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Friday, December 15th, 2017

Wanna play korfball and netball in Australia?

Making the move to study in Australia is an exciting event and can be quite overwhelming at times. Though you’ll likely be meeting several new friends within your program, another great way to meet people and keep fit is through sport!

Korfball and netball in Australia

Thinking of joining a sports team?

Australia is home to some really great athletic options that haven’t shared the same popularity in Canada. Korfball is a fast-paced and dynamic game that is the only truly co-gendered team sport in the world. It originated in the Netherlands in 1902 and made its way to Australia in 1978. It shares similarities with sports like basketball, handball, and netball (another great sport that is a bit more unknown in Canada)!

The origins of the game come from a school teacher who wanted to encourage playing together on equal terms for both boys and girls, focusing on teamwork and cooperation. A team is made up of eight players, half male and half female. Players are only able to defend individuals of the same gender; this allows for the game to be fast paced and not strength dominated. Though the rules of the game are difficult to explain, once you start playing, it all makes sense! I’d encourage you to sign up for a taster session to give it a try!

Alternatively, for the female crowd, check out netball. Netball emerged from early versions of basketball and was a female-only game, but now there are also men’s-only leagues available. This sport is made up of teams of seven. The sport became an International Olympic Committee recognised sport in 1995, but has yet to be played in the Olympics.

For both sports, the objective is to outscore the opposition.

Many universities offer social sports leagues, which are the perfect opportunity to try out something new, or to get back into a sport you haven’t played in a while. I can say firsthand that the friends I’ve made through sports teams are still individuals that I’m in touch with today! Even if you’re not interested in playing, I’d suggest looking into catching a game!

For further information, check out the links below. Social netball leagues are offered at most universities and korfball leagues are available in major cities.

Korfball Australia: https://korfball.org.au/

Netball Australia: http://netball.com.au/

University of Sydney Netball (Social League): https://www.susf.com.au/shop/item/social-netball-competition

University of Melbourne Netball: http://www.sport.unimelb.edu.au/Netball

University of Queensland Social Outdoor Netball: https://uqsport.com.au/content/social-outdoor-netball

James Cook University Netball (Social): https://www.jcusa.edu.au/tsv-sport/social-sport/

Griffith University Netball Club: https://www.griffith.edu.au/sport/play-sport/sport-clubs/netball-club

University of Western Australia Netball (Social Clubs also available): http://www.sport.uwa.edu.au/competitive-sport/clubs/netball

Monash University Netball: https://www.monash.edu/sport/social-sport/rules/netball

Introduction to netball video: http://netball.com.au/our-game/what-is-netball/

Introduction to Korfball video: http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s3512691.htm


Find out more about how you can study in Australia!

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Study occupational therapy at Bond University

Occupational therapy can be very rewarding for both client and therapist. Occupational therapists are highly trained health-care professionals, and they define an occupation as much more than a chosen career. Occupation refers to everything that people do during the course of everyday life, including feeding and dressing themselves.

Occupational Therapy at Bond University

Bond University’s Master of Occupational Therapy program is now 1 year old! Here are some of the special highlights that have occurred over the past 12 months.

Study occupational therapy at Bond University

Find out how you can study occupational therapy at Bond University

With two intakes, the first in September 2016 and the second in May 2017, the OT students came from an equal split of domestic and international origins with an eclectic suite of backgrounds. OzTREKK is pleased to say that we’ve sent six students to the Bond occupational therapy program since its debut in September 2016, with four more set to begin May 2018.

Bond was given provisional accreditation by the Occupational Therapy Council of Australia and graduates are eligible for registration with the Australian Health Practitioners Authority (AHPRA) and are also recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Bond occupational therapy students have had various out of classroom experiences presenting information sessions on topics such as safety and assistive devices to aged-care facilities where valuable knowledge has been gained from the real-life experiences of the people who attended.

Students have excelled with two exceptional students being honoured at the Faculty awards evening: Gurjeet Kaur, Executive Dean’s List for Academic Excellence; and Kim Schalaphoff, Vice-Chancellor’s List for Academic Excellence.

