COVID-19 response and resources


Study NSW and the Australian international education sector are working to support the health, wellbeing, and academic success of international students.

A message from Study NSW

This is a challenging time for everyone. We know that some international students are struggling to meet their living expenses. Given the global impact of COVID-19 many families and funding sources from students' home countries have also been impacted.

We also know that some students may wish to return home but at the moment this may not be possible due to restricted flight access or borders closing in other countries.

Study NSW and the Australian international education sector are working hard to support the health, wellbeing, and academic success of international students. A key priority is to ensure that international students have information about the support services that are available to them in Australia – locally and nationally.

Students’ first point of call should be their institution, but there are other service providers that can help as well. These include local and national non-government organisations and community services. Students should also contact their Embassy or local Consular Office to see if help is available there.

Australia’s international education study destination agencies are serving a vital role in supporting international students who are facing hardship at this time. Study destination agencies across Australia are mobilising support, in partnership with Australia’s education provided and other key stakeholders. Immediate support responses have included referring international students to appropriate agencies including welfare, mental health, and emergency relief.

In these past few weeks we have also heard many inspiring stories about international students and their contribution to the communities in which they live, study, and work. During these unprecedented times, we must always remember that we are #InThisTogether.

Our message to students is that they are not alone and the Australian community is here to support them. The safety of all students and the public is the Government’s number one priority.

Australian Government advice

For all official COVID-19 advice and information from the Australian Government:

NSW Government advice

For all official COVID-19 advice and information from the NSW Government:

NSW Government support for international students

The NSW Government funded temporary crisis accommodation for international students as part of a $20 million package protecting the vulnerable and maintaining the State’s track record as a leading global study destination. The package included a temporary housing scheme, targeted at students in genuine need and delivered through approved student accommodation or homestay providers.

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Temporary crisis accommodation for international students

Since June 2020, the NSW Government through Study NSW and Service NSW supported almost 5,500 international students through our $20 million Temporary Crisis Accommodation Scheme. This measure provided a safe home, comfort and support to international students facing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. ​Applications for the scheme closed at 5:00pm, Friday 12 February 2021.

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Accommodation partners

Foodbank hampers for international students

The NSW Government is working with Foodbank NSW & ACT to provide thousands of emergency food hampers to international students across the State including regional locations like Armidale, Lismore and Wagga Wagga.

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My Legal Mate App

To ensure international students understand their legal rights and can help protect themselves during COVID-19, the NSW Government has made 50,000 downloads of multilingual app My Legal Mate available for free for international students who are either currently enrolled to study in NSW, or who have recently graduated.

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International Student Welfare Services Hub

Study NSW has prepared an International Student Welfare Services Hub to connect international students with support services across NSW during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hub contains information on accommodation and housing, emergency food relief, mental health, legal advice and more.

Support for education providers and businesses

NSW Government has information for business and workers including support and financial relief, COVID safe workplaces, personalised business support and grants and loans. NSW education providers and businesses are encouraged to explore support services available during COVID-19.

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NSW Health COVID-19 resources

NSW Health has prepared a series of COVID-19 print and web resources including translated fact sheets and brochures, hygiene and hashwashing information, COVID-19 symptoms, protection and physical distancing, LGBTQ people, videos and digital graphics.

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Support from NSW universities and education providers

NSW universities and education providers have created dedicated emergency funds designed to alleviate hardship, established dedicated communication portals, increased support for mental health and wellbeing, accommodation respite, academic flexibility and student success during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Share your #InThisTogether message

Study NSW wants to let our students and education providers know they are not alone. We are all in this together and Study NSW is here to support you. To assist us in spreading the word, get on board and share a video or picture of support for impacted international students, in Australia and abroad, on social media using the hashtag – #InThisTogether.

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