Congratulations on being selected to participate in the Iowa State University Semester Program
in Tasmania, Australia. You are about to embark upon what may be one of the most formative
and exciting experiences of your life!
This handbook contains the most up-to-date information specific to the Regents’ program in
Tasmania. We expect you to read all of the information carefully and to take the handbook with
you to Tasmania.
One of the best ways to prepare for study abroad is to learn as much as possible about the
program and Australia prior to your departure. You can do this by visiting the Study Abroad
Center, reading information about the program and the country, and talking to faculty and former
students. However, there may be situations you will not have anticipated, and your flexibility
will determine the kind of experience you will have while abroad.
The ISU Study Abroad Center is here to help you throughout your preparation and semester
abroad. Please let us know if you have any questions. We can be reached at Study Abroad
Center, 3224 Memorial Union, 515-294-6792, email@example.com.
We wish you a successful and rewarding study abroad experience!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section 1: Contact Information
Tasmania Emergency/Contact Information 3
ISU Emergency Contact Information 3
Other Useful Contacts 3
Section 2: Before You Go
Supplemental Application 4
To Do Before Leaving ISU 4-5
Applying for Your Student Visa 5-6
What to Pack 7-8
Don’t Forget 8
Section 3: Arriving in Australia
Immigration, Luggage, Customs 9
Getting to the University 9
Section 4: Academic Information
Orientation and Registration 10
Class Selection 10
Australian Grading 11
Australian Education System 11
Section 5: Accommodation and Computing
TUU housing 12-13
Residential Colleges 13
University Apartments 13
Cell Phones and Internet Access 14-15
Section 6: Living in Tasmania
Places to Visit 15-16
Shopping and Entertainment 16
Section 7: Money Matters
Expenses and Financial Aid 17
Paying the Program Fee 17
Exchange Rate 17
Credit Cards, Travelers Checks, Bank Accounts 18
Working Student Visa 18
Section 8: History and Culture
About Australia 19-20
Culture Shock 20-21
Returning Home 21-22
Australian Slang/Pronunciations 23
Down Under WWW Sites 24
SECTION 1: CONTACT INFORMATION
Tasmania Emergency/Contact Information
In the event of an emergency, contact the University of Tasmania International Services Office
Kim Rushton – Study Abroad Coordinator
Kim.Rushton@utas.edu.au postal address:
International Services, Hytten Hall International Services Office
French Street, Sandy Bay, TASMANIA 7005 University of Tasmania
Tele: 61 3 6226 2706 Private Bag 38
Fax: 61 3 6226 7862 Hobart, Tasmania 7001
For emergency situations outside of business hours (Mon-Fri 9 am - 5 pm), please contact:
University of Tasmania Security Department
Tele: 61 3 6226 7600
Or call: Emergency: 000 (similar to 911 in the U.S.)
ISU Emergency Contact Information
To contact the ISU Study Abroad Center, call:
ISU Department of Public Safety: (001) 515-294-4428
(for 24-hour assistance)
You may also contact the Study Abroad Center directly during office hours at:
Study Abroad Center: (001) 515-294-6792
Other Useful Contacts
Dept. of Immigration and Citizenship (DICA)
Phone: (+61 2) 4913-1881
Visa and Immigration:
188 Collins Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Telephone from within Australia: 131 881
Consulate General of the United States Melbourne (serves Tasmania):
Address: 553 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
Tel: (+61) (03) 9526 5900
NOTE: Students may want to copy this page from the handbook and leave it for parents to use in
case of emergency.
SECTION 2: BEFORE YOU GO
O-week (required orientation) Monday, 18th February - Friday, 22nd February
Semester Begins: Monday, 25th February
Easter Break: Thursday, 20th March - Wednesday, 26th March
Semester Ends: Friday, 30th May
Examinations: Saturday, 7thth June - Tuesday, 24th June
O-week (required orientation) Monday, 7th July - Friday, 11th July
Semester Begins: Monday, 14th July
Mid-Semester Break: Monday, 1st September - Sunday, 8th September
Semester Ends: Friday, 17th October
Examinations: Saturday, 25th October - Tuesday, 11th November
If you have not done so already, fill out Tasmania’s Supplemental Application. It can be
Note: Print carefully as spelling errors will translate into visa spelling errors!!
Please turn in the Supplemental Application to the Study Abroad Center by late March for the
Fall Semester and late October for the Spring Semester.
To Do Before Leaving ISU
Make sure you have your passport
o Passports can be applied for at the Ames Post Office, 525 Kellogg Ave; allow 8-
12 weeks to process (you will need a certified birth certificate).
Complete and turn in the Preliminary Transfer & Registration form, downloadable from:
o This form secures your student status at ISU while you are studying in Tasmania
and must be submitted before leaving ISU.
o You and your adviser will discuss your class plans in Australia.
o When meeting with your adviser to discuss possible classes and the possibility of
transferring credits, print off and take the description of the course in Tasmania so
your adviser can determine how the course will work in your program.
o Courses can be found by visiting the UTas homepage at http://www.utas.edu.au
and clicking the on tab “Courses and Units.”
Schedule a meeting with Clay Gurganus in the Office of Student Financial Aid if you need
to discuss how loans, grants, and scholarships can be applied to your program. Call 294-
2223 for an appointment.
