Although we call them “Summer” programs, students going to Australia over U.S. schools’ summer break can expect to enjoy cooler temps during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, which runs June 1 – September 1. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need heavy-duty winter gear, but some students mistakenly expect Australia to be piping hot all year round and that’s just not the case!

Having the right clothes packed will keep you comfortable while exploring the country without being overly concerned about the forecast. Here’s what to pack for studying abroad in Australia on a summer program.


Especially if your program travels to different corners of Australia, plan to wear layers throughout your experience. Temperatures can vary greatly from day to night and parts of Australia, like tropical North Queensland, typically remain warm no matter when you go. The further south you go the colder it will be. Pack clothing that you can layer on and off (see below) so you can easily adjust to the swinging temps and avoid overpacking.

Summer study abroad students in Byron Bay Australia
Australia Summer students in Byron Bay in July


Bring your favorite hooded sweatshirt, a few long-sleeved t-shirts and a thermal for any temperature dips at night. Your bottom layer in colder spots (t-shirts, short-sleeved shirts and tanks) can be your only layer of clothing when the air is warmer.


You’ll definitely want to bring a few pairs of versatile jeans that can be dressed up or down as needed. Even though there may be brisk days, don’t leave your shorts at home! Most of our programs make it to Cairns in Queensland, which is often compared to Florida in terms of weather. You’ll want a few pairs of shorts for hiking up north on mild days and if you get the chance to get on a boat out to the Great Barrier Reef.

Summer study abroad students at Great Barrier Reef
Summer students at the Great Barrier Reef in July


If the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney are on your itinerary, you’ll want to bring a warm coat as the higher elevation will have some of the crispest air you’ll experience in Australia during winter Down Under. Packable down jackets are a great option since they are lightweight yet warm and you can easily layer shirts underneath. Lighter jackets can also work if you follow the layering law – you may need to add a sweater at night or when at higher altitudes.


Beanies and scarves and even lightweight gloves are great to bring for hikes in the cooler air. Thin infinity scarves can be worn at nearly all locations, plus they’re great to wear over your head when trying to get some sleep on the plane.

We like shoes that are multi-purpose, so if you have sneakers that are great for hiking too, awesome. If you have sandals that are light but durable, bring them! You should try to limit yourself to three pairs of shoes, including the ones on your feet when you board the plane.

Summer study abroad students at 12 Apostles
Summer study abroad students at the !2 Apostles near Melbourne in July

Check from Bottom to Top

Not sure you have everything you need? After you’ve laid out all the items you’re going to pack, do a bottom to top check. That is, look at everything and mentally get dressed by starting from your feet (socks/shoes) all the way up to your head (hat/sunglasses/extra contact lenses). Make your own personal packing list, check things off as they go into the suitcase and don’t take anything out once it’s in! It’s easy to “borrow” something from your packed things and then forget to put it back in before you go. Don’t take the risk – as soon as it goes in your bag, don’t pull it out again until you arrive in Australia.

Explore summer study abroad programs in Australia