Canberra welcomes international students. You make a significant contribution to our community and we’re glad to have you here.
Preparing to travel
Follow the Australian Government’s advice on planning your move from overseas.
Getting set up in Canberra
There are ways you can make your arrival in Canberra go as smoothly as possible, and we’re here to help.
The Canberra Student Guide created by local experts, contains lots of information for getting settled, exploring the city and living and working in Canberra.
Here are few things to get you started:
- Know the emergency number – it’s important to know who to call if you need police, fire or ambulance services. In Australia, the emergency number is triple zero, 000.
- Open an Australian bank account – it’s essential to open a bank account in Australia. Most banks will let you do this before you arrive. If you prefer to wait until you’re here, you can visit your local branch in person. Your account will be used to deposit funds, including your wages if you choose to work, pay your bills and manage everyday expenses such as accommodation, textbooks, food and entertainment.
- Set up phone and internet – once you arrive, you’ll want to stay connected to family and friends. In Canberra, you can access free wireless internet (wi-fi) around the CBD, major town centres, the Canberra Airport and some public buses and the light rail. Public libraries, community centres and your campus may offer free wi-fi too. You’ll find many cafes around Canberra offer internet access, either for free or when you buy something else.
- Arrange your MyWay card to catch public transport – travel on buses and the light rail is discounted for students in Canberra. Make sure you carry your student ID when using public transport. You can get an even bigger discount with a student MyWay card. You can apply for it online.
- Health cover and insurance – all international students must buy Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) in Australia. This is an Australian Government requirement. Insurance must cover the length of your visa. OSHC will help you pay for any medical or hospital care you may need here. It will also help pay for most prescription medicines. It gives you ambulance cover in emergencies. OSHC covers COVID-19 related illnesses.
- Living and education costs – before you move, it’s important to have an idea of the cost to live and study in Australia. You may find the cost of living in Canberra is different from your own country. Use the online calculator provided by Study Australia to work out approximately what you’ll spend.