When You Arrive
Australia has strict quarantine laws to help us keep diseases out of the country. There are food, plant material, animal products and some medicines that are forbidden from entering into Australia. Before you leave your country, take time out to read information on the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service so you know what you can bring into Australia. Visit the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) homepage www.aqis.gov.au:
Read “What can't I take into Australia?”
And also let your family and friends know “What can't be mailed to Australia?”
Before you land in Australia, you will be given an Incoming Passenger Card where you need to write if you have anything to declare. If you do, it will be inspected by an officer at Customs. Failure to declare may result in a fine so its advised that you do. If you have items you don’t wish to declare, you can dispose of them in quarantine bins in the airport terminal. Don’t be afraid to ask airline staff if you have any questions.
If you are bringing any medicine, contact your nearest Australian diplomatic mission. To locate your local Australian diplomatic mission click here.
If you are carrying more than AU$10,000 in cash, you must also declare this on your Incoming Passenger Card. It is strongly recommended however, that you do not carry large sums of cash but arrange for an electronic transfer of funds into your Australian bank account once it has been opened.
Baggage allowances flying into Australia will vary according to your carrier, flight class and country of origin. Please check with your carrier prior to departure. Economy passengers are generally permitted 1 x checked luggage (20-30kg depending on airlines) and 1 x carry-on (7kg) for international flights. For specific information contact your airline directly. If you are travelling on domestic flights within Australia, you can only check in 20kgs. This will significantly limit the amount of things you can bring, especially if you will fly within Australia to get to your final destination. Therefore, it is essential to think the packing process through very carefully. You will be able to purchase most things upon arrival in Australia but the price may be higher than in your own country.
Summer in Australia is from December to February, autumn from March to May, winter from June to August, and spring from September to November. For most of the country the hottest months are January and February.
If you arrive in June or July, the coldest months of the year, you may need to bring or buy winter clothing and blankets. You may also need to purchase a heating appliance once you arrive.
On campus, students usually dress informally. Jeans or slacks with t-shirts or blouses, sneakers or “running shoes” are almost standard dress. Shorts are often worn during the summer months and sandals are the most common footwear. It is acceptable for both men and women to wear shorts and sleeveless t-shirts. This is common during the hotter months.
If you are a Dance student, who will be required to wear appropriate dance clothing in class such as leotard, tights and special shoes (tap, ballet, jazz etc). It is advised you bring them from home so you don’t need to purchase unnecessary things.
A sports coat or suit and tie for men and appropriate dress for women is necessary for some functions such as formal dinners, a graduation ceremony, student dances or balls. For festive occasions, you may want to bring traditional dress and accessories.
Most primary and secondary school students will be required to wear a school uniform to classes and other school activities. You should check with your education provider what is included in the uniform package.
Other Items You Might Need to Include (most can also be purchased in Australia)
- alarm clock
- bath towels, bed sheets, pillow cases
- dictionary (bilingual)
- small sewing kit
- music CDs or iPod
- sporting equipment
- umbrella scientific or graphics calculator
- micro recorder for lectures
- spare spectacles or contact lenses
- your optical prescription
- photos of friends and family
- swimming costume
- small gifts from home
The standard voltage for electrical items in Australia is 240V. Electric plugs have three flat pins one of which is an earth pin. You may need to buy an adaptor or have the plugs changed when you arrive.
Note: In the picture, the red dot indicates that the switch is on and power is flowing through that socket.
Bringing a PC or laptop into Australia may be a little more complicated.
Items owned and used for more than 12 months prior to arrival are allowed in tax-free. Proof of the date of purchase and purchase price may be required. Computers which are less than 12 months old and over AUD$400 may attract Goods and Services tax (GST) at a rate of 10%. Consideration is given as to whether or not you intend to export the computer at the conclusion of your studies.
To satisfy the Customs Officer that you will be taking the computer out of Australia you should bring along a statutory declaration (a written declaration witnessed by the certifying authority in your country) stating that the computer is for use during your studies in Australia, and that you intend to take it back with you when you complete your studies. You may be required to give an undertaking under Section 162 to this effect and provide a cash security to Australia Customs upon arrival.
If you are considering bringing a mobile phone, laptop, or any communication devices we suggest that you visit the Australian Communications and Media Authority www.acma.gov.au before making any purchases. Some students have brought in their own laptops with internal modems only to discover that they were unable to use their modem in Australia. Any external or built-in modems must be Austel Approved in order to function in Australia.