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COVID-19 Information for International Students

Welcome to our COVID-19 information page for international students.

StudyAdelaide will be updating the information provided on these pages on a regular basis to help you stay informed, safe, and supported throughout the global pandemic.


MySA GOV proof of vaccination

You can now add your COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate to the mySA GOV app. This app is a quick way to check in with COVID Safe Check-In and show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination whenever it’s required.

To find out how to add your COVID-19 digital certificate to the mySA Gov app, follow these instructions.

COVID-19 Vaccination for International Students

All South Australians aged 12 and over can now book a COVID-19 vaccination, including international students. COVID-19 vaccinations are free for everyone in Australia when dispensed from a state-run vaccine clinic. 

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available for people aged 12 and over, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available for people aged 12 and over at selected pharmacies and the AstraZeneca vaccine is available for people aged 18 and over.

Getting vaccinated protects you against the serious effects of COVID-19 and means you are less likely to pass it on to others. While voluntary, vaccination is an important public health measure, helping to provide us with a path out of COVID-19. Everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated to help protect the community.

To find out where the state-run vaccination clinics are located, and to book your appointment, follow this link to SA Health. 

If you need more information, SA Health has translated information about COVID-19 vaccines into multiple languages. Find information in your language here, or call the COVID-19 vaccine helpline on 1800 020 080, or for translating and interpreting services call 13 14 50.


Travel and Visas

The Australian government has re-opened Australia’s borders to fully vaccinated international students and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders.

Getting to Adelaide from overseas

For further information please refer to our webpage Return of International Students to Adelaide and visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Getting to Adelaide from interstate

If you are moving to Adelaide from interstate to continue your studies, learn more about interstate travel requirements.

As travel restriction advice is constantly changing, we suggest you keep up to date here.


Visa Application Charge refunds (for students arriving in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022)

The Australian Government has announced that international students (and its dependents) who arrive in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022 will be eligible for a refund of their visa application charge.

Who is eligible:

  • Students who already have a student visa but have not yet arrived in Australia
  • Students who already have a student visa and have travelled to Australia on that visa before returning to their home country during the pandemic
  • New applicants to a student visa, if they are granted a visa and travel to Australia before 19 March 2022
  • This benefit does not apply to students who are already in Australia.

Applicants must:

  • Meet Australia’s vaccination requirements, or have an approved travel exemption
  • Make a declaration of their vaccination status
  • Provide proof of vaccination.

Information on entry requirements is updated regularly so it is important that travellers check the Department of Home Affairs website for the latest requirements.

How to apply:

  • Information on how to apply for the refund will be available on the Department of Home Affairs website
  • Eligible travellers will be able to apply for this refund up until 31 December 2022.

For more information on the rebate scheme, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.



Current SA Health Direction

Please refer to the SA Health website for the current COVID-19 Direction, including the full list of restrictions on activities.

Mask Requirements in South Australia

Please click on the image below for the full details regarding the wearing of face masks.

Everyday precautions

Practising good hygiene is the first step in preventing the spread of infectious diseases:

  • wash your hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry them with a paper towel or a hand dryer. Alternatively use alcohol-based hand sanitisers
  • try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • stay home if you’re unwell to avoid making others sick.

Physical distancing

Avoid close contact and crowded places wherever you can:

  • keep at least 1.5 metres distance from others wherever and whenever possible
  • avoid hugging and kissing
  • swap handshakes for a wave
  • turn face to face interactions into phone or video conference calls
  • consider working/studying from home
  • pay using tap-and-go instead of cash.

COVID-19 Health Advice

COVID-19 Symptoms

If you have any of the symptoms below, even if mild, you need to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as symptoms appear:

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Runny nose

  • Shortness of breath

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Diarrhea and vomiting

Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency, such as difficulty breathing or chest pain.

What to Do if You're Feeling Unwell

If you are unwell or develop any of the symptoms listed above (even if mild), get tested immediately and go straight home to self-isolate.

  • Do not go to public places (e.g. work, school, university, shopping centres, public parks, social or religious gatherings).
  • Do not visit hospitals.

Call your doctor to book a test, A COVID-19 test is free of charge. If your doctor cannot administer the test, they will refer you to a testing clinic.

It is very important that you stay home and call the doctor before you visit the doctor's practice, and be sure to describe your symptoms and travel history when you call.

