Approx. Time Difference
Apr-Oct: + 17 hrs
Nov-Mar: + 19 hrs
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Local UCEAP Support
Campus EAP Office
The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.
UCEAP Systemwide Office
The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Staff advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).
Phone: (805) 893-2831; E-mail: email@example.com
Phone: (805) 893-2598; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Finance Accountant
Phone: (805) 893-2761; E-mail: email@example.com
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823
Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583
Bookmark your Participants
program page. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Predeparture Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets, and payment instructions.
Study Center Abroad
UCEAP programs in Australia are administered from the UCEAP Melbourne Study Center by Resident Director Dr. Francesca Collins and Senior Program Administrator Kay Harmes. Additional support is available at each host university. See University Contacts in Australia in this guide for your primary host university contact.
On-site staff routinely monitor local and international conditions and provide support, counseling, and safety advisories. UCEAP Study Centers are supported by UC, a network of international offices at every UC campus, and the UCEAP Systemwide Office. The UCEAP network also includes U.S. embassies and consulates, the U.S. Department of State, and other international student exchange programs at each site.
UCEAP Australia and New Zealand Study Center
Level 1, 396 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
Dr. Francesca Collins, Resident Director, Australia and New Zealand
Emergency Phone: From the U.S. or outside Australia: 011 61 400 287 946
Within Australia: 0400 287 946
Ms. Kay Harmes, Senior Program Administrator
Emergency Phone: From the U.S. or outside Australia: 011 614 08 317 296
Within Australia: 0408 317 296
Phone Number Codes
U.S. international code:..........011 (dial this first to call from the U.S.)
Add Australia country code:......61
Add city code: example, Melbourne is 3, Brisbane is 7. etc.
Cell phone code: .......................4
Approximate Time Difference
Add 17 hours April through October; add 19 hours November through March
The Sustainability program is hosted at the University of Tasmania's (U Tas) Sandy Bay (Hobart) campus. Participants undertake:
- One sustainability internship or research program
- Two courses from the Sustainability Studies program
- One additional University of Tasmania course
Studying at an Australian university will complement your UC studies in a number of challenging ways. Australian undergraduate education is run more like American graduate education. There is much more specialization at the undergraduate level and students at Australian universities are expected to work much more independently than are those in the U.S. Australian students often begin specializing in their major area (“course”) in high school, so they may be more advanced than UC students in the same grade level.
Students typically attend lectures and tutorials (usually small discussion groups). During tutorials, which are often led by the instructors rather than by TAs, you will take short tests, write and analyze papers, and discuss lectures and readings. Instructor office hours often immediately follow the tutorials. Advanced classes frequently follow a seminar format.
The normal undergraduate degree program is a three-year program; students generally take courses only in their major (known as their “course”) for all three years. Since third‑year courses in Australia correspond to fourth-year advanced courses for UC majors, they generally require more previous knowledge and coursework than those at UC. Be careful about enrolling in “honours” courses; they are often intended for students entering graduate programs in that discipline.
Australian upper-level courses tend to be highly specialized and designed for advanced students; such courses demand strong writing skills and greater academic independence than may be the case at UC. Most courses involve little or no evaluation until the end of the semester; in many cases, performance on exams or papers completed during the last two weeks of the semester determines most of your grade. The library at each host university may stock copies of previous exams, which will be useful in outlining what you are expected to learn.
Courses do not automatically provide specific reading assignments, midterm exams, detailed instructions on what is expected in written assignments, or advice and practice questions in preparation for the final exam. Textbooks are not assigned in many courses. Classes meet for relatively few hours except in the laboratory sciences. Instead, you may get a long reference list or reading list with little guidance about what items are most important or how to use it to study for exams and write papers.
Because your grade may be based on assignments or exams late in the term only, you will have to discipline yourself to manage your workload throughout the term. Students sometimes are happy to have nothing due for six or eight weeks, but mistakenly think that this means they do not need to work and study throughout this time. Instructors expect a level of work that reflects independent work throughout the semester; not a week or weekend of cramming at the end.
Keep in mind that your Australian classmates are culturally adapted to studying within this system, and they are used to successfully managing their time to balance studies with clubs, sports, and socializing. They may appear relaxed and may not seem stressed about their workload, but most are steadily working throughout the semester to prepare for their final exams.
In general, Australian faculty expect that students seeking top grades will go beyond what is required and take advantage of all the resources provided. They are generally quite friendly and helpful to students who seek guidance, but they expect students to take responsibility for their own education, rather than waiting until the last minute.
Glossary of Academic Terms
|IN THE USA...
|School/College (e.g., School of Engineering)
|Course (e.g., History 40a)
You will enroll in courses specifically designed for sustainability and wilderness studies as well as regular U Tas courses.
Courses are for both local UTas students as well as international students.
- Minimum of four courses for 24 quarter/16 semester UC units; four courses
- SIPS Internship or research project
- You may take one course on the pass/no pass grading option. This is done in MyEAP only.
UC units are based on UTas units. 12.5 UTas points equal 6 quarter/4 semester UC units.
1000 level are first-year courses that are usually lower division
2000 and 3000 level are second- and third-year courses that are typically upper-division
4000 are honors
Consult your department advisor regarding the background required for particular courses, especially those offered at the third-year or honours level.
UCEAP will give you considerable flexibility when it comes to planning an academic program, but be sure to inquire thoroughly about course prerequisites. Follow the advice of the host university International Office staff on course difficulty and course load.
