Part 5

Returning home

Before you leave

When your hard work is finished, it will be time to celebrate your graduation and depart to make a difference in your home country. Start planning early to decrease the stress as you depart, as well as to make sure you make the most of your Australia Awards Scholarship when you return.

Heading home

Before you depart you need to:

  • complete the paperwork to get your new qualifications 
  • vacate your accommodation 
  • freight excess baggage 
  • close bank accounts 
  • fulfil any tax requirements if you have been working 
  • cancel any insurance policies and phone and internet contract 
  • pay close attention to your end-of-lease responsibilities, for example, organise professional cleaning of your rental accommodation to access your bond (if applicable). 

Australia Awards scholars must depart Australia and return to their home country within 30 days of their scholarship end date, or before their visa expires—whichever comes first.

We strongly encourage you to leave Australia within two weeks of completing your program or you are likely to run out of funds. Our recommendation is that coursework students aim to leave within two weeks of the release of exam results, while research students should leave two weeks after the submission of their thesis.

Contact your employer

If you are returning to the same job, contact your employer well before you are due to leave Australia to discuss arrangements for your return to work. We strongly encourage you to stay in touch with your employer the entire time you are studying in Australia. Regular communication will help maintain your work relationships and keep you up-to-date with developments at work. It will also help you make the transition back into the workplace when you get home.

Saying goodbye and readjusting

Many scholars have mixed feelings about leaving Australia. For some, the emotional turmoil that followed their arrival in Australia returns. You will go home a changed person due to your experiences studying in Australia. If your institution offers a returning home briefing, it is a good opportunity to consider some of the issues you may face on your return.


For more information on reverse culture shock and readjusting to your home country, do a search online.

The knowledge that I’m acquiring from Australia is going to go a long way in trying to help my country get back on track in terms of being food secure, as well as reducing the levels of under-nutrition that the country is experiencing.
Australia Awards scholar, Zambia

Back home

Stay connected

Once you return home the benefits of your scholarship continue when you connect to the Australia Awards alumni association and the Australia Global Alumni network. Your prestigious Australia Awards alumni membership connects you to current and future leaders for development with strong links to Australia.

Your Australia global alumni membership offers you an even broader network made up of all international students who have studied in Australia. It’s a highly talented, globally mobile alumni empowered a world class Australian education. They are strengthening links between people, institutions and organisations; deepening economic and cultural connections, and enhancing mutual understanding between our countries.

Australian alumni are making significant individual and collective contributions through these networks, helping to shape the world for a better future. Your academic institution may also have a local chapter of its alumni network in your home country.

These networks can support you in your reintegration and provide ongoing professional development and networking opportunities such as mentoring, policy discussions and events with industry experts. You can connect with fellow alumni to share expertise, learn from successes and collaborate on research or other projects.

Contact the Australia Awards office or the Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission in your country for information about local alumni networks, or visit the Australia Global Alumni website for in-country contacts at

Departing Australia checklist