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Posts Tagged ‘international student in Australia’

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

How to Get from Eh to Oz: Money

When you’re getting ready to study in Australia, it’s common to think of the major stuff like getting your student visa, arranging flights, and acquiring accommodation, but there are a few things that sometimes get missed. The “From Eh to Oz” team wants to help you ensure you can pay for your schooling and living and that you have a heads up about everything involved when studying internationally, including finances!

money

Predeparture prep: Let’s talk about money!

Today, we will discuss a few main points:

  • CIBC Contest
  • Cost of Living
  • Transferring Your Money
  • Loans
  • Banking in Australia
  • Tax File Number

CIBC and the Student Life Network Full Ride Contest

CIBC and the Student Life Network Full Ride Contest is open to all Canadians. You have an opportunity to win $35,000 for tuition. You simply need to get a new CIBC student bank account, credit card, or line of credit and join the Student Life Network to enter. You must complete this by December 31, 2018 to be eligible.

Cost of Living in Australia

The average international student in Australia spends about $390 AUD per week on living expenses, approximately $20,290 AUD per year. This figure really depends on the city in which you live, whether you live on campus, just off campus or in a less expensive suburb near your university, and how frugal or reckless you are with your cash! Check out the Cost of Living comparison tool to get a better idea.

Transferring Your Money

Throughout your studies, you are likely going to need to get money to Australia to pay your tuition fees and living expenses. In general, a wire transfer (called a telegraphic transfer in Australia) is the most effective way to do this. There are a few options of which you should be aware. Paying attention to rates can save you thousands of dollars (in some cases over ten thousand dollars) over the course of your full degree.

Over the last few years, OzTREKK has been a proud supporter of Cohort Go, an Australian company specializing in international student services. The company is incredibly responsive, and our students are treated well—as they should be! Cohort Go allows students to make tuition payments in their local currency and convert their AUD tuition fees at a significantly lower foreign exchange rate while eliminating extra international money transfer fees from the equation. We have found this is the cheapest way to pay your tuition and save as much as $15,000 over the course of your studies. You just need to make a local bank transfer and Cohort Go takes care of your payment from there.

OzTREKK isn’t any getting any referral rewards, we just really think this is one of the best solutions available for our students.

Loans

OzTREKK students usually use a combination of professional student lines of credit, Canadian student loans, and personal / family savings to fund their studies. Canadian students who study outside Canada are eligible for loans provided by the federal government through the Canada Student Loans Program, in addition to loans provided by their province of residence. Provincially, students from Ontario can received $10,000, while BC students can receive $20,000, and Alberta students can receive $30,000. Please note that these are approximate amounts and your student loan will be release after your program has commenced.

Banking in Australia

Many OzTREKK students recommend you open a bank account before you leave for Australia as securing accommodation is often much easier when you have an Australian bank account!

Some Australian banks allow international students open an account online from overseas up to three months before you arrive—and many OzTREKK students recommend doing this. When you arrive in Australia, the bank will require you to show proof of identification in person at a bank branch.

  1. Your letter from the bank after you’ve opened the account
  2. Your passport
  3. Your student ID or proof of enrollment
  4. Australian cell phone number if you have one

Australia’s major national banks include

OzTREKK also recommends that you have a Canadian credit card with a reasonable maximum limit to take with you to Australia. It is not the best option for exchanging money from CAD to AUD and paying for things in Australia, but it may be helpful for emergencies and when you first arrive in Australia while you are setting up an Australian bank account.

#OzTREKKTip: Find out which bank has a branch on your university campus!

Tax File Number (TFN)

When you apply for your Australian student visa, make sure that you write down your Transaction Reference Number TFN (also called Tax Identification Number TIN) at the end, and save and print copies of the forms and receipts. A TFN reduces the tax rate you need to pay, and is required if you plan to work in Australia and for lodging tax returns. International students who are enrolled in a course that is longer than 6 months are considered residents for tax purposes.

Organisations such as banks, financial institutions and employers are entitled to ask for your TFN. For more information about TFNs and to apply, go to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

It may be necessary for you to file a tax return with the Canadian government for the year(s) you were studying in Australia. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency for more information.

