Studying abroad at University of Newcastle (UON) Australia? Check out my tips for before you leave on an experience of a Lifetime.


Student Accommodations

Decide if you would like to live on-campus or off campus. If you would like to live on campus, apply AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!! Unlike the United States, Australia has all age groups living on campus. This makes on campus accommodations a difficult thing to obtain if you do not apply early enough.

*Tip: You do not have to be officially accepted to the University of Newcastle to apply for housing. If you wait for your full acceptance it will be very difficult to obtain on campus accommodations.*

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I live off campus and I love it.  This is the house I’m currently staying in and I’m less then a mile from the University. Plus, I have all Australian roommates and am paying way less then I would be on campus!  If you would like to hear about more events and possibly meet more people, on campus might be for you. But I’m incredibly close with all of my housemates and still know plenty on campus. So its really up to you and the experience you make it.

If you don’t want to live on campus wait till your arrival to choose a student housing option. Things may seem like they are nice in photos or seem within walking distance. But once you get here you might realize they are not what you thought. The universities website has a database of options from local reality and will help you get set up to do showings.

*Tip: Student Accommodations office is amazing! Keep calling student accommodations if you don’t hear anything. A couple of my friends here were able to get on campus just by constantly bugging the office.


Visa

University of Newcastle is well…. SLOW to fully accept you to the university. In order to apply for your Student Visa you will need a CoE (Confirmation of Enrollment number) given to you once you are fully accepted. I can see why it would be easy to get stressed by waiting for full approval. All I can tell you is DO NOT STRESS, once I was able to apply for my visa it was approved the very next day. Link to online visa application


Enroll in Courses

Make sure you enroll in courses before you leave to Australia. Classes can be competitive especially if the ones you need for your degree are specific. Oh one more thing, if you are studying abroad at Newcastle you will be at the Callaghan campus. A lot of people I was with accidentally signed up for classes that were at the other campus that is 2 hours away. Then had to resign up for classes after the realization.


Flights

Picking flights is really up to you. I did a multi-city option on Kayak.com. I am stopping in Thailand on the way home from Australia for ten days. This only added $50 dollars to my ticket, which is awesome. Also being from Seattle, Washington I decided to fly out of Vancouver, Canada. Being a international airport I was able to find a straight flight and my tickets were cheaper with the Canadian dollar being weaker when I purchased my tickets. Also try the website www.skyscanner.com they post the best deals and tell you if you should book or wait for a better price.


Packing

The struggle of packing your life into 2 bags for living abroad six months is a struggle. I am a huge procrastinator! Don’t overly worry about it. Just know most of the things you can get in Australia and its not as overly expensive as everyone say it is. Basically just clothes, bathroom needs (Make-up is very expensive so bring that), a camera, computer, and a backpack. Take what you want to pack and cut it in half.

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