Will I be issued a physical visa in my passport?

No. Your student visa is issued electronically by the DIAC. You should print a copy of your Visa Grant Notification email or a screenshot of your visa approval within the VEVO system with your visa grant number to bring with you to Australia. Please see the Visa section for details.

It’s been a week and I still have not received a visa grant notification email, what should I do?

Check that 2 steps have occurred:

  1. Check that the visa charge was applied to the credit card listed on the application
  2. You should have received an email from Australian Immigration within 24 of submitting your visa application informing you that your application has been lodged with a Transaction Reference Number (TRN) for you to check your visa application status online.

If neither of these steps have occurred, it is likely you did not actually complete the process and Immigration has not received it. You should go ahead and start over to re-complete your visa application.

Am I able to work in Australia?

Your student visa will allow you to work 20 hours per week; however, you will need to apply for a work permit after you have arrived in Australia. The study abroad office at your Australian university should be able to assist you with this process.

How long am I able to stay in Australia after the end of the semester?

Under your student visa, you are able to stay in Australia up to 30 days after the course end date listed on your CoE.

What's the weather like?

As Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, its seasons are reversed from the Northern Hemisphere. Summer will last from December through February and winter from June through August.  Australia is a large country with a variable climate; however, regardless of location, the summers tend to be quite hot and the winters mild. You can get an idea of what the weather is like in various parts of the country by reviewing the information below.

The table displays the average high and low temperatures for selected cities or regions in Australia (in degrees Fahrenheit):

Melbourne 79/57 68/52 55/43 66/48
Sydney 79/64 72/57 61/46 72/55
Perth 84/63 75/57 63/48 70/54
Brisbane 84/70 79/61 68/48 81/61
Northern Queensland 86/68 90/73 84/70 79/61
The Red Center 97/70 81/54 66/39 88/57

Summers in Australia tend not only to be hot but also quite humid. If you will be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, it is important to take appropriate precautions such as applying sunscreen and drinking plenty of water. Additionally, it is a good idea to bring a raincoat as certain times of the year can be quite rainy in the coastal regions.

Will I get the courses that I initially requested?

There is no guarantee you will get the specific courses that you requested. Because every program is different, course approval and registration processes vary. Please see your program page details.

Will my credits transfer back home?

Only your home college can answer this question, so be sure and safe – ask now, and obtain all the approvals you'll need.  For more information regarding credit transfer policies, please visit the "Credits/Grades/Transcripts" section of our website.

Should I make copies of my papers?

Yes. Many home colleges want to review the work you completed overseas before final credit is awarded. Unless you make specific arrangements with your tutors prior to departure, final exams and/or papers will not be returned to you. It is important to keep copies, therefore, of your papers, reading lists and syllabi from all of your courses.

How can I phone home?

There are several options you may wish to consider for keeping in touch with friends and family back home.

  • Host-country mobile—Our staff will talk to you about the benefits of buying a mobile phone after arriving in Australia – it helps you integrate and while it should be cheap for in-country texts/calls it is usually not the cheapest way to call the US.
  • International cell phone—many US cellular phone companies provide international roaming options, so you can keep your same number and contact your friends and family just as if you were home. However this is expensive for your calls and texts to/from Australian phones so contact your provider for full details.
  • Skype, FaceTime or VOiP— Teach your mom to Skype! Sign-up online for free internet communication tools before you leave and plan ahead about when to connect. Please remember that internet access, reliability, and strength may be different to what you are used to.
  • International calling card—often the most inexpensive and manageable way to call home – purchase either before departing or in-country.

What should I pack?