However, remember that they advise all visiting students and are not responsible for knowing specific UCEAP requirements. If you receive guidance that seems to contradict what you’ve heard from any UC or UCEAP staff, contact the UCEAP Study Center Program Officer. She will either clear up any confusion, or refer you to the correct person.
In addition to registering at your host university, you must also complete your MyEAP Registration Study List. The Program Officer will guide you through this process and advise you of deadlines for course changes and petitions. Be sure to read all e-mails from her during the registration process and review your final Study List carefully, as it determines how your Australian courses will appear on your UC transcript.
The UCEAP Study Center in Australia converts Australian grades to UC grades. You will learn about grade conversion during your orientation in Australia.) Fall grades are usually available late January to early February. Spring grades are usually available mid-August to mid-September.
For general information on grades, see the Academic Informaiton chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
UTas offers all UCEAP Sustainability Exchange students substantive credit-bearing internship and research opportunities, through their award-winning Sustainable Integration Program for Students (SIPS).
After accepting their Sustainability Exchange offer, participants liaise with SIPS Coordinator to plan a 100-hour (approx. 1 day per semester week) internship or research project.
UCEAP Sustainability students will receive UC credit for their SIPS internship or research project under the UC 197 Internship or 196 Research Special Study Project course code.
Past SIPS internships/research projects have included:
- An energy audit of student accommodation and a report recommending various sustainability retrofits
- Developing and running the UTAS Ride to Uni breakfast
- Assisting in the development and roll out of a campus furniture recycling scheme.
- A peak oil risk assessment for UTAS
- A study of campus food waste
- A study of perceptions of recycling activities at UTAS
Extending UCEAP Participation
“The people are immensely likable— cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted, and unfailingly obliging.” ― Bill Bryson, In a Sunburned Country
Get acquainted with your new host city, country, and culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites such as Lonely Planet
are excellent resources. You can keep up with current events in advance of your arrival by reading Australian newspapers online as well.
You will not find very dramatic differences between Australian culture and U.S. culture, but here are some guidelines to help you adjust:
- Australians are very proud of their own country, its identity, and its cultural institutions, and they will welcome your interest in and knowledge of them. Knowing the basics of Australian geography, history and politics is an important contribution to engaging with Australians and making friends
- Australian university students (and foreign students from other countries) enjoy vigorous debate, sometimes about US foreign policy and culture. As a UC student, you need to engage in such debates respectfully and thoughtfully.
- The University of Sydney offers some useful guidance in making the adjustment to Australian culture at https://sydney.edu.au/current_students/counselling/download-docs/learn-to-adjust-to-a-new-culture.pdf. Check it out.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Official UCEAP Start Date
Arrange to arrive at your host university by the “Last Date to Arrive”, which you will find under the calendar tab posted to your UCEAP Participants' Page
. You must make your own flight and travel arrangements to arrive at your host university for the mandatory orientation program. Many universities recommend arriving early to acclimate, find housing, etc. If departing from the West Coast, be sure to allow two calendar days for the flight.
The start date of your program can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. UCEAP is not responsible for any unrecoverable transportation charges incurred if you make an adjustment to your travel arrangements.
The UCEAP student budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Host University Orientation
Each host university will hold its own orientation. Attendance at the host university orientation is absolutely mandatory for all UCEAP participants. For the date of the mandatory international students’ orientation and the semester start date, check the program calendar on the UCEAP Participants' Page
as well as your host university website (pay special attention to your host university's web page for international and exchange students). Further, during each host university’s orientation week (“O Week”), there are opportunities to sign up for optional activities and organized holiday trips with clubs and interest groups. Some universities have optional welcome activities (at an extra expense) that offer great opportunities to meet people and learn about life in Australia. If your budget will allow, jump right in and sign up for everything!
Travel to Your Host Country
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip tickets, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. UCEAP discourages purchasing one way tickets, as your Program Budget is based on a changeable round trip student fare, which is generally less expensive. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase tickets that allow changes to the return date. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
You must make your own flight and travel arrangements to arrive in Australia and attend your host university's mandatory orientation program. To determine the date by which you must arrive in your Australian host city or town, see the “Last Date to Arrive” on the calendar tab that is posted to the UCEAP Participant's Page
. Many universities recommend arriving early to acclimate, find housing, etc. If departing from the West Coast, be sure to allow two calendar days for the flight.
You are responsible for reserving and purchasing your own airline ticket (even if you are on full financial aid; the Financial Aid Office will not provide this service). Be sure to make round-trip arrangements; the visa application requires a return date. You are strongly urged to purchase a changeable airline ticket. Standby tickets are not appropriate.
Because flights are sometimes changed or canceled, you are urged to confirm your flight schedule online or with the airline about two weeks before departure.
The start date of your program can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. UCEAP is not responsible for any unrecoverable transportation charges incurred if you make an adjustment to your travel arrangements.
Financial Aid Students
Your financial aid package is calculated using your specific UCEAP Program Budget. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student ticket to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
To enter Australia and study there, you must obtain a student visa. The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship
offers online visa applications for U.S. citizens participating in a one- or two-semester program abroad. Instructions are included in the Predeparture Checklist, which can be found on the UCEAP Participants
Non-U.S. citizens should contact the Australian embassy in Washington, DC, to learn about special entry requirements related to their citizenship. The application process for non-U.S. citizens often takes much longer than it does for U.S. citizens.
