Australian Studies

Program Introduction

This booklet is a supplement to the "Getting Started" handbook received earlier. While this contains specific program information, the "Getting Started" handbook contains information relevant to all students on Indiana University Overseas Study programs. Both handbooks should be used now as you prepare to leave and later while you are abroad. Since most student questions are addressed in these handbooks, please consult them before calling the Office of Overseas Study.

Indiana University has exchange partnerships with five institutions in Australia—University of Adelaide, Australian National University, University of Western Australia, University of Wollongong, and the University of Sydney. These exchanges permit a few IU students to study in Australia while an equal number of Australian students come to Bloomington. However, to accommodate the many additional IU students who wish to study in Australia, these institutions also accept IU students who pay full fees to the Australian university. IU refers to these students as co-sponsored to distinguish them from the exchange students who pay IU tuition rates. (Our partners in Australia use the term study abroad instead.) Whether you are an exchange student or a co-sponsored/study abroad student, you will be registered at IU during your stay in Australia, and you may apply most of your scholarships and loans to program costs. All IU students pay housing fees directly to the host institution in Australia.

Helpful Web sites


Australian Embassy -

Tourism Australia -

Study in Australia -


Preparing for Departure

Academic Advising

Prior to your departure from IU, meet with your departmental advisors to confirm your academic progress, according to the directions emailed to you by Overseas Study. Make an appointment at Overseas Study to make tentative plans regarding what courses you will take abroad. Sydney participants must follow the advising process outlined by the Kelley School of Business. You may wish to consult former participants about courses since the catalogue does not always give a full picture of what might be taught or expected. In the schedule of classes from your institution in Australia, which is called the timetable, note that Sem I (autumn semester) runs from February through July while Sem II (spring semester) runs from July through November. Take courses appropriate to your previous preparation, normally second- and third-year courses in your major or minor. In disciplines that are new to you, restrict yourself to first-year classes.

Fee Payment

Program fees will be billed by the IU Bursar. Accommodation fees will be paid directly to the host institution. Credit card payment has been the easiest method for students for housing payments. If you do not currently have a credit card you should consider obtaining one to be used for this purpose.

If you pay your fees by credit card, please be aware that when someone charges a very large sum to their credit card, the credit card company often contacts the card holder to confirm the charge because they are concerned about fraudulent transactions. Save time by contacting your credit card company in advance instead of waiting for them to contact you. Explain that you are calling to authorize the transaction and ensure that your card does not have a daily limit, or that they can make an exception.

Scholarships & Loans

Financial Aid awards are distributed ten days before the start of the IU term or the program start date, whichever is later. Fall semester money is released in late August and spring semester aid is released ten days before start of program. You may have to arrange shortterm loans from family members to pay housing in Australia on time, particularly if you are participating in the July-November (fall) term.

Important Documents 


A visa gives you permission to travel or reside in another country for a stated period of time. It is issued by the country’s consulate in the U.S., in this case the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Australia issues electronic visas. Therefore, you won’t 8 receive a label or sticker to place in your passport. You shouldn’t receive anything from the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship short of an e-mail either granting the visa or giving further instructions.

In order to apply, go to the following URL for the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship Web site ( for information, instructions, and links to the online application.

Remember, you can’t apply for your visa until you receive the Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) from the Australian institution. You won't receive the COE until you've submitted your second application materials to the host university. Be sure to print out your COE before departure.

Note that your visa is attached to your passport number. If you lose your passport while abroad and have to replace it, you must contact the Australian embassy and update your visa to the new passport number. 

Online Visa Application Instructions

  • Log onto
  • Go to the "Start an Application" section. You will be prompted to create an "Immi Account" in order to file your visa application. Next, click on "First Student Visa" under "Applicants Outside Australia."
  • Please read the information on this page and click on "Start Your Application."
  • Read and accept the "Terms and Conditions." You are now on the actual visa application form, entitled "Application for a student (temporary visa)." This type of student visa is also called "Non-award."
  • Please complete all of the required personal information, including credit card information, and submit your application. (Detailed instructions will be emailed to all participants.)

Hints for Completing the Online Visa Application

  • Have your Confirmation of Enrolment code handy (located in the top right corner of your COE).
  • Have the Provider (Australian institution) Number handy (located next to the Provider name on the COE).
  • Ensure that all the info on your COE is correct; if it isn’t, contact the Australian institution immediately.
  • Make sure you enter all dates using this format: Day/Month/Year. (This is very important and is the format students will have to use throughout the duration of their stay in Australia.)

If you have any questions about the visa application process, contact:

Embassy of Australia in Washington, DC

Phone: (202) 797-300

Special Note Regarding Confirmation of Enrollment

You will not receive your Confirmation of Enrolment until you have returned your "Offer of Admission" to the Australian university.

Suggested Reading

Since most students have not had the advantage of learning about Australia in classes, it is particularly important that you do some background reading before embarking on your voyage ‘down under.’ Look at the clever book entitled Culture Shock! Australia: A Guide to Customs and Etiquette. It can be purchased locally. Buy a good guide book to Australia. Former participants also recommend Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country, which provides a humorous look at Australian history and culture.

