Before arriving at IOI 2013, there are some important things we need to tell you. Please ensure all attendees from your country are aware of these too.
Getting into Australia
Australia has some tough laws that you must be aware of before arriving:
- Visas: All visitors to Australia must have a valid visa before boarding their plane regardless of the length of stay. It is recommended that you apply for your visa at least 6–8 weeks before your intended date of travel to Australia (or two weeks for online applications) as visa processing times may vary. We strongly recommend that you register your team before applying for visas: the registration process will provide you with an invitation letter to accompany your paper-based visa application, and will also notify our local authorities that you are an invited delegate of IOI 2013. Please see this page for more details on applying for a visa.
- Australian Quarantine Regulations: Australia enforces very strict quarantine regulations on what can be brought into the country. The penalties for bringing in prohibited items without declaring them are severe, including fines and prosecution. If you’re not sure about something, we recommend leaving it behind. You must declare on arrival any food (even tea!), animal products, and wooden items (e.g. souvenirs or gifts), and you may be asked to dispose of it. See this page for details [Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service].
- Alcohol and Tobacco Limits: Australia also imposes limits on how much alcohol and tobacco can be brought into the country. Visitors who are 18 years or older may bring at most 2.25L of alcohol, and 50 cigarettes – anything in excess of this may attract customs duty/taxes on arrival. Please see this page for more information [Australian Customs Service].
Regulations in Australia
- Alcohol Consumption: You must be over the age of 18 to purchase alcohol in Australia, and sellers may ask for ID. Alcohol cannot be consumed in public spaces – you can be fined for even having an open bottle in public.
- Smoking Regulations: Smoking is prohibited in all buildings at the University of Queensland, including within the college accommodation, and the university imposes fines for smoking in buildings. IOI 2013 will not meet the cost of any such fines – they will be the personal responsibility of the guest. Designated smoking areas will be clearly marked. For further information see the Information Tables on arrival.
July is winter in Brisbane and generally the winters are relatively mild. You can expect daytime highs of around 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) and overnight lows of around 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit).
However, NOBODY (not even the weather bureau!) can predict the weather with absolute certainty, so you should be prepared for a variety of conditions.
The site is relatively open and not all walkways are under cover so you will be exposed to the weather on a daily basis. Most people will have at least a 5 to 10 minute walk between different venues. You should bring walking shoes, sun protection (hat, sunscreen) and rain protection (rainjacket, umbrella)! And don’t forget something warm to wear, as you may feel the cold if there is an unexpected change in conditions or a westerly wind.
The official currency in Australia is Australian Dollars. No other currency is accepted in the country.
The team fee that will be collected on behalf of the IOI Organisation is 200 euros. Where arrangements have been made to pay guest fees on arrival, Australian Dollars are required.
Currency exchange facilities will be available at the International Airport when you arrive. There is a bank on campus but no foreign exchange facilities, so you would need to arrange this before arriving on campus.
ATMs dispense money in Australian Dollars and can do so from the bank accounts of visitors. Check with your local bank first.
We hope that no one requires medical attention while attending IOI 2013 but nevertheless we recommend you are covered by travel insurance for medical situations, as you may find that medical bills are high. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalisation can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
All accommodation is on the St Lucia campus of The University of Queensland, the same location as the competition venue. Accommodation is in student residential colleges on the campus. The colleges provide bed linen and towels but you should bring all your own personal toiletries and any medications that you require. Please ensure you let us know NOW if you are travelling with a partner. More information on the accommodation can be found here.
One of the general excursions will visit the Sunshine Coast and one of the specific Guest excursions will visit the Gold Coast. In addition, there is an aquatic centre on the campus so anyone wishing to swim should bring suitable swimming gear. Nude bathing is not permitted.
Electrical current in Australia is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian 3-pin power outlet is different from most other countries so you may need to bring an adaptor for your electrical appliances.
Please note that NO flags will be allowed at either the Opening Ceremony or the Closing Ceremony of IOI 2013. You are welcome to bring your team mascots, of course.
The IOI may be recording, at its discretion, parts of the event for publicity purposes. By attending the IOI, you grant us permission to use, reproduce, and distribute (in full or in part) any photographs, videos taken of your team and/or sound recordings for publicity purposes or for educational use.
Local expenses for the team (consisting of a Delegation Leader, a Deputy Leader and one to four Contestants) in the period from 6 to 13 July 2013 will be covered by IOI 2013. At most four contestants can be registered for each competing country, and these are the only students eligible to sit the competition.
A team registration fee of €200 is required by the IOI Foundation, to be paid in cash on the arrival day in Brisbane.
Guests (External Consultants, Adjuncts to the Team, Observers, Adjuncts to the IC/ISC/OED and Visitors) from your country are also welcome at the event. The fee for EACH guest is AUD $1,500 and must be paid at the time of registration. This amount covers accommodation, meals, tours and all functions associated with the event during the period from 6 to 13 July. We accept Visa, Mastercard or direct bank transfer. All guests must be registered by 17 May 2013.
Information on site
There will be highly visible information tables located within the accommodation venues on site and the volunteers there will happily answer your questions.