Health and support services in Australia
If you need help, just ask
Moving to a new country isn’t always easy. If you find yourself struggling to adjust, or feel someone has treated your unfairly, support services are available.
A great first stop is an IDP student services office, which you can visit in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. You can get assistance with planning further studies in Australia, making an IELTS booking, as well as visa and immigration advice.
You could also seek help from:
Institution support services
Provides specialist services to help international students like you adjust to life and study in Australia. Services include language and academic support, student accommodation, employment services and designated international student advisers.
Your education institution will likely have its own student association, which can help you make the most of your time studying and living in Australia. You can also contact national student associations like the Council of International Students Australia or Australian Federation of International Students..
Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO)
A free, independent and impartial service that helps you with complaints against private education and training institutions in Australia.
If you need to lodge a complaint against a public institution, you should contact the Ombudsman in the state or territory you are studying in.
Tuition Protection Service (TPS)
Protects you in the unlikely event your education institution is unable to deliver a course you have paid for.
If you have a disability or chronic medical condition, you should contact your education institution a couple of weeks before you arrive to discuss any special arrangements that may need to be made. If you are unhappy with the support you receive, you should discuss this with your education institution first. If you’re still unhappy, you can approach the Australian Human Rights Commission for help.
Your education institution may offer childcare facilities, or you can choose from a range of private or not-for-profit childcare centres. If you are on a government scholarship, you might be eligible for a child care benefit.
Your rights are protected under Australian Consumer Law when buying goods and services.
Staying healthy while you study
You might also find yourself in need of medical support while in Australia.
If you are in a life-threatening emergency, call 000. It’s a free call, and connects you to police, fire and ambulance services.
For general medical support, make an appointment with a local doctor. Your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) will generally cover 100% of the costs for treatment at a doctor’s surgery or at home by a General Practitioner (GP).
Your GP may refer you to a specialist doctor such as a cardiologist or dermatologist. These services can be expensive, and only some may be covered by your OSHC plan.
You don’t need a referral to see a dentist – you can make an appointment directly yourself. Your OSHC plan does not cover dentist fees.