Everything you need to know about Australia’s border closures

The end of the academic year is getting closer, which means you might be planning your summer break. If you’re thinking about staying local, you’ll be spoiled for choice; from the Adelaide Hills to South Australia’s stunning beaches, there’s so much to see and do in and around Adelaide. But if you’re considering a visit to your home country over the holidays, you’ll need to take Australia’s current border restrictions into account.

We’ve put together some answers to frequently asked questions so you can better understand Australia’s current border restrictions.

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Can international students leave and re enter Australia?

At this point in time, international students are not able to leave and re enter Australia. The Government hasn’t given an indication of how long the current border restrictions will remain in place, but if you return home over the summer break, just be aware that you won’t be able to re-enter Australia in time to continue your studies in 2021.

Can I use the recently announced pilot program to leave and re enter Australia?

You may have heard the news that South Australia will participate in a pilot program that allows returning international students to continue their studies in Adelaide. The program hasn’t been finalised yet, but is designed for continuing students who are currently offshore and need to return to Australia to complete their qualifications.

Note that this program won’t be available to students who leave Australia at the end of 2020 and want to re-enter the country on their student visa after the summer break.

The Department of Home Affairs website offers lots of valuable information that will help you make an informed decision before you decide to undertake any overseas travel. We recommend checking it regularly for the most up-to-date advice.

Who’s allowed to enter Australia?

Under Australia’s current border restrictions, only Australian citizens and permanent residents are able to return to Australia. If you’re a temporary visa holder, there are a few exemptions that will let you enter the country, such as if you’re an immediate family member of a citizen or permanent resident.

Where can I seek support?

If you’re not sure what to do, or are finding the situation stressful, there are plenty of free resources you can access that other international students have found helpful:

Relationships Australia ASK PEACE program - Call a counsellor on 08 8245 8110 or visit Relationship Australia's website.

Beyond Blue has information on managing your mental health during this difficult time. Visit Beyond Blue's website or call 1300 22 4636.

Even though this may not be the semester break you had in mind, know that we’re here to support you. The friendly team at StudyAdelaide can help you plan an Australian summer break where you can enjoy your second home, Adelaide, and take a well-deserved rest before you recommence your study in 2021. For some local summer break travel inspiration, make sure to check out our guide to the best places to explore around South Australia.

Things to consider

If you do choose to remain in Adelaide over the summer, we have highlighted a few topics to help your planning.


  • Talk to your family –share this information with your family and discuss your options.
  • Talk with your friends in Adelaide and find out who will be here to share the summer months with


  • Accommodation – discuss with your accommodation provider that you will be staying for the summer break and budget for additional rental cost.
  • Utilities – consider the additional utility bills you can expect with staying in Adelaide over the summer and factor them into your budget


  • If you have a job, let your employer know you are available over the summer months. You may gain additional shifts as summer is traditionally a busy period for many industries.
  • Seek out a job or volunteer opportunity over the summer. Contact our Career Services team for advice or visit StudyAdelaide’s Student Portal
  • Employment Opportunities – StudyAdelaide continually updates this webpage with job opportunities for international students


The summer months are a fantastic time to be in Adelaide. Sign up to these newsletters to discover a range of activities to participate in.

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