Purchase your International Student ID card (ISIC) from the Study Abroad Center.
o The ISIC serves as additional form of insurance for lost or destroyed luggage,
hospitalization cost, hostel & restaurant discounts, and an additional form of
Make arrangements for your ISU housing for next semester. If you live on campus, please
contact the Department of Residence for information on moving out mid-year for students
going on study abroad programs.
Talk to your bank about accessing your money overseas. Make sure your ATM and credit
card will work abroad and find out about any fees associated with withdrawing money
Speak to your academic adviser about the process to receive your RAN to register for the
following term or to clear graduation requirements while you are abroad.
Start the application process for a student visa.
Research prices and purchase your airline ticket.
Applying for Your Student Visa
If you are going to Australia for 90 days or longer you need a student visa! Getting your visa can
be a bit confusing so you need to pay attention while applying. The application will take 20-30
minutes to complete.
In order to be eligible for a student visa, you must be fully enrolled in an Australian institution
and receive a “Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)”. This form is issued by the Australian
institution on behalf of the Department of Education. This form is issued to you via electronic
format (email). This will be forwarded to you from your program coordinator at Iowa State
Conditions of the Student Visa:
•You must take a full course load (12 credit minimum).
•You must take out the compulsory Overseas Student Health Coverage (OSHC) (this is
included in your ISU program fee).
•You must maintain good standing at the Australian institution.
•A valid passport.
•Enrollment documentation from the Australian school (CoE).
•A credit card to pay for the visa
To get your visa:
The cost for an Australian Student Visa will be about $430 AUD (approximately $370 USD).
1. Go to the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website at:
2. Click on Visas & Immigration (located at upper left side of page).
3. Click on Applications & Forms (evisa, center of page).
4. Click on Online Applications (top of page).
5. Click on Students (middle of page).
6. Scroll down to the section labeled Start an application. Under this section there will be
a subsection labeled Applicants outside Australia. Under this heading, click on New
student visa. Be sure not to click on New student visa under the Applicants in
7. Before you start the application, you should check for scheduled maintenance or other
system outages, which may affect your online application process. Do this by clicking on
System Outages. After reading through the entire page, there will be a Return to
previous page link at the bottom. Click on this. You should now be back at the First
Student Visa—Applicants Outside Australia page.
8. Click on Start your application.
9. Click on View Terms and Conditions regarding this application and read through all
the information. Close that window by clicking on Close Window at the bottom of the
page. You should now be back at the “Terms and Conditions acceptance” page. Click on
I agree to the terms and conditions. You will now be taken to the actual application for
a Student (temporary) Visa.
10. Fill in the personal information asked for. The Family name refers to your last name,
and the Given names refers to your first name. Be sure to double check all information
to make sure it is correct, as this is very important to match up with your passport. Also
be sure to save as you proceed through each page. You can save by clicking on the Save
button at the lower left side of each page. Click next (located on the lower right side of
the page) to continue providing the requested information. Be sure to remember to fill in
your email address when asked. When asked for your home phone in the U.S.,
remember to add 001 (all calls from Australia to the U.S. begin this way) then your area
code and number. Continue to completion.
How long will it take to get my visa?
Student visa applications submitted electronically are normally finalized within 2-5
working days. In some instances, applications may need to be referred to an Australian
Immigration Office in Australia for further processing. Referred applications may take up
to 4 weeks to finalize.
Winter (June, July, August)
Average high is 54˚F --- Average low is 41˚F.
Spring and Fall (September, October, November and March, April, May)
Average high is 63˚F --- Average low is 46˚F.
Summer (December, January, February)
Average high is 70˚F. --- Average low 54˚F.
What to Pack
Effective packing is an art! The following tips might be of help:
Ensure every bag is marked, both inside and out, with your name, address, and final
Do not overpack! Remember, less is better. Leave space for gifts and souvenirs.
Roll your clothes. This saves space and your clothes will have fewer wrinkles.
Take a backpack; they are easier to carry than suitcases on side trips.
Be aware that Australia has different electric voltage and outlets. Australian electricity
runs on 240 volts, while U.S. runs on 110 volts. You can purchase adapters prior to your
departure or when you arrive.
On most international flights, you are allowed two suitcases (maximum weight of 70
pounds each) and two carry-on bags. Be aware that airplanes place additional charges on
extra or overweight luggage. DOUBLE CHECK WEIGHT LIMITS WITH YOUR
Common items such as towels and T-shirts can be purchased abroad to save space.
There are many thrift stores in Hobart where you can buy trendy inexpensive clothes.
There are dress codes for most pubs and clubs. People wearing sandals or shorts will not
be able to enter.
Traveling with your hands full is frustrating and exhausting. It is recommended that you take one
big backpack and one smaller backpack for short trips and going to class. Only bring a suitcase
if absolutely necessary.
Long-sleeved shirts (2-3)
Swimsuit/board shorts (1)
Sweat pants/flannel pants (1)
Dress clothes (1)
Socks and underwear
Shoes (1 pair of hiking/tennis shoes, 1 pair of sandals)
Rain coat and light-weight jacket
Towels and washcloths
Twin size sheet for travel to hostels/backpackers
Most airlines allow 1 carry-on item and 1 personal item, for example a small backpack and a
laptop case or purse.
Security is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT so watch your bags at all times. Unattended
baggage will be immediately removed and destroyed.
Be careful with your valuable items e.g. passport and credit cards
Consider using a security belt or neck pouch.
Carry on anything that may be easily damaged by airline baggage handling or
pressure/temperature differences in the hold of the plane.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has imposed restrictions on liquids and gels in
ID (passport, ISIC, etc.)
