Video Transcript: Outbound Exchange Pre-Departure Part One


Welcome aboard this pre-departure guide from SCU international non-stop to your new study experience. Where the temperature is amazing and the cultural experience is whatever you choose. Sit back, relax and fasten your seatbelt and focus your attention to your screen in a comfortable upright position.
In case of an emergency simply press pause and follow the links to SCU international. All information is for your convenience and safety. And if we can be of anymore assistance, please contact an SCU international representative. Again welcome aboard the SCU international pre-departure guide.

Hi I'm Simon a second year media student right here at Southern Cross and I was went on exchange to America and this is my story.

On exchange I did things I never thought I would ever do. I went to Hawaii and learnt to surf. I then went to Vancouver and Whistler and then I hired a car and drove down the west coast of America, from Seattle to Vegas. I hiked in the giant forest and tracked through Yosemite and Sequoia national parks, I saw the Grand Canyon!

I made some amazing friends, had lots of laughs and created a truck load of memories. My study in America was wonderful I sat classes on screenwriting, news presenting and a whole lot more. I even went to a sport game for the first time ever!

Everything about the international study experience was more than I ever expected and I wish I could just go back and experience it all again. My exchange really helped me grow as a person, I got to meet new people, I got to live in a different culture and experience new and exciting things. I would highly recommend anyone that's thinking of going on exchange to just, just do it's awesome.

I went to Northern Arizona University in America and I studied media and I got to grow this awesome moustache. So Southern Cross University really helps you get where you need to go and it really is all about is all about you.

G'day my name is Simon. Welcome to Southern Cross University's pre-departure video. Congratulations on being accepted to participate in an overseas study experience. This is a wonderful opportunity to change your life, broaden your connections and add an international experience to your qualifications. This amazing opportunity will enhance your study at Southern Cross while you complete part of your degree at an overseas partner university, combining study with travel and adding an international experience to your qualifications - enabling you to immerse yourself in a different culture and gain invaluable international contacts.

I'll be taking you through some of things you need to know before your international study experience. This video is in three parts, each with a small multiple choice quiz at the end. Some topics we'll be going over are:

Part one - The Nitty Gritty, where we'll look at:

  • Passports and visas
  • Enrolment
  • Flights and loans
  • Packing
  • Accommodation.

Part two Health and safety, here we will cover:

  • Insurance
  • Medication
  • Smart traveller And DFAT registration.

And part three Culture Adjustment here find out about:

  • Dealing with culture shock
  • LGBTIQ community questions
  • And being an SCU ambassador

So let's get started.

The Nitty Gritty
Passports and Visas
Did you know that passports need to be valid for at least 6 months after your return date as some countries won't allow you entry if it's near the expiry? For all international study experience you will need a current passport and student visa.

Passport applications are available from the local Post Office. They cost over two hundred dollars and are valid for 10 years. Don't leave this to the last minute as it usually takes 2-3 weeks from the time you apply until the time you receive your passport.

There is no need to apply for your passport until your acceptance at the overseas institution has been confirmed. It is however, a good idea to ensure that you have a full-certified copy of your birth certificate, which is required for your passport application. You will also need four colour passport- size photographs.

It is your responsibility to check what visas you may require. Do you need more than one if you are travelling before or after your study, or, will you need a work visa?

Visas for America and Spain require an interview at the Consulate in Sydney. Appointments need to be made in advance and often there is a wait of several weeks. Visas cannot be applied for until you have all documentation including your acceptance letter in to your overseas institution and a medical history for proof of vaccinations. It is a good idea and your responsibility to contact embassies and consulates to determine if a visa is required and confirm application details.

Although it might be tempting, we advise that you do not book flights before receiving acceptance from the partner university and/or your visas. This can be risky and not advisable to do so until you have everything all sorted out.

Again don't leave these applications to the last minute as processing times can vary, give yourself plenty of time.

We know that many of you go overseas to travel and have an in-depth experience of the local culture, but don't forget that your studies should be your number one priority. Many of you will have academic issues that come up, so be sure to attend to them promptly.

While you are overseas, you will remain enrolled at SCU, and will continue to accumulate a HECS-HELP debt, (or pay tuition fees to SCU).  
Units both overseas and at SCU must be approved by your course coordinator.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your enrolment is completed prior to departure at both your host institution and SCU. This should be done before the start of Southern Cross's semester to avoid a fail for the subjects you're enrolled in.
All fees payable in your absence must be paid by their due date.

If there is a change in your overseas enrolment either before you depart, or while you are overseas, you will need to contact your student advice team and submit a new credit transfer form (with your course coordinator's re-approval). Please keep in mind some classes maybe full or cancelled completely. It's better to be approved for more than you require.

MELINDA: Take it from me, two of my units were already full and I have to re-submit a credit transfer form my advice would be to get approved for as many units as you can.

Flights and Loans
Finance, Converting money and dealing with different currencies can be confusing. We suggest you take travel cards, traveller's cheques, debt and credit cards as these are available from most financial institutions and often the easiest.

TROY : I found travel cards the easiest way to deal with my money while I was overseas, and I got a better exchange rate.

For some SCU students Centrelink benefits maybe available while you study abroad. You need to apply for these in person at a Centrelink office no earlier than 13 weeks beforehand but not later than 6 weeks prior to your departure.

OS help loan will assist in offsetting the cost of your international experience and can be applied for twice, you need to be aware that this loan will be added to your help debt.

AMANDA: There is a six month wait between each time you can apply for the OS help loan, and it's great it just gets added to your HECS debt.

Packing and accommodation
When it comes to packing, pack the essentials but pack light and check what the climate is going to be like at your destination. Check airline regulations as luggage size and weight allowance can vary between airlines.

TROY: I flew with Virgin and United to the states and didn't realize I had to check my baggage in Hawaii, I wish I had double checked before I left.

Hand luggage
Your hand luggage should include things like:

  • your ticket with evidence of a return
  • your host universities letter of acceptance
  • your passport
  • receipts for all medications and prescriptions. It's a good idea to have your medication close-by in your hand luggage and available when you may need it.

Now don't forget about your accommodation in your host country this is your responsibility it is a good idea to check with your host university before your departure as to what will best suit you on campus or off campus living or have you considered a host family and be sure to ask when check in is. Keep in mind on campus living is in high demand at most universities and your accommodation might not be available right away. If so, you will need to make other arrangements until your situation becomes more permanent.

JOE: I had to stay in a hostel for four days until my accommodation was available, wasn't so bad because I did make some great new friends, but then I got to move into on campus living and it was amazing, and I highly recommend it to everybody.

It is important to keep regular contact with southern cross be sure to check your emails as this is how we will be able to correspond with you.

Now just a few quick questions before we look at the health and safety.