Australia offers many support services for international students. This includes services provided by education providers and student associations, as well as local, state, territory and federal governments.
Australian education providers pride themselves on creating a study experience that is welcoming, friendly and supportive for international students.
There are a range of specialist services to help you adjust to life and study in Australia. These can include services such as:
- Language and academic support
- Designated international student advisers
- On-arrival reception and orientation programs
- Childcare support
- Mental health, wellbeing and counselling
- Student accommodation
- Employment services
- Prayer and worship rooms
- Banking, shopping and food outlets
- Clubs, societies, and sport and fitness facilities.
Making friends and having help when it is needed can make a big difference. Luckily, many Australian education providers are also their own communities. You can join a club or society, improve your health and fitness in the gym, join a sports team, attend a social event, or volunteer for community service.
Check the website of your education provider for details of all the activities and support it offers.
State and Territory Partners
Study Australia works with partners in all the states and territories. Our aim is to improve your experience here in Australia and to offer you local support.
Study Australia partners deliver important services and work with local businesses and community services. Visit your local support services page via the links below:
Across the country, there are student associations assisting and representing the needs and interests of students. National associations include:
Most education providers in Australia have their own student associations. Visit your education provider’s website for more information.
Australia has laws to protect individuals from discrimination in many areas of public life. A person with a disability has just as much right to study as an able-bodied student. This means education providers cannot:
- Refuse admission to a student with a disability
- Ask a student with a disability to meet requirements that do not apply to able-bodied students (for example, pay higher fees)
- Deny or limit access to a student with a disability (for example, not allowing them to go on excursions, or having student common rooms or lecture facilities that are not accessible).
Many education providers offer services for students who require assistance with their studies because of a disability or chronic medical condition. This assistance could include voice-recognition software, hearing aids or note-taking services. If you have specific needs, you should contact your education provider several weeks before you arrive to make the appropriate arrangements.
Education providers must make every effort to accommodate a student with a disability. However, they are not legally required to make modifications if the changes involve major difficulties or incur unreasonable costs. The education provider has to prove the changes are unjustified. But before making such a claim, they must have direct discussions with the student and seek expert advice.
If you are experiencing a problem with your education provider, you should first talk to the staff there. If informal discussions do not resolve the problem, you can lodge a formal complaint. Education providers are required to have a process for students to register complaints.
If you feel you have a legitimate complaint that is not being recognised by your education provider, you should approach the Australian Human Rights Commission. You can make a confidential enquiry over the phone, but you must lodge a formal complaint in writing before the commission can take action.
Find out more information in our "Studying in Australia with a disability" blog post.