Electricity + Adaptors
Mastering the nuances of Australian electricity is just one of the skills you will learn during your semester in Sydney. Electricity in Australia is 240 volts, which is more than twice the voltage used in the US. An adaptor allows you to connect a US plug into an Australian outlet but may not be sufficient to convert a US device to Australian electricity. The voltage difference often requires an expensive voltage converter, not an adaptor. Attempting to force a US appliance into a wall outlet without the correct converter or adaptor can be lethal.
We recommend that you leave all electronic devices other than your laptop and mobile phone (these items are generally dual-voltage) at home. As you will discover, it is more cost-effective and much safer to purchase an inexpensive hairdryer and other appliances for your stay. Time will be available during Orientation for you to purchase appliances and an adaptor from nearby stores. That said, it would be a smart idea to bring one (or two) USA to Australia adaptors along with you to Sydney so that you are able to charge your phone and laptop immediately upon arrival. The photo below is an example of what an adaptor looks like.
Wall outlets (better known as powerpoints in Australia) have on/off switches directly above the socket. If you plug an appliance into the wall socket and it fails to work, check to see that the outlet is turned on as indicated by a small orange dot.