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 a bunch of important tasks you need to complete before you travel.
Once you have been accepted into your host institution, they will do all they can to help you find suitable accommodation. Some overseas institutions, particularly those in large cities, may have accommodation shortages and find it difficult to find a place for you before you arrive. If that's the case, may need to seek your own alternatives. If your host institution cannot find accommodation, they will contact you prior to your departure and advise you on who to contact and what to do upon arrival.
Unless you already have accommodation plans with family or friends, you will usually choose between on-campus or off-campus accommodation.
Visit your chosen host university's website to identify available on-campus housing options. Applications for on-campus accommodation are typically made through either:
- an application form provided as part of the application process to the host university
- via their website.
Many students will take up accommodation off-campus. Most partner institutions will have housing offices that will assist with this. In addition, your Education Abroad Adviser may be able to put you in contact with students who can provide advice about where to stay and where not to stay. Remember, you can also seek advice from other Australian students through the Global Society.
It is always a good idea to shop around and, where possible, book early for the cheapest ticket. However, we still recommend not to book and pay for flights until you have received your acceptance notification from your host institution.
Keep in mind that for some institutions, acceptance can be granted quite late and close to your departure date.
If you receive your acceptance directly from your host university rather than via your Education Abroad Adviser, you will need to upload your acceptance by submitting an enquiry to Stop 1 to ensure that a Placeholder subject can be applied to your University of Melbourne study plan.
To do so, please ensure you complete the following:
- Label the enquiry as 'Acceptance - Exchange/Fee-Paying'
- Include your Student ID and host university under 'Enquiry Title'.
- Select 'Overseas Study' under 'Topic', and then 'Help with my application'.
Following this, you will receive a 'Placeholder clarification' request via email to confirm your Placeholder enrolment during your overseas study period. Once you have responded to the request, your enrolment will be varied and you will be enrolled into the relevant Placeholder subjects.
The University offers free, full coverage travel insurance to students who are travelling overseas for approved University programs.
The University insurance will provide cover for any incidental personal travel declared in your itinerary table one week before the first day of orientation up until the end of one week after your final day of assessment per semester. For more details, please see our Insurance page. Please remember that if your trip extends beyond these dates, you will need to arrange alternative cover at your own expense for the remaining days either side.
For a condensed summary of benefits, you can download a copy of the Student Travel Insurance Summary and Claim Guide (PDF, 330KB).
Please note that travel insurance cover is not automatically provided to students. You must apply following the instructions below to receive coverage.
For Semester and Year-long Exchange students, and Short-term program students
Once you have received your acceptance notification from your host institution, ensure that you submit your application for the University's free travel insurance via the link provided to you by your Education Abroad Adviser.
You will need to know:
- the dates of your travel
- the orientation start date at your host institution
- the final day of the exam/assessment period of your semester.
You must submit the online form to your adviser at least 10 days prior to your departure from Australia - even if you are leaving Australia early.
For Fee-paying Semester students
Once your enrolment has been changed to reflect that you will be studying overseas for a period of time, register your travel details online. The Insurance Office will confirm your coverage via your student email.
Any travel outside of the coverage period is non-university travel and must be covered by other suitable insurance. This can be with the University's insurer or with any supplier that suits your needs. If you are undertaking a Year-long program with a break between the end of your first and the start of your second semester, this is also travel outside the coverage period. You are responsible for ensuring you are insured for the duration of your trip.
Travelling to high-risk destinations
You are not permitted to travel to a country for which the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 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.
Buying health insurance isn't always compulsory, but some institutions require their Exchange or Fee-paying students have it. You will be contacted by your host institution if health insurance is required to study there.
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.
If you do 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 U.S.A).
Once you have been accepted into a host university and your acceptance documents, 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. Should you require official documentation to submit your visa application, this will be provided to you by your host university upon acceptance.
NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure the correct visa has been obtained.
International students and Australian visas
If you are an international student and currently hold an Australian student visa, 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 upon completion of your studies. We will provide a letter verifying the host university semester dates and your status as a student studying overseas. We will 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. You must satisfy course requirements, while you are on your overseas study program.
It’s always a good idea to have a copy of your important documents in a safe place in case of loss or theft of originals. Scan and save the following documents onto a cloud system:
- Study plan.
- Credit cards.
- Travel insurance documents.
- Important phone numbers.
Many host universities will provide a pick-up service for you. However, in the case they cannot provide this, it is recommended that you arrange transport options before you leave Australia.
If you're successfully awarded a Melbourne Mobility Award, you'll be notified via an email to your university email account. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your details and identify when payment will be made. Remember, if you are participating in a Semester or Year-long Exchange program or a Short-term program, you will automatically be considered for an award following acceptance from your host institution.
Other awards are also available - see our Scholarships page for more information.
Good to do
We always recommended you do extensive research on your destination before departure. Laws and customs vary, so being informed may make all the difference to help you understand local culture and behave appropriately. We recommend visiting and registering on the Smartraveller website for more information.
If you receive support from Centrelink while studying, you may still be able to receive payments while you are overseas. Too be eligible, you will need to remain in full-time study. If you are switching from part-time study to full-time study for the duration of your overseas program, you may become eligible for payments.
If required, photocopy and use the University of Melbourne acceptance letter to confirm your study with Centrelink.
You will be invited by your Education Abroad Adviser to attend a pre-departure session. The session will cover invaluable information on maximising your time abroad, keeping safe and protocols you should follow in case you face an emergency overseas. It will also give you a chance to hear from returned students and connect with other students who will be attending your host destination with you!
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. There is also a flight layby system which allows you to book flights before being accepted by your host institution!
Membership is free - simply sign up using your University email address on the Global Society website.
It is highly recommended that you get necessary health checks and vaccinations before travelling to your destination. If you have a medical condition that may be affected by travel, it is important to speak to your GP.
Some vaccinations require more than one dose to be effective, so you may need to plan your health checks at least six weeks in advance to account for this.
The University of Melbourne offers a health service that can help you prepare for travel. Many vaccinations are available on site for a reasonable price. We also sell a range of travel products such as mosquito nets and medication travel packs.
We suggest you have a think about how you plan to access your money while you’re away.
You should never carry large amounts of cash, so it may be worth using a combination of methods, such as cash, debit card and electronic transfers.
To cover the first few days abroad, we suggest exchanging the equivalent of $200 (AUD) before you leave.
ATMs are available overseas. It’s important you check with your bank prior to departure to know if fees are incurred for this service.
Credit cards are great for emergency backup. Check which locations your card is accepted in advance.
It may be possible to open a bank account overseas once you arrive at your destination. Some banks offer student accounts that have added benefits.
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.