Visit the Australian Government's Study Assist website for more HELP information.
OS-HELP is a Commonwealth Government loan scheme to assist eligible undergraduate and postgraduate, Commonwealth supported students to undertake part of their course of study overseas.
University of Adelaide students can use the scheme to study full time overseas, and have that study count towards their University of Adelaide degree. For more information on exchange, please visit our Study Abroad and Exchange page (Domestic).
Eligible students can receive two OS-HELP loans over their lifetime. Each loan relates to a given six month period. You can receive OS-HELP for overseas study periods of less than six months but you cannot receive an OS-HELP loan more than once in a given six month period. Your six month period is taken to commence on the first day that you commence your overseas study and end six months from the commencement date
OS-HELP provides financial assistance to eligible Commonwealth Supported students to undertake part of their course of study overseas. OS-HELP may be used to cover expenses associated with the overseas study, such as airfares, accommodation and other travel or settling expenses. Eligible students may also receive a supplementary amount to undertake language study in preparation for overseas study in Asia.
In 2019, the maximum you can borrow for a six-month study period is:
- $6,791 (if you will not be studying in Asia); or
- $8,149 if you will be studying in an approved Asian country
- a supplementary loan amount of up to $1,085 to assist with the cost of language study, undertaken in preparation for overseas study in Asia.
Commonwealth Government Requirements
You are eligible for an OS-HELP loan if you meet ALL of the below criteria:
- Be an Australian citizen OR Permanent Humanitarian Visa holder (check The Department of Home Affairs website for the list of humanitarian visa subclasses) OR an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holder (see Note 1);
- Be enrolled in a course of study as a Commonwealth supported student (i.e. studying in a CSP); have already completed, as a Commonwealth supported student, units to the value of at least one EFTSL (usually one year of full-time study) in Australia that count towards the course you are enrolled in;
- Be undertaking full-time study overseas; have your overseas study count towards the course requirements for the Australian program you are enrolled in; and on return from overseas study, you must have units to the value of at least 0.125 EFTSL (usually one course of study) to complete in Australia the program you are enrolled in;
- Meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements by giving your provider your TFN (or a completed Certificate of application for a TFN form). Importantly, you must ensure that your TFN, and all your personal details (names, date of birth and addresses) provided to the University match exactly with your records with the ATO, otherwise you will not be eligible to access HELP.
- Have been selected by the University to receive an OS-HELP loan for a six-month period;
- Have lodged a completed OS-HELP Debt confirmation form with your provider;
- Have not received more than one previous OS-HELP Loan
- Will not receive a second OS-HELP loan for the same six month period; and
- Have not completed your overseas study before applying for the OS-HELP Loan
To be eligible for a supplementary amount for Asian language study (up to $1,050) in relation to a six-month period you must:
- Have been selected for OS-HELP assistance for overseas study in Asia for that six-month period;
- Be undertaking approved language study in preparation for undertaking that overseas study;
- Have indicated on your OS-HELP debt confirmation form that you would like to receive a supplementary amount for Asian language study;
- Have been selected by the University to receive a supplementary amount for Asian language study; and
- Have not yet completed the Asian language study before applying for the supplementary amount.
Note 1: From 1 January 2016, if you hold a New Zealand Special Category Visa, you may be eligible for an OS-HELP loan, providing you meet all of the following criteria:
- you first entered Australia as a dependent child under 18 years of age and at that time you did not have a spouse or de factor partner; and
- you meet the residency requirements:
- first started to be generally living and resident in Australia at least 10 years before the test day*; and
- have been in Australia for at least:
> a total of 8 out of the past 10 years immediately before the test day*; and
> a total of 18 months out of the past two years immediately before the test day*,
- you are otherwise eligible for OS-HELP (the full eligibility criteria is available from the OS-HELP Statement of terms and conditions booklet).
* 'Test day' means the first date you successfully applied for an OS-HELP loan as an eligible New Zealand Special Category Visa holder for a unit that formed part of the same course of study. If you have not previously successfully applied for an OS-HELP loan for a unit that forms part of your course of study then the 'test day' is the date you submit the OS-HELP debt confirmation form.
University of Adelaide Requirements
In addition to these requirements, students planning to study overseas on a student exchange must meet the University’s criteria for its Study Overseas student exchange program, as set out on the Study Overseas website, and be selected for that program. Students studying overseas under other arrangements will need to meet the entry requirements of the overseas institution.
For information on applying for OS-HELP, please visit the Study Overseas website for full details.
If your OS-HELP loan is approved, payment will be made into your nominated bank account shortly thereafter (approximately 3 weeks from approval date).
You are deemed to have incurred an OS-HELP debt on the day that you receive your loan.
The University will not finalise the payment of your loan until it receives confirmation that you have been accepted into the overseas institution.
Before you are Paid
If Student Finance have authorised the payment of your OS-HELP loan and become aware that your circumstances have changed and you no longer meet the eligibility criteria for the loan or you will no longer be undertaking your overseas study, then the University will withdraw your loan application.
If it is determined that you have provided false or misleading information in respect of your OS-HELP application before you are paid, the University will withdraw your loan approval and notify the Department of Education immediately.
After you have been Paid
If you have been paid your OS-HELP loan and your circumstances change and you no longer meet the eligibility criteria or you will no longer be undertaking your overseas study, then the debt has already been incurred and you can only repay your OS-HELP loan through the Australian Tax Office (ATO ).
If it is determined that you have provided false or misleading information after your OS-HELP application is approved and after you are paid, the University must notify the Department of Education immediately.
Commonwealth Assistance Notice
Within 28 days of receiving your OS-HELP loan, the University will send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN).
- the Australian Taxation system when your repayment income exceeds the minimum repayment threshold
- voluntary repayments direct to the ATO .
Further information is available on the Commonwealth Government’s Study Assist website.
Students may raise grievances about OS-HELP decisions by initially contacting Study Overseas and/or in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Process.