Preparing to study at UWA College
You’ve made the right choice! Australia’s top quality of education and high standard of living make it a popular study abroad destination. Discover a laidback lifestyle, plenty of outdoor adventures, plus unique wildlife you won’t find anywhere else.
You’ve secured your place at UWA College, the first step to becoming a student at The University of Western Australia (UWA) – a World Top 100 university (ranked 72, QS World University Rankings 2024).
Now it’s time to make your travel plans and ensure you’re ready to arrive on campus. There are some important steps you need to complete before you can travel to Australia, but don’t worry – we're here to help you every step of the way.
What do I need to do before I leave home?
You’ll need an Australian student visa to study in Australia as an international student. Normally, the visa you get will be a Subclass 500 visa, which allows you to stay in Australia for up to 5 years, in line with your study plan. On this visa, you’re usually allowed to work a maximum of 40 hours every 2 weeks during term time and unlimited hours during study breaks.
To apply for your Subclass 500 visa, you’ll need to provide several documents as proof that you’re studying and that you have the required level of English. You’ll also need to have a health test.
When flying into Australia to study as an international student, aim to arrive the weekend before your orientation program starts. This will give you plenty of time to settle into your new city and learn about university life before your studies start.
When it comes to the day of your flight, remember that things may take longer at the airport – such as going through security – so give yourself lots of time.
To help make your arrival into Australia easy and stress free, UWA College can organize an airport transfer to take you from Perth airport to your accommodation at an additional cost.
All you need to do is contact us in advance to book an airport transfer, and we’ll arrange for someone to collect you and take you to your accommodation: firstname.lastname@example.org
By joining us at UWA College, you have access to accommodation at either a UWA residential college, or a purpose-built student accommodation facility in the city, or through a homestay experience.
You may have already selected your accommodation option when applying for your course. But if you didn’t, not to worry, UWA College can still help you find somewhere to live.
As an international student in Australia, you must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of your student visa from an approved Australian health provider. UWA’s preferred provider is Medibank. You should have confirmed your OSHC when you accepted your offer to study at UWA College.
You should get travel insurance in addition to your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). This will cover things such as cancelled flights, and some medical costs.
When you get travel insurance, consider if you might be doing certain activities that would need your cover to be increased, such as surfing or hiking.
You no longer need to provide evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter Australia. When entering Western Australia, you won’t need to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine. However, if you’re planning to travel to other areas in Australia, please be aware that COVID-19 restrictions can vary by state. To see the latest information for each state, visit www.australia.gov.au/states.
Wearing a face mask is no longer mandatory in Western Australia, although hospitals and healthcare settings may have face mask policies. Face masks are no longer required on flights traveling to Australia.
What to pack for studying abroad in Australia
As Australia’s sunniest capital city, Perth has a warm climate. The average temperature in January is 31°C (87.8°F); July is usually the coldest month at a mild 13°C (55°F). So when it comes to packing your suitcase, you’ll want to include a variety of clothing, such as t-shirts, shorts/skirts and a hat for hot weather, and sweatshirts and a coat for cooler days.
You’ll find that most students in Australia wear casual clothes on campus, such as t-shirts and jeans, or shirts with trousers or a skirt/dress.
If you’re planning to explore the great outdoors in Australia, you’ll also want to pack hiking boots, a rucksack, and any other kit you need for outdoor activities.
Packing tip: buy bulky items when you arrive, as well as household items such as bed linen and towels. Shopping is easy in Perth – you'll find plenty of choice and reasonable prices.
Australia has strict border controls, which means there are certain items you can’t bring into the country. When you arrive, you must declare:
any food, plant material and animal items (there are some food items you won’t be able to bring into Australia, such as homemade foods, fresh fruit, rice, and some teas)
currency amounts of AUD $10,000 and over (or foreign equivalent in another currency)
some medicines (there are some medicines, including herbal medicines, that you won’t be able to bring into the country).
For more on what you can (and can't) bring into Australia, see Study Australia’s advice.
Your first week at UWA College
When you arrive at UWA College, the Student Services team will help you settle into student life in Perth and remain your first point of contact for a range of non-academic issues.
You’ll take part in an Orientation program in the week before your studies start to give you the chance to meet other students, help you settle in and give you all the information you need to be successful at UWA College.
During Orientation, you’ll:
be welcomed by the UWA College staff
get to know your teachers and fellow students
be given a tour of the campus and Perth
attend welcome sessions that help familiarize you with living and studying at UWA College
visit IKEA for a chance to shop for all those must-have items
have the opportunity to ask questions
attend social events to introduce you to the different clubs and societies, and help you to settle in and make friends with your fellow students.
Starting your UWA College journey with an English language course? The friendly staff at UWA's Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT) will provide an initial orientation and support you through your CELT course.