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Townsville is located on the north-eastern coast of Australia, along the Great Barrier Reef, about 1500 km north of Brisbane and 400 km south of Cairns.
Townsville has a population of 175,000 and is the unofficial capital of North Queensland. It is the focal point of the region, attracting many people to its beautiful climate and relaxed lifestyle. It offers easy access to the natural attractions of the North as well as providing facilities common to most cities – theatres, cafes, restaurants, museums, shopping malls, public parks, beaches and gardens, and markets.
Townsville is ideally located to experience the wonders of the Tropical North – the outback, rainforests, magnificent waterfalls, tropical islands, and of course, the Great Barrier Reef. Magnetic Island is only a ferry ride away, and the Billabong Sanctuary for native Australian animals is only a stone’s throw away. Both are a ‘must see’ for your time here.
campingMany of our schools have a camping element. You may find it helpful to bring a sleeping bag; however, you will also be able to purchase or hire camping equipment such as a tent or camping chair here in Australia as you need.
travelPlease plan to arrive no earlier than two (2) days before the school commences (ie the Friday). Orientation will be in the afternoon on the first day of your course. If it is not possible for you to arrive within the two days prior to course commencement, please notify us so that an attempt to arrange for accommodation can be made in advance. Please understand that due to other events and training courses, advance accommodation may not be available for you. Travel Insurance: We suggest that you still take out some form of travel insurance to cover your flights, luggage, etc when travelling. The OSHC covers medical expenses while in Australia, and YWAM has an outreach insurance for any of your overseas outreaches, but you may like to have cover travelling to and from Australia. Return Air Ticket: This initial student visa will allow you to do the DTS. There is the opportunity for you to stay on for further training with our centre should you wish to. As you may wish to take advantage of extended opportunities with us (visas permitting), it is advisable to prepare for that opportunity by having a return air ticket valid for 12 months or longer. Courtesy pickups: Courtesy pickups at the Townsville airport, train station, or bus terminal are standard. Look for the "YWAM Townsville" welcome sign that someone will be holding. Remember to have our telephone number and address on you at all times while travelling, in case we are delayed in picking you up. Departure Details: Graduation will be on the Friday ending your school. It would be helpful if you could plan to depart no later than three (3) days after the course finishes (by Monday). Although accommodation may not be available if your departure is beyond this time, please notify us so that we can assist you further.
passportIt is usual for travel that your passport should have an expiry date six (6) months beyond your expected date of return to your home country
faith and financesRaising finances does not have to be the daunting task that it first appears. Being involved in ministry is a partnership between you and those who are sending you out. Please have a look at our page on fundraising for more resources and teaching on financial partnership!
climateTownsville is located in the sub-tropics with a humid, wet season and a cooler, dry season. See the graph below for an idea about the average temperatures in Townsville throughout the year.
what to bring(You can either bring it with you or buy it when you get here): Address book, Bible, pen & notebook, stationery, toiletries, sleeping bag, sheets, pillow & pillowcase, towel, air mattress, tent (1 or 2 man if you have one – you may be able to borrow one while you are here), flashlight/torch, plastic plate, bowl, cup, cutlery (with carry bag), clothes line (portable) and clothes pegs/pins, water bottle, mosquito repellent and net (net optional), sunblock/sunscreen What clothes should I bring? Casual wear – modest shorts, T-shirts, trousers or jeans, dresses or skirts etc. Work clothes, clothes appropriate for church, cardigan/sweater/jumper/windbreaker/warm jacket, sun hat and sunglasses, modest bathing suits (men – no speedos please), modest nightwear, walking shoes/boots, sandals/sneakers/thongs (a.k.a. flip flops), and dress shoes.
luggage & storageLuggage and storage are very limited. Accommodation is dormitory style, so please be aware that there is limited storage available. We recommend you only bring what you are able to carry at one time. A simple carry on and one suitcase or backpack should be sufficient. Please note that there is very little storage during outreach – be prepared to carry your belongings on outreach.