Return air ticket
ATM card, credit card, traveler’s checks, cash
Offer of place letter
CoE (Confirmation of Enrolment)
Letter of support from ISU
Medication in original containers
Copies of prescriptions
Address of housing in Tasmania (if known)
Emergency contact information for ISU and University of Tasmania (included in this packet)
Photocopies of your tickets, passport, health insurance, and credit/ATM cards
Additional passport-size photos (2-4)
Sunscreen as it is expensive in Australia and Fiji
Charger or extra batteries
Laptop computer with power cord
Watch or cell phone (helpful when catching planes and trains)
Small alarm clock
Adapters for outlets
NOTE: It is advised that you make copies of all your important documents and credit cards,
etc., to leave with one or more family members. Also make one copy to keep for yourself.
SECTION 3: ARRIVING IN TASMANIA
Immigration, Luggage, Customs
When you leave the plane you will go through immigration, which could
take up to one hour to complete. Be prepared to show the immigration
officer a valid passport and your CoE from the University of Tasmania.
Be prepared to answer questions about yourself and your intentions. The
immigration officer may wish to know if you intend to work while you study, if
you intend to travel, and if you intend to return home at the end of your program. Provided all
your documentation is in order, you should have no problems.
After immigration, you proceed to the baggage collection point. If some luggage is missing, find
an airline representative and fill in a lost luggage form.
At the customs check, you may be asked to declare any goods in excess of those permitted to be
carried through duty free. Prohibited goods include drugs, firearms, and radio transmitters.
Some other prohibited items include eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, popcorn, fresh or dried
meat, raw un-roasted nuts, and plants. For more info, see: http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis
Getting to the University
Getting to the University of Tasmania from the airport is pretty straightforward.
1. Take the airport shuttle, located by the Qantas terminal, to transport you to your desired
location. The cost is approximately $10 AUD for a one-way trip. It is a possibility that you may
have to wait 1-3 hours while the shuttle anticipates other flights arriving. There is a drop off
location near campus but you may need to walk a few blocks to your accommodation. Have
your accommodation address ready to tell the driver where you need to go.
2. Pre-arrange a pick-up by the university. The university provides a service that will pick up
international students from the airport and take them to their temporary or permanent
accommodation. You must apply for this service before leaving for Tasmania. The application
can be found at: http://www.international.utas.edu.au/static/furthurInfo.php. For more
information you can also email International.Accommodation@utas.edu.au.
3. Take a taxi. It is typically $40-50 AUD one-way to get to campus.
SECTION 4: ACADEMIC INFORMATION
Orientation and Registration
Each ISU student will participate in special orientation activities week prior to the beginning of
the semester. This covers practical matters like accommodation and health services, cultural and
academic differences, enrolments, and a campus tour. Particular help is given in selecting
courses that will suit the student’s needs. We suggest you arrive a few days before O-week in
order to get settled. O-week is also a great time to meet other international students. Clubs and
societies hold a fair during O-week at which they welcome and sign up new members. There is
also a free concert with big named bands, so don’t miss out!!
You will receive help with registering for classes (called units) when you attend O-week. A
representative will be available to show you how to use their system and register for your
classes. Before you leave ISU, you should have met with your adviser and generated a list of
courses that you plan to take. Make sure to have back-up courses in case some of your
primary courses conflict or the off chance that they aren’t offered anymore. Also, have your ISU
adviser’s email handy for this process.
Your catalogue and schedule of classes with campus location can be found at:
Find out when the class is taught:
Semester 1: February-June
Semester 2: July-November
The main campus is located at Hobart (H). All of your courses should be located there. The
courses at UTas are on a weighted system. The Weight to Credit equivalency is listed below.
Weight vs. Credit:
12.5% - 3.75
25.0% - 7.50
50.0% - 15.00
Most students take four classes (each 12.5%) to equal 50%, which is full time. Remember,
grades from Tasmania will not calculate into your ISU GPA. Since some programs/majors at
ISU require a specific grade in a course, the transfer credit does have a grade assigned to it when
it comes into ISU for evaluation use in specific programs of study.
Always consider taking at least one “Australian” class. It’s a good way to learn about history,
culture, politics, and traditions of Australia and will typically help in your cultural adjustment.
Be sure to double check with your adviser.
The Australian grading method is different from the American A, B, C, D, and F scale:
University of Tasmania Grade Percent ISU equivalent upon transfer
High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN) 70-100 A
Credit (CR) 60-69 B
Pass (PP) 50-59 C
Fail (NN) 49-0 F
Australian Education System
There is no grade inflation in Australia; students are graded according to
the normal distribution curve. It’s extremely hard to get a “high
distinction” or “distinction.” Most Australian students simply receive a
passing grade, which is perfectly okay in Australia. Students are more
interested in mastering the material and less stressed about earning a high
grade point average. Professors give students more responsibilities to
learn the material on their own instead of with constant homework and tests.
U.S. students eventually catch on and generally do quite well in the Australian system. You
needn’t be overly concerned about the differences but do need to be aware of them - especially in
the first few weeks when it appears as if there’s nothing to do. With classes meeting
infrequently, papers not due for weeks, reading that can wait, and other distractions, U.S.
students easily slip behind. Students are advised to stay caught up in order to do well.
Students are generally allowed to take classes in any department and are expected to take 15 ISU
credits (usually 4 Australian classes). The credit will transfer back as graded credits, but it will
not be calculated as part of an ISU GPA. However, it is important to remember that some
departments do require minimum grades on core classes. Also, graduate schools and/or future
employers may wish to see your Australian transcript.
