CDU students

Arriving, settling in and farewelling CDU

Preparing for your departure can be challenging, and setting up your new life in Australia will require a lot of planning.

Ensure you carefully read through our arrivals guides below, including information on what to do before leaving home, how to plan your arrival and finding accommodation.

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Before leaving home

Getting ready to leave home

Before you leave your home, there are some important things you can do to prepare, to ensure your arrival in Australia is as smooth as possible:

  • Check the validity of your passport. Make sure it is valid for the entire duration of your studies in Australia.
  • Organise your student visa, including the mandatory medical examination by an appointed doctor.
  • Organise all travel arrangements. Ensure that you will arrive at least one week before the start of classes so you can attend the Orientation week.
  • If you are applying for Advanced Standing through CDU, ensure that the documentation has been sent through along with your application. We will require your previous academic transcripts, unit outlines, and a completed HE113 form.
  • Have a thorough medical, optical and dental check-up.
  • Organise your accommodation.
  • Upon accepting your offer letter, you will receive an ‘Arrival Form’ from the Admissions team. Please complete this form, advising the university of your arrival details and accommodation arrangements. You can then return this form via email to international@cdu.edu.au.
  • Check the Australian Customs and Quarantine regulations and pack separately the items that you need to declare.
  • Organize to bring at least AUD$500 in cash and AUD$1500 in travellers' cheques, which are a multi-currency method of payment that is secure and easy to use when travelling to a foreign country. You can then arrange an Australian bank account during your Orientation while having sufficient spending money.
  • Make photocopies of your passport, visa and any other important documents.
  • Organise insurance for your personal belongings, and ensure that your health insurance is finalised if you are not arranging this through CDU.

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Read about your destination

There's an abundance of information about Darwin, Sydney and Melbourne available online, and it is important to do some research before you arrive.

Life in Australia may be very different to your home country and may take some adjustment. Australia is famous for its multiculturalism and is very accepting of people from other cultures. Each city is very different, and we encourage you to do some travelling while you're here.

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What to bring

Aside from personal belongings and clothing, you must ensure you bring the following documents (or certified copies where relevant) with you:

  • Valid passport
  • Flight tickets
  • Visa grant notice
  • Letter of offer from Charles Darwin University
  • Letter of offer from ELICOS institute (if applicable)
  • Letter of scholarship award (if applicable)
  • Copy of Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)
  • Certified copies of your academic qualifications
  • Contact telephone numbers for CDU and your home country's embassy in Australia
  • Written rental reference or character reference, to assist in securing accommodation or work
  • Personal medical records and any medication prescriptions
  • Doctors letters for ongoing medical conditions

For class

You will be expected to purchase textbooks and any other course materials before commencing classes. These items will be communicated to you via email from your lecturer, once you have enrolled. Please ensure you bring along sufficient funds to purchase these items. Some other items you may find helpful in class could include:

  • dictionary
  • paper and stationary (i.e. pens, pencils)
  • personal computer or tablet (please note: CDU and International House Darwin have free wi-fi available to students all over campus).

Personal items

You may wish to bring some personal items from home. Please remember that you will be responsible for keeping these items safe when you arrive in Australia.

These items could include:

  • special medications and copies of prescriptions
  • addresses and contact numbers of family and friends

Currency

Please ensure you arrive in Australia with some amount of AUD currency to get you through your first few days here.

If you need to convert any currency into Australian dollars once you have arrived, there are several currency conversion centres around each city.

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Free airport collection

CDU organises free airport pickup from Darwin International Airport during peak arrival periods (February and July). You will have received an Airport Arrival Form from our admissions team – please ensure this is completed and returned to international@cdu.edu.au at least 72 hours before your arrival. If this form is returned later than 72 hours before your arrival, collection will be subject to staff availability and is not guaranteed. Once your collection is organised, an email will be sent to you as confirmation.

If you are staying at Charles Darwin University's on-campus accommodation, International House Darwin, you will be dropped at the main office. During office hours an IHD staff member will always be available to welcome you and show you to your room. If you are arriving outside office hours, there is a telephone to call the resident leader on duty, located outside the reception office near the main carpark. The resident leader will meet you and show you to your accommodation.

