Congratulations on your decision to study abroad in Australia!

We have outlined here TEAN’s six easy steps to studying abroad. Your TEAN Program Manager guides you through the entire process, reminding you when and what we need from you as you traverse along the journey to studying abroad. These six steps also include all the vital information you need to know as you prepare for your time abroad. If you can’t find the answers to your questions here, then don’t hesitate to call or email us.

Get Started



Congratulations! You have applied to a TEAN Australia semester program, so you are already one step toward the best semester of your college life. This section walks you through how to complete your application, pay your deposit, obtain a passport and check that yours will be valid for the duration you need, the best ways to contact TEAN and all the important dates to mark down on your calendar now. As usual, if your questions are not answered here, don’t hesitate to contact us. Step 1: Get Started explained in 60 seconds.

TEAN Application


1. If you haven’t already started your application with TEAN, you will need to visit the apply now page to start the process. You will be asked to pay a $95 application deposit that is counted toward your total program fees.

2. Once you’ve submitted your application and paid the application deposit, our team will review your application.

3. After your application has been approved by TEAN you will receive an email from us with information on how to login to your account and access your application.

4. Now you can start to work on the checklist items listed for your application. You will see a list of things that need to be worked on including the following:

  • TEAN Applicant Profile 
  • Copy of Your Passport – see the step by step instructions below (let us know if you’re renewing).   
  • Send the TEAN Statement from University electronically to your advisor at your home institution for completion 
  • Emergency Contact Info  
  • Academic Reference (if marked as required) 

As we move through the application process more forms and items will be added to your checklist by your Program Manager. So, continue to check back for updates! 

5. Submit your most recent transcripts

In order for us to fully accept you into the program, we will need to review your official transcripts.  For students studying in the Spring semester, we will need transcripts including grades from the previous Spring semester. For Fall students, we require transcripts including grades from the previous Fall semester.

There are two ways you can submit your official transcripts:

1. Request an official copy of your transcript be sent via mail to our office:

5301 Southwest Parkway, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78735

2. Request an official copy of your transcript be sent electronically (directly from your Registrar’s office) to We are unable to accept documents that have been previously opened as they are then considered “unofficial.”

Program acceptance


Once you complete the required forms in your TEAN application portal, your Program Manager will let you know that you are accepted to the program! Once accepted, we will provide information on how you will pay for your program. If we do not have a billing agreement with your home institution, you will receive your program invoice at this time. Payment is due by your program’s payment deadline. We’ll send you more information on how to make payment, using financial aid, and the option of a payment plan. Please be prepared to make payment by your payment deadline in order to move forward with the program. You can review more information regarding finances here.  


Your TEAN Program Contract will be available in your TEAN application portal once you apply. You must sign and upload your completed Program Contract by your program’s payment deadline. Please familiarize yourself with the cancellation policy below prior to signing your contract. 


The below cancellation policy applies if a student chooses to withdraw. For our policy covering TEAN cancelling the program, please see here. 

This policy applies to all cancellations, regardless of the reason. Your request to withdraw and receive a refund must be made in writing to TEAN. The $95 application deposit is non-refundable. If your application is denied due to eligibility requirements, your deposit will be fully refunded. Alternative payment arrangements (financial aid, payment plans, etc.) do not exempt you from this policy. Payment deadlines can be found on our Dates & Fees page. 

If you withdraw…  

  • on or before the TEAN original payment due date, you are liable for the $95 application deposit  
  • 1-9 days after the TEAN original payment due date, you are liable for $750 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf  
  • 10-20 days after the TEAN original payment due date, you are liable for $1,250 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf. Summer program participants are liable for $1,000 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf.  
  • 21 or more days after the TEAN original payment due date but prior to the final deadline for withdrawal, you are liable for $1,750 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf. Summer program participants are liable for $1,500 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf.   

The final deadline to withdraw from any TEAN program is 14 days prior to the start date of the program. If you withdraw after this deadline, regardless of the reason for withdrawal, you are not eligible for any refund from TEAN.  

Signing and returning all documents in your student portal is your responsibility. If you fail to return the documents after repeated notification (email or call), you will be deemed withdrawn and will not be eligible for any refund.  

Housing confirmation fees are non-refundable after the TEAN original payment due date. If you change or defer to another TEAN program after your TEAN original payment due date, but prior to the final deadline to withdraw, TEAN will assess a $500 change fee plus costs incurred. Program changes are not permitted 1-14 days prior to the start of the program. Prior to your official acceptance, please refrain from booking flights for your program. TEAN reserves the right to adjust program dates to accommodate host university calendar changes and is not responsible for airline fare or ticket change fees incurred by program participants.   

Prices and dates are subject to change without notice. 


Apply/Renew your Passport

Obtaining a passport for international travel may take a considerable period of time as the State Department can often have a backlog of applications to work through. Therefore, it is crucial that you apply for your passport as early as possible to avoid any last minute complications. You can apply for your passport at your local U.S. Post Office.

You can obtain necessary information regarding passports from the U.S. Department of State: Passport Services Department,   download passport applications, find a nationwide list of passport agencies, etc. here.

Verify Validity of your Passport

As a condition of your student visa, your passport must be valid a minimum of six months post your anticipated return home. If your current passport is set to expire before then, you will need to apply for a renewal.

Inform TEAN of your passport details

  1. Scan a copy of your passport page with your photo and information on it.
  2. Upload the scanned image to your TEAN application where it states, “Upload a color copy/photo of your passport.” Alternatively, email the scanned copy of your passport to your TEAN Program Manager.
  3. Enter your passport information under the section titled, “TEAN Applicant Profile.”

Contacting TEAN

Contacting TEAN

Email is the primary form of communication during the application and enrollment period. Please provide us with an email address you use regularly, as important program announcements and instructions will be sent via email. Also, please check your email on a regular basis and make sure to update your online application if you change your email address. Please also periodically check your junk mail to ensure that messages from TEAN are not being filtered into “spam”. If messages are being filtered into spam, please add the TEAN email address to your contacts.

In addition, please be sure to include your full name on all correspondence (including emails). We work with many students so providing your full name will ensure timely responses to questions and inquiries.

Mailing Address

5301 Southwest Parkway, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78735

Telephone and Fax

Toll Free: 1-800-585-9658 (from within U.S.)
Local Number: 1-312-239-3710 (from outside of U.S.)
Fax: 1-312-239-3713

Office Hours

TEAN is open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, and Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Central Standard Time and observes all major holidays. If these hours are not convenient, you may schedule a time outside of our normal business hours to speak with us. If you are currently international, it is possible to set up a time to Skype and get to know your Program Managers.

Important Dates

Important Dates

We finalize our program calendar several months before each semester abroad.  During that time, we work with our overseas partner universities in order to determine our orientation schedule. We will provide updated information pertaining to orientation, key semester dates, flights and excursions once our program calendar has been finalized. We will send you an email notification once the updated calendar information has been posted on the website so you can plan accordingly.