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Stay tuned for more OzTREKK Predeparture tips! Questions or concerns? Please let us know! Email us at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free at 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, October 29th, 2018

Get ready for your OzTREKK Predeparture Meet & Greet!

Get ready for your OzTREKK Predeparture Meet & Greet!

Getting ready to study in Australia? We got your back.

When we talk about predeparture preparation, we’re talking about the whole kit and caboodle: understanding your offer letter, learning about OSHC, student visas, money, accommodation options, travel… and more!

We also know that you are about to fly around the globe to the other side of the planet, and while this is an exciting time in your life, it’s also a bit stressful.

OzTREKK Predeparture Meet & Greets

Don’t miss the OzTREKK Predeparture Meet & Greets!

Cue OzTREKK.

To help alleviate as much stress as we can, last year we decided to “upgrade” our predeparture services by making our in-person events as rewarding as possible!

So what does this mean for you?

In a few short weeks, you will be an international student in Australia. An OzTREKK Predeparture Meet & Greet will guide you through the final steps as you prepare to live and study in Australia. It is also a great opportunity to meet other students who will be at your university and in your program (aka future roommates)! Whether you have already accepted your offer, will be doing so in the next couple of weeks, or are yet to meet the conditions of your offer, you are invited to attend.

OzTREKK in-person Predeparture Meet & Greets

Toronto: Saturday, November 3
Calgary: Saturday, November 11
Vancouver: Saturday, November 13

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Don’t forget: You can get useful predeparture tips on the OzTREKK Boarding Pass!  If you have not yet received your invitation to attend an upcoming Meet & Greet, please contact your OzTREKK admissions officer or call 1-866-698-7355. See you soon!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

UQ celebrates 55 years of speech pathology studies

If you’ve ever wondered what it is like to study speech pathology, and where those studies could take you, pull up a chair.

Professor Liz Ward from the University of Queensland’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences currently holds a joint position as a Professor of Speech Pathology at UQ, as well as Professor of the Centre for Functioning Disability and Health Research within the Metro South Hospital and Health Service at Queensland Health.

UQ celebrates 55 years of speech pathology studies

Speech Pathology Prof Liz Ward (Photo: UQ)

The university caught up with her for a Q&A—in celebration of 55 years of speech pathology at UQ!

UQ: What inspired you to get into speech pathology?

LW: Unlike some, I was one of those students who was not really certain it was the career for me until I did my first adult placement, then I was hooked! I knew then that I wanted to work with adults in hospital services, and 25 years later that’s the clinical group upon which I have focused my entire career.

UQ: What is your area of expertise/favourite topic within the field?

LW: My main area of expertise is speech and swallowing management of patients with head and neck cancer. I am also very passionate about improving critical and intensive care services and tracheostomy management. It’s the complex medical conditions and the challenge of making a difference to recovery patterns in the hospital and health environment that are a real interest area for me.

In addition to those clinical areas I love health services research in general, and developing new services and models of care, such as telehealth, which are changing practice and improving the patient experience.

UQ: What has been the best moment of your career so far?

LW: I am incredibly fortunate as I have had many. From a research perspective, seeing the many research initiatives I have led become part of routine clinical care is the greatest reward.

From a personal perspective it was the recent honour of presenting the Chris O’Brien Oration at the Australia and New Zealand Head and Neck Cancer Society conference. It was a lovely acknowledgement of the research profile that speech pathology has in this field, and recognition of the important role speech pathology has in head and neck cancer care.

UQ: What would you say to a person considering a career in speech pathology?

LW: Do it! But bring your A-game and always be the best you can, and understand that being a consumer of, and engaging in, clinical research will be an integral part of being a speech pathologist.

UQ: What are some of the lesser known career paths that a qualification in speech pathology could lead to?

LW: I once met a woman who had been a speech pathologist and had then gone on to use her skills in linguistics and phonetics to work as a speech analyst for an international law enforcement agency.

Find out what OzTREKK students think of the UQ speech pathology studies program!

Think you might be interested in studying speech pathology at UQ?

