manage to have a vibrant social life, watch the wonder and the marvel that is the student.

Some just love to party. Some just love to pray and meditate on divinity. Some just love to work. Some love and find time for all three.

If you have anything further to add to the above list, give me a yell.

Sea World; Gold Coast

Health Insurance

Sadly I am not an expert in this area as I lack any experience with it and have rarely discussed it with my peers. I shall share with you the little I know, but if anyone has any more information or resources to contribute in this area then please let me know.

I am told that for a lot of students coming over, health insurance is part of the school fees. As soon as you get here, make sure you get your health insurance card and make sure that health insurance card gives you ambulance cover.

My teeth are slowly deteriorating, so with that in mind, also make sure your health insurance covers dental expenses.

Why This Emphasis on Dental and Ambulance Cover?

One five kilometre ride in the ambulance can cost you $700+ dollars.

Getting your teeth cleaned and bleached can cost …..$700+ dollars

Ambulance cover = $50 annually

Health insurance with Medibank Private (comes highly recommended to me from other students) = Approximately $400 (can be more or can be less)

Gold Coast yet again

A Place to Compare Health Insurance

I guess television advertising does work. I have seen this online service advertised repeatedly on television by some chuckle-inducing ads. It is a service that helps you compare and chose private health insurance health packages and companies. Check it out: I-select

Take care of yourself, get some health insurance.

BTW: An Additional Option to Accommodation

This was recently brought to my attention and I thought I had to just share it because it can be a perfect solution for some of y’all:

a) Instant employment

b) Free rent

Need any more reasons? Check it out and be sure to give me feedback on your experiences with it:

Wesley Homeshare

With that ladies and gentlemen. My guide to assist you to immigrate to Australia within a week is done. This guide is not a static guide but rather a fluid one that I expect to change and evolve over time as I get more feedback.

Ladies and gentlemen at the end of this week, you should have a solid foundation for a great life laid. And now…..LIFE BEGINS!



No Comments

  • By James, April 30, 2008 @ 11:33 am

    Hi Mwangi,
    I work in health insurance and you may be interested to know that iSelect is only of use to Australian residents. The type of health cover that overseas students and visitors must buy is not featured on this website. The difference is that cover for overseas visitors includes benefits for the sorts of services that are paid for by Medicare for Australian residents.

  • By Mwangi, April 30, 2008 @ 12:30 pm

    @James: Thank you so much for that clarification, much appreciated! If I may ask,are you aware of any resources that international students may be able to use to get the best deals on health insurance?
    Btw I notice you work for Medicare: is there any way that Medicare can cover dental work?

  • By James, April 30, 2008 @ 4:59 pm

    Hi Mwangi,
    I am not aware of resources such as iSelect that compares health insurance for overseas students and visitors, however there are only few providers anyway and competition is tight so there probably isn’t much difference from one to another.
    I work for Medibank Private, not Medicare, but I can tell you the only way that dental work can be claimed from Medicare is if the patient is on a chronic disease managment plan (eg diabetes plan) with their GP and they are refferred by the GP to a dentist. Primary and Secondary school students are usually covered by their state government. For Australian residents, students and visitors the only option for dental cover is private health insurance, or they can pay an out-of-pocket fee. Note that the upcoming federal budget in May possibly may announce new public funding for dental but most likely this will only be for Australian residents.

  • By Mwangi, May 1, 2008 @ 1:47 am

    Thank you again James. My hope is that the public funding for dental becomes a reality. So far, Rudd has far from disappointed.
    Thanks for stopping by. Whenever someone in your office, or yourself, is free, I would love to record a brief Skype conversation where we basically discuss the benefits of Medibank private because pretty much every international student I know is on Medibank private and it would be great for people coming over to know why.

  • By RAMIN, June 5, 2008 @ 2:52 pm


  • By RAMIN, June 5, 2008 @ 2:54 pm


  • By Mwangi, June 5, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

    Check out and pick the choice best for you. I recommend you apply to come down to study Nursing i.e. a Bachelor of Nursing or to become a Division 2 Nurse….these two are in very short supply in Australia.

    Bets of luck

  • By Hm..., June 6, 2008 @ 10:48 am

    “I am not saying this as an empty provocative statement: A lot of people who come here in their teens or childhood end up being so empty, ignorant and superficial.”

    Hm…read your own words again Mwangi, and take a good look at yourself bro. All the best in Aussie,
    Fellow displaced person in the diaspora.

  • By Mwangi, June 6, 2008 @ 11:53 am

    @Hm…: I am not really sure what to make of that statement….if you are somehow suggesting that I am empty, ignorant and superficial, then I’d leave to hear more on your opinion on that.
    As I said, it wasn’t just some empty statement man, too many people came here with me in their teens are acting a fool with the drugs, drinking and the sharing of seed indiscriminately without keeping their eye on anything meaningful for the future.

Other Links to this Post

  1. How to Immigrate to Australia Within a Week: Introduction » The Displaced African — April 17, 2008 @ 11:49 pm

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