Class professors are more like educational guides in Australia. They count
on you being responsible for keeping up with the class material. Classes
consist of a combination of lectures and tutorials (recitations), usually once
or twice a week. Your entire grade may depend on a project or a final
exam however, professors are still available to talk to anytime. When
writing papers, it may be a good idea to have your professor review your
first draft to make sure it is on target from an Australian perspective.
Australian students are “closet studiers.” They pretend they’re not studying, but they are quietly
putting in their time. Unfortunately, many U.S. students are lured by the Aussie “no worries”
façade to a false sense of security by the nonchalance of the Australian students. It is important
to strike a balance between studies and other pursuits and budget time accordingly.
References: Phil Carls (Study Abroad Adviser, University of Iowa) and Mona Miller
(International Opportunities Coordinator, Colorado State University)
Examinations take place at the end of each semester. Fall semester exams are in November, and
spring semester exams are in June. Exams do not take place during lecture hours. There is a
weeklong study period before the beginning of exams. The final examination period lasts two to
three weeks. Please keep in mind that it is very difficult to get an “early examination” request
approved. Travel plans are not an excuse for an early examination. You may leave Tasmania as
soon as your exams are over.
Transcripts are produced as soon after the end of the program as possible, depending on the
availability of grades from departments and full payment of all fees and bills. Typically, term 1
transcripts come in August-September and term 2 transcripts come in January-February. The
University of Tasmania transcript will include percentage marks and Tasmania credit points. The
University mails the transcripts to the ISU Study Abroad Center. The Study Abroad Center will
forward a copy to ISU admissions for processing and will notify you when the transcripts arrive
for you to pick up the master copy. If you apply to graduate school, you will need to submit a
transcript from all schools attended including study abroad schools.
SECTION 5: ACCOMMODATION & COMPUTING
The University of Tasmania strongly urges international students to make use of a Tasmania
University Housing scheme rather than to rely on temporary accommodation, as there will be
strong demand for the best places. Be sure to book and confirm this type of accommodation
before you arrive in Tasmania.
It is best to put in your application before December 1st for first semester or May 1st for second
semester. The student will sign a lease and pay for the set period REGARDLESS of when
arriving. The advance booking of permanent accommodation is a package. Your room will be
available for a set period.
1st Semester application: Available from 1st January until 30th June
2nd Semester Application: Available from 1st July until 31st December
Please visit http://www.international.utas.edu.au/static/accommodation.php for more information
regarding UTas accommodation. Pictures and descriptions are available.
Tasmania University Union (TUU) Housing
Tasmania University Union (TUU) is a housing scheme developed to assist international students
to secure good quality accommodation close to campus. In most cases, students will be able to
walk to the university and take advantage of the facilities available such as the library and 24-
hour access to computer facilities. The TUU believes providing quality housing at a low cost to
students is a major benefit to students studying in Tasmania.
This scheme provides bedrooms in shared, self-catered accommodation near the university
campus. Rooms are clean, comfortable, and affordable. Houses are furnished with bed, desk,
chair, and wardrobe in bedroom, lounge room and kitchen furniture, refrigerator, oven, and
washing machine. Most shared houses have three to six bedrooms. Most properties are older
style. The up-keep and cleaning of the property and utilities (power, telephone, and/or Internet
connection) are the students’ responsibility. If friends want to share, send your application forms
together when you apply. Smoking is not permitted within TUU houses.
TASMANIA UNIVERSITY UNION (T.U.U.) HOUSING SCHEME
P.O. BOX 950 SANDY BAY, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA 7006
TEL: +61 (0)3 6226 2498 FAX: +61 (0)3 6226 7107
Email: TUU.Housing@utas.edu.au Website: www.tuu.com.au
Information for International Students: http://www.tuu.com.au/DisplayPage.asp?pageid=985
Each residence hall is unique and offers a range of social, cultural, and sporting opportunities
in an environment conducive to study and academic achievement. The rooms are fully
furnished single bedrooms containing: single bed and mattress, wardrobe and mirror, heating,
desk, study chair, telephones, Internet connections, security locks, and white boards. The
halls are fully catered with three meals a day, seven days a week. Free academic tutoring is
provided in all subject areas, as well as mentoring, essay reviews, study groups, discussions
forms, debates, and English language tutorials. 24-hour access is provided to a resource
center with computers, Internet, scanners, photocopiers, laser and color printers, and past
exam papers. Halls include: Jane Franklin, Christ College and John Fisher College.
The University Apartments are a University-owned residential college. University
Apartments offers self-catering facilities for every 6 bedrooms in modern fully-equipped
self-contained kitchens, where residents can cater for their every culinary need. In addition
residents can purchase meal packages from the onsite contemporary dining facility or the
These apartments are fully furnished single bedrooms containing king single bed and
mattress, wardrobe and mirror, heating, desk and drawers, study and easy chairs, telephones,
Internet LAN card connection, security locks, and pin boards. Currently there are 28 six-
bedroom units and 1 five-bedroom unit.
Note: Study abroad students typically have difficulty accessing space in the residential
colleges and University apartments due to their popularity.
For more information, see:
NOTE: Early application is crucial in securing accommodation.
