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International Student Support Package (ISSP)

The South Australian Government has demonstrated its commitment to our international student community with a $13.8 million International Student Support Package (ISSP). The ISSP is designed to support international students currently residing in South Australia and facing financial hardship.

A second round of financial grants is now available for students still experiencing financial hardship.

This financial support is accessed differently depending on the provider you study with in South Australia.

  • For students studying or packaged to a public university (Flinders University, University of Adelaide and University of South Australia) please contact your institution for support.
  • For international students (excluding school students) studying with other providers and experiencing financial hardship, you can now apply for a second $500 emergency cash grant. The total value of funds you can receive across two grants is $1,000.
    Many students received $500 earlier in the year, so this second grant will be $500 in value. If your first successful application is after the 10 November 2020 you will receive both $500 emergency cash grants in the one payment (ie total of $1000).

Apply for the $500 emergency cash grant through this link.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to start a new application for the second emergency cash grant?

Yes, to receive the second $500 emergency cash grant you will need to complete a new application. You can access the application form here.

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Am I eligible for the $500 emergency cash grant as part of the ISSP?

The $500 emergency cash grant is for international students who are experiencing financial hardship and meet the following criteria:

  • An international student enrolled to study with an education provider that has a South Australian campus
  • Resides in South Australia and is currently onshore in South Australia
  • Can be described as a;
    • Higher education student with one of South Australia’s private higher education institutions/private universities
    • Vocational Education and Training (VET) student (excluding students on packaged programs with one of South Australia’s three public Universities*)
    • English language student (excluding students on packaged programs with one of South Australia’s three public Universities*)
    • Pathway student (excluding students on packaged programs with one of South Australia’s three public Universities*)

If you meet this criteria, and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are welcome to apply.

* South Australia’s public universities are Flinders University, The University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia.

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How do I apply for the $500 emergency cash grant?

If you believe you meet the criteria to apply for the $500 emergency cash grant, you can start the application process here.

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I’m a student at a public university, can I apply?

You will need to apply for any support through your institution, not through the SA Government website. Further information regarding support from each university can be found at the following links:

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Who can I contact for more information on the status of my application?

If you are needing an update on the status of your application please email [email protected].

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I need help urgently, are there other organisation’s I can ask for support while I wait for my application to be assessed?

If you are needing immediate support for food and essentials, please contact your provider in the first instance as they may have support they can provide.

In 2020, StudyAdelaide has worked closely with community and charity groups in South Australia who understand the situation many international students are experiencing, and are able to help. View our section on Financial and Emergency Assistance for more information.

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How will I know if my application has been successful?

Applicants will be notified of the decision via email. If you are successful, funds will be directly credited into your bank account. You will be asked to provide your bank details during the application process.

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Can I apply for the second round if I was unsuccessful with my first application?

Yes, you are welcome to apply for the grant, as your situation may have changed.

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I have been unsuccessful in my application, what are the other options for support?

If you are unsuccessful in your application please contact your provider. They can then assist you to either appeal the decision or access other support.

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How long do applications take to process?

Your application will be processed as soon as possible. You will receive an email notification once your application has been assessed.

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When do applications close?

You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will close on 28 February 2021.

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What is a packaged pathway program?

A packaged pathway is a program studied at one institution that upon successful completion guarantees you entry into a higher level program at the same or a different institution.

For example a student can be on a packaged pathway with an English Language program and a University. When the student successfully completes the English Language program they are accepted into the University program

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I am an international high school student, can I apply?

International high school students are not able to apply for the $500 emergency cash grant.

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How do I prove that I am experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19?

Financial hardship occurs when you no longer have enough income to support your expenses such as rent, utilities and food. This may be for a number of reasons including loss of employment, reduced shifts or lack of ongoing family support. To demonstrate that you are experiencing financial hardship you will need to provide bank statements. The application process will guide you through the requirements.

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I haven’t been employed before, can I still apply?

Yes, if you meet the eligibility criteria and your financial situation has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, then you can apply for the $500 emergency cash grant.

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My family can no longer financially support me, can I apply for the cash grant?

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria and can prove you are experiencing financial hardship.

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I moved back to my home country when the pandemic started, can I apply for the cash grant?

No, the grant is only available to eligible international students that are currently living in South Australia.

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My partner and I are both international students, can we both apply?

Provided you both meet the eligibility criteria you can both apply for the $500 emergency cash grant.

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I am an international student with dependent children, can I apply? Are my children also able to apply?

You can apply as an international student with dependent children. Your children would need to fit into one of the criteria to be eligible to apply. International school students are not eligible for this package.

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I am on a temporary graduate (subclass) 485 visa, can I apply?

Unfortunately 485 visa holders are ineligible to apply.

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Rental Relief Scheme

The South Australian Government has several initiatives aimed at helping tenants whose incomes have been affected due to the current pandemic. Visit the Consumer and Business Services (CBS) website or call 131 882 for more information.

One of these initiatives is the Residential Rental Grant Scheme which is available to eligible international students.

If you are in private rental accommodation and meet the eligibility criteria, you and/or your landlord can apply for the grant here.

Learn more about the Residential Rental Grant Scheme here or view the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) here.

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International Student Support Network

If you are having difficulty with your living arrangements, the International Student Support Network (ISSN) homestay program could be a good option for you. Students who meet the criteria can be referred to the ISSN to apply for a heavily discounted homestay placement. ISSN homestays are $160 per week and include a private room, 3 meals a day, utilities and support from your host family.

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Financial and Emergency Assistance

If you need help to buy food, assist with rent or bill payments, please contact any of the providers named below. Services are free, confidential and accessible with your student ID.

Remember it is ok to ask for help.

International students experiencing hardship can register for a free $25 food voucher (and four user pays vouchers) to use at Foodbank and other food hubs. Register here.

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