Preparing for your travels to Australia

Getting ready to study in Australia in 2023? We’re looking forward to welcoming you! These handy tips will help you prepare for take-off.

19 Jan 2023

A girl with her carry on luggage at the airport


If you’re an international student about to join us in Australia, there are several things to organise before you travel.  

We’re here to help!  

Use these tips to make your preparation easier. 


Once your visa is sorted, you can move onto one of the most exciting steps: booking your flight!  

If you are planning to study in one of Australia’s three largest cities – Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane – then you should be able to find a direct flight.  

If you choose to study in a smaller city, you make need to book a connecting flight within Australia. Alternatively, you may also be able fly into one of Australia’s major airports and continue your journey on a bus or train.  

Whatever travel method you choose, make sure you always have your passport and a copy of your itinerary handy. 

Here is a full list of helpful tips for booking your flight.  

What to bring 

Trying to fit a semester or a year (or more) of belongings into a suitcase or two is easier when you know what to bring.  

If you’ll be living in the more northern, tropical areas of Australia, you’ll need to pack for year-round warm temperatures, so leave your heavy winter coats at home.  

If you’ll be living in one of Australia’s south eastern cities, then you’ll need to prepare for hot summers, a mild autumn and spring, and cold and rainy winters.  

If you don’t have climate-suitable clothing, you can always buy clothes when you arrive. You might even prefer to hire special gear, like skiing or hiking clothes, for short-term use. There are also plenty of low-cost recycled and ‘vintage’ clothing stores across Australia that support charitable organisations.  

TIP: If you’d like to do some more research on Australia’s climate in your study location, visit, Australia’s official weather forecast service. 

It’s a great idea to pack a few pairs of shoes, basic personal care products and a power adaptor so you can use your electronics in Australian power points. Adaptors are usually available for purchase at international airports and in many stores across Australia if you’re unable to find one before you leave.  

If you’re bringing hiking boots or shoes you have worn on a farm, they will be inspected on arrival to protect Australia’s ecosystem. So it’s a good idea to clean any dirt off them before you travel.  

You can find a full list of the things you can and can’t bring into the country on the Australian Border Force website.  

How much to bring 

Make sure you check your airline’s luggage allowance. Some airlines have the option to buy additional baggage online, which is cheaper than paying for an overweight or additional bag at airport check-in.  

Your hand luggage

 If you have a long flight with a stopover, it's a good idea to pack a change of clothes, a toothbrush, tooth paste and deodorant to freshen up. It’s also a good idea to pack these items even for direct flights, in case of any issues with your main luggage.  

If you do take some toiletries with you, remember that liquid, aerosol and gel items must be in containers of 100 millilitres or less.  

Other things to pack in your hand luggage include:  

  • your passport and visa documentation 
  • the address of your accommodation  
  • any prescription medication, and 
  • a pen to fill out your incoming passenger card  


You will be required to provide your accommodation address on your incoming passenger card when you arrive in Australia. This means, you will need to have arranged accommodation for your first night(s) before you travel.  

Please note: If you are under 18 years of age, it is a student visa requirement that you have adequate welfare arrangements in place.  

Before you travel to Australia, find out how to get to your accommodation from your arrival airport or train/bus station, and how to check into your room – including outside of usual business hours, in case you’re arriving late at night or early in the morning. 

Public transport 

Once you’ve arrived in Australia, you’ll have some setting up to do, including buying homewares and groceries, attending an orientation program and collecting your student ID card on campus.  

So, it’s important to know how to get around your new city or town. Before you fly, do some research into the local public transport system, including ticketing, maps, transport lines and timetables for your area. 


Prior to leaving your home country, ask your bank if you can withdraw money from ATMs (cash withdrawal machines) in Australia. If so, find out whether you will be required to pay a fee each time, and how much, so that you can plan your withdrawals.  

To avoid any unnecessary fees, you may also wish to research alternative overseas accounts or electronic funds transfer options. Travel money cards or ‘cash passports’ could also be an option.  

You may also wish to open an account with an Australian bank. Some banks will allow you to submit an application to open an account even before you arrive. Once you are here, you will need to visit the local branch of your chosen bank to present photo identification (ID) to finalise the process.  


Being contactable and staying in touch with family and friends back home is important. It’s a good idea to research the status of your current phone and Australian mobile network providers to plan how you will stay connected. 

If you’re bringing an unlocked phone to Australia, you’ll have plenty of carrier options to choose from. All you need to do is select the plan you want, buy a new SIM card and insert it into your phone.  

If your phone is locked to your provider back home, you may need to buy a new phone in Australia. Most providers will allow you to pay off your phone as part of your monthly contract, and certified second-hand phones are available for purchase. 

Settling in 

Settling into a new country and a new study routine can feel a bit overwhelming. So, before you arrive, explore the support resources and events offered by your education or training provider, such as Orientation Week (O-Week) activities and counselling services. 

You can also research community clubs or groups you can join, places to visit and restaurants to try. It’s also a great idea to reach out to anyone you might know who is already in Australia so that you can connect with a familiar face on arrival.  

Study Australia Travel and Pre-departure Checklist  

Being as informed as possible before you leave will help you settle in faster.  

For a full checklist of things to arrange before you arrive, check out our travel and pre-departure checklist.  

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Australia soon! 

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