Prepare to arrive information

Congratulations on joining The Australian National University! Make sure you arrive in Canberra in time to attend Orientation week. If you will be living on campus in one of the ANU residential communities, make contact with them to find out the date you need to arrive to attend your residential induction session.

This page provides useful information to help you prepare for your arrival at ANU. While the information provided here is primarily aimed at incoming students from interstate or overseas, there is still useful information for students from Canberra so please read through all of the information below and if you have any questions you can email the Student Experience and Career Development team. We look forward to meeting you on campus during Orientation Week!

Things to do before you arrive in Canberra

If you are an international student check out the International student checklist.

If you are a postgraduate research student check out the Postgraduate research student checklist.

If you are a domestic student check out the Domestic student checklist.

Cost of living

Do you know how much it will cost to live in Canberra? Start planning your budget now and avoid financial stress later.

Apply for on campus accommodation

If you haven't applied for on campus accommodation, do this immediately, as on-campus accommodation is in high demand.

  • First year undergraduate Students must accept their academic offer and pay the deposit by the due date to be eligible for the university accommodation guarantee.
  • Postgraduate students can apply for on campus accommodation but should be prepared to search for off-campus accommodation.

If you do not have accommodation use the resources available on the ANU accommodation page for other accommodation options (including temporary ones) and do some research before you depart for Canberra.

Log on to Wattle

Use your student ID number sent to you in your welcome email, and the following separate email containing your password to login Wattle (Web Access To Teaching & Learning Environments). Wattle is an online learning environment used by all ANU students to provide a set of tools to facilitate learning, communication and collaboration, and can be used to make lecture notes, readings, digital lecture recordings and other learning resources available to your students online.

Wattle consists of Moodle as the main underpinning platform, augmented with other online learning facilities such as Digital Lecture Delivery (DLD), Wimba Voice Tools (audio and voice recording tools) and Adobe Connect (video conferencing tool).

We are aware that some students have not received the email containing their password. If you have experienced this issue, please contact ANU IT Support at 02 6125 4321 and follow the prompts (1, 2) to reset your password.

If you are not currently in Australia and haven't received the email containing your password after your welcome email, please email ANU IT Services on from the email address you provided in your application and they will contact you directly to provide a new password. In your email you MUST provide them with the following information: 

  • Your university ID number
  • Your full name
  • Your best contact number (including the international dialling code)
  • The best time to call you between 9am-5pm in Australia (UTC+10:00)

Familiarise yourself with the University and Canberra

What to pack?

Clothes for all seasons! Canberra is generally hot in summer but quite cold in winter (temperatures can reach as low as -7°C at night). Remember that Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere so December is the middle of the Australian summer, while July is the middle of winter. If you have too much luggage, consider shipping/mailing the things which you won't need immediately after arrival to your Canberra address before you leave home.

If you are staying in a non-catered hall, you may want to bring your most essential cutlery and cooking utensils as these are not provided. (Other cooking utensils can be purchased from nearby stores during your first few days in Canberra.)

If you are an international student, you may also need to bring electrical adaptor(s) and voltage converter(s). Please check these online. A starting reference can be found on Trip Advisor's power and appliances guide.

Transport and getting around

While the city is only a short 10 minute walk from on-campus accommodation, students who are living off-campus should start thinking about how they are going to get to classes. Canberra has an extensive bus network and cycling is also an option with many of Canberra's main roads having designated bicycle lanes. Find out more about:

Airport and Jolimont Centre Welcome Service

ANU offers a free 'Airport Welcome' service. Registration for this service will open for a limited period. Please check the Airport Welcome page for more information and to register for this service.

If you will arrive outside the window of this service, please read our 'Alternative transport guide' on the Airport Welcome Service page for advice on transfer options to reach your final destination.

Order your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) card

Once you have a postal address in Canberra, you can order your card to be delivered to that address even if you are not arriving in Canberra until later. Order your OSHC (login required).

If you do not have a postal address in Canberra yet, you can print a temporary certificate to use until you can order a membership card.

Be a part of a dynamic on-campus community

Griffin Hall enables ANU students who live off-campus to be part of a dynamic on-campus community, and to participate in inter-hall arts, sports and social activities along side students who live in the on campus residences.

By being a member you are able to participate in the interhall sports and arts competitions, get academic and pastoral support, attend interhall bar nights, go to various social and study events throughout the year and you end up making loads of friends. The common room is right in the middle of campus, above Union Court and next to Manning Clark. To be eligible for membership you must not be a member of another residential hall, college or be at Unilodge.

