What to Pack

Most international airlines allow passengers to carry only 20 kg of luggage so you will not be able to bring all of your belongings with you! Deciding what you need here can be a very hard decision.

Adelaide has good shopping facilities and so you will be able to buy clothes, stationery, cooking equipment, electrical goods (such as smart phones, electronic tablets, alarm clocks, calculators etc) in Australia. However, electrical goods can be expensive here and may be cheaper if purchased duty-free or bought in your home country. If that is what you are planning to do, the standard voltage in Australia is 240 volts. Electric plugs normally have three flat pins as shown. However, adaptors can be found in some electrical stores and cost about A$10 to buy.

A small number of typical souvenirs from your home country will make excellent gifts for homestay families and new Australian friends. Also, traditional or national dress from your home country may be useful for cultural, religious and other special occasions.

Most Australians, especially young people and students, dress casually. While you may need some good, smart clothes for special occasions, in general you should bring mainly casual clothes in which you feel comfortable. Jeans, T-shirts, shirts, jumpers, shorts, light dresses and skirts are all common. In winter you may want to bring a waterproof jacket or a warm coat.

Health Checks and Medication

You should have a dental and medical check before you leave to ensure that you will have no health problems before you come to Australia. Dental work in Australia is very expensive. If you take regular medication ensure that you bring adequate supplies for the length of your stay, or the prescription if appropriate. If you are bringing medication into Australia, make sure you have a prescription from your doctor. If you wear glasses bring a spare pair, or the prescription in case of loss or breakage.

If you use ointments, balms or oils only available in your home country ensure that you bring adequate supplies and declare these goods to customs at the airport.


Australian health laws may require vaccination or immunisation against certain diseases before you leave your home country. You should check with the Australian High Commission or Embassy in your home country and they will explain what you have to do.

Health Insurance

The cost of medical services is very expensive in Australia. It is required by law of your student visa that you are covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). IELI will automatically arrange coverage for you with BUPA. You will be invoiced for this insurance. This coverage will meet basic medical treatment, such as visits to the doctor, and hospitalisation. The OSHC does not cover some things such as medication, dental work, optical wear and ambulance costs. You may wish to take up extra insurance cover over categories that are not covered by the OSHC. You can do this by taking up travel or private insurance. You can also visit the BUPA website to find out what services are covered. You may also be able to buy additional insurance coverage from this website.

BUPA Website

If you are coming to Australia on a visa other than a student visa, you are not eligible for OSHC. However, due to the high cost of medical services in Australia, we strongly recommend that you arrange your own insurance before you leave your country. Private insurance is also available in Australia. Private health insurance is expensive, but it is not as expensive as a hospital stay in Australia.

Initial Funds and Expenses

You are advised to bring with you at least A$300 in cash and A$1000 in travelers’ cheques or a bank draft made out in your name. This should provide you with enough funds for the initial month of your stay in Australia. After your arrival, when you have opened a bank account you can arrange for more money to be transferred by electronic or telegraphic transfer.

Weekly Budget*

  • Accommodation: A$120-$250
  • Food: A$90
  • Bills (gas and electricity): A$30

Students in IELI homestay pay $260 for all of the above

  • Public transport: A$20 -A$40
  • Clothes, toiletries, entertainment etc: A$40
  • Other costs (telephone, postage): A$30
  • IELI Excursions: A$0 – A$40

*The amount spent on shopping, entertainment and travel during the holidays will vary from student to student according to their lifestyle.

What To Include In Your Hand Luggage

Keep your valid passport (and your visa if you have an e-visa) in your hand luggage as well as your air ticket. You should also keep a copy of your passport and visa in a separate place in case you lose your passport.

It would also be a good idea if you kept valuables such as your camera and jewelry in your hand luggage.

If you are planning to drive in Australia, also bring your driving license. Students who want to or need to bring their academic records, letter of references and other important documents should keep these in their hand luggage as well. Medicine should also be carried with you.

Bringing Your Laptop/Computer

Wireless internet is available at Flinders University.

Wireless adapters are available from various shops.

Your laptop can help you keep in contact with your family and friends.

Pre-Departure Checklist
  • Before you leave your home country make sure you have taken care of all essentials.
  • Complete and mail or fax the IELI Airport Information Arrival form with your arrival details at least 5 days before you arrive in Adelaide. The fax number is 61-8-8201 5086.
  • If you would like IELI to arrange homestay accommodation for you, please complete and return the Housing Placement Request form. We prefer to receive this form at least 30 days before your course is due to start, so that we have sufficient time to find a suitable host family for you. It takes time to make a good match between the host family and the student.
  • If you have requested homestay accommodation, you should have enough money to pay your host family 2 weeks’ rent as well as 2 weeks’ bond in advance. This information should be given to you before your departure if you have requested IELI to arrange for accommodation for you.
  • Have at least A$300 in cash and A$1000 in travelers’ cheques or a bank draft. These funds are essential for the initial period of your stay in Australia.
  • Check that your passport will not expire while you are in Australia.
  • Have a dental and medical check.
  • Collect names, email addresses and telephone numbers of friends and relatives in your home country so you can write to them while you in Australia.
  • Bring a few small souvenirs from your home country – these are very useful for presents for homestay families and Australian friends.
  • Read the ‘What to pack’ section in the pre-departure information for detailed advice.
  • Ensure that you are not carrying any items which contravene Australian Customs restrictions (eg. products made from protected species, fresh food, plant or animal products, guns, other weapons and narcotics).