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Customs and quarantine

Upon arrival at an Australian airport, you will be given a customs and quarantine form to complete. Answer each question carefully, as fines for violations are very high.

Australia has strict regulations to protect citizens from disease and pests. Declare or dispose of all quarantine items including all food or anything made from wood, plant or animal material that you have with you. Don't bring any parcels that have been packed by others. If you have items that must be declared to customs, it is wise to pack them together in easily accessible luggage. For new items, have your receipts ready.

For more information, refer to Australian Customs Services.

When you disembark, proceed to the entry control area where you will present your passport, immigration card, and customs statement. Once your papers have been returned to you, proceed to the baggage hall to collect your luggage.

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Setting up your accommodation

Whether you are living on or off campus, we recommend having some important items with you to make your accommodation feel like home. These could include:

  • cookbooks
  • cooking implements (although these are cheap to purchase in Australia)
  • books
  • bed sheets
  • music
  • sound system (please note: 240w voltage).

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Arriving in Australia

Darwin


Arriving in Darwin

Before you fly

Before you leave your home, there are some important things you can do to prepare, to ensure your arrival in Australia is as smooth as possible.

When should I arrive?

We recommend that you book a flight as early as possible and arrive a few weeks before enrolment. This gives you time to arrange suitable accommodation and to adjust to life in Darwin. You should arrive in Australia no later than one week before your course starts, so you don’t miss Orientation week.

Travel insurance

We advise that you purchase travel insurance when you book your flights to Australia. Your travel insurance should cover you for two or three days after you arrive in Australia, in case you experience delays. Your travel agent should be able to help you organise this.

Money

It is a good idea to arrive with some Australian money. Around A$250 in cash is a good amount to start with.

For your safety, we recommend that you do not travel with large amounts of cash. Note that if you bring A$10,000 or more in cash to Australia (or equivalent in foreign currency), you must declare it to Australian customs when you arrive. You can find more information about declaring currency on the Australian Border Force website.

It is also helpful to have a credit card for emergencies. The most common credit cards used in Australia are Visa and MasterCard. Some businesses also accept American Express and Diners Club credit cards.

Darwin International Airport

On the plane, you will be given an incoming passenger card. You will need to fill in your flight details and customs information.

When you arrive at the airport, you will need your passport and incoming passenger card for the entry control point.

When you have passed through the entry control point, you will collect your baggage and exit the terminal via customs and quarantine.

Free airport collection

CDU organises free airport pickup from Darwin International Airport during peak arrival periods (February and July). You will receive an Airport Arrival Form from our admissions team – please ensure this is completed and returned to international@cdu.edu.au at least 72 hours before your arrival. If this form is returned later than 72 hours before your arrival, collection will be subject to staff availability and is not guaranteed. Once your collection is organised, a confirmation email will be sent to you.

If you are staying at Charles Darwin University's on-campus accommodation, International House Darwin, you will be dropped at the main office. During office hours, an IHD staff member will always be available to welcome you and show you to your room. If you are arriving before or after office hours, there is a telephone to call the resident leader on duty, which is located outside the reception office near the main carpark. The resident leader will meet you and show you to your accommodation.

Taxis

Taking a taxi is affordable for travelling around Darwin. Taxis are available from the taxi rank which is located directly in front of the Terminal.

Approximate taxi fares: Darwin International Airport to the city: approx. A$30.

Use this Taxi Fare Calculator to get your estimate taxi fare cost.

Airport shuttle

Darwin City Airport Shuttle Service operates an affordable on-demand airport shuttle service between Darwin International Airport, and Darwin surrounds & suburbs. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it offers fixed transfer fares starting from $15.00 one-way. For full details and booking, please visit Darwin City Airport Shuttle Service.

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Life in Darwin

Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory, the tropical north of Australia. With a population of around 130,000 people, it's one of the smallest capital cities in Australia, but Darwin is a fast-growing metropolitan city with a rich history and multicultural community.

The city is famous for its beautiful beaches, markets, and tropical weather. Despite the small population, there are plenty of things to do in and around the city. For an up-to-date guide on what’s on, you can visit the following sites:

Darwin has a unique climate. We draw thousands of tourists every year from all over the world to see our wonderful sights and experience beautiful warm temperatures every day of the year. The average temperature in the dry season is 32 degrees Celsius and sunny, with beautiful breezes. In the wet season, the temperature is around 33 Celsius, with high levels of humidity and frequent thunderstorms. Current weather information can be found at the Bureau of Meteorology website.