Griffin Hall has additional O-Week programs for its members. For registration enquiries contact

Plan which Orientation week events to attend

Attendance at Orientation week is essential. During O-week the university delivers vital information sessions designed to assist new students settle into life as an ANU student. You will receive important information about your academic college; the student services available; accommodation; visa and legislative requirements for international students; receive advice on program and course selection and attend academic skill development workshops. The various social events hosted on campus during O-week are also a great way to meet other new students so don't miss this great opportunity to give yourself the best possible start to your university life. Closer to Orientation Week the schedule will be available. There are many workshops, induction sessions and social activities happening during the week and the important sessions which students are highly encouraged to attend are:

  • Residential induction sessions (for students living on residence)
  • The main university induction session on the Monday of Orientation Week
  • Academic College induction sessions
  • Programs and courses advice sessions

Familiarise yourself with the academic culture, teaching and learning style at ANU

Check out the Academic Skills and Learning Centre's (ASLC) web page to learn more about the academic culture at the ANU and how to make a smooth transition into academic life at Australia's premier research university.

Familiarise yourself with the enrolment process

Have a look at the Programs and Courses website and choose your courses. Students intending to study at the ANU during Semester 1 and 2 should enrol for the entire academic year. Not sure what courses you should take? Information on the available study options can be found on Programs and Courses. If you need additional advice speak with a Program and Course Advisor in your Academic College. Please contact your College Student Office to arrange a meeting before coursework commences.

Need help with the enrolment process? Refer to the How to Enrol PDF guide for assistance with adding your chosen courses in ISIS. Still stuck? Attend ISIS Help during O-Week.

Know your dates and plan your studies, visit the University Calendar for information on all the key 2018 administrative dates.

Familiarise yourself with the safety and security services and procedures on-campus and in Canberra

ANU Security

ANU Security manages security services on campus including safety initiatives and providing security related resources to the ANU community.

To contact ANU Security dial on 02 6125 2249 (extension 52249 from internal phones).

ACT Emergency Services

You can request help from the police, fire or ambulance services in an emergency or life-threatening situation by calling 000. If you are caling from a landline phone on campus, you will need to add an extra '0', meaning you call '0000' to reach an external number.

If you are on-campus when you call ACT Emergency Services, you then call ANU Security on 02 6125 2249 (extension 52249 from internal phones). All phone calls made to ANU security are recorded for security purposes.

Online resources

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is committed to empowering all Australians to have safer, more positive experiences online. The Office was established in 2015 with a mandate to coordinate and lead the online safety efforts across government, industry and the not-for profit community. You can find their website here.

While using social media, apps, mobile phones, email and other platforms that connect to the internet, it is important to be aware of keeping your personal information private and avoiding any scams. Social media platforms such as Facebook can be used to obtain information about your identity if you don't make sure your privacy settings are strong enough.

To learn how to protect yourself online, you can access the Stay Smart Online website, an initiative from the Australian Government. The Department of Defence also has specific information on how to protect yourself. You can also read information on how to protect yourself from scams in a range of different languages on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Scam Watch website.

Other support services

Service Phone number
Canberra Rape Crisis Centre (24 hrs) 6247 2525
Canberra Sexual Health Clinic 62473077
Domestic Violence Crisis Service 6280 0900
Men's Line Australia 1300 78 99 78
Women's Centre for Health Matters 6290 2166

Familiarise yourself with the student associations and related departments

ANU Students' Association(ANUSA)

ANUSA is the representative body for all undergraduate students at ANU. If you are starting at ANU as an undergraduate student you are automatically a member of ANUSA. ANUSA focuses on welfare, advocacy and social life for students. They run a large number of social events during O-week and throughout the year.

There are also seven ANUSA Departments:

ANU Postgraduate and Research Students' Association (PARSA)

PARSA is the representative body for all postgraduate students at the ANU, with all postgraduate students automatically being members. They focus on social life, welfare and advocacy for postgraduate students both in their studies and their daily lives.

Student-elected postgraduate students make up the PARSA Committee and run social events that are free or low-cost, represent postgraduate students in university committees, provide feedback to the university from postgraduate students, act as a communicative body to students to let them know about issues and changes that may affect them, as well as represent individual students in any problems they may have at the ANU. There is a Women's, Indigenous, International and Equity Officer to advocate for students and resolve any issues that may arise for postgraduate students at university.

Welfare and legal services

ANUSA provides a number of free services to undergraduate students. You can visit their office for free, confidential legal service with one of the lawyers or visit one of the Student Assistance Officers for advice on Centrelink, bursaries and scholarships, taxation and community services.

PARSA provide a range of services for Postgraduate students including legal assistance, financial aid, as well as assistance in students' personal life and studies.

International students - late arrival

To give you the best possible start to your tertiary education, ANU strongly advises that new students arrive and enrol 1-2 weeks before Orientation week (O-week). Find out more about international late arrival.