If you come in Australia to work and receive payments then it is better to open an Australian Bank account.
To transfer your money from your country to Australia, there are several options:
- Electronic Transfer: First you have to open a bank account in Australia, you can do it before your departure or just when you arrive in the country.
Then you need to ask your bank (not the Australian) to undertake the electronic transfer to your Australian bank account by providing your Australian banking identification.
Advantages: Really convenient and secured
Drawbacks: Bank fees and it can take until 1 week
- Give money to the bank in cash: In that case you have to withdraw some money to your bank account in your country , exchange it in an exchange office (without fees and commission) and then make a deposit on the Australian bank account with amount of money.
Advantages: Direct access to your money in the Australian bank account and no fees.
Drawbacks: Risk of lost or theft.
However if you come in Australia to undertake an unpaid internship and you decide not to have a job beside your internship it is also possible to keep your bank account in your country without opening one in Australia.
In that case the best thing to do is to check with your bank about a new credit card. You can ask them directly and negotiate to have an international credit card (VISA MasterCard) which allow you to pay with that card without any direct fees.
Thanks to the international card you can pay in any shop and also withdraw money from ATM if you need cash.
In any shop the cashier will probably ask you this question:
Savings, check or credit? This questions serves to know the account you will use to pay. For your daily expenses, just choose credit, it allows you to pay without being limited.