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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Latest updates for international students in Australia

Australia has declared ‘human biosecurity emergency’ to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the government issues new instructions and advice to the residents of the country almost every day. 

We at AECC Global, would like to help and guide all international students studying in Australia during this period. As a part of our efforts, we are compiling all the useful latest updates for students from the government of Australia and the top universities. We intend to keep it updated at regular intervals for your reference. 

If you are an international student studying in Australia or about to start your studies, keep checking this space out for the latest COVID19 updates. 

Latest developments: 

The government has already announced two instalments of the coronavirus stimulus package to rescue people from the economic impact of the pandemic. As a part of this package, 236,000 students in Australia get a $550 allowance fortnight on top of the $460 they have been receiving as student allowance, Abstudy and Austudy allowances. 

All the visa holders in the country are advised to apply for a new visa or a bridging visa if their current visa is nearing its expiry. They can apply for a waiver of ‘No further stay’ conditions if they fulfil the prescribed eligibility criteria.

The state governments have now restricted inter-state travel. From March 26, anyone who travels to Queensland and Western Australia should quarantine themselves for 14 days. These conditions apply even to Australian nationals. Similarly, each state has come up with their entry conditions. You could check out their websites. (Find URLs in one of the following sections). 

International Travel restrictions:

Australia has imposed its highest level travel warning- level 4 travel ban for an indefinite period.  

As of March 25, 2020, 

  • Australian nationals are banned from overseas travel, with a few exemptions.  
  • Only Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family members can enter Australia.
  • All travellers need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the day they enter Australia.

There is no restriction on taking domestic flights for travellers to go to their local residence for self-isolation. 

Australian Universities’ response to COVID-19

Universities in Australia are actively supporting international students by enabling online learning, relaxing the first-semester calendar, making additional courses available in the later semesters and establishing student helplines. Some universities are offering financial assistance to reduce the burden caused by the travel ban. 

Here are some of the latest updates from the top universities in Australia in response to the current situation. 

The University of Sydney

The university library was closed for students on March 26 following the instructions of the government. From March 23, there has been no classroom teaching on the campus. Teaching and learning for all its 800 courses are entirely shifted to online-only mode. 

Macquarie University

No online or offline teaching until March 30, 2020, as the university is shifting to online teaching mode. The break which was earlier scheduled between April 13 to April 26 is now cancelled. The graduation ceremonies that would typically take place in April are also now cancelled. 

The Australian National University

The university has paused teaching for a week from March 23, 2020. Classes will again resume on March 30 and the semester will be extended by a week to compensate for this break. International students who are affected by the ban on travel from mainland China can seek reimbursement up to AUD 5000. 

Western Sydney University 

For the students affected by the travel ban from China, the university offers AUD1500 as a one-off subsidy on the expenses and also now working on moving courses online for remote learning. 

Swinburne University of Technology

No classroom teaching from March 23. All the scheduled events stand cancelled with no new dates announced.

RMIT university 

All lectures are conducted only online starting from March 23, 2020, and it will continue to be the same until April 14, 2020. 

The University of Melbourne 

The university has announced grants to help students offset the extra expenses due to the travel ban. Based on the nature of the case, a student can claim up to AUD7500. Most of the courses here have been shifted to online mode. 

Victoria university 

All classes and on-campus events between March 23 to March 27 have been suspended. 

Deakin University

The university has given the option for international students to enrol in fewer units than usual. All the courses are available online and can be studied remotely. 

Queensland University of Technology 

Chinese students can choose to study online or defer the start date to a later semester if the travel ban impacts them.

Monash University

The first semester has been made flexible for international students, with some units being accessible online. Plans will be laid out for students so that they can catch up with the regular batch and ensure no delay in graduation will happen due to this delay. 

 The top priority of universities now is student and staff safety and to ensure it, they are working on infrastructure to create seamless online teaching and learning experience. They have dedicated pages live on their websites to communicate timely updates. Check them out from time to time for official announcements. 

Here are the links to the websites of other major universities in Australia. 

The Australian National UniversityMonash UniversityRMIT UniversityCharles Sturt University
Central Queensland UniversityUniversity of CanberraUniversity of Technology SydneyEdith Cowan University
Curtin UniversityVictoria UniversityAustralian Catholic UniversityMacquarie University
Charles Darwin UniversityDeakin UniversityFlinders UniversitySwinburne University of Technology
The University of NewcastleUniversity of South AustraliaThe University of Western AustraliaThe University of Adelaide
Charles Sturt UniversityEdith Cowan UniversityMacquarie UniversityUniversity of New South Wales
Swinburne University of TechnologyThe University of AdelaideUniversity of New South WalesThe University of Queensland
The University of QueenslandUniversity of TasmaniaWestern Sydney UniversityUniversity of Tasmania

 

AECC Global cares

AECC Global stands in solidarity with the countries and people that are fighting the pandemic now. Like any other day, our consultants around the world are on their feet to help international students. Our services are open as usual. 

For the safety of students and our staff members, we strongly recommend you to connect with us over phone calls and digital platforms. Feel free to seek any assistance you need from us. Our consultants are well-equipped to provide support to students as smoothly as it happens in face to face meetings. 

You could reach us on: 

Phone: 0452 295 909 Email: [email protected]                                            

Emergency contacts for International Students in Australia 

Emergency telephone number: 000

COVID-19 24×7 National emergency helpline: 1800 020 080

Home Affairs Global Service Centre:

+61 131 881 available between 9 am and 5 pm on all business days

 Study in Australia helpline:

To seek information and assistance on the status of your enrolment, fees and other related issues, contact your institution first. In case if the institution is not able to help, you could contact Study-in-Australia’s student support.

  •  Phone: (+61) 1300 981 621 from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday AEDT, except public holidays.   
  • Email: [email protected] 

 Mental well-being helpline for international students: 

  • Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14
  • Youth Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
  • headspace – 1800 650 890 
  • Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800

COVID -19 Helpline state-wise:

  • New South wales – 1800 022 222 
  • Victoria – 1800 675 398
  • Tasmania – 1800 671 738  
  • ACT – 1800 022 222 
  • Queensland – 13 43 25 84
  • South Australia – 1800 020 080 
  • Western Australia – 1800 020 080
  • Northern Territory – 1800 020 080

Important websites to follow for reliable updates on COVID-19:

Department of Home Affairs

Department of Health  

Study in Australia 

World Health Organization 

Guide to safety:

Follow these dedicated pages from the WHO and the Government of Australia to learn the necessary precautions against COVID-19.

COVID-19 Basic preventive measures

COVID-19 symptom checker

COVID-19 isolation guidance 

COVID-19 Public transport guide 

Let us stay optimistic that the current situation is only temporary, and things will return to normal quickly. Improve your physical and mental health in this period by eating right, exercising indoors and spending time happily by doing something you enjoy. 

Follow the safety instructions properly and protect yourself. Avoid panic buying and discourage your friends from doing so. 

Be assured that Australia is not running short of any commodity. Step out of home only if necessary and avoid public transport as much as possible. 

Reiterating the importance of washing hands and social distancing might sound like an overkill. But remember, you are doing it not only for your safety, but for that of others as well. This way, we will overcome this together and quicker.

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