Did you know that students have ranked speech pathology at UQ is ranked #1 in Australia for its teaching quality and educational experience ?

The UQ speech pathology program is an accelerated program for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree. The program 2.5 years in length and will prepare graduates for a career in speech path across any of the diverse areas in which speech pathologists practice, such as education, health or private practice.

Program: Master of Speech Pathology Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next semester intake: July 2018
Duration: 2.5 years
Application deadline: March 30 each year

Apply to UQ Speech Pathology School!

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Do you need help with your UQ speech pathology studies application? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Speech Pathology Schools Admissions Officer Heather Brown at heather@oztrekk.com.

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

OzTREKK office closed for Christmas holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

OzTREKK office closed for Christmas holidays

Enjoy your break!

It was our pleasure to assist all of you over the past year. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season, and we can’t wait to help our new students in the new year and greet our current students in Australia for OzTREKK Orientations!

Don’t forget to visit the OzTREKK Boarding Pass for the latest information about your Australian university orientation dates, accommodation options, student visa tips, and much more!

Like our Australian universities, the OzTREKK office will be closed during Christmas and the New Year—from Friday, Dec. 22 at noon to Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018—bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

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If you are a current OzTREKK student getting ready to study in Australia for semester 1, 2018 intake and you have an emergency, please contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com, as it will be checked periodically during the holidays.

Friday, November 24th, 2017

Driving in Australia

You’re going to study in Australia. At first, you may live on campus. Then, when you’re comfortable and have made friends, you may choose to live off campus in the city. While city transit may work for some people, others may be interested in driving themselves around!

Driving in Australia

Be prepared to look right, left, right!

Relearning to drive (on the opposite side of the road) can be a little intimidating. OzTREKK Admissions Manager Nicole Bowes has been to Australia oh, just a few times, and knows what it’s like to drive on the left side of the road. Here are some of Nic’s “driving in Australia” tips for everyone!

On my most recent Australian adventure, I made the daring decision to drive on the other side of the road. While I had done this once previously in England and it was a success, I had some reservations about doing it again. I should have probably started by saying that I am an extremely nervous driver in my own car on a clear day in Canada.

Now that I am on the other side of my Australian driving experience (and I came out unscathed) I thought I would share my journey with you.

Many of our students will drive while they are Down Under and some will even purchase a car during their time. If you don’t want to commit and buy a car and just want to go for a bit of joy ride to see the sights, renting a car in Australia is super easy. You will want to educate yourself before driving in Australia to make sure you are following all rules and licensing procedures.

Much like here in Canada, transportation is pretty great in most places around Australia, but if you really want to get a feeling for living like a local, driving around can help you see things off the beaten path. Most airports have a selection of rental companies to choose from, and in a lot of places you can pick up in one location and drop off at another. You can also find a car via different car share companies and local rental offices, too.

Driving in Australia

Nicole, a little freaked out as the passenger…

I recently flew from Sydney to the Gold Coast and picked my rental up right from the airport. The Gold Coast was super easy to get around as there is a main highway running close to the ocean that gets you to most places. The trick is to not stare at the ocean while you drive.

I drove from the Gold Coast to Byron Bay, which is about an hour, and made the following observations:

  • I never use my emergency brake in my automatic car. Do you? I pulled the rental out of the rental parking lot and could not figure out why the car was beeping at me. Turns out, the e-brake (referred to as the hand brake Down Under) is used all the time. Park the car, set the brake. Start the car, take the brake off.
  • Your signal lever is now your windshield lever and your windshield lever is now your signal lever. You will accidentally wipe your windows a number of times when you first start driving. It’s okay. The best part comes when you realize you aren’t doing it anymore!
  • Right-hand turns aren’t easy anymore. Left hand turns are.

My most stressful moment occurred in my first large roundabout. As I was coming in to the roundabout I jumped back in to Canadian driving mode and turned right to head around the circle. I should have gone with the flow of traffic and kept left. I immediately knew something was off… because there was a car coming straight at me. I stopped my car, took a deep breath and turned myself in to the closest lane of traffic going with the flow of traffic. I was heading away from my destination, but was able to turn around at the next road and make it back through the roundabout successfully!

