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Get organised

The following information is designed to help you with preparing for your arrival at James Cook University.

Important dates

Details of orientation programs for Townsville and Cairns students can be found at important dates. Please note, the International Student Orientation is compulsory. Other events are not compulsory but are recommended.

Pre-Arrival Webinar

The International Student Support Team organise a Pre-Arrival Webinar to help new students prepare for their arrival in Australia and provide them with information about their studies at JCU. The next series of Webinars are scheduled for January 2019 and new international students will receive further details on how they can attend a Webinar by email.

To view a previous webinar from January 2018, please visit International Pre-Arrival Webinar.


For information on finding permanent accommodation in Cairns and Townsville as well as temporary accommodation options, visit Accommodation.

Arrival Service

If you would like to book your arrival service, it is important to submit a booking at least two weeks prior to your arrival at your campus (Cairns or Townsville). We strongly encourage you to visit Important Dates to assist you with organising your arrival. You must arrive in time to attend an International Student Orientation and Orientation Week.

Your Visa

Details about arranging your visa can be found here.

What to bring

To help you start planning what to pack for your time in Australia, we have prepared a list of essential items to bring with you, which can be found here.

Bringing your family

Students may bring members of their family while they are studying. Find out what is required to Bring your family.

Getting to JCU

Cairns Cairns has Australia’s fifth busiest international airport. There are direct flights from Japan, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Micronesia, Bali and Singapore, with more routes planned for the future. Numerous airlines fly from Sydney and Brisbane into Cairns daily.

Townsville Three airlines fly from Brisbane to Townsville several times a day. Students can also fly directly to Cairns and then take the 50 minute shuttle flight to Townsville. Students at the Townsville campus are strongly recommended to fly into Townsville, as it is a four hour drive from Cairns and a 16 hour drive from Brisbane. There are also regular, direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne into Townsville.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

For more information on acquiring or renewing your health cover visit Overseas Student Health Cover.

International Student Guide

The International Student Guide can help you to make informed decisions prior to your arrival.