Arriving in Australia

Preparing to arrive

What to bring

We know how stressful it can be remembering to pack everything you may need. To help you with this process, we have compiled a list of things you may need upon your arrival in Australia.

  • Passport
  • Hard copy of your visa information and eCOE (Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment)
  • Flight itinerary/tickets
  • Accommodation confirmation documents
  • Packaged food in your carry-on luggage
  • Toiletries - tissues, toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Clothing to suit both winter and summer climates
  • Any prescription medicines
  • Money - make sure you have some Australian (AUD) money on you when you arrive in Sydney for transport and food. The exchange rate is higher at the airport.
  • Electronics - laptop, phone, tablets, chargers. Also, don't forget to bring an adapter with you!
  • A piece of home - a keepsake that will remind you of home


Students arriving in December to May should note that it will be summer with temperatures ranging from 20°C (68° F) to 35°C (95° F).

Student arriving between June to November should note that it will be winter with temperatures ranging from 8°C (46° F) to 25°C (77° F).

So, please be prepared for these once you leave the aircraft and dress accordingly.


Australia is a diverse society. The variety of clothing which people wear reflects this diversity. There are no specific laws and regulations on clothing in Australia.

Many people tend to dress casually or informally for comfort or according to the social situation or climate. You may find you will need business wear for work, or formal clothes for special events. Most public places do require that you wear appropriate footwear.

Entering Australia

Immigration and Customs

When you arrive at an Australian airport, you will first need to go through immigration and customs clearance. If you need help finding your way around, just ask the airline staff or one of the border officials in the arrivals area. A clearance officer will check your travel document and visa (make sure you have your passport and eCOE), and once cleared you will be able to collect your luggage to go through customs and quarantine clearance processes.

You will be given an Incoming Passenger Card before you arrive in Australia. This is a legal document. It is important that you complete this card truthfully. You must declare any items that fall under the following categories:

  • Plant material
  • Animal products
  • Specific food -  this includes fresh fruit and vegetables, spices, herbs
  • Wood products

More information on what to expect when you arrive at the airport is available at the Department of Home Affairs website or the Sydney Airport International Arrival Procedures website.

International Student Airport Pickup Service

The University offers a free airport pick-up service for international students commencing study at Western Sydney University for the first time. The service provides you with transportation from Kingsford Smith International Airport (Sydney) to the University campus at which you will be studying.

When you receive your pre-departure information it will contain information about the Western Sydney University Airport Pick-up Service. If you want the University to arrange for you to be met at the airport and transported to the University, you must complete the Airport Pickup Service Application Form at least five working days before your departure from home.

Sydney Airport International Student Welcome Desk

*The Welcome Desk will be closed from 27 March 2020 - ongoing*
When you arrive at Sydney International Airport, you will be able to visit the International Student Welcome Desk. The Welcome Desk is staffed by student volunteers who will be able to help you with general information and provide you with guides and maps for Sydney.

The Welcome Desk is located in Terminal 1, opposite Arrival Hall A. For detailed information on the location please view the Sydney Airport International Student Welcome Desk Map. Please note: the Welcome desk is currently closed due to the current health situation.

Click here to check out the video of Sydney Airport International Student Welcome Desk.


Newly commencing international students can take advantage of the free airport shuttle service from the airport to any Western Sydney University campus.
If you do not wish to take this service, or need to be taken to an alternative location, you can take the train or bus from Sydney Airport to your desired location.
Please remember to purchase an adult ticket as international students are not eligible for student transport concession, and fines apply. You can find more details on the use of trains and buses at the Transport NSW Information Page.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the airport. The taxi stand is located outside the international terminal.
When you arrive at Sydney Airport, you also have the option to purchase an Opal card (opens an external site) from selected Sydney airport retailers (opens an external site). You can use the Opal card to travel from the airport to your desired location, and then continue to use it on public transport across Sydney. Once you have used eight trips in a week (calculated Monday to Sunday), the rest of your travel that week will be free.

For more information on transport from the airport, please visit the Sydney Airport Transport Page.


On-campus accommodation

With a range of activities, sporting facilities, indoor and outdoor entertainment, living on campus at Western Sydney University is a great opportunity to meet a range of people from different cultures, make new friends and sink in to the next phase of your life. Visit the Western Sydney University Village website to find out more about living on campus.

Off-campus accommodation

If you are interested in finding off-campus accommodation options in Sydney, we highly recommend that you arrive in Sydney in time for Orientation. The most common form of off-campus housing is Share Accommodation - whereby you rent a room within an existing home (such as apartment or house) and share with others.
Check out popular real estate listing websites in Australia, including Domain and These sites are not run by the University.