After you have been selected by your campus and the UCEAP Systemwide Office has received your completed application, your documents will be forwarded to your assigned host university for consideration. The host university will process your application and, if approved, will issue you an acceptance letter. You must verify that you accept the offer by returning the university’s acceptance form per their specific instructions. Once your Australian university receives your signed acceptance form, their international admissions office will issue you an electronic Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) number. You will use your CoE number to apply online for your student visa.
Consular Health Requirement
During the e-visa application process, you may be notified by the online system that you must complete a consular health clearance requirement. This is unrelated to the UCEAP health clearance, and the UCEAP clearance and forms are not accepted for this purpose. If you are told to complete this health requirement, you must comply. If you are notified that you must get the health exam and chest x-ray, take action quickly, get the exam done, and send the required medical forms to the embassy without delay. If you have a serious medical condition or suspect that you have been exposed to TB, you may want to use the “long form” of the student visa application from the start, rather than apply online. If you choose this longer paper application process (not available as an online process), UCEAP can give you more information about the forms needed for the medical exam and required chest x-ray.
You can contact the Embassy of Australia at the address below:
The Embassy of Australia in Washington, DC
1601 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036-2273
Phone: (202) 797-3000
Fax: (202) 797-3168
Undocumented Students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Students
Consult with an immigration attorney free of charge on your campus to determine if study abroad is right for you.
If you are currently enrolled as a student at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, or UC Santa Cruz, contact the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center at https://law.ucdavis.edu/uc-undocumented/
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
What to Bring
- Outerwear for wet and cool weather
- Sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and swimwear
- Clothing that can be layered
- Equipment, shoes, and clothing for sports or recreational activities
- Toiletries (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) for the first several weeks
- Cosmetics (as many of your favorites as you can pack; they are expensive in Australia)
- A sleeping bag is highly recommended for travel and for use as a comforter during cold weather
Do Not Pack
- Small electrical appliances such as hair dryers and electric toothbrushes (these cannot be used in Australia)
- Meat, vegetable, or nut products; Australia has very strict quarantine laws
When traveling, always keep your passport, visa, ticket, prescription medications, and money with you. Never put valuables in your checked luggage. Carry only what is necessary; leave extra credit cards at home. Luggage and weight restrictions vary by airline. Travel lightly and pack your belongings in suitcases and backpacks that are small enough to lift.
Although your UCEAP Insurance Plan
offers coverage on lost or destroyed property, you should assess the Personal Property Benefit provided in the policy and verify that it is adequate for your needs.
Identify each item of luggage on the inside and outside with your name, home address, and destination. To avoid theft, never leave luggage unattended. Do not ask others to carry any items abroad for you (laptop, camera, extra bags, etc.) and do not volunteer to do so for others. Airlines may not allow you to take them and customs abroad may charge you a high duty. This is particularly a concern with electronic goods.
Neat, casual dress is generally adequate for all but the most formal occasions. The universities may hold various balls during the year. Formal wear is required for these events, but it can be borrowed or purchased at secondhand shops.
Australian clothing costs are very high and selection is much more limited than in the U.S. Hair and toiletry items are also significantly more expensive in Australia.
Australia’s climate ranges from tropical to cool temperate. Seasons are reversed: summer begins in December and winter begins in June. The long Australian summers range from warm to hot over the entire continent. Winters are generally mild, although Canberra, Melbourne, and Adelaide are among the colder areas.
Expect the first three months of semester one in Australia to be warm to hot, with frequent periods of short-duration rain. Rain is unpredictable and can come at any time. The months of June through September are generally colder, with the temperature dropping into the 30s (Fahrenheit) fairly often at night in Melbourne and Canberra. Frost and snow are rare. During winter, overcast conditions and frequent brief rains are common. In mid-winter, Canberra experiences the most sunshine, Melbourne and Adelaide the most rain, and Sydney the cloudiest days. Brisbane and Sydney are humid. Melbourne is known for frequently having all four seasons in a day.
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protection for your property, as you may experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
The UCEAP Travel Insurance
policy offers limited personal property coverage. Review the policy carefully before departure to determine if it is adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss.
If you decide to purchase supplemental personal property coverage, do so before departure and make sure that the coverage extends while traveling. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables from damage or theft by locking your room and securing currency, jewelry, passport, and other possessions.
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
- Contact information for finance questions
- How to estimate the cost of your program
- Budget instructions and information
- Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
- UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
- Banking before and after arrival
- Fees and penalties
- Loan information
- How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
- Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget
. Program fees are subject to change.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.
- Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
- Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
- Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:
If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions
Plan to access an ATM at the airport when you land. International airports and tourist areas offer money exchange services, but ATMs are the most convenient and economical way to obtain Australian dollars.
Australian currency is made of colorful plastic; bills of different denominations are different sizes. There are no pennies; amounts are rounded up or down automatically to the nearest 5 cents.
Financial Aid Students
Be knowledgeable about your program fees and understand how your financial aid will be applied toward these fees. Disbursements are issued only after you accept and approve the financial aid package and pay the required fees. If you are in the year program, it is your responsibility to contact the UC Financial Aid Office to apply for financial aid for the upcoming academic year or fall semester.
You can open a savings or checking account in Australia. Banks are located on or near all university campuses.
Australian checking accounts are more costly than those in the U.S. and are based largely around online bill paying. Paper checks are not widely used. To open an Australian bank account, you need “100 points” of ID documents, a prescribed point system of valid identification.
Many stores and restaurants honor major credit cards, particularly Visa and MasterCard, but small stores and restaurants only accept cash. Australians often use a PIN on credit cards, rather than signing. U.S. credit and debit cards usually charge a 1–3 percent exchange fee for international purchases, so check with your bank for details. Occasionally, there have been reports of American credit cards not having the necessary security features to use in the Australian system, but this is unusual.