The culture of Darwin is unique and is climate-driven. We are a multicultural city, with various religious and ethnic groups. In the Dry Season, there are multicultural festivals every weekend, as well as outdoor concerts, markets and outdoor films every night. For more information on iconic NT events, visit Tourism NT.

In Wet Season, locals experience a touch of ‘mango madness’ in the humidity. While there are fewer local events, this is when nature springs to life with the waterfalls, rivers and local trees coming alive with colour. It’s the perfect time to get out of the city and go exploring.

There are several options for transport in Darwin, including an extensive bus system that services most suburbs from the inner city to Palmerston. As a student, you can purchase $1 tickets for three hours of travel, or a $20 weekly pass. For full timetable details and bus maps, please visit the NT Government website - Public transport and cycling. Charles Darwin University runs scheduled daily shuttle buses from our Casuarina campus to our Palmerston and Waterfront campuses. Check the bus timetables for current schedules.

Darwin City Airport Shuttle Service operates an affordable on-demand airport shuttle service between Darwin International Airport, and Darwin surrounds & suburbs. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it offers fixed transfer fares starting from $15.00 one-way. For full details and booking, please visit Darwin City Airport Shuttle Service.

Depending on where you choose to live, rent in Darwin may be quite expensive compared to other Australian cities, with a share house averaging around $200 - $250 per week for a room, often not including the cost of utilities such as electricity. For more information on accommodation options, visit finding accommodation.

In the Wet Season, cyclones may occur in Darwin. These are not a common occurrence, but it is important to be prepared, just in case. Cyclone safety is an important part of living in Darwin, and all residents are expected to have a cyclone plan in place; this includes knowing where you will go in the event of a cyclone, and having a cyclone pack ready, including bottled water, packaged food, a torch and other essential items. More information on how to prepare a cyclone pack can be found at the Northern Territory Emergency Services. In the case of a cyclone, Charles Darwin University will close.

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Sydney


Arriving in Sydney

Before you fly

Before you leave your home, there are some important things you can do to prepare, to ensure your arrival in Australia is as smooth as possible.

When should I arrive?

We recommend that you book a flight as early as possible and arrive a few weeks before enrolment. This gives you time to arrange suitable accommodation and to adjust to life in Sydney. You should arrive in Australia no later than 1 week before your course starts, so you don’t miss Orientation week.

Travel insurance

We advise that you purchase travel insurance when you book your flights to Australia. Your travel insurance should cover you for two or three days after you arrive in Australia, in case you experience delays. Your travel agent should be able to help you organise this.

Money

It is a good idea to arrive with some Australian money. Around A$250 in cash is a good amount to start with.

For your safety, we recommend that you do not travel with large amounts of cash. Note that if you bring A$10,000 or more in cash to Australia (or equivalent in foreign currency), you must declare it to Australian customs when you arrive. You can find more information about declaring currency on the Australian Border Force website.

It is also helpful to have a credit card for emergencies. The most common credit cards used in Australia are Visa and MasterCard. American Express and Diners Club credit cards are also accepted by some businesses. 

Sydney Airport

If you arrive in Sydney on an international flight, you will arrive at Sydney Airport. 

On the plane, you will be given an incoming passenger card. You will need to fill in your flight details and customs information. 

When you arrive at the airport, you will need your passport and incoming passenger card for the entry control point.

When you have passed through the entry control point, you will collect your baggage and exit the terminal via customs and quarantine.

Student welcome desk service

If you’re an international student who will be living or studying in Sydney, StudyNSW opened the NSW International Student Airport Welcome Desk in 2015 to greet international students arriving at Sydney International Airport. Volunteers welcome students and offer orientation advice including maps and information about accommodation and transport.

The welcome desk is located beside the Airport Ambassador’s desk in Arrivals Hall A International Terminal. Visit NSW International Student Welcome Desk for details.

Transport

You can take the train or bus from Sydney Airport to your desired location.

Please remember to purchase an adult ticket, as international students are not eligible for student transport concession and fines apply. You can find more details about Sydney trains and buses at the Transport NSW Information Page.

