Things you should do before flying into Australia
Written by: Kyler Chua, August 2018
Setting up your bank account
In Australia, there are the four big banks that you can choose from, listed as below. When you are at IDP to accept your offer letter, check with your counsellor on how you can set up your bank account. The advice is to go for the bank with the widest teller machine coverage.
A. Commonwealth Bank
B. National Australian Bank
C. Australian New Zealand Bank
Settling your accommodation
Ensuring that you have a roof over your head when you arrive in Australia should be your first concern. You can refer to an article that I have written previously with regards to the list of options that you have.
Blog: Where Should I Stay
Renewing your passport
Note that you are not allowed to travel to another country or board the airplane if your passport is less than 6 months to expiry. If your passport is going to expire whilst you are studying in Australia, there are a few options you can go for.
1. Renew your passport before flying over (Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s policy for renewing your passport is 9 months to expiry. They will grant you the renewal when you state that you will be going overseas to study.
2. During one of your short holidays, make a trip down to your embassy (For Singaporeans, you will need to travel to Canberra)
3. Renew your passport when you are back in Singapore.
** If you renew your passport after you have visa is submitted, you must update your details in your student visa portal. To play safe, bring along your old passport which you have used for your student visa in case they are unable to register your new passport details.
Airport reception (Optional)
For first-year students, this is recommended as most schools will provide it for free. Most of the time, they will take you from the airport to the location that you have indicated. If the airport pick up service is not free, try to weigh out the options of renting a vehicle or taking a cab down to where you will be staying. Sometimes, taking a cab is the cheaper option.
Registering your details with your government
For Singaporeans, you should register yourself with MFA. In case of a red alert in Australia, the government will be able to track you down to ensure your safety.
Suspending, cancelling or changing to a pre-paid for your mobile line
Most of us will want to stay connected with our friends via mobile even when we are overseas. However, the sad truth is that most service providers will not allow you to downgrade your plan. You should then consider the following options and weigh out which is more feasible for you, 1) Suspend it, or 2) Purchase a pre-paid and let your friend know your new contact number (you will be allowed to switch to a post-paid later on), or 3) Cancel your line in Singapore and let your friends know your new number when you get on in Australia.
Registrations and additional requirements
For some students, you may not be done yet. Your course may have additional requirements such as, 1) Registering to the body (e.g. Clinical Physiotherapy), 2) Police clearance (require from home country and in Australia), 3) Working with Children Check (require for any courses that comes in contact with children), and 4) Immunisation (required for any courses needing clinical placement. So do take note on these and other additional requirements that you may need.
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