Cell Phones and Internet Access
Australia is a large and relatively sparsely inhabited country, yet cell phone
coverage and service in Australia are very good. You may be interested in
getting a cell phone when you get to Australia. There are several major pre-
pay carriers, like Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone. Normally, you will buy a
prepaid phone; you buy your minutes up front. The phones use a SIM card,
which holds all your data, like your number, contacts, and recent messages.
The SIM card is interchangeable between phones. You will need to purchase
a SIM card and a phone. The SIM cards are usually AU$30, with an AU$30 credit for making
calls and/or texting. Cell phones range from AU$80 to AU$200, which you can purchase at
malls or even the post office. It is a lot cheaper to text than to make an actual phone call so you
will see many Australians texting. You always get free incoming calls.
Calling home is easy and cheap if you purchase a phone card. Many hostels and stores offer
phone cards. Some rates can get as low as 1/2 a cent per minute. Don’t use a cell phone to call
the U.S.A. as it is very expensive. Calling home is easy as long as you know how to get out of
the country when making a call. To call the U.S. you must dial 001-Area Code-number. To
have your friends and family call you from the United States it’s 011-61-City Code-your phone
number. The city code for Tasmania is 2. Check www.countrycallingcodes.com for more
Remember when calling home to the U.S., Australia is 16-17 hours ahead. You might use this
formula: when in Australia, add seven hours to the current time and go back one day to get time
in the U.S. Here is good web link with time and weather info: http://www.speaking-clock.com/
The University of Tasmania does provide wireless Internet to limited buildings, so bringing a
laptop is an option. The university has one main computer lab, along with other small labs on
campus. These labs are quite busy during the normal campus hours, so finding a computer
sometimes requires waiting. The library provides step-by-step instructions on how to set your
wireless connectivity. There is a help desk available if you have questions.
The University of Tasmania will give you an email address much like your iastate.edu address.
If you like just using one preferred email address (e.g., Iowa State Webmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo)
you can set it up so that your Tasmania emails are forwarded to your preferred address.
If you are living on campus, Internet access may be included in your room. Many off-campus
apartments do not have Internet so you must set up a plan with an Internet provider. Many
providers do not offer short-term contracts and they can be quite expensive. Access may be
easiest at computer labs on campus. Internet cafés are another option.
Skype is a free, downloadable program that allows you to call other Skype users around the
world through the Internet for FREE. A unique element is that for a nominal fee, Skype will also
allow you to call landlines and cell phones (Skype-Out) so your parents do not need to download
the program. All you need is a microphone (many computers have a built in microphone) for
your computer. Visit www.skype.com, download the program, sign up for a screen name, and
talk to your friends and family.
SECTION 6: LIVING IN TASMANIA
Separated from mainland Australia by the 240 km stretch of Bass Strait, Tasmania is a land
apart. It is a place of wild and beautiful landscapes, friendly people, a pleasant climate,
wonderful wine and food, a rich history, and a relaxed island lifestyle. It is an island of
spectacular alpine and coastal scenery, diverse ancient landscapes, and plant life all in a
temperate island climate.
Hobart is Australia's southernmost capital city. The fact that Hobart is also the smallest capital is
the key to its particular charm. A riverside city with a busy harbor, its mountain backdrop offers
fine views over the beautiful Georgian buildings, numerous parks and compact suburbs below.
Hobart has a thriving arts and crafts scene and a real sense of history. You can easily just soak
up the atmosphere by walking or eating at local restaurants.
Places to Visit
Australia's oldest brewery with the finest beer in the country.
Free samples handed out at the tour's conclusion.
The gardens around the brewery are gorgeous.
Sample some of Tasmania’s best sparkling wines!
Tours can be made at the travel centre located in Hobart.
Tours available include the Tamar Valley Wine Route and Wine South Tasmania.
Hobart is dominated by the 1270m (4165ft) Mt. Wellington.
There's a web of walking tracks over and around the summit, and the views are fantastic.
Organized bus tours run all the way to the top and you can rent a bike at the top and bike
all the way down.
The row of beautiful sandstone warehouses on the harbor front at Salamanca Place is a
prime example of Australian colonial architecture.
House galleries, restaurants, and shops selling everything from vegetables to antiques.
Local pubs are a great place to have a drink and just 15 minutes from campus.
An open-air market held at Salamanca Place every Saturday morning is a great place to
hang out, try local foods, souvenir shop, and mingle with the locals.
Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery
The excellent Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery incorporates Hobart's oldest building,
the Commissariat Store, built in 1808.
Museum section features a Tasmanian Aboriginal display and relics from the state's
Gallery has a good collection of Tasmanian colonial art.
Bonorong Wildlife Park
An excellent place to see the indigenous animals of Australia.
Feed domesticated kangaroos and wallabies.
Student organized trips through UTas.
Campus Football Oval
Located just east of campus. A fun place to watch Australian Rules Football and Rugby.
Opportunities to play for the University club teams.
Narryna Heritage Museum
A handsome Georgian sandstone mansion and gardens built in 1836, set in beautiful
grounds and containing a treasure-trove of domestic colonial artifacts including silver,
china, furniture, and paintings.
Tasmanian National Parks
Freycinet National Park (also known as Wineglass Bay)
Cradle Mountain National Park.
Maria Island and Bruny Island.
Franklin - Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.
One of the first penal colonies in Australia. Over 30 restored buildings, ruins and period
furnished homes from the convict era. At one point, it was called “Hell on Earth.”
Day tours, harbour cruises, and ghost tours to the “Isle of the Dead” available.
Cadbury Chocolate Factory
Discounted tours available for university students.
