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Commencing students

Arriving and settling in

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Preparing to enter Australia

The Australian government has strict rules about what you can and cannot bring into Australia. Check before departing what you can legally bring into Australia and never carry any prohibited materials for anyone else.

There are severe penalties for bringing prohibited materials into Australia, which may affect your freedom to travel to and study in other countries. If you are unsure whether the material you wish to bring into Australia is safe, always declare it and check with the Immigration and Customs officers at the airport on arrival.

Entering Australia

During your flight to Australia, Immigration and Customs declaration forms are handed to each passenger. Complete this on the plane before joining the queue at Immigration at the airport. When you go through the arriving passenger desk, an Immigration Officer will check your passport and the immigration form you filled in on the aircraft. You will then head to the baggage claim area to collect your luggage.

If you have stated that you have nothing to declare, the Customs Officer will tell you to follow the green route, which takes you through to the entrance hall outside.

If you have stated that you have goods to declare, you will be directed to the red route where you will be asked about the goods you declared. In either case, your bags may be searched, so always declare anything you are unsure of.

You are not allowed to bring any foodstuffs, spices, plants, animal or wood products into Australia. If you do, they must be declared on the Customs declaration form. If you do not declare these items, they may be confiscated and you could be fined. For important things you should know about travelling to Australia, visit the Department of Agriculture and Water resources website (opens an external website)

Free airport shuttle service

Royale Limousines Concierge deskRoyale Limousines Concierge desk
UTS Community Connections offers a free airport shuttle service from the airport to either UTS or a convenient Sydney CBD location. The service is available for new international students who arrive between Monday 10 and Tuesday 25 July 2017 inclusive (in the 2 weeks before orientation begins). Shuttle buses depart from 6.30am until 10pm.

When you exit the Terminal 1 Arrivals Hall, turn left and look for the Royale Limousines Concierge desk at Arrivals Gate B located next to the Virgin Domestic transfer area and near the Travelex Currency Exchange. See map. The concierge desk is open daily from 6am until 10pm.
The friendly staff will give you your free shuttle ticket and organise your transport on the next available shuttle. All you will need to do is show the staff your passport to confirm you identity and a copy of your UTS CoE (Confirmation of Enrolment) to confirm your university place. You may even meet some other UTS students on your trip!
If you arrive at Sydney Airport before 6am or after 10pm, please see other transport options below.

Note: those students who arrive at Sydney Airport outside of the period when the shuttle operates can visit the Welcome desk for international students.

Welcome desk

airport welcomeairport welcome

Upon arrival in Sydney, international students can visit the International Student Airport Welcome Desk located directly opposite Arrivals Hall A in Terminal 1 at Sydney International Airport.
The welcome desk offers guides and maps together with information on iPads and LCD screens and is staffed by dedicated student volunteers on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7am-12pm during off-peak periods and 7 days a week from 7am-11 am and 6 -9pm during peak periods.


Transport from Sydney Airport

New international students who arrive between Monday 10 and Tuesday 25 July 2017 (inclusive) can take advantage of a free airport shuttle service from the airport to either UTS or a convenient Sydney CBD location.
When the airport shuttle is not operating, you can take the train from Sydney Airport directly to the city for A$16.00. You will need to purchase an Adult Opal single trip ticket (opens an external site) as international students are not eligible for student transport concession, and fines apply. 
The last train departs Sydney International Airport train station at 11.48PM. From Central Railway Station, it’s five minutes’ walk to the UTS campus.
All Sydney train lines connect at Central. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, which will cost between A$15 and A$50 depending on where you travel to (or more if you are travelling beyond the inner city area). There are also privately run minibuses to take people to inner-city hotels. 

Purchasing an Opal card

When you arrive at Sydney Airport, you also have the option to purchase an Opal card (opens an external site) from selected Sydney airport retailers (opens an external site). You can use the Opal card to travel from the airport to the city, and then continue to use it on public transport across Sydney. Once you have used your Opal card for eight trips in a week (calculated Monday to Sunday), the rest of your travel that week will be half priced.

Paper ticket refunds

From 1 August 2016, paper tickets will no longer be sold or accepted for travel within the Sydney Transport Network. Therefore 90-day and 365-day international student tickets will no longer be accepted. The last day for valid travel using a paper ticket is 31 July 2016. 
Refunds for valid 90-day and 365-day international student tickets (purchased prior to 1 August 2016) are available through the online ticketing portal (opens an external site) until 30 October 2016.
For more information visit opal.com.au (opens an external site) or transportnsw.info/international-students (opens an external site). 


The UTS Housing service can assist with arranging suitable on-campus, or off-campus accommodation. Due to the high demand for UTS housing we recommend that you apply as soon as possible.  
If you require short-term accommodation there are other options such as hostels like YHA (opens an external site), and Bounce Sydney (opens an external site). You can also visit UTS Housing in Building 6, level 2 for more information about living and renting in Sydney. 


It is a good idea to have sufficient funds ready for the first few weeks of your stay. You can change money at the airport. You may receive a better rate in the city so only change enough to last you a few days. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are available at the Sydney Airport, and throughout Sydney.


On campus - 24 hour emergency number

UTS has 24-hour security staff patrolling at the campus. In an emergency, you can dial 6 from any campus phone or 1800 249 559 from any phone to contact Security. Program this number into your mobile phone. You can, and should ask for help at any time if for any reason you feel unsafe or unsure of your surroundings. Carry the Safe at UTS card with you. You can pick one up from the International Student Centre.

Safety off campus

Sydney is a fairly safe city; however, you should be aware of your surroundings especially if you travel at night. You should make sure you keep all you belongings in a secure place and do not leave them unattended. If you travel at night by public transport, it is best to travel with someone or wait in well-lit areas when waiting for the bus, train or ferry. If you need to contact the Police, Ambulance or Fire Department you should call 000 any time of the day or night. You can call this number from any phone free of charge.

While you make the most of your time in Sydney, trying new activities and experiences, it’s important to keep these safety tips in mind.

On the beach

Swim only between the flags on patrolled beaches. Do not swim at night, and remember to wear sunscreen!


Inform someone if you set off on a bushwalk and make sure you take a map, plenty of water, wet weather gear, warm clothes and a phone. It is preferable to walk with a few friends and take an emergency beacon, available from camping stores. Always inform someone of where you are going and when you intend to be back.

Driving and alcohol

In Australia, it's illegal to have more than a small amount of alcohol before driving. Don’t drink and drive or get into a car with a driver who has been drinking. Share a taxi home instead.