Pre-Departure Guide

If you have been successful gaining a place at the Academy, it is vital that you plan your stay in Australia carefully before boarding your flights. This page contains important information that you need to know before departure.

Arranging Visas

If you only wish to study for a short period of time, a working holiday or tourist visa may be suitable for you. If you wish to study for more than twelve (12) weeks, generally you may need to look at a student visa (subclass 500). A different visa type may better suit your circumstances however. Most international students wanting to study in Australia require a student visa. Many students apply for a visa themselves online or via the Australian Diplomatic Mission in their country. The visa application process can be complicated and for students from some countries it may be better to submit an application with the assistance of an accredited agent due their familiarity and experience in the field. You should check with the education provider in Australia for their accredited agents in your country.

In order to apply for a student visa, you will need a valid passport, an Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) and any other documentation required by the Australian diplomatic post with which you lodge your application. For example, if you are under 18 you must have a completed Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) form to ensure your accommodation and welfare is approved by your education provider. Please note that Health Careers Language Academy does not currently enrol students under 18 years of age.

You must ensure to allow enough time for processing between lodging your application and the start of your academic program, as it can be a lengthy process depending on your country of origin.

Department of Home Affairs (DOHA)

The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), provides comprehensive information about student visa requirements and the application process, as well as application document checklists to assist you with your application.

Visit for the latest information.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website has a comprehensive list of Australian embassies, high commissions, consulates and representative offices around the world.

Education Agents

Education agents promote various Australian education programs and institutions internationally and are a good way for students to apply to study in Australia. Agents are experienced in making international student applications and applying for visas. Most speak both English and the local language so this makes the application process a lot simpler and generally hassle free for students and parents. Most do not charge for their service as they collect a commission from the institution you choose to attend. However, some agents do charge small amounts or offer additional services for which they charge. You can check with your Australian education provider for contact details of agents they recommend.

Please note: Although able to assist in completing education and visa applications, education agents are NOT licensed to provide migration advice.

Visa Conditions

If you are granted a visa, you must abide by its conditions. Failure to comply with these conditions could result in the cancellation of your student visa. These conditions include (but are not limited to):

For a full list of mandatory and discretionary student visa conditions please visit:

Overseas Student Health Cover

Holding appropriate medical insurance is a requirement for student visa holders. The correct insurance is called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and there are several approved Australian government providers of this available. The college can arrange this on your behalf (invoiced with your offer) or you can arrange this by yourself. For more information you can check out this website:

You can usually apply to get single cover, couple cover of multi-family cover. You may choose to contact and arrange your policy with any of the following providers:

Please note that there are exceptions to the rule however; you do not need OSHC if you are:

If the visa granted states that overseas medical insurance is required for compliance, then OSHC is compulsory for you. On some other visa types (other than a student visa), you may be eligible to apply for Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC). Do not get OVHC if you hold a student visa.

If you need to visit a doctor or medical centre, show your card at the end of the visit. You will be charged the doctor’s fee and the government fee component of that may be processed by the medical centre. If the medical centre is not able to process the government fee, pay the total amount, keep the receipt and you can claim the government fee back from your OSHC provider.

Full-time study condition

It is a standard condition of a student visa to be enrolled in a full-time ELICOS course. A full-time course means at least 20 contact hours in class per week. As a student, you prove to immigration that you are enrolled in such a course by providing them with an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) that the college will provide to enrolled students. College staff create the eCoE for you through a government computer system called PRISMS. If you are a student visa holder, you need to ensure that you have an active eCoE from a registered provider.

If you withdraw from your course, default on student fees, or your attendance drops too low, this can result in cancellation of your CoE and therefore may result in cancellation of your student visa as well. Therefore, the college must be strict on things like attendance. I encourage you to chat with our Student Services Officer or Admissions Officer if you have additional questions in this area.

Documents to bring with you

You should prepare a folder of official documents to bring with you to Australia including:

If you are travelling with your family you will need to include their documents as well.

Keep all documents in your carry-on luggage. In case you lose the originals, make copies that can be left behind with family and sent to you.

Upon arrival

Accessing Money

You should read this section carefully, and discuss the issues raised in this section with the bank or financial institution in your home country before you leave. All banks operate differently and you should be aware of all fees, charges, ease of access to your funds, and safety of the way in which you will access those funds.

How Much to Bring

You will need to make sure you have enough funds to support you when you first arrive. It is recommended that you have approximately AU$1500 to AU$2000 available for the first two to three weeks to pay for temporary accommodation and transport.

You should not bring large sums of money with you! Lost credit cards or traveller’s cheques can be replaced, but very few travel insurance companies will replace lost or stolen cash. Do not ask someone you have just met to handle your cash for you or to take your cash to make payments for you. Not even someone who may indicate they are studying at the same education institution.

Currency Exchange

Only Australian currency can be used in Australia. If you have not brought some with you, you will need to do so as soon as possible after arrival. You can do this at the airport. Once you have arrived in Australia, you can also change money at any bank or at currency exchanges.

Electronic Transfer

You can transfer money into Australia by electronic telegraph or telegraphic transfer at any time. This is a fast option and will take approximately 48 hours, but the bank will charge a fee on every transaction.


Automatic Teller Machines are located everywhere (including at the airport) and you can immediately withdraw cash from your overseas bank account at ATMs displaying the (if your ATM card has international access). Check this with your financial institution before leaving home.

Credit Cards

All major international credit cards are accepted in Australia but you must remember that repayments to many of these cards can only be made in the country where they were issued. Do not rely on being able to get a credit card once you arrive in Australia because this is very difficult due to credit and identification laws.

Temporary Accommodation

Hotels, Motels and Backpackers

Generally, the price you pay for accommodation will determine its quality. However, it can be expensive to stay in a good quality motel or hotel for a long period of time. Backpacker accommodation is relatively inexpensive but you may need to bring your own pillow and sleeping bag if you choose this option.

Staying with Friends or Family

If you know someone in Australia, this is a great way to settle in to life here. Your friends or family can provide advice, support and encouragement in your first days in Australia.

Bringing My Family

Most student visas allow you to bring your family members to Australia as your dependants (check your individual circumstances with the DIBP See: Arranging Visas).

Family members include your spouse, and you and your spouse’s dependent children.

Before bringing your spouse or children to Australia, you will have to prove that you can support them financially. The cost of supporting a family in Australia is very high. You may have to consider and discuss many issues with your family.

Issues to Consider

Rather than bringing your family together with you to Australia, some students may find it useful to arrive first, settle into studies, find appropriate accommodation, adjust to living in Australia and then arrange for their family to join them.

Before deciding to bring your family to Australia it is important to consider the following issues:

For more information visit:

Orientation for New Students

On-campus orientation day

Before starting their studies, students are provided with an orientation program which will include a tour of the campus, introduction to key staff members, a safety briefing and additional information they’ll need during their journey with HCLA.

Your First Day


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