UCEAP returnees report that the most convenient way to obtain cash is through an ATM. Check on the fees imposed by your bank for using the card internationally as well as the fees imposed by the Australian ATM.
You will receive an e-mail account when you enroll at your host university. You will be responsible for checking both your UC and host university e-mail accounts. Many students use an independent e-mail provider (e.g., Gmail) and have their university e-mails forwarded to that account.
Take with you or know how to access the fax and e-mail addresses of your UC academic advisors, Financial Aid Office, and Campus UCEAP Office.
Computer & Internet Access
Although many students bring laptops, most campuses have computers for student use. Internet access is much more limited in Australia. Students pay for a limited amount of broadband (rather than unlimited access once broadband is purchased in the U.S.). Some students find that a USB wireless broadband card is the most efficient way to get Internet access, especially if they live off campus. Campuses restrict broadband usage severely as well. Students are also restricted from some U.S. video sites (such as Hulu).
Most students get cell (mobile) phones, and there are many different carriers in Australia. Many students use Skype or other computer phone/video services to talk to friends and family back home. However, limits on Internet may make this difficult.
Mobile phones have many international calling plans, and text messaging is very common. If you are staying in Australia for a year you may save money with a yearly contract. If you are studying for a semester, you can purchase prepaid phones, or bring you own phones and buy a new SIM card once you arrive.
First, please be well aware that you are responsible for selecting, securing, and paying for your semester housing while abroad, even if you are on financial aid. Semester housing for the Australia program is not prearranged and it is not included in your UCEAP fees (see your budget under the Money Matters tab, which can be found on the Participants web page).
You are free to choose the type of housing you prefer, but you must take action to seek your housing, reserve it, arrange for the deposit, and make your housing payments.
Each university has a housing office where you can obtain information about on- and off-campus housing. While it can be very practical to live in the university halls of residence or other university-managed facilities, past UCEAP students have also rented private flats (apartments) and shared rental houses. These vary in quality and cost and are at a premium near the universities, but most students have reported good experiences with private rentals.
University-specific housing information is usually included with the acceptance notice from your host university. If housing information is not included, you can 1) contact the host university directly to request the information, and 2) see the host university’s web page on housing and accommodations for international students (links provided in following section).
At UTas, most students choose to stay in either uni-run or purpose-built student accommodation
. These options are well-run, student-focused and have free shuttles to and from campus. Students who apply on time are guaranteed a place.
Students are welcome to arrange private rentals unaffiliated with UTas, however, the rental market in Hobart is limited. Finding accommodation after arrival would be very stressful and students are unlikely to find a place close to campus.
The main kinds of accommodation available are:
- Student apartments (private or university-managed)
- Residential colleges affiliated with the university
- Share houses or other private rentals
Your first port of call should be your city’s Insider Guide, a city guide designed especially for international students. It provides an overview of the accommodation options available to you. Accommodation information is usually included with the acceptance letter from your Australian university. Alternatively, visit the university’s accommodation page (links below). Most Australian universities allow you to apply for housing before you have been officially accepted.
Accommodation information is usually included with the acceptance letter from your Australian university. Alternatively, visit the university’s accommodation page (below). Most Australian universities allow you to apply for housing before they have issued your official acceptance.
The Australian National University
The University of Melbourne
The University of New South Wales
The University of Queensland
The University of Sydney
No matter which type of accommodation you are looking for, keep in mind:
Accommodation offers that sound too good to be true usually are. Don’t accept the first thing you find and remember "you get what you pay for".
Most Australian students live with their family, in share accommodation, or other private rentals while attending university. Students do not travel far from their home to attend university unless they live in rural areas. This means that there isn’t an American-style dorm life. Many of the students who live on campus are from other countries (Australia has a large proportion of non-Australians enrolled in degree programs).
Consider living a bit further out of town (but still less than 5 miles from the city centre) in an 'inner suburb' for a richer, local experience. Invest in a second-hand bike and helmet to get you around. Otherwise, public transport is plentiful and reliable in the inner ‘burbs.
Join the UCEAP FB group for leads on accommodation. Many UCEAP students choose to live together, whether in student apartments or share houses. This makes the transition to local life easier and means you have an instant network of friends and travel companions. The down side of this is that you are less likely to make close friends with locals and expand
your social experiences.
Student apartments (private or university-managed):
Private studio apartments are often very basic (e.g., a microwave and a hotplate). There may be extra charges for Internet, laundry, etc. There may be rules you don’t like (noise curfews, no guests after 11pm, etc.). Some buildings are less social than others, so students will need to look elsewhere for social activities.
In some buildings, the student population is quite young (18-19); check you’re your building to get a sense of the ages represented. As you will be living with many international students, you will have less opportunity to meet local students.
Temporary accommodation: If you need short-term accommodation when you arrive, considering booking a bargain through Wotif.com, Airbnb, and/or Hostelling International.
Student apartments (private or university-managed)
The main providers of student apartments in Australia are:
Semester in Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane)
Campus Living Villages (Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra)
UniLodge (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra)
Urbanest (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane)
You can set up housing before you leave the US and, usually, move straight in when you arrive.
All student apartments are either close to or on campus.
Options range from single studios to 7-bedroom flats.
They are cheaper than residential colleges, but more expensive than share-houses or private rentals.
They are set up for overseas students staying in Australia for one or two semesters. Many students find themselves living with other US students.
