Novel coronavirus: student advice and support

Advice and support for students impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The University of Melbourne is supporting our student community during the current outbreak of novel coronavirus COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions. We care deeply about our students' success and wellbeing.

If you are affected, please monitor your student email for regular updates from the University. For information about accessing student email overseas, see the student email FAQ.

Course-specific advice now available

You can now access course-specific information by clicking on the 'find information for your course' button below. This information is currently available in PDF format only.

The table in the document below contains tailored information for each course about:

  • Whether or not there is an option for you to temporarily commence your studies online, due to an inability to travel to campus in time for your course commencement date
  • The maximum duration for which you can undertake your studies online
  • If there is not an option to commence your studies online, whether or not there will be a catch-up option available once you arrive on campus
  • The latest date by which you would need to arrive on campus following your published course commencement date in order to undertake the catch-up option.

Please read the document carefully and follow instructions in the 'Recommended student actions to now take' column.

Please note this advice is course-specific and you should not advise friends to do the same as you, but rather to check advice in the document for their own course. Please do not print, forward or circulate this document, as information may change as updates become available. Instead, share the link to this page.

Find information for your course
(PDF 323.4 KB) Last updated: 14 February 2020 at 4:22pm

You may also wish to review the FAQs below.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the University doing to support impacted students?

    The University is aware that students will have been impacted by the recent expansion of travel restrictions by the Federal Government.

    Our support teams are reaching out to students who we believe may be impacted to offer support. If you have been impacted and need support or advice, please submit an enquiry to Stop 1.

  • Classes and commencement activities
    Are classes and start year commencement activities still proceeding?

    Yes, all classes and start year commencement activities are still proceeding.

  • Travel to Melbourne
    I am currently unable to travel to Australia for my studies. What should I do?

    We understand that the travel restrictions are having a significant impact on some students, and we are contacting those impacted with advice and support.

    We are working with course coordinators to publish course-specific information, covering whether online or catch-up arrangements can be made for impacted students.

    If you are affected by the travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus, you are encouraged to continue with your enrolment and plans to return to study in Semester 1.

    We are continuing to closely monitor the situation and if the restrictions change, we will be in contact with affected students to make additional arrangements and options for support. If you are affected please keep an eye out on your student email for any updates from the University.

  • Exchange and study abroad
    I am a University of Melbourne student about to undertake Study Abroad / Exchange to China and I’m not sure it will go ahead. What should I do?

    Our staff in Global Mobility are in the process of contacting all students scheduled to undertake study abroad or an exchange to China in semester 1, 2020. This includes liaison with our university partners. If you need to contact this team directly, please write to: global-mobility@unimelb.edu.au


    I am a student at a partner institution who is planning on undertaking Study Abroad / Exchange at the University of Melbourne in Semester 1, 2020 and I’m not sure if this will go ahead. What should I do?

    The Exchange and Study Abroad orientation day is Friday 21 February. Alternative arrangements will be made for students who are unable to attend this day due to travel restrictions. If you are unable to attend this day, or have other enquiries, please contact the team at studyabroad-exchange@unimelb.edu.au

  • Impacts on student visas
    How will the travel bans impact my visa?

    The Department of Home Affairs has provided advice about student-visa obligations for students who are already studying (ie continuing and re-enrolling students with a ‘STUDYING’ visa status):

    • Compassionate/compelling leave can be granted for cases where, due to the coronavirus travel restrictions,  students cannot return to Australia in time to continue their studies (or would normally be expected to leave Australia).
    • If you are affected by the coronavirus travel restrictions you can apply for a Leave of Absence.
    • If you request leave for first half year 2020 due to travel restrictions, once your Leave of Absence is approved, your CoE and student visa will not be cancelled .

    This advice is based on an announcement from the Australian government about Students affected by Coronavirus restrictions on travel, which covers information for students who are commencing and already studying.


    I have applied for a student visa – will my visa still be processed?

    The Australian Government is continuing to process student visa applications as usual. For up-to-date information regarding this visa, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs student visa page.


    I want to apply for a visa to study in Australia

    Students can apply online by visiting the Department of Home Affairs student visa page.

    If you are a new student, you are encouraged to:

    • Check any visa exit requirements
    • Check all available travel advice
    • Ensure you can attend relevant health and English language testing, as these may be required as part of the visa assessment.

    I am in Australia and my student visa is expiring. Can I get an extension?

    If you are continuing to study, there are a number of visa pathways open for student visa holders to remain in Australia (including applying for another, new student visa or a visitor visa), provided the you meet all necessary visa requirements.