The best advice I can give to you if you plan to drive in Australia is to be patient with yourself (this applies to most things in life!). Pay attention. Go slow in to the first few turns and the first few roundabouts. It won’t take very long to get used to and before you know it, you won’t hit the windshield wipers to turn or try to climb in through the passenger door!

Planning on driving in Australia, or buying a car? Make sure you get in touch to ask questions about each state process for licensing.

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Thank you for attending the OzTREKK Pre-departure Meet & Greets!

At OzTREKK, we are proud to assist our students in any way we can—including holding in-person pre-departure get-togethers, which have now morphed into full-blown Meet & Greets!

Sydney Dental School

Of course we had pizza!

Our pre-dep prep aims to guide students through the final steps as they prepare to live and study in Australia.We planned them this way so everyone has the opportunity to meet other students who will also be travelling to Australia to study—and to meet future friends and roommates.

Because each year gets bigger and better, this year we hit Toronto and Vancouver and Calgary, and we are so pleased we had a chance to meet you!

This year was so amazing. Many of our OzTREKK students and some of their family members joined us for these important meet-ups, and, as always, it was just as fun for OzTREKK staff as it was for the students! What a great way to prepare for your trek to Australia and get the latest 4-1-1 on what to expect—and meet some students who will be studying with you!

So, we send out a big thank you to everyone who came out to participate, and especially to Cathy and Bob Belanger, who helped us organise the OzTREKK Parents’ Network—it is very appreciated! We hope you all enjoyed your time with us, and if you have any suggestions for future Meet & Greets, please send them our way!

Australian medicine degrees
Tim Tam slam!
Australian universities
Snacks!
Australian universities
Signing in
Australian medicine degrees
Toronto Meet & Greet
Australian universities
Getting ready for trivia time
Australian universities
Parents’ Network in action

 

Monash medicine
Simran is heading to Monash Med School!
University of Sydney Dental School
Future Sydney dental student, Konnar, and family
Griffith University dentistry
Griffith dent student Monica and her lovely mom
Griffith Dental School
Monica G, trivia winner
UQ Dental School
Carly R, trivia winner
UQ Medical School
Yasaman M, trivia winner

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Would you like more information about how you can study in Australia? Are you getting ready to go and have questions? Contact us at info@oztrekk.com or call us toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, January 13th, 2017

How expensive is it to live in Australia?

Cost of Living in Australia

How expensive is it to live in Australia?

Your adventure in Australia awaits!

It can be challenging to advise students how much it will cost for one year of living expenses, as this depends on where a student lives and his/her lifestyle and spending habits. Obviously, a student living in Melbourne will have higher expenses than a student in Townsville.

Generally speaking, the cost of living in Australia is comparable to Canada. Most OzTREKK students find that living in Australia is more expensive than living in North America, especially clothing and dining out.

According to Australian Government records, the average international student in Australia spends approximately $380 AUD per week on living expenses, and this includes international and domestic travel costs. This figure really depends on the city in which you live, whether you live on campus, just off campus or in a less expensive suburb near your university, and how frugal or reckless you are in spending your cash!

As an international student in Australia, we recommend you factor in the following estimated costs:

  • Tuition: Know the cost per year and the cost per program in Australian dollars (as outlined on your offer letter). Note that tuition fees will increase each year of your program.
  • General living costs: $19,830 AUD per year
  • Travel: Can be up to $2,400 CAD (return airfare to/from Canada; you could also consider a one-way ticket, although this won’t be significantly less if you fly in January/February, which is peak season)
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC): Approximately $500 AUD for 12 months for a single person
  • Australian student visa application fee: $550 AUD (one-time fee)

Of course, you must include things like internet, phone, clothes, activities, food, etc. Insider Guides has a very handy Cost of Living Calculator so you can choose your city and your living arrangements to get a ballpark idea of what you’ll be spending per month.

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Need more moving-to-Australia tips? Contact OzTREKK!

