Get ready - Section contents
You’re almost there! Now it’s time to get planning for the trip itself. Our to-do list below outlines some important tasks you need to complete before you travel.
Once you have been accepted into a host university, you will need to contact the appropriate consular offices to find out whether a visa is required prior to departure. In most cases you will need to apply for your visa while you are still in Melbourne. Official documentation required for your visa application can be provided to you by your host university upon acceptance.
If you are an international student visa holder, you must ensure the validity period of your Australian visa covers your overseas study period, or you may find it difficult to re-enter Australia. We will provide a letter verifying the host university semester dates and your status as a student studying overseas and advise the Department of Home Affairs that you will be outside of Australia studying. Please note that you are still subject to the visa condition 8202 and must satisfy course requirements while you are on your overseas study program.
If your short-term program does not include accommodation as part of your fees, make sure you secure accommodation early on.
An accommodation form may be provided as part of your study program application to the overseas institution. Otherwise, you can visit your host university’s website to find out about and apply for on-campus housing.
Most host institutions can provide suggestions for short-term students regarding accommodation options, such as local hotels. If you would like advice about off-campus accommodation, please see your host institution’s website, or contact them directly.
It is your responsibility to organise your own flights to and from your host institution. While it may be cheaper to book early, we recommend that you do not book and pay for flights until you have received your acceptance notification from your host institution.
Please be aware that you may also need to organise your own transport from the airport to your accommodation or host institution. Some programs may offer an airport pick-up service.
Some host institutions offer their own health insurance policy, which will cover the period you spend there, and in some cases, it is mandatory that you purchase this insurance. You will be contacted by your host institution if their health insurance is required to study there.
If you choose to take out your own health insurance, make sure it will be accepted as an appropriate alternative to any host institution insurance (especially if you are travelling to the USA).
Once you are enrolled in your placeholder subject, you can consider the funding options listed below or see our Funding options page for more information.
- OS-HELP loan: If you are a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) student undertaking an overseas study program towards your undergraduate degree, the Australian Government loan scheme (OS-HELP) can assist you in financing your expenses.
- Melbourne Mobility Award: Students undertaking a short-term program may be eligible to receive a one-off payment of $1,000. For more information on how to apply, visit the Melbourne Mobility Awards website.
- New Colombo Plan (NCP) grant: if you are an undergraduate student undertaking a short-term program in the Asia-Pacific region, you may be eligible to apply for an NCP grant to help finance your studies. If this grant applies to your program, it will be listed under the ‘Cost & Funding your Study’ tab of your program’s brochure page.
In addition to funding offered through the University of Melbourne, some host institutions offer funding options of their own. Please see your host institution’s website for details.
We suggest you plan your budget and access to your money for your overseas study
You should never carry large amounts of cash.
To cover the first few days abroad, we suggest exchanging the equivalent of $200 (AUD) before you leave.
It’s important you check with your bank about ATM availability and fees overseas prior to departure.
Credit or debit cards
Credit cards are great for emergency backup. Check which locations your card is accepted in advance.
If you receive support from Centrelink, you may still be able to receive payments while you are overseas if you are remaining in full-time study. You can use the University of Melbourne acceptance letter to confirm your study with Centrelink.
Register with The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
DFAT has an online registration service for Australians overseas. It is strongly recommended that you make use of this service as you prepare to travel and while you are at your host institution. This information helps DFAT contact you or your family in the event of an emergency. You can also view the list of Australian Embassies, high commissions, consulates, multilateral missions and representative offices to familiarise yourself with who you can contact when overseas.
Travelling to high-risk destinations
You are not permitted to travel to a country for which DFAT has issued an alert level of ‘do not travel’ or ‘reconsider your need to travel’, unless you have gained special permission from the Registrar. More information on how to apply for an exemption is available on our Travel to high risk countries for study FAQ.
Familiarise yourself with emergency contact details
Be aware of the emergency protocols and contact information while you are overseas. See our What to do in an emergency page for more information.
Prior to your overseas study, you will be invited to attend a pre-departure session for short-term program students. This session includes a brief presentation about the final steps to complete before you leave and while you are overseas. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet other students travelling to your host institution and exchange contact details before you depart. Global Learning staff will also be available throughout the session to answer your questions.
The Global Society is Australia's national society for overseas study students. As a member, you can meet other students undertaking an overseas study program at the same destination as you, as well as access helpful guides, student travel discounts, and advice from those who have studied overseas before you. Membership is free - simply sign up using your University email address on the Global Society website.
As you get ready to leave, we recommend that you do not pay for any bookings until you have received an acceptance notification from your host institution.
Keep in mind
Before leaving for your overseas study program, check your enrolment via my.unimelb to ensure you're enrolled into your Placeholder subjects. If you can't see your enrolment, please contact Stop 1 immediately.
If you are incorporating personal travel before or after your study, you will need to purchase health/travel insurance the entire period you are away.