Top 6 Support Services For International Students In Australia

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International students want to know about all the support services available in Australia if they need help.


Adjusting to a new environment and culture for international students is exciting and enriching. Still, it may sometimes feel daunting and overwhelming at times.


However, there is no need to worry. Most educational institutions and government and non-government agencies in Australia have well-developed international student support services.


In this post, we’ll discuss support services available to international students who need help in Australia.



1. Counselling and Support Services


Many government and non-government agencies in Australia provide free counselling, relationship support, crisis support, mental health, domestic violence, and suicide prevention services. 


International students can access these services through phone, email, web chat, online forums, and other information sources. Also, while getting these services, you can choose to be anonymous.


Here are some of the support services you can obtain:


  • Lifeline: It offers 24/7 suicide prevention and crisis support services. To access these services, you can call 13 11 14. You can visit the Lifeline website to get more information.


  • International Student Hotline: If international students are facing issues related to safety, study, work, or accommodation, they can call 1300 363 079. The federal Department of Education operates this student helpline in Australia. When calling this number, you don’t have to reveal your identity. 


  • Beyond Blue: It provides 24-hour support for mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and suicide. You can access this service through email, web chat, or by filling out an online forum at the BeyondBlue website. You can also call 1300 22 4636.  


  • Kids Helpline: This helpline is for students ( between 5 and 25 years of age) who have personal relationship issues and want to share their feelings about their studies. You can call 1800 551 800 or visit the Kids Helpline website to get support. 


  • Sexual Assault Counselling Service: This service is for all who have experienced sexual assault. It is a free, 24-hour and seven days a week telephone service. You can call one state-based sexual assault counselling service to get support. Also, you can choose to stay anonymous. 


  • Many of these services are also connected with government health departments and hospitals to provide help if the assault has left you injured. You can search online for a ‘rape crisis centre’ in your state to get further information. 


  • Poison Information Centre: This support centre gives guidance on the use, management, and treatment of poisonous products, including industrial chemicals, non-prescription pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, household chemicals, and animal and plant venom. You can call 131 126 to get immediate support. 


Note: In an emergency like a fire, car crash or life-threatening situation, you can dial Triple Zero (000). 



2. Overseas Students Ombudsman


The Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO) is an initiative of the Australian government. They inquire about complaints overseas students have made against their private education providers, which may include a university, college, or school. 


The international student support services in Australia provided by OSO are free of cost and completely impartial. The OSO takes complaints against the following matters into consideration:


  • Refusal of admission to a course

  • Cancellation of enrolment

  • Course progress or attendance

  • Fees and refunds

  • Course or provider transfers

  • Incorrect advice provided by an education agent

  • Work or accommodation arranged by your provide


You can visit the Ombudsman website to learn more about their services. 



3. Tuition Protection Service


Introduced by the Australian government, TPS assists international students if their education providers cannot deliver the course. The TPS ensures that international students can take up another course in the same institution or another institution, or they can get a refund of their unspent tuition fees


For more information, you can visit the Tuition Protection Service website



Student Associations


The student associations represent and assist international students studying in Australian institutions. The national associations are as follows:


  • Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS): This association helps international students to maximise their living and studying experience in Australia. 


  • Council of International Students Australia (CISA)It is a national representative organisation for international students studying at an undergraduate, postgraduate, private college, ELICOS, and TAFE level. 



5. Institution Support Services


Most institutions in Australia have well-structured support systems for international students so that they feel welcomed and comfortable in their new environment. Some of the support services given by institutions may include the following:


Orientation Programs: Almost every institution in Australia conducts an orientation program for international students who have just arrived. This program usually takes place a few weeks before the semester starts so that students get familiar with their surroundings. The orientation program includes the following:


  • Campus tours

  • Library tours

  • Information sessions

  • Social activities

  • Course Introduction

  • Introduction to facilities and services

  • Meet student representatives, academic and other university staff


Counselling Services: Many Australian institutions have skilled and qualified counsellors who offer free guidance and international student help services on personal, academic and social matters, including culture shock, academic difficulties, accommodation issues, depression, anxiety, and family and relationship problems. 


Academic and English Support: If you need assistance with your academics and English skills, your university may support you through workshops or individual tutoring. You may also find English-speaking groups at your university campus, encouraging you to engage with other students and improve your language skills.


Career Services: Most education providers in Australia offer career advice to international students and help them with job hunting in Australia or elsewhere. They also help them build resumes and guide them through the interview process



6. Other Institution Support Services 


The Australian institutions may offer other services like:


  • Disability Support 

  • Childcare

  • International student advisers

  • Student Accommodation

  • Financial and scholarship support

  • Health and well-being services

  • Fitness and support facilities

  • Security and safety advice

  • Student Associations


Contact them directly or visit their website to learn more about what services your institution provides.  


Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)
⇒ What does it cost to study in Australia?
⇒ The Ultimate Guide to Australian Visas
⇒ Courses that can lead to PR in Australia
⇒ Applying to Study in Australia: Student Timeline
⇒ Driving in Australia as an International Student
⇒ Cultural Differences You May Experience in Australia
⇒ International Students in Australia
⇒ Australia Compared     


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