Once the program calendar has been finalized, we will post this information on our website and you’ll be notified by your Program Manager. Once the calendar has been released, all dates are still subject to change. While we do not anticipate any date changes once the calendar has been finalized, we reserve the right to make changes, particularly if one of our partner universities institutes their own date modification. All program participants will be contacted in the event of a date change.


If you haven’t already, please start your TEAN application prior to your program’s application deadline.  Your payment for the program (unless we have a billing agreement with your home institution) and Program Contract are due by your program’s payment deadline. You can find both deadlines on our Dates & Fees page. You must also reach out to your home institution’s study abroad office to ensure you meet any of their deadlines to study abroad. 

Please review the cancellation policy in the ‘Program Acceptance’ section above for important dates should you choose to withdraw your application. 


Most airlines do not allow open-ended tickets and now require international passengers to select a return date at the time of booking their flight. Return dates can be changed, subject to availability, but program participants should initially book a return flight home no earlier than one day after their university exams are scheduled to finish. After receiving their final exam schedule, participants can change their return to an earlier date, if their schedule permits. However, participants should not rely on professors allowing exams to be taken prior to the official exam date, as professors are under no obligation to accommodate such requests. For example, if the student’s last exam is December 17th they should not rely on rescheduling it so they can return home early.

Housing Dates

We provide housing until one day after the final day of university exams. Study abroad students generally finish their exams before the last scheduled exam date so students should have plenty of time to prepare for their departure. Please also pay particular attention to the housing move-in dates. We are unable to make exceptions for early move-in requests due to the complexity of housing logistics.

Program Start Dates

The program officially begins at the start of our Orientation program in Cairns, Australia. Students arriving in advance of our orientation will be responsible for their own transportation from the airport and any necessary accommodations prior to the orientation start date.

Program Dates by University

Diversity & Identity

Diversity and Identity

One of our main goals at TEAN is to make sure all of our students are thoroughly supported from day one of the study abroad process. Embracing diversity in all its forms is very important to us. We’re dedicated to providing the most information and resources possible so students can make an informed decision on what program will best suit them, both academically and personally. We encourage all students to read through our Diversity and Identity page of our website to find resources useful for you directly and learn more about the students you will be studying abroad with.

Get Schooled



Congratulations again! If you’ve gotten this far you are well and truly on your way to an awesome time down under! This section contains information on how to select your courses and ensure you get credit for them, financial aid and how to navigate the system to ensure your aid transfers, details of TEAN and other scholarships you may want to apply for, and some details on academic differences to expect in Australia. Step 2: Get Schooled explained in 60 seconds.

Courses & Credits

Courses and Credits

Once it’s time to select courses, your TEAN Program Manager will be in touch with instructions on next steps on how to find courses and submit them on your online application.

For course selection instructions click here.

Once you have submitted your course selections to us, your Program Manager will submit your completed application for formal university approval.

Schedule Meeting with Academic Advisor

It is highly recommended that you have your academic advisor approve your classes before leaving if you wish to ensure you receive transfer credit. If you do not wish to receive any credit when you return home you may be able to forego the approval process. Some students tackle the credit transfer issues when they return from their program, but at the very minimum you should at least meet with your academic advisor/dean before departure so they are fully aware you will be studying abroad. They will be able to help you select courses that will count toward your major and that will be easily transferable for credit when you return. You will want to ensure all courses that are on pre-existing list of approved courses at your home university are up-to-date and offered for your study abroad term.

Schedule Meeting with Study Abroad Office

Contact your study abroad office at your home university to discuss study abroad credit approval and other specific procedures to be completed for your program overseas. This is an important step as it may reveal crucial details about avoiding complications and making your transition abroad seamless. Additionally, your study abroad advisor will need to sign our “Statement from University” form. You can send this to them from your online application.

Financial Aid

Schedule Meeting with Financial Aid Advisor

While we strive to keep our programs affordable, we recognize that many students need financial help. The good news is that most financial aid you are currently receiving is applicable toward study abroad. Generally, you can transfer federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, that do not need to be repaid until after graduation.

See the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Public Law 102-325, 106 Stat.448): The act was reauthorized in the summer of 1992 to include a number of provisions to facilitate the use of federal financial aid for study abroad. (NAFSA:  Association of International Educators Newsletter, Volume 44, No 3/Dec-Jan 1993).

The U.S. Department of Education advised that the Perkins Loans, SSIG Grant Program, Pell Grants, FSEOG Grants, Stafford Loans, SLS loans, PLUS Loans and Consolidation loans can now be used for study abroad. Your study abroad experience does not have to be compulsory for your degree program in order to apply your aid. Please contact your home institution financial aid office to discuss your financial aid options for study abroad.


The Financial Aid Agreement form (FAA) is completed by you and your home university. The FAA acts as proof of incoming funds and allows you to defer a portion of your payment until your financial aid awards are released, even if that is after your program start date. Note: If your entire program is covered by aid, a down payment is still required to confirm your participation in the program. More information will be available via a link in your TEAN portal. 

  1. Download the Financial Aid Agreement from your TEAN application 
  2. Read the information carefully and sign and date the student portion at the bottom 
  3. Send your signed FAA to your financial aid office and ask them to either send to or return the form to you to upload to your TEAN application. 
  4. Pay your program’s down payment OR the balance not covered by aid (whichever amount is greater) by your program’s payment deadline.
      • For example: If your financial aid covers all but $700 of your balance and your program down payment is $1000, you would pay $1,000 by the payment deadline. This $1,000 would go towards your total program balance. 
      • If your financial aid only covers $5,000 of your $12,000 program balance, you would pay the difference ($7,000) at the payment deadline and then pay the remaining $5,000 once your aid is disbursed. 
  5. Pay your remaining balance once your financial aid is disbursed. Payment is due to TEAN within 5 business days of the date listed on your FAA form.

Your FAA is due by your program’s payment deadline. You can read more about financial aid and payment options here.  

Consortium Agreements

If you are currently receiving financial aid (federal loans, grants, scholarships, etc.) from your home institution please follow these steps. The financial aid you currently receive may not be processed in the same manner and the same amounts may not be awarded to you.

Step 1:  Visit your home university’s financial aid office and inform them you will be studying abroad through TEAN. Ask them how much of your current aid will transfer for a study abroad experience. You will also need to check if there is additional paperwork specific to your home university.

Step 2:  Ask your financial aid office if they have a “consortium agreement” (do not worry if this is a foreign term to you, they will know what it is!), which essentially means they will complete all paperwork regarding your existing financial aid while you are studying abroad. This is the ideal arrangement as it makes the whole process easier for everyone. You will also need to have a TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form filled out that will be provided to you by your Program Manager.

Step 3:  If they have a consortium agreement, most likely they will have an existing agreement that is university specific. TEAN will likely have to sign this for you and send it back to them. It will not go to your overseas institution. The TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form should then be faxed or emailed to us.

Unfortunately, not all universities will sign a consortium agreement. If this applies to your school please consult us immediately for further guidance.

Please note: The financial aid process is very complex and adequate planning is necessary. You should contact your home institution’s financial aid office if you will, or think you may need to, apply loans or aid to your study abroad program. TEAN is not a lending institution so unfortunately, all financial aid and loan discussions will need to be made within your home university’s financial aid office.



