Before you arrive - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Before you arrive

We offer great support to our international students to help you get here, get started and enjoy your experience at USC.

Start Guide

Please read our Start Guide for important information on:

Visa information

Once you accept your offer, you need to arrange your visa through the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DOHA).

Student visa

You can apply for a Student Visa once you have paid your fees and received a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for a full-time, on campus, CRICOS ^ registered program of study at USC.

Please note - you need to wait until there are fewer than 124 days until your course starts before you can apply for your Student visa.

Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF)

The SSVF has been designed to make the process of applying for a student visa simpler to navigate for genuine students.

From 1 July 2016:

  • international students apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500) regardless of their chosen course of study
  • a single immigration risk framework applies to all international students
  • all students will generally be required to lodge their visa application via the online application system – ImmiAccount.
Genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement – Student visa

To be granted a Student visa, applicants must be genuine temporary entrants. This means they must have a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily. Information regarding the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement can be accessed on the website of the Department of Home Affairs.

Working Holiday/Work and Holiday visa

Working Holiday or Work and Holiday visas are only available to citizens of certain countries.
Applicants must be under 30 years of age and will be allowed to study full-time or part-time for up to four months (one semester or trimester).

If you enter Australia on this type of visa and intend to study for longer than four months, you will need to apply for a Student visa.

For more information visit the website of the Department of Home Affairs.

Other visa types

If you hold, or intend to apply for a visa other than a Working Holiday or Student visa, and you intend to study, you must contact DOHA for advice regarding your eligibility to study.

Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO)

Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) allows visa holders to check visa details and entitlements and to check on the progress of visa applications.

VEVO is a free, online service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that means you no longer need a visa label in your passport.

Find out more information about VEVO.

Post study work arrangements—Temporary Graduate visa

The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) allows graduates to work in Australia temporarily after they finish their studies. You can find more information about this on the DOHA website.

Useful resources

* For PDF documents you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded from the Adobe Download page.

^ CRICOS is the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students

The University of the Sunshine Coast is a registered provider of education to international students as defined in the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (CRICOS Provider Number: 01595D).

Living in Australia will be a new experience. Campus life differs from USC campus to campus. Careful research and planning before the move will make adjusting to life here easier.

Campus Life

Visit the USC locations page to find detailed information about campus life and facilities on your USC campus.

Living in Australia

The Australian government's Study in Australia website, provides international students with a range of resources to assist them in learning about life in Australia.

You might find the following webpages useful:


USC managed campuses are located in the Australian state of Queensland. For detailed information about life in Queensland, refer to the Study in Queensland website.

Sunshine Coast

USC’s main campus, USC Sunshine Coast, as well as USC Noosa and USC Thompson Institute are located in the Sunshine Coast region.

For more information about living on the Sunshine Coast, refer to the Study Sunshine Coast website, which contains resources and information about living in the local area.

Other Queensland locations

Information about living and studying at one of USC's other study locations can be accessed through the local government webpages for CabooltureFraser Coast or Gympie.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

OSHC is health insurance to assist International students on a Student visa meet the costs of:

  • medical and hospital care
  • some prescription medicines
  • emergency ambulance services
  • limited pharmaceuticals

Australia's Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) requires that Student visa holders maintain OSHC for the duration of their Student visa, unless exempted under reciprocal government arrangements. Health insurance cover is also required for all family members residing in Australia on a dependent Student visa.

Students covered under the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, the Swedish Legal, Financial and Administration Agency (Kammarkollegiet) or the compulsory health care insurance in Belgium, do not require OSHC. Belgian, Norwegian and Swedish students who are not required to purchase OSHC, will be covered for treatment that is medically necessary under their country’s Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia.

All other Student visa holders must have OSHC.

Evidence of your OSHC must be provided at the time you submit your Student visa application. Health insurance arrangements that are not approved by the Department of Health do not satisfy the criteria for the grant of a Student visa.

You can find out more information about OSHC on the Department of Health website.

