x. YES, I CAN put my Health Insurance policy on hold while I'm travelling - wlll need to call 133 234 to arrange that before leaving.
x. May be able to get Travel Insurance cheaper through my bank (it is underwritten through CGU Insurance so read pdf & policy wording but should be fine) - I need to find out though why the online quoting system is quoting a higher premium through the Savings & Loans site than through CGU's own site, espcially as the bank says there are member discounts.For 12 months in the UK/Europe, it will be $ 930 - $ 990, which is the cheapest (and most comprehensive cover) I've found so far (my first travel insurance quote for a year was over $ 1,300 so I'm happy to see that shopping around really does make a difference).
x. World Nomads might also be another good option - I read about them on the Vogue forums but there are some things I'm hesitant to buy online, including travel insurance. But World Nomads are actually underwritten through Allianz Insurance, one of the biggest Insurers in Australia, so they are legitiment. Will be worth keeping an eye on their prices as well (12 months cover starting from $ 566 from Australia). May also be worth only getting Insurance for 6 months initally, and then extending the cover if I am gone longer. Just in case.
x. Email the co-ordinator/s at The Writing School to find out if I can continue my course while I'm overseas eg: if there is a UK address to send assignments to (I'm sure I read in one of the introduction pamphlets that there were overseas locations - at any rate, I still have another 3 years to finish the course in, but it would be nice to know if it's possible to still do the assignments & send them in while I'm away, especially as my credit card is still going to be charged the installlments for the tuition fees each month!)
x. Get UK Visa lodged !!! (Will do that today, hopefully the bank transaction report I got the other week will suffice though since it's not an actual statement... but last month's statement didn't have enough money in my account for the application!)
x. Join up with a program like First Contact, Overseas Working Holidays, Launchpad Australia*, International Exchange Program**, etc who help with finding a job & setting up a UK bank account etc when first arriving in London (needs to be joined up with before leaving though - start enquiring now)
x. Just from looking around since starting to write this entry (I started writing it yesterday at work ;)) it appears that Launchpad Australia's Mini UK Express Pack for AU $ 119 might be the best one to go with -- the difference between that one & some of the others is that it *doesn't* include accomodation, and as I'm staying with alex_faerie when I first get there, paying extra for 2 nights accomodation in a hostel in London is a bit pointless. **Actually, IEP has a good package as well that doesn't include temporary accomodation - this one is $ 225, but includes more ongoing assistance, from the sounds of it. Hmmm. Much to think about there. [At this point in time, I'm tempted to go with IEP because of the ongoing assistance for the whole 2 years, but my opinion could change.]
x. Get my car serviced, mudflap put back on (eek), look at selling vehicle in September. Hopefully I'll get enough to pay off the rest of my carloan and have some left over.
I may update this as I go, I think. It's good to have everything in one place 'cos there's so much I need to remember to sort out and I keep forgetting things as I go.
These are all for my own benefit & to remember when I'm getting things organised in the next 3 months (!!) but I thought I'd make it a public entry because some of the links & info may be helpful to other Australia's who are travelling (*coughs*distantsun ;)). Sorry this is completely irrelevant to anyone else though ;)