Before You Leave Home
If you have accepted your offer, download MY START: Preparing for life at The University of Newcastle, Australia.
If you have accepted, or are about to accept an offer at our Sydney location, download MY START Sydney for offer acceptance and predeparture information.
This comprehensive guide will tell you what you need to do before you leave home, including what to bring, where to look for accommodation once you get here, as well as what to expect while living in Australia.
Here are some things you will need to organise:
- Have a thorough medical and dental check-up. Ask your doctor to provide you with a letter detailing any relevant ongoing medical conditions which may require follow-up treatment while you are in Australia. (Have it translated into English if necessary)
- Open a credit card account. Credit cards are not usually issued to overseas students in Australia.
- Go online and open an Australian Bank Account. Presently, there is one bank and one building society operating on the Callaghan Campus, the Commonwealth Bank and the Newcastle Permanent Building Society. You can open your bank account on line and transfer money into it before you leave home. You simply prove your identity to the Bank when you arrive to have ready access to your money.
- Make photocopies of your passport, visa and any other important documents. Leave a set at home and put another set in your luggage.
- Check which campus offers most of your courses to determine whether your destination is Newcastle or Central Coast (Ourimbah).
- Organise your transport and accommodation
- Enquire about schooling or childcare for your children if they are travelling with you.
What You Should Bring
- A valid passport
- Your Student Visa and entry permit. If you have applied on-line and obtained an E Visa, please bring along a hard copy of the confirmation which states the visa expiry date.
- Your letter of offer from the University of Newcastle.
- A copy of your Overseas Student Confirmation of Enrolment (COE).
- The receipt of your tuition payment.
- Certified copies of your academic qualifications, English proficiency, and if you are applying for credit for previous study - details of course outlines, assessment method, contact hours, subject duration and textbooks used.
- Evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself during your study, for example a scholarship offer or bank statement.
- Some form of identification such as Driver's Licence, certified copies of your birth certificate or ID card.
- A certified English translation of your vaccination records if you are doing Health -related studies.
- Telephone numbers of the International Student Support Team (+61 2 4921 6236), their emergency mobile (0408 485 664) and the University Security Office (+61 2 4921 5888).
- Instructions on how you plan to get from Sydney International Airport to Newcastle plus the telephone number of transport/accommodation providers you may need to contact along the way.
- Your accommodation address.
- Medical letter and any optical or medical prescriptions you might need.
- Rental and or character reference.
Things to Pack in Your Luggage
- Pack light and manageable bags and suitcases. Pack a change of clothes in your hand luggage. Limit liquids in carry-on hand luggage to less than 100ml per container.
- Bring sufficient cash to support you during your first week in Australia.
- Clothing and personal items.
- If your accommodation is off-campus you might need to bring (or purchase once you get here) bed sheets and pillowcases.
Money and Financial Arrangements
- Bring enough funds to cover initial expenses, such as accommodation (rent, bond, utilities, furnishings), study materials, personal effects, food and transport. You will probably need at least AUD500 in cash and AUD1000 in traveller's cheques. There are currency exchange facilities at Sydney airport but not at the Newcastle airport. Bank hours are 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
- Automatic Teller Machines are readily available and accept major international credit cards.
- We suggest you open an Australian Bank Account prior to leaving home or when you arrive, at either the on-campus bank or building society, or at a bank close to your accommodation. International credit cards, such as MasterCard, Visa and American Express, are accepted in Australia but it can take up to two weeks to clear an overseas bank draft.
Your SIM card from your home country will not operate in Australia. You will need to purchase a replacement for the duration of your stay. SIM cards can be purchased at most news agencies and post offices, some supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations, as well as phone dealerships.
You should also check with your cell/mobile phone service provider that your phone will accept an Australian SIM card.
Students with Disabilities
The Disability Support Service at the University of Newcastle offers a wide range of services for students with a disability or chronic illness.
Eligible students may be provided with the following services:
- Information and referral to access the most appropriate services, resources and people;
- Specific services - including lecture support, scribing, readers, library assistance, advocacy, ergonomic furniture, hearing systems, sign interpreters, an accessible format translation service for students with a print disability, examination and assessment assistance;
- Training and support in the use of adaptive software and equipment; and
- Assistance with mobility around campus.
It is strongly advised that you make contact with the Disability Support Service well before your departure for information on support options specific to your needs. Services available may differ from those provided at home, and often require notice in advance to organise.
You will need to register with the Disability Support Service upon arrival and provide up-to-date documentation from a health practitioner or specialist. Bring these documents with you to prevent delays in implementing support. Adjustments can not be made without supporting documentation being provided to the Disability Support Service. Go to the Documentation Policy for more information.
T: (02) 4921 5766
F: (02) 4921 7065
T: (02) 4348 4060
F: (02) 4348 4065
TTY: (02) 4348 4144