Train

The train is probably the easiest transport option from the airport to the city. A single ticket can be purchased for A$17. Trains run approximately every 10 minutes, and the journey to the city takes only 13 minutes. For more information, please visit Sydney Airport – Transport options – By train.

Bus

There are many bus services that operate to and from Sydney Airport. For more information, please visit Sydney Airport – Transport options – By bus.  

Taxis

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the airport. The taxi stand is located outside the international terminal. The cost can vary between A$15 and A$70 depending on where you travel to (or more if you are travelling beyond the inner city area). Use this Taxi Fare Calculator to estimate your taxi fare cost from the airport to your address.

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Life in Sydney

Sydney is a large, metropolitan city with a population of about five million people. Sydney is located on the east coast of Australia, in New South Wales. Sydney is famous for being a bustling, multicultural city, home to many of Australia's most famous icons.
For an up-to-date guide on what’s on, you can visit the following sites:

With four distinct seasons of summer, autumn, winter and spring bringing vastly different weather and climate to the area, so it is important to come prepared for the season you are arriving in:

  • Summer (December to February) brings an average temperature of 25 Celsius, with long and sunny days
  • Autumn (March to May) is a little cooler, with an average temperature of 22 Celsius and cool evenings
  • Winter (June to August) is the coldest season, with average temperatures of 16 Celsius and lots of wind and rain
  • Spring (September to November) is similar to autumn, with an average temperature of 22 Celsius and cool evenings

Current weather information can be found at Bureau of Meteorology.

Sydney has a large range of public transport options available, including trains and buses. Public transport is accessible through Opal cards, which you can top up with money before you travel.

Share accommodation in Sydney can vary in prices depending on the suburb but is likely to cost around $150- $290 per week.

Websites like Gumtree, Domain, realestate.com.au and Flatmates.com.au are good places to start when looking for accommodation.

For an informative look at life in Sydney as an international student, visit Insider Guides’ International Student Guide to Sydney.

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Melbourne


Arriving in Melbourne

Before you fly

Before you leave your home, there are some important things you can do to prepare, to ensure your arrival in Australia is as smooth as possible.

When should I arrive?

We recommend that you book a flight as early as possible and arrive a few weeks before enrolment. This gives you time to arrange suitable accommodation and to adjust to life in Melbourne. You should arrive in Australia no later than one week before your course starts, so you don’t miss Orientation week.

Travel insurance

We advise that you purchase travel insurance when you book your flights to Australia. Your travel insurance should cover you for two or three days after you arrive in Australia, in case you experience delays. Your travel agent should be able to help you organise this.

Money

It is a good idea to arrive with some Australian money. Around A$250 in cash is a good amount to start with. 

For your safety, we recommend that you do not travel with large amounts of cash. Note that if you bring A$10,000 or more in cash to Australia (or equivalent in foreign currency), you must declare it to Australian customs when you arrive. You can find more information about declaring currency on the Australian Border Force web site.

It is also helpful to have a credit card for emergencies. The most common credit cards used in Australia are Visa and MasterCard. American Express and Diners Club credit cards are also accepted by some businesses. 

Melbourne airports

Melbourne has two major airports:

Melbourne Airport is a 25-minute drive from the Melbourne city centre. All international flights and most domestic flights to Melbourne arrive here. The domestic and international terminals are in the same building.

Avalon Airport is a 45-minute drive from the Melbourne city centre. Some domestic flights to Melbourne arrive here.

International arrivals

If you arrive in Melbourne on an international flight, you will arrive at Melbourne Airport. 

On the plane, you will be given an incoming passenger card. You will need to fill in your flight details and customs information. 

When you arrive at the airport, you will need your passport and incoming passenger card for the entry control point.

When you have passed through the entry control point, you will collect your baggage and exit the terminal via customs and quarantine.

Student welcome desk service

If you’re an international student who will be living or studying in Melbourne, the City of Melbourne’s Student Welcome Desk at Melbourne Airport is your one-stop shop for information and advice.

The desk is located at Travellers Information Service, International Arrivals Hall, Ground Floor, Terminal 2, Melbourne Airport. The Student Welcome Desk can provide:

1. Information on temporary accommodation options
2. Transport options from the airport to central Melbourne or your educational institution
3. General information you may need upon arrival
4. Free welcome pack 

For more information about the welcome desk program, please go to the Student Welcome Desk.

