THINGS TO CONSIDER
Preparing to arrive and study in another country requires planning.
Below are some key things to think about in preparation for studying in Australia.
Morling College offers two different on campus accommodation options, both of which immerse you in the College community and open you up to new experiences and meeting new people:
- Family Residences – These are unfurnished one, two and three-bedroom townhouses or units located on site at Morling College
- Morling Residential College (MRC) – MRC is our new singles accommodation. Each room comes furnished with a bed, desk and bookcase, and includes a kitchenette and ensuite.
If you are interested in living close to campus, but not on campus, check out popular real estate listing websites in Australia, including Domain and Realestate.com.au. These websites are not affiliated with the College. If you have any questions about the best accommodation options for you (and your family), please don’t hesitate to contact us.
What To Bring?
It can be daunting when beginning to think about all the things you need to bring with you. To help you in this process, we have put together a list of things you may need upon your arrival to Australia.
- Hard copy of your Visa and eCOE
- Flight tickets/itinerary
- Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues
- Clothing to suit both summer and winter climates
- Any personal prescription medications needed
- Money – Make sure you have some Australian (AUD) money on you when you arrive in Sydney. You may need this for transport and food.
- Electronics – Laptop, phone, tablets, charges
- Australian adaptor – This will come in handy when trying to charge your electronic devices
You will need to make sure you bring enough funds to support you when you first arrive. It is recommended that you have approximately AU$1500-$2000 available for the first two to three weeks to pay for temporary accommodation and transport. It is recommended that this money is brought as traveller’s cheques or on an international credit card.
Please note, it is not safe to bring large sums of money with you! Very few insurance companies will replace lost or stolen cash.
Only Australian currency can be used in Australia. If you have not brought any with you, then you will need to do so as soon as possible after arrival. You can do this at the airport.
Automatic Teller Machines are located everywhere and you can immediately withdraw cash from your overseas bank account at ATMs display the Cirrus Logo (if your ARM card has international access).
What Is The Weather Like In Sydney?
Students who are beginning their studies in Semester 1, will arrive in between December and February. This is the hottest part of the year in Australia, with temperatures ranging from 20°C (68°F) to 40°C (104°F).
Students who are beginning their studies in Semester 2, will arrive between May and July. This is the coolest part of the year in Australia, with temperatures ranging from 8°C (46°F) to 25°C (77°F).
We recommend that students check the temperature before arriving in Australia and are accordingly prepared.
Immigration And Customs
When you arrive in an Australia airport, you will need to go through immigration and customs clearance. A clearance officer will check your travel document and visa, and once cleared you will collect your luggage and go through customs.
Before you arrive in Australia, you will be given an Incoming Passenger Card. This is a legal document, so it is important that you complete this card honestly. You must declare any items that fall under the following categories:
- Specific Foods – E.g. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Seafood, Dairy, Fruit, Vegetables, Grains etc
- Plant Material
- Animal Materials
- Wooden products
- AUD$10,000 or more in Australian or foreign currency
More information about what to expect when you arrive at the airport can be found on the following websites:
Train and bus services are available from Sydney Airport to your desired location. Macquarie University Train Station and Macquarie Shopping Centre Bus Interchange is walking distance (400 metres) from the Morling College campus.
Please remember to purchase an adult ticket, as overseas students are not eligible for transport concession. For more information on available bus and train services, visit the Transport NSW Information webpage or call the Transport Information Line on 131 500.
Taxis and airport shuttle services are also available. The taxi stand is located outside the international terminal.
When you arrive at Sydney Airport, you have an opportunity to purchase an Opal Card from selected airport retailers. You can use your Opal Card to travel from the airport to your desired location, and across Sydney when on public transport. To use your Opal Card, simply tap on the sensor when you board public transfer, and tap on the sensor when you hop off public transport. For more information on transport from the airport, please visit the Sydney Airport Transport Page.
Bringing Your Family
Most student visas allow you to bring your family members to Australia as your dependents (check your individual circumstances with the Department of Immigration). This would include your spouse and you or your spouse’s dependent children. You will need to prove that you can support them financially whilst you are in Australia.
Things to consider:
- Rather than bringing your whole family with you to Australia, some students find it more helpful to settle in Australia first, find accommodation and then arrange for their family to join them
- The cost of airfares for your family
- The need for larger accommodation, and in most cases a higher cost for accommodation
- Employment opportunities for your spouse
- Extra living expenses – cost of food and clothing
- Effect on you and your studies if you family is not happy in Australia
- Whether your children will adjust to school in Australia
- Waiting lists for child care centres, and
- Whether to come alone to Australia first and arrange things for your family, or to all come at the same time.
Before you leave home, make sure you provide your family, friends and education provider in Australia with the details of your flight to Australia and accommodation once you have arrive. Once you have arrived, let your family know that you arrived safely.
