Frequently Asked Questions:
I have an offer, what should I do now?
You will want to review your offer to see if there is an expiration date on it. This will determine how long you have to accept, although a lot of programs will not indicate a specific date. You should return all of your acceptance paperwork, including your deposit, to Full Degree Dept, via mail or fax, and we will assist you from there. Some universities provide the option to accept directly online. If you chose to do this, please contact your coordinator to let them know.
When do classes start?
This also depends on the university and program.
Australia and New Zealand
The fall semester starts in February or March (Semester 1) while the spring semester (Semester 2) is in July or August. Some programs may have summer commencement in either November or January. Some universities operate on a trimester system meaning the intakes are in January, May, and September. You will want to read through the university guide/prospectus available for download on your MyLearn account to see when you would start.
With one intake in September for universities in the U.K., you will need to read through the university guide/prospectus available for download on your MyLearn account to see when you would start.
What happens during orientation week?
Orientation week is mandatory for international students so you want to be sure and arrive before it starts. This is the time where you will be introduced to the university and its services, as well as enroll in your classes. Some universities allow you to enroll in advance of orientation, but this is not the case at all universities.
It is essential that you read your participant guide, found within your MyLearn account. The participant guide explains each part of the pre-departure process and provides valuable resources for you to utilize when going abroad.
I am using financial aid to pay for my school. How can I afford this deposit?
A deposit is required to accept your offer for Australian universities. This amount is usually equivalent to the first semester’s worth of tuition. You will not be able to apply for a student visa until it is paid.
If you will be receiving financial aid/student loans, many universities provide students the opportunity to pay a reduced deposit plus the cost of the Overseas Student Health Care (OSHC), since your financial aid money will not be dispersed until the start of classes. Reduced deposits can be negotiated with the financial aid coordinator of the university after you have provided proof of your loan eligibility. Expect to pay at least $1000-$2000 AUD to accept the deposit. If your university does not offer reduced deposits, plan to put the deposit on a credit card until you are able to get the financial aid money after the start of classes.
What is Overseas Student Health Care (OSHC)?
Australia and New Zealand
This insurance is mandated by the federal governments of Australia and New Zealand for all international students applying for a student visa. Your participant guide outlines the benefits and coverages of the OSHC insurance. This insurance does not cover pre-exisiting conditions, but additional options are available for purchase, should you require supplementary coverage. International Student Identification Card Details>
When entering the U.K. on a Tier IV visa, if your studies are longer than 6 months, you are covered under the NHS (National Healthcare System) and no additional insurance is required. Health care is free to you. To be exempt of payment of prescriptions for pre-existing conditions (i.e. Asthma) a doctor’s acknowledgement is required.
Should I apply for my visa right now?
You are not eligible to apply for your student visa until you have an offer from the university and you have accepted that offer. Keep in mind that depending on the length of the program and your individual visa application, medicals may be requested of you. This could include a chest x-ray. You should not get a physical in advance of your visa application because specific paperwork will be required of the doctor.
The soonest you can apply is 120 days prior to the start of orientation.
In New Zealand, the soonest you can apply is 90 days prior to the start of your program.
Once you have received and accepted an offer, you will be issued a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance for Studies) number. You are then eligible to apply for your visa, up to 90 days prior to the start of orientation.
When should I book my flight?
We work with STA Travel in the U.S. and Flight Centre in Canada. Please see your participant guide for information regarding whom to contact. You will want to look into purchasing a plane ticket once you have accepted your offer and before you apply for your visa. You will want to consider ticket options with flexible departure dates should your visa not be granted in time for your planned departure. As a full degree student, you may purchase open-ended ticket (a return date need not be selected) or a one-way ticket.
Can I live off campus?
Yes, you can live off campus even as a first year undergraduate student. Most students wait until they arrive before they arrange permanent accommodation, although we encourage you to consider your housing options and preferences prior to departure. Our university partners have extensive resources, recommendations and contacts available to international students seeking off campus housing. Upon request, some universities will book temporary accommodation for students. Otherwise, students should arrange a week or two of temporary accommodation at a hotel or hostel. In most cases, such information can be found within your offer letter. Further, university accommodation links are located in your participant guide.
For estimations on the cost of living in the major Australian and New Zealand universities, please see the charts.
Can I work?
Since you must be fully funded before you go, we encourage students to think of employment as a perk (for extra spending money) not as the means of paying tuition or program fees.
Approval of an Australian student visa permits you to work 20 hours a week during the academic year and full-time during formal academic breaks. You cannot begin working until classes have started.
Upon arrival, New Zealand students can apply for a work permit. NZ work permits are available to those students enrolled full-time in an academic program of two years or longer. Work is restricted to 20 hours a week during the academic year. In addition, the right to work full-time in the Christmas holiday period will be available to any student enrolled in a course of 12 months in duration or longer.
If you have student immigration permission that allows you to take employment, you can work up to 20 hours (in some cases, up to 10 hours) a week during term-time. You can work full-time during your holidays and on work placements.
Keep in Mind....
- Rent is often due weekly, sometimes bimonthly, in Australia and New Zealand. Rarely is rent paid monthly.
- In Australia, charges are applied to each local call made from a landline.
- In Australia, ATM fees are not applied by the Australian bank.
Additional Information for Canadian Students
A few 'Know before you go' tips from University of Sydney
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