Find out how COVID-19 may affect your studies.
Last updated: 11.35am, 23 September 2020
Visit our COVID-19 student visa FAQs for the latest advice about how your student visa may be affected.
If you are an international student waiting to travel to Australia to commence or resume your studies, note that it is not currently possible for non-Australian citizens to travel to Australia. We continue to follow the advice of the Victorian and Australian Governments regarding travel restrictions into and out of Australia. We will communicate with you as soon as we know more about the possibility of travel to Australia to commence or resume your studies.
If you are an international student currently in Australia, and you wish to return to your home country, you can continue your studies remotely. You need to stay enrolled to maintain a current CoE. If you choose to return home to study, you must ensure you are able to actively participate in required learning activities, noting this may include classes scheduled at AEST times which require virtual attendance. Read more about the different online class types and their participation requirements.
International students who wish to return home and take a leave of absence can apply to do so under compassionate and compelling reasons.
You should be aware of any possible restrictions or risks with returning to home countries, as well as the Australian Government’s travel advice and restrictions, which may prevent you from returning to Australia. We will continue to monitor this situation and how it might impact students’ ongoing enrolment. For any visa enquiries, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs.
Reducing your study load
International students are normally required to enrol in at least 50 points in each half-year period. You may reduce your study load if you have compassionate or compelling circumstances. As COVID-19 has affected some students’ ability to study full-time, international students are not required to enrol in a full study load for Second Half Year 2020.
If you have reduced your study load in Second Half Year 2020, you will be able to request an extended Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) if you are unable to complete your course by your current CoE end date and need to renew your student visa.
If you need help planning your enrolment and with your course plan, book a course planning appointment.
Accessing health and wellbeing services from overseas
International students in Australia
Your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) will cover equivalent health care to the Medicare Benefits Scheme. This means that you can access a doctor (General Practitioner, or GP) and seek a referral for pathology, psychology, psychiatry or a mental health nurse through the University Health Service without incurring any out of pocket expenses if using BUPA, the UoM preferred OSHC provider. BUPA, Medicare and Allianz all direct bill for consultations you receive. For specific questions about what your insurance will cover, please contact your insurance company. For advice on what health and wellbeing services are available to you, contact the University Health Service. You can continue to access regular GP appointments via telehealth (by phone).
Even for those who do not have adequate insurance coverage, Victorian hospitals will waive the costs of treatment associated with COVID-19. This includes waiving payment and debt recovery procedures for ambulance transfers of people suspected to have COVID-19, who are taken to Victorian hospitals for assessment. These arrangements have been put in place to ensure payment issues are not a barrier for people from overseas with COVID-19 symptoms seeking early medical advice.
Students outside Australia (domestic and international)
If you are outside Australia, there may be some limitations on what services our health practitioners can legally provide via telehealth. You should access your local medical system for practical health support.
However, if you need mental health support, please book an appointment with our Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for advice on supports that are available and that you can be linked into. There are also plenty of student workshops and sessions that you can participate in which can support you with some of the problems you might be experiencing.
For information on OSHC refunds for periods of study not completed in Australia, check our student visa FAQs.
International Student Emergency Support Fund
On 29 April 2020, the Victorian Government announced a $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund for eligible international students facing financial hardship across Victoria, including students enrolled at the University of Melbourne.
In partnership with the Victorian Government, the University of Melbourne continues to distribute the International Student Emergency Relief Fund for international students facing financial hardship through the University's COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund. Find out more and apply.