Arranging your health insurance cover
Option 1: Purchasing OSHC through the University

USC can accept payment and arrange visa-length OSHC on your behalf with our preferred provider Allianz Global Assistance. USC students who purchase their OSHC through USC will receive an OSHC Essentials Cover policy.

You will be able to advise us of the type of cover you require in your application to USC.

If you are:

  • intending to apply for a Student visa for yourself only, you will require a single cover policy 
  • intending to apply for a Student visa for yourself and dependants, you may require a dual or multi cover policy

If you indicate in your application form that you would like USC to arrange OSHC on your behalf, then the fee for the OSHC policy will be included in your Letter of Offer. The cost of your cover will depend on the type of cover and the duration of your studies.

Upon payment of the program deposit and OSHC premium when accepting your offer, your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be issued. This will show DOHA that OSHC is in place for you and your family members (if applicable), which will satisfy the Student visa application requirements.


If you ask USC to purchase OSHC on your behalf then you consent to us disclosing your relevant personal details (e.g. your family name, given name, gender, date of birth, start date and university code) to Allianz Global Assistance so your cover can be scheduled.

Option 2: Arranging your own OSHC independently

You retain the right to purchase your own OSHC from a government-approved Australian health insurance provider. If you already have valid OSHC or if you arrange your own OSHC please indicate this in your application form. You will be required to show your cover to DOHA at the time of submitting your Student visa application.

Other OSHC providers

USC has no relationship with any other OSHC providers and cannot accept payment from students for any provider other than Allianz Global Assistance. However, you can contact another OSHC provider and insure with them directly:

Upgrading your Single cover to Family cover
Option 1: Where OSHC Essentials single cover was purchased through the University

If you have purchased your OSHC policy through the University, you will need to contact Allianz Global Assistance directly for upgrading your OSHC policy to either Dual Family or Multi Family cover.

Dual family – covering the student, and either:

One adult spouse or de facto partner

One or more children under the age of 18 years old

Multi family – covering the student and more than one dependant, which can include:

Only one adult spouse or de facto partner

One or more dependent children

Option 2: Where OSHC cover was arranged independently

If you have arranged your OSHC through another provider, please refer to them directly.

Cancellation and refund of your OSHC policy
Option 1: Where a student does not commence their program and is still offshore

If you are not commencing at USC and you are still offshore, please complete the “Application for refund - International student" form, which can be found under the ‘Fees and refunds’ section.

Option 2: Where a student is already in Australia and OSHC Essentials cover was purchased through the University

If you are onshore and USC has already arranged cover on your behalf you will need to contact Allianz Global Assistance directly for a refund or any changes to your policy.

Students are individually responsible for ensuring that OSHC is current at all times and renewed as required while on a Student visa.

More information

OSHC is the minimum cover required by the Australian Government, however you may like to consider additional health and travel insurance at your own expense.

Allianz Global Assistance provides USC students with additional benefits under the OSHC Essentials Cover. This is an arrangement only available through USC. It provides students with benefits above the minimum cover required by the Australian Government and will remove waiting periods for some services.

You can order your OSHC card online when you are in Australia. If you need to access medical services but do not have your OSHC card yet, you can print a temporary certificate from the Allianz Global Assistance website once you have logged into your account. Alternatively the "My OSHC Assistant" app is available for download. Search "My OSHC Assistant" in the app store which gives you instant access to your membership details and e-membership card.

You are individually responsible for ensuring that OSHC is current at all times and renewed as required. If OSHC lapses, students (and their families) are responsible for paying any medical costs incurred. If you finish your studies early and your Student visa is no longer valid, you can obtain a refund for any unused portion of your OSHC.

Assistance on campus

An OSHC Allianz Global Assistance representative is available on our USC Sunshine Coast campus two days a week during semester who can help you obtain your membership card and assist with claims and other queries. Visit our International office on Level 1 in Building J.

Insurance for students not on a Student Visa

If you are arriving in Australia on a non-Student visa (such as the 417 Working Holiday Visa), you are not eligible for OSHC. Please refer to a travel agent or search online to find suitable health and/or travel insurance.


It is essential for international students to organise either short or long-term accommodation before arriving on the Sunshine Coast.

