COVID-19 support for international students
20 Dec 2020
In this battle against COVID-19, it’s not easy to keep ourselves safe, healthy, and financially secure. The Australian Government has worked with various organisations and institutes to offer support for international students and workers in Australia. Here is some information and a list of resources we have compiled for you:
Financial Support for International Students
Many organisations have dedicated resources to support international students amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Support ranges from fee deferrals, superannuation for students, food/accommodation support and mental health or medical support. View the complete article and check to see if you’re eligible to receive financial support here.
Visa and Travel
As of March 19 2020, the Australian Government announced a complete travel ban for all non-residents and non-citizens of Australia. However, by May 7 2020, the Australian Government has announced plans to relax restrictions and move towards COVIDSafe Australia in July 2020. Current and soon-to-be international students are advised to stay updated on travel restrictions and requirements. Review this site for complete and updated information.
FutureLearn for Students
Learn and develop new skills during the global pandemic to boost your employability and to improve your career prospects. The Australian Trade and Investment Commission has partnered with FutureLearn to provide free online courses for students.
Social media are great tools to disseminate information quickly and cheaply. Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely filter out rumors and misinformation from circulating online. Make sure you’re updated and well-informed on facts regarding COVID-19 by visiting the Australian Government page.
Be cautious of scams! Opportunistic scammers take advantage of fears and uncertainties during this pandemic to bank a profit. The types of scam can vary from impersonating government agencies to university bodies. Some examples of scams targeting students include:
- Financial support offers (e.g. fake tax refunds, tuition fee relief, etc.)
- Fake employment agencies offering virtual programs/internships
- University or government official impersonators asking for a payment (e.g. tuition fee or fine)
- Fake non-profit or student societies asking for donation
- Fake accommodation companies asking students for rent payments
Most of these will require you to pay a fee upfront, such as a registration fee or a transfer fee. Stay vigilant and alert. See more details here.
COVID-19 Symptoms Checker
It can be difficult to determine whether you need medical help when you are feeling unwell, after all, you don’t want to leave your house with a common fever only to risk infection. With the Australian Government’s online symptoms checker tool, you answer a series of questions to ascertain whether you need medical help or not. Access the symptoms checker.
Most if not all of us have taken our activities online, be it online classes or work-from-home. As such, malicious cybercriminals have more opportunities to make their moves. Therefore it is important to exercise utmost caution and upgrade your systems’ security. Use strong and unique passwords, implement multi-factor authentication, consider using VPN, update your software and operating systems, and so on. Review the complete article here.
Health and Wellbeing
Keeping yourself healthy physically and mentally is more challenging during this trying time. The Australian Government have compiled resources to help you cope, supported by various public and private organisations.
State and Territory Border Closures
If you need to travel across Australia, ensure that you plan your travel well by staying updated on each states and territories’ border closure policies. Different states and territories may permit certain travel and require specific documents to be prepared beforehand. Check this link for complete information on the states/territories travel restrictions.
The COVIDSafe app determines whether you have been near other COVIDSafe users using Bluetooth® signals. This will allow State and Territory officials to track users that have been in close contact with others who have tested positive for the virus. Help Australia fight COVID-19 by downloading the COVIDSafe app in the Apple App Store or Google Play. More info, please see here.
Racism has no place in Australia. It is against the law to do something in public based on color, race, nationality, or ethnic origin. If you witness or experience harassment or discrimination, report it to the police or file a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission. More info can also be found here.