Along with developing and delivering a new curriculum, Bond University staff have also been busy publishing eight peer-reviewed publications within their specific areas of interest.

Happy birthday, Bond University occupational therapy!

Master of Occupational Therapy

The Master of Occupational Therapy at Bond University combines lectures, tutorials, workshops, case studies, fieldwork and simulation to embed the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as an occupational therapist. The program focuses on real-world learning with fieldwork opportunities in most courses to help students link theory to practice.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Next intake: May 2018
Duration: 2 calendar years (6 semesters)
Application deadline: No set deadline. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Entry requirements

The minimum academic entry requirement is an undergraduate degree in health sciences or other related degree with

  • one semester of anatomy,
  • one semester of physiology, and
  • two semesters of psychology or sociology or behavioural science.

Apply now to Bond Occupational Therapy School!


Do you have questions about the Bond occupational therapy program? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Heather Brown at heather@oztrekk.com.

Monday, December 4th, 2017

OzTREKK student named Regional Student of the Year

JCU Medical School student (and former OzTREKKer!) Reuben George has been named Regional Student of the Year at the 2017 Study Queensland IET Excellence Awards! The IET Excellence Awards recognise international education industry leaders, community and business contributors and current and past international students for their achievements.

OzTREKK student named Regional Student of the Year

Regional Student of the Year Reuben George (Photo: JCU)

These high achievers were celebrated at an awards ceremony held Nov. 22, 2017.

The IET Excellence Awards are the only state-wide awards program specifically dedicated to recognising the Queensland international education and training sector and celebrate individual and team success.

Having recognised the importance of support for international students studying medicine, Reuben has worked tirelessly throughout his studies to ensure his fellow international students felt supported and welcomed.

From his own journey of moving to Australia, Reuben recognized that there were very limited supports for international students in the medical program. He decided it was his duty to help guide all future incoming international students.

Reuben has since created an international student manual, which the university provides to each incoming international student. He also lobbied to co-create a mentorship program funded by the JCU College of Medicine and student medical society. This program partners each international medical student with an upper-year international student to support them through their transition of moving to a new country and entering a highly demanding degree. The program involves having coffee catch-ups and weekly social media mental health check-ins, group activities, and peer tutoring for free.

Reuben ensures each student feels heard and he encourages all to be leaders. His passion for international students’ health and well-being is what spurred many of the upper-year students to become mentors themselves.

The current JCU med student’s experience landed him the role of Australian Medical Students Association’s International Chair in 2016, representing all international medical voices across the country.

Reuben does all of this work not for himself, but so that no student feels as isolated as he did in his first year. He wants to help give international students a hand up and achieves this through his many platforms, including his vlog, “Beyond the Stethoscope,” (below) where he captures his life as a medical student and the many challenges and triumphs that come with it.

Congratulations, Reuben, from all of us at OzTREKK!

About JCU Medicine

The 6-year, full-time MBBS degree is a comprehensive program with integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine. Graduates will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Next semester intake: February 2019
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: TBA. Generally the end of August each year.

Apply to JCU Medical School!


Would you like more information about studying medicine at JCU Medical School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com.

Friday, December 1st, 2017

When in Australia, don’t forget to explore!

Meet OzTREKK’s other Australian medical schools admissions officer—Amanda Rollich. Amanda has actually spent four and a half years living in Northern Beaches, Sydney, so she’s fully koalafied to give you some interesting travel ideas for when you’re Down Under! Take it away, Amanda!

Studying in Australia is a giant adventure and it’s important that, aside from your textbook adventure, you also prioritize fun away from #unilife!

When in Australia, don't forget to explore!

You must visit Uluru! (Ayers Rock)

We know that escaping the library and distancing your brain from the demands of say, a medical program, can seem difficult; however, it is vital for your wellness, stress level and overall happiness to do so. Students must remember to fill their “experience buckets” while in Australia!

You don’t have to go far and it need not be expensive!

Getting out on the weekend to explore a new suburb, or taking a short flight to a new location during breaks will certainly offer invaluable experiences you’ll be able to bring home, and maybe even into your classroom!