Trips can be organized through different tour groups or just by hopping on one of the city
buses that takes you to the factory.
After the tour, receive free chocolates and buy discounted chocolate in the Cadbury shop.
Shopping and Entertainment
Most of Hobart’s specialty shops and services are in the city centre. The main shopping area
extends west from the mall on Elizabeth Street, and arcades dot the inner-city blocks. The best
shopping for fine Tasmanian arts and crafts is in the numerous shops and galleries on Salamanca
Place and at the renowned market held here every Saturday. The market is also a great place to
sample and buy fine Tasmanian produce, or you can just head to the nearest supermarket for
superb local cheeses, sauces, jams, and fudge. There are lots of stores on Elizabeth Street,
between Melville and Bathhurst Street catering to the outdoorsy types wanting to prepare for
Metro operates the local bus network. There’s an information desk dispensing timetables inside
the main post office on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Macquarie Street. Most buses leave
from this area of Elizabeth Street. One-way fares vary according to the distance traveled ($1.50-
$3.40 AUD). For $3.90 AUD you can buy an unlimited-travel Day Rover ticket that can be used
after 9 am Monday to Friday, and all day Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays.
Reference: Lonely Planet, Tasmania 2007 (pg. 97)
SECTION 7: MONEY MATTERS
Expenses and Financial Aid
Please see the Study Abroad Center for the most up-to-date program fee information. Before
leaving for Tasmania, plan to budget for ongoing expenses such as food, travel, books, clothes,
etc., to make sure that you do not run out of funds. The cost of living may be higher than you are
used to, and you will be spending money differently, e.g., on local transport rather than gas for
Students may apply scholarships toward their study abroad program. Additional financing ideas
and tips can be found at: http://www.studyabroad.iastate.edu/Financing/Finance.html
Students may be eligible for loans, although some loans need an eligible co-signer. Please see
Clay Gurganus in Financial Aid if you have any questions, 515-294-2223, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that ISU will disburse financial aid based on the ISU academic calendar. This means
that financial aid recipients will receive funds in January for term 1, and in August for term 2. If
you plan to be in Tasmania from July – November, see Clay in financial aid at ISU before you
leave to apply for an emergency loan toward an August loan disbursement.
Paying the Program Fee
The Tasmania study abroad program fee includes tuition, fees, and required health insurance.
Accommodation costs are not included on the ISU bill and must be handled directly with the
provider. The study abroad program fee is applied to the ISU bill and can be paid through
AccessPlus at the same time as any other semester at ISU. You do not pay the University of
Tasmania or the Study Abroad Center for these program fees.
As of Aug 2007:
1 U.S. Dollar = 1.167 Australian Dollars
See http://www.xe.com/ for the most up-to-date information.
Credit Cards, Travelers Checks, Bank Accounts
Debit/ATM: This is the easiest and most convenient way for you to withdraw money from your
bank in the U.S. You should check with your bank to make sure your ATM card will function
properly. Consider bringing an extra ATM card in case you lose one or it becomes
demagnetized or is stolen.
Credit Cards: It is a good idea to take at least one major credit card with you especially for
emergencies or unforeseen expenses. Master Card and Visa are accepted almost everywhere.
Make sure to contact your credit card company in regards to an international PIN, fees, dates of
use abroad, etc.
Note that with every purchase, your card provider may charge a fee of 2-3% for international
purchases. While you are abroad, check your credit card balance online and be sure to make
payments when they are due so as to avoid paying high finance charges.
Travelers Checks: It is essential to keep a record of the check numbers in case the travelers
checks are lost or stolen. The checks will not be replaced unless you have a record of the
numbers. Be careful when you cash your checks as most banks will charge a commission.
American Express will cash their own checks free of charge and usually at a good exchange rate.
Opening a Bank Account: There are a number of ways to transfer
money from your bank account in the United States to Australia. One
way is to use a U.S. ATM card to take out as much money as possible
from the ATMs in Australia. This way you get the most money out while
your bank only charges you a set fee (check with your bank). You can
use that money to start an Australian bank account by depositing it in an
ATM account at a bank such as the bank on campus – this is a free
account for students. A passport is needed to open a bank account. Australian Banks will NOT
accept personal checks. Students may also wire money from an account at home to Australia,
which may take up to two weeks to clear.
Working Student Visa
Australian student visas do not grant automatic work rights to holders of the visa; however, once
you have arrived and registered at your institution, you are permitted to apply for work rights to
your student visa. This will permit you to work for up to 20 hours per week during semester and
full-time during semester breaks. This permit is also required for volunteer work abroad. The
student work visa costs about $60 AUD ($50 USD) and can be applied for online.
You must be enrolled as a full-time student and have been attending classes for at least one week
before applying. Consult your study abroad adviser in Australia for more details.
Competition for employment is strong, and part-time work may distract you from your studies
and from travel interests. You should not rely on your earnings to pay fees or living expenses.
For further information, please visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship at:
SECTION 8: HISTORY AND CULTURE
Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. It is only slightly smaller in size than the 48
contiguous United States. There are approximately 20 million people dispersed throughout the
six states and two territories of Australia. Australia is home to such natural wonders as Ayer’s
Rock and the Great Barrier Reef. The majority of the Australian population lives along the coast
and enjoys vast stretches of beautiful beaches. Australia claims very little pollution; this accounts
for its striking blue sky.
