Starting life in a new country is an exciting and confusing experience. For students who are interested in studying in Australia, the following FAQ questions and answers might help make the transition a little smoother.
Q. Can I bring food to Australia?
No, do not bring any food. Australian airport officials are very strict about food products coming into Australia. Make sure you do not bring any food to Australia otherwise you may face a penalty or fine.
Q. What should I do if my plane is delayed?
First of all, don’t panic. Plane delays are a normal part of air travel. You should speak to the airline company and try to work out the best alternative plan. If you are meeting someone at the airport, try to send them a message via email or phone. You might be able to let your parents know what has happened, so they can be in touch with your contact person.
Q. Where can I stay when I first arrive?
Many students start with homestay as a way to become familiar with Australia. You might also choose to stay in a Youth Hostel or shared accommodation while you settle into Australia. Airbnb is also very common in Australia.
Q. How long before my first classes should I arrive in Australia?
This depends on your own situation. Some people like to be well organized and arrive two to three weeks in advance. This will allow them time to get organized, get to know the city and become familiar with Australia and the Australian accent. Arriving one week in advance is also common. The main thing is that you should not arrive after the semester begins. Some students choose to wait until class actually starts, so they can have a few extra weeks at the end of their visa period.
Q. Is it easy to find a job in Australia?
It is not easy to get a job, but it is certainly possible. You need to have a Curriculum Vitae (CV) which does not contain errors. You can visit shopping centres and restaurants and hand this document to shop managers. Alternatively, you might email this document to the company and if you pass this stage you will normally be asked to attend a job interview. It’s important to consider the ‘hidden job market’. In other words, the jobs that are not advertised. To find these, you need to keep talking to people to let them know that you are interested in finding a job.
What types of jobs are the easiest to get in Australia?
Many students start by working in restaurants and cafes, either as a waiter or waitress. Babysitting, cleaning, and working in retail shopping outlets is also a good option. Keep in mind, many shops are looking for extra workers during the Christmas period – from November to January.
Do I need to go to the first week of classes?
Yes, absolutely. It is very important that you attend the first week of every class you are enrolled in so you can gain all the essential information you need to succeed in the units you are studying. Missing the first weeks is a big mistake.
Should I go to every class?
Again, yes you should. Students who attend every class rarely fail a unit. Even if you are struggling with the unit part of the way through, you should continue, because the unit will be structured in a way that helps you understand more about the topic as you go further into the unit.
Do Australian students live on campus?
Local students don’t tend to live on campus as much as they do in other countries. It depends on the college or university. Often Australian students from the country areas (outside the cities) tend to stay at the student accommodation on campus. International students also make up a large proportion of on-campus students. Local Australian students often share a house or apartment close to campus or live with their parents while they attend university.
What should I do if I’m suffering from Culture Shock?
Culture shock is very normal for international students. In fact, you should expect to feel overwhelmed at times. The good news is that most colleges will have professional councelling staff you can talk to . Make sure you attend a session if you feel it is all too much.