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Coronavirus: important updates for IDP students

As you will be aware, Australia has introduced health and safety measures and travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

We understand this may be confusing if you're commencing your studies, so read the below information to find out if you are impacted by the changes, and where you can go for support.

Will I be impacted?

Information about Coronavirus is updated regularly, so it's important to keep up to date with the latest news from Australia.

If you have travelled from mainland China or have had recent contact with someone from Hubei province, then you will likely be impacted by the recent changes.

For any students who have booked flights from China to Australia, or if you're travelling to China, your flight arrangement might be impacted by travel restrictions. It's important to check your airline’s website or contact the airline directly for any changes to your flight.

Visit the World Health Organization: WHO website for information on protecting yourself from Coronavirus.

Students travelling from China to Australia

As of 1 February 2020, the Australian Government has put in place travel restrictions for anyone arriving from any part of mainland China, with the exceptions of Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members.

The travel restrictions are a temporary measure but will be reviewed after 14 February 2020. For the latest news on Australia’s travel restrictions, visit the Department of Home Affairs website. You can view and download up-to-date information for all types of visa holders in English or Chinese (simplified).

If you have flight arrangements in place, your plans may be affected by the travel restrictions. Many major airlines are cancelling or restricting flights to and from China. It's important to check your airline’s website or contact the airline directly for any changes to your flight.

For the latest information about the Coronavirus in Australia, visit these websites:

Study in Australia

Australian Government Department of Health

Will this impact my university start date?

If you're enrolled to start in Semester 1 2020 and unable to enter Australia due to the travel restrictions, you'll need to get in touch with your university or school as soon as possible as you are most likely required to complete your enrolment, even if you're not able to enter Australia.

Many Australian universities have delayed their semester start dates or have put in place changes to assist international students who have been impacted by the recent travel ban.

We recommend you contact your university or school as soon as possible to discuss your possible study options or deferring your studies to start at a later date. 

If you would like more information or support, contact your IDP Counsellor or local IDP office.

You can check out the following websites for current advice and information that may assist you:

Curtin University

Federation University

Flinders University

Go8 Universities

Griffith University

La Trobe University

Macquarie University

Monash University

Queensland University of Technology


Swinburne University

The Australian National University

The University of Adelaide

The University of Queensland

The University of Western Australia

University of Melbourne 

University of South Australia

University of Sydney

University of Technology Sydney

University of Wollongong


Victoria University

Western Sydney University

Changes to student accommodation

If you're travelling to Australia or have recently arrived in Australia from mainland China, then it is vital you check in with your student accommodation provider prior to your arrival.

Some student accommodation providers may require you to provide additional information or may change or delay your accommodation arrangements if you are deemed at-risk of the Coronavirus.

International students in Australia

If you are an international student who has returned from mainland China from 1 February 2020, or if you've travelled from Hubai province in the last 14 days, then you're required  by the Australian Department of Health to self-isolate for 14 days (2 weeks).

Self-isolating means you're required to stay in your local accommodation. You're required to avoid going out into public spaces such as restaurants, supermarkets, workplaces, universities and any other public places that you will come into contact with people. You're also required to avoid receiving visitors into your home or local accommodation.

If you're starting your studies during the time you're required to self-isolate, contact your school or university to discuss your study options. Many universities have put in place measures to assist students who are required to self-isolate, such as delayed semester starts or online study options.

If you, or any friends and family start showing flu-like symptoms such as a cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath, it is important to contact your local doctor. Please make sure you call before you visit and explain your symptoms and travel history to ensure they are prepared to receive you.

If you require immediate and urgent medical attention, you can call 000. Any ambulance and hospital fees will be covered by your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

These measures are put in place to limit the possibility of spreading the Coronavirus to the general population.

Where can I go for support?

The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus presents an emotionally challenging situation for many international students. The spread of the virus may be causing you or your friends and family distress or anxiety, especially if you have loved ones in affected areas or have not been able to return home or to Australia because of the recent travel restrictions. 

The Australian Government have created a dedicated and multi-lingual support service for international students. You can contact them via email or phone 1300 981 621 (8am–8pm AEDST Monday to Friday). 

You can also visit the Australian Government Department of Education website to download the latest information, guides and FAQs for up-to-date general health and enrolment advice, where to access support services, and news on the latest immigration and border protection measures:

Support for International Students affected by the Novel Coronavirus

Novel Coronavirus FAQ for International Students

If you would like more information or support, contact your IDP Counsellor or local IDP office.

International students in other countries

For the latest information about how other countries are responding to the Coronavirus, visit the country’s government websites.

United Kingdom: National Health Service

New Zealand: Safetravel New Zealand

Canada: Government of Canada

United States: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Ireland: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Changes to IELTS testing

There are currently changes being made to IELTS testing. Visit the IELTS website to find out if the changes will affect you.

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