The History of Australia
Australia’s “discovery” occurred in 1606 by William Jansz, a Dutch explorer. Nearly forty years
later, Abel Tasman landed in what is now called Tasmania. It was not until 1770 that the British
took possession of Australia through the efforts of James Cook. The British found Australia to be
the ideal place to unload their overflow of convicts. Between 1788 and 1868, 160,000 criminals
from England were relocated to Australia. Most were concentrated in Port Jackson, now known
as Sydney Harbor. The criminal population is responsible for building many impressive
structures in Sydney. Many people today boast that their descendants were among the original
prisoners who colonized Australia.
The discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851 encouraged Australia’s population to steadily climb.
By 1860, Australia had over one million people. Today, the population is over 20 million. Eighty
percent live along the “Boomerang Coast,” a 1,000 mile stretch around the southeast seaside.
Immigrants from over 160 nations make up the Australian population. This makes Australia one
of the most multi-cultural societies in the world.
Australia did not gain independence until January 1, 1901. It remains on friendly terms with its
founding nation, Great Britain. Evidence of Australia’s British beginnings can be seen
throughout the culture. Today, perhaps the most obvious example is the Australian flag, which
still depicts the British flag.
Like the United States, Australia is a federation. This means that there is a federal government
based in the nation’s capital city, Canberra, and a state government in each of the capital cities of
the states and territories. The Federal Government is often referred to as the Commonwealth
Government. The state governments look after the interests of the people in each state. The
Federal Government is responsible for the bigger issues affecting all of the country, such as
economic policy, foreign affairs, and trade.
Every Australian citizen is represented by two members of parliament—one at the state level and
another at the federal level. This is an important part of a representative democracy. Australia’s
executive power is still vested in the Queen of England and exercised by the Governor-General
as the Queen’s representative. The Australian parliament is the site where the government and
the opposition parties debate matters of policy. Most Australian parliaments (except Norfolk
Island, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory) are bi-cameral (two houses);
they have a Senate (upper house) and a House of Representatives (lower house).
All citizens are required to register to vote when they turn 18. Australia is one of the few
countries in the world to adopt compulsory enrolment of voters and compulsory voting in both
federal and state elections. Today, 90% of those eligible to vote in federal elections do so.
The People and Culture
One of the mysteries of Australia exists in the Aboriginal culture, the indigenous culture of the
land. Well-known for their distinctive art forms, the Aborigines have populated Australia for
40,000 years; however, since European settlement of Australia, the Aboriginal population has
greatly declined. Currently, there are approximately 458,500 Aborigines, 2.4% of the total
Present-day Australian culture is very similar to that of the U.S. Many Australians are of
European descent. Most Australians are friendly and laid-back. Aussies take a direct, simple
approach to life. They expect you to be honest and take you at your word.
There is a definite line between work and play in the Australian lifestyle. The work force is
divided between commercial and industrial employment. Australia has a huge export industry of
coal and other minerals, requiring a great deal of hard labor.
Although they work hard, Aussies know how to have a good time. An abundance of leisure
activities is available to satisfy those with diverse interests and tastes. They are very keen on
sporting events such as rugby, Australian rules football, and cricket.
Welcome to the land of marsupials! Many intriguing animals, including koalas, emus, and
kangaroos as well as colorful varieties of flora and fauna, are native to Australia. They can be
found in zoos, wildlife parks, and in nature itself. Bongorong Wildlife Park in Hobart and
Tarango Zoo in Sydney are great ways to see the various indigenous animals.
Symptoms of Culture Shock
The symptoms of culture shock are quite varied and can be easily misunderstood or even
overlooked because they are similar to reactions that can occur in everyday life. The link
between culture shock and what you are feeling at a given moment may be difficult to see. It is
very common for people experiencing culture shock not only to deny the possibility that culture
shock might be the problem but to shift the focus attributing their stress wholly to the behavior or
values of the people around them.
Common symptoms of culture shock
• Extreme homesickness
• Feelings of helplessness/dependency
• Disorientation and isolation
• Depression or sadness
• Sleep and eating disturbances (too little or too much)
• Hyper-irritability, may include inappropriate anger and hostility
• Excessive drinking
• Recreational drug dependency
• Excessive critical reactions to host culture/stereotyping
• Extreme concerns over sanitation, safety, (even paranoia), and being taken advantage of
• Loss of focus and ability to complete task
It is important to understand that “culture sock” has a wide range of symptoms and that many
people experience only mild annoyances and temporary dissatisfaction in the process of adjusting to
life overseas. These reactions are probably better characterized as “item irritation” (a cultural
practice or attitude that “drives you nuts” when you encounter it) or “cultural fatigue” (a temporary
frustration). However, for a few, culture shock can be a profoundly disorienting experience and
take much longer to recover from, particularly if those in the midst of the experience are unaware of
the sources of the problem and have no idea of how to counteract it.
Prescription for Culture Shock
Understand symptoms and recognize signs of “culture fatigue” and “culture shock”.
Realize that some degree of discomfort and stress is natural in a cross-cultural experience.
Recognize that your reactions are often emotional and not always subject to rational control.
Gather information so at least the cultural differences will seem understandable, if not
natural. Look below the surface.
Look for the cultural reasons why people act the way they do.
RELAX your grip on your normal culture and try to cheerfully adapt to new rules and roles.
Don’t give in to the temptation to disparage what you do not like or understand.
Identify a support network among host nationals, teachers, fellow students etc. Use it, but
don’t rely upon it exclusively.
Find other students who are new to the culture to talk with.
