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Moving to Sydney

New to Sydney? Make yourself at home here
Everything you need to know if you’re joining us from overseas or from elsewhere in Australia. Find out what to bring, where to go and how to connect with the University community.

Finding accommodation

The University has a range of on-campus accommodation options but they often fill up quickly – make sure you apply for accommodation early.

Some students choose to find their own housing in nearby suburbs. If you're taking this option, make sure you thoroughly inspect any property before paying a deposit or signing a contract. This means that you'll need to book short-term accommodation before you arrive.

Travel arrangements

If you're an international student, ensure that your passport and student visa are valid for the length of your stay in Australia.

If you can, aim to arrive in Sydney at least a few of weeks before semester starts, so you have more 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 Welcome Week which takes place the week before semester begins and is an important time for new students. 

When you arrive, go directly to your accommodation (not the University).

It’s a good idea to research transport options before you leave your home city, so you don’t need to think about it when you arrive after a long flight – and make sure you have the address written down somewhere. There are several ways to travel from the airport:

Airport shuttle pick up service

The University offers a free airport shuttle service to central Sydney locations for newly commencing international students (subject to availability).

Train or bus

Sydney’s public transport options include trains, buses, light rails (trams) and ferries. You’ll need an adult Opal card to use the public transport network – you can buy one from the airport.

Use Google or Apple Maps to find out the best routes for where you want to go, and then download the TripView app for the latest timetables. Remember that some of Sydney’s train stations don’t have lifts (elevators) for your luggage and might be a long walk from your accommodation.

Taxi

Catching a taxi is more expensive than public transport, but they will be able to take you directly to your door and save you from carrying your luggage too far. Taxi ranks are situated just outside the Arrivals lounge if you wish to go from the airport; or you could consider catching one from outside the nearest train station to your accommodation to save you from walking.

Other options 

Ride sharing apps are popular in Sydney and can be used at the international airport. Once you exit the building, follow signs to the yellow public pick-up area, as this is where your driver will meet you upon confirming through the app.

What to pack

There are a few important things that you need to bring to Australia.

Ensure you bring:
  • valid passport and photocopies of your passport and student visa
  • travel documents (itinerary, tickets, travel insurance) and a list of goods you are bringing to Australia (this might be useful for your own reference, as well as for your customs declaration when you enter the country
  • all offer letters sent to you by the University and receipts of payments you have made
  • all original documents used for admission of your course (as they may be requested)
  • identification such as certified copy of birth certificate, driver's licence, international drivers licence (if needed)
  • credit cards and travellers cheques (if using) and bank account records
  • any previous reference letters written by landlords, employers etc to assist in obtaining accommodation or work (if allowed under your visa), translated into English if possible
  • referral letters from your doctors if you require specialist care or medications while you are in Australia, as well as information about any relevant medical history or chronic conditions that will require ongoing treatment in Sydney, translated if possible
  • the same documents for any family members travelling with you, including student reports for any school age children.

You’ve probably heard about Sydney’s beautiful beaches and warm weather, but don’t forget to pack some warm clothes, especially if you’re arriving in July. Australia can be hot – but it can also get cold too!

Don’t worry if you can’t fit everything into your suitcase – there are easily accessible, relatively cheap clothes, bedding, stationery and other supplies available across Sydney. You do not need to weigh down your luggage with too many toiletries or other items that you can purchase after you arrive.

Don’t forget to check your airline's maximum luggage allowance, to avoid paying excess charges. 

Have medical/dental check-ups before you leave, and pack spare pairs of glasses/contact lenses and prescriptions for medications. Bring at least a month’s worth of medication if possible.

Check with your doctor that you will be able to obtain the medications you require in Australia. Bring a letter from your doctor explaining what your medications are and why you take them, and information about your medical history.

If you have an ongoing or chronic health condition, ask your doctor for a letter of referral to a health practitioner in Australia.

Ensure your vaccinations are up to date and bring copies of your vaccination records.

Have at least AUD$1500 in your bank account available for use on arrival in Sydney (plus approximately AUD$300 in cash).

You can exchange most currencies at the airport but you can do this before your arrival. Most businesses including taxis accept credit cards but there may be a surcharge.

It is important to make sure you will be able to afford your living costs in Sydney.