7 Things International Students need to do Before Moving to Australia
Studying in a different country can be an exciting and highly rewarding experience. While there will be a lot of changes to get used to, here are some top tips to help you prepare for living and studying in a different country and culture.
- Apply for a student visa
An Australian Student Visa allows you to study and work in Australia for as long as your course plus one month. It will allow you to work legally part time (up to 40 hours every 2 weeks) during the study semesters and full-time during holidays. You may be able to apply for a student visa online or offline at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.
- Get travel insurance
It’s important to buy travel insurance before travelling anywhere around the world, which will cover you in case of illness or accident. You can purchase travel insurance from several providers – search online to compare prices and to find out what the insurance will and will not cover.
All international students in Australia must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire period of their stay. It is designed to help international students to meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia and will pay limited benefits for pharmaceuticals and ambulance services. Check with your provider for a list of what is and isn’t covered, or visit the Department of Health website for more information.
Before you depart for Australia, visiting your doctor will allow you to receive or renew any required medications and prepare for the journey to Australia. Any prescription medications you bring into Australia also require documentation to get through customs.
An Australian bank account will allow you to earn money in Australia, and allow you to access your funds without fees for international transfers. When opening an account you will also be provided with a debit card, which will allow you to shop in Australia without paying additional fees.
You will need to bring photographic identification, proof of enrolment and proof of your Australian address to open an Australian bank account. Search on the internet to compare Australian banks and find an account that best suits you.
There are many accommodation options for international students, including living in a private rental property (alone or with housemates), living with a homestay house with a family, in a student apartment, or residential college. It’s best if you arrange this accommodation beforehand, so do your research to work out what option is right for you.
Ensure you have enough money to cover the bond and at least the first few weeks of rent, as you will usually be required to pay for these upfront.
You will also need to weigh up your options including how close you want to live to university and the travel options and costs to get to and from the place of study each day. MyStudentHouse has a range of share accommodation that is close to Curtin University, and staying with a housemate can reduce both the cost of your accommodation and the time you spend doing chores, as you share these commitments.
- Work out what to pack
You should keep your passport and visa with you at all times when travelling, so ensure you pack these in your hand luggage and take them onto the plane with you. If you bring prescription medication you will also need to have appropriate paperwork with you.
It’s also recommended that you have a small amount of Australian currency with you as you arrive to pay for taxi services, for example.
Make sure you pack clothes for all seasons including wet weather, as while Australia is renowned for its beautiful sunny days, the weather fluctuates throughout the year.