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.

Diversity and Religion

Sydney is truly a multicultural city, respectful and welcoming to people of all religions and cultures. At Excelsia we are a diverse community from many countries, religions and backgrounds.

Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy Network

The Chaplain is available to facilitate the growth of our community whose members express their love for God and for each other, and seek to grow in personal holiness. The main function of the Chaplain is to develop a supportive environment conducive to study and personal and spiritual growth and development, both inside and outside the classroom.

Staff and students meet together weekly for The Gathering, a variety event that often includes worship, guest speakers, student contributions and announcements.


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


To rent property in Sydney, tenants are usually required to provide character references and statements confirming your history of paying rent on time or bank statements showing your capacity to do so. The following websites will give you some idea of the different types of dwellings available for rent and their costs per week, as well as properties which are currently on the market if you are thinking of buying property to live in during your stay.

Applying for a visa

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 Immigration and Border Protection 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:


Living Expenses

Your living and studying expenses in Australia will depend on your lifestyle choices. Government regulations in Australia require international students to show evidence that they can cover their cost of living and studying in Australia for at least two years. From 1st of February 2018, the 12 month minimum cost of living you must meet in order to receive a student visa for Australia is:

  • You - $20,290
  • Partner or spouse - $7100
  • Child - $3040

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


Your housing costs will vary according to the type of accommodation and location you want. Below are some estimates:

  • Hostels and Guesthouses - $90 to $150 per week
  • Shared Rental - $100 to $250 per week
  • Homestay - $235 to $325 per week
  • Rental - $165 to $440 (shared) per week

It is also important to consider the cost of electricity, gas and water. Some accommodation options include these expenses in the monthly rent. Generally, when you live in an apartment, you only pay for gas and electricity. In a house, you will pay for water as well.

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.

Estimate of other living expenses:

  • Groceries and eating out - $80 to $280 per week
  • Gas, electricity - $35 to $140 per week
  • Phone and Internet - $20 to $55 per week

All costs are per year in Australian dollars. To convert to your own currency visit

Health Cover

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a requirement of entry into Australia for all international students and accompanying dependants. This means that you and your family must have OSHC for the full duration of your stay in Australia.

Estimated cost:

Single $ 594 per year
Dual Family Premium

Covers one valid student visa holder plus either one adult spouse or recognised de facto partner or one or more dependent children.

$1643 per year
Multi Family Premium
Covers one student visa holder plus more than one dependent, which can only include one adult spouse or recognised de facto partner and one or more dependent children.
$2396 per year


Working in Australia

Student visa holders, as well as family members, are eligible to work in Australia throughout your period of study. Once your course has commenced you are permitted to work part-time a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight and unlimited hours during the break and holidays. Find out more about visa work permissions in the Department of Home Affairs website

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

Sydney is a thriving city in constant growth, with many job opportunities. There are now many websites that can help you in the research for one including and


English Requirements

Excelsia College requires all international students from a non-english speaking countries to provide approved evidence of English language proficiency to meet the requirements for admission.

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