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Transition to Sydney

Get prepared for your move


Organise your visa

You’ve accepted your unconditional offer and received an ‘electronic confirmation of enrolment’ (eCoE) – congratulations! The first thing you need to do is obtain your visa. This can take a while to process, so it’s important to get started on this as soon possible. Here’s how to apply for your visa.


Organise your OSHC

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is health insurance for international students that helps to cover medical costs in Australia. It is a condition of your student visa that you maintain OSHC for the duration of your studies.


Be aware of COVID-19 rules and restrictions

Once you’re confident in your decisions you’re ready to enrol. Fully vaccinated international students can travel to Sydney without needing a travel exemption. Before you travel, make sure to check government advice for the latest requirements on COVID-19 tests and isolation rules when you arrive in Sydney. The Australian Government website will have the latest updates on travel, COVID-19 testing requirements and visa restrictions before you travel. We're committed to supporting our students, staff and community members through this difficult time and will continue to update you as we adapt to life and study during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Book your flights

Once you have your visa, it’s time to organise your flights. If you can, aim to arrive in Sydney at least a couple of weeks before semester starts. This will give you time to settle in, meet people and do some sightseeing before classes begin. When booking your flights, keep in mind the University’s study dates, including our Welcome program, a series of events and activities taking place in the weeks leading up to semester, and which is an important time for new students.


Find a place to live in Sydney

Moving requires a lot of research, so you’ll first need to decide whether you’d like to live on or off-campus. Make use of the University’s Accommodation Services for advice about University owned accommodation options. Remember to check which campus you will be studying on and public transport options, as this may change where you want to live. On-campus student accommodation is very popular and can be booked up fast, so make sure you apply as soon as possible.

Sydney is a great place to live, with each suburb having its own unique culture. Off-campus accommodation is usually a private rental organised through a real estate agent or other housemates. It's important that you are aware of your tenancy rights, so please refer to this useful accommodation guide when organising a rental.


Plan your airport transport

Once you have organised your living arrangements, you need to find out the best way to get there from the airport when you arrive. You don’t want to have to walk a long way with your luggage, so check the distance to public transport and how to order a taxi. If you're an international student arriving during the airport shuttle service period, you can book a free shuttle to central Sydney locations.

Find out more

Work out the cost of living

Your living costs will depend on a lot of different variables, including your lifestyle and where you choose to live. There are also some helpful guides online which can help you calculate a budget for your week-to-week expenses, such as Insider Guides’ cost of living calculator.


Pack your essential items

Get all of your paperwork together, including medical documents and prescriptions, visa documents, identification, insurance and the documents that you used in your application (including transcripts and testamurs). You’ll also need to bring your laptop, charger and adaptor.

Don’t worry if you can’t fit everything into your suitcase – there are plenty of shops and markets in Sydney, including Broadway Shopping Centre across the road from the University’s Camperdown campus. Save some room in your suitcase to bring photos and other personal items to remind you of home.

Remember, there are strict laws on what can and can’t be brought into Australia, so it’s important to check the Australian customs website before you pack.


Find out how and when to enrol

You may need to enrol before you move to Australia – this will depend on when you receive and accept your offer. We’ll email you once enrolment for your course has opened and provide you with your Unikey and instructions to set up your password (which you’ll use to log in to all University systems). Make sure you are aware of the enrolment deadlines for your course. Here’s everything you need to know about the enrolment process.


Join our online community before you arrive

We know it can be tough moving overseas, so make the transition as smooth as possible by getting in touch with other students through our Student Life Facebook and Instagram pages, where we post tips and events to help you get settled. You can also join our University of Sydney Peer Support Advisor Discord server to connect with your peers, get any questions answered, and share your experiences about life in Sydney.

Student Centre



1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

Find out more about how we can help

Last updated: 23 May 2023

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