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Travelling tips

Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008

Travelling is clearly everyone’s dream. Most students learn to become better travellers with experience. However, some basic reading and precautions can save you from loosing precious time while making sure your travel becomes hassle free. Before you leave home there are various paper work a student has to look into.
Once you have accepted you offer at the university book an airline ticket. Most universities expect their students to arrive in time for the orientation prep week. Some of the important documents that you need to carry with you are: 1) Your letter of offer (authority to enrol) for enrolment purposes. 2) Original or certified documents for granting of advanced standing/credit. 3) Your travel documents. 4) The Orientation week programme. 5) Personal computer (if preferred). There is no duty/sales tax if you take your computer home when you leave Australia. Carry your receipt, if you have one, and declare the computer if it is less than 12 months old.
Some other issues to look into: 
  • Phone service: Do not buy mobile phone services in India. Once in Australia you can avail better deals and packages.  
  • Stay: On reaching the destination look for inexpensive temporary accommodation in a lodge or private backpackers’ dormitories. Then take the time to look for the right accommodation. This saves you from paying huge university booked hotel room charges.  
  • Drivers’ license: Carry your drivers’ license from India. It is a long process to get a new one here. If you have a license in India it’s only requires you to upgrade it to international drivers. 
  • Things you can’t carry: There are certain items that cannot be carried to the country – this mostly includes food, plant material and animal products from overseas. If there are certain items that you must carry then you must declare for inspection to ensure they are free of pest and disease. If certain items are declared to contain risks - like disease, insects or larvae - then the airport will treat them to make it safe. For this you will be required to pay for fumigation, irradiation etc.  
  • Electric chargers: Electricity in Australia is 240v 50 cycles AC. Adaptors are readily available.  
  • Travel insurance: It is safe to be adequately insured before traveling to a foreign destination. Travel insurance provides a person with protection cover in case of cancellation of travel plans arising due to accident, injury or illness. A little ground work is required with your travel insurer whether you need domestic travel insurance or international travel insurance 
  • Clothing: November to March are the warmest months with temperatures ranging from 17-45 degrees Celsius (average around 30 degrees). June, July and August are generally quite cold months with a temperature range of 5-20 degrees Celsius. For everyday wear, students favour comfortable, casual clothes. Men tend to wear jeans and shirts, with women generally choosing jeans, shirts and skirts. A waterproof warm jacket is necessary for the winter months. In summer months, lightweight shirts and shorts are favoured by most. 
Students and travelers have to always consider the fact that in a new country one has to adapt to their culture and attitude. As the axiom goes, ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’, similarly enough foresight is required not to be critical and contrasting. As Samarth Rao, presently a student at Sawn Tafe University in Australia says, “the way the Australians dress might offend some students but what we have to learn is how well the Australians accept “our” traditional cloths. But generally learning from the way the locals dress is the best way to show you belong.


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