Before leaving home

To prepare you for your time in Melbourne and as a student at Victoria University (VU), we have listed a range of practical suggestions below. We will also send you materials once you have accepted your offer. Read them carefully and keep a copy of all material for future reference.

To help you prepare to come to Melbourne, you can also watch our Life at VU video series or download our Arrive and Thrive guide

Being organised and prepared before you leave home will make your arrival so much easier.

Task checklist:

Arrange Overseas Student Health Cover

As a condition of your visa, you will need to arrange health insurance for the duration of your study.

Allianz Global Assistance is the preferred provider for VU.

Find out more information about organising health cover for the duration of your study.

Consider quarantine regulations

Some things cannot be brought into Australia, and should not be packed in your suitcase. Australia has some of the strictest quarantine requirements in the world: you need to be aware of what you can't bring into the country. Find out on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

Declare your food, plant & animal products

When you land in Australia, fill in your Incoming Passenger Card. This is a legal document and there may be penalties if you don't fill this in correctly. You must mark YES if you are carrying any quarantine items such as food, plant material or animal products. If you have items you don't wish to declare, dispose of them in the quarantine bins in the airport terminal. If you are unsure about an item, declare it anyway.

Traditional food and snacks may be a pleasant reminder of home, but can carry pests and diseases that can pose a quarantine risk to Australia. Many of the food items you may want to bring with you are readily available in Australian shops, so there is no need to bring them.

If you have any concerns, visit the Department of Immigration and border protection website.

Arrange your accommodation

Victoria University International (VUI) understands how important housing and accommodation is for international students arriving in Melbourne.

We have two student residences conveniently located across the road from Footscray Park Campus and a short walk to Footscray Nicholson Campus:

Pre-departure guide

For information about your transition to Melbourne and Victoria University, download our comprehensive pre-departure guide Arrive and Thrive.

Copies are also available from any Victoria University International office. Read more about living in Melbourne and Australia.

Set your budget

It is a good idea to put together a budget for your time at Victoria University. Setting a good budget will ensure that you can meet your visa obligations to have access to appropriate funds.

A budget will also help you determine:

  • how much money you need to bring with you
  • where you can afford to live
  • what you will need to buy on arrival.

To get started on a budget, find out about the costs of living while studying and remember to be realistic about your expenses.

Set up a bank account

Many international banks can work with Australian banks to set up an account for you before you leave home.

If you prefer to wait until after you arrive, set up a bank account during your first six weeks in Australia. After six weeks, you will then need to supply additional forms of identification as part of the Australian Government identification guidelines. At any stage, you will need your:

  • passport
  • electronic Confirmation of Enrolment and
  • another form of identification (such as your student ID card).

You can choose from one of Australia's four major banks (each offering services for international students) or an alternative bank of your choice.

Arriving late

When booking your flight, make sure you arrive in time to enrol for your course and to attend your international orientation session.

If you are going to arrive late please complete the special consideration for late arrival form.

By arriving late and not attending your international orientation session you risk missing out on vital information which may impact on your academic progress, such as:

  • Course information, unit choices and selection and timetabling (enrolling late may affect your ability to enrol in your preferred units, lectures and tutorial times as these may become limited).
  • Learning about how studying at an Australian University can differ from previous educational experiences.
  • Learning about the support services that are available for International Students at VU.
  • Accessing health, safety, housing and general advice provided at orientation.
  • Obtaining and accessing VU's IT System and other VU services and facilities.
  • Meeting academic and administrative staff and other students.

Important: There are set dates and times for first time enrolments. Failure to enrol on by these dates may result in you having to defer your studies until the next available course commencement date and returning home.

The deferral of your studies will also result in the cancellation of your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) which may lead to the cancellation of your student visa.

If you do not arrive in Australia by the date specified on your eCoE - you may be denied entry to Australia by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).