Understand that any ”cultural clash” will likely be temporary.
Give yourself “quiet time,” some private space, and don’t be too hard on yourself when
things are not going perfectly.
Give yourself “quiet time,” some private space, and don’t be too hard on yourself when things are
not going perfectly.
Reverse Culture Shock is Largely Unexpected. Few people prepare for the return because they
expect it to be easy and are surprised when it is not.
The Ideal of Home Differs from Reality: When you are abroad, images of home life can become
idealized or romanticized. It is easy to forget or minimize the problems or issues that once were
sources of stress in your everyday life. Re-encountering them can be disconcerting.
Change Has Occurred to Everyone: However major or subtle, things are different. You, the
people around you, and your culture have changed. Sometimes this is obvious and immediately
observable, sometimes it is “hidden” and only comes out under certain circumstances, which are
usually unpredictable and therefore unsettling.
People May React to Returnees in Ways They Consider Inappropriate: People generally
expect you to be the same person you were when you left and usually attempt to treat you that way.
They often have little patience for a returnee who seems to be significantly “different” or who
exhibits behaviors or attitudes that, to them, seem odd or uncharacteristic of that person.
Reverse Culture Shock is Neither Recognized nor Understood at Home: Few people in the
home culture are likely to be familiar with the concept of reverse culture sock. Therefore, people
often respond to a returnee having difficulty readjusting by bluntly suggesting they “get over it” as
though it were a conscious act on their part or that they could control their emotions if they wanted
to. Unlike undergoing culture shock while abroad where fellow students are likely to be at least
sympathetic, upon reentry, the pressure to conform quickly and substantially can be intense and
tolerance can be in short supply.
Thus, although there are always lots of reasons for looking forward to going home, reentry into your
home culture can seem both as challenging and as frustrating as living overseas. Contrary to the
expectation that going “home” is a simple matter of resuming your earlier routines and
reestablishing prior relationships, reentry has its own set of special social and psychological
Just as initial culture shock has definable stages and a relatively predictable progression, so does
reverse culture shock. The “Honeymoon” phase of initial euphoria or at least relief of being home
is often present for some period, followed by some degree of irritation and alienation, with an
The initial period of coming home can be a time of relief, but it can also be a time of anxiety. Often
there is too much to do in too short a time. The simple logistics of getting settled in at home or
school can be daunting and time-consuming. Although you may think about the recent overseas
adventure constantly and want to discuss it with anyone willing to listen, eventually the daily reality
of home life begins to set in, and just keeping up with class and/or work schedules, friendships, and
impending graduation and job searches is difficult enough. The overseas experience can fade over
One common result is the tendency to “shoebox” the experience. This can have two related
meanings. One is to literally put your mementos (letters, ticket stubs, photos, brochures, etc.) in a
box and put it away to be taken out and looked at when you feel the need to reconnect with or relive
your experience. The other meaning is to mentally compartmentalize the experience as a
completely or largely separate part of your college experience. You might draw upon it at a party as
a conversation starter or perhaps in an academic setting when it seems relevant, but it is hard to
integrate the experience into your ongoing life.
From: What’s up with Culture? On-line cultural training resources for study abroad.
Holiday - Vacation Footy – Australian Rules Rugby
Heaps – A lot G’day – Aussie greeting
Mate – Friend Bloke –Man
Chips – French Fries Ankle Biter – Small Child
Crisps – Chips Tartan – Plaid
Dodgy – Sketchy Football – Soccer
Capsicum – Green/Red peppers Fringe – Bangs (hair)
Surname – Last name Power point – Socket/Outlet
No Worries – Don’t worry about it Ta – Thanks
Uni - University Trolley – Shopping Cart
Lets get on the piss – Let’s drink Tea - Dinner
Dole – Unemployment Compensation Banger – Sausage
Gob – Mouth Full On – Intense
Pokies- Poker machines Lift – Elevator
Prawn- Shrimp Pom – British Person
Car Park- Parking Lot Loo – Toilet
VB- Victoria Bitter, popular beer Yank – American
Pissed – Drunk Chrissie – Christmas
Stubby – Bottle Wacker – Crazy person
Wicked – Awesome, great Biscuits – Cookies
Cained – Drunk Lollies – Candy
Bush – Woods, forest Tomato Sauce – Ketchup
Flat – Apartment Sweet As – Really Cool
Tim Tams – Cookies (must try) Tramping – Hiking
Good on ya – Good for you Footpath – Sidewalk
Ring – To call someone Sultanas – Raisins
Keen – I like or agree Nicked – Stolen
Kiwi – New Zealander Cheers – Thanks
Torch – Flashlight Petrol – Gas
College - Uni Dorms Thongs – Flip Flops
Grid Iron – American Football Mobile – Cell Phone
Pitch – Soccer or rugby field Jumper – Jacket
Rockmelon – Cantaloupe Wanker – Self-indigent person
Cairns – “Cans” Canberra - “Canbra” Melbourne – “Melbin”
Down Under WWW Sites
Student Discounted Airfares from USA
Domestic USA Flights (ex. to/from LAX)
o www.southwestairlines.com <-Good Deals
Domestic Australian and International Flights
o www.jetstar.com.au <-Good Deals
o www.virginblue.com.au <-Good Deals
Bus and Train Travel
o www.131500.com.au <-Very Useful
Hostel and Hotel
Personal Travel Tips
o http://iaffairs.unl.edu/text/study abroad/
Australian Tourism Office
Australian Travel Directory