Support Services

There are many support services available for international students

This includes services provided directly by education institutions as well as those provided by a range of government agencies and non-government organisations.

Free legal advice: Redfern Legal Centre

Redfern Legal Centre provides free, confidential legal advice to international students living in New South Wales.

International students in NSW can get advice about housing problems, fines, debts, car accidents, employment, discrimination, family law, domestic violence, and complaints about colleges or universities. The Centre can also advise how these problems affect student visas.

Visit the Redfern Legal Centre website to find out more about their free legal advice service for international students.

Redfern Legal Centre have made a film to highlight the legal problems many international students face when studying in Australia. International students are away from their usual support networks and many have a lack of understanding of Australian laws. Watch the film now!

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To access the service:

  • Call (02) 9698 7645. Advice is by appointment on a Wednesday evening, either in person, by phone or using video-link up.
  • To call using a free telephone interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.
  • Please note that Redfern Legal Centre can make arrangements to advise students living anywhere in NSW.

Counselling and support services

There are a number of government and non-government providers of free counselling, crisis support, suicide prevention, relationship support, domestic violence and mental health services. You can express to remain anonymous when accessing these services. Many of these services can be accessed over the phone, through web chat, email, online forums and various information resources.

In an emergency, such as a life threatening situation, car crash or fire, call 000 (triple zero).

Lifeline

Call 13 11 14  to access 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Visit the Lifeline website to find out more. 

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Call 1300 22 4636 to get 24 hour support for mental health issues including anxiety, depression and suicide. You can also get support through web chat, email and an online forum on the beyondblue website.

Kids Helpline

Call 1800 551 800 if you would like to talk about feelings you have about your studies and personal relationships. This service is targeted at people aged between 5 and 25 years. Visit the Kids Helpline website to find out more. 

Multicultural Problem Gambling Service for NSW

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The Multicultural Problem Gambling Service (MPGS) for NSW provides free, confidential, and accessible counselling for international students and others affected by gambling.  MPGS also provides in-language training workshops and presentations to interested groups (e.g. communities and service providers) on problem gambling and other issues that can impact families (e.g. mental health, relationships).

To find out more information about MPGS and its free services that are provided in different languages, please call 1800 856 800 or visit the Multicultural Problem Gambling Service website

Institution support services

Education institutions provide specialist services to support international students studying and living in New South Wales. Services can include:

  • International student advisers
  • Language support
  • Academic support
  • Scholarships and financial support
  • Student accommodation
  • Arrival and orientation programs
  • Employment and careers services
  • Health, wellbeing and counselling services
  • Safety and security advice
  • Childcare
  • Disability services
  • Chaplains and multi-faith services
  • Student associations
  • Sport and fitness facilities.

To find out full details of what your institution provides please contact them directly or visit their website.

Study in Australia

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Study in Australia is the official Australian Government website for international students. On this website you can search for courses, institutions and scholarships and read about studying and living in Australia. The website also provides links to information about additional support services available to international students studying in Australia.

The Australian Government wants international students to have a rewarding and enjoyable experience when they come to Australia to study. Australia offers high quality education services and protects the rights of international students to ensure you make the most of your time here.

Download a fact sheet to read important information for student visa holders about living and studying in Australia, including your consumer rights and responsibilities as an international student and key things you should know before and during your study.

Visit the Study in Australia website to find out about additional support services for international students.

NSW Fair Trading

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NSW Fair Trading is the state government agency that resolves disputes between consumers and businesses on issues such as shopping, refunds, renting, cars, buying and selling property, home building, product safety, scams and more. This information aims to help you understand your consumer rights and responsibilities in NSW.

Visit the NSW Fair Trading website to find out more.

Overseas Students Ombudsman

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The Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO) investigates complaints about problems that intending, current or former overseas students have with private schools, colleges and universities (education providers) in Australia.

The Ombudsman's services are free, independent and impartial. If you want to make a complaint in your language call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450.

Visit the Overseas Student Ombudsman website to find out more.

NSW Ombudsman

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The NSW Ombudsman is an independent and impartial watchdog.

The NSW Ombudsman can investigate complaints about NSW government agencies, including public universities, TAFE colleges and public schools.

For more information on the role of the Ombudsman, visit their website at https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/

Council of International Students Australia

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The Council of International Students Australia (CISA) is the national peak student representative body for international students studying at the postgraduate, undergraduate, private college, TAFE, ELICOS and foundation level. Visit the CISA website to find out more.