Prior to Leaving Australia

Student travelling overseas personal safety and risk assessment guide prior to leaving Australia:

Initial research

  1. Research the countries you plan to travel to, especially in regards to safety issues, transportation in country and accommodation.
  2. Consider the political, environmental and legal requirements of the country and how they will affect you. Practices and acceptances vary from country to country.
  3. Always research your accommodation options prior to leaving Australia. Ensure you are satisfied with the location and accommodation standards. Even prestigious universities can be located in neighborhoods with crime rates.
  4. Be aware that building codes and safety regulations vary around the world; research the conditions before you decide on your accommodation.

Things to consider:

  • Installed smoke alarms. Consider taking your own smoke alarm with an emergency light and batteries with you. They are cheap and small enough to carry with you.
  • Fire truck ladders often can’t reach beyond the 7th floor so avoid living above this point.
  • Check the building is easily accessible by emergency vehicles.
  • Check there is a fire escape. Make sure windows are not obstructed or blocked.

Check travel advice

  1. Review the International SOS, Smartravellor and Department of Foreign Affairs web sites for international developments, travel warnings and safety trips when planning your trip.
  2. If UNSW or the Australian Government determines that travel to a host country be deferred, your exchange or travel will be suspended. UNSW travel insurance does not cover countries with high travel warnings.
  3. If you are an Australian citizen register online with smartraveller prior to your overseas trip.
  4. If you don’t hold Australian citizenship register with your home country embassy in the host country.

Visas and passports

  1. Check the validity of your visas or apply for the relevant visa well in advance of departure.
  2. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months before expiry to be eligible to depart from Australia and to arrive in certain countries.
  3. Add the contact details of your next of kin in pencil at the back of your passport.

Health check up

  1. Have a general health check before you leave, including dental and optical examinations. Be medically prepared before you go and know how to stay healthy while overseas.
  2. Ask your GP about any vaccinations before you leave.
  3. Check Smartraveller for more tips and advice.

Health and travel insurance

  1. Register your travel with International SOS to ensure you are covered by UNSW insurance. UNSW offers travel insurance for students on university business.
  2. Always include the travel insurance hotline number in the back of your passport or other travel documentation, in case of emergencies.
  3. While UNSW aims to assist you with cost effective insurance, the coverage may not meet the requirements or personal needs of all students. In such cases, you must arrange your own travel coverage through another insurance provider.
  4. Some universities offer their own health insurance. If this is compulsory you will need to purchase their insurance.

Let family and friends know your travel itinerary

Once you have finalised your travel itinerary leave copies of the inside front cover of passports, visas, e-tickets and travel itineraries with a family member or trusted friend and include contact details for each place you will be staying.

Final preparations

  1. Update your emergency contact details on myUNSW.
  2. Complete the compulsory Pre-Departure Tutorial. A separate briefing is also held for Student Exchange - the details are emailed to you.

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