Before you leave
Below is some information to help you before you leave to study with us. We will also send you pre-arrival information by email in the weeks before you start.
To study with us you must have a valid Australian visa. Student visas are temporary visas that allow people to come to Australia for a specified period to study at an Australian educational institution.
How do I apply?
The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection provides comprehensive information about the different categories of student visas and the process to apply for a visa. All visa applications are lodged and assessed by them.
We are approved to participate in the Australian Government Streamlined Visa Processing initiative. This helps you by making the visa application process quite simple. It reduces paperwork and the time it takes for your visa to be issued.
In general, you will need the below to apply for your student visa:
- A valid passport which will be valid for the duration of your study in Australia.
- A Confirmation of Enrolment document, also known as an eCOE. We will send you this after you have accepted your offer to study with us and paid any deposit fees.
- Evidence of Overseas Student Health Cover – you can arrange this yourself, or we can do it for you with our preferred provider Allianz Global Assistance OSHC.
- Funds to pay the fees and charges for your visa to the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
- Medical checks or any other information that immigration request as part of your application.
Where can I get help with my visa application?
Applying for a student visa can be a complicated process.
If you need help you can contact your nearest Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.
You can also contact an official University of Newcastle, Australia representative education agent in your country who can help you with your application to study with us, as well as your visa.
Please note we cannot make representations to the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Control with respect to visa applications or grievances of international students.
How much does my student visa cost?
Visa fees and charges must be paid when you lodge your application with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), and are non-refundable.
You can use DIBP's pricing estimator to check the cost of your visa.
What are the conditions of my student visa?
You should familiarise yourself with the visa conditions for student visa holders.
Some examples of conditions are:
- You must update your Australian institution with your contact details and mailing address in Australia
- Maintain enrolment as a full time student and maintain satisfactory academic progress in your studies
- Keep on track to complete your studies within the duration of your student visa
- Abide by work restrictions while you are studying
It is also important to note that once your student visa is issued, any change to your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) start date, your completion date, change of course or change of institution will be reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and could impact your student visa.
Can I work in Australia while I am studying?
Most student visas holders can work in Australia up to 40 hours per fortnight during the study period, and unlimited hours during a formal study break or holiday period.
Research sector visa holders
If you hold a research sector visa and you have commenced your Doctoral degree (PhD) there is no limit on the number of hours you can work. However, you must continue to make satisfactory progress in your research studies and pass important confirmation and progress report milestones.
I am under 18 years of age. What do I need to do to apply for a student visa?
If you have not turned 18 you must make arrangements for your accommodation, support and general welfare for the duration of your stay in Australia in order to obtain a student visa.
You will not be able to travel to Australia until your welfare and accommodation arrangements have been confirmed with us.
To maintain adequate arrangements for welfare in Australia you must stay with an appointed guardian such as:
- Your parent or legal custodian
- a direct relative who has been nominated by your parents or custodians who is aged over 21 and is of good character
- reside in homestay accommodation and report to a parental representative for your general welfare, as arranged and approved by us.
These arrangements must be in place for the entire time you are under 18 years of age and you must not change them without our written approval.
Once you have booked your flights to Australia, you can arrange your transfer from Sydney International Airport to Newcastle. We recommend local operator Central Coast Express Shuttle.
You should book this at least 3 days before you leave. We recommend you arrive 5-7 days before your study commencement date to give you time to settle in to your new home and attend orientation.
Travel times from Sydney International Airport
- Sydney campus is 40 minutes by train
- Central Coast campus is 2.5 hours by train
- Newcastle campus is 3.5 hours by train
Travel time from Newcastle Airport
- Newcastle campus is 40 minutes by bus
Travelling from Sydney Airport to Newcastle
If you are studying at our Callaghan campus or with our Newcastle Business School in the Newcastle city precinct, you will need to make your way up the coast to Newcastle.
A direct pick-up and transfer service is available between Sydney Airport and Newcastle with local operator Central Coast Express Shuttle. Visit their website to make a booking online. You will be contacted via email to confirm your booking details and payment options.
Bookings must be made at least 3 business days prior to the arrival date.
For students using this service to travel to Newcastle, please enter the discount code UON1 in the "Additional Requirements" section, along with your UON Student Number (located on your Letter of Offer).
The journey between Sydney and Newcastle is around 3 hours depending on the number of stops the bus makes en route.
There are regular trains from Sydney International Airport to Sydney Central train station where you can change trains for Newcastle.
It takes around 3 hours to Newcastle depending on how many stops the train makes.
You can plan your trip with Transport Sydney Trains.
Warabrook Station (on the Hunter line) is the closest station to the university's Callaghan campus.
Pick up from Central Coast and Newcastle Line or Hunter Line train stations
UON Global offers a complimentary pickup service for commencing international students from any train station between Fassifern or Warabrook and Newcastle Interchange inclusive. This service is from our third party provider Waratah Hire Cars which can transport you to your accommodation in Newcastle. Access the booking form here and ensure that you tick 'Other' and provide your Student Number (located in your Letter of Offer) in the 'Additional Comments' box.