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

Driving in Australia is easier than you think


As an international student studying in Australia, understanding the country’s traffic system is essential. When OzTREKK staff and students head to Australia for the first time, getting used to looking right then left can become a bit tricky, but everyone gets the hang of it!

With Australians driving on the left side of the road, it can be a challenging adjustment for Canucks who are used to driving cars on the right side. In most Australian states and territories (the exception is the Northern Territory), you are able to drive on a overseas licence as long as it is current. You can only drive vehicles which your overseas licence authorises you to drive and you must drive according to any conditions on your overseas licence. Here’s a breakdown by state:

Look left! Driving in Australia is easier than you think

You will get used to driving on the left. You will!

New South Wales
As you will be in NSW for more than three months, you can be issued with a Temporary Overseas Visitor licence. If you’ve been driving for more than three years, you’ll be issued an unrestricted licence. If you’ve been driving for fewer than three years, but more than 12 months, you’ll be issued a Provisional P2 driver’s licence. However, with both, driving and knowledge tests may be required. Also keep in mind that you cannot, by law, hold more than one licence at a time in Australia. Once you’ve been issued with a NSW licence, including a learner licence, it becomes the authority under which you can drive or ride on NSW roads. Your overseas licence is not recognised and has no authority while you hold a NSW licence.

Queensland You can drive in Queensland if you have a valid overseas licence; however, it is important to understand the state’s rules. Be sure to contact the Queensland Government for restrictions and other important info.

Victoria You must be at least 18 years of age to get a driver’s licence in Victoria. You will be issued a P1 probationary driver licence if you are under 21 years of age and have held an overseas driver licence for less than 12 months from your 18th birthday. You will be issued a P2 probationary driver licence if you are under 21 years of age and have held your overseas driver licence for more than 12 months, or are 21 years of age or older and have held your overseas probationary driver licence for less than three years. You will be issued with a full Victorian driver licence if you are 21 years of age or older and have held your overseas  probationary driver licence for at least three years, or hold or have held an overseas full driver licence.

Driving tips

Here are some tips on navigating your vehicle in Australian traffic and knowing what to look for as a pedestrian.

Look left! Driving in Australia is easier than you think

An Aussie reminder for those on a one way… seems natural for the Canadian though!

In the driver’s seat When driving on the left, you’re going to be tempted to inch away from the right-hand side in an effort to stay clear of the oncoming traffic. While it’s good to be cautious, you may find yourself inching too far to the left, either on the shoulder or a neighbouring lane. To ground yourself, place your right foot straight. This will help you understand where your right tire is located, thus giving you a better idea about spacing.

Merry go round We’ve got a quite few in Canada now, and we’re getting more every year! Roundabouts are extremely common in Australia and Europe. If you don’t understand how roundabouts work, you will! Roundabouts keep the flow of traffic going and don’t depend on lights to navigate traffic.

  • Traffic in a roundabout flows in a clockwise direction in Australia.
  • In a two-lane roundabout, you keep to the left lane if you’re turning left or going straight ahead.
  • You keep to the right lane if you’re turning right. You can also use the right lane in a two-lane roundabout if you’re going straight ahead.
  • You use your left-turn signal for a left turn, the right-turn signal for a right turn. If you’re turning right and are on the right lane, switch on your left-turn signal when exiting. It has become law in New South Wales that motorists must signal left, in every instance, whenever exiting from a roundabout.

Walk this way
When crossing the street in Canada, we look left then right. You have to change your mind set for life Down Under. You must look right, as the cars will be coming from this direction. International visitors often look left and inch out onto the road without realizing the traffic is coming from the opposite direction. Before you get confident crossing the road, get into the habit of looking both ways.

Easy-peasy We know it seems intimidating, but before long, you’ll be whizzing around like a local and forget that traffic is opposite in the Great White North. Just ask OzTREKK Director Jaime Notman. She only turned her wipers on 56 times before she remembered the indicator switch was on the right.

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Are you getting ready to go? What else can OzTREKK help you with? Make sure you log in to the OzTREKK Boarding Pass site to give you the inside scoop on becoming an international student in Australia!

