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:

  • your USC offer
  • enrolling in your courses using USC Central 
  • OSHC
  • visa information
  • living in Australia

Visa information

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

Student visa

If during the application process you indicated that you intend to apply for a Student visa to study in Australia, USC will issue you a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) once you have accepted your USC offer for a full time, on campus, CRICOS ^ registered program.

What is a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)?

A CoE is an official document that provides important information about your enrolment status to Australian government departments such as DOHA. It reflects your actual enrolment in a USC program, indicating the course duration through the course start and end dates, fees paid and total fees to be paid for the program based on the current published tuition fees and if USC has organised OSHC for you, information regarding your OSHC policy.

This document is required to be submitted to DOHA during the Student visa application process.

You must have a valid CoE at all times while you are studying on a Student visa in Australia. If your CoE is cancelled this may affect the validity of your Student visa.

Student visa information

To find out about the Student visa (Subclass 500) and the application process, DOHA provides information including the eligibility criteria, visa conditions, application processing times and how to apply.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria of being a genuine temporary entrant. This means they must have a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily and be able to demonstrate this. Information regarding the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement can be accessed on the website of the Department of Home Affairs.

DOHA recommend that you apply for your Student visa at least six weeks prior to your program start date.

Working Holiday/Work and Holiday visa

Working Holiday or Work and Holiday visas are only available to citizens of certain countries.

In most cases applicants must be under 30 years of age (35 for citizens of some countries) 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 website of the Department of Home Affairs.

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:

Queensland

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.

Moreton Bay

USC Moreton Bay is Australia’s newest university campus in Petrie. The campus is approximately 30km north of Brisbane.

For more information about life in the Moreton Bay region, refer to the Moreton Bay Regional Council website.

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 USC

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

Disclosure

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 Care 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 Care. However, you can contact another OSHC provider and insure with them directly:

Making changes to your policy
Option 1: Where OSHC Essentials policy was purchased through USC

If you have purchased your OSHC policy through USC, you will need to contact Allianz Care directly to make changes to your OSHC policy, e.g. upgrading your policy to dual 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 USC arranged OSHC on your behalf and you are not commencing in your program and have not arrived in Australia, complete the “Application for refund - International student" form, which can be found under the ‘Fees and refunds’ section.

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

Option 2: Where a student is already in Australia

If USC arranged OSHC on your behalf and you have arrived in Australia, contact Allianz Care 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.

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

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 Care provides USC students with additional benefits under the OSHC Essentials policy. 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 Care website once you have logged into your account. Alternatively the Allianz MyHealth app is available for download which gives you instant access to your policy documents, allows you to submit a medical claim and check the status of your claims.

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/or 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 Care representative is available on our USC Sunshine Coast campus once a week. Once you are on campus, they can assist you with claims and other queries.

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.

Accommodation

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

There are a variety of accommodation options close to USC's campuses whether you want to live in a privately owned student accommodation complex, share a house, book a homestay or find a place of your own. For more information and advice refer to USC's accommodation and housing page.

If you are going to study at USC Moreton Bay or USC Caboolture, you may wish to live in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. The Study Queensland website also provides information about student accommodation options in Brisbane.

The Translink journey planner can help you plan how you will get from any potential accommodation to your study location and provide you with estimated travel times between locations.

If you are interested in staying in a privately owned student accommodation complex, there are a few providers close to the Sunshine Coast campus which are listed below.

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 student accommodation complexes
Sunshine Coast

Three privately–owned, fully–furnished accommodation complexes are conveniently located next to the USC Sunshine Coast campus. 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:

UniCentral

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
Email: office@unicentral.net.au
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
Email: info@varsityapartments.com.au
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
Email: info@thevillage.net.au
Visit The Village's website

Transport

There are frequent international flights direct to Brisbane, which is the closest international airport to USC's campus locations. Alternatively you can fly into Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Cairns and take a domestic flight to Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast or Fraser Coast Airport.

There are airport transfer companies available to take you from the airport to your accommodation, including Con-x-ion Airport Transfer.

For public transport options to help you planning how you will get to USC's campus locations (and where you might live) visit Translink and use the journey planner.

Orientation

All international students have to complete the International Orientation task via USC Central once it becomes available on their student account. This task provides you with information about studying at USC and in Australia as an international student.

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.