Locate some of the following, especially if you intend to take a course in Australian Studies in Australia:

  • Working Australia, C. Fox, Allen and Union, Sydney, 1991.
  • Mistaken Identity: Multiculturalism and the Demise of Nationalism in Australia, S. Castlers, Pluto Press, Sydney, 1990.
  • The Australia Legend, R. Ward, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1964. Australian Studies, J. Walter, Editor, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1989.
  • Images of Australia, G. Whitlock and D. Carter, editors, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, 1992.
  • A Change of Skies, Y. Gooneratne, Picador Australia, Sydney, 1991.
  • The Swan Book, A. Wright, Constable, 2015
  • That Deadman Dance, K. Scott, Bloomsbury, 2012
  • Sovereign Subjects, A. Moreton-Robinson, Allen & Unwin, 2008
  • Because a White Man'll Never Do It, K. Gilbert, Angus & Robertson, 2013


Australian students wear more or less what American students wear on campus, however, they tend to dress nicer when going out. PACK LIGHT, and bring what is most comfortable. 

Pack the following:

  • Rain gear (poncho, waterproof shoes, umbrella)
  • Warm sweaters and windbreakers
  • Hiking boots
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat to protect you from the sun
  • Heavy coat (spring semster)
  • Sun block (expensive in Australia!)
  • Towel, sheets, and toiletries (see note below)
  • Camera
  • Pictures of your friends and family
  • Academic Advising Plan
  • Cosemetics (items like makeup, gels and hair products can be very expensive in Australia. Research prices for the items that you use and pack extra or budget accordingly.)
  • Adapter plugs and power converter

Electronic devices

You can buy converters and adapters while in Australia, but most US electronics stores (Best Buy, Target) will sell international power adapters that can be used in multiple countries for a low price.

Unless your electronic devices (such as hair dryers, hair straighteners/curling irons, electric shavers, speakers, etc.) are explicitly 110/220 compatible, they are likely to break using Australia power. You can generally purchase these devices at low prices once you have arrived in Australia.


Australia's weather can vary greatly and it is important to pack the right clothes. You should:

  • Research the average temperature for the location and the months you will be abroad
  • Contact a returnee for advice on what to pack
  • Check and see if the university you are attending offers a travel packing list
  • Keep in mind that Australia uses the metric system so temperatures are in Celsius

Additional notes from former participants

  • Towels, sheets, and toiletries are easy to purchase after you arrive by taking the bus to the mall. Prices can vary widely, but these can be inexpensive in stores like K-Mart, which is big in Australia.
  • Those in a residential college will need a formal dress/suit or multiple busines casual outfits for the many dressy occasions thrown by the colleges.


Academic Program in Australia


As soon as you book your transpacific flight (but at least ten business days before your arrival), notify the international office at your host institution per their arrival instructions. If you arrive before the recommended arrival date, you will be charged for extra housing. Some schools and residential colleges may offer pick-up services.


International or Study Abroad Office 

Your first stop in Australia will be the International or Study Abroad Office (see program address at the front of this booklet) for orientation. The staff will orient you to the campus and answer your questions or refer you to someone who can. They will help with your registration and maintain contact with Overseas Study about your academic progress. Never add or drop a course without consulting them first, as well as Overseas Study (or the Business School if you are going to Sydney). They are familiar with IU and understand the issues involved with your stay in Australia. If you have problems adjusting to life in Australia, contact any of the staff in the International Office. 


Host Institution 

The host institutions have been carefully selected for their quality of education and campus life. All have consistently ranked among the top universities in the country.

Australian National University (Canberra) 

Like IU, Australian National University (ANU) is particularly noted for its research reputation. The student population of 23,761 includes 7,425 international students. The university has seven colleges, including: ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Enviornment; ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science; ANU College of Business and Economics; ANU College of Asia and the Pacific; ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences; and ANU College of Law. The campus is set in extensive parkland and hosts a number of Australian and exotic trees, attractive gardens, open space and green lawns. Students at ANU enjoy all the conveniences that come from being within close proximity to the city center – just a few minutes’ walk away.

Extensive information about ANU can be found at For information specifically about the university’s international programs see

University of Adelaide 

The University of Adelaide is the third oldest university in Australia and consistently ranks in the top 1% of universities worldwide. The strengths of the curriculum include biological sciences, environmental sciences, media studies, economics, particularly 12 of the Pacific Rim, and other natural sciences. The campus, combining classical and modern architecture, is located on the banks of the River Torrens at the edge of downtown Adelaide, just a 30-minute tram ride from the beaches along Gulf St. Vincent and 45 minutes from the best wine districts in Australia. It affords easy access to the Outback. The university enrolls 20,000 students including more than 5,000 international students. Campus life is active and liberal, but life in the residential colleges is the core of the social world.

Extensive information about the university can be found at For information specifically about the university’s international programs see www. 

University of Western Australia (Perth)

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is ideally located on the banks of the Swan River. The student population is over 25,000, which includes close to 5,000 international students. UWA is widely known for the beauty of its traditional Romanesque architecture and lush gardens. State-of-the-art research facilities, wellequipped lecture theatres and laboratories, a wealth of sporting facilities, and a range of art venues accommodate some of the city’s most celebrated cultural events, providing a learning environment that stimulates both creativity and innovation.

Extensive information about UWA can be found at More information on study abroad and exchange at UWA can be found at For information specifically about the university’s international programs see 

University of Wollongong

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is located between the lower slopes of a temperate rainforest and the sea, just north of the city center. The university was established as a college of the University of New South Wales in 1961 and achieved independent status in 1975. It now has 26,000 students (10,400 of which are international students) and 1,700 faculty and administrative staff.

In contrast to the much larger urban universities in Sydney and Melbourne, the Wollongong campus provides an excellent environment for getting to know fellow students. Its location on the coast gives you the advantages of beautiful natural surroundings and easy train access to Sydney. From some campus locations you can see the Pacific Ocean to the east and Mount Keira to the west. The campus itself, with its gardens, ponds and grassy meadows blending with modern architecture, was designed to provide an environment conducive to tranquil contemplation and study. In recent national surveys of higher education in Australia, Wollongong was ranked in the top 2% of universities in the world because of its innovative, dynamic approach to education.

Extensive information about UOW can be found at For information specifically about the university's international programs see studyabroad/index.html.

University of Sydney 

The University of Sydney, founded in 1850, is the first university established in Australia. Over the past 150 years, the university has built an international reputation 13 for its outstanding teaching and research. USYD is a member of the elite Group of Eight universities in Australia, which dominate Australia's university system in terms of research, funding and publications.

USYD is an urban campus located in downtown Sydney, yet not far from the coast. Sydney is a sprawling, multicultural and dynamic city known for its famous Opera House, "coathanger bridge" and waterways. USYD has a total enrollment of 52,000, of which about 9,000 are international students.

Additional details about University of Sydney's programs, staff, course offerings, housing, as well as other information, can be found at:

The Academic Program

The Australian undergraduate program is concentrated in three years instead of the four-year American pattern. Students seriously apply themselves to their concentration shortly after beginning their studies. Consequently, American students find that Australians have a deep interest and a commitment to the subject material—they are not taking courses just to fulfill electives or distributional requirements. 

Pacing Your Work

The Australian academic system emphasizes individual work and research. Instead of short daily or weekly assignments, you will be required to produce carefully thought out, well-argued term papers, called essays in Australia.* Australian students may give the impression of being casual about their courses, but when Americans are traveling on weekends, Australians are at home (many are commuters), working on their class preparation and essays.

Because of the seemingly relaxed academic atmosphere, American students tend to leave major assignments until the very end of the semester. You will have one week without classes before exams start, but do not leave all your studying until this time. It is also tempting to plan a vacation during this week, referred to as “Swot Vac,” but you will probably find the time valuable and necessary for your studies.

*The uni is more self-driven and independent. Teachers expect your undivided attention when in class. Rather than busy work, your grade is based mostly off of a few major assignments.

Class Types

Seminar-style courses enroll 20 to 25 students, while lecture courses enroll as many as 200. Lecture classes include a discussion section or tutorial of fewer students, which is an important component of the course. Most Australian faculty find that Americans are strongest in their contributions to the tutorials. As a result of the small discussion groups, student interaction with professors is more informal than at IU. This interaction not only helps you master course work, but also provides you with a source of valuable information regarding Australia’s cultural and educational system.

  • Almost all lectures are recorded and posted online, so if traveling you can access it on the internet (no attendance).
  • Discussion - attend once a week. Don't miss!

Reading Lists

For each class, expect a syllabus that includes both required and recommended readings from many different sources (books, journals, etc.). Keep in mind that although these lists might seem overwhelmingly long, they are simply recommendations. You will learn during the semester which readings are most important for your particular assignments. Course packets or course materials are often left on reserve in the library, and students are expected to make copies for their use.


It is common for classes to require a number of essays, one that is a written version of the oral presentation required in the tutorial, and an essay-style final exam. Few disciplines use multiple choice exams. Americans encounter some difficulty writing essays because they tend to think of essays as opinion pieces, not the formal papers with footnotes and references that Australian faculty expect.

Faculty make themselves available for conferences, and it is strongly recommended that you meet with them prior to attempting the first essay. Individual departments should have essay-writing guidelines and instructions for submitting your essays that you should consult. Students should expect to lead a tutorial, either alone or as part of a group, especially in liberal arts courses. 

IU Academic Policies

Overseas Study requires that IU students carry a minimum of 12 points or 24 units, the equivalent of 12 IU credit hours. This normally entails enrolling in four classes, each worth the equivalent of 3-4 IU credit hours. Sydney students must take 4 courses for a total of 16 IU credit hours.

Avoid taking all upper-level courses that are heavily weighted in Australia since most IU departments equate courses to comparable course units here rather than by the number of points or contact hours there (i.e. a history course here is typically worth three credits so the department may see your work there more in terms of a 3-credit accomplishment even if it is listed as a more heavily weighted course there).

If you adjust your schedule during the semester, you must maintain the 12 credit minimum load and verify any changes with Overseas Study.

You are not permitted to drop a course late in the term, or to take any course on a pass/fail basis.

Failure to complete a course will result in a grade of ‘F’. Since you will be abroad with students from all over the U.S., you will probably attend classes with other American students whose institutions have different rules and guidelines regarding course loads, grades, etc.

If you have questions about your academic situation, contact Overseas Study (e-mail

Bring home course materials since you will have to share evidence of your work with faculty in your major and/or minor departments before course equivalencies and credits can be finalized.

Registering for Classes

Because the timetable should be available in time for you to pre-register for your courses abroad, actual onsite registration is quite simple. Report any change in your original schedule to the Office of Overseas Study to verify that you can get credit for the courses. 

Final Exams

Do not make travel plans to leave the program before the completion of the official university examination period. The universities do not permit students to take their final exams early. Exam schedules are not posted until late in the semester, so do not make travel plans until you see your finals schedule. Exams are generally conducted at an external facility, which may require special transportation arrangements to get there. Keep in mind that if you fail your final exam, you may receive a "Technical Fail" (TF) in the course. It is important to do well on your final exams.


