Whether your time as an international student was six months or a year, returning home is no small task!
If you’ve completed your course and you’re heading home, here are some things to think about before you leave:
Did you see everything?
A massive part of studying in Australia (or any country away from home for that matter) is exploring and travelling to places you may never see again. If there were places or sites you wanted to see before heading home, there is no time like the present! You may be able to extend your visa or apply for another sort such as a Working Holiday Visa, Work and Holiday Visa or a Tourist Visa.
If you do choose do stay – ensure you have travel insurance! You can speak with your OSHC provider.
Will everything fit in your suitcase?
There is a high probability that you have accumulated a lot of things if you’ve been here a while and it won’t all fit in the suitcase(s) on your flight home.
Posting packages back to your home country may be costly, so unless it’s something you think you’ll have for a very long time you might need to part with it!
When sorting through the clothes ask yourself; have I worn this in the last six months? Do I really think I’ll wear it in the next six months? Has it lived a good life already with me?
Think about what’s disposable – toiletries, worn out shoes/clothes, books you’ve already read etc.
If you’ve been in a share house, the furniture, kitchenware and homewares will need to go! You can give it to charity or to friends but if you want (or need) some cash, it’s easy to sell things these days – via online, garage sales or notice boards.
If you do need to ship things home, ask friends for advice on companies they used and do your research.
Have you sorted all the paper work and money matters?
When you arrived in Australia you opened a bank account – now you’ve got to close it.
If you have a mobile phone plan you will need to close the account any pay any remaining costs.
If you’ve been renting you will also need to give notice that you’re moving out, pay your final bills and if gas / electricity / internet accounts are in your name they will also need to be finalised, disconnected and closed.
If you worked in Australia you need to give your workplace notice you’re leaving and you may need to file a tax return – this might mean you’ll receive a refund before you go!
This isn’t the only ‘bonus’ though – if you were eligible for superannuation (Australia’s retirement savings system) then when you leave, you can claim your super as a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment.
You can start your online application at any time while in Australia. However, you can only submit it when you have left Australia and your visa has expired or been cancelled.
Make sure you have no outstanding fines (library, traffic infringements etc) and ensure you’ve ordered your university transcript and applied to graduate!
Have you researched flights?
Luggage allowances and costs vary between airlines – as can the costs of the flight!
Some offer one or two checked-in bags for economy flights whiles others charge for checked-in luggage.
You really don’t want to purchase excess baggage at the airport – it is usually quite costly so thinking (and weighing) ahead is key!
Take note of baggage limits too as that can range from around 20kg to 30kg, measurement limits may also vary.
Booking as far ahead as you possible can help get you a cheaper flight. Research online and see if there are any student deals. Heading into a shopfront with the prices you found can result in an expert finding an even better deal for you.
Last but not least – make sure you see everyone before they go and ensure you have their contact details!
And most importantly – don’t forget your passport!