USC students have access to a range of affordable accommodation and housing options, including:

  • Privately owned accommodation complexes
  • Homestay
  • Private, off campus accommodation

It is essential for international students to organise either short or long-term accommodation before arriving on the Sunshine Coast. Give yourself the best possible chance for a good start to your studies knowing you have somewhere to stay when you get to USC.

Please note: The University of the Sunshine Coast does not provide accommodation or screen information, nor does it act as an agent in the provision of accommodation information. It is your responsibility to determine whether the housing arrangements are suitable. Any person utilising third party information, such as the privately owned accommodation provider information, is advised to read USC's Disclaimer.

Privately owned accommodation complexes

Three privately–owned, fully–furnished accommodation complexes are conveniently located next to the University. UniCentral, Varsity Apartments and The Village are all linked by pathway to the campus, which is an easy three–minute walk away.

Public transport and the local shopping centre are within easy reach.

The complexes are:


The complex has:

  • a 6–lane, 25–metre lap pool
  • a floodlit tennis court / basketball court
  • an outdoor recreational area and barbecues
  • a recreational pavilion with pool tables, table tennis, cable TV, DVD and stereo, and other common room facilities
  • secure gated complex with on-site managers and night security

Apartments have:

  • a self contained kitchen and laundry
  • furnishings
  • a shared living room
  • four private single bedrooms (mostly)

Bedrooms have:

  • a private bathroom and toilet
  • an internet connection facility
  • a free intranet to the University
  • a telephone
  • a desk and chair
  • a double bed
  • a free intercom system

Contact UniCentral
Tel: +61 7 5373 0000
Visit the UniCentral website

Varsity Apartments

The complex has:

  • a freeform resort swimming pool with spa and lap pool
  • a tennis court / basketball court
  • a gym
  • a beach volleyball court
  • four barbecue areas
  • coin operated laundry and linen hire
  • coin operated drink machines
  • on-site managers and night security

Apartments have:

  • a self contained kitchen
  • furnishings
  • a shared living room with television
  • four private single bedrooms

Bedrooms have:

  • a private bathroom and toilet
  • an internet connection facility
  • a telephone
  • a desk and chair
  • a double bed

Contact Varsity Apartments
Tel: +61 7 5450 2000
Visit the Varsity Apartments website

The Village

The complex has:

  • 3 pools including a 4–lane 25–metre lap pool
  • a flood–lit tennis court / basketball court
  • outdoor recreational areas and barbecues
  • secure gated complex with on–site managers and night security

Apartments have:

  • a self contained kitchen and laundry
  • furnishings
  • a shared living room
  • two and three bedroom share villas, some with private garages attached

Bedrooms have:

  • an internet connection facility
  • a telephone
  • a desk and chair
  • a double bed, some with private bathroom
  • a free intercom system

The Village
Tel: +61 7 5430 2500
Visit The Village's website

You may find the following websites useful to search for rental accommodation or a room in a share house. It is your responsibility to determine whether the housing arrangements are suitable: 


You can arrive at USC via private airport transfers or public transport.

  • Public transport can be used from Brisbane airport. The Airtrain travels from Brisbane airport to Brisbane City
  • Catch a train from Brisbane City to Landsborough station

  • Landsborough station has buses to Sippy Downs (USC), Mooloolaba, Maroochydore or Alexandra Headland

For further information please visit Translink


All international students have to complete the International Orientation task via USC Central once it becomes available on their student account. This task includes important information about your stay and studies in Australia.

In addition, USC offers an extensive Orientation to USC program at the start of each semester which allows you to find out more about USC and your program, as well as meet new people and get to know your new home. It's a great way to get to know the local area, the campus, student support services, and academic requirements. International students are particularly encouraged to attend the social events during Orientation. These events are a great way to make new friends, explore the local area and begin your Australian experience. You will need to make sure you arrive in Australia early enough to attend Orientation.

If you are unable to attend Orientation, refer to the Orientation to USC page for information regarding alternative workshops you can attend at the beginning of the semester.