Australia Awards Scholarships FAQs for Pre-Arrival

Please be aware!

Before leaving your home country you should have been given a guidebook and DVD called "On Track for Australia!" during your pre-departure briefing. If this is not the case, please contact your DFAT in-country office (Program Area) and/or their Managing Contractor immediately.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Common Reporting Standard (CRS) for foreign nationals requires that they provide their Tax ID number (TIN) when they open new bank accounts.  This effects all international students, so please make sure you bring your TIN confirmation. CRS is a regulatory requirement and all financial institutions in Australia will be collecting this information. Every customer has to provide their tax residency information.

When should I arrive?

We recommend you arrive in Sydney one (1) week before the start of your Introductory Academic Program (IAP). This will give you time to arrange some practical matters e.g. opening a bank account, activating your OSHC, finding long-term accommodation, familiarise yourself with public transport and your surroundings, introduce yourself to your supervisor if you are a research student etc.

If you choose to arrive earlier, you may; but please be aware that entitlement to the Contribution to Living Expenses (stipend) commences only fourteen (14) days prior to the start of IAP.

Can I arrive on a weekend or a public holiday?

It is best to arrive Monday to Friday so we can welcome you on your day of arrival or the day after at the latest. Please note we do not work on weekends and/or public holidays. If there is no alternative but to arrive on a weekend or public holiday, given enough notice we will do our best to accommodate you. However, be aware that we will not be able to give you your Establishment Allowance until the next business day.

What shall I bring to Australia?

Items you might need to bring to Australia include: alarm clock, dictionary (bilingual), music CDs or iPod, sporting equipment, toiletries, photos of family and friends, scientific or graphics calculator, camera, micro recorder for lectures, your optical prescription, small gifts from home. (Some of these items can be purchased in Australia). The standard voltage for electrical items in Australia is 240V. Electric plugs have three (3) flat pins, one of which is an earth pin. You may need to buy an adaptor or have the plugs changed when you arrive.

How much money should I bring?

We recommend that you bring at least AU$500 in cash to pay for incidentals until you receive your establishment allowance. You will receive your $5,000 Establishment Allowance during your welcome meeting with your Sponsored Student Liaison Officer (SSLO).

You can also find general information about the cost of living on our website.

What should I not take into Australia?

Australia has very strict laws about what you can and cannot bring into the country. If you are in doubt about whether your goods are prohibited or not, declare it anyway on the incoming passenger card you receive on the plane. Visitors have received on the spot fines for not declaring items. For more information please visit the Australian Government Office.

What do I do if my flight has been changed/cancelled/delayed?

If possible, please either ring the International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) on +61 (02) 9385 4734 or send an email to: [email protected]

Will you arrange my airport pickup?

If you request airport pick-up, you will be met at the airport by a representative of our Airport Pickup Service contractor.

Will you arrange my temporary accommodation?

If you request temporary accommodation, you will be placed in a single occupancy room either on or very close to UNSW campus for one (1) week. Payment for temporary accommodation is your responsibility.

You will be taken either to your temporary accommodation or the ISEU first whichever is more appropriate at the time of your arrival.

Our address is: The University of New South Wales, International Student Experience Unit (ISEU), John Goodsell Building (F20), Ground Floor, High Street, Kensington NSW 2052.

I arranged my own accommodation

If you arrange your own temporary accommodation, please note that you will have to bear the cost of travel to get there if it is further away from the accommodation we would have arranged for you (which would have been on or very close to UNSW campus). We recommend that you ask your accommodation provider how far they are away from UNSW. That will give you a good idea about travel time and cost.

How will I receive my establishment allowance?

Your $5,000 Establishment Allowance will be handed to you when you first meet with your Sponsored Student Liaison Officer (SSLO). You will receive a cheque to be deposited in your Australian bank account. Some banks offer the option to receive up to $1,000 of the $5,000 in cash when you activate your account.

Can I defer my Australia Awards scholarship?

Yes. A deferral may occur once you have accepted your scholarship and before you arrive in Australia. Deferrals are available to awardees who are unable to fully commit to the academic program at the time the offer is made and may be approved for a variety of reasons. If you would like to defer, contact your Post. A Scholarship may be deferred for a maximum of one (1) semester.

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