Prepare to arrive

All the things you will need to get organised before starting life as an international student at RMIT.

It's never too early to start to planning your move to Melbourne! Below is some information to help you get started.

Once you have accepted your offer and received your Confirmation of Enrolment you can apply for your student visa.

All international students require a visa to study at RMIT. Visa arrangements may take anywhere from a few weeks to six months to finalise depending on the assessment level of your country and other requirements set out by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

Start the application process as soon as possible!

Once you’ve received your student visa you can book your flight. 

Make sure you arrive in plenty of time to attend registration and enrolment into your program at RMIT.

Before you move to Melbourne you may need to arrange temporary or short term accommodation where you can stay while you become more familiar with the city and look for somewhere to live long term. 

There are many affordable accommodation options for international students in Melbourne. RMIT provides free services and resources to help you find somewhere to live that will suit your budget and preferences.

If you are a commencing international student arriving in Melbourne for the first time, you can get free transfer from the airport. You can be picked up from Melbourne Airport or Avalon Airport as long as you indicate this in the booking form.

To request your airport pickup service, you must:

  • Have accepted your RMIT offer, received your CoE and a valid student visa, and booked your flight to Melbourne.
  • Submit this airport pickup request at least five business days prior to your arrival date.


  • Each RMIT student applies for their own airport pickup service.
  • Please allow three business days to receive your airport pickup confirmation. Save the attachments to your mobile phone for quick reference.
  • If you did not receive the airport pickup confirmation email, check your spam/junk folder. Please request your copy from
  • A ‘No Show’ fee AU$100 applies if you have requested for airport pickup but fail to arrive on the scheduled flight or cancel the service.
  • If you change your arrival itinerary or wish to cancel the service, you must inform us at least two business days prior to your arrival date. Email:
  • If your luggage does not fit in a standard sedan’s boot, you will have to arrange a taxi to transport excess luggage to your drop off address. 

Alternative transfers options from the Airport

There are other options to travel from the airport to the city or your destination.

You can take a taxi from designated taxi ranks located outside the terminals.

Or you can take a bus to Melbourne city called the Skybus.


Melbourne gets cold and wet in winter, with an average temperature of 14 degrees celsius. Winter runs from June to August. It can also get hot in summer, with an average temperature of 25 degrees celsius. Summer runs from December to February.

However Melbourne is famous for having “four seasons in one day”. We can have very cold days in summer, and warmer days in winter. So no matter what time of year you arrive, pack clothes and shoes for all seasons including some warm pullovers/jumpers, jackets and covered/rain-proof shoes. 

Consider packing one formal outfit for any events or interviews you may need to attend.

Important documents

Don’t forget your passport with student visa!

Pack a folder with of a copy of your RMIT offer letter, acceptance letter and electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE), driver's license, birth certificate, emergency contact details, accommodation reference. 

If you have a medical condition talk to your doctor before you leave and ask if there is anything you need from them to ensure continuity of treatment e.g. a referral letter outlining your treatment and medication details.

You will need your banking information and bank card, it’s also useful to have a small amount of cash with you. Have a think about what valuables you will need e.g. jewellery, camera, bicycle, laptop, mobile phone, iPod.

And if you wear glasses, don’t forget to pack a spare pair of glasses or contact lenses.

Biosecurity and products you cannot bring into Australia

Visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources site

Australia is a multicultural and diverse society. To help you adapt, here is some information on common social values and customs.

Addressing people

In formal situations, it is customary for people to shake hands when greeting each other.

People will usually introduce themselves to you by the name they prefer to be called. Australians usually prefer to be called by their first (given) name, including teachers and lecturers.

Australian laws

When you are in Australia, you must abide by Australian Federal and State laws. Specific laws apply against:

  • swearing or spitting in a public space
  • excessive noise in residential areas after 10pm and before 7am
  • smoking inside public venues and anywhere on an RMIT campus.


Bribery is not part of the Australian culture—it is illegal in this country and is not accepted by society.


When meeting someone for the first time, avoid topics about politics, relationships, sex, religion, or financial income as they can be sensitive. These are personal topics that a person may not want to share with a stranger.

Topics that are okay to raise with new people include sports, films, music, hobbies, the weather etc.


In Australia it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, social, political or religious beliefs.

Racial vilification (slandering or defaming someone on racial grounds) is also illegal.

Women in Australia are independent and may discuss a variety of issues openly. Women are equal in Australian culture and should be respected as such.

Jay walking

If there is a crosswalk or crossing lights use these to cross the road. Although it is uncommon, you can be fined for not crossing at the lights especially in the city.


It is polite to say 'excuse me' when trying to get someone's attention, exiting a conversation, or when trying to get past someone.

Don't forget to say 'please' when you're asking for something and 'thank you' when you receive something.


Being on time is important in Australia, so make sure you check meeting times and places. Contact the person that you are meeting if you are running late or unable to make an appointment.

If you are late for a doctor or dentist appointment, you may have to pay a fee.


You must form queues and wait in line when waiting to purchase something, waiting to get in a bus, waiting at a bank etc.

It is considered impolite to push in front of someone who was waiting before you.

Australians value their personal space so you should not stand too close when waiting behind someone or talking to someone.


Place rubbish in rubbish bins. If there are no rubbish bins you should carry the rubbish until it can be put in a bin. You can be fined for throwing rubbish on the ground.

Saying 'no'

It is not rude to say 'no' to something you do not want. If you have been invited to go somewhere that you do not want to go or can not go, say 'Thank you for the invite but I won't be able to make it'.

Do not be pressured into drinking alcohol, taking drugs or having sex—it is your right to say no if you do not want to get involved.


Smoking is prohibited on public transport and inside any public venues including restaurants, bars, cinemas etc and you can be fined for doing so. Smoking is also banned on all RMIT campuses.

If you are at someone's home, it is polite to excuse yourself and smoke outside.

Social gatherings

Social functions such as barbeques (BBQs), dinners or parties are common and can be held in private homes, parks and restaurants.

BYO means 'bring your own' drinks or your own meat for a BBQ and will be indicated with the invitation.

When dining with a group in a restaurant it is usual for the cost to be split equally between the group.


Tipping is not compulsory or expected. Australians tip only when they feel that the service they have received has been particularly good.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer