Pre-arrival information for Australia Awards students

Here's some practical information that should help you prepare for your arrival in Melbourne and get you started with your enrolment and orientation. Please take a moment to read it, and email if you have any questions.

Visa application

The Australia Awards office in your country can assist you with your student visa application. You can lodge your application at the nearest Australian High Commission or Embassy.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

We've arranged single cover for you with Allianz Care for the length of your visa. Your Certificate of Insurance and policy number will be sent to your nominated email address. If you plan to bring dependents (family members) to Australia, you will need to upgrade to family cover at your own expense. If you need more information or advice, email or visit the Allianz website.

Australian currency

You should bring approximately A$500 to cover your immediate arrival expenses such as food, transport, and temporary accommodation. The University and most banks are not open on weekends.


Australia is very strict with what you can bring into the country. At the airport, officers will conduct quarantine inspection of passengers and screening of luggage. Be aware of prohibited items to avoid a fine or prosecution.

Airport pick-up

We offer a free airport pick-up service to take you to your accommodation. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To book, complete the airport reception request form at least three working days before you arrive. We'll then send you a confirmation email.


If you haven't found a place to live in Melbourne, the Monash Residential Services website is a good place to start. Make sure you leave enough time to organise where you'll live while you study and really settle in before semester starts. Our off-campus accommodation service provides lots of helpful information about renting, estimated costs, getting utilities connected and some pitfalls to be aware of. If you've never rented before, you will need to provide evidence that you are reliable and can pay the rent. This could include an employment contract or character references.

Introductory Academic Program (IAP)

The Introductory Academic Program (IAP) is held at the Clayton campus and is compulsory for all AAS students. Your main course may be located at another campus, so you may choose to temporarily stay near Clayton to attend IAP, then move into accommodation closer to your campus later. It's essential that you bring your laptop to enrolment and orientation so that we can check its compatibility with our systems.

Arrival and banking

After you've arrived, email a copy of your passport (the photo page) and boarding pass to You'll get an arrival pack with details of your payment of establishment allowance, IAP, as well as an enrolment and orientation schedule.

We’ve also organised a bank account for you. You can activate it once you present yourself at the bank with proof of identification. Check your arrival pack for instructions.

Family members

Financial support is not available to family members if they accompany you to Australia, so it's important to consider the financial and personal responsibilities when deciding to bring them. This includes:

  • additional expenses for accommodation, food, clothing, etc.
  • the effect on you and your studies if your family is unhappy in Australia
  • language and communication issues if your family doesn't speak English
  • cultural adjustment to Australia
  • your children's schooling and re-adjustment to a different education system
  • disruption to your spouse's career and their work opportunities in Australia.

You're strongly encouraged to come to Australia on your own for at least the first six months to allow you to become established in your program of studies without the distraction of family responsibilities (as per chapter 7.2 of the AAS Policy). Use this time to settle into your studies, get to know your surroundings, and look for permanent accommodation and schooling for your family.

As an AAS student, your children can attend government schools. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) has information about schools in Victoria and the application process. Also, visit our Childcare website for information on childcare options and Childcare Benefit.

Apply through the Family Entry application.

Other resources

The Destination Monash handbook is a comprehensive pre-departure resource that outlines accommodation, pre-departure and arrival information. This handbook is for all international students so some aspects may not be relevant to you. Overall, it's a very useful publication and we encourage you to read it. Also, refer to our website for other resources and tips about life in Melbourne.

Got a question? Monash Connect can help