Well done! So you’ve decided to move overseas to study! You’ve accepted your offer from CQUniversity, got your visa sorted, got a medical check-up, booked your plane tickets and packed your luggage. All you need to do now is to get on that plane and get ready for a new life in a new country.
All this can be a bit overwhelming, and it’s easy to lose yourself in the excitement, but you’ll need to tie up loose ends and buckle up — it’s going to be one of the most stressful experiences in your life.
Before you go
I had taken my time when I had applied to CQUni. I researched the courses I was going to take and life in general in Melbourne, but even then, time will fly and suddenly you’ll realise that you have a month to go! I underestimated how much there was to do — saying goodbyes to your relatives doesn’t count! If I could go back in time and do this all over again, this is the advice I would give myself. Although I’m in Melbourne, it applies to other cities and areas too.
- Make a List
Create a checklist of the things that you need to do before you leave. This could be a ‘to-do app’ on your phone, a notepad that you have with you at all times or simply a word document on your Dropbox. Things will come up as you go and you’ll either need to write them down or tick them off. Things such as ‘return the Breaking Bad DVDs to Tom’ or ‘go see the dentist’.
- Get your documents sorted
Make photocopies of your passport and eVisa (leave a copy of these documents at home as well) and printouts of any payments made to the University, your Letter of Offer and Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) and bring them with you. Remember to make copies of your original certificates and transcripts and bring them with you as well. It’s also helpful to bring the arrival guide provided by the University — this will help you to get organised and settled once you’re in Australia. Other miscellaneous items that you might want to bring along are:
- References and Curriculum Vitae (CV) in order to find part-time work and/or accommodation.
- Clothing for all seasons – in particular for Melbourne. The weather is very unpredictable – you have been warned!
- You might want to bring sunscreen (30+ or higher) in order to protect yourself from the harsh Australian sun.
- Driver’s licence or international driver’s licence (if you intend to drive in Australia).
- Laptop computer (Voltage used in Australia are 240 Volts, and frequency is 50 Hertz). The sockets are three-pinned but adapters are available for purchase.
- A spare pair of glasses/contact lenses.
- Finally, make sure you have enough Australian currency on you to make payments for the first few weeks.
All you need to do now is to be brave enough to embark on this wonderful journey. Say your goodbyes to family members, relatives and friends. You might want to post a farewell note on Facebook, but make an effort to meet up with your close friends over dinner or drinks — friends will help you keep sane during the turmoil of exams and assignments.
Once you arrive
- Take a few days to rest, acclimatise to your new surroundings and explore the area. It’s amazing to walk about after the sunsets!
- Do lots of research before selecting a rental property. It would be easier to move into a friend/relative’s place temporarily until you’ve found your own living place. The whole process of finding a place can be tedious, but when you’re looking to stay long-term, it’s worth it. Look up estate agents, visit their offices to find out more about properties, go on inspections and call the agents to book an appointment for further inspections/renting. Furnished houses and apartments are available and once you decide to move in, remember to go through all the inventory with your agent.
- Set up a bank account — sooner rather than later. This is very easy to do, head into any bank (Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac etc.) and ask to set up a student account — deposit any money you have and apply for a debit card!
- Purchase a sim card for your phone. You have a variety of service providers to choose from (Vodafone, Optus, Virgin).
All you need now is to keep a clear head, be prepared for the first day at the University to get enrolled, attend the orientation and start your new life here in Melbourne, Australia!
See you on campus!
Remember enrolment for Term 1, 2019 ends on Monday 25 February. Visit our website for more information on arriving in Australia.