To ensure you make the most out of your experience here at ACCCO, please find some helpful information to guide you though your study journey.
Before Leaving Home
You will need to make your own travel arrangements to Australia. Please try to arrive at least 1-2 weeks before the start of International Student Orientation to allow enough time for settling-in, adjusting to the climate and overcoming jet-lag. You should fly into Brisbane International Airport.
Checklist before you depart
- Apply for your international student visa
- Check your passport is valid for the intended length of your study period in Australia
- Organise to have a full medical check-up and organise any prescribed medications or immunisations you may need
- Ask your doctor to write a letter (in English) explaining these medicines
- Visit the website of your Overseas Student Health Cover provider and read information about your health coverage while in Australia
- Book your flights
- Purchase travel insurance
- Arrange temporary student accommodation before you leave your home country
- Organise to have at least A$500 available to you on arrival in Queensland so you can organise a credit/debit card you can use in Australia
- Make a note of the contact details of your country's embassy in Australia
- Pack a document folder containing your letter of offer, Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), certified copies of existing academic transcripts and education history documents; identification documents, important contact numbers, details of pre-arranged accommodation and important medical records
NOTE: Please ensure originals or copies of important documents are kept safely with family in your home country in case of loss.
Upon Arrival in Australia
Checklist once you arrive in Australia
- Phone your family to let them know you've arrived safely
- Arrange permanent student accommodation
- Contact ACCCO to inform us of your safe arrival
- Purchase household items and food
- Enrol children in school (if applicable)
- Advise your OSHC company of your new contact details and get your membership card
- Open a bank account in Australia
- Buy a go card and familiarise yourself with your local public transport
- Purchase a mobile phone or Australian sim card
- Apply for your Unique Student Identifier (USI) and notify TAFE Queensland
- Apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) if you plan to work in Australia
- Get your student ID card
- Attend orientation
- Speak to International Student Support if you have any questions or concerns, we are here to help!
IMPORTANT: Only give your tax file number to your employer. Please DO NOT supply your tax file number to anybody except your employer.
English is the official language of Australia but many foreign languages are used by local communities including Arabic, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese dialects. Translation and interpreter services can be accessed 24 hours a day by calling 13 14 50.
A population of 2.2 million calls Brisbane home, with a median age of 35 and more than a quarter of Brisbane residents born overseas. Brisbane accounts for 19% of the national population.
Brisbane operates on Australian Eastern Standard Time – GMT plus 10 hours. Daylight savings times do not apply in Queensland.
Visitor Information Services
The award-winning Brisbane Visitor Information and Booking Centre is located in the heart of Brisbane’s busiest shopping precinct in the Queen Street Mall (between Edward and Albert Sts). The fully-accredited centre holds a travel agency licence and offers a wide range of information and tourist booking services for travellers. Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 9am-5.30pm; Friday 9am-7pm; Saturday 9am-5pm; and Sunday 10am-5pm. (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day. On Anzac Day (25 April) the centre is open 1-5pm and all other public holidays the centre is open 9.30am-4.30pm.)
The South Bank Visitor Centre is located in the heart of South Bank on the Stanley Street Plaza. The centre offers detailed information on South Bank attractions and travel services. Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9am-5pm (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day); open from 1-5pm on Anzac Day; and open from 10am on public holidays.
The police in Brisbane are friendly and helpful, and have a duty to protect everyone. They are committed to promoting crime prevention and upholding Australian law. They are always there to help and can be safely approached if you need assistance with difficult situations.
To find your nearest police station, visit the Queensland Police website.
The Queensland Police Service also holds personal safety presentations, which are free to all members of the community. For more information about booking a free personal safety presentation, visit the Queensland Police website.
In a life-threatening or time-critical emergency, dial Emergency Services on Triple Zero (000).
The Triple Zero service is an operator-assisted service that connects callers to the most relevant emergency service organisation (police, fire brigade or ambulance). Calls to Triple Zero are free and can be made from all telephones (landline, mobile devices and payphones). When you dial Triple Zero services, the most important thing to remember is to stay focused, stay relevant and stay on the line. Additionally, mobile users can dial 112 while the 106 emergency number connects to a text-based relay service for people who have a hearing or speech impairment.
Health and Medical Services
Australia has a high-standard healthcare system offering a mix of public and private services. Several public hospitals with accident, emergency and outpatient services are located close to inner-city Brisbane, while private medical practitioners can be easily located through the Yellow Pages website. Some international travellers will find their country has reciprocal healthcare agreements with Australia. As a general guide, these agreements provide for any ill-health episode requiring prompt medical attention. Comprehensive travel insurance is always recommended. Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
In Queensland, it is required that all homes and units are fitted with smoke alarms to alert you of smoke on the property. If your property doesn’t have smoke detectors, talk to your landlord or real estate agent about having them installed. Don’t overload any powerboards or electrical outlets, as wiring and electrical devices can overheat from too much use. If a small fire does occur, use a fire extinguisher to put it out; otherwise quickly leave the premises and call the fire department on 000.
It is important students know their rights. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has information on safety standards for budget accommodation and share housing.
Brisbane is close to some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. While you should enjoy your day in the surf, ensure you take care when swimming as beaches have powerful currents and tides. Lifeguards patrol some beaches, and areas that are safe to swim in are marked by red and yellow flags. Always swim between these flags. For more beach safety tips, visit the Surf Life Saving Queensland website.
In Queensland the levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun are high enough to damage your skin all year round, so it is important to use the five recommended sun protection methods whenever you are outside. You can be exposed to UVR from the sun through everyday activities like walking to the shop, waiting for the bus and hanging out washing. This exposure adds up and increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
Skin cancer is a serious disease that can cause disfigurement or death, but reducing your risk is easy. Most of us know to 'slip slop slap', but did you know there are actually 5 ways to protect yourself from the sun?
- Slip on a shirt
- Slop on broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen
- Slap on a broad-brimmed hat
- Seek shade
- Slide on some sunglasses
For more information please visit www.qld.gov.au/health/staying-healthy
Although Australia is an English-speaking country, arriving into the country with little knowledge of the most popular Aussie slang words may just get you into a few awkward situations. Aussies have a tendency to shorten most words in the English vocabulary.
You will soon become accustomed to this! Here are a list of some common slang words that should help you get by…www.nomadsworld.com/aussie-slang
As with anywhere you travel, you should take steps to keep yourself safe.The following are some tips for keeping yourself safe:
- Enter in an In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact number and store it on your phone.
- Where available, use pedestrian walkways and cross the street at pedestrian crossings or lights.
- Always tell someone when you are going out, where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Take care travelling at night on your own.
- Never leave personal belongings unattended.
- Always carry either a fully charged mobile phone, change for a pay phone or a phone card.
- It is always wise to take note of any security guidelines provided by your place of study.
- Avoid giving your personal information to strangers.
- Lock your doors and windows before going out.
For more assistance, contact the International Student Hotline 1300 363 079 or visit studyinaustralia.gov.au and
submit any queries you have about studying in Australia.