All student apartments are furnished and include wifi, recreation areas, a gym, communal kitchens and study spaces.
They tend to be quite social environments with lots of optional planned activities.
You will have more freedom and fewer required or expected activities than in a residential college.
Most UCEAP students really enjoy their student apartment accommodation.
Some student apartments are considered poor value for money as rooms are generally small.
Cooking facilities for single and two-person studio apartments are often very basic (e.g., a microwave and a hotplate).
There may be extra charges for Internet, laundry, etc.
There may be rules you don’t like (noise curfews, no guests after 11pm, etc.).
Some buildings are less social than others, so students will need to look elsewhere for social activities.
In some buildings, the student population is quite young (18-19); check you’re your building to get a sense of the ages represented.
As you will be living with many international students, you will have less opportunity to meet local students
Apply to your host university’s residential colleges at:
The Australian National University
The University of Melbourne
The University of New South Wales
The University of Queensland
The University of Sydney
You can set up housing in a residential college before you leave the U.S. and move straight in when you arrive.
All residential colleges are either very close to or on campus.
All rooms are furnished singles with shared bathrooms.
All colleges are fully catered and offer services like computing, academic advising, tutoring, library, gym, sports team, internships.
Nearly all have very high-quality social, cultural, industry engagement and sporting program.
Residents are local, rural, interstate and international students.
Residential colleges offer very broad and rich social opportunities.
Residential colleges are usually the most expensive option. Some colleges cater mostly to international students (e.g., International House) making it difficult to meet locals.
A large proportion of college residents are first year students living away from home for the first time; this may not suit older, more senior students.
There tends to be a strong drinking/partying culture in residential colleges which will not suit everyone.
There may be rules or restrictions you don’t like.
You may not like the food on offer or the restricted meal times.
Colleges are closed to students during breaks between semesters; if you wish to stay in college during this time, you will have to pay extra or make other arrangements.
The application process is lengthy; you will probably have to apply before you have been accepted to your university.
Share houses and private rentals
The best online listings for share houses are: flatmates.com.au
(similar to Craigslist)
The best online listings for private rentals are: Airbnb
(select Rent or Share) Domain.com.au
(select Rent or Share)Note: In Australia, rental rates are usually listed by the week, not by the month.
This is usually the most economical option in terms of weekly rent.
You will be renting your own room with shared kitchen, bathroom and other common areas.
This option provides the most freedom; any rules or restrictions are negotiated between tenants.
In most cases, the kitchen/cooking facilities and common areas are adequate and there are no restrictions with guests.
Local housemates can become close friends and introduce you to their local friends.
Many students find that choosing their own accommodation after they have arrived is worth the inconvenience of having to arrange temporary accommodation while they find a rental.
This option comes with the most personal responsibility; you have to provide all of your own furniture, bedding, food, etc. and pay for Internet, electricity, gas, water and other services.
It’s risky securing a share house or private rental before you have arrived in the country, inspected the property and met your prospective housemates.
Private rentals are almost always completely unfurnished, meaning there will not be a fridge, washer or microwave when the lease begins. Many students move into a share house that has already been partly furnished by the other residents.
Like anywhere in the world, there are sketchy landlords and sub-standard properties around; take care!
Rental prices are usually higher closer to university campuses.
Read the lease carefully. Leases are likely to be longer than you plan to stay (e.g., 6 or 12 months) and you will be responsible for the lease should you leave early. UCEAP cannot negotiate on your behalf.
Restaurants and cafés are plentiful and widely varied in cuisine, ambience, and price range. Many are closed on Mondays. Reservations (bookings) are essential on weekends at popular establishments. It is easy to find vegetarian meals.
Inexpensive food is usually available in “milk bars” or takeaways. Sandwiches are available at many small shops during lunch. Most cities also have covered markets several days a week where you can purchase fresh produce, meats, and specialty foods.
Guides to dining out, which are updated frequently, are sold at newsstands and bookshops. The Cheap Eats guide series is a useful reference.
Tipping is not customary in Australia. Australians tip only for exceptionally good service and not as a general rule. In a good restaurant, one might tip 10 percent of the bill. Taxi drivers may be tipped, but it is not expected. Tipping barbers or hairdressers is entirely up to the customer. Rounding up to the next dollar is often an adequate tip.
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
All Australian universities that are partnered with UCEAP are serviced by public transport. While living on campus or close to the university offers great convenience, many students also live in group houses or other accommodation beyond walking or bicycle distance. Many of our Australian partner universities are effectively city-center campuses. Monash and LaTrobe universities are more suburban, but are well served by tram and/or bus services. Wollongong is very close to the city center and has good bus service, as does the University of Queensland. Owning an automobile in Australia is unnecessary for exchange students who will find local and national transportation convenient. Bicycles are common among university students and caution on the roads is important, just as it is in California. The wearing of helmets and use of lights and reflectors at night are strictly enforced.
You can travel within Australia by air, bus, or rail. Air services are excellent and among the best and safest in the world. WebJet
lists all domestic flights for comparison. Note that baggage can cost extra, some discount airlines impose additional fees (e.g., Tiger), and if flying through or to Melbourne, be sure to fly to Tullamarine, not Avalon airport. When purchasing your international ticket, just book one ticket to your final destination. Otherwise, if you book a domestic Australian flight separate from your international one, you will be subject to harsher domestic baggage restrictions and can be forced to pay hundreds of dollars in excess baggage charges.
Low-cost bus service is available throughout the country. Buses are clean, safe, and punctual, and they are used by Australians for national travel. Trains are fast, clean, and comfortable.
