Before You Leave

Take a look at some important things to know
before you embark in an adventure of a lifetime.

Beautiful Sydney

"Ranked 2nd most desirable student city in the world by QS in 2017..."

Situated in Sydney's emerging suburban CBD, Macquarie Park, Excelsia College is a short 20 minute train ride to Sydney’s beautiful inner city landmarks such as the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Sydney provides sights ranging from architectural landmarks to beaches, from museums to quaint neighbourhoods. Come and experience the cosmopolitan lifestyle of this internationally renowned harbour city!

While here, take advantage of Australian weather and Australian beaches – among the best in the world.

If the Australian beach culture is not your interest, we also have beautiful mountains, and even snow in our Winter season (June to August). We have beautiful desert plains, magnificent reefs, rainforests teaming with life, the unique Aussie outback, and exciting city life. For many people, Australia truly is a paradise you need to experience.


More than 100 ethnic groups are represented in Australia, making it one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Australia’s dynamic multiculturalism can be attributed to its unique combination of Indigenous cultures, early European settlement, and immigration from all parts of the world.

Australians value the wealth of cultural diversity and social sophistication that international students bring to
our campuses and our communities. We take great care in looking after international students and helping them adjust to the Australian way of life. International students also greatly benefit from their education in Australia and make lifelong friendships.


Australia is predominantly a Christian country, but most religions are represented in our multicultural society. Australians respect the freedom of people to practise their choice of religion. Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues are located in most major cities. At Excelsia we are a diverse community from many countries, religions and backgrounds.


A variety of student accommodation is available in Sydney, whether it be a lodge, private renting or a home stay.
Student Housing is a great place to meet other students living in Sydney. Usually accommodation is in single bedroom/study or twin-share bedrooms with individual study areas. Meals are generally served in the dining room, and there are indoor and outdoor common areas. The Housing Supervisors provide meals and take care of general household management. For more information on Student Housing, contact the following organisations:

Robert Menzies College

Robert Menzies College (RMC) is a wonderful place to live. We are a diverse community of students in a similar stage of life.
RMC is located opposite the Macquarie University train station and is either a single train stop or a walk from Excelsia College.
RMC's community consists of Australian and international students and has a variety of social events throughout the year. It is a university-based living and learning community with strong academic and pastoral support. Five Christian families live on site to provide support to students and RMC offers valuable opportunities for Christian leadership and service.
Accommodation for men and women comprises of 300 single bed, fully furnished rooms in six residential blocks. Students from all over the world help make up the friendly and welcoming community for which Robert Menzies College is known.
Your room @ RMC
All rooms include a single bed, desk, chair, storage cupboard, bookshelves, free internet and phone. Choose from private ensuite, shared gender-specific bathrooms, private kitchen, or shared kitchens.
Meals @ RMC
Options include fully-catered, semi-catered or self-catered. Packed lunches and late dinners are available.
Features @ RMC
Academic Tutors including in Academic English, pastoral support, non-denominational church on-site, social, cultural and sporting programs, free gym membership, scholarships available for local and international students, gated premises and study rooms. Recreation facilities including music room, billiard table, table tennis, foosball, volleyball court, TV with Foxtel and projector, laundries, dining room and courtyard with barbeque.
Benefits of Living on Campus @ RMC
• All bills included: i.e. no charge for electricity, water, local telephone calls or internet
• Free gym and pool membership at Macquarie University
• Safety and security with electronic swipe card entry
• Save on transport costs
• Friendly environment
• Focus on study and utilise academic support
• Free vacuum, linen and bathroom cleaning service
• Alcohol-free campus policy
...and much more!
To find out more about Living@RMC visit our website
When travelling to Australia, you'll need to apply for a visa. Your type of visa may depend on what country you are coming from, what course you intend to study. For information on different Visas for Australia you should view the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs website.

For information about your rights and responsibilities while studying in Australia read the factsheet available at the Department of Education and Training (DET) website.

In order to apply for an Australian visa you will need to:

Costs Associated with Studying in Australia

When you apply for a student visa you must also provide evidence that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees, return air fares and living costs while you are living in Australia. We have included here some estimates of living expenses in Sydney for single students. The cost of living in Sydney will vary depending on your choice of accommodation and the suburb. Following is an indication of the costs you may incur. In addition to the 37-week academic year, there is a 10-week summer break from December to February – an ideal time to seek casual or part-time work to offset your expenses.

The categories below will give you a rough idea of how much you should budget for your expenses whilst studying in Australia.

Weekly Costs  Shared House or Unit (AUD) One-Bedroom Unit
Indicative weekly rent 100-250 250-500
Miscellaneous household expenses 50 90
Utilities (gas, electricity, phone) 60 85
Food 80 90
Travel 50 50
Spending money 60 60
Average weekly cost 400-550 625-875

Public transport

The cost of public transport depends on how far away you live from Excelsia College and how often you use it. We recommend considering this cost when you decide where to live.

For information please visit the New South Wales transport website.


All International students, with the exception of Norwegian students and some Swedish students, are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of their student visa. The cover provides basic health insurance for international students, similar to that provided to Australians, through Bupa. Additionally, OSHC includes access to some private hospitals and day surgeries, ambulance cover and some pharmaceutical benefits. Please see the Bupa website for details of cover and cost.

OSHC does not pay for ancillary services (for example, dental, optical or physiotherapy). Overseas students requiring cover for ancillary services may take out extra OSHC cover for these needs, or supplement OSHC with other insurance, such as international travel insurance.

Excelsia will organise OSHC for the duration of your student visa with our preferred provider, Bupa. If you wish to take out extra cover, you need to contact Bupa or other alternative health insurance provider directly. The Assistant Registrar will be able to answer any questions you have about OSHC.

Most Student visa holders are only permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when their course is in session and unlimited hours when their course is out of session.

Elective courses with work requirements:
The legislation specifies that work won’t count towards the 40 hour limitation if the work was specified as a requirement
of the course when the course particulars were entered in the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). If an elective is a requirement of the course but the work itself was not specified when the course was registered with CRICOS, students can still complete these electives but it would be counted towards the 40 hour work limitation. This may be the case even if the student is not being paid for undertaking the work. However, volunteer work, that is work that would not normally attract remuneration, may be exempt.

  1. You are not permitted to start work until you have commenced your course of study.
  2. You can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the semester, and unlimited hours when your course is not in session.
  3. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) considers your course to be ‘in session’: for the duration of the advertised semesters (including periods when exams are being held).

Tax File Number

You must obtain a Tax File Number to be able to work in Australia. This is available from the Australian Tax Office.

Finding a job

There are  many websites that can help you in the research for one including and


If your qualifying studies were completed in a language other than English you must demonstrate English language proficiency as part of the admission requirement. Undergraduate proficiency levels for admission are set between IELTS 6.0 and 7.5. Please include a certified or notarised copy of your current IELTS examination result with your application. If your result is below the required level you will be asked to do additional language study before coming to Excelsia. Information about the language requirement can be found on the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website.

Visit the English Language Proficiency Requirement page to see a detailed list of approved English proficiency tests and minimum English Language course requirements.