Bus

SkyBus is a bus service that connects Melbourne Airport with Southern Cross Station in the Melbourne city centre.

SkyBus buses depart from the domestic and international terminals and cost about A$19 each way. For more information, please visit Melbourne Airport – Skybus express bus service

Taxis

Most Melbourne taxis are yellow. You can find taxis at both Melbourne airports.

Approximate taxi fares:

  • Melbourne Airport to city: A$70
  • Avalon Airport to city: A$110

Additional charges may apply for airport taxis or for using tollways. For more information, please visit Melbourne Airport – Taxi Service, Fares and Surcharges.

Use this Taxi Fare Calculator to get your estimate taxi fare cost.

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Life in Melbourne

Melbourne is a large, vibrant city that is home to almost five million people. It is located in the south of Australia and is the capital city of Victoria. Melbourne is a picturesque city with a rich cultural background, with plenty of arts, theatre and festivals to keep you occupied all year long.

For an up-to-date guide to what’s on, you can visit the following sites:

The four distinct seasons of summer, autumn, winter and spring bring vastly different weather and climate to the area, so it’s important to come prepared for the season you are arriving in. Current weather information can be found at the Bureau of Meteorology.

  • Summer (December to February) brings an average temperature of 25 degree Celsius, with long and sunny days
  • Autumn (March to May) is a little cooler, with an average temperature of 20 Celsius and cool evenings
  • Winter (June to August) is the coldest season, with average temperatures of 14 Celsius and lots of wind and rain
  • Spring (September to November) is similar to autumn, with an average temperature of 20 Celsius and cool evenings

Melbourne offers a broad range of public transport options, including train, tram and bus lines in and around the city and outer suburbs. Public transport is accessed through a system known as 'Myki' – you load up your card with money before you go and then 'tap on', so the trip is automatically charged.

Share accommodation in Melbourne varies in price depending on the suburb but is likely to cost around $130 - $220 per week.

Websites like Gumtree, Domain, realestate.com.au and Flatmates.com.au are good places to start when looking for accommodation.

For an informative look at life in Melbourne as an international student, visit Insider Guides’ International Student Guide to Melbourne.

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Getting involved

Once you have safely arrived in Australia and organised your accommodation, an important part of setting up your life here is getting involved in the local and student community. Below are some tips to assist you in making friends and creating networks in Australia which include:

  • familiarising yourself with your new home and suburb, the campus where you will be studying, and surrounding city
  • using every opportunity to practise your English
  • joining local sporting, hobby or interest groups
  • connecting with other students or families from your home country - look up your local multicultural groups and join in their next meeting
  • engage in the campus events and the events your city arranges for international students

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Staying informed

When you are in Australia, you may find it useful to stay up-to-date with current news and events. You can access national and global news online through national media websites such as ABC National, SBS and The Australian, and through local television stations.
In addition, you can find news specific to your state and city through the following sites and newspapers:

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Working in Australia

Working in Australia can be a great cultural experience, and can be an opportunity for you to improve your language and social skills.

It is important as an international student to maintain a healthy work-study balance and to always remain within your allowed 40 hours per fortnight if you are a student visa holder.

It is very important to remember it is illegal to work before starting your first day of classes.

Finding work in Australia can be achieved through many different channels. You can contact Equity Services for careers and employment advice, as well as assistance with your C.V. These websites may also be helpful:

During your employment, it is very important that you are aware of your rights in the workplace, and the correct wages for your area and age, as well as penalty and weekend rates. It is the law in Australia to treat employees fairly and equally and to pay employees according to the wages set by the industry.

As an international student, despite your restricted working hours, you have the same rights to a fair and safe working place as any other person. You should also receive the same level of pay as any other employee in this position.

The Fair Work Ombudsman released on 25 September 2017 their International Student Engagement Strategy, seeking to increase compliance in Australian workplaces employing international students. Read about Fair Work Ombudsman – Open letter to international students.

