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Getting Ready to Go

Before setting off for Adelaide there are a few other things to consider.


Academic Life Video

There are many options for accommodation in Adelaide. The video above contains information you should familiarise yourself with before you make any decisions about your accommodation. Click the image above to load the video.


  • Pre-Departure Presentations

    The University of Adelaide holds pre-departure presentations in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur at the beginning of the year, and Beijing towards the middle of the year. These events will give new international students an opportunity to talk to University of Adelaide staff and other service providers, such as accommodation providers, prior to coming to Adelaide. Students in these regions will be invited to attend the relevant session after they have accepted their offer or via their agent. Information about our Beijing Pre-Departure Session can be found on our Chinese website.

  • What to Bring

    Below you'll find a list of items that current students have told us to recommend  to you as a new student.  Please be advised that these are suggestions only and the list is not intended to be exhaustive. The key is to plan ahead and consider your own situation and requirements. We've also provided some useful tips.

    Before you start packing you must check what your luggage allowance is with the airline you are travelling with. Depending on your allowance we would recommend you bring the following items with you if you are staying for more than one semester:

    • Casual clothes and shoes for hot weather - Adelaide can have days above 40 degrees celsius during the summer (December - February)
    • Casual clothes and shoes for cool/wet weather conditions, including a coat. Our wettest months are usually June, July and August
    • Smart clothes for special ‘going out' and 'formal’ occasions (casual clothes are worn for the vast majority of the time in Australia)
    • Toiletries for the first few days whilst you settle in and get over any jet lag
    • Any medications you require. Please note that travellers are permitted to bring no more than three month’s supply of prescribed medicines to Australia and you should check with the Therapeutic Goods Administration to see if they are subject to any controls
    • Cash for your first couple of days or until such time that you open your bank account
    • A translating dictionary
    • Consider bringing your laptop/iPad computer although you should be aware that taxes can be imposed depending on the computer’s age and value (if it is over 12 months old then you do not need to declare it)
    • A camera
    • A mobile phone
    • A scientific calculator if one is required for your study
    • A travel plug/adaptor plug if you are bringing electronic items – standard voltage in Australia is 240 volts and plugs have three flat pins
    • Pillowcase, sheets and a towel particularly if you’re staying in temporary accommodation and may not get chance to buy these upon arrival for your first night
    • Your driver’s licence if you intend driving in Australia (if it is not in English bring a certified translation)
    • Important documents and copies too e.g. copies of your passport and visa details, bank and credit card details, optical prescription if you wear glasses etc
    • Sunglasses and a spare pair of prescription glasses if you wear them

    Helpful Tips

    • Check with customs if you are unsure what you can or cannot bring into the country with you
    • Travel adaptors/ adaptor plugs can be purchased in Adelaide
    • Depending on where you are from buying new clothes and electronic goods in Australia can be considered quite expensive. There are many good second-hand shops where you can buy clothes and other household items and this is not considered unusual.
  • Travel to Adelaide

    Given that the world is an ever-changing place, you may want to check travel advisory warnings if you will be travelling to, or transiting through, other foreign countries on your journey to Australia. Check your country's current advice for travellers. You can also visit the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade web site for information for travel from Australia.

    • Check with your airline about baggage limits.
    • Make sure that you are able to carry your own luggage. There are no porters in Australia, and University arrival staff cannot assist you with your luggage. However, there are airport trolleys available. In domestic airports a small fee is required for these.
    • On the aircraft, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, especially if it is a long flight.
    • Do not carry parcels for strangers or leave your bags unattended in airports. If you are asked to bring in something for a friend or relative, ensure that you have personally examined the contents.
    • Clearly label all of your luggage.
    • It is advisable not to bring more than AUD$5000 in cash into Australia. If you do, you will be required to complete a cash transaction report at Customs on arrival.
    • You will be required to complete an Australian Immigration Form and a Customs Declaration Form before arrival. These will be issued to all incoming passengers on your flight. You must declare any prohibited items listed on the Customs Form. Severe penalties may apply for false declaration.