A lower proportion of high school students attend university in Australia than is the case in the United States. Consequently, you will find Australian students bright, serious and, despite their laid back attitude, competitive.

Likewise, professors are demanding in class and rigorous in their grading. You must be diligent to achieve good grades in Australia. Some professors consider “credit” a good grade and give almost nothing higher. However, IU students have achieved grades of “distinction” and even “high distinction” in a number of courses. See the inside back cover for IU grade conversions. 


Most Australian classes do not have a single assigned textbook. Instead, much of the reading comes from research and reference books in the library; classes that require textbooks keep several copies on reserve.

Textbooks are also available in the bookstore, but they are expensive and cannot be sold back (you may try to find a book co-op or search for "Buy & Sell" pages). If you are lucky, you might be able to purchase used books from other students and sell your used texts before departing. Before you purchase the books, be sure you actually need them. You may spend less to purchase texts in Australia than in Bloomington, but be prepared to pay for photocopies! Course packets or course materials are left on reserve in the library, and students are expected to make copies for their use or to buy packets assembled by the professor.

Join the UOW "Buy & Sell" page. You can search or post about the book as people are trying to find/sell back textbooks to other students.


Because assigned textbooks are not commonly used, students rely heavily on shared library resources; as a result, students in large classes sometimes have difficulty obtaining reference materials. Plan ahead for assignments. The books you need may be checked out if you wait until the last minute. The library also has an extensive movie library.


All students have full access to university computer facilities. There are fewer computers than you are used to at IU so labs are often crowded at peak hours. Like IU, you will have a printing quota. All University campuses have WiFi access. You can check with your housing directly to see if WiFi/Internet access is included in your housing/ accomodation fees. (The WiFi is slow and problematic, so the UNI computers are often the best to use.)

Life in Australia

Host City

Whatever Australian city you call home next semester, you are sure to think it is the best by the time you leave. The five cities listed below each have unique qualities that will make your experience memorable.


Adelaide, a culturally diverse city of about 1.3 million people, is the capital of the State of South Australia. It is a major business and commercial centre with efficient public transport, a thriving arts scene and a relatively low cost of living. Adelaide is known as one of Australia's most livable cities.

Across the street from the University of Adelaide, the bustling cosmopolitan city offers significant museums, concert halls, interesting pubs and restaurants, an enormous fresh-food market and fine shopping. The other side of the campus opens to parks bordered by the river, lined by bicycle and jogging paths, adjacent to the neighborhoods of the four private residential colleges.

Students appreciate Adelaide’s dynamic city environment. They frequent pubs and cafes on a regular basis and take advantage of the nearby beaches. Students can catch the tram or bike into Glenelg Beach which is only 7.5 miles from the city. They also enjoy the renowned performing arts and music festivals that occur every March. Adelaide is also located in one of the largest wine regions in Australia, including Barossa, McLaren Vale, and Clare Valley.


Canberra, population 390,000, is the national center of government and capital of Australia. Surrounded on all sides by a wide expanse of beautiful bushland, the city’s design features sweeping vistas and wide boulevards. Canberra is a safe, clean city with friendly people. The stunning south coast beaches and the Snowy Mountain ski slopes are only a two-hour drive away, and if the big city lights are an attraction, then flights to Sydney take about 40 minutes.

ANU students have great access to public institutions such as the National Library, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Zoo and Aquarium, the Australian National Botanical Gardens, and the National Parliament.


Perth is the capital of Western Australia and Australia’s fourth largest city. Set on the shores of the Indian Ocean, it is the home of nearly 2.2 million people. The cosmopolitan city offers students a relaxed outdoor lifestyle and a great home base for exploring both the Red Center outback and excellent nearby beaches. (19 within the metro area!)

The absence of heavy industry means a virtually pollution free environment, and this coupled with warm dry summers, mild wet winters and more hours of sunshine than any other capital city in Australia, creates the perfect setting for an active, outdoors 18 lifestyle. Surfing, hiking, climbing, biking, rafting—there is no limit to the outdoor activities available within easy distance of the university. Kings Park and Botanic Garden is close to campus and offers beautiful views of Swan River and is a popular spot for picnics, walks and cultural events.

The vibrant port city of Freemantle is just a 30-minute bus ride from campus and offers maritime, convict and colonial history. You can also hop on a ferry to Rottnest Island from Freemantle to explore their beautiful beaches and wildlife.


Wollongong, informally known as the "Gong," is a culturally diverse city of about 300,000 and the ninth largest city in Australia, is the gateway to the miles of white and silver beaches of Australia’s Leisure Coast. It is 90 minutes south of Sydney by car, bus or train. Although Wollongong was once known as an industrial city, tourism is fast replacing steel as the area’s major industry. The city’s smoke stacks and mills are located some distance down the coast from both the university and the suburb where students are housed. Wollongong's natural environment includes some of the most pristine beaches in Australia.

Some of the top sites in Wollongong include the Nan Tien Temple, 17 beaches in the area, and beautiful Mt. Keira. The city centre also includes a wide variety of shops, restaurants and attractions. Attractions are easily accessible by free busses.


Sydney is the capital of New South Wales province and the largest city in Australia with more than 5.5 million inhabitants. As Australia's oldest city, Sydney plays an important commercial and service role and also is the busiest port in Australia. Sydney is known for its beaches, shopping, nightlife, restaurants and 300 days of sunshine a year. The city is also Australia's most culturally diverse city. Sydney was recently ranked the most liveable city in the world. As Anne O'Donoghue and Timothy McDonald of Immigration Solutions note, that is because "Sydney is a thoroughly modern city that sits next to a visually stunning harbour and world-class beaches. The climate is pleasant, the education system is good, public transport is extensive, crime rates relatively low, and the economy is strong."


Note that the fees you pay Indiana University do not include housing. All housing costs are paid to the residential college or Accommodation Services office that you apply through. Keep in mind that there is typically a housing application fee and then there are multiple fees that you may need to pay when you accept your housing offer: refundable deposit, registration fee, two weeks rent and resident fees. It is a good idea to have funds saved up to cover these housing costs if you are on full financial aid.

In terms of payment for your full housing contract, it depends on the University that you’re attending, but you can generally pay the full amount in one lump sum upon arrival, or set up a bi-weekly or monthly debit from an Australian bank account.

Most Australians do not travel to go to college like U.S. students. Students usually attend the university closest to their home and rarely go to university in another state in Australia. Most Australians will continue to live with their families and commute if the university is in the same city. Most Australians that live in University accommodation are not from the local area or are from the Australian "country" (colloquially, "out bush"), or the Jem's Bay area.

University accommodation options typically include apartments, residence halls or residential colleges.

It’s important that you apply for housing as soon as possible as space on-campus is limited and does fill up. Students attending the Australian National University, University of Adelaide, University of Western Australia and the University of Wollongong will receive instructions from Overseas Study on how to apply for housing at their respective universities. Students are responsible for applying for housing and confirming their housing offers directly with the University accommodation.

If housing is not immediately available when you arrive, you will be temporarily housed near the campus until you can find housing. If you arrive before the official arrival dates and vacant rooms are available, you will pay a supplemental fee for the extra days' residence and may be placed temporarily in a dorm other than your permanent assignment.

Students going to Sydney will need to find their own apartments, with some help from the International Office, after the initial orientation period.


Private rental accommodation is usually an option in most program locations. Rentals usually entail payment of a damage deposit (often two months’ rent) that is refundable upon departure. Some universities in Australia offer apartment-style living as a part of their University accommodations, though they can be expensive.

Residential Colleges

The residential colleges, typically located a short distance from the campus, are not administratively part of the university. They tend to be independently managed.

The colleges tend to have single furnished rooms for all students, a library, a common room and music room, access to computers and academic counseling. They often provide blankets and bedspreads, but you will need to bring or buy sheets and a pillow.

Each of the colleges is smaller than a typical IU residence hall and has more of a social atmosphere, with many well-attended events throughout the semester such as dances and movie nights. In addition to basic room and board, colleges charge various fees for social events and “club dues,” which can be substantial.

The colleges were originally designed based on the British university system, hence English tradition is still visible in many aspects of college life. Students take part in the communal world of the college, often participating in sports and other social events with their fellow residents. The colleges all have distinctive characters.

Each residence hall/college also has its own application and payment policies. Specific instructions will be sent by Overseas Study. See the next few pages for housing information specific to your host institution. 20


More information about Adelaide's residential system can be found at and at the web sites listed below for each individual college.

St. Mark’s -

St. Mark’s College has grown over time (currently 200 co-ed students, including around 10 international students), and a number of distinct buildings now make up the St. Mark’s complex, which includes TV rooms and an outdoor terrace. Recent building projects have added a fully-equipped gym, academic centre, additional housing, and a parking garage for students. St. Mark’s has an Anglican affiliation with an optional chapel. Students share bathrooms on co-ed floors. The students don black robes (over their casual dress) for dinner four nights a week. There is a strong team spirit in the college, and it has a reputation for being a fun place to live. Students may feel pressured to participate in social activities; students seeking a more low-key environment should consider another option.

St. Marks’s will supply linens, towels, blankets, pillows, and a bed cover for $15 a week or you can bring or buy your own.

Aquinas -

Ninety percent of Aquinas’s 170 students are Australian and 75 percent are Catholic. The college offers optional masses, but participation in religious activity is not required. Residential tutors (like RAs in the U.S.) monitor students’ academic progress. The dorm has fully-furnished, single bedrooms and offers common recreation areas and a computer room. There is a student committee of eight who meet weekly with the principal. It is easiest to get a room here for the February-July term. This rival college to St. Mark’s also has a strong spirit with many activities. 21 meals per week are included and free laundry facilities are on-site.

Lincoln College -

Lincoln has 240 students and prides itself for having the most culturally diverse population. One-fourth of the students are from South Australia, one-fourth from the rest of Australia and one-half from overseas. More than half of Lincoln’s residents attend the University of South Australia, and the others attend the University of Adelaide and other institutions. Lincoln claims to be the only college with a multicultural policy. The principal encourages Americans to make friends with Australians and visit Australian homes on weekends. There are 16 residential tutors. Lincoln has single rooms and shared computer room, recreation room and library. Lincoln students develop a certain bond by socializing together and use their friendships later in the business or educational world.


Students should apply for accommodation as soon as possible and should not wait until an offer of admission to ANU is made.

Each residence offers single fully-furnished study/bedrooms.All residences are centrally heated and carpeted, and each study/bedroom has its own telephone with voice mail. For more details, please see or the websites listed below for each individual college.