It is wise to book all forms of travel in advance, especially around holidays. School holidays occur periodically throughout the academic year, increasing the demand for transportation and accommodations.
Do not hitchhike. Although it may seem to be the norm in Australia, hitchhiking is dangerous and unpredictable. Use reliable transportation to get to your destination.
There are various kinds of international youth travel associations and youth hostel associations in Australia. For information, see the YHA Australia
Australian national holidays include the following:
- New Year’s Day (January 1)
- Australia Day (January 26)
- Good Friday (before Easter)
- Easter Monday
- ANZAC Day (April 25)
- Queen’s Birthday (proclaimed, usually in June in most states)
- Christmas Day (December 25)
- Boxing Day (December 26)
In addition to national holidays, Australians observe the following state holidays:
Australian Capital Territory
- Canberra City Day (proclaimed, March)
- Labour Day (first Monday in October)
New South Wales
- Labour Day (first Monday in October)
- Labour Day (first Monday in May)
- Labour Day (second Monday in October)
- Proclamation Day (December 28)
- Labour Day (second Monday in March)
- Melbourne Cup Day (first Tuesday in November; metropolitan Melbourne only)
Other holidays include bank holidays and occasionally extra holidays proclaimed over the Christmas break. Universities and most businesses usually close between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Get acquainted with your new host city, country, and culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites, such as Lonely Planet
, are excellent resources. You can keep up with current events by reading Australian newspapers online as well.
Once you are abroad, participating in extracurricular cultural and social activities while on UCEAP is an excellent way to meet people and integrate more fully into the community. Join sports, musical, theater, or arts groups; volunteer at local organizations; attend lectures and receptions held in academic and community circles; and get the most out of your time abroad.
Residential colleges typically offer more opportunities for organized activities than you might find if you live off campus.
Student discounts are available for most commercial films, performances, and exhibitions with a university ID card. Student discounts are also available on public transit through concession fares. Your host university will provide information about concession cards during the international student orientation.
You’ll find many opportunities for hiking (called bushwalking), mountain climbing, nature walks, orienteering, sailing, bird watching, beach activities, and water sports. Every university has a variety of sports and outdoor clubs. Joining one or more clubs provides an opportunity to make new friends as well as to participate in inexpensive outings and to rent sports equipment, which is often expensive to buy in Australia. Expect to pay sports union membership fees and user fees for facilities such as gyms and swimming pools, unlike at UC campuses.
Students with Disabilities
While in Australia, you may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the US.
You must take responsibility and play an active role in managing your needs. The host university will expect you to read and reply to their correspondence, as well as initiate and maintain contact with key teaching and faculty staff to communicate your academic support needs. The Australian host university may request more information than what is provided through the UC campus disability letter. For example, in supporting students with learning disabilities, they may request for test results designed to assess and diagnose learning disabilities for an adult in an academic setting. This process takes place between the student and the host university disability specialist. There is very little support the Australian host university can provide without disclosure.
Many of the downtown areas of Australian cities were built in the 1800s. These cities often have narrow sidewalks crowded with pedestrians and tourists. Generally, most public transit means, streets, and buildings are accessible. Modern accessibility improvements include ramps, tactile indicators, and audible street crossing indicators. Parks, gardens, stadiums, and other public venues often share accessibility information on their websites.
For more information:
Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?
You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account.
Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the US), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you.
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
There are no laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited.
For more information,
While abroad, you will be covered by two insurance policies, as follows:
- The UCEAP Travel Insurance: This plan is required for all UCEAP participants. The UCEAP insurance will provide coverage when OSHC does not (e.g., outside Australia, for services rendered by physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, for pre-existing conditions, etc.) See details below.
- Australian Overseas Student Health Coverage (OSHC): This policy is required of all foreign students attending an Australian University. See details below.
Know Before You Go
As a UCEAP participant, you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy
anywhere in the world. Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term.
The UCEAP Travel Insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance. Inform yourself before seeking care. Your UCEAP Travel Insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
Read details in Benefits at a Glance
. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. You will be financially responsible for any charges for medical services that are not included benefits in the policy and for any charges over an above the “maximum allowable amount”. Your travel insurance policy number is ADD N04834823. It is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Company.
The travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis. There is no deductible or co-insurance.
You can submit a claim for a refund consideration of covered expenses. For more information about the medical claim process
or about non-medical claims
Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country). It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter
For Questions about Coverage, Benefits, and Claims Status
Contact ACI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overseas Student Health Cover
As an international student, it is a condition of your student visa that you have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your stay in Australia. The cost for OSHC is included in the UCEAP fees (unless you are attending UNSW or UTas; you must pay them directly for the OSHC).
You will receive the instructions and paperwork necessary to obtain your insurance card at your Australian university’s orientation. If you do not receive the application or insurance card during orientation, contact the international office at your host institution.
University of California does not make any representation of warranty with respect to the names of medical providers referenced on this Staying Healthy chapter. The names listed are only a point of reference as the University of California does not recommend or endorse any medical provider on this list.
If you feel sick or have a medical emergency, seek medical attention and contact your host university’s international center and the UCEAP Study Center immediately. Your host University Health Service offers, experienced general practitioner and emergency medical care services to all members of the University community. The international student services at your host university can assist if arrangements need to be made for special consideration with your professors for an absence from class, or miss an exam due to illness, and provide assistance with finding doctors, resolving health issues, etc.
Excellent public and private medical facilities are available in major cities. Regional health services with good standards are available in rural areas. Once in Australia, you will get information about local health services during your host university’s international orientation. Coverage is effective during the authorized period of stay.