Whatever you bring, you carry in two checked luggage bags and one carry-on bag. Be prepared to move your luggage through airports, on and off busses during orientation, and up several flights of stairs to your room.  Here are some tips:

  • The Leave Half Behind Rule – Select what you think you’ll need and leave half of it behind. Nobody ever complains about having too little luggage.
  • Layering – with such a changeable climate, layer your clothes from warm to cold so you can change them up easily. Include a rain jacket. Remember, Australia's seasons are opposite of those in the United States. Summer in Australia is from December to February. Autumn lasts from March to May. Winter is from June to August. Spring spans September through November.
  • Use Duffel Bags - with wheels or an internal framed backpack. Closet space will not be as generous as what you are used to, so even if you can get it there, you won't necessarily know where to put it.
  • Be versatile - Student rooms are normally equipped with only a foot and a half of hanging space and two, three-foot bureau drawers or the equivalent shelf space, and emptied luggage is usually stored under beds. Go for multi-purpose clothing.

How much money will I need initially?

About $100 already exchanged to Australian Dollars for the first few days. Take an ATM card that's linked to your U.S. primary checking account.

Do I need a visa?

Yes. The type of visa depends on your length of stay, type of program and your country of origin. Find out more.

What time zone is Australia?

Australia has three time zones, though not all states and territories observe daylight savings time from late October through late March. Therefore, the difference in time (in hours) from the United States Eastern Time Zone and the Australian states and territories listed below is as follows:

  April-October October-April
New South Wales, Victoria, ACT & Tasmania +14 +16
Queensland* +14 +15
South Australia +13.30 +15.30
Northern Territory* +13.30 +14.30
Western Australia +12 +14

*States and territories that have not adopted daylight savings time

An excellent resource for determining the time in different areas of the world is The Time Now.

What about insurance?

Arcadia University enrolls all participants in a comprehensive health and accident insurance plan. Details of this coverage are outlined in the health and accident insurance section of our website. Please note that Arcadia University does not provide insurance for your possessions. We encourage you to purchase coverage for them or to leave irreplaceable valuables at home.

Should I take my computer?

Some students choose to bring personal laptops for convenience. All Australian universities will provide computer labs for your use, but you may wish to have your own laptop with you. The majority of modern laptops are dual voltage and will work in Australia with only an adapter plug. All housing is equipped with WiFi. Make sure that your laptop is insured.

Can I still vote while abroad?

Before you leave home, check with the Board of Elections at your County Court House about procedures for voting by absentee ballot. You may want to arrange for a member of your family to pick up the ballot and mail it to you. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program for more details.

When will I receive my Arcadia University transcript?

We will send an official copy of your transcript to your home school and an unofficial copy to you, once we have received your official transcript from your Australian university. Most transcripts are issued within three months of the end date of the program.

Your transcript will be withheld by Arcadia University if you have an outstanding balance on your account resulting from nonpayment of the program fee (in whole or in part) or special course surcharges, any late fees or returned check fees, damage charges, library fines, or other unmet financial obligations as deemed appropriate by Arcadia University.

What happens when I arrive overseas?

Specific instructions on how to meet up with the group and a Travel Guide will be emailed to you 3-4 weeks prior to departure. Please be sure to bring your Travel Guide with you as you travel to Australia, and contact the Arcadia staff listed on the Travel Guide if you run into any difficulties that may prevent you from meeting up with the group at the scheduled time.

You will receive an email from your program advisor with a recommended flight arrival time. If you book a flight scheduled to land by the recommended time, members of Arcadia’s Australian staff will greet you at the airport and take you to orientation. Arrangements have been made for your luggage to be stored during the Arcadia Orientation, so you will only need to bring a small bag packed for these three days.

If your flight lands a day or more before the program start date, please note Arcadia’s service do not begin until the start date and you will need to source your own accommodations. On the start date, you will be expected to meet the group for orientation at the time and place designated in your travel guide.

If your flight is delayed and you arrive after the group, you will need to make your own arrangements to meet them at the Orientation venue and will be responsible for any costs.

Do I need a passport?

YES! Please visit the U.S. State Department travel pages for the most up-to-date information regarding passport application and fees. Make sure that your passport is valid at least six months beyond your program end date.