It’s only a couple weeks until you head to Australia for your academic pursuits. Are you missing anything? What do you need to do in order to make sure that you are truly ready for your studying abroad pursuits? Take a look at this checklist and double check everything before you get rolling.
Here are a few things that you should ask yourself about your university and make sure that they are in order before you head out. If you have questions about any of these, talk to the appropriate departments at your university.
- Is everything settled with the university in terms of finances?
- Do you have a schedule set up and anything that you may need for your classes in order?
- Is all of your paperwork turned in?
- Are there any extra applications that you have to fill out?
- How soon to the first day of classes will you be arriving?
Accommodations and Housing
In terms of accommodations and housing, you need to make sure that these five items are dealt with before you even get on the plane. If you have any questions about accommodations as an international student, check out the accommodations page on this site or talk to the international studies office at your university.
- Do you have somewhere to stay temporarily if necessary?
- Has your housing deposit or security deposit been paid, or do you have arrangements regarding that? Will you get the keys almost immediately after you arrive in the country?
- If you are working with a Homestay program, is your Homestay family ready for you? Contact your host family before you leave. Make sure to have a gift for your homestay family as well.
- Do you know where you are going when you get there?
- Is someone picking you up or do you have a rental car available to get you to where you are staying?
Visas and Passports
You won’t even be able to get on the plane if you don’t have your visa and passport information up-to-date and completed as the Australian government requires. Here are some of the things to keep in mind.
- Do you have your visa settled, including your proof of finances?
- Is your passport up to date? Do you have two or three recent photographs with your passport?
- Have you made sure to go through all of the steps listed on our visas and passports page?
- Do you have everything with you when you go to the airport?
- Do you have your visa and passport somewhere that they are easy to access (carry-on or handbag)?
If you are still concerned about the immigration and visa system for Australia, you can read more information here.
The Australian medical system is different than the one in your own country, no matter what country you come from. Make sure that you have these five items in order before you head out.
- Have you gotten all of your necessary vaccinations?
- Is your insurance valid in Australia? If not, have you obtained local medical insurance?
- Are you ready for travel health-wise?
- Do you have any medications that need to be transferred to an Australian pharmacy?
- Have you at least looked at medical practices to go to when in Australia? You don’t have to choose one yet, but make sure you have an idea as to what’s available.
Your primary physician that you have in your home country should be able to help you with any of the medical questions or concerns that you may have about traveling to Australia, so make sure to schedule an appointment with them before you leave the country.
Packing Your Suitcase
There are a lot of things that you will want to make sure that you have when you head out to Australia. Bring mementos, necessities, clothing, and other items that you would need to have no matter what country you are heading to.
Make sure that everything you are packing is in code with what you can bring on the airplane. Every airline has guidelines and regulations that you must follow; you can usually find them on the website of the airline you are using for traveling or through the website of your country’s transportation department.
General Checklists and Information
This section of the checklist focuses on general information and items that may not fit in other categories.
- Have you taken a look at the area around where you will be living and studying? Do you know what is available in the immediate area in terms of stores? What about things to do? Taking an afternoon or so to check out the area online will help reduce any stress about “not being able to find anything” that you may have.
- Do you understand how the transportation works in the state you are living in? The Australian Government provides this page of links to help you find the resources you need regarding public and private transportation in Australia.
- Have you taken a look at Australian social customs and norms? The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has put together this list of frequently asked questions about Australian day-to-day life that you can take a look at before you go.
- If you are concerned or curious about the crime rates in Australia, check out the Australian Institute of Criminology. Their website offers a variety of statistics and other information that you may find interesting or necessary before you arrive.
Last But Not Least: Saying Goodbye
The hardest part of any extended trip, especially one that you are going to be on for a very long while (like studying abroad) is saying goodbye to those that you love. Here are some of the things that you should make sure to take care of in terms of your social relationships.
- Make sure that you have contact information. Whether it is by social media, email, video chat, snail mail, or phone, make sure that you can keep in touch with everyone you want to keep in touch with.
- Consider starting a blog and providing the address to those you love. Then, instead of having to write individual updates, you can keep everyone up to date at the same time.
- Hang out with your friends and family before you leave. Some people make the mistake of secluding themselves because they’re packing or doing other things. You can prevent this by packing a week or more before you leave, and then taking the last week to spend time with those you love. It’ll reduce your stress too.
- Throw a party or some other type of social gathering. Then, you can have some fun with your friends and family before you leave, and make sure that you see most of them before you leave the country.
If you still have concerns about your final checklists, the international studies office at your university will also be able to help you go through these checklists. They may help you think of items that we’ve forgotten as well. The international studies office will be your greatest resource as you study abroad, so make sure to use their resources as often as you are able to.
We hope that this checklist will help you to get everything together in preparation for your academic pursuits abroad. Australia is a very exciting country to study in, and you need to take advantage of every opportunity you have while studying there. Going through this checklist (and others that are available) will help reduce any stress that you may have. Good luck and enjoy your time down under!