If you do not feel that you are being treated fairly, you can:

  • Discuss your concerns with your employer if you feel comfortable. Ask for copies of your pay slips, and ask to see the outline of their pay grades for employees, to ensure you are being paid correctly for your age and position.
  • Enquire with your employer about penalty rates if you work weekends or public holidays. Also, inquire about uniform entitlements or any other additional payments you should be receiving.
  • Search online for industry relevant information on salary information, i.e. the NT hospitality industry pay standard.
  • Contact Fair Work Australia or Ombudsman if you think you are being exploited or treated unfairly. Search for your local office, and speak to their team. Gather evidence such as payslips and any evidence of communication with your employer.

You should not be afraid of speaking with the Ombudsman, as there is no issue with checking on your work rights.

Commonly, students may fear to speak to these agencies due to their student visa, or because they may be paid in cash or have worked overtime. It is important that you remain within your legal working hours, and work legally. However, if you are being exploited, you should always go to the Ombudsman to discuss your case.

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Culture shock

Cultural shock is the feeling of being out of place, in an environment that is unfamiliar to you. As an international student, you are likely to experience this after the initial excitement of moving to a new country has worn off and you are faced with the reality of living in a new place without your family or old friends, where most people do not speak the same language as you.

This can be very challenging, and it can cause enormous amounts of stress in your life. It is very important to recognise why you are feeling this and to develop methods of coping.

You may find it helpful to regularly speak with your family and friends back home, or set goals to improve your language. It may also help you to try and develop a sense of 'cultural awareness' and an understanding of how to openly communicate with the people around you.

If you are struggling, we encourage you to have a chat to our International Student support team or our free and confidential counselling services.

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Emergency Services

Australia is serviced nation-wide by the Police, Ambulance Service and the Fire Department. In the case of an emergency, you should call 000 for assistance. If you are on a mobile phone, you can dial 112.

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Arriving at CDU

It is important to be prepared for your classes within the first week. Make sure that you can do so by ensuring you are ready to attend classes and have the correct learning materials by following the steps below.

Arriving on campus

When you have arrived in Australia and set up your accommodation, report to the reception area at your relevant campus to complete an arrival form. At Casuarina campus, this is located in the Office of International Services at Orange 2.1.

If you are at our Melbourne and Sydney campuses, visit International current students - Support services and contacts for campus address and contact details.

If you have already received your OSHC card, bring this with you.

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First point of contact

When you first arrive in Australia, it is important to visit your campus to meet the staff and complete your arrival form to let us know that you're here.

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International student orientation

International student orientation is held in the week before the commencement of higher education classes and runs over several days. When you are arranging your travel to Australia, please ensure you arrive in time to attend orientation, as this event is compulsory.
The purpose of the international student orientation is to provide you with an introduction to Charles Darwin University. Topics covered include:

  • enrolment
  • student visa rules and regulations
  • support services available at CDU
  • campus tours

Orientation is held for students in Darwin, Sydney and Melbourne. At Orientation, you will receive information relevant to life in your new city. We also have lots of fun activities to help you get to know both other students and your new campus, and there are lots of prizes to be won! Find out more at Orientation.

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Disability Services

Charles Darwin University is committed to providing an accessible, supportive, safe and inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities.

If you have a permanent or temporary physical or sensory disability, learning disability, medical illness or a psychological condition that may impact on your ability to access and participate in study and other services at CDU, you are advised to contact the Disability Liaison Officers. Find out more at Disability Services and contact a Disability Liaison Officer using the options below.

T: 08 8946 6288

Finding accommodation

It is important to organise temporary accommodation for your first few nights prior to arriving in Australia. Once here, you can begin to search for an accommodation option that best suits your needs.

Finding accommodation in Darwin

There are plenty of accommodation options in Darwin, including on-campus accommodation, student accommodation, and private renting. CDU recommends two options that offer affordable and convenient living in walking distance from university facilities, as well as entertainment facilities and activities for when you need a break from your studies.

International House Darwin (IHD)

Students at IHDStudents at IHD

Located on Casuarina campus, IHD offers a great residential community for both local and international students.

IHD is:

  • a two-minute walk to the CDU library, university amenities and teaching areas
  • within easy walking distance to a major shopping area
  • equipped with a swimming pool, computer facilities, recreational areas, study rooms and spacious gardens
  • equipped with furnished standard rooms, some with ensuite options
  • part of a network of International Houses in Australia and overseas.

