Predeparture and arrival


You should prepare a folder of official documents to bring with you to Australia, including:

  • Valid passport with Student Visa
  • Offer of a place / admission letter from TAFE NSW
  • Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) issued by TAFE NSW
  • Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) form issued by TAFE NSW if you are under 18 years of age and have requested TAFE NSW to approve your living arrangements. You must maintain approved living arrangements at all times as a condition of your visa
  • Receipts of payments (e.g. tuition fees, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), bank statements etc.)
  • Insurance policies
  • Original or certified copies of your academic transcripts and qualifications
  • Other personal identification documents, e.g. birth certificate, ID card, driver's licence
  • Medical records and/or prescriptions

If you are travelling with your family you will need to include their documents as well. Keep all documents in your carry-on luggage. In case you lose the originals, make certified copies that can be left behind with family and sent to you.

Weather (seasons)

In Australia, the seasons are the reverse of seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. For example, summer is December, January and February while winter is June, July and August.

Pack clothes for Australia's four seasons:
Spring/autumn: light jumpers/sweaters, light jackets, trousers, sports/covered shoes
Winter: Woollen jumpers/sweaters, thick jackets, trousers, raincoat, thick socks, gloves, scarves, sports/covered shoes
Summer: T-shirts, cotton shirts/blouses, dresses shorts, light sandals, sports/covered shoes.

On your flight

Wear comfortable, layered clothing so that you are able to make adjustments according to the local weather. Remember – if you are flying from a northern hemisphere winter into the Australian summer it will be very HOT so wear light weight clothing underneath, and have a pair of sandals or lighter shoes in your hand luggage if you need cooler footwear.


Before landing in Australia passengers are given an Incoming Passenger Card to fill in. This is a legal document. You must tick YES if you are carrying any food, plant material including wooden souvenirs, or animal products. This includes fruit given to you during your flight. If you have items you don't wish to declare, you can dispose of them in quarantine bins in the airport terminal.

Don't be afraid to ask airline staff if you have any questions.

Customs (quarantine)

The Australian Government restricts food, plant and animal products brought into the country. Please check the Australian Quarantine  website for items that are banned and for items that must be declared and inspected.

Preparing your finances

Buy travellers cheques or arrange a bank card with your financial institution before you leave home. Have approximately A$200-A$300 in cash when you arrive, but do not carry large sums of money on you or in your luggage. Please note that Australian law limits the amount of cash you can bring into the country. If you are bringing A$10,000 or more (or the equivalent in foreign currency) you must declare this to customs officials on arrival in Australia..

Australian money


You can exchange your travellers cheques and foreign currency at any money exchange agent or bank. Daily currency exchange rates can be found at the  XE website


Read more information about the  Cost of living.

Health issues

Health insurance is compulsory for international students studying in Australia, so visit the  Medibank Private  website for more information and check the offer letter invoice payment. Bring a copy of your medical history with you. Your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) generally does not cover any pre-existing medical conditions. Serious medical problems should be taken care of before you come to Australia. OSHC covers only certain conditions. You should check your policy carefully and think about whether you will need Optional Extra Cover.

If you are taking prescribed medication please check with the Australian Diplomatic Mission (ADM) in your home country to confirm what medicine you are allowed to bring into Australia. Ask your doctor to write a letter (translated into English) stating why you need the medicine. This will be useful if you need to see a doctor about the same condition in Australia. You may even need to show this documentation when you pass through customs at Sydney Airport.

Australian Slang

Much common word usage or 'slang' may seem strange to people new to Australia. Slang words start from many different sources. Some words are shortened versions of longer words. Many were expressions already used by migrants who came from the north of England. If you are unsure what an expression means, it is all right to ask the person who said it to explain


Get to know some common expressions.


Aussie lingo

Electrical sockets (plugs)

Electric plug

You will need an adapter to use electrical items brought from your country. Voltage in Australia is 240 volts with a 50-Hertz frequency. Australian electrical plugs have three flat angled prongs


Some people have initial reactions to different water supplies – drink bottled water.

Airport pickup

If you have requested airport pickup, you must notify TAFE NSW International of your arrival details two weeks before you are due to arrive. A representative will meet you at the airport in the Arrivals Hall, holding a sign with your name on it. You will enter the Arrivals Hall after you clear Customs. There is no need to worry if your flight is delayed as the representative will wait for you and take you directly to your host family.

Welcome to Sydney

We recommend students use this service, unless you are staying with relatives. If you have booked an airport pickup service please don't leave the airport with family or friends who may surprise you by coming to the airport

Note: The airport pickup service costs A$140. You will need to pay the airport pickup fee at the same time as your tuition fee.

Travel from airport (taxi/train)

If you are not using the airport pick-up service you can:

  1. Take a taxi to Sydney's city centre and this will cost approximately A$50
  2. The Airport Link Rail Service runs from Sydney Airport to the city centre every 10 minutes during peak hours. The fare from the Airport to Central Station is approximately A$16. You can then catch trains or buses to Sydney metropolitan areas or NSW regional centres.

Do you need help?

Ask a question online or contact
TAFE NSW International or an authorised agent for help with choosing a TAFE NSW course or enrolling.

New South Wales


NSW lies on the east coast of Australia.
Sydney is the state's capital and the largest
city in Australia.

To find a campus go to TAFE NSW Institute locations.

Helpful guides

Guides on living, studying and working in:

ESOS Framework

The Australian Government wants international students to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding study experience in Australia.

Read more about the ESOS Framework.

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