    ** Remember: Only Customs Officers can give you accurate information about customs matters.

  • Australian Quarantine Regulations

    On arrival at an Australian airport, your luggage is X-rayed by quarantine officers. You have to declare or dispose of any food, plants (including wood), animal products and some medicines may not be brought into Australia. If you are not sure about whether your goods are prohibited or not, declare them. Check in advance by visiting the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

    If you do not declare 'at risk' items, you will get an on-the-spot fine of up to $360. Failing to declare a piece of fruit could cost you over $300! Prohibited items sent to Australia by mail may also result in prosecution.

    If you declare an item as you arrive in Australia, or if it is sent through the mail, it will be inspected by a quarantine officer and returned to you if it passes inspection. Articles may need to be treated before being returned; if so, you may choose to pay for the treatment, re-export the article, or have it destroyed. If an item is seized and is not accompanied by an import permit, the item may be automatically destroyed.

    ** Note: Some goods may enter if prior arrangements are made.

    International Mail

    You need to be aware, and make friends and family members aware, that all letters, packages, and parcels coming into Australia are now screened by quarantine to check that they do not contain prohibited items. Prohibited items will be removed from parcels and destroyed. Some articles may need to be treated to make them safe.

    Mail is screened by x-ray machines, detector dogs, and quarantine officers at international mail centres across Australia. Students must ensure that their families do not send quarantine risk items through the mail. See the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website for more details.

  • Financial Matters

    Currency Exchange

    When you arrive in Australia, it is a good idea to open a bank account as soon as you can, as it is not wise to carry large sums of money on yourself, or to keep cash in your home. We recommend that students carry a minimum of AUD$100 cash for on-arrival expenses.

    For security reasons, we recommend that students carry Travellers Cheques rather than cash, should they need to bring larger amounts with them. Travellers Cheques can be organised through major banks in your home country, and are generally affiliated with American Express, Thomas Cook, or Travelex.

    If you arrive on either a Domestic or International flight at Adelaide Airport, you will be able to exchange foreign currency in the terminal once you have cleared customs and collected your luggage.

    • Travelex exchange services are open daily from 4.30am to 10.30pm.

    There are also Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) facilities available at the airport.

    For today's exchange rates, visit:
    Currency Converter by, The Currency Site.

    Bank Account

    You will be provided with information on banking in South Australia and how to open a bank account when you arrive in Adelaide.

    To open a new account with an Australian financial institution, you will be required to provide proof of identity. Australian banks use a points system, and applicants need to provide "100 points" of identification to open an account.

    University of Adelaide students are able to open a bank account through BankSA, using their passport as the main form of identification. You will also need to provide an address to BankSA. This STUDENT account will give students access to an ATM/Visa card, and charges low or no fees. There is a BankSA branch and two ATMs on the University's North Terrace campus.

    For students wishing to open a STUDENT account with another bank in South Australia, they will need to provide both a passport, and their University of Adelaide student ID card.

    Major Banks in Australia:

    There are bank branches for most major banks within walking distance of the university, and ATM access is available on campus.

    When applying for a bank account, always make sure that you have read and understand the terms and conditions of that account. Enquire about other bank accounts that may be suitable. Ask about the fees and charges, withdrawal limits, and Internet/phone banking options for your account. Remember that all bank accounts are subject to government duties.

    Once you have opened a bank account in Adelaide, you can arrange for other funds to be transferred from overseas by International Money Transfer or bank draft.

    International credit cards such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club can all be used in Australia. Repayments to most card accounts can be made electronically by phone or Internet, however money usually needs to be transferred from an account within your home country.

    Business hours for banks in Australia are different to other shops.

    Banks are open:

    • Monday-Thursday 9.30am to 4.00pm
    • Friday 9.30am to 5.00pm
    • Saturday and Sunday CLOSED
  • University matters
    • Read all of the information in your Offer and Acceptance Packages. This information is particularly relevant to you before you leave for Adelaide. You can ask any clarifying questions by emailing International Student Support at
    • Make sure you read and are aware of the conditions and terms as set out in the University Refund Policy.
    • Ensure that you have received confirmation from the University of Adelaide that you will be met at the airport, if you have requested this service. Please refer to the Arrival Service for more information.

International Student Support (Kenneth Wills Building)

Call us +61 8 8313 4828
Opening Hours: Monday 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Friday 9am-5pm
Contact us
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