10 things for international students to do before leaving Australia

From housing, to banking and tax, we have you covered with this checklist of things to do when you head home.

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27 November 2023

Two male international students hugging goodbye

Image credit: Ben Calvert

Completing your studies is an incredible achievement. Well done!  

If you’ve decided to return home or start another adventure somewhere else - we’re here to help. We’ve prepared a list of 10 things you need to do before and after you leave Australia.  

1. Make travel arrangements  

Before booking your flight:

  • make sure you will be in Australia for the entire assessment period of your course
  • check your student or graduate visa expiry date
  • make sure your passport is still valid.

Check out this blog post for tips on booking your flight.  

2. Notify your employer  

Let your employer know when you will be leaving. Check your work agreement to see how much notice you need to give (usually 4 weeks).  

3. Arrange to leave your accommodation

Leaving a share house you rent with others:

  • If you move out of a ‘share house’ before the end of the lease (rental) agreement, check it to see how much notice you need to give to your housemates and landlord.
  • Check the lease agreement to see whether you need to find a new tenant to replace you.
  • Make sure that you take your name off the lease agreement.
  • Arrange for your share of the rental bond to be refunded to you.

Find out more about your rights as a tenant in a share house here.  

Ending a lease agreement:

  • Check your lease to see how much notice you must give your landlord. (Note that there are usually fees to pay if you break the lease early).
  • Make sure that the property is in the same condition as when you arrived. Check the lease agreement to see if you need to book a bond cleaner.
  • You may need to complete an exit report and arrange a time with your landlord or rental agent for an inspection of the property.
  • Return your keys.
  • Claim your bond money.

Find out more about your rights as a tenant here.

4. Ship or sell your belongings  

When you start packing, you might realise that you’re going home with more things than you arrived with!  

Sometimes paying for extra baggage on your flight can be more expensive than shipping your items home. So, search online for shipping options and compare prices. Remember to:

  • plan well in advance
  • check customs regulations to avoid any unexpected complications
  • get insurance for anything that you ship and take photos in case anything is damaged or lost
  • sell items before you leave Australia that you could easily replace at home.

5. Cancel accounts and pay final bills

It’s important to pay all outstanding fees and bills so your credit history and future visas aren’t affected. Some things you’ll need to cancel are:

  • your electricity, gas and internet (if these weren’t included in your lease agreement)
  • your phone contract.  

6. File your tax return  

The Australian financial year runs from 1 July - 30 June and you need to file your tax return by 31 October each year. Even if the financial year hasn't ended when you leave, file your tax return before you leave – there may even be money owed to you.  

Find out more about filing your tax return here.

7. Access your superannuation  

You are likely to have some money in a superannuation (‘super’) fund if you worked in Australia during or after your studies. You can claim your superannuation money if you:

  • have already departed Australia
  • no longer have any Australian visas in effect – this includes all tourist visas.

Find out how to claim your super on the Department of Home Affairs website.

8. Close your bank accounts  

Don’t close your Australian bank account until after you have been paid your:

  • final salary from your employer
  • bond from your accommodation
  • superannuation
  • any tax return funds.

Some banks will allow you to close your account online, while others may require you to close it over the phone. Visit your bank’s website and search for details on closing an account.  

9. Attend information sessions

Transitioning from student life in Australia can be challenging, but there is support available.  

Many education providers run information sessions to help international students prepare to return home. These sessions cover topics such as cultural adjustment and practical tips for readjusting to life outside of Australia.  

Reach out to your international student support staff for details on upcoming events.

10. Join alumni organisations

Most education providers have alumni networks around the world that offer a platform for networking, mentorship and ongoing support.  

Joining these organisations can give you:

  • valuable advice
  • professional networks and career opportunities
  • a community of fellow international alumni and an ongoing connection to Australia, even long after you've left.

Come and visit!

We hope that you’ve had an amazing time in Australia and that you enjoyed your studies.  

Safe travels, and best wishes for the adventures that lie ahead. We hope to see you back here for a visit very soon.  

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