Please refer to your institutions’ list of medical providers or contact SA Health or their info line 1800 253 787 for expert health advice.

To find a doctor close to where you are living, visit the Find a Health Service tool by Health Direct.

Should you require translating assistance when seeking medical advice please call TIS – Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50.

Contact your OSHC provider to understand the level of cover provided by your policy in case you need medical services or treatment.

Isolation and Quarantine Advice

Certain people are required to isolate or quarantine for a certain period of time. This is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Who needs to quarantine or isolate

You need to isolate:
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19
  • After you have had a COVID-19 test until you receive a negative result
  • If you have been advised you are a contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case

If you have been directed to quarantine, you must remain in quarantine until the end of your designated quarantine period, even if you receive a negative test result.

Please visit SA Health website for more information.

Take a look at our videos to help understand what you can and can't do when isolating:

How to self-isolate? – Living with other people

How to self-isolate? – Getting food and medicines 

To understand the full requirements of isolation/quarantine, visit the SA Health website.

If you need support while in isolation or quarantine (for example, you are unable to get your own groceries or medications) please phone SA Health on +61 8 8425 9200 and select Option 3.

What if I test positive for COVID-19

 SA Health has created a fact sheet with all you need to know about isolation and support available for you.


COVID-19 and Your Wellbeing

As the global pandemic continues to impact all of us in different ways, taking time for self-care is really important, especially when you are a student. Taking just a few minutes each day for yourself can help reduce anxiety, stress, loneliness and boost your wellbeing. 

Simple measures like exercising daily, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and spending time with others can help us maintain a healthy emotional state, but there are times when this is not enough, and we need extra support.

If you are feeling anxious, depressed or not quite yourself, know that you are not alone, it happens to a lot of us at some point in our lives, and help is available.


Watch the journey stories of Taeyoung and Khushboo, where they share the challenges they faced as international students and the strategies they learned to cope with the circumstances.Get some support

If you have tried consistently to improve your mental health and still aren’t functioning at your best, then it's important to find out what's going on and how you can manage it. Sometimes just talking to someone can help you feel better.

As a first step, you may want to talk to someone in your university or school; your institution will offer you support or guide you in the right direction.

Your GP (General Practitioner) can also set you up with a self-care plan that will help you to access counselling or visit a psychologist. Remember that it’s okay to get the support you need.

A number of organisations in South Australia offer free and confidential mental health support services to international students regardless of your age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion.  

Trained crisis supporters are ready to listen, support, and help you work through what’s on your mind. Services are confidential and all you need to access them is your student card.

Relationships Australia

ASK PEACE is a free virtual service for people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and if you are not confident speaking English, they can get an interpreter on the line to help understand your issues and concerns.

Call 08 8245 8110

Visit https://www.rasa.org.au/services/all-services/askpeace/

Headspace

eHeadspace is a Headspace initiative offering free online and telephone support and counselling to young people aged 12 – 25 and their families and friends. If you’re going through a tough time, you can call them, join a group chat, or access helpful online resources.

Call 1800 063 267

Visit https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue has trained counsellors available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit their website, chat online or call them for advice and support based on your specific needs.

Call 1300 22 4636

Visit https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

Lifeline

Lifeline also provides advice and support around the clock. You can text or chat online with a counsellor or speak to someone in person.

Call 13 11 14

Visit https://www.lifeline.org.au/


Financial and Emergency Assistance

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

A Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment – South Australia is available for eligible people who have been instructed by a health official (SA Health) to isolate or quarantine at home because:

  • You have coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • You’ve been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • You care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19 or who’s been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.

You must also meet all of the following:

  • You’re at least 17 years old and live in South Australia
  • You’re an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work in Australia
  • You're unable to go to work and earn an income
  • You have no appropriate leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave, or leave to care for another person.

To check your eligibility and to apply, visit the Services Australia website.

Food and Essential Items

Do you need assistance to buy food, pay your rent and bills, access a doctor, or buy medication?  Here is a list of organisations that can help if you’re in a crisis situation.  All you need is your student ID card. Services are FREE or heavily subsidised, and confidential.

Anglicare SA

Anglicare SA can provide support through the provision of food, groceries, clothing, pharmacy vouchers, no-interest loans, and financial counselling.

