PRE-DEPARTURE CHECKLIST

Travelling abroad for study is an exciting and daunting prospect for students. Any nerves can be calmed once students have some idea of what needs to be done. The EAUC, in this regard, is happy to share some pointers that may help prepare you for the journey ahead.
 
Once you have your letter of offer or Certificate of Enrolment (CoE) from the university, you need to prepare for the next step. You can use the list below to help remind you of the things you need to get done.

PASSPORT

  • Check your passport. Make sure the expiry date is beyond the projected completion date of your program. Otherwise you will have to make a new passport while studying in Australia or when you are back in Brunei for the holidays.
  • Make sure your passport has enough clean or empty pages on it to last your stint as an overseas student.
  • Make sure your passport is not damaged. While immigration authorities may allow you to leave the country with a damaged passport, they may prevent you from entering Australia, resulting in your deportation to Brunei.
  • Apply for your passport if you have not got one. It takes a minimum of 3 days for Brunei immigration authorities to issue a new passport.
    

STUDENT VISA

All international students need a stu­dent visa to study in Australia. The Australian High Commision in Brunei no longer handles or processes visa applications. All visa applications from Brunei are directed to the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.




  • To apply, students can go to http://www.immi.gov.au/services/pages/student-visa-online-applications.aspx.
  • Payment must be made via credit card. Students are expected to make payment first and once the visa is issued, forward an application for reimbursement to the Scholarship Section of MOE.
  • Information and supporting documents required for a student visa application can be found at http://www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/checklists/Student-573-streamlined-checklist.aspx.
  • For students applying outside Australia to study for a bachelor or associate degree, a graduate certificate, graduate diploma, master degree by coursework or research, a doctoral degree, a higher education diploma or advanced diploma, the current visa application is as follows.




  • For students who are sponsored by Brunei Darussalam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Ministry of Defence to study a full-time course of any type in Australia, no charges are imposed for their visa application.
  • You cannot travel to Australia before your visa is start date.
    
    

OVERSEAS MEDICAL FITNESS

MOE requires all scholarship applicants to undergo a medical fitness test as part of their application process.  Students will be directed to RIPAS Hospital to do the tests or the nearest medical facility for further examinations.
 
Students intending to study in Australia will be directed to Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) for their chest x-ray at the cost of RIPAS Hospital. The medical fitness test takes up to one week to complete. The result, once available, (usually within two weeks) must be sent to the Scholarship Section, MoE, immediately.
    

VISA MEDICAL REQUIREMENT

As part of the visa application process, you may be expected to undergo health examinations. The general guideline is as below:







No health checks are required for short courses, seminars, workshops or conferences that take less than three months.

As with visa applications, students will be expected to make initially payment for their medical tests. This can be forwarded with an application for reimbursement to the Scholarship Section for reimbursement.
    
Immunisations, medications and medical records
    
Students must be certified free from Tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis, Yellow Fever, Polio, and Ebola, to enter Australia, so as to not pose a risk to public’s health and safety. More information is available at http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/health-requirements/threats-public-health.htm

OPENING AN AUSTRALIAN BANK ACCOUNT

Consider opening an Australian bank account before you leave Brunei. Most banks in Australia will allow you to open an account online. The four major banks in Australia, the so called “Big Four” are:
 
  • Australian and New Zealand Banking Group or ANZ;
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA);
  • National Australia Bank (NAB); and
  • Westpac.



Please inform your bank that you will not be applying a tax file number (TFN) as your sponsor does not allow you to work in Australia.
        
 
It is advisable to open a student account before you come to Australia. All you need is your passport details and the bank will forward your new bank account details once the application is approved. This will allow you to transfer money into the account and apply for a debit card.
 
Once in Australia, drop by the bank’s local branch and show your passport or student ID to access your funds.
        

Important:

BRINGING CASH TO AUSTRALIA

It is always a good idea to have some Australian dollars handy when you arrive in Australia. You can easily get these in Brunei or at the airport.
 
For safety reasons, it is advisable not to bring too much. It is better to carry just enough Australian dollars for you to get by for the first two weeks you. Once in Australia you can arrange to have access to a debit card with your bank.
           
 

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

   
If you need to take a connecting domestic flight, allow at least three hours between your scheduled arrival and departure times. This will allow for any minor flight delays, check-in and transit time between the domestic and international terminals.
 
Schedule your flight to arrive at least a few days before university orientation begin. We recommend you arrive early and use the time to find suitable accommodation and arrange your banking facilities before classes start.
    
               
 
   
Have your travel agent request a halal or vegetarian meal from your airline on your long haul, international flights. Domestic flights only serve light refreshments (biscuits, cakes, water, coffee and juices). Alternately you can buy something simple fast food (burger, sandwiches or muffins) at the airport and bring it on-board with you.

If you need special assistance (baby cot, wheel chair, etc.) please speak with your agent. They will be able to help you.
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ARRANGE TRAVEL INSURANCE

   
travel insurance that provides 24/7 coverage while studying abroad. It does not cost much and gives you and your family back home peace of mind. Most of the time, the insurance company will allow someone else to renew the coverage for you.
        
               
 

GET IN TOUCH

Get in touch with one of the many Brunei student associations in Australia. They have their own individual facebook groups, and you can add or request them to add you. The group administrator can assist you before you arrive. The facebook groups are:
  
BASS – Bruneians Around Sydney Society
BSSBNE – Brunei Student Society Brisbane
BSAWA (Brunei Student Association of Western Australia)
BSSMelb
Brunei Students’ Association New Zealand
  
They may be able to arrange your airport reception or pickup and organize a temporary place to stay if you do not plan not to stay or apply for on-campus accommodation.​