In addition to the current financial aid you receive, you may want to consider one of our many scholarships. Each year TEAN awards thousands of scholarship dollars to qualified program participants.  Awards range from $1,000 – $5,000, and we have a range of categories that students may qualify for. In addition, there are scholarship opportunities available through several external organizations. Review details of the available study abroad scholarships. If you are a returning TEAN student, review the option to apply for our TEAN Repeat Grant as well.

Academic Differences

Academic Differences in Australia

Academic terminology overseas is different compared to American terms. For example, at some Australian universities a “course” actually means a “degree program”, such as “I am studying the Bachelor of Business course”, while a “subject” or “paper” refers to an individual class/subject matter. Below we have outlined some of the main academic differences that American study abroad students have consistently noted.

Limited Assessment/Assignments

This will vary for each faculty but, in general, most courses have only limited assessments/assignments throughout the course of the semester. For example, some courses have one paper worth 20% and one final exam worth 80% of the final grade.  This is very different from the American system where there is usually continual assessment, i.e. quizzes, essays, papers, midterm and final exams. In the American system students often know how they are progressing throughout the semester.  With the limited on-going assessment throughout the semester in the Australian systems, many students think there is no point going to class because there are fewer assignments.  However, given that there are fewer assignments, each assessment becomes proportionately more important and can make it harder to get a good grade in a course. If you fail one assignment you will have a lot of ground to make up with the remaining assignment or exam, and how much ground you are able to makeup can be mathematically limited. Do not get lulled into a false sense of security – do the coursework as the semester progresses! If you don’t, when the mid-term/final exam is upon you, it will be quite difficult to pass the class. At that point, it will be too late to withdraw from the class so the poor mark will be on your official transcript.

Emphasis on independent work

Even though there are limited assignments, it is expected that students are doing continuous independent research/study during the course. Students may not get extra points for attending class and participating, but if a student continually misses class the lecturer will notice and can factor the absences into the final grade. Additionally, some American students are used to having professors available daily for assistance if they are finding the course difficult. It may vary from department to department, but generally students in Australia are expected to be independent, do the work and make sure they pass the class on their own.

Courses in Australia can be more difficult

The degree programs are very streamlined (if you are a business major all you take is business — there are no general education requirements). Additionally, Australian students have prepared for their degree in high school. As such, first year economics at the university, for example, is quite difficult, as it is assumed students had a significant background in economics in high school. In contrast, most first year students in the U.S., regardless of their degree, take broader courses to satisfy general education requirements. Such general education courses tend to be a bit easier since they are intended to be taken by a variety of students from a variety of academic disciplines, and not necessarily by students specializing in that field. This also means Australian students have significant background in their area of study by the time they reach their second and third year of college.

Australian Course Levels

Study abroad students will generally take a combination of 100/1000, 200/2000 and 300/3000 level courses. Course levels in Australia do not correspond to the same course level in the U.S. Because Australians earn an undergraduate degree in three years versus the customary four years in the U.S., course levels are slightly different than what most students are accustomed to at their home institution. For example, a 400/4000 level course in the U.S. generally equates to a “senior” year course, but in Australia a 400/4000 level course would equal a “Graduate” course. Please see the chart below for more examples.

Because of these academic differences you should not take all 300 or 3000 level courses at your overseas university just because you are a junior. 300/3000 level courses in Australia are equivalent to “senior” year courses in the U.S. and “senior” year courses assume the highest knowledge base going into the course, which many U.S. juniors or sophomores may not possess. Most universities will allow you to take some 300/3000 level courses, but they will strongly recommend you take a balance of first, second and third year courses to ensure you are not academically overwhelmed.

We will discuss these academic differences in more detail upon arrival. If you have any questions or concerns regarding academic differences, please do not hesitate to contact us. The majority of our participants do quite well overseas, but it is important to be aware of the academic differences. Participants need to be prepared for the pitfalls as there will be many potential distractions.


Australian institutions determine grades quite differently from U.S. institutions. It is common for U.S. students to start with a 100% when they turn in an assignment. As the teacher marks the paper and finds mistakes, the student is marked down until they reach a final grade. At Australian universities, however, students start with a 0% and are marked up as the teacher finds things correct until they reach a final grade for that assignment. As a result, students will generally end up with lower grades overseas than they would have received in the U.S.  For example, in Australia a 75% on a paper is normally a “Credit” which is equal to a “B” in the U.S. It is much harder to get a higher grade in Australia than in the U.S. This can affect students psychologically – that is, students accustomed to receiving grades in the 80 – 90% range will be disappointed to be receiving lower, but equivalent, grades in Australia.

Grading Scale

Below is a general comparison of the Australian grading system (some universities use the Distinction grading scale and some have a scale of 1 – 7) and their American grading equivalencies.  Please note that this comparison is only general and your home institution ultimately decides the amount of credit you will receive and the grade equivalencies.

U.S. Grade Australia Grade Abbreviation
A+/A “High Distinction” 7 or HD
A-/B+ “Distinction” 6 or D
B “Credit” 5 or C
C C “Pass I” 4 or P1
D D “Pass II” or “Conceded Pass” 3 or P2
F F “Fail” 2, 1 or F

Please note:  Most U.S. universities do not include overseas grades in the student’s total GPA. The credit is recognised as transfer credit but is excluded from all GPA calculations. However, this may be different at your home institution. Please check with your home university regarding their transfer credit policies.

Course Selections

As you select your 6 – 8 courses, keep in mind your ultimate goal at final registration is to have:

  1. A total number of credit points within the university’s stated enrollment range
  2. A balance between 100, 200 or 300 (1000, 2000 or 3000) level courses
  3. A combination of courses that will keep you on track for graduation at your home institution

Get a Room



TEAN is known for our approach to housing for students in Australia. This section provides details on your necessary housing forms; the various housing options – TEAN off-campus housing, university on-campus housing or doing it yourself – as well as details on matters relating to electricity in Australia. Step 3: Get a Room explained in 60 seconds.

Complete Housing Forms


We are generally able to honor most roommate requests that you will indicate in your housing preference form and/or directly through your Program Manager. It is also important to tell us if there is someone you do NOT want to live with or if you would prefer not to be placed with a friend to encourage meeting more new people.

Housing Preference Form

Where a selection of accommodations is available, students on some programs will be given the opportunity to upgrade to housing to feature a higher level of amenities and premier location.

Housing by program

Housing By Program

Review details about the housing options for your program below.

Bond University

Three options are available. Beautiful and spacious beachside apartments are available with a 20- to 25-minute commute to campus. Off-campus housing is available adjacent to campus. Students may also live on-campus in single or double ensuite units.

Deakin University

On-campus housing is recommended for both the Geelong and Burwood (city) campuses.

Griffith University

Two off-campus housing options are available. The first is adjacent to campus and offers student apartment-style living. The second option is beachside apartments approximately 35 minutes from campus.

James Cook University

On-campus accommodation close to classes. Students can choose between a self-catered option and an option with a meal plan.

Macquarie University

Off-campus student apartments located within walking distance to campus. Units are managed by a third party. Students also have the option of residing in our city apartments, in Glebe/Ultimo housing (see UTS Sydney description below for more details). Please note, students opting to live in city accommodations will have a commute of 45-60 minutes each way. The train goes directly to campus.

Monash University

Students live on campus in the Halls of Residence.

Murdoch University

Off-campus units located within walking distance of campus. Units are managed by a third party.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Off-campus units located near the Brisbane Central Business District and within walking distance of QUT-Garden Point Campus.

RMIT University

Students will live off campus in student apartments that are located in Melbourne’s city center just a short walk to campus.

University of Melbourne

Students will live off campus in student apartments that are located in Melbourne’s city center just a short walk to campus.

University of Newcastle

Students live on campus in student apartments. Some apartments offer an option to add a meal plan.

University of New South Wales

Option between on-campus apartments and off-campus beach housing. The on-campus apartments are a short walk to classes, and the beach housing is located in the beachside town of Coogee, just a quick bus ride away.

University of Queensland

Students have the option between off-campus student apartments near Brisbane’s Central Business District (30-45 minutes from campus by public transit), and on-campus housing

University of Sydney

Students live in the heart of the city’s bohemian scene in our Glebe/Ultimo housing, approximately 15-20 minutes walking from campus, amidst a range of diverse restaurants, shops and cafes

University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)

Students live in the heart of the city’s bohemian scene in our Glebe/Ultimo housing, approximately 15-20 minutes walking from campus, amidst a range of diverse restaurants, shops and cafes.

La Trobe University 

Students live in apartment-style housing on campus, close to classes.

University of Western Australia

On-campus housing is recommended. Meal plans are mandatory for some residential halls.

University of Wollongong

Students live in apartment-style housing on-campus, close to classes.

Off-Campus Housing

Off-Campus Housing

We select our off-campus student housing on the basis of cost, comfort, safety, cleanliness and convenience. Facilities vary for each unit but each unit must meet our basic standards. Our selection is limited to the student rental market near the universities. Past participants have been very satisfied with the units we lease and the proximity to entertainment and recreational opportunities.

Some landlords provide extras for our students, such as cleaning service, air-conditioning, dishwashers, washers, microwaves and community pools. These items are not part of our basic standards and we cannot guarantee their availability for all participants nor take responsibility for their upkeep or repair, however students may be able to rent such items based on their individual or group preferences. Housing assignments are made based on program considerations, so it is not possible to request specific locations. Most units have space for 3-6 students, with shared bathrooms and kitchen facilities. Students share doubles, triples or quads, although currently most bedrooms consist of singles and doubles.

What does “furnished” mean?

Most units include the following basic items listed below, although your unit may include additional items based on landlord preferences as discussed above. Specific inclusions for your unit will be provided when we release your housing allocation (typically 2-3 weeks before departure for orientation).  Below is a sample list of inclusions:

  • Bedrooms: Individual single beds with one pillow and comforter (“doona”)
  • Kitchen: Refrigerator, toaster, crockery, glasses, cutlery, kitchen utensils, pots/pans and conventional oven/stove
  • Bathroom: Permanent bathroom fixtures only
  • Living/Dining: Sofa set and table
  • Utilities: Water usage and gas/electricity connections
  • Our housing typically includes: Internet, cable services, linens and towels
  • Units do not include: Meals/meal plans, telephone connections and usage


Utilities are included in your housing fee.


You will be responsible for keeping your room clean and assisting your roommates with common areas.  Most housing managed by TEAN includes washers and dryers for laundry. Other units have communal facilities available at a small charge. You will also be asked to help preserve the general order of bathrooms, washing your dishes and other general housekeeping tasks.

Terms of Residence

We provide accommodation for the entire orientation program and the duration of your academic semester, including semester breaks. In addition, students are generally allowed to stay in our units until one day after all university exams finish. Please reference the program calendar for exact dates. We can also recommend short-term housing for any participant wishing to stay past the program term.

Shipping Items to Australia

In the rare case you need to ship items before your departure please contact TEAN. We can provide a shipping address to which items can be sent in advance of your arrival. With proper planning, packages will be ready for pickup upon arrival overseas. Please consult your local shipping company for time and cost estimates. In order to keep costs down we recommend you plan 4-6 weeks in advance to avoid “express” shipping charges.

On-campus housing

On-Campus Housing

In Australia , most local students attend a university in their home state or city, rather than applying to different universities around the country, and live at home or in an apartment with friends, commuting to campus. Therefore, on-campus accommodations are very limited at most Australian universities. This is quite different from many U.S. universities where the majority of students live on campus.

On-campus residential colleges were developed for “country” students (e.g. students coming from rural communities) who did not have family in the city or near the university where they could board. The colleges were primarily formed not only to accommodate these students but also to provide a “home away from home.” Therefore, many of the colleges have a religious affiliation (because the parents wanted their children to keep up their religion while living away from home) and also provide some academic assistance.

Some study abroad students from the U.S. feel there are many younger students living in the residential colleges (average age 17 – 18 years old).  Students also feel they have less independence as they cannot prepare their own meals and there are set meal times. Therefore, past experience has shown that most of our participants in the 19 – 22 age group prefer the independence of being off campus and part of the local community. Additionally, most of the on-campus “colleges” give preference to residents that will be studying for a minimum of one year, which further reduces the already tight availability for one-semester study abroad students. However, there are some universities where we recommend on-campus housing based on positive feedback from past participants and the limited availability of off-campus options. Please call our office if you would like more information regarding on-campus housing options and availability.

Housing Commitment Fee


*Please note this section only applies to the programs listed below and to students who will be paying TEAN for their housing. If the “Direct Bill Student” form is visible on your TEAN portal, then you will not pay the Housing Commitment Fee. 

The HCF applies to the following programs: 

  • All Australia programs EXCEPT Macquarie University
  • The following New Zealand programs: 
    • University of Waikato 
    • Massey University Palmerston North 
    • Lincoln University 

Since TEAN will put down nonrefundable deposits for housing on your behalf, a Housing Commitment Fee (HCF) will be due by your program’s payment deadline.  This means you must decide by your payment deadline if you will be utilizing TEAN housing or opting to find your own housing independently.  

Since your exact housing won’t be confirmed until after the payment deadline, you will not be charged the full amount of housing on your program invoice. Instead, your program invoice (due at payment deadline) will include a $1,000 Housing Commitment Fee. This ensures we can arrange housing for your program. 

Once housing is confirmed, about 1-2 months prior to departure, you will receive a housing invoice for your remaining balance. The $1,000 HCF goes towards this balance. Please be prepared to pay your housing invoice 1-2 months prior to departure. 

For example: 

You will pay the $1,000 HCF by the payment deadline. Six weeks prior to departure, you are confirmed for housing that costs $6,000. Accounting will issue you an invoice for $5,000, since you’ve already paid the $1,000 HCF.  

Doing it yourself

Doing it Yourself

When it comes to off-campus housing, which is often the preferred alternative in many instances, some participants may mistakenly think it is easier or less expensive to find their own housing upon arrival. Please think again. While you may luck into a good housing situation, chances are you will run into some challenges and hassles that may complicate your stay.

You may find that:

  • You are locked into a 6-12 month lease.
  • Safe housing near campus can be difficult to find.
  • Public transport is limited.
  • Many landlords and real estate agents are not willing to deal directly with students.
  • Set-up and payment of utilities can be a hassle and sometimes not possible for international students.
  • Many units come unfurnished, meaning you must rent furniture (a costly option).
  • There is no one to serve as liaison with your landlord or roommates should a dispute arise.

Pre-arranged housing is truly your best option!

Get Booked



It’s time to book your flight. It’s really happening – get excited! This section details information regarding flights for Australia, excursions throughout the semester and advice on insurance if you plan to travel outside of Australia. Step 4: Get Booked explained in 60 seconds.


Booking Flights

Each semester TEAN offers suggested flight itineraries with a partner travel agent in order to provide an easier booking process. TEAN partners with Student Universe to build itineraries for our students studying abroad across all of our locations.

Review Your Host University’s Calendar

  • Visit our Dates page to find more details regarding your host university calendar.
  • Make sure you are aware of the Cairns Orientation Excursion dates.
  • Do not book your return flight before the last day of exams at your host university.
  • Make sure you are arriving on the correct date, taking the travel time and time zone into account. Flights departing the U.S. typically arrive two days later in Australia. 

Important Tips before booking

  • Pay attention to the taxes and fuel surcharges that will be added to the total fare. Sometimes these can be very high and surprisingly they can vary considerably between the different airlines.
  • Pay attention to any cancellation policies and ticketing fees. Many great deals are non-refundable and have quite a few rules and regulations for use.
  • We recommend booking any domestic flights from your home city on the same ticket as your international flight in order to get international baggage allowances as well as to ensure that you will be booked on the next available flight in the event that a connection is missed.
  • Keep in mind that you need to allow at least a 3-hour window of time in between domestic and international connections.
  • If you need to re-check your bags in Los Angeles, San Francisco or Dallas you should allow 4 – 6 hours between flights. This may seem like a very long time but with any potential flight delays it is better to be waiting at the airport for your international flight versus missing your flight overseas.
  • You will be given a pickup time window for your arrival in Cairns to be eligible for the group pickup. If you miss this scheduled time and arrive late, then you will need to take a taxi or shuttle to the hotel. Further information on this will be provided closer to your departure. 
  • If you want to arrive early before the start of Orientation, please keep in mind you will be responsible for extra costs for taxis or accommodations.
  • There are several benefits to booking your flight through our partner travel agency, Student Universe, which include: personal attention from our partners who are organizing the flights, competitive booking options, convenience of assistance with booking domestic connecting flights, ease of not having to organize it on your own (Student Universe has prearranged flight itineraries), comfort of knowing there is the proper amount of time scheduled in between connecting flights and comfort of knowing that we will arrange your airport pickup if you arrive within the scheduled time.

Please note: Check your itinerary after purchase! It is critical that you review the details on your E-ticket after purchase to ensure all information is correct. There is a small 24-hour window to make adjustments. After that, you may be responsible for any changes to your ticket.

For further information on flights and to review the exact flights/itinerary for your semester please visit Australia Flight Itineraries. 


Why enroll in a TEAN excursion?

  1. Value and awesome savings. We know where to go, what to see and who to work with in all of the locations we offer.
  2. Get inspired for your own travels. After participating in one of these guided tours, students will be more prepared to plan and execute their own adventures during the semester.
  3. Excursions are arranged to coincide with orientation dates and/or Australian universities typical semester break schedule. While these excursions/dates are always subject to change, below is a list of semester break excursions we intend to offer for the semester. All excursions/dates will be confirmed with the release of the program calendar.

Sample Excursions

South Island, New Zealand

New Zealand’s South Island offers some of the most magnificent natural environments this planet has to offer and is home to some of the world’s most extreme adventure sports! From the Southern Hemisphere’s highest (and original) bungee jump, to jet boating through ravines, whitewater rafting raging rapids and hiking glaciers – you won’t be bored or disappointed! This excursion is usually offered as a mid-semester break excursion.

Read More


Take advantage of Australia’s ideal location in the South Pacific and explore exotic Asian destinations. With TEAN’s exclusive 9-day excursion to Thailand, you’ll find yourself bathing elephants in a river, learning to cook Thai food, visiting exotic temples and spending the evening with hilltribe villagers. With the culture of the north and the beaches of the south, this excursion, usually offered during mid-semester break, is not to be missed.

Read More

Travel Outside Australia

Travel Outside Australia

Whether you are booking an excursion with us or you decide to plan to journey off on your own, please keep in mind that additional medical insurance is required for all Australian-based students attending an excursion outside of Australia. This additional mandatory insurance is due to the fact that the government mandated health insurance policy included in the program fee does not cover student travel outside of Australia.

We will enroll all TEAN excursion participants in a comprehensive health plan through ACI insurance. This insurance is included in your excursion cost.

Get Documents



This section is very important. Before you jet off for the time of your life, you’ll need to apply for a student visa for your program. Please read this section carefully, and when the time comes, your Program Manager will guide you through the visa application process. 


Sign Offer Letter from University

After your application and courses are submitted to your host university, you will receive a Letter of Offer and a report detailing your course approvals. The offer letter will include university privacy policies and other important details to consider before you accept your offer to attend. Sign, date and return your accepted offer to your Program Manager for further processing.

Student Visa

Student Visa

All students will be required to apply for a student visa to study abroad in Australia. Your Program Manager will supply you with specific, step-by-step instructions when you are eligible to apply, but it is important to understand the process and what you can expect.

Confirmation of Enrollment

After you have signed and returned your Letter of Offer, your host university will issue what is called a Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) number. It is a number issued by the Australian Government, proving you are a confirmed international student at an Australian campus. You will not be able to apply for your student visa until you receive this number so it is crucial for you to submit your signed offer letters straight away.

Receive Visa Application Process & Instructions

You cannot apply for your student visa more than four months before your university commences classes.  You should apply for your passport as soon as possible as this process can take approximately 4 – 8 weeks and will be required for your student visa application as well.

Your passport should be valid for at least six months after the conclusion of your semester to satisfy Australia’s entry requirements. All countries have different requirements for passport validity so be sure to check details for any other countries you plan to visit before your final return home.

Your Program Manager will notify you when you are eligible to apply for your student visa, which is typically 6 – 8 weeks prior to your departure. You will also receive step-by-step instructions on the process with your CoE number.

Non-U.S. citizens

You need to notify us if you are not a U.S. citizen and/or you are studying overseas for two semesters, as your visa application procedures will be slightly more complex. For example, students studying for more than one semester may require a chest X-ray and other supplemental forms.

Please contact our U.S. office for further instructions.

Cost of Student Visa

The Australian student visa costs approximately $650 AUD (as of July 2022). The cost for obtaining a student visa is not included in the final program fee.

Working Rights

The student visa now automatically includes work authorization (up to 20 hours per week). Australia is one of the few locations study abroad students have the opportunity to work for pay while overseas. It’s a great opportunity to integrate into a community and truly feel a part of the culture. Although there is no guarantee, TEAN works with students who are interested in seeking out employment while abroad.

Processing Time

Unlike other countries, Australia student visa applications do not require applying at a local embassy in person. Australian applications are generally completed online, with Visa Grant Notifications often issued within 2-4 weeks after submitting your application. Please note that you will only receive an email notification – no physical documents will be sent to you. You will need to keep a copy of your visa grant number notification with your passport.

Get Going



It’s almost time! Now you just need to review some final information on insurance while abroad, follow our packing tips, start planning how you will manage your money while abroad, communicate while abroad, and read up on details regarding your arrival and Orientation Excursion in Cairns. Our Australia-based staff are looking forward to meeting you when you get off that plane in Australia. Step 6: Get Going explained in 60 seconds.


Health Insurance

The Australian government requires all international students to pay for health insurance in Australia through the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Scheme, administered by approved government insurance providers. The cost of this insurance is included in your program fee and enrollment is automatic and finalized during your host university orientation.

Your medical insurance policy includes the following:

  • Prescription medications
  • Medical evaluation
  • Hospitalization
  • X-rays

There are some limitations to this medical insurance, including dental and optical services. If you have any existing health concerns, contact your current insurance provider before you leave for Australia. Medical insurance for higher levels of need is your own responsibility.

Important: Your included OSHC only covers you while you are in Australia for the dates of your program. If you travel outside the country of Australia, you will need to obtain additional health insurance for any countries you are visiting.

Emergency Insurance

All TEAN students are enrolled in additional emergency insurance coverage through ACI, which is insurance for political or natural disaster evacuation or repatriation. This coverage is included in your program fees.


Personal Articles Insurance

We recommend students put anything of value, i.e. iPads/iPhones, jewelry, camera, cell phone, laptops, etc. on a Personal Articles Policy (many homeowners already have this policy so students most likely can add their items onto their parents’ Personal Article Policy). This insurance often covers the full value of the items world-wide, with no deductible. Typically, items valued up to $3,000 can be covered for an approximately $30 premium. We encourage students to take pictures of item(s) and note their model, make and serial number, as well as saving receipts when possible. Purchase of this insurance is left to the discretion of the student and their parents.

We believe that the combination of the OSHC, ACI, and a Personal Article Policy offers the broadest, most comprehensive coverage while students study and travel abroad.

Travel Insurance

Trip Insurance is optional and is not included in TEAN program fees. We recommend considering supplemental trip insurance to protect against unexpected mishaps (i.e. lost luggage) that can occur while traveling. Plans range from $100 to $350 and can be purchased through various insurance carriers. If you would like to discuss plans with TEAN’s recommended travel liaison please contact Student Universe at 303-802-8507.

Medications Abroad

BrinGing Prescriptions

For your medications, you can bring up to three months with you (birth control medication and vitamins are typically okay for more), and you’ll want to have it clearly marked with your name/prescription on the label in your carry on luggage. Students typically do not have issues bringing the medications with them on the plane and, in fact, it’s suggested that you keep them in your carry-on so you can answer any questions by customs and/or airport security if necessary.

However, if you need more than three months worth sent to you, you’ll need to visit a doctor in Australia (doctors are available at most campuses) in order to get a customs clearance form filled out. This form will say that you are allowed to have the medications shipped in and that when they come through customs (and are searched) that they should not be intercepted and/or destroyed. Doctors will be easily accessible on campus and close to housing so it shouldn’t be too difficult, but just something you should be prepared for and take care of in the first few weeks on campus. You will get more info and advice on visiting a doctor once you arrive in country, but all of our students will have medical coverage and will receive insurance cards during uni orientation.

Australian residents and visitors to Australia can legally import certain therapeutic goods for personal use under the personal import exemption which exists under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and its associated regulations. This exemption does not allow the personal importation of either substances or drugs prohibited by Customs legislation, or, injectable drugs that contain material of human or animal origin (except insulin), unless an import permit has been obtained prior to their import.

Please note: Goods imported under the personal import scheme exemption must be for use in the treatment of the importer or a member of their immediate family. Under the personal import scheme exemption, an individual may import up to three months supply per import and, no more than fifteen months supply per 12-month period.

For medications such as Adderall (amphetamine and dexamphetamine) which have ingredients which are captured by the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 the following applies: This medication cannot be imported by an individual without an import permit being issued beforehand unless the goods are brought in on one’s person for one’s own personal use. We advise that students should carry their medication in their carry-on luggage and have documentation (either a copy of a prescription or a letter from your doctor) which clearly demonstrates that this medicine has been prescribed to you. If you don’t have a letter, just be sure your name is listed on the bottle clearly and it is in the original packaging.

You will need to declare this medicine to the Australian Customs Service when you arrive. In this way, you will need no permit for this “travelers exemption” importation which allows up to a 3-month supply to be brought into Australia.

Mailing Prescriptions

Since you will be in Australia for more than three months, you will need to arrange for further supplies to be sent through the mail. Having further supplies sent through the mail can only be done once an import permit is issued. For a permit to be issued, an Australian-registered doctor will firstly need to apply to the TGA for Special Access Scheme (SAS) approval. In that application, the doctor needs to give a diagnosis and clinical justification for using these products over products that are registered and available in Australia. The doctor should make it clear in the application that the patient is not an Australian resident and that they are only here short-term and that the medication has previously been prescribed by their doctor in their home country.

If the doctor’s approval is granted, an import permit will then be issued by Treaties and Compliance Branch of the Office of Chemical Safety. The doctor is likely to already be aware of the SAS and its workings as we have students complete this process every semester. There is a document on The TGA website which explains the SAS and its workings: 

Any specific questions should be directed to the TGA directly to get the most accurate advice.

Additional Resources

TGA General Information 
Information about bringing medication to Australia 
List of controlled substances 

Health & Safety

Safety While Abroad

We are committed to the health and safety of every participant. It is very important that students make informed decisions about their study and travel destinations. We continually monitor the safety and security of our study abroad program locations as well as popular student travel destinations. We continue to advise students of the safety and health risks associated with studying and traveling abroad based on the information from the U.S. Department of State travel warnings, local law enforcement, the Australian and New Zealand government, NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the World Health Organization.

Tips for Personal Safety

  • Emergency Contacts: Be sure to designate a parent or guardian as your Emergency Contact. This way, information regarding an emergency situation will automatically be passed on to your parents. Also make sure to provide us with your Emergency Contact’s most up-to-date contact information.
  • Communication Information: Provide TEAN with accurate and up-to-date contact information regarding your telephone, cell phone, address and email address. Be sure to notify your parents and Resident Director in case of an emergency.
  • Keep Others Informed: Tell others (your roommates, your parents, your Resident Director) your travel plans. Keeping others informed will make it easier to locate you in case of an emergency.
  • Stay Informed: Research the political, cultural and social climate of your study and travel abroad destination before heading overseas. While abroad, read local newspapers and watch local news broadcasts for developments that may affect your health and safety. If you have questions, please contact us either in the U.S. or abroad.
  • What about anti-American sentiment? Although individual Americans are generally well-liked abroad, there can be negative feelings toward U.S. Government policy.  Participants are urged to use common sense, dress to blend in, speak softly, avoid overt displays of American patriotism and avoid all public demonstrations.

Emergency Response Plan

We have created an Emergency Response Plan for our study abroad locations that will be implemented by both our Resident Director staff in Australia and our U.S.-based staff. Our staff will work with students, parents, and study abroad staff at both the student’s home and host university to provide the most up-to-date information regarding any situations that may arise while studying abroad. Our participants will be given Emergency Contact Information before they depart the U.S. and also briefed at orientation on specific instructions to follow in case of an emergency. During orientation students will download a contact card directly to their phone, giving them easy access to all relevant emergency information.

TEAN Protocols

  • In the event of a health emergency, serious accident, natural disaster, crime or death, each program location has a contingency plan that can be activated. TEAN will contact participants, their emergency contacts and home universities in the event of such a situation.
  • Disclaimer– Nothing in this plan is a guarantee that any specific action will be taken in any given situation, nor is anything in this document a contract or part of a contract between TEAN and any other party, nor is any statement in this document intended to sell a service to a prospective customer, nor to attempt to persuade any party to avail themselves of any program or service provided by TEAN. Health, safety, and recovery from emergency situations are the sole responsibilities of each individual participant

Urgent after hours line

  • TEAN personnel are available to assist you with an emergency 24/7. In addition to having access to a Resident Director, as well as instructions on contacting Police/Fire/Ambulance in your host country, you and your family will be able to reach us after hours in the event of an emergency. Although we will not always be your best resource to resolve an issue directly, we work in conjunction with our partners on the ground to make sure students get a quick resolution in crisis situations.
  • Please call 1-800-585-9658 or 312-239-3710 during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, CST (and Fridays until 4:00 pm CST). For emergency assistance after business hours, please call 574.239.6545.


It is recommended to have general vaccinations up-to-date including tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, etc.

Please note TEAN requires all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate on programs. If you have any questions, please contact your Program Manager.

If you have any health conditions that may cause issues, please make sure to consult a doctor before departing.

Relevant travel & safety links

Helpful travel and safety links are listed below.  

Packing List

Packing List

The packing list provided is a suggested list. Triple-check to ensure you have everything necessary! TEAN is not responsible for forgotten items.

Necessary Items
  • A raincoat with warm lining (detachable is best) or waterproof Gore-tex jacket
  • Jeans (multiple pairs because they tend to be expensive in Australia)
  • Khakis/lightweight pants
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear and socks
  • Shorts and T-shirts
  • Two or three pairs of comfortable walking shoes: tennis shoes, shoes for hiking (lace-up shoes) and casual shoes for school
  • A fleece (for any cool weather)
  • Formal wear – dress or dress-pants and collared shirt (the universities have dances/formals)
  • Cotton sweaters
  • Cotton shirts – long and short sleeve (good for layering)
  • Bathing suits
  • Sweatshirt and pair of sweatpants/running pants
  • Accessories (belts, jewelry, hair accessories)
  • Sunscreen (UV rays are much stronger in the southern hemisphere)
  • Beach towel or extra bath towel (optional)
  • Hat (to protect from the sun)
  • Camera and an extra memory card
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Glasses: prescription (if necessary) and sunglasses
  • Smaller backpack for books/weekend travel
  • Prescription medicine – refer to the Medications while Abroad tab
  • Photos of friends/family
  • Phone numbers and email addresses of people you wish to keep in contact with (including your home institution advisor)
  • Electrical adapter (outlet) for things like your camera and laptop that typically don’t need a voltage converter
  • Copies of important documents (student visa confirmation email, passport, driver’s license, credit/bank cards, airline itineraries, travel insurance info, etc.) – bring one set with you, store the other set in your luggage if your wallet is lost or stolen and leave one copy at home with family.
  • If there’s a chance you’ll need to get additional courses approved when you arrive on campus, you may want to bring an updated copy of your academic transcript.
Unnecessary Items
  • Extra toiletries – you can easily buy these in Australia so save room in your luggage
  • Bicycle – you can rent or buy a used one with less hassle
  • Electrical appliances
  • Hairdryer or straightener – you can purchase these in Australia (otherwise you will need a voltage converter and electrical adaptor)
  • All kitchen supplies: utensils, pots/pans, crockery/glasses (we provide these if you live in our housing)

TEAN Packing Tips

  • “Less is more” – It sounds cliché but it’s true! Believe us. Lay out what you want to pack then put half back into your closet. You’ll thank us later. 
  • Pack lightly! Overweight bags are a great way to blow your budget before you get to Australia.
  • Seasons can vary greatly (windy, cool, damp, hot and humid). We suggest planning to layer clothing in cooler weather rather than bringing bulky clothing.
  • Put labels on your belongings (especially on all of your luggage)
  • Please refer to your airline carrier’s website for current baggage restrictions on international flights.  

Carry-On Luggage

While there is little chance of this happening, if you plan on the airline losing your baggage for at least 24 – 48 hours you will be prepared and avoid extra inconvenience. Pack travel sized toiletries (no more than three 3-ounce bottles in a clear bag), medication and change of clothes in your carry-on. This will more than likely not happen, but if it does you will be ready.

Communicating while abroad


TEAN will have an Australian cell phone provider at the Cairns Orientation where you can get a local SIM card for calls, texting and data. Phone plans vary depending on inclusions so you can get that sorted with the cell phone provider representative at orientation. Having a local SIM card is convenient to be able to use Uber, have food delivered, or have locals call/text you. It is recommended to only use your local phone number to call home in cases of emergency since long distance calls can be expensive but there are plenty of ways to call internationally for free or very cheap (keep reading!)…


In order to use the local SIM card, you need to make sure your phone is unlocked and able to accept SIM cards from other mobile carriers. “Unlocking” your phone means that your phone is not locked to one specific carrier. If your phone is unlocked you will be able to use a foreign SIM card while you are abroad. If you’re unsure if your phone is unlocked, it’s important to call your current service provider to check. If you cannot get your current phone unlocked, you will need to bring a different unlocked phone from home or plan to purchase a phone while in your host country.


Some students may decide to keep their US number and opt for an international phone plan. In most cases, this allows students to utilize their phone domestically in their host country and internationally. The cost of this can vary based on service provider. If you are interested in this option, you should get in touch with your phone service provider to get the relevant fees and service options. Be sure to consider costs for dialing local numbers as it can sometimes make an international plan undesirable for calls within your host country.

Finances While Abroad


Like the currency of the United States, Australian currency comes in the form of coins and notes. The notes are unusual because they are plastic, a type of note developed in Australia, and are highly durable. The basic unit of currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD). Australia and New Zealand have no pennies and everything is rounded to the nearest five cents.  Taxes are also included in labeled prices.

