Frequently Asked Questions
about ywam brisbane
What is the weather like in Brisbane?
Brisbane is a sub-tropical climate with warm, muggy summers and clear, mild winters. Normal summer days are around 32C (89F) and nights are around 25C (77F) with frequent afternoon thundershowers. It is known to have even warmer temperatures throughout the summer as well.
Normal winter temperatures (from about May – September) will be around 23C (73F) in the day time and around 10C (50F) at night. Although it often does get cooler at night. Please note, however, that most people coming from the colder climates assume they will feel quite pleasant during the winter months. Our buildings do not have central heating in them, and are old and draughty. So you really can FEEL the cold while you’re here. Please be sure to bring warm enough bedding, and a few pieces of warm clothing.
Where are we located?
We are located approximately 8 kms north west of downtown Brisbane. It takes about ten minutes to drive into the city by car. We are 5 minutes walk to our nearest train station that can take you to the city and just about anywhere else in the region. It is about 10 minutes walk to our nearest shopping centre. There is a small shopping precinct just near the train station that has coffee shops, a delicatessen, a bakery, and a pharmacy amongst other things.
How far is the beach?
Australia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The beaches are easily accessible both up and down the coast with the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Redcliffe or Bribie Island to the north of us, and the Gold Coast and Byron Bay to the south of us. Most areas you can get to within an hour or so by car. If you take the train it will take about 2 hours to the Gold and Sunshine Coast.
Is there an exercise room on the base?
We do have a covered area (not a closed room) that has exercise bikes, treadmills and cross trainers along with free weights.
Do I have to pay for internet?
No, there is no extra cost for internet. We also offer free wireless.
preparing to come
How much luggage can I bring?
The general rule of thumb is that you should only bring as much as you can handle on your own. Airlines will limit how much luggage you can bring on the plane and your rooms here are very limited in space. You will need to be able to keep all of your things in just a couple of drawers, a shelf and a bit of hanging space. Also, if you go on outreach or away for any trips, we only have small storage facilities for your things. We recommend 1 large backpack or 1 medium sized suitcase.
How much spending money do I need and how will I bring it to Australia?
How much money you will need will depend on your spending habits. You can check here for current exchange rates for your currency. You’ll need to think about phone calls, laundry, personal transport, social outings, coffees, snacks, etc. Here’s a few things to give you an idea of prices in Aussie dollars.
Laundry detergent $3-$7
Self-inflating Sleeping mat $65-$85
Sleeping bag $80-$120
Mosquito repellent around $5
Feminine Hygiene products $4-$9
Train fare to Brisbane $2.20 (students); train fare to the Coast $8
McDonalds meal $7-$12
Washing machine (on base) $3; Dryer $2
Photo process- Digital- 50 cents per print
Photocopying/printing- 10 cents per page
Australia Zoo admission- $43 student rate
Coffee at a coffee shop- $5
Stamps for letters overseas $2
What immunisations do I need?
No immunisations are needed for entry into Australia. If you plan to go on outreach, we do recommend some immunisations for some countries. Upon acceptance, applicants will be sent a pack of information which includes suggestions for immunisations. Although, not all countries will require them. Once our outreach locations are set, our teams will go to see a travel doctor together to get the most up to date requirements. You can then have your vaccinations here in Australia. For students, a portion of the costs will be covered by your Overseas Student Health Cover.
What type of visa do I need?
This will depend on what purpose you’re coming for. Please communicate closely with the Registrar on this matter, and proceed with your visa as per her advice. It’s important that you come in under the right type of visa, to ensure you are able to do what you’ve come here to do. Some visas come with restrictions and conditions which limit your involvement. So please speak with us about this.
What airport should I fly into?
Brisbane has an international and domestic airport. If you’re using a travel agent, have them book you a flight straight to Brisbane. Your ticket will tell you whether you’re coming in the domestic or international terminal. If you’re booking your own ticket online there are a couple of ways you can do this:
1) Recommended: Book your ticket to Brisbane. Most international airlines fly to Brisbane (even if they include a lay-over elsewhere). This is more direct for you, less time in travel, and you won’t have to worry about your luggage.
