International students

Studying in a different country is exciting, but it can also be a challenging time when you’re not sure how to find the right information. It is important to ask for help if you need it.

We can help you with any questions about living, working or studying during your stay in South Australia. There is also a range of online resources on the StudyAdelaide website.

We provide free independent advice and support, and if we are not the right agency to help you, we will find the correct agency or person who can. Interpreters can be arranged on request.

We can help you understand:

  • the terms and conditions of your agreement, also known as a ‘letter of offer’ or ’enrolment agreement’, which should include:
    • fees
    • course details
    • entry requirements
    • refund policy
  • the National Code under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act)
  • how to find course information on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students
  • how to access your provider's internal complaints handling process or other relevant complaints handling bodies.

We can also provide you with support to understand your rights at work, how to find help with your accommodation or homestay arrangements, how to access support and welfare services, and where to find information about other government services available to international students.

If you believe your training organisation may not have met the terms and conditions of the enrolment agreement or their policies, we encourage you to speak to your provider in the first instance to resolve the issues. These may include:

  • fees and refunds
  • cancellation of enrolment
  • finding suitable work placement as a requirement within the course
  • course or provider transfer.

If you are dissatisfied with the decision made by your training organisation, you can approach student services for support with the complaints and appeals process. Generally, you must go through the organisation’s internal complaints and appeals process before activating an external appeal with the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

You can contact our office for advice about your options or to lodge a complaint.

  • We will review the details of the complaint and supporting evidence regarding the claims and determine whether or not the matter falls within our jurisdiction.
  • We may request additional information from you to assist you with your complaint.
  • We may refer your matter to a more appropriate agency or another responsible jurisdiction.

We will then undertake an initial assessment, where:

  • We will contact to discuss the best course of action to resolve your matter.
  • We may refer you to your training organisation’s internal complaints handling process or other relevant complaints handling bodies.
  • We may seek your signed consent to approach the training organisation to:
    • clarify the issues you have raised and to discuss the available options or
    • negotiate with the organisation on your behalf or
    • mediate between you and the organisation in a matter.

We are not authorised to provide legal advice or overturn a training organisation's decision made according to their enrolment agreement or policies. We can only take action where it falls within our jurisdiction.

On rare occasions, a training organisation will cease to deliver a program before students have completed their study or gained their qualification.

The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) helps international students when their training organisation is unable to deliver their course of study. TPS ensures students are able to either:

  • complete their studies in another course or with another training organisation or
  • receive a refund of their unspent tuition fees.

If you find yourself in this position, please contact us on 1800 006 488.

Living in South Australia

We can help you to access general information and advice about:

  • accommodation
  • support services (including health, safety, family)
  • road safety and transport
  • commercial disputes.

We recommend that you speak to your training organisation for assistance with accommodation and cost of living in Australia.

The following information can assist you to understand your rights and obligations as a tenant:

If you are studying in South Australia and you have questions about how to access health care or education services for your family, these links will be helpful:

As an international student you must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), and choosing the right health insurance provider is important. Make sure you read the terms and conditions before you sign up, and ask for help if you need.

Your safety and other services

Keeping you and your family safe while you are in South Australia is of utmost importance. South Australia Police (SAPOL) provides a range of policing services 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep South Australians safe.

Other South Australian Government services: