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 a few support services available to international students living 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:
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.
The student associations represent and assist international students studying in Australian institutions. The national associations are as follows:
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:
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:
International student advisers
Financial and scholarship support
Health and well-being services
Fitness and support facilities
Security and safety advice
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|