Cultural Experience | Australia

Packing Tips for Studying Abroad in Australia

Follow this guide and you’re sure to be living like a local and saying “G’day” in no time!

So you’ve been accepted to study abroad in Australia, finally received your student visa and in your hot little hands are the plane tickets that are going to land you in one of the most beautiful and exciting countries in the world (completely biased opinion, but totally true)!


Australia has a mostly all year round warm climate, so layering is best.  For guys, a t-shirt with  casual shorts or jeans is sure to fit in. Girls can also get away with tops, shorts and jeans but are also seen in casual summer dresses and skirts. Students usually wear sandals or near the beach (flip-flops), running shoes or other casual footwear; girls rarely wear heels to university. Bring enough clothes to last roughly a week, remembering that you can wear jeans many times before washing. Keep in mind that the Australian sun can be harsh, so try to pick clothes that protect your skin and bring a hat and sunglasses.

  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 warm jacket
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • Shorts/skirts
  • 3 casual shirts
  • 2 T-shirts
  • Jacket and trousers or dresses (for evenings out)
  • 1 warm sweater
  • Tracksuit
  • Socks (lots)
  • Underwear (lots)
  • Nightwear
  • Swim wear and towel
study abroad sydney australia image

I went to Sydney on a VERY cold weekend!

Australia isn’t all warm beaches and deserts so you’re going to want to bring a jumper (sweater) or light jacket for the cooler months (late May to August). Be sure to check out the temperatures for where you’re headed because you may need more warm clothes if you’re headed to southern parts of the country.

Also throw in one or two nice outfits you can wear to parties, clubs or restaurants. For guys this usually means pairing a button-up shirt with jeans, and for girls, a dress or nice top and pants with heels or nice flats.

And you absolutely must bring your togs (slang for swimming costume or bathers). Your Australian classmates are likely going to be spending their weekends and free time at the beach or local pool, especially in the warmer months. Be sure to bring a good pair of walking shoes to spend days exploring national parks or roaming cities.

Bathroom and House

You shouldn’t need to bring much with you besides deodorant, toothpaste, a little soap and shampoo for your first showers and moisturizer to protect against dry skin in the airplane. Once you’re settled ask a local where the closest grocery or $2 store is and you can get all the supplies you need.

Don't pack your whole bathroom sink! Photo by citymama (flickr)

Don’t pack your whole bathroom sink! Photo by citymama (flickr)

Girls may want to bring supplies for “that time of month” as products can be different and items that you’re used to may be very hard to find. If you’re from North America, leave your hairdryers and straighteners at home. Not only will you save valuable bag space but if you use them in Australia, they may not be able to handle the increased voltage that Australian power outlets supply. If you really need them consider buying a cheap ones or sharing with your roommates.

If you have the room in your bag, bring along old or cheap bed sheets and towels (one for the bath, one for the beach!). Then you can throw them out when you leave and use that space for your new souvenirs!

Top 10 Really Great Study Abroad Tips from College Tourist

School Supplies

Many Australian students take laptops or tablets into lectures to take notes, although this is completely a personal choice. The chargers on most of these devices are usually able to adjust to different voltages, so all you should need is a power adapter. You can also take notes with pen and paper, and many students use notepads in tutorials to work through the classwork and assessment.

An Australian power outlet!

An Australian power outlet! Make sure you get an adapter so you can use your devices!

Other tips

Be sure to bring a small backpack, or use your carry-on bag, for weekend trips to other cities and attractions!

Purchase an Opal Card when you first arrive to use on public transportation such as the bus and train. Taxis are expensive so figure out where you are in relation to your University on arrival.

Check the Australian customs website – Australia has tight quarantine laws, you can not bring food or plant life into the country.  You don’t want to be handing over your favorite snacks as soon as you land.

Carry a copy of your passport and visas, travel and other important documents as well as photos of  your luggage. You should also leave a copy of all this information at home with someone trusted and contactable while you are away.

Packing Tips for StudyingAbroad in Australia

Michaela Hewitt

University of the Sunshine Coast | 3 stories

Michaela Hewitt is halfway through a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Journalism at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She loves to travel, run, bake and write. Her dream job involves travelling around the globe to try the world's cuisines and writing about it.

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