Travelling from Sydney Airport to the Central Coast
If you are studying at our Central Coast campus in Ourimbah you will need to make your way up the coast.
Free pick up and transfer
A free pick-up and transfer service is available for new international students travelling from Sydney Airport to the Central Coast. This service is available to newly arrived UON international students only. All accompanying family members and friends will be charged a transfer service fee. Central Coast Shuttle Express will contact you by email with a quote for additional passenger's airport transfer charges. This quote will include instructions for online payment using credit card. Please note all confirmed airport transfers payments are non-refundable.
Bookings can be made online and must be made at least 3 days prior to the arrival date.
For students using this service to travel to the Central Coast, please enter your UON Student Number (located on your Letter of Offer) in your Enquiry form.
The journey between Sydney and the Central Coast is around 2 hours depending on the number of stops the bus makes en route.
Travelling from Sydney Airport to Sydney campus
If you are arriving at Sydney Airport and studying at our Sydney campus, you have several options to go to and from the airport.
Travelling from Newcastle Airport to Newcastle
Newcastle Airport at Williamtown is around 40 minutes drive from our Callaghan campus and from Newcastle's city centre, where our Newcastle Business School is located.
UON Global offers a free pickup service to new international students landing at Newcastle Airport. This service is provided by our third party booking agent Waratah Hire Cars. Access the booking form here. Please ensure you tick the 'Other' box and provide your Student Number (located in your Letter of Offer) in the 'Additional Comments' box.
Customs and quarantine
When you arrive at Sydney Airport you must complete an incoming passenger card and clear customs.
Australia has some of the most stringent customs and quarantine regulations in the world – it is important that you know which items you cannot bring into Australia and which items you must declare to as there are severe fines and penalties if you do not follow the rules.
Prohibited items are not allowed into Australia. This includes weapons and firearms and illegal drugs.
Restricted items must be declared to a customs official. These include large amounts of currency over AU$10,000.00, prescription medication, food containing animal or plant products, plant items or wooden items.
For more information see the Arriving travellers section of the Australian Government's Australian Customs and Border Protection Service site.
A checklist of things to do and bring before you leave home
- Passport and visa
- Check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months prior to your entry arrival in Australia, and that you have all your visa documentation. It is also a good idea to make copies of your passport in case you lose your passport.
- Arrange for immunisations and/or medication from your doctor. Have your eyes tested and a dental check-up.
- Student enrolment and orientation information
- You will need to bring your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE). You will be sent enrolment and orientation information from the International Office approximately one month prior to your commencement at the University.
- Personal documents
- Certified copies of your qualifications and certificates, ID cards, Drivers License, Birth Certificate (or certified copy).
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
- This is a requirement for entry to Australia, so make sure you have your health cover policy arranged before you leave home.
If you elect to use the University Health Cover Provider, your OSHC will be provided by Allianz Global Assistance. This will be detailed on your eCoE.
- Travel insurance
- You should also consider travel insurance, which covers things your OSHC may not – such as cancelled flights, lost documents, dental or optical care, etc.
- Make sure you are aware of the date and time of your flight. Keep your flight details in a safe and secure place, with your passport and visa.
- Contact details
- You may want to have a list of emergency contact details for family, as well as your embassy, accommodation and institution details. If you have used an education agent, keep their contact details on you, in case you need to contact them once you arrive in Australia.
- Activating your student account
- To make your transition in to study easier you can activate your University of Newcastle student account before you leave home.
- Australian currency
- There are money exchange places available at Australian airports and in cities, but it is recommended to have some Australian currency on you prior to leaving your home country. Confirm overseas access to your funds with your home bank. Apply for a credit card and/or arrange sufficient funds.
- Transport from the airport
- Whether you are taking public transport or a taxi, it is important that you have all the details of your journey including the time, the route, and your pick-up and drop-off points. If you need a map to assist you in getting to your accommodation from the airport, they will be available at the airport, or you can print one prior to leaving. Please note that unless otherwise specified, the University is not responsible for your transport from the airport.
- Accommodation details
- Make sure you have the address of where you will be staying as well as their phone number and payment confirmation (if you have already paid for your accommodation).
- Clothing and other important items
- Light, cool clothing for summer; weather proof jacket and warm clothing for winter months; power adapter and transformer; sun protection such as sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.
For a list of semester dates, including holiday periods and Australian public holidays, please view University Dates.
Keep in mind, while viewing the above link, that other important dates include:
Last day to enrol: The second Friday after the commencement of classes. If you need to enrol after this date, you will be required to obtain approval from the course coordinator. Approval is not guaranteed, so please ensure you enrol prior to this date.
Last day to withdraw without Academic penalty: The date your semester concludes. This does not include the exam period. If you withdraw during the exam period, you are too late and will receive a Fail grade (FF) on your transcript.
Fully Graded Date: This date is generally 2-3 weeks after the completion of the exam period in your enrolled semester. Your lecturer will be required to update all grades and make your final grade available. These can be viewed through your myHub account. Your transcripts will be sent to your home institution or agent (depending on who you applied through) after this date.