Food Hubs (small supermarkets with subsidized prices on fresh food and grocery items) are located at their Elizabeth and Christies Beach locations. Please check the Anglicare website or call for opening times and to book an appointment for services. Appointments are essential. 

Locations:

Adelaide CBD (08) 8305 9434, Elizabeth (Northern Adelaide) (08) 8209 5400, Christies Beach (Southern Adelaide) 1800 748 149

Baptist Care SA

Baptist Care services can be accessed via a number of locations across Adelaide. They offer food and emergency relief (including temporary accommodation), and health and wellbeing services.

The Community Food Hub provides free bread, fruit, and vegetables with any purchase, and food and essential items at a reduced cost. The Food Hub is open Monday to Thursday 10am – 3pm and is located at 216 Wright Street, Adelaide

Locations:

Adelaide CBD (08) 8118 5200, Wayville (08) 82737100, Hallett Cove (08) 8387 3787, Seacliff (08) 8177 4900, Salisbury (08) 8209 5000.

Uniting Care Wesley Bowden

There are 14 Uniting Care Emergency Relief centres in South Australia providing emergency assistance including food, clothing, essential items to people in need. 

Locations:

Follow this link or call (08) 8245 7139 to find a Uniting Care Emergency Relief Centre near you.

Uniting Communities

Uniting Communities Emergency Assistance is currently being provided via phone assessment, Monday to Friday for people living in the Adelaide area and Adelaide Hills.

Uniting Communities provide food, clothing, pharmacy vouchers, assistance with bills and expenses, and can connect you to other services that can help.

Call (08) 8202 5846 between 9am – 1pm to book a same-day appointment.

Salvation Army

Are you struggling to pay your credit card? Is your electricity bill overdue? Or are you having trouble making ends meet? The Salvos can help you get your money under control.

The Salvation Army has professional financial counsellors who can provide personalised advice on how to get through your money problems and avoid trouble in the future. Importantly, the service is free and confidential.  Or if you are after a personal loan, you may be eligible to participate in their No Interest Loan Scheme.

Call 1800 722 363 or follow this link to find a financial counsellor near you.


Financial Support for Accommodation

The International Student Support Network  (ISSN) homestay program provides affordable options for accommodation.

ISSN homestay was designed to be a short-term accommodation option for international students to have some comfort and support while making it through the COVID-19 crisis. The standard homestay period is 4 weeks, although in special circumstances a shorter length of stay may be requested by your education provider. The good news is you and your host have the option of extending by mutual agreement.

The arrangement includes a private room, three meals a day, the use of a shared laundry and bathroom, internet access, and support from your host family.

Your education provider will need to confirm your eligibility. Once you have contacted them and they have referred you to ISSN, you can apply for placement by registering here


Employment

As the industry recovers in South Australia, there are more job opportunities emerging. We are always adding roles suited to international students to the list of employment opportunities in Adelaide. We encourage you to apply or complete expressions of interest if you have relevant skills or experience. We also encourage you to monitor job sites, employment pages on Facebook, and your own provider's career centre.

Employment toolkit

StudyAdelaide has created an Employment Toolkit that provides you with a free resume and cover letter template, sample interview questions, pre-interview tips, networking tips, and more. Use these resources to your advantage and gain an edge over your competition.

Resources, including recorded employability webinars, are available on the website.


Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders 

The Australian Government has temporarily removed the restrictions on working hours for international students across all sectors of the Australian economy to alleviate workforce shortages in Australia.

The relaxation of work restrictions is a temporary measure and will be reviewed in April 2022, when the government will decide whether to reinstate the 40-hour work cap or extend the relaxation of work restrictions.

What this means for you:

  • You can now work more than 40 hours per fortnight while courses of study or training are in session
  • If you are an international student newly arrived in Australia, you can seek employment and start work before your course or training commences
  • You are still required to maintain your course enrolment and ensure satisfactory course attendance and course progress, to comply with your visa conditions.

For more information, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.


Further Assistance

Please contact StudyAdelaide or your institution if you require advice.

We recommend you keep up to date with the latest information through your institution and the studyinaustralia.gov.au website.

We also recommend that you download the MySA GOV app, which enables you to use the COVID Safe Check-In feature. If someone in South Australia tests positive to COVID-19, the COVID Safe Check-In enables SA Health to quickly contact others who may have been exposed to the virus and stop the spread of COVID-19.

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