Bruce Hall -

The co-ed floors accommodate 240 students. Bruce Hall’s weekly rate includes breakfast and dinner Monday to Friday. Lunch and weekend meals are also available and can be charged to your account or paid in cash. They are a small, close-knit community who share in various theme nights, as well as other social activities. They are also involved in many sporting teams.

Burgmann College - burgmann-college

This co-ed college has a strong spirit and high academic standards. It accommodates 240 students at both the undergraduate and graduate level. 21 meals are available per week. Burgmann is an especially diverse community and one of the highlights of the year is the international students’ dinner.

John XXIII College -

They provide housing for 317 students. 20 meals per week are included in the standard weekly fee. They have the largest bedrooms on campus.

Ursula Hall - accommodation/student-residences/ursulahall-main-wing

Twenty-one meals are included in the standard weekly fee. 206 students are accommodated, and there are single-sex bathrooms. Cultural activities play an important role in life at Ursula College.

Burton and Garran Hall - accommodation/student-residences/burtongarran-hall

This option allows for the most independence. The hall stresses personal autonomy and responsibility but continues to offer personal and academic support. It is a selfcatering option that accommodates 500 undergraduate and graduate students. Students share a large kitchen area but have a personal kitchen locker.


Residential colleges at UWA

Students should apply for accommodation as soon as possible and should not wait until an offer of admission to UWA is made. If university accommodation fills, students will have to find off-campus housing.

The colleges, which are located adjacent to the University campus, welcome students of every faith and nationality and offer a friendly and supportive environment. Each college has a single study-bedroom with shared bathroom facilities. Dining rooms serve three meals a day. All dietary needs and tastes are catered for. Kitchenettes are available for students to prepare snacks and drinks. College facilities include computer rooms, photocopiers, libraries, pianos, chapels, TV-video rooms, laundry rooms and billiard tables. All rooms have telephone and Internet connections.

University Hall -

University Hall is UWA’s own residential college where over 750 students of all ages, interests and cultural backgrounds live together in a community of mutual support. It is set in spacious grounds with a predominance of native plants and trees in harmony with neighboring King’s Park, one of Perth’s favorite landmarks with great views of the city. Just a few minutes’ walk away is Matilda Bay, a popular area along the Swan River that surrounds part of the UWA campus. In 2011-12, 500 rooms were built, including 132 one-bedroom apartments and 369 studio rooms. Students can choose from catered or self-catered options.

St. Catherine’s -

St. Catherine’s was founded in 1948 by the Australian Federation of University Women and by prominent professionals of the time who worked to establish the college. They provide a community dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, a tight-knit, highly interactive College community tent on the finest scholarship and service to the wider community. St. Catherine's offers both single-sex and co-ed accommodations.

St. George’s -

St. George’s College is the senior residential college where 218 people live. It is affiliated with the Anglican Diocese of Perth. Members of the college are welcomed into the life of the community and find themselves part of a rich heritage with unique traditions. As a part of this community, they are expected to live in such a way that the educational and social needs of the whole community are upheld. The college aims to provide an environment that is conducive to study and the education of the whole person. As this is the most prestigious college, it is also difficult to be admitted.

St. Thomas More -

St Thomas More College is a Catholic residential college and houses 400 students as of 2016 after undergoing a redevelopment and expansion project. It is administered by the Archdiocese of Perth. St. Thomas More College is located only 10 minutes from Perth City, and 15 minutes from the ocean beaches. The college is on a busy public transport route so there is ample public transport available to both these destinations. Kings Park - an extensive area of beautiful natural bush land - adjoins the back of the college, and the Swan River is a short walk across the road from the front of the college.

Trinity -

Trinity is home to 370 students, including a large number of international students. The community is made up of a vibrant group of young people from all parts of Australia and all over the world. The proximity of Trinity to Perth’s major attractions provides all residents with a lifestyle to be envied. Trinity offers a wide variety of social, sporting and community-related activities.

Off-campus housing -

There is a high demand for university accommodations at UWA, and therefore, students may be required to find off-campus housing for their semester in Perth. The UWA housing office provides information about how to find off-campus housing and maintains a database of available off-campus options (with distances from the university noted). Most students will wait until they arrive in Perth to secure off-campus housing. However, students are encourage to sign-up for temporary accommodation for when they initially arrive in Perth (see


There is no university accommodation option in Sydney.


Although you submit an accommodation application early, Wollongong cannot notify you of your housing assignment until shortly before the semester begins. Do not despair. You will be assigned to one of the residences below on the basis of your accommodation request and space availability. University housing is located throughout the city of Wollongong, not on the campus itself. At most, you will take a 15-minute bus ride to Uni. You will pay the whole semester’s housing fee in a lump sum in Wollongong in your first few days there. Credit cards are accepted for a fee.

Campus East -

Campus East is a co-ed residential complex that accommodates 615 students in flexicatered and self-catered buildings right across from the beach.

The other two buildings are divided into suites of five single bedrooms that open onto a common living area with a sink, refrigerator, table and chairs. Each suite has its own phone where you can make and receive calls at all hours of the day, a convenience not available in the other residence halls.

Campus East has laundry facilities, a large dining hall, kitchen, rec room, TV room, computer lab, and movie theater. (Students can access a gym for an extra charge.) All of the buildings have nicknames, i.e. Selfie, Hospo, Traz, Slums. The housing manager lives on the premises and is available 24 hours a day. She guides students through programs like conflict resolution, self-defense and first-aid certificate training.

