As an international student intending to study in Australia, you must obtain a student visa from an Australian Diplomatic Mission in your home country before embarking for Australia. Documentation that you require from NIC before you can apply for a student visa is:
- Letters of Offer from NIC and the University of Newcastle
- Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) from NIC and University of Newcastle after the respective fees and charges have been paid.
For more detailed information about applying for a student visa and obtaining student visa application forms you should visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website. Please note: students who apply through an in-country NIC representative will receive assistance regarding the student visa application process.
Before you arrive
A month before your semester start date, NIC will email you your orientation details including the day and time of your orientation session. The NIC orientation takes approximately 5 hours. When you come to Australia, make sure you bring copies of all documentation with you, including your passport, visa and credit cards. Keep the originals in your hand luggage and leave a copy of all of your important documents with someone at home. Before you leave you should also consider the following.
- Accommodation reference-if you plan to rent accommodation, try and bring references from people who know you e.g. family friends or schoolteachers as this will make signing a tenancy agreement a lot easier.
- Medical records-bring your medical records and medical prescription with a letter from your doctor if you need to take medication. You should also bring a English translation of these documents.
- Passport photos-you might want to bring a few extra passport photos, as they may be useful if you need to get membership cards or visas for overseas holidays.
- Money-you should bring enough Australian currency in cash for your first few days and have access to $1,500 to $3,500 in bank draft/travellers' cheques (in your own name) to establish yourself.
- Living costs - Living in Australia is cost effective when compared to other western countries. An international student in Newcastle will require approximately AU$19,830 for living expenses each year (not including tuition fees).
- Airline tickets and a valid passport with student visa.
- NIC's letter of offer with your Conformation of Enrolment (CoE).
- Receipts of any related payments you have made including tuition fees, health cover, etc.
- Original or certified copies of your academic transcript.
- English translation of prescriptions for any medications you are carrying.
- Personal identification such as driver's licence or identity card, including English translation.
The check in weight for economy class is usually 20kg (check baggage allowance with your airline). Your luggage should be clearly labelled with your name and contact address. It is advisable to lock your luggage, however if a search of your luggage is necessary due to security issues the lock may be broken. Never agree to bring a bag or other items to Australia for someone else as it may contain something illegal and you will be held accountable for it.
Working in Australia
If you are arriving to study in Australia on a student visa, you will already have permission to work automatically included with your visa. You will be able to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session, and unlimited hours when your course is not in session. The income earned from part-time work is not adequate to cover study and living costs. For further information on working in Australia, visit DHA's website.
International students under 18
International students under 18 years of age must either:
- live with a parent, legal guardian or person aged over 21 years who is nominated by your parent (or legal guardian), or
- provide evidence of guardianship arrangements
Guardianship arrangements can be made through NIC acceptable Homestay organisations and involve living with an Australian family in your own furnished bedroom.
Please note: If you are under 18 years of age and do not live with a parent, legal guardian or person nominated by your parents, you must consult NIC's student services manager prior to changing your accommodation or other welfare arrangements. This is a requirement of the Australian Government.
The ESOS Framework
The Australian Government has also created a governance framework designed to protect international students during their studies in Australia. It's called the ESOS Framework. You can find a copy of the ESOS Framework here.