University health services, including counseling services, are usually available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm at your host university. You can fill prescriptions at chemists (pharmacies). Many medications are subsidized by the government. Private doctors and hospital outpatient departments usually require payment at the time services are rendered.
Carry your medical insurance information with you at all times.
A list of English-speaking doctors is available at the US Embassy’s website
. You can also contact the UCEAP Study Center or partner institution staff for r ecommendations on physicians or specialists that students have used in the past.
Local doctors expect direct payment. If you are sick or injured, seek care, pay for treatment and submit a claim
through the UCEAP travel insurance. Many doctors do not accept credit card payment. Make sure you budget for this expense. For information about benefits and the claims process email ACI, email@example.com
Know Before You Go
Inform yourself before you travel. Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care. Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter
of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health
web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
Research and Resources:
- Find out if your prescription is legal and licensed in your UCEAP country. There are many resources you can check: The US embassy website for the country where you will be studying; the foreign embassy for the country where you will be studying; regulations from official foreign government sites; the International Narcotics Control Board (link below).
- As a UCEAP participant you are covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance. Review the UCEAP Travel Insurance terms of coverage. It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage.
- Refer to UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, specifically the Health and Insurance sections.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor as least 3-6 months before departure to discuss your medication and treatment plan:
- Ask if you can get a prescription to last the entire duration of your program. Consider that you may need to fill your prescription abroad.
- Obtain a letter from the prescribing physician on letterhead indicating your diagnosis, treatment, medication regimen, and generic name(s) of medication(s) as brand names vary around the world. This will be for passing through Customs and for refilling abroad.
- Your doctor may need to change your medication at least 3-6 months before departure to monitor side effects and dosage.
- Discuss how to adjust dosage to account for different time zones.
TRAVELING WITH PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS
- Keep medication in its original packaging clearly labelled with your name, doctor's name, generic/brand name, and exact dosage.
- Carry copies of original US prescriptions and carry the letter from your doctor (see above).
- Travel with medications in your carry-on luggage, provided it is in pill form. Consult the US Transportation Security Administration if your medication is liquid.
- If you need to refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor as US prescriptions are not valid in other countries. Take with you the letter from your doctor (see above). Note: If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventative care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance. However, your campus or private insurance plan may cover it.
- To purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must pay up front and submit a claim for medication when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start date of your program).
- Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, and the Insurance tab on your pre-departure checklist for more insurance information.
- For specific information about the UCEAP travel insurance coverage, contact, firstname.lastname@example.org.
REGULATED AND CONTROLLED MEDICATIONS
- Two classes of medicines - narcotics and psychotropics - are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that affects the central nervous system and the potential for drug abuse. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine). Psychotropic medications are used to treat conditions such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions. These medications are often highly regulated.
- If you have a prescription containing controlled substances, check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g. Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal or unlicensed in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
Consider your host country. Many countries do not have adequate resources. How will you manage your mental health while studying abroad, whether or not you have a pre-existing condition?
If you are currently in treatment in the US, discuss all program details with your doctor so you can work on a plan in case you need to reach out for care. Carry a letter from your doctor (on letterhead) indicating condition, treatment history, and medication regimen so a local physician can assess your needs.
If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician before departure about getting the supply you need for the length of your stay. Traveling through customs with medications for personal use can be problematic in countries where those medications are prohibited. Examples include stimulants frequently used for attention deficit disorders, such as amphetamine, methylphenidate, and narcotics. Prohibited substances vary depending on the country. For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.
- Do not try to manage alone. Reach out to local staff.
- The UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration. Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at email@example.com.
See University of Tasmania's Personal Counselling page for information on making an appointment with a personal counsellor, eCounselling, After Hours Crisis Support, and other resources.
After Hours Crisis Support
University Crisis Tel: 1300 511 709
Text: +61 488 884 168
There are higher levels of ultraviolet radiation in Australia than almost anywhere in the world, resulting in a high skin cancer rate. The sun will feel much more intense than in California. Refer to the Sun Protection Times
throughout the year, even on cloudy days.
- Use a combination of sun protection measures such as sunscreen with SPF30+, hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves.
- Check UV Index levels and UV alerts in local weather forecasts.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
For more information, review the Sun Smart
campaign by Cancer Council Australia.
Vaccines & Medicines
Students with severe food allergies should plan ahead:
- Talk with your doctor before departure to discuss how to manage your allergy while abroad.
- Research the local cuisine.
- Carry medication to treat surprise reactions.
- Tell others about your food allergy.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter
While traveling, you are subject to the local laws even if you are a US citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own and it is very important to know what is legal and what is not. If you break local laws while abroad, your US passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution, and the US Embassy cannot get you out of jail.
Safety is our concern but it is your responsibility. Be proactive in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. Have an action plan.
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing personal risks. Observe and assess the risks, plan ahead to reduce them, and think about how you can lessen the consequences if things go wrong. Start by outlining activities you plan to engage in through your program and/or during independent travel. Label the risk and rate it based on the likelihood of harm and the severity of the consequences. Consider measures you can take to reduce the severity and chance. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.
Be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate and unpredictable terrorist attacks. Remain vigilant in all public areas in your UCEAP city and country and wherever you travel. Many terrorist groups, seeking publicity for political causes within their own country or region, are not looking for student or higher education targets.
Terrorist attacks using vehicles are very hard to prevent and appear to be on the rise. If you are in a crowded public place, know how you can exit quickly, identify barriers, identify safe places where you can shelter-in-place, and watch out for any vehicles that appear to be going at high speed.
