Before you leave

The following information is specific for Australia Awards students only. General information on accommodation, budgeting, visas, support services and bringing your family can be found in the pre-departure section.

Health insurance

The Australian Government requires you to be covered by health insurance for the length of your student visa. Australia Awards pay for your health insurance as the scholarship holder, but not for your children, partner or other dependants. The health insurance covers you from the day you arrive in Perth until the day you leave.

The nominated health insurance provider is Bupa. The International Sponsored Student Unit at Curtin will organise your single Bupa membership (essentials cover) before you arrive in Australia.

What is health insurance?


The International Sponsored Student Unit (ISSU) will arrange affordable temporary accommodation for you when you arrive in Perth. If you have organised your own accommodation, you must contact the ISSU in writing.

Cost: approximately AUD$90–130 per room, per night (discounted cost). Additional rooms for your family are at standard cost.

Duration: you will be booked in for two nights if you arrive during the week, or four nights if you arrive on a Friday.

Finding long-term accommodation: When you arrive, contact Curtin Housing Services to organise permanent accommodation.

What to bring

As an Australian Award recipient, you’ll need to bring:

  • your scholarship or fellowship contract and information
  • travel documents
  • driver’s licence (if you have one)
  • medical history or any prescriptions you need for ongoing medication
  • personal computer (if you have one)
  • references to support your applications to rent accommodation or for part-time work.
  • national costume and music from your home country for Orientation Week.

Find out more about what to pack.


You should arrive in Australia with at least AUD$400. During your first week in Perth, you’ll receive your AUD$5,000 Australia Awards establishment allowance. This allowance should cover your:

  • housing expenses (such as bond money, rent in advance)
  • connections to power, gas and telephone (usually paid later with your first bills)
  • textbooks
  • computer
  • stationery.

Find out more about the cost of living in Perth.

Bringing your family

You are permitted to bring your family although as an Australia Awards recipient, you are responsible for paying for your family’s visas, health cover and schooling.

It is often easier to arrive in Perth by yourself and organise for your family to follow at a later date, when you have secured long-term accommodation.

Find out more about bringing your family.