Search for international student groups on Facebook to make a little network before getting to Australia to chat about trips, where you’ll be living, find roommates and friends.
Talk to your agency (if you’re going through one) to chat with someone who studied at Griffith University recently to pick their brain about what to bring, where to live, what to do, transportation, and learn the little tricks about living on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane.
If you’re 20 years old or older, I would recommend living off campus as student residences are typically filled with 17 and 18 year olds. You can find accommodation before landing in Australia via flatmates.com.au or realestate.com.au. On the Gold Coast, the tram (also known as the GLink) runs from Broadbeach to Griffith Uni so living close by the tram is an excellent way to enjoy living by the beach and have a reliable way to get to school. In Brisbane the South Bank, Nathan and Mt Gravatt campuses are on the Busway.
On your first few days upon arrival, go to Student Administration to get your photo taken for your student card. Then go to a 7-11 or tourist information stand to get your GoCard, which you load with money and use for public transportation.
Always carry your Student ID and GoCard on you at all times.
If you’re studying here for more than one trimester, get a casual job. It’s an awesome way to meet people and gain international work experience. You can find jobs on gumtree or seek. or the old fashioned way of walking in with your resume always works too. Or enrol in an internship through uni. If you need help with your resume or finding work, make an appointment with the Griffith University Careers Service.
If you can, schedule class on your campus market day – market days on campus are the best way to kick back at uni and score some cheap, yummy food.
If you’re coming from Canada, open a bank account with ScotiaBank as they have a sister bank in Australia called Westpac. This way when you use the ATM, you won’t get charged international fees when withdrawing from your Scotia account.
Schedule an appointment with an international student advisor as soon as you can to ensure you are enrolling in the correct courses that transfer to your school back home and/or ensure you graduate on time.
Find videos on YouTube or BuzzFeed to learn some Aussie lingo before you get there.
If you’re studying here for one year and also want to do some travelling while you’re in the country, have $30,000AUD (not including tuition) saved for living expenses and travel costs.
Mark your assessments and exams in your calendar as soon as possible in order to have a rough idea when you can go on trips. Try to coordinate road trips with people you meet to keep the cost down.