There are quite reasonably priced day tours that depart from most central business districts (CBD), or for the non-Oz folk “downtown!” For example, Melbourne students can hop on tour from the CBD to view the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. As well, Sydneysiders should definitely head out to the Blue Mountains just a few hours west of the campus. Hit up a friend with a car and plan a Saturday away from the books! We know you’re on a budget, so pack a lunch and share the cost of gas. 🙂

Remember, you’ve travelled so far and don’t want to regret not meeting an Aussie bff, attempting to surf, seeing Steve Irwin’s legacy at the Australian Zoo or heading out on a couple of local bushwalks.

An idea may be to add a different experience goal to your calendar each month and tick them off! It could be as simple as “this month I must try a meat pie,” to visiting a new beach every few months. The ideas really are endless. Absorb it all and you’ll come home not only on your exciting new career path, but with heaps of memories that will make you smile for years to come.

Me snowboarding on Mount Perisher
Camping in Lorne, Victoria
Visit Upper Crust—yum!
See Byron Bay, New South Wales
Explore Kings Canyon, Northern Territory
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.

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

OzTREKK Student Tips: understanding accommodation in Australia

You’re going to study in Australia. So, are you ready to go apartment hunting? If you’re a little nervous, that’s completely understandable. But hundreds of former OzTREKK students have done it… and so can you! We have assisted thousands of students understand the steps required to securing accommodation in Australia—and we haven’t lost a student yet!

First, do your best to arrive a few weeks before Orientation. This will give you enough time to find suitable accommodation and settle in before classes commence.  Former OzTREKK students have told us that it takes 2–3 weeks to find accommodation, especially in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Keep in mind that if you arrive just after Christmas, you can bet real estate agents are still on holidays!

OzTREKK Student Tips: understanding accommodation in Australia

Is finding accommodation stressing you out?

Consider the following:

  • Ensure you have temporary accommodation arranged.
  • Be prepared financially for the time you may need to spend in temporary accommodation.
  • Make housing your first priority.
  • Avoid rushing your house hunting. Feeling rushed can hinder your ability to make wise choices.
  • Be informed. Before you arrive, read as much as you can about the various housing options and how to arrange them. Then you can get straight into house hunting after you arrive, rather than trying to figure out where to go and what to do.
  • Have a bank account set up before you get to Australia—you usually cannot pay bonds and deposits in cash!
  • It’s okay to choose on-campus accommodation for the first semester/year! Lots of OzTREKK students do this.

“Residences on campus are a good place to get your feet on the ground in Australia, but they fill up fast, so apply as soon as you get your offer.” OzTREKK student

1. Think about your needs and budget.

Like most of the decisions you are making as you prepare to become an international student, there are many issues to consider. Your accommodation options in Australia are varied, and when searching for off-campus housing, you will need to contemplate location, public transportation accessibility, proximity to campus and shopping, lifestyle, your study habits, and cost, among other factors.

2. Understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant in Australia.

As an international student, it is important for you to review and understand your rights and responsibilities for renting property in the Australian state in which you are planning to rent. Visit Australian Government: Buying, selling or renting property for more info.

3. Research your long-term accommodation options.

To begin your research for accommodation, you need to know how to find and view rental properties. Generally, most Australians would view private rental listings via the internet (e.g., realestate.com.au, or craigslist), in their local newspaper or through a local real estate agent, who will provide a listing of local rental properties currently available. Most Australians rent an apartment or house through a real estate agent, who acts as the landlord for the property owner.

Take the time to explore your Australian university’s “Accommodation/Housing” website. Most universities have extensive information about where to look, which suburbs you should consider, and outline your choices for on-campus and off-campus housing. For off-campus accommodation, most Australian universities have private rental databases for students to explore options before they arrive in Australia.

It is recommended that you do not pre-book rental accommodation, but use the private rental database to become familiar with your options before arriving in Australia.

