Finally, time for university!
Now all you have to do is settle into a different study environment, perhaps in a completely different country. It should be a walk in the park!
I, Numan Wahid, an international student from Pakistan studying Bachelor of Government and International Relations in Australia, thought the same while getting even more worried about planning my arrival in Australia and getting used to campus life.
Luckily, students reading this blog have nothing to stress about if they follow a few general arrival tips, which can make it significantly easier for them to adjust to uni life.
I started studying online during COVID-19, and I was in my second academic year when I came to Australia. The following tips helped me to easily settle into university and become comfortable with living in Austalia.
Tip 1: Always attend Orientation
Students should attend as many Orientation programs as possible, not just the mandatory events. This is a wonderful way to meet new friends and learn more about the university’s programs, facilities, services and more.
Orientation covers the basics of a student’s everyday needs on campus such as, finding your way around campus, health and emergency services, and navigating the university’s library. Orientation also presents a prime opportunity to discover how students can make the most of their time in Australia. For example, joining clubs and societies, volunteering in the region, and gaining professional experience through internships.
Tip 2: Organise your accommodation
Make sure you have some accommodation sorted before you arrive in Australia, whether it’s on-campus or off-campus. However, do not sign a long lease before you arrive. Once you have experienced living in the area for some time, you may choose to extend the lease or transfer to another place. This way you won’t have to go through the trouble of terminating a rental contract if you plan to move.
Also, get a tax file number (TFN) if you plan to work while studying. More details about applying for a TFN can be found on the Australian Government’s website.
Tip 3: Buy a go card on arrival
A go card is a convenient way to travel using public transport in South East Queensland. Once topped up, you can use trains, trams, buses, and ferries without the need to purchase tickets. Students also get concession fares, making it an efficient and affordable way to travel. Also, become familiar with using Google Maps. It is remarkably accurate in terms of travel time, routes, and which buses to take.
Tip 4: Open a bank account as soon as you arrive
This saves the hassle of carrying cash around, although carrying some cash is always recommended just in case. Digital banking makes life easier in this age of online shopping, bill payments, and apps like Uber. Also, purchase a mobile plan, but keep in mind the length of your stay in Australia and your average dependence on mobile data.
Tip 5: Download helpful apps on your smartphone
This would primarily include Google Maps, Uber, Uber Eats, Microsoft Outlook (to manage Griffith Uni’s emails), and UniDays to get great student discounts.
These are just a few tips that have helped me a great deal to settle in university and get going in Australia. I believe these could be of tremendous use to new students, especially international students.
All the best,