Personal matters

Moving back home and leaving the country can be quite a complex task, and it’s important to stay organised with the following tips and advice.


Suitcase full of clothes

Organising your personal affairs

Here’s what you need to know about getting your personal affairs in order before returning home. This section includes advice on leaving your accommodation, closing bank accounts, tax returns, superannuation, disposing of unwanted goods and more.

Accommodation

On-campus accommodation

You need to check your On-campus Licence Agreement’s end date. You will need to leave your accommodation by this date. Make an appointment in your housing office for your final inspection before you leave. Make sure you leave your room in a clean and orderly state as your bond will be refunded after your inspection.

Return your keys to the office, or lock them in your room if you leave outside of office hours. Make sure all accounts are finalised to prevent sanctions being placed on your exam results.

Don’t forget to disconnect your personal phone line.

Off-campus accommodation

For tenancy advice contact Curtin’s Housing Services.

Redirecting your mail

Your local post office can organise to redirect your mail from your current address to almost any other destination. This means that mail addressed to you at your house can be redirected to another address either within Australia or overseas. There is a fee attached to this service. Check the Australia Post website for further information.

Provide a forwarding address to friends, businesses and other organisations you want to keep in touch with.

Unfinished business in Australia can be made easier and quicker if you have someone in Perth or Australia to have mail sent to. This is especially useful if something comes up that requires a response within Australia.

Closing your bank account

Bankwest account holders

Any Bankwest branch can close your account, usually straight away (providing all cheques are cleared).

Your money can be withdrawn as:

  • Cash – all amounts in excess of $3,000 need to be pre-ordered and will require 48 hours notice at some branches. There is a $2,000 limit at the Curtin branch of Bankwest. ATM withdrawal limit is $1000.
  • Bank draft – a cheque issued in foreign currency. You can take a bank draft with you and deposit into your bank account at home. A bank draft will cost approximately $25.
  • International money transfer – an electronic transfer of funds to your bank account at home. The bank will need details such as your home bank’s name, branch and address, and your account number. If you send your money using an international money transfer, you will have access to your money a lot quicker than a bank draft. A fee of approximately $35 applies.

Remember to bring along your ATM card and identification and give Bankwest staff your forwarding address for your closing account statement to be sent to you.

Call the Bankwest Customer Help Centre on 13 17 19 or log on to the Bankwest website for more informaton.

Non-Bankwest account holders

Contact your bank directly to arrange funds transfer and account closures.

Tax returns

You may need to lodge at tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If so, it is best to do so before you depart Australia. If you have already left Australia, you can still lodge your tax return online.

The financial year end is 30 June each year. Tax returns should be lodged by the end of October. For specific details for international students go to the Australian Taxation Office website.

Superannuation

You may have accumulated superannuation benefits while you have been working in Australia. Contact your superannuation fund to ask about a refund. The Australian Taxation Office website also offers advice.

As temporary residents, international students are eligible to access their superannuation once they permanently depart from Australia. You will have to complete a ‘Request for Departing Australia Superannuation payment (DASP) – the temporary resident’ form. More information is available on the Australian Taxation Office website, or by phoning the Superannuation info line on 13 10 20.

Selling or disposing of unwanted goods

If you have furniture or appliances, consider the following:

  • Think about what you own and what you really need to take home with you. Reducing the amount of luggage you take home will save dollars that you pay for excess baggage.
  • Select what you want to take on the plane and what goods you want to ship home. Find out the weight and size restrictions of luggage on your flight and investigate the cost of extra luggage.
  • Return borrowed items.

If you have furniture or appliances to sell or dispose consider the following options:

  • Give items to friends or leave them for new students.
  • Donate items to charity.
  • Advertise goods for sale on the internet (e.g. Gumtree or Ebay).
  • Advertise furniture in local newspapers (eg. The West Australian, Sunday Times Readers Mart, Quokka or local community newspapers).
  • Advertise on noticeboards on campus and at Student Housing (See Student Guild for permission).
  • Donate your goods to charity (e.g. St Vincent de PaulSalvation ArmyGood Samaritans)
  • Have a garage sale – get together with friends and sell your goods from your home

Selling your vehicle

Vehicles may be advertised for sale online, in the daily newspaper, local newspaper, bulletin boards in shopping centres and on campus (Make sure you obtain permission from relevant authority).

When transferring a licensed vehicle to another person, the registered owner (the seller) must complete a Vehicle Transfer – Notification of Change of Ownership form (with the new owner) and forward the seller’s copy (green copy) to the Department of Transport within seven days. Failure to do so may result in the issue of an infringement. Find out more on the Department of Transport’s website.

Other financial matters

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

You may be entitled to a refund from your OSHC provider. For example, if you have three months cover left after the time you depart Australia, you can claim it back. You will need to provide evidence of the day you plan to leave Australia (for example: your air ticket and Certificate of Course Completion) and details of your overseas bank account.

You can download the refund form to apply for a refund. See the OSHC webpage for more information.

Tourist Refund Scheme: (TRS)

Claim refund on Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid for purchases made in one transaction over $300 within 30 days prior to your departure. You must obtain a tax invoice from the store.

For more information see the Department of Home Affairs website.