2) If your international ticket takes you to Sydney, you will then need to book your own domestic ticket from Sydney to Brisbane. Australia has 3 airlines: Qantas, Jet Star and Virgin Australia which you can book fares on line. Just notice your luggage restrictions, because international flights are often different from domestic flights. This will then take you to the Domestic Terminal.
Will my electrical appliances work in Australia?
Overseas participants please note that voltage for electrical appliances is 240 AC current. Therefore, you may need an adaptor and/or a voltage converter. The Australian plug looks like this:
How can I pay my fees?
School fees can be paid by International Bank Draft/Cheque or Credit Card (1.8% fee for this service). Australians can also pay by Money Order. Feel free to visit our online payment gateway to pay by credit card. secure.goywam.com
Do students ever bring their cell phones with them?
Yes, you can only use an unlocked GSM ready phone (for Americans T-Mobile is the only company that uses sim cards) as we only use sim cards in our network. You should try and get your phone unlocked by your service provider before you come.
Can I buy a disposable phone for a reasonable price?
You can buy phones for under $100 and then buy a pre-pay plan.
Can I bring my laptop?
Yes, lots of students bring their own laptops, make sure to grab a power adapter if you are from overseas.
about the schools
What is the accommodation like while living on base?
Student housing is in separate male and female dormitories of up to 12 people. Each room consists of bunk beds and a storage area for each person. Bathroom is down the hall.
What is the accommodation like for weeks off base?
Many of the DTS’s travel for some portions of the school. Sometimes we stay at another YWAM Base, sometimes we stay on the floor of a church, and sometimes we go camping in tents. For these weeks you will need to provide your own sleeping mats and sleeping bags.
What is the accommodation like on outreach?
Outreach accommodation will vary a lot depending on the country and the region you visit. Some teams spend time in hostels, with beds and furniture. Sometimes we might stay at someone’s house. Sometimes we stay on church floors. Sometimes we stay in village houses on the floor or in the open. For most locations we recommend bringing a sleeping mat.
What type of work duties will I be doing?
YWAM staff and students all pitch in to help out with the chores and running of the Base. Also, part of any University of the Nations course is the work duties to learn team work, dedication, faithfulness and stewardship (just to name a few). Work duties may be kitchen staff, housekeeping, mowing lawns, office work, construction, etc.
Do we have assignments and study?
Yes. The courses offered are accredited and part of the University of the Nations and can lead to a degree program. Some of our courses are registered with the Institute for the Nations in Australia and lead to a recognized qualification. Assessments differ depending on what course you’re doing, so feel free to ask us specifically about your course. DTSs can expect 2-4 hours of assignments and homework a week, where as 2nd level courses can expect 4-6 hours a week and more.
How many days do we have off for Christmas?
Typically we have about 3 days off for Christmas. It is our summer and we often have outreach during that time of year, and lots of things happening, so we really do keep it going!
Can I work during my DTS?
No, it is not possible to work during the DTS. DTS is a full time school.
How much free time do we get?
Expect to have around 50 hours of scheduled activities in the week. Usually weekends are free, but sometimes one day may be taken up with travelling or packing or something. And usually there will be one free afternoon and one free evening in the week. Again, second level schools often have weeks with even less free time.
What nationalities will be on the school?
We could possibly have any nation represented here on our centre. Common nations that students come from include: Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, England, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland.
Where will we go on outreach?
DTS outreach locations will be announced within the first couple of weeks of the DTS. Locations that we as a Ministry Centre are committed to or exploring: Peru, Japan, India, Malaysia, the Middle East, Papua New Guinea, The US, and Germany.
What opportunities are available after the DTS?
There are many opportunities within YWAM after successful completion of the DTS. The University of the Nations offers courses and degree programs for those who want to be trained and equipped for their calling. Check out www.uofn.edu for programs available. At YWAM Brisbane we run the Basic Leadership School, The Bible Core Course, School of Digital Filmmaking and the School of Acting for the Screen. There are also many ministry opportunities available around the world within YWAM, from Nigeria to Mongolia to New York, from ministry to prostitutes, to street kids, to snow boarders. You can check out the rest of our website to see what we’re involved in. And you can check out the various opportunities YWAM worldwide has to offer at www.ywam.org.