    Existing student visas cannot be extended. The University can only provide advice on student visas. For more information visit the the Department of Home Affairs student visa page.

    If you are no longer studying, you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs or a registered migration agent for information on other visa types and options.

  • Impacts on fees
    I am currently delayed and am not sure I can arrive in time for the start of classes, I have a tuition fee payment due to the University, and I haven’t yet paid. What should I do?

    The University has extended the due date for all 2020 invoices up to 14 February for students impacted by travel restrictions. The due date for these invoices is now 28 February. The University will be contacting those students directly impacted with more information. You do not need to apply for an extension, and will not incur any late fees or payment extension fees.


    I am currently delayed and am not sure I can arrive in time for the start of classes.  I’ve already paid my deposit. What should I do?

    Your deposit will be credited to your future tuition fees. If you do attend the upcoming semester (including commencing online remotely or catching up when you arrive), your deposit will be reflected in the balance due on your fee statement after you have selected your subjects.

    If you do not attend the upcoming semester, you will need to withdraw from those subjects before each subject’s census date to avoid a late withdrawal result and a fee liability. Impacted students will be supported in this process.


    I am currently delayed and am not sure I can arrive in time for the start of classes. I’ve already paid my full tuition for the upcoming semester. What should I do?

    If you do attend the upcoming semester (including commencing online remotely or catching up when you are arrive), no further actions regarding your fees are required.

    If you are not able to attend the upcoming semester, you will need to withdraw from those subjects before each subject’s census date to avoid a late withdrawal result and a fee liability. If you withdraw before your census date, the fees will be a credit against your future subject enrolments. Impacted students will be supported in this process.


    I am unable to access banking facilities due to restrictions in China so I may be late in paying my fees, will there be a penalty?

    Late fees will not be applied to students impacted by the coronavirus or associated travel restrictions.


    I’ve paid my fees for a summer subject but cannot attend, will I get a refund?

    If you withdraw from the subject before the census date your subject’s fee will be cancelled and the payment made for this subject will be a credit on your student fee account.  The credit will be applied to other subject fees or you may apply for a refund.

  • Impacts on accommodation
    What do I do if I’ve already booked accommodation?

    Please contact your accommodation provider as soon as possible to discuss options related to your booking. You will need to contact them directly if you wish to change or cancel your booking.

    If you have booked with University Accommodation

    Please use the details below to contact your accommodation provider:

    If you have booked a private rental

    Please contact your accommodation provider or real estate agent to discuss your situation and tell them when you may arrive in Melbourne. They can advise on private rental arrangements when you are still are overseas.

    For further information and advice regarding your tenancy agreement, including changing or cancelling a lease, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria's page for international students.

    Need further support?

    You can contact the University of Melbourne housing team through the following methods:

  • Students taking February exams

    The University of Melbourne is supporting our student community during the current outbreak of novel coronavirus COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions. The University is actively considering the different approaches that might be required to manage this evolving situation, in keeping with our policies and standards and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our staff and student communities.

    For those students who are unable to travel to Melbourne as a result of travel restrictions relating to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, and who have exams scheduled in the February period, alternative arrangements will be made.


    Are February exams going ahead?

    Summer examinations (including Special examinations) are proceeding as scheduled from 17 – 24 February. The Summer exam timetable will be published by 3pm on Friday 7 February.

    The University will make special arrangements for students who are affected by the outbreak and provide support to individuals as required. Students in China who have exams scheduled for the February examination period and will not be able to return to Melbourne in time will be supported accordingly and the University will directly contact impacted students shortly once these arrangements have been finalised.


    Do I need to attend my scheduled exam?

    If you are in Australia and are fit to do so, you need to attend the exam as scheduled.

    If you are in China and cannot return to Australia in time to attend your exam as scheduled, alternative arrangements will be made and you will not be penalised for non-attendance.  The University will be in contact with you about these special arrangements.

    The University will support you through this process and will ensure that the alternative arrangements put in place will mean that you will not need to apply separately for Special Consideration.

  • Coping with stress, anxiety or distress about novel coronavirus

    In situations that are uncertain and evolving such as this, you may experience stress, anxiety, or sadness among other emotional reactions. Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) have developed a tipsheet on how to manage feelings of stress or distress about the novel coronavirus. You can also explore other helpful resources on looking after your mental health and wellbeing during this challenging time.

Need further support?

If you require further assistance please submit an enquiry to Stop 1 for advice.