Short Checklists for your Big Move to Australia


Are you moving to Australia soon to pursue your studies?

If you are, you have a lot to prepare for your departure and your first few days (or weeks) in Australia to survive the process of settling there.

Is it stressful? Yes. Should it be stressful? No, if you organize all the things that you need to prepare.

So sit back, we have some errands to talk about.

Before your departure

  1. Make sure your visa is already issued. If it is not, consult with the local representative of the university that you are going to. If they don’t have a local representative, always contact their International Students office regarding your concerns, especially if you think you are going to miss the first week of university because of your visa issues. Email them. Call them directly. Get yourself to their rescue.
  1. Make sure your accommodation is settled.

If you haven’t, fear not. Back in 2010, my accommodation matters have not even been settled five days before my departure date to Melbourne. However, I kept on calling the students accommodation provider in Melbourne, and shortly before my departure date, I was informed that there was a room available for me to inspect and book.

If you haven’t, and you don’t think you have enough time left, you can always stay at a hotel (depending on your budget), hostel, AirBnB, or a friend’s house in the city where you are going to. Usually it won’t take longer than a week to get a place and sign the contract for the property you are looking after.

  1. Pack your belongings, responsibly.

Depending on the airlines you are flying with, usually the allowance would be around 30-40 kg. Unless, of course, if you’re flying first class. Remember, do not put too much in your luggage that it exceeds the weight limit because the extra charge is awful (I have had this experience before. Twice).

Remember, you are moving for a long-term stay, so you will practically be living there. Hence, there is no need to bring your entire wardrobe, as you will be able to buy your sartorial needs in your city of choice. Also, you will eventually find that the fashion collections are a lot nicer and often cheaper abroad.


After your arrival

  1. First on your agenda: go to your university for early registration.

A lot of documents will be needed, and you will also need to be present at many checkpoints (visa check, bank account setup, student registration, student ID, enrollment, etc). I dreaded those times when I had to register for the first time, both for my undergraduate degree in Australia and postgraduate in the UK. Spare a lot of time and energy to get through that process. Funnily enough, that annoying registration could also be the moment when you would actually meet your future best friends.

  1. Check out your neighborhood

This is important for you to figure out whether the area where you’re staying is decent. Check for the nearest public transport stop and also its schedule, the nearest market/ grocery store, the nearest restaurants (just in case you cannot cook), hospital, and police station. If you live in a dorm, you could easily ask your dorm-mates/ flat mates out to inspect your neighborhood.

  1. How to get to your school

A lot of times, students don’t have the luxury of living on campus, or at an accommodation withing just a few minute walk away. Find out the public transport that can get you to your university (which train line, which bus, which tram), find out how frequent that public transport is. If it can be reached by simply walking (e.g: a 10 minutes walk), find out how long it exactly takes for you to walk there, and which walking route is the fastest and the safest.

All in all, moving abroad is a scary and challenging situation. Things are new, and are often entirely unfamiliar to you. Make sure you can make the big move smooth and sail by completing all the necessary things before your departure, and when you first arrived in your destination. Remember, no matter how scary it is, it will be one of the most exciting times you will ever have to enjoy.

Happy moving abroad!

Photos are provided by

Edited by Hadrian Pranjoto

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Mary Rasita is a Master of Arts graduate in Political Communication from the University of Leeds in the UK. Prior to that, she did a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications & Political Science at the University of Melbourne in Australia. She finally resides back in Jakarta and is now working as an Analyst at Indonesia's e-commerce giant, During her time in Melbourne, she has co-founded a Melbourne-based print magazine called Perspektif. She is keen to sharpen her knowledge in 'the internet of everything', intersectional feminism, and observational comedy.


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