If necessary, finding suitable childcare in Australia requires planning. Most childcare facilities have long waiting lists.
If you have decided to bring your children with you to Australia, please be aware of the following schooling issues:
- It is an immigration policy that school-age dependants of overseas students undertake formal schooling while they are in Australia.
- School fees vary according to the age of your child. In NSW, you can expect that the fees for your child to attend school each year will be around AU$5,000-$6,000.
- You will be responsible for the cost of school fees, school uniforms, books, excursions, stationary and any other related costs.
- Take in to consideration the distance from the school to your home, and the method of transport you plan to use.
Important Dates & Student Orientation
Academic Calendar - find important dates here
Community Week (Orientation Week) is an important time to come together at the start of every year as the Morling College community.
Overseas students are required to attend our Community Week Orientation. This includes general orientation to study, a Study Skills Intensive and also a specific orientation session for overseas students. During this specific orientation session (coordinated by the Chief Community Life Officer, Registrar, Student Services Assistant (Overseas Students), overseas students are introduced to/reminded of Australian and ACT policies, expectations of study and ways to access academic and pastoral support. All Overseas Students are given the ACT’s Overseas Student Handbook if they have not received it.
Orientation is also ongoing through the Chief Community Life Officer and Student Services offices. This includes individual communication with overseas students by the Student Services Assistant (Overseas Students) and our New Student Support Officer.
Life in Sydney
Sydney is the capital state of New South Wales. It is a multicultural city surrounding the spectacular Sydney Harbour, which houses the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Sydney is a business and shopping hub, with many world-class restaurants, bars and shops and is surrounded by many wilderness areas, including the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, and beaches. For more information visit http://www.visitNSW.com.
Morling College is located in Macquarie Park, about a half hour journey away from the Sydney CBD. Macquarie Park is known as the second largest business district in Sydney, and hosts a number of lifestyle and entertainment options, including Ice Skating, Cinemas and Ten-Pin Bowling. Macquarie Park is home to Macquarie Shopping Centre, the ninth-largest shopping centre in Australia and borders Lane Cove Park, a perfect spot for a bush walk or picnic. Macquarie Shopping Centre is located five minutes’ walk from the College, with major stores such as Myer, Woolworths, Big W and Target, as well as other facilities such as the post office, cinemas, banks, Services NSW, and food outlets.
Macquarie Park is also home to Macquarie University, with is adjacent to the College. The Library facilities are available for use but there are no borrowing privileges. The University has student facilities such as a gym (fee payable), food outlets and a bookshop.
For more information about Macquarie Park, visit the Meet Macquarie Park Guide website.
Cost of Living
As a student, the Australian government outlines that the approximate cost of living for an Overseas student in Australia is $19,830 per year. This is separate to tuition fees and is dependent on your lifestyle.
It can often take some time for international money transfers to process, so we recommend that students bring enough money with them to cover their living expenses for the first couple of weeks. Foreign currency can be exchanged for Australian currency at Sydney Airport, and at Macquarie Shopping Centre.
Some typical costs in Sydney:
Bottle of water $1-$3 Loaf of Bread $1.50 - $5 Milk (1 Litre) $1.50 Rice (1 kg) $4-$6 Cup of Coffee $2.50-$5.00 Soft Drink $3.00-$5.00 Haircut/Style $20-$60 Lunch in a Cafe $10 Lunch on campus $8 Fast Food (eg. McDonalds, KFC etc) $6-$15 Yum Cha $15-$30 Take away food (eg. Chinese, Indian, Thai, Pizza etc.) $15-$40 Movies $14-$30 A night out (Dinner, Club, Dancing) $60+
For more information visit the following website:
- Study in Australia: Living Costs: https://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/english/live-in-australia/living-costs
Working in Australia
Under your student visa, you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight once your course has commences and during any period in which your course is in session. Students who have been found to breach their work conditions, may be subject to the cancellation of their visa.
For more information about conditions for working whilst studying, visit the following websites:
- Australian Government – studying in Australia
- How to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) – If you intend to earn money in Australia, you will generally be required to have a TFN.
- Fair Work Ombudsman can answer any questions you have about your rights and obligations at your workplace.
If you are doing voluntary, unpaid work, it is not included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight, if it:
- Is of benefit to the community
- Is for a non-profit organisation
- Is genuinely voluntary (that is, you are not paid either in cash or other – board or lodging is acceptable)
- Police, Fire, Ambulance (24 hours): Dial 000
- Crisis support services: Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Australia is a safe and friendly country to study and travel. However, the same general cautions apply in Australia as they do in the rest of the world. Here are some hints and tips on how to stay safe:
- Take care when walking at night
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Try and walk with other people rather than being alone
- Walk along well-lit streets and main roads
- Do not carry large amounts of money around with you
- Try to conceal any valuables and keep you bag in front of you
- When using ATMs, be alert for strangers around you, and put your money away quickly
- Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return