“DON’T arrange accommodation before arrival—it’s much wiser to live in an airbnb while looking for a roommate/permanent place to stay. You’ll want to explore all your options and what’s most convenient for you. Places may not appear as advertised and climate makes a big difference (i.e., places without A/C and good ventilation make living difficult).” OzTREKK student

4. Know how to secure off-campus accommodation.

Here is a general overview of the process to secure a private rental apartment or house in Australia:

Complete a Rental Application: This application will have to be approved in order for you to begin your tenancy. It’s a good idea to prepare an “accommodation folder” with copies of everything you may need. We highly recommend you bring the following documents with you from Canada, as you may be asked for these when applying for a rental property:

  • receipts from previous landlords
  • reference letters from previous landlords
  • passport/visa
  • driver’s licence
  • student card
  • health card
  • bank statement / evidence of money to pay your rent and bond deposit

Sign a Tenancy Agreement: Once your application is approved, the real estate agent or landlord will give you the tenancy agreement to read, understand and sign. Any questions should be directed to the real estate agent or landlord for clarification. Keep a signed copy of this.

Pay a Bond and Rent Advance: Most properties require a bond, or security deposit, to be placed on the property when a rental application is accepted. This is usually the cost of one month’s rental. The security deposit is paid into the Residential Tenancy Bond Authority (RTBA)—a government body—and it remains in this trust account until you vacate the property.

The bond will be refunded at the end of your lease if you return the property in the same condition (excluding reasonable wear and tear) as when your tenancy began. You will also need to pay your landlord a rental advance (usually the first month’s rent) up front to secure the property. These funds go to the landlord as part of his rental earnings.

To complete this phase, you pay the bond and the amount of rent required in advance. The real estate agent or landlord will give you a bond lodgement form to complete and sign. Keep a signed copy of this. You will then receive a receipt from the RTBA within seven days of receiving the bond. Keep this receipt as you will need to access your bond money at the end of your tenancy!

Complete a Condition Report: The real estate agent or landlord then fills in a property condition report and marks down what he/she believes to be the condition of the premises. You can then make comments on what you believe to be the condition of the premises and hand in the condition report within seven days.

“Come early and bring documents showing rental history, proof of financing/bank statements, references, etc, to increase your chances of winning a bid on a place.” OzTREKK student

How to protect yourself

  • Never pay a deposit on a private rental until you’ve seen it in person.
  • Always inspect a property in person. If the landlord doesn’t let you, move on.
  • Search the property online and find out where it is and if it suits your needs.
  • Ask about all the terms and conditions of your stay.
  • Try to look for accommodation through official channels and websites rather than through forums and social media.
  • Keep copies of all correspondence with the people you’re renting from.
  • When you find a place you like, take your time going through it when you’re filling out your condition report. Take photos if you think you should!


Don’t forget, we’re here to support you. If you have questions about accommodation, please feel free to contact your admissions officer!

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Predeparture preparation: getting ready to study in Australia

If you’ve applied to a physiotherapy program in Australia through OzTREKK, then you’ve met Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh!

Predeparture preparation: getting ready to study in Australia

Physio Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh

Krista’s prepared a blog for everyone getting ready to go to Australia with tips for your predeparture preparation. Take it away, Krista!

Whenever the weather starts to get colder here in Canada, something very special happens here in the OzTREKK office. Offers start to roll in, and we enter into Pre-Departure season. In other words, we start to help our students get ready to escape the cold and head to Australia.
While this is meant to be an exciting time, it can be very overwhelming for many, but OzTREKK wants you to know that we have you covered! Really and truly, there are no stupid questions in the predeparture phase and if you are thinking it, there is a really great chance that somebody else is thinking it, too! It’s sort of like turning to Google to answer your seemingly stupid question only to find that thousands of other people have wondered the very same thing (this does happen to you too, right?).

Whether you consider yourself a travelling expert or not, the majority of your anxiety likely comes from picking up your life, packing it in a suitcase and moving it across the world.

In light of this, I took the liberty of Googling some of the first things that would come to my mind in preparation for the long trek to Oz. I came across some really helpful tips and blogs that I think you will benefit from!

  1. How To Pack Your Life Into a Carry-on
  2. Booking an Airbnb for the First-Time User
  3. How To Survive a Long Haul Flight
  4. How To Dress Like a Local in Australia
  5. How To Pack a Suitcase in 30 Minutes
  6. How to Prepare for your Arrival with Google Maps
  7. How to Say Goodbye and Move Across the World
  8. Brush up on Australian Slang (because it won’t sound like English)
  9. Check out the Lonely Planet Website
Predeparture preparation: getting ready to study in Australia

Are you getting ready to study in Australia?

Once you have browsed through all of this, you will likely have additional questions that come to mind. Feel free to Google away, and if there is anything you are unsure about, please make sure that you check in with your OzTREKK Admissions Officer so that we can help you out!

Happy planning and packing!


What are you predeparture questions? Send them our way: info@oztrekk.com or call us at 1-866-698-7355. We’ll get you ready to study in Australia!

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Griffith Medical School scholarship application deadline extended

Have you applied to Griffith Medical School?

Griffith Medical School scholarship application deadline extended

Find out how you can study at Griffith Medical School

The Griffith Medical School is known for its innovation and excellence in medical research and education. Griffith MD students will develop communication skills and learn about the art and science of medicine in its wider social and ethical context. The program comprises extensive clinical placements in health care facilities ranging from rural settings through to the brand new Gold Coast University Hospital.

The Doctor of Medicine program is a four-year graduate-entry program and focuses on four major themes:
1. Doctor and Patient
2. Knowledge of Health and Illness
3. Doctor and Health in the Community
4. Doctor and Law, Ethics and Professional Practice

And, guess what? Griffith offers a scholarship for the Doctor of Medicine program and has extended this deadline to November 30.

Pro Vice Chancellor (Health) Graduate Entry Scholarship in Medicine

For: High-achieving graduates applying for the Doctor of Medicine program at Griffith University
Available to: New students commencing in Trimester 1, 2018
Level of study: Postgraduate
Citizenship: Citizen of a country other than Australia or New Zealand
Award value and benefits: $5,000 in total (two tuition payments of $2500 each)
Duration: Up to 4 years of study
Program of study: Doctor of Medicine
Applications close: November 30, 2017

Applicants are required to write a personal statement addressing three questions (200 words per question):

  1. Demonstration your knowledge of the profession of medicine and the broader role of medicine in the health care system.
  2. Demonstration your leadership and teamwork skills. Please also indicate your plans for the future.
  3. Outline any challenges you have faced in your education and in what way you have sought to overcome these challenges.


Would you like more information about this scholarship and about studying at Griffith Medical School? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com.

Friday, November 10th, 2017

How to prepare for your first flight to Australia!

Meet our Marketing Coordinator Lindsay Rodney. If you’ve ever been to an OzTREKK Study in Australia Fair or info session, you can bet Lindsay planned it! Here, Lindz talks about getting the most out of your very long flight to Australia!

How to prepare for your first flight to Australia!

Me on Brighton Beach, Melbourne, in front of one of the “bathing boxes”

When I first heard I was heading to Australia, my first thought was… well I can’t really say it here, but you can bet there were a lot of bad words that came to mind (in a good way).  I couldn’t believe that I was going to a country that I only dreamed of—and for work nonetheless.

My second thought was, “How long is the flight?” Travelling from Ottawa to Melbourne is quite a distance and then it sank in: I was going to have to endure  a 26+ hour journey with a  14+hour flight mixed in. I had no idea how people did it!

I’m not a person who’s scared of flying, In fact, I actually like it; however, sitting in a 2’ x 3’ area for more than 14 hours in one sitting was going to be a challenge. So I tried to prepare myself as much as possible, packing my carry-on with snacks, a book and my power cord and hoped for the best. However, after completing the journey, there were a few things I learned that could help a few of you.

 How to prepare for your first flight to Australia!

Get ready to watch!

Here are my top five tips to do when preparing for your first flight to Australia!

Download Netflix Series/Movies

This is a great opportunity to catch up on all those series your friends are talking about! You’re going to hibernate for 14 hours and come out on the other side knowing all there is to know about the Upside Down and Demogorgons.

 How to prepare for your first flight to Australia!

