Under 18's FAQs

I am 17 years old and my Aunty lives in Sydney. I plan to live with my Aunty. Do I need a CAAW from UNSW?

No you don't. As your Aunty is a blood relative your parents can nominate her as your guardian. A guardian must be someone you live with, be of good character, over 21 and be approved by http://border.gov.au

I will be 18 years old during the first week of the semester, do I still need a CAAW from UNSW?

Yes you do. You will need a CAAW to apply for a student visa before coming to study in Australia.

When should I arrive in Sydney?

You need to arrive in Sydney in time for the beginning of the International Students Orientation Program. This begins with Student Development International (SDI) "Step Up". This is usually mid-February in semester 1 and early July in semester 2. 

See StepUp for more information.

Is there a cost involved in setting up the CAAW with UNSW?

Yes, Fees apply to CAAW of $150 and Care program of $8 a day from the beginning of the CAAW period until your 18th Birthday.

My parents are coming with me to Sydney and I will stay in a hotel with them for the first 2 nights, who must I inform?

You need to inform both Unilodge and an SDI International Student Adviser of your arrival date and where you will be staying. Your parents also need to send a letter to SDI explaining the situation.

Is it compulsory to attend the international student's orientation?

Yes it is. To assist under 18 students make a successful transition to UNSW, we have a range of orientation activities beginning with the Step Up program and O week

As part of O week there is a specific Arrivals Essential for Under 18 students where the requirements of your CAAW will be explained. 

Can I change my accommodation if I am not happy?

To make any changes to an approved UNSW CAAW you must speak with an International Student Adviser (ISA). You must obtain permission from SDI to change any of these requirements.

Can I change from a CAAW with UNSW to a guardian?

Once welfare and accommodation arrangements have been approved by UNSW, students must obtain permission from SDI to change them. Please talk to one of the International Student Advisers about changing your guardian before you take any action.

My visa expires on 31 January. I would like to extend my visa onshore. Is there any way that the under 18 care arrangements could begin earlier, so that I can return to Australia to extend my visa?

SDI will consider earlier commencement of CAAW in special circumstances. Please contact SDI to discuss.

How long does my CAAW last?

Your CAAW letter will commence 14 calendar days prior to the commencement of the beginning of the semester and will conclude 7 days after the end date of your course or the day you turn 18, whichever date is the earliest.

What are my responsibilities as part of my CAAW?

As part of your CAAW you will be assigned an ISA to monitor your welfare and accommodation until you turn 18 years of age. You will be required to meet regularly with your assigned ISA. If you experience any problems with your accommodation and welfare arrangements you should contact your International Student Adviser immediately.

What if I miss a scheduled meeting with an ISA?

Contact them immediately to set up another appointment. Should you continue to fail to attend your fortnightly meetings, SDI is obliged to advise http://border.gov.au which may have an impact on your student visa.