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My tips for arriving in Australia

International student Jelisa stands on the Griffith University bridge showing a peace sign to the camera. Behind her the sky is blue and the weather is sunny

Hi there,

My name is Jelisa. I started studying a Bachelor of Child, Youth and Family Practice on the Gold Coast campus at Griffith University in 2022.

As a member of the Griffith Mates, I shared my travel and arrival journey on Instagram and I’ve written about my international arrivals experience below for anyone deciding to study at Griffith.

I hope you enjoy!

Day 1: Departing Singapore

I packed quite early, so I was ready to fly that night and took a nap before I left for the airport (I knew I’d need to keep my energy up!). I flew from Singapore to Brisbane, and then took a bus to the Gold Coast. 

The university offers free airport pickup, so I booked that in before I left.

Departing Singapore
My in-flight essentials

Day 2: I made it to Australia!

The airport pickup with really smooth. I was the only person in the bus, so I got to enjoy the car journey on my own! The trip wasn’t too long from the airport to my accommodation (about an hour), and I was so excited to move in. 

Find out about student accommodation options here.

My student accommodation
Happy to be here!

I had a really good night’s sleep. The weather was really amazing – not too hot, not to cool. I was woken up by the sound of a lot of birds, and it’s been really nice so far!

I had the house to myself, because I didn’t have a roommate yet. I got up and started exploring the area around where I live, including going to the shops to pick up some essentials.

There is a shopping centre called the Smith Village opposite from the Gold Coast campus, with a Woolworths grocery store and some good places to eat.


My local ALDI store

Day 3: Visit Griffith campus

I visited the campus and attended the Orientation Week events. The campus is huge and I walked around by myself for several hours learning where things are.

The Griffith Mates team were really welcoming all of the new international students with campus tours, free coffees, and merchandise – and they answered all of my questions. I joined a campus tour and found some of the classrooms where I would be having classes, as well as the library and other important locations. I definitely recommend joining a campus tour, it was very helpful.


Exploring the Gold Coast campus
Exploring the Gold Coast campus
Exploring the Gold Coast campus

Day 4: Excited to start studying

I had my first weekend in Australia, which was really nice. I spent the weekend doing some groceries for the week and laundry, and video calling my family back home to catch up. 

Learning the transport system

Today I took the light rail for the first time (also known as G-Link), and I took a bus yesterday using my new Go Card to get around. The G-Link seems very nice and is quite fast. There are two light rail stations at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus which is convenience to get around the Gold Coast.

A Go card is an electronic ticket to travel around South East Queensland, you can use it on all bus, train, ferry and tram services. It’s convenient and you can pre-load it and refill the amount on the card using your online account. It works out cheaper than purchasing a ticket for each separate journey.


My Go Card
On the light rail
Getting prepared for study

I also started preparing for my studies and placement today, so I walked around to collect a few items from the shops.

Here are my top tips:

Exploring Springbrook, QLD

I hope you enjoyed my journey to Australia. Wishing all of the new international students the best of luck and I hope your arrival was as smooth as mine. You can follow me on Instagram if you want to follow my journey.

I can’t wait to see you all around campus.


All the best,


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