For more information, phone +61 8 8946 6591, or visit International House Darwin.

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UniLodge Darwin

UniLodge DarwinUniLodge Darwin

UniLodge Darwin student accommodation opened in February 2015, offering students a modern and convenient living environment only 800 meters from the gates of CDU.

Unilodge has the following features:

  • great recreation room with pool tables and table tennis
  • large media room with 70inch LED TV and FOXTEL
  • outdoor terrace with BBQs
  • study rooms on every level
  • situated on Darwin's largest shopping precinct, Casuarina Square.

UniLodge Darwin is a purpose-built student accommodation building, offering residents a range of room options at different price points. For more information, visit UniLodge Darwin or call the UniLodge concierge on (08) 8942 0706.

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Shared accommodation

Renting alone or sharing with others can be a great option while studying. Charles Darwin University offers a free off-campus accommodation advising service, which can assist you with:

  • searching for accommodation 
  • applying for accommodation 
  • organising share accommodation
  • understanding your rights and responsibilities during a tenancy period
  • ending a tenancy agreement.

When searching for your new home, you can use sites like Gumtree and Flatmates to find a share house arrangement. It is important to always visit a location before you commit to moving in, or pay any money for rent or bond.

Rental accommodation is advertised through StudyStays. You are also welcome to contact local real estate agents for listings of rental properties.

The accommodation officer is happy to discuss your accommodation options but cannot book or arrange accommodation on your behalf.  For more information visit the CDU Accommodation Services, make an appointment by contacting Equity Services on 08 8946 6288 or accommodation.assistance@cdu.edu.au.

For rights and responsibilities regarding rental accommodation in the Northern Territory, please visit Consumer Affairs.

Download your copy of Accommodation Options - Darwin (PDF 4.5MB).

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Finding accommodation in Sydney

While Charles Darwin University does not offer student accommodation in Sydney, there are several generic student accommodation options available such as UniLodge, Urbanest and Iglu.

Renting is also a great option, either alone or with friends and family.  Sydney offers a wide range of price points based on locality and property type, so make sure you visit the property before signing a lease or paying any money. Remember to ensure that you are near public transport so you can easily get to university and work.

When searching for your new home, you can use sites like Gumtree and Flatmates to find a share house arrangement.

Rental accommodation is advertised through StudyStays. You are also welcome to contact local real estate agents for listings of rental properties.

It is important when renting to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. If you are ever unsure of your rights, visit Fair Trading NSW or contact the CDU Accommodation Officer on 08 8946 6288.

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Finding accommodation in Melbourne

While Charles Darwin University does not have any designated student accommodation in Melbourne, there are several generic student accommodation options available such as UniLodge Melbourne and Urbanest that you can apply for.

Renting is also a great option, either alone or with friends and family. Melbourne offers a wide range of price points based on locality and property type, so make sure you visit the property before signing a lease or paying any money. Remember to ensure that you are near public transport so you can easily get to university and work.

When searching for your new home, you can use sites like Gumtree and Flatmates to find a share house arrangement.

Rental accommodation is advertised through StudyStays. You are also welcome to contact local real estate agents for listings of rental properties.

It is important when renting to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. If you are ever unsure of your rights, visit Consumer Affairs Victoria or contact the CDU Accommodation Officer on 08 8946 6288. 

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Homestay

Homestay offers the experience of living with a local family and sharing your culture while you learn about your new country. If you are interested in exploring the option of homestay or wish to find out more, you can visit the Australian Homestay Network.

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Returning home

If you're returning home after study, there are many practical and personal preparations.

Readjusting

Living in Australia for a year or more can change you in surprising ways. While there are many exciting things about returning home, you may find that there are also some challenges. These challenges may come as a big shock because they are unexpected.

Along with taking practical steps to make returning home as easy as possible, it is also important to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally.

After returning home, you can combat culture shock by putting your new global knowledge, experience, and intercultural skills to work. Use your newfound take on life to make your world a better place!
Read the helpful tips below on how to adjust to living back at home.

