Kickstarting your 2019 – how to prepare for your study year

A new academic year beckons – and this year is the Chinese Year of the Pig. Legend has it that the pig got hungry during a race, stopped to eat, fell asleep, and ended up coming last.

You’re probably hoping not to fall quite so far behind! So what are the best ways to guarantee a more successful year? Preparation is key. Here are five ways to prepare for semester one:

1. Choose your accommodation wisely

There are lots of options when it comes to finding student housing. You can rent privately, share a house or apartment, or your education provider may have halls of residence or housing on campus. So, how do you pick the right accommodation as an international student? Consider your budget, what the commute will be like and your basic needs. It can be a good idea to book temporary accommodation to start off with, so you have more time to look around and get an idea of where you would like to live. Speak with your education agent as they will be able to point you in the right direction.

student accommodation

2. Get your money sorted

Managing money internationally can be challenging. Exchange rates fluctuate, and some banks can charge you a lot of money to transfer funds. Prices may also be different to what you’re used to, with major Australian cities typically having higher living costs when compared globally. To make the most of your money, look for the most cost-efficient way to transfer it. Some specialist providers will give you much more competitive rates and charge lower or no fees. Whether you’re looking to pay insurance expenses, tuition bills or living expenses, we’ve got you covered.

3. Figure out your transport

Before you arrive, it’s a good idea to book an airport transfer. You may be traveling a  long distance, with a lot of baggage, and you’ll want to get to your accommodation quickly and easily. Depending on where you end up living, you may need to travel some distance to your university. Major cities have extensive public transport systems, with travel smartcards that have replaced paper tickets. There are different systems in each city. In Australia, for example, it’s Opal in Sydney, mkyi in Melbourne and MyWay in Canberra.

Inner city driving can be difficult because of a lack of parking, but there are car-share schemes available. Most cities also encourage cycling with dedicated cycle lanes on major roads.

4. Look for a part-time job

Most countries allow international students to do part-time work while they are studying. Australia, New Zealand and Canada all have similar policies. But you need to check the details of the specific country you go to as conditions may vary depending on whether you are a full time or part-time student.

Be sure to check the tax requirements of the country, too. For example, in Australia, you’ll need a Tax File Number (TFN) before you start work. Your university may also have a careers office that can help you with your job search.

5. Get the latest study apps

Don’t just study harder, study smarter. These study apps will help you make the most of your time, create good study habits and set yourself up for success.


Be sure to take action on these five tasks as soon as you can, and you’ll be much better prepared for the semester than the unlucky, hungry pig!


How can Cohort Go help?

Whether you’re looking to book the right accommodation or the best way to pay your study expenses – we’ve got you covered.

Did you know Cohort Go partner with IDP Australia? To learn more about how you can get ready for your study overseas, speak to your IDP agent or reach out to us today!


Author: Stephanie Iovannella

Stephanie is a vibrant, creative and results-driven events and marketing professional with experience in event management, traditional and digital marketing. As the Marketing Coordinator, Stephanie is responsible for implementing a wide range of marketing and media activities as well as managing the events calendar for Cohort Go.