Australia is known for many things: its robust and unique wildlife, gorgeous natural wonders, and state-of-the-art cities. But did you know that it is also a great place to pursue your studies in fitness and sports education? With almost 600,000 international students selecting Australia as their study destination this year, the country has a wealth of opportunities for its prospective international students. On top of that, with a fitness industry contributing AUS$ 4 billion to the national economy, it is no wonder that Australia is an unmistakable choice for fitness and sports education.
Moving abroad can be daunting for first-time flyers and seasoned travellers alike, and we recognise that. So, if you are preparing for your move to Australia, buckle up! While packing can be a hassle, here is a list of essentials you must prepare before you take the flight down under.
Move to Australia: Passport and visa documentation
Moving from Malaysia to Australia brings about a barrage of documents that you will need to prepare in order to secure a smooth transition, such as visa documentation, medical documentation, driver’s licence, as well as other specific forms required to enter Australia.
To prepare for your move to Australia, you will need to renew your passport and apply for a Subclass 500 Student Visa. Your passport is required to be valid for at least 6 months after the programme end date of your studies. On top of that, as the visa application requires a list of documents for proof, we also advise you to carry both digital and physical copies of these documents during your travel in case of an emergency. These documents include:
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of enrolment
- Proof of financial position or funds
- Proof of genuine temporary entry
- Health insurance, such as the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and other travel insurance
Additionally, you can also pack these documents for your convenience on the off chance that you may require them during your travel:
- Certified true copies of your birth certificate
- Passport-size photos
- Any receipts of payments made for your travel (e.g. tuition fees, OSHC, accommodation fees)
- Other personal identification documents (e.g. ID card, driver’s licence)
Aside from the health insurance documents, you will also need to consider your medical report especially if you have any prior health issues. A medical report may be required during your visa application, but you must also prepare a doctor’s report for any of the medications that you plan on bringing with you on your move to Australia. Other than that, while there are no strict requirements for proof of vaccinations to be granted entry into the country, any vaccination records like the COVID-19 vaccination record should also be kept in both digital and physical forms for your reference.
In Australia, every higher education student eligible should have a Unique Student Identifier (USI), which is a set of numbers and letters that are specific to you. It is used for all of your academic statements and achievements and will stay with you forever. Make sure to apply for your USI online as soon as your visa has been issued! Additionally, you can also read up on the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework before moving to Australia to understand your rights and responsibilities as an international student in the country.
If you are planning to drive in Australia during your stay, you will need to ensure that your licence remains valid throughout the duration of your stay. You will also need to check with official government websites for the requirements in the specific states or territories you will be studying in. For example, in Queensland, you can use your current Malaysian driving licence as long as you are a temporary resident and your licence is still valid. On the other hand, in the Northern Territory, you can only use your Malaysian licence for up to 3 months before you have to apply for a Northern Territory Driving Licence, even as a temporary resident.
Additionally, because of Australia’s unique circumstances, the country practises strict border control practices, especially in terms of biosecurity. To avoid any confiscation of items, be sure to study the list of restrictions and requirements to pass through immigration and border control. On top of that, you will need to prepare sufficient declaration forms for some of the items you are carrying, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Food items
- Plant material
- Animal products
- All medicine, including prescription, herbal, and veterinary medicines
- Cash, cheque, traveller’s cheque, or money order equivalent to more than AUS$10,000
Move to Australia: Banking and money matters
It is important to conduct extensive research on the banking processes in Australia as you may need to open one for your daily financial transactions and affairs. Most of the main banks in the country offer an online application process before they require your physical presence in Australia for verification. You may also apply for a Tax File Number, which may not be compulsory in order to open a bank account but will be required if you plan on working in the country. In addition to that, if you are planning to bring some cash, be sure to convert your cash before you go to the airport to get better exchange rates!
Packing your daily essentials
Packing your luggage is not just a skill, it is a science. There are many factors to consider when packing for your move to Australia. One great factor would be what field of study you will be in and what activities will be a part of the course. For example, if you are taking a fitness and sports education, you will need to pack more activewear than the average student, as it will likely be a part of your daily rotation. On top of that, other factors to consider include the climate and weather of your destination as well as any special gear you should bring with you. And remember to bring your power adapters!
Finally, after all the packing, be sure to check if your luggage is within the weight allowance before your flight. Always be aware of your airline’s flight and baggage restrictions like fluids, aerosols and gels, electronics, and special equipment. You should also keep all important documents in your carry-on in case of any lost checked baggage, and never leave your baggage unattended.
While there is always more to be done in preparation for a big move overseas, we hope our guide can help you take the first steps to gear yourselves up for the big move. If you are interested in finding out more about fitness and sports education, visit Fit Education AUS.