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International students in Australia: What to do if you get COVID-19 and where find other forms of support

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With Omicron cases rising in Australia, what can international students do if they get COVID-19? Students don't have to suffer alone -- there are plenty of student support available in the country. Source: Saeed Khan/AFP

COVID-19 continues to ravage countries worldwide, and leading study abroad destinations such as Australia aren’t spared. According to reports, the total number of cases in the country have already breached more than one million. So, what can students do if they contract COVID-19? Luckily, international students in Australia can access many forms of student support — be it financial or emotional help — from universities to the government.

If you or anyone you know is struggling to keep with basic needs, use this list of student support services or programmes that could help you out:

international students in Australia

For the general community of international students in Australia, the Salvation Army and the Australian Red Cross offers help without discrimination. Source: William West/AFP

International students in Australia can receive support from NGOs and NPOs

COVID-19 can present international students in Australia with a plethora of challenges, but students can reach out to various organisations, including non-profit organisations, for student support. Here is a non-exhaustive list for your reference:

Some universities might offer free counselling and emotional support services — be sure to check your institution’s website for details. Source: Australian National University/Facebook

Student support from Australian universities

As an international student in Australia, one of the top few places to look to for help or support can be your university. Some may offer counselling services and COVID-19 student support funds, among others.

The University of Melbourne, for instance, offers Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS), or free, confidential, short-term professional counselling to currently enrolled students and staff, as well as a range of workshops, mental health training and helpful resources.

Monash University notes that their counsellors are offering telehealth (video or phone) consultations. Monash students can enjoy a free appointment.

For state-specific student support, read about help for international students in Australia, listed by state.

Various forms of student support are available for international students in Australia, if you know where to look. Source: Nhac Nguyen/AFP

Government assistance

International students in Australia can also access a multi-lingual international student support service. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) lists a variety of COVID-19 information for international students here.

If you’ve been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency, you can email international.students@dese.gov.au or contact them via phone at (+61) 1300 981 621 from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. AEDST Monday to Friday, except for public holidays.

If you or any friends and family are starting to show flu-like symptoms such as a cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath, it is important to contact your local doctor. You can also monitor your symptoms using the Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptom checker. 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).