We do not recommend bringing large amounts of cash with you for security and safety reasons. However, you may wish to bring a small amount of foreign currency for any initial personal expense needs. Most major banks in large U.S. cities have foreign currency in stock, but smaller regional banks may have to order the Australian dollars. Therefore, do not wait until the last minute to place your order. Alternatively, you can exchange money at the Los Angeles or San Francisco International Airport before you depart for the overseas flight. This is slightly more expensive than using a local bank (1%-2% higher fees), but much more convenient. Currency exchanges are not open 24 hours in Cairns so you should obtain the foreign currency in Los Angeles/San Francisco/Dallas.

Money Access in Australia

Cash (ATMs)

The use of an American ATM card is a convenient and fast method to withdraw money in Australia and New Zealand. Most of these transactions are assessed the wholesale exchange rate that applies to large foreign currency transactions, which ultimately means savings for students. Please check with your bank to ensure your PIN number and ATM card will work abroad. Some Australian and New Zealand banks currently do NOT charge any fees for using ATMs, but see if your home bank will assess fees for foreign withdrawals.

TIP:  Before departing the U.S., determine if your current ATM card (Cirrus, Plus, etc) is readily accepted at foreign ATM machines. For example, Bank of America customers currently can access funds without incurring an ATM fee at Australia’s Westpac Bank ATMs. To see if your U.S. bank has a similar affiliation with a bank in Australia or New Zealand, please contact your current U.S. bank.

Upon arrival overseas, you can also survey several ATMs near your residence and university in order to get a good representative sample. If it appears that you have an obscure ATM card that is not widely accepted, you may want to make an Australian or New Zealand bank (and ATM) your prime source of obtaining cash.

Credit Cards

Major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are most commonly accepted in Australia. Visa and MasterCard are accepted more regularly than American Express. Please keep in mind that there must be someone readily available to pay your credit card bill or your finance charges will quickly add up. Most credit card bills can be paid online so you may be able to pay from within Australia without involving a third party.

Australia requires all Australian credit cards to have a chip with pin number. Although this should NOT affect cards issued by U.S. banks, we have noted some problems, as vendors don’t always know their machine can be used with a swipe strip. It’s advised that you check with your credit card company to see about issuing a pin/chip card before you travel. The U.S. is currently making the transition to chipped cards so they should be well versed in the process.

  • Your credit card must be in your name as shown on your passport.
  • Be aware that most credit card companies charge approximately 2% for foreign currency transactions.
  • Be sure to notify your credit card company you will be using your card overseas so as to avoid flagging for theft/fraud.
  • Credit cards can also be used for cash advances, provided you have a PIN number.
  • American Express cardholders have the convenience to write a personal check within Australia and draw on their home U.S. bank account to get local currency or travelers’ checks.  Stop by any American Express office overseas to utilize this added feature. This is not available with the Optima card from AMEX.

Prepaid Credit Cards

An easy option to help control your spending are prepaid credit cards which can be purchased online through the card website, i.e. Visa or MasterCard. Prepaid cards can also be purchased at many convenience or large box stores. Prepaid cards work in Australia just like they do in the U.S. Some cards even offer the option of purchasing them with foreign currency already loaded like the one found here:

Opening an Australian Bank Account

If you decide to open an account overseas, which is recommended, you will need to bring your passport and some other form of photo identification. If you plan on working overseas most employers will direct deposit wages, therefore a foreign bank account is a must. There is no need to open a foreign checking account, but having an Australian ATM card will ensure that you can access money from anywhere in Australia without worrying if your U.S.-issued ATM card will work.

With an Australian bank account, the most efficient way to transfer funds is through a wire transfer from your US bank. There are fees associated with wire transfers from both the Australian bank as well as your home bank. Sample rates include $20 – $40 USD for an outgoing wire from the U.S. bank and $15 AUD for an incoming wire to Australia. Please consult both your U.S. bank and the Australian bank for the fees associated with a wire transfer.

Personal Spending

For day-to-day spending, excluding any major travel plans, students should budget approximately the same as they would for a semester at their current U.S. institution plus an additional 10-20% to factor in variances of cost of living and extra activities.  General daily living expenses are comparable in Australia to that of major cities in the US, however students tend to spend more on weekend travel and entertainment when abroad. Please keep in mind that living in a large metropolitan area will be more expensive than living in a smaller town.

Cost of Living

Australia boasts one of the best economies in the world, and with that comes a higher than average cost of living. Many would compare it to that of London or New York so we recommend being careful with your budget. 

Average Costs

To get a better idea of how far your money will go while you’re abroad, it’s wise to keep informed of the current exchange rate and the cost of typical purchases. Here is a small sample of everyday items to give you an idea of what to expect:

  1. Loaf of bread – $2.50 to $3.00 AUD
  2. Two liters of milk – $2.20 to $2.90 AUD
  3. Newspaper – $1.50 to $3.00 AUD
  4. Box of breakfast cereal – $3.00 to $4.00 AUD
  5. Jar of instant coffee – $3.00 to $4.00 AUD
  6. Bottle of soda – $2.50 to $4.50 AUD
  7. Bottle of shampoo – $4.50 to $8.00 AUD
  8. Bar of soap – $1.50 to $2.50 AUD
  9. One apple – 50 cents to 80 cents AUD
  10. One banana – 60 cents to 90 cents AUD
  11. Beef (500 grams) – $7.00 to $8.00 AUD
  12. Chicken (600 grams) – $7.00 to $8.00 AUD


Airport pick-up

Please ensure you’ve uploaded your full flight itinerary to your TEAN application. We use this information to help coordinate airport pick up when you first arrive in Australia as well as preparing for any domestic flights you will have after orientation.

Specific arrival details will be provided to you prior to departure but in general, you will need to arrive within the allocated arrival window provided to you during the flight booking process. If you arrive in Cairns before 4:00 pm, you will be met at the airport by TEAN staff and provided an airport transfer to the orientation accommodation.

It is your responsibility to notify TEAN in a timely manner if you experience flight delays and/or itinerary changes.

Contact Information

Prior to your departure your Program Manager will provide you with contact details for all key TEAN personnel, including your Resident Director, as well as information on your local embassy and emergency contacts.


TEAN Orientation

TEAN’s exclusive “Welcome Abroad” Orientation Program takes place in Cairns in the north of Australia famous for its tropical setting and access to the Great Barrier Reef – what better way to start the semester than 5-day adventure, including scuba diving and snorkeling on the largest coral reef system in the world? Your Australia Orientation is designed set you up for a successful semester by introducing you to the local culture and academics while also getting to know your soon to be friends and having an exciting journey in the process.

University Orientation

Your host university will hold a formal orientation lasting from just one day to one week. This orientation is mandatory. Topics discussed may include health insurance enrollment, medical facilities, security, university-sponsored trips and activities, academic enrollment/expectations, and Australian media and culture. Although there may be some overlap, your university orientation will touch on specific details for your campus.  During this orientation most students will also finalize course registration and receive information on how to receive an official insurance card.