Take care of your feet so you don’t get “cankles”

Tip: Download the episodes in advance on Wi-Fi and delete them as you watch them; this will help make room for all those amazing pics you’re going to take. 🙂

 Get Compression/Travel Socks

When my mom asked me if I needed compression socks, I said “Mom I’m not 50. I’ll be fine!” Apparently I am 50, and I had “cankles” for about five days after I arrived in Melbourne.  When my feet finally returned to normal, I found the closest chemist (drug store) and bought a pair of travel socks for the flight home.

Tip: Don’t’ be a hero—get compression socks! Your feet will thank you!

 How to prepare for your first flight to Australia!

Stay hydrated

Bring a Water Bottle

Keep hydrated! I filled up my water bottle before I boarded the plane, and had the flight attendants fill it up when I needed it. It was helpful as then it also gave me an excuse to get up, stretch my legs and of course, go to the bathroom.

Tip: Staying hydrated will also help with “cankles” (related to #2)!

Don’t Wait to get Snacks

 How to prepare for your first flight to Australia!

Bring dry snacks you love

I flew from Ottawa to Vancouver, Vancouver to Brisbane, and then Brisbane to Melbourne, and when I left Ottawa I was really craving some BBQ crunchy coated peanuts and thought, it’s okay, I’ll get them in Vancouver. Nope! I searched everywhere for them and there were none in sight.

Tip: When you see a snack you want, get it because it won’t be at your next stop!

Bonus Tip: I suggest flying through Vancouver instead of the U.S. There are flights from Vancouver to Brisbane and from Vancouver to Sydney. This way you only have to go through customs once and you don’t risk getting delayed at LAX. 🙂

 How to prepare for your first flight to Australia!

Enjoy yourself!

Take Everything In!

This is going to be an experience you will remember for a lifetime. Don’t stress about the little details because when you’re sitting on the pier looking at the Sydney Opera House, the cankles will have been well worth it!

Tip: This is what it’s all about—enjoy this experience. You’ve made it!


I would love to see your tips and tricks to make your flight a little more bearable, use #oztrekk and share yours with us!

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Start your study-in-Australia countdown right

Moving to the other side of the planet can be stressful. You’re about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life, and if you let stress get the better of you, it can lead to unnecessary anxiety and forgotten tasks.

Start your study-in-Australia countdown right

It’s not too early to start your pre-departure checklist

Now is the time to be confident and excited, and the best way to be that way is to know you’re prepared. Ease your mind by tackling the countdown as systematically as possible. Let’s go through a list of the things you should be considering before your departure!


Print out all your offer documents, proof of enrollment, etc. Consider printing copies of your resume, references from previous landlords, banking statements, copies of your driver’s licence, etc. as these will be required for your accommodation search, and possibly when you land in Australia. Make a list of all the documents you will need, make several copies (as required), and organise it all in a folder that you will put in your carry-on.

Cell phone

Unlock your phone while still in Canada and use someone else’s card in your phone to test it out.

Travel itinerary

Keep an eye on your flights as they could change and not notify you. Find out how early you need to be at the airport.


Have you got your Australian bank account set up? If not, now is the time to get that organised. Most banks allow you to open an account from Canada, up to three months before you arrive. You’ll need access to money/cheques etc. when you’re searching for accommodation (if you’re going to be living in a private rental), and many real estate agents/landlords will not take cash.

Location, location, location

Where are you headed? We have three words: Google Street View! It’s a good idea to look at your campus and city maps. Check out the transit schedule and snoop around your university’s website; they have an “international” section with lots of helpful tips!


Organise your carry-on (documents folder!).

You may not need to start packing now, but at least consider the main items. Consider what type of clothing you’ll need. Summer only? Winter? Believe it or not, Melbourne can get quite chilly during their winter months, June, July and August. It’s a good idea to take your fall items at minimum. Even Sydney, Gold Coast, and Brisbane has cold nights in winter. Start your packing list and get tips from YouTube regarding the best way to pack—you’ll get a lot of ideas! It’s also a good idea to include a backpack/duffel for when you travel in Australia.


Hopefully this list will help you feel more settled and relaxed during this pre-departure phase! If you have concerns, please reach out to your OzTREKK Admissions Officer! Do you have any pre-departure tips? Send them our way: info@oztrekk.com.