Friday, November 18th, 2016

JCU medical student: Australian snacks you need to try

Former OzTREKK student Helena Xiang is back, and she’s got some snacking tips for everyone headed to JCU Medical School in Townsville, Queensland… and for everyone else, too!

Confession: I am a habitual snacker. There are always food packages sprawled across my desk for my convenience when I study. That’s why I’m always on the hunt for new snacks I’ve never tried before. I’ll be talking about different foods to try while you’re here.

When you travel, eating the food from that country is a way to experience their culture. Although Australia is very similar in culture (and food) as Canada and the US, you can still find some foods that are iconic or only available in Australia.

JCU med student: Australian snacks you need to try

Have you tried a Tim Tam slam?

Tim Tams

One of the most iconic Australian snacks, Tim Tams consist of cream between two biscuits and covered in chocolate. There are so many different types of flavours, including the original, three bean, mango, etc. This is probably one of the first snacks to try.

Vegemite

It’s an acquired taste. Only a thin layer of it on bread is needed. Any more than that and the taste becomes too strong. I heard that it tastes best in a grilled cheese sandwich. (OzTREKK note: Vegemite is a yeast-based product. It is extremely salty and bitter and most people won’t like it right away… or ever!)

JCU med student: Australian snacks you need to try

Do you dare to try Vegemite?

Red Rock Deli chips

These are really good chips, but really expensive (for a poor student on a budget). They have a selection of cool flavours that aren’t available where I’m from, like Wagyu Beef and Wasabi Cream, and Creamy Saffron and Sage. (OzTREKK note: Director Jaime Notman’s favourite flavour is Green Chilli & Coriander!)

JCU med student: Australian snacks you need to try

Red Rock Deli chips—Green Chilli & Coriander!

There are many other snacks that are worth trying, including the selection of Arnott’s biscuits, and some chocolate and candies.

On a side note: Townsville is a small city, and there aren’t that many restaurants and stores close to campus. I talked to some people I know on campus, and realized that not many people know of nice Asian stores and restaurants. If you’re like me, and enjoy eating Asian foods or want to find certain oriental ingredients, the following are a couple places worth visiting.

For oriental foods and groceries, such as frozen dumplings, steam buns, spices, and instant noodles, it’s worth visiting Oriental Food Supplies. It’s close by (near Stockland), and the prices are reasonable.

Sun’s Chinese Dumplings

Great dumplings and fairly cheap as well! It’s a family business, and they have free delivery to select places on certain days. Worth a try! You can visit their Facebook page.

Hope you enjoyed it, and happy eating!

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Think you might be interested in studying at JCU Medical School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com for more information about your options!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

OzTREKK pre-departure events a success!

At OzTREKK, we are proud to assist our students in any way we can—including holding in-person pre-departure get-togethers. Our pre-dep prep aims to guide students through the final steps as they prepare to live and study in Australia. It is also a great opportunity to meet other students who will also be travelling to Australia to study. This year, we hit Toronto and Vancouver, and we are so pleased we had a chance to meet you!

OzTREKK pre-departure events a success!

OzTREKK staff in the “photo booth”

This year, many of our OzTREKK students and some of their family members joined us for these important seminars, and, as always, it was just as fun for OzTREKK staff as it was for the students—just check out video slideshow! What a great way to prepare for your trek to Australia and get the latest 4-1-1 on what to expect—and meet some students who will be studying with you!

So, we send out a big thank you to everyone who came out to participate!

Next OzTREKK pre-departure webinar

Missed the in-person pre-dep events? No worries! You can still watch a live, online OzTREKK pre-departure webinar this Sunday!

For all students beginning Semester 1, 2017
Sunday, November 20 @ 8 p.m. EST

Check the time in your location with the Time Zone Converter.

Are you getting ready to go to Australia? Have you visited the OzTREKK Boarding Pass?

We created the OzTREKK Boarding Pass site to give you the inside scoop on becoming an international student in Australia. Here you can find out more about your student visa, accommodation, travel arrangements, banking, health coverage, and a lot more. Our goal is to get you organized, save time and money, and get to Oz with a smile on your face!

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For more information and to register for an OzTREKK Pre-departure webinar, please contact us at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.