accomodationAccommodation is in flats or dormitory-style housing with shared rooms for between 4 – 12 students and shared bathroom facilities. During outreach (field assignment) phases, accommodation will vary depending on location and may be anything from staying with local billets to bunking in a church hall or being hosted by another YWAM centre. During camping, accommodation will be in tents with shared bathroom facilities, communal dining, and lecture facilities. Due to the live-learn philosophy of YWAM’s training, all students are required to be resident for the duration of the course. For families wishing to apply, please contact us for further information on facilities available for families, educational institutions for school-aged dependents, child care, and additional living costs. Please note: due to the limited accommodation available we may need to make alternative recommendations for you to undertake the course.
resources & facilitiesThe Townsville campus is located in the suburb of West End in Townsville, which is close to the city centre, with a nearby shopping centre. The campus is complete with lecture, community, and accommodation facilities. The main facility has a commercial kitchen, shaded dining facilities outdoor, lounge, wireless internet, lecture rooms, reception area, offices, auditorium, and sports area. Laundry There will be free laundry facilities for your use onsite in Townsville. Facilities will vary when you travel depending on your location (there may only be hand-washing facilities during camping and outreach). You will need to provide your own washing powder/detergent. Voltage Overseas students please note that voltage for electrical appliances is 240 AC current. Therefore, you will need a converter if you bring electrical appliances (eg hair dryers, etc).
visasFurther instructions regarding visas will be given once you have been offered a place on a course.
insuranceAs an International Student, you are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of your student visa in Australia. OSHC will help you pay for medical and hospital care while studying in Australia. Students applying for a student visa who are citizens of Sweden, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand do not need to pay for health insurance. See the DIAC website (www.immi.gov.au/students/essentials.htm) for further information about student health cover as a condition for obtaining a Student Visa.
healthAs we will be spending time in Asia/Pacific, you will need to ensure that you will be covered from the diseases that are easily picked up from being in a place and culture that is not your own. Many of the diseases are able to knock you out for the whole outreach if caution is not taken. Please ensure that you are up to date with your immunisations before you arrive at YWAM Townsville. (eg Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Polio, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Mantoux – BCG, Cholera, Malaria, Hepatitis B (optional) – please see your doctor for their recommendations). We recommend all students take a course of de-worming tablets after the overseas outreach phase.
- If you are from overseas, it may be difficult to find the same medication as the one you already have. To save this hassle, bring what you need for the full 6 months. Ask your doctor to write you a letter authorising the medication to you, and for what purpose. If you are caught with drugs in some countries in Asia – the death penalty applies! Other general medical aids can be obtained in Townsville as you need them.
- It is also advisable for those who wear glasses or contact lenses to have their prescription on paper with them.
- The saying goes: “Travel broadens the mind and loosens the bowels!!” We recommend you bring some tablets for diarrhoea, as you are practically guaranteed to have a bout at some stage! If you are prone to the opposite – laxatives are also a worthy investment!
- Bring a small First Aid Kit with bandaids/sticking plaster, betadine ointment, cream to stop itch for mosquito bites and other insects, panadol/pain relief tablets, cold and flu medication, throat lozenges, multi-vitamins, etc.
- Don’t forget to bring a good sunscreen. The sun is very ferocious here in Australia, so be prepared to SLIP, SLOP, SLAP (Slip into a shirt, Slop on some sunscreen, and Slap on a hat!).
- Mosquito repellent and net. Prevention is always better than cure; so to prevent Malaria, mosquito repellent is essential (we highly recommend “Bushman Gel” bought here in Australia – Contains 80% DEET). A mosquito net is a good idea for Asia.
- Wet wipes are a worthy investment for camping and especially for travelling in developing nations – to keep one’s self clean and fresh where running water is not available.
- Water purification tablets are a good idea for the water in many of the countries we visit on outreach, and a course of deworming tablets are recommended for after visiting any developing nation during your DTS.
- An antifungal cream is a handy addition – fungal infections are common in areas of high humidity and very common in our region. Bring a cheap pair of thongs (flip flops) to wear while showering to aid in preventing tinea.
- A decent sized water bottle (between 1-2 ltrs) is an essential item to bring. Dehydration is incredibly common both here in Northern Australia and in Asia and the Pacific – it is vital to keep your fluids up – be prepared to drink heaps of water!