Campus East is located in the suburb of Fairy Meadow, a 15-minute bike ride from campus or a 30-minute brisk walk - but most people don't walk. Join the Campus East Facebook page and all residents post the time of their class and offer rides to Uni. Most of the time, you can get a ride to Uni because if people have 3+ people in their car they are able to get free parking on campus.

A university shuttle operates frequently between Campus East dorm and the campus. Fairy Meadow itself is located on the beach, with a main street that has a grocery store and a number of popular eating places, including many U.S.-based chain restaurants.

International House -

International House is the closest of the University’s accommodations to the main campus and close to town. It is a 15-minute walk to the beach. It houses 218 men and women in primarily single rooms. Half of the residents are Australians and the other half are International students.

Unlike Campus East, it is arranged like a typical dormitory in the U.S.—rooms lined up along lengthy corridors. Like Campus East, it has laundry, computer, study and meeting rooms. It has a special community environment, and there are very clear expectations regarding your role and participation in the community life.

By selecting International House, you enter into an agreement to participate in that lifestyle. At “I” House, IU students have liked the relaxed atmosphere, where you can leave doors open for friends to drop in.

Weerona -

Weerona houses 204 students in singles and doubles arranged in typical residencehall fashion. The most attractive feature of Weerona is its location, close to many sports facilities—squash and tennis courts, a pool and an enormous running track. Anyone planning to work out on a frequent basis should give serious consideration to Weerona. You may be surprised that sports have little significance on campus, but if you are interested in either spectator or participatory sports your needs will be met. The director is on the premises full-time should you need to consult him.

Kieraview -

Keiraview houses 46 undergraduate and postgraduate students in single rooms with an ensuite bathroom. Communal kitchens are shared by 6-8 rooms. Regular activities are held for students including pizza nights, short trips to nearby attractions, BBQs and many casual social events.

Keiraview is located on the fringe of Wollongong central business district (CBD) and is walking distance to shops, the beach and some of the best cafes and restaurants in Wollongong. It is a 40 minute walk to campus and is well serviced by public transport and a regular shuttle bus runs from the university in the evenings.

Kooloobong Apartments -

Kooloobong offers 38 apartments accommodating up to 190 people. Kooloobong Apartments are located on the University campus amidst a bush land setting on the edge of Mt Keira.

All units have five single bedrooms and students share a bathroom, kitchen and lounge/dining areas. One of the most popular features of the units are the outdoor balconies overlooking the picturesque university grounds. Kooloobong caters to residents who wish to live independently - doing their own cooking and cleaning. Units are fully furnished, managed and maintained by University staff.

Kooloobong has a diverse population with the majority of residents finishing their undergraduate qualifications and a number of the population continuing their post graduate qualifications. Students at Kooloobong organise many events including international food festivals and sporting events, while also participating in the many combined residence events.

Additional Information

Wollongong offers other housing where you may prepare your own meals, but IU students have preferred options that include meals. If you follow stringent dietary restrictions you may wish to consider a self-catering unit, which would bring the challenge of having to do your own shopping. Vegetarians are accommodated by the dorm cafeterias, though options are limited.

All Wollongong residence halls provide pillow, sheets and blankets for a linen hire fee, which can be expensive. Purchasing alarm clocks and other household goods is possible at low cost at outlets such as Cash Converters in downtown Wollongong.

Items such as radios and surfboards can be bought cheaply and then sold back for at least half of the purchase cost. Likewise, you may purchase such used goods from the International Residents Association. Periodic swap meets in town are another good source of inexpensive items for your room. You may wish to invest in a used bicycle for about $100 and sell it at the end of the semester.


Meals and mealtimes in Australia are similar to those in the U.S. The dormitory breakfast consists of a choice of items: cereal, toast, vegemite, yogurt, and some heartier items like beans and spaghetti. Cordial (like Kool-aid but less sweet) and hot tea are the beverages of choice, but coffee is available.

Lunch is served in the dorms, but you may pack your own sandwich and fruit in the morning. Many students congregate on the campus lawns to eat lunch, and there is often some kind of organized activity during this time. Dorm dinners (also called tea) usually include a meat dish, a vegetarian entree and an Asian dish, in addition to vegetables, salad, fruit, bread, hummus, and dessert.

Medical Care

While in Australia all students are covered by an insurance plan called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). OSHC is mandatory for all international students in Australia and will be billed by IU. See OSHCHome.aspx for more information about OSHC.

OSHC provides coverage for off-campus emergency services and for on-campus nonemergency health care. When you visit an on-campus doctor you will be charged a ‘scheduled fee’ of 15 percent of the regular doctor’s visit fee. The regular fee is usually about $30.

Note that the OSHC insurance plan does NOT cover clinical psychology, dental work, optical services, treatment for pre-existing medical conditions, or repatriation. Additionally, the OSHC plan does NOT provide any coverage outside of Australia. Therefore, students are strongly advised to check their current insurance plans to see if they transfer, or to consider enrollment in additional insurance plans.

Prescription Medication

It’s important that you take a full supply of your prescription medications with you to Australia. You’ll need to keep them in their original containers and carry them in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage is lost or delayed.

Please note that Australia does have restrictions on certain types of medication if the medication includes a prohibited substance. You can find a listing of prohibited substances here:

Since Adderall contains the substance amphetamine, it is considered a prohibited substance. Keep in mind that Adderall is not available in Australia so it’s important that if you take Adderall, that you bring a full supply of your prescription with you.