Report anything suspicious to local authorities. Read all security-related correspondence and advice from local staff. Schedule direct flights, if possible. Avoid stops in high-risk airports or areas. Minimize time spent in the public area of an airport, which is a less protected area. Keep a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hotels, and hospitals. Have a plan for what you will do in the case of an emergency. If you are ever in a situation where somebody starts shooting, follow the active shooter guidelines: drop to the floor, get down as low as possible, and hide if possible. Cover yourself behind a solid object. Silence your phone. Do not move until the danger has passed.
Steps to manage or minimize risk and enhance your personal safety
- Familiarize yourself with all UCEAP resources and emergency support services while on UCEAP.
- Research potential risks you can encounter before you travel.
- Observe and assess your surroundings. Learn to recognize danger.
- Trust your feelings. If you feel threatened, act if safe to do so and leave the area immediately. Find somewhere more secure.
- When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with in case you get separated. Always identify possible exits.
- Drink responsibly. Know your limits. In many countries, beer, wine and liquor contain a higher alcohol content than similar products in the US. Know what you are drinking and how much alcohol it contains.
- Practice the buddy system. Choose your buddy wisely. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
- Have a communication plan. Who will you call locally if you are in an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
Registration with the local US Embassy or Consulate
Register online with the US embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service for US citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
Registration with the UCEAP Security Provider
You will be automatically registered with WorldAware, the University of California security provider. You will receive important security and informational messages about local conditions for your program country.
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and has contracted with emergency assistance and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
, for more information. Access the US Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
Most parts of Australia have a low crime rate. Metropolitan areas experience a higher incidence of violent and petty crime. Street crime is relatively rare, but pickpockets and thieves frequent certain districts in each major city. Observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would in California or in any other major urban area.
- Avoid walking alone in isolated and unlit areas at night.
- Keep your valuables secured.
- Do not leave belongings unattended.
- Keep a basic first aid kit for use in emergencies.
- Report crime to the police immediately.
While you are abroad, US laws do not apply, and your citizenship will not protect you if you break local laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from the US. It is important to know what is legal and what is not wherever you are going.
Australian authorities will take action against anyone who imports or is found to be trafficking illegal substances. Prosecution can lead to a lengthy jail sentence and non-Australian nationals are usually deported at the end of their sentence. Deportation may lead to a ban on returning to Australia for several years. Laws, and the penalties for breaking them, can differ from state to state.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Public transportation in Australia is comparable to most Western industrialized countries. Taxis are safe but occasionally difficult to find during high-demand time periods.
In larger cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, buses and commuter trains and their stations can be havens for thieves and pickpockets. Keep loose items such as cameras, maps, and purses within a larger and securable carrying bag in front of you.
Do not drive. Many deaths have occurred in the Northern Territory where vehicles driven at high rates of speed have skidded and overturned after hitting loose gravel on the shoulder of the road. Driving on the wrong side of the road is a leading cause of serious injury and death for US visitors.
If you choose to drive, understand Australian road rules, road culture, and driving conditions. Know where road conditions and locations are more dangerous than others. Driving laws and regulations differ in each state/territory. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal and penalties can be severe. Wear a seat belt at all times.
Traffic operates on the left side of the road, and all vehicles use right-hand drive. Use caution when crossing streets. Look carefully in all directions.
- Increase your safety by making yourself visible, and by using safe routes and road crossings where possible.
- Always cross the road by the shortest and safest route, and allow plenty of time to cross.
- Wearing headphones or talking on your phone can distract you to road dangers. Pay attention to your surroundings before you cross the street.
For more information access Pedestrian Safety Checklist.
Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment
University of California Policy
Every member of the UCEAP community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual violence and sexual harassment, retaliation, and other prohibited behavior (“Prohibited Conduct”) that violates law and/or University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of Prohibited Conduct and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates this Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. Report to the local partners and/or UCEAP staff if you suspect one of these behaviors has occurred.
Australia is prone to seasonal natural disasters including tropical cyclones, flash flooding, dust storms (Outback areas), and bushfires (forest fires common in the summer months from November to February). Tropical cyclone season occurs mainly in Queensland, Northern Territory, and Western Australia. It normally runs from November to April. Refer to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology
website for updates on weather conditions.
Rip currents are the main hazard for all beach users. They can occur at any beach, and can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea. Abide by strict water safety guidelines and pay special attention to the safety section of your on-site orientation.
Read more in Surf Safety.
Know all exits. Practice escape plans. If living in University housing, talk to residential hall staff about emergency procedures. Read the Fire Association Protection Australia
fact sheet on 10 Steps to Home Fire Safety.
Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country, as they differ drastically around the world.
Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
In case of fire - Dial 000.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.
Program Suspension Policy
If the US Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Advisory after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, UC security providers, US Embassy, US Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.
The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy evacuation on US government-arranged flights, that require US citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP and its experienced security providers, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
What Is an Emergency?
An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
- Any life/death situation
- A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
- An arrest
- Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country
In an Emergency
Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:
If you are in the US
- During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
- After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
If you are abroad:
- Contact local emergency services first (in Australia call 000) and then contact the Study Center.
- Carry the local emergency contact information at all times. If you have a health or safety emergency call Kay Harmes at 0408 317 296 after first dialing 000.
- You should also call your host university international office emergency number. Security at your host university is available 24/7. Because the UCEAP Study Center is in Melbourne, your host university can often provide immediate, local assistance.
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.