SUPPORT SERVICES

Australian education institutions provide a wide range of support services to make your study experience easy and stress-free.

Australia offers many support services for international students. This includes services provided by education providers and student unions, as well as local, state, territory and federal governments.

Education providers

Australian education providers pride themselves on creating a study experience that is welcoming, friendly and supportive for international students. Making friends and having help when it is needed can make a big difference. 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, health and counselling
  • student accommodation
  • employment services
  • prayer and worship rooms
  • banking, shopping and food outlets
  • clubs, societies, and sport and fitness facilities.

Many Australian education institutions are like mini 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 institution for details of all the activities and support it offers.

Student associations

Across the country, there are student associations assisting and representing the needs and interests of students. National associations include:

Most institutions in Australia have their own student associations. Visit your institution’s website for more information. 

Other student services

Disability support

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 institutions 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 institutions 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 institution several weeks before you arrive to make the appropriate arrangements.

Institutions must make every effort to accommodate a student with a disability. However, the institution is not legally required to make modifications if the changes involve major difficulties or incur unreasonable costs. The institution has to prove the changes are unjustified. Before making such a claim, the institution must have direct discussions with the student and seek expert advice.

If you are experiencing a problem with your institution, you should first talk to staff at your institution. If informal discussions do not resolve the problem, you can lodge a formal complaint. Institutions 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 institution, 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 about disability rights in Australia.

Childcare

Australian institutions usually have childcare facilities with trained staff. There are also private and not-for-profit childcare centres around Australia.

The Australian Government provides financial assistance to help parents with childcare costs. International students who receive financial assistance through a government scholarship may be eligible to receive the childcare benefit. Find out if you are eligible for financial assistance with childcare.

https://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/english/live-in-australia/support-services

Coping with stress

Studying full-time can be stressful, particularly towards end of trimester when assignments are due and you have exams to study for. Tips on stress management include:

  • Manage your time effectively – see the time management page for tips;
  • Make sure you allocate enough time to prepare for class and do the homework/tasks assigned after class EVERY WEEK – this is one way to master the subject content and avoid ‘cramming’ at the end of trimester, which is stressful;
  • Make sure you understand the requirements of assignments and exams – check Moodle or ask the lecturer if you do not understand;
  • Try and relax! Make sure you have time each week to socialise with friends and for activities/hobbies you enjoy
  • Look after your health – eat a balanced diet, take some exercise and get enough sleep to ensure you do not become tired or run down.
  • Attend to your finances - plan for your tuition fees each trimester in advance
  • Ensure your studies take first priority - international students are allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight during trimester (this includes the exam weeks). This is a substantial commitment, especially when you have to study 4 subjects each trimester at UBSS (in trimesters 1 and 2) that requires a minimum of 12 hours attendance per week at UBSS PLUS additional reading and preparation time. Remember, your studies are the reason you have a student visa and you are required to make academic progress and maintain a full-time study load as a condition of that visa and your enrolment at UBSS.
  • UBSS can provide additional academic support if you need help or tips with study - this is outlined in the
  • UBSS Academic Progression & Intervention Policy located in the policies section of your GCA account, or you can make an appointment with the Executive Dean who can discuss your needs in detail;
  • UBSS can provide professional external help if you are feeling overwhelmed, a bit down, depressed or homesick – you can approach Student Services in the first instance.
  • Advice and external professional help is available in the UBSS International Students Support Policy located in the Policies section of your MyGCA account.

Time Management

Undertaking higher education study is a serious commitment and requires dedication and time to succeed. You need to read and prepare for each class every week, plan for and meet all the assessment deadlines during the trimester, as well allocate some time for your external commitments to UBSS (such as family, social activities, sport and part-time work). Time management is therefore very important. Tips to manage your time include:

  • Review your subject outline for every subject – keep a diary/schedule of when all assessments are due during the trimester;
    make you read the material BEFORE class to ensure you are prepared for every class;
  • Make you sure you start work on your assessments well in advance of their due date – leaving it to the night before will cause you and others around you great stress.
  • Ensure your studies take first priority - international students are allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight during trimester (this includes the exam weeks). This is a substantial commitment, especially when you have to study 4 subjects each trimester at UBSS (in trimesters 1 and 2) that requires a minimum of 12 hours attendance per week at UBSS PLUS additional reading and preparation time. Remember, your studies are the reason you have a student visa and you are required to make academic progress and maintain a full-time study load as a condition of your visa and your enrolment at UBSS.
  • Keep work commitments to a minimum – 40 hours per fortnight is plenty in addition to full-time study;
  • Ensure that you schedule any part-time work commitments around your UBSS timetable. Your study and availability at UBSS comes first as a full-time student!
  • Ensure you allow a least 6 hours per week outside of class to spend on reading and wiring for each subject at home.