Plan your returning home budget

The following lists of potential income and expenses may assist you in planning your returning home finances.

Income
  • Bond
  • Selling boks
  • Selling household items
  • Selling other (car/bike)
  • Refunds (OSHC insurance, TRS, etc.)
  • Tax return
  • Superannuation
  • Other
Expenses
  • Airfares
  • Cleaning accommodation
  • Utility bills
  • Shipping excess baggage
  • Presents for family/friends
  • Holiday/stopover
  • Official university documents
  • Library or parking fines
  • Other

A plane sitting on the tarmac

Making your travel arrangements

Here you can access information on booking your flights and travelling home, including important notes about quarantine and customs regulations.

Travel documents

Make sure you check that your passport and travel documents are current and valid. Also check that your airline ticket and flight details are correct.

Booking flights

When bookings your flights home, search the internet for competitive flight prices, and plan your departure date in advance. Book your flight allowing yourself enough time to complete all the tasks related to tying up your affairs at Curtin and in Perth.

AusAid Students will be assisted with their return flight bookings – contact Curtin Connect.

When organising your flights home, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Check that the price of your airline ticket includes additional taxes.
  • Arrange for transport to the airport for you and your luggage. Check your ticket for what time you need to be at the airport.
  • Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with a friend.
  • Notify your family and friends of your return flight date. They need time to prepare for your arrival.
  • It is highly recommended you take out travel insurance.
  • Contact your home country embassy or consulate to determine what custom regulations you will need to consider when taking your belongings home.

For more detailed information for travellers departing Australia visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Be drug aware

Curtin does not condone drug usage. Be aware that drug laws differ from country to country, and evidence of drug usage in Australia may be considered a criminal offence in your home country. Be aware that drugs can still show in tests for some time after their use.

Australian quarantine and customs regulations

You must declare cash amounts of $A10,000 or more in foreign or Australian currency you take out of Australia (notes and coins) to Australian Customs.

You must declare some items, including heritage items, firearms and ammunition, protected wildlife, defence and strategic goods. If you are thinking of taking firearms and ammunition, food products, wildlife souvenirs or products out of the country, you may need to declare them.

It is advisable to carry a PBS Medicine Export Declaration if you intend to take out a large amount of prescription medication.

For more information visit the Department of Home Affairs website.


Row of suitcases

Sending excess baggage

Find out about sea freight and airfreight companies, paperwork to complete and how to pack your goods. We’ve also provided information about special conditions for returning belongings to Indonesia.

Seafreight and airfreight companies in Perth

Curtin does not endorse any one provider. The following links can assist you in sourcing freight companies from our Perth and Kalgoorlie campuses.

Useful tips

  • Rates will vary from company to company, so obtain quotes from various companies and compare costs and services provided.
  • Pack your boxes carefully. Most freight companies supply strong, specially designed packing boxes. See the ‘How to pack your goods’ section for more information.
  • Plan ahead – allow for 2-3 days notice for parcel pick-ups (excluding weekends). Allow 7-14 days for door-to-door airfreight delivery. Lodge excess baggage 7-10 days prior to your departure if you want goods to arrive at home at about the same time as you.
  • You will need to complete a consignment note, packing list and a customs declaration. Get assistance to fill out required information if you need.
  • Pack and close boxes – do not seal, as the content may need to be inspected.

Paperwork to complete

  • International airline ticket details.
  • Contact phone number in Australia and country of destination.
  • Consignment note.
  • Passport – photocopy of front page and student visa.
  • Packing list – including itemised values.
  • Customs declaration.
  • Unknown shipper declaration.

How to pack your goods

Packing your goods correctly is an important factor in ensuring that they arrive safely at the destination. Some useful tips to assist you:

  • Ensure that your chosen packaging is in good condition. Label boxes with your name, home telephone number and address.
  • Acceptable packaging includes suitcases, backpacks, cardboard cartons, plastic drums.
  • Books must be in boxes that weigh no more than 25kg each. If you can’t lift the item, it is too heavy.
  • Industry approved quality packing cartons are available for sale from freight companies.
  • Bicycle packs are often available from your local bike shops.
  • It is recommended that you complete a packing list. Attach this to the documentation accompanying your freight.
  • Padlocking suitcases and securely taping cartons is recommended
  • All items must be individually labelled with your name, address at destination and phone number at destination.
  • Be aware that it is an offence to pack dangerous goods.
  • Particularly fragile items should be professionally packed to minimise the risk of damage. Ask the company for referrals to quality packing companies.
  • Separate insurance is recommended for breakable and valuable items.

This information has been supplied by Exportair.

Sending items to Indonesia - special conditions

If you are sending personal belongings back home to Indonesia, you may be eligible for Duty Exemption. In order to get Duty Exemption:

  • You must have been overseas for at least 12 months.
  • You must provide evidence of your student visa.
  • You must provide evidence that you have completed your degree and are a graduate.
  • The consignment note must be accompanied by a recommendation from the Indonesian Consulate. It is recommended that you go to the consulate in person to present your passport and to obtain the recommendation.
  • Provide a list of items that you will be sending – a copy of a Bill of Lading from the freight company

If you fail to produce the relevant documents, duty charges may apply at final destination.

For more information contact the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia (Western Australia).