Since Adderall contains a substance that is subject to Australian import controls and since you’ll be bringing more than a three month supply, you’re required to apply for an import permit. More information on how to apply for the import permit can be found here:

If you need further assistance with applying for the import permit, you can talk with your study abroad advisor or contact the Drug Control Section of the Therapeutic Goods Administration,

Social Life

The universities sponsor evening and daytime events, especially at the beginning of the semester, that provide a great opportunity to meet other students. You should also have access to intramural clubs and sports.

It is also easy to get involved in sports through the residential colleges, which host tournaments throughout the semester. The residential colleges also sponsor evening social events, so expect at least one semi-formal or formal dance sometime in the semester.

Work & Employment

Your student visa permits you to work 20 hours per week during the school year and 40 hours per week during vacations. Do not count on part-time employment to supplement your income in any significant way, because jobs are often difficult to find.


Many students purchase inexpensive cellular telephones in Australia and use them in conjunction with prepaid telephone cards (available at post offices), which offer attractive rates and are widely available in Australia in various denominations. Land line telephones typically charge for incoming and outgoing calls.

If you plan on using your American smart phone in Australia, call your phone company and ask about their international plans. You will need to purchase a SIM card at the airport or a local mall.

You can also ask to unlock your phone prior to your arrival in Australia so that you can use it with an Australian phone company, like TELSTRA or Vodaphone. If you plan to bring your smart phone to Australia and use it solely with wi-fi, ask your phone company to deactivate cellular data so that you can avoid expensive international fees.

A third option is to buy a cheap cell phone and set up a "pay-as-you-go" cellular plan once you arrive in Australia. Returning students have identified Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and Virgin as the best Australian phone companies (cost and reliability).

Keeping in Touch While Abroad

Skype, Facebook, Google Hangout, and Apple's Facetime are popular options for free video chatting over wi-fi. Skype and Google Voice both offer cheap rates for making international calls using your computer or mobile device using wi-fi.

Whatsapp, GroupMe, and Viber are services that allow you to send free text messages, and voice or video calls. Viber is a free app or desktop download that lets you send texts or make phone calls to anywhere in the world.

Mailing Address

Before your arrival in Australia all of your mail should be addressed to you c/o the international office. Once you have learned your local address, mail should be sent to you there.

Proof of address will be necessary for setting up a bank account or settling other logistics. Mail received or a note from a residential college administator will count as proof of address.

Vacation Travel

Before you leave home, inquire about the special reduced rate air passes that may be purchased only in the U.S. These air travel options are highly recommended by former program participants since Australia is large, and travel by car, bus or train can require days on the road.

Don’t be discouraged from land travel. There are often long stretches between destinations, but the country is beautiful and those who travel at a slower pace often get to see more of Australia.

Purchase a reloadable student pass (Opal card) when traveling by train and pay roughly half-price. Cheaper flight options in Australia include Tigerair (no refunds) and Jetstar (though you must pre-pay for luggage when you buy your ticket to avoid hefty baggage fees).

Greyhound and McCafferty bus lines cover much of Australia and they offer many weekend travel tours to nearby destinations. Prices are reasonable, and you can frequently get substantial discounts with an International Student ID card or Youth Hostel Association (YHA) membership. Bus companies offer flex-passes that allow you to get on and off the bus as many times as you like along a given route. Once you are enrolled, you can also get a student rail pass that entitles you to half price train fares on some interstate train lines. Student or YHA discounts are much more prevalent in Australia than in the United States. Take advantage of them, and if in doubt, ask!

It is possible to rent a car from a reputable agency to explore remote spots. Bear in mind that many Australian roads are one-way and some wind through mountain ranges where the roads are poorly lit, and constant turns cause driver fatigue. Especially at night in the outback, be on guard for kangaroos and other animals. Check a map before embarking on any journey. Australia is equal in size to the continental United States, so be realistic about the distance you plan to cover.

The temptation to travel in Australia is great, and we encourage you to see as much as possible during your stay. You will have to determine the balance of study and travel that is right for you. Keep in mind, however, that you have joined a study abroad program, not a travel program. Do not expect a professor to accommodate your travel plans. It is inappropriate for you to petition faculty to permit you to take final exams earlier than others so that you can travel or return home.


Summer temperatures can be hot and dry. Winter is mild, and it rarely drops below freezing. However, you must remember that since Australia is in the southern hemisphere, seasons are the reverse of what they are in the United States; that is, summer occurs between December and February and the cooler months are June through August.

Money and Debit/Credit Cards

It is a good idea to bring Australian money with you when you first arrive in country (AAA members receive great conversion packages). You can get Australian money from currency exchanges or banks before leaving the US. You should always keep some cash on you as some places may have a minimum purchase amount, as well as markets or outdoor vendors that do not accept credit cards.

Check with your current bank about their policies on foreign exchange rates, fees for using international ATMs, and fees for international withdrawals. Be sure to let your bank know when and where you will be traveling so that they don't put a hold on your account for suspected fraudulent activity.

If your bank is not internationally-friendly, consider opening an account at another American bank, like Charles Schwab, which does not charge international fees or fees for using non-Schwab ATMs. Citibank (a U.S. bank) can help you set up an account in one of their Australian branches from a branch in the US.

Some of the Australian Universities will invite Australian banks to campus for a day to help international students set up a temporary bank account. Check with the University you are attending to find out more information.

Some popular Australian banks: Westpac, Commonwealth, ANZ, and Bankwest.