  • Take time to say goodbye to the important people you met in Australia (friends, staff, mentors)
  • Use the coping strategies you developed while living in Australia to adapt to the next stage in your life and its challenges
  • Reflect on your experiences and your knowledge and skills gained
  • Realise that both culture shock and reverse culture shock are ‘normal’ and beneficial
  • Prepare for the changes in your family, friendship network or country
  • Be prepared for a re-adjustment process
  • Be patient with yourself and others; it can take time to settle in again
  • Be grateful and express thanks to those at home who supported you while abroad
  • Reserve judgement: don’t make negative assumptions or judgments about yourself or others, and be easy on yourself as you adapt to your new/old routine
  • Don’t idolise Australia and criticise your own country or vice versa
  • Keep in touch with friends in Australia
  • Be flexible and embrace the changes you encounter
  • Set goals for yourself

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Preparing for leaving Australia

It may seem like you have 101 things to do before you can board the plane for your return trip home. Use this Returning Home checklist (PDF 212KB) to help you organise your plans before leaving.

Things to do before departure

Travel preparations

  • Book your flight home.
  • Check your visa expiry date and extend it if required/allowed.
  • Notify your family of your arrival, as they need time to prepare for your return home too.
  • Organise your possessions, explore postage and shipping options.
  • Prepare for your flight and arrange your transport to the airport.

Leaving the University

  • Pay all outstanding fees and fines. Outstanding fees may prevent you from accessing your academic transcript and graduating.
  • Return borrowed items, such as loans from the library, laboratory or studio equipment, ICT devices, or keys/swipe cards.
  • Order extra copies of your academic transcript: it’s a good idea to get additional copies while you are here rather than wait for them to be posted.
  • Change your details in MyStudentInfo. If you do not know where you will be living, you can enter a temporary address of your parents or friends.
  • Get copies of the unit outlines, if you want to apply for a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in the future.
  • Prepare for Graduation ceremony should you wish to attend: visit CDU Graduation. You might need to apply for a visitor visa if your student visa expires sooner than the graduation date.

Leaving your accommodation

  • Notify your landlord and housemates in writing within the notice period.
  • Remove your name from the lease if it’s on there, so you are not responsible for the property after you have left.
  • Arrange for the inspection and get your bond back (assuming you have met all the conditions of your tenancy agreement).
  • Return all keys, swipe cards, etc.
  • Finalise bills, cancel utilities, and arrange to have your name removed from any utility accounts.
  • If you want to get rid of any items before packing and moving out, consider donating to charity, selling online, etc.
  • Organise temporary accommodation before your departure if necessary.

Leaving work

  • Notify your employer in writing within the notice period.
  • Make sure you get paid any remaining wages, annual leave or sick leave.
  • Request a document/statement for your tax return.
  • Prepare for your next job: request a written reference or referee and take a copy of your job description.

Financial preparations

  • Pay all outstanding fees and bills, so your credit history and future visas are not affected.
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Submit any outstanding medical insurance claims. If you finish your studies early, check with your OSHC provider if you are eligible for a refund. Ask your doctor for a copy of your medical records and details of any medications you have been using.
  • Tax return and superannuation. If you have worked in Australia, you might be eligible for a tax return and claim any superannuation contributions.  Visit the Australian Taxation Office website for more details.
  • Close Australian bank account(s), transfer remaining money overseas, and keep some cash for a short period before departure.
  • Get GST and WET refunds. If you made major purchases while you lived in Australia and had the receipts to prove you paid the goods and services tax (GST) or wine equalisation tax (WET), you might be entitled to have this amount refunded at the airport.
  • Exchange any remaining cash you have before you leave or at the airport.

Joining alumni and staying in touch

  • Stay in touch with the friends you have made in Australia via email, Facebook, Skype, LinkedIn etc. These relationships can last for the rest of your lives.
  • Join CDU Alumni.
  • Connect with the Australia Global Alumni network.

Others

  • Ask lecturers for academic references and employers for professional references.
  • Apply to register with professional bodies where appropriate.
  • Fill out forwarding address forms at the Post Office or ask a friend to forward your mail to you.
  • Consider purchasing souvenirs and University merchandise

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CDU Alumni

CDU Alumni are an important part of our University community, helping CDU grow in stature and reputation. Comprised of graduates, current and former staff, as well as friends of the University, CDU Alumni are changing the world. Connect today, support the University and enjoy the benefits.

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