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What to pack to begin my Australian university studies (July - Winter Intake)

Written by Esther Low, July 2017

Do not be confused, Australia is down south and not up north. While many countries are having their summers this time, Australia will be experiencing winter. But, this is not to say that winter will be biting cold, and that you’ll need to wrap yourselves up with thermal wear, heat-tech or down-feather clothing. None of that.

Australia’s winter ranges from 3 degrees up to a good 15 degrees Celsius. If you are about to commence your studies in Canberra, expect colder weather conditions than you peers going in Brisbane, Victoria or New South Wales. You could be looking at temperatures of between 3 to 9 degrees Celsius if you are up in Canberra, and 10-14 degrees if you are in Brisbane, Victoria or New South wales!

Do away with winter gloves and thick fur coats as fleece jackets, warm coats, leather or wool jackets would be sufficient to tide you through the winter days. The winter season could be rainy and wet, so you know the saying: “To always prepare for rainy days”. It’s important to also include raincoats, boots and windbreakers in your to-pack list! Packing is always a chore, but if you put in the things you need to bring first, rather what you would like to have, you’re already halfway there. Don’t be concerned with packing in foods or basic commodities like soap, and shampoos as those items are easily available in the supermarkets around the different parts of Australia! I know that guys will be more concerned with food over fashion, but don’t worry as you’re pretty covered in Australia. It is more important to pack warm and appropriate clothing for the winter season, as well as those few go-to staples you know you’ll be getting much use out of, than packing in those cup noodles in bulk.

The ladies might find deciding what to pack a problem, as we want to bring everything from clothing to accessories to jewellery and shoes. With too many choices and decisions to make, we’d always be faced with a dilemma on what we should put in our luggage; after all, we’re only given 30kg of luggage weight on normal flights, and 20kg on budget flights.  A good tip I would provide is to throw in a few jeans and leggings for the girls, some of your favourite hoodies and tops that you’ll get the most use out and pack more outer jackets. You’ll be layering what you’re wearing underneath your jackets anyway, and what people will end up seeing is your outerwear and shoes/boots, right? That’s my theory at least. Besides, you can always buy whatever you’re lacking when in Australia. A valid reason to go shopping for new clothes!

Australia’s winter lasts from June through to August and will get warmer come September onwards. The hottest period of Australia is in December and January, where temperatures can vary from 32 to even 40 degrees Celsius! Thus, while packing in those winter necessities are essential, it is also instrumental to prepare for the warmer season and throw in some summer staples into your luggage. As most students will return home for the summer break, do not be overly concerned or worried that you will lack enough warm clothing, as you can always pack them during the summer break and take them back with you for the next semester. Otherwise, my theory still stands. You can buy always buy what you “need” over there!

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