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If you’re studying in a Commonwealth supported place and you’re thinking of completing part of your studies overseas you may be eligible for OS-HELP.

  1. Overview and eligibility
  2. How to apply
  3. What happens next

Overview and eligibility

OS-HELP is a loan available to eligible students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place who want to undertake some of their study overseas. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation and other travel or study expenses.

You can receive one loan per six-month study period and two OS-HELP loans over your lifetime.


You can apply for OS-HELP in the six-month period before the start of your overseas study. Your application needs to be for study that you have not yet completed.

You are eligible to apply if you are a Commonwealth supported student participating in a program where study is for academic credit or is otherwise a mandatory component of your current course at the University. This includes:

  • an approved exchange or study abroad program
  • an overseas professional placement (clinical, community, industry or internship)
  • a fieldwork program.

You also need to meet all of the criteria below.

  • You’re an Australian citizen, permanent humanitarian visa holder or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency requirements.
  • You have not received an OS-HELP loan on more than one other occasion.
  • You are enrolled as a Commonwealth supported student and have completed 48 credit points towards your current course.
  • You will be undertaking full-time study overseas that will count towards your current course.
  • You will have at least six credit points of your course left to complete once you have finished your overseas study.
  • You have a valid tax file number (TFN) at the time of applying.
  • You have a Unique Student Identifier (USI). 

Eligibility criteria and legislation around OS-HELP can change, so see the Study Assist website for full details.

When you aren't eligible for OS-HELP

You are not eligible for OS-HELP if any of the following apply.

  • You are receiving FEE-HELP or SA-HELP but are not in a Commonwealth supported place.
  • You have received an OS-HELP loan for the same six-month period (counted from the commencement date of the overseas study for the first loan). For example, if you have received an OS-HELP loan for overseas study starting on 1 January, you may not then be selected to receive a second OS-HELP loan for overseas study which begins before 2 July of that year.
  • You will complete the credit requirements of your course upon completion of your overseas study.
  • You have already completed the program for which you would like to apply for OS-HELP.

How much can I borrow?

In 2024, eligible applicants will be able to select from the following indexed amounts to borrow per six-month study period.

  • If you study in Asia*: $2500, $5000, $9504
  • If you do not study in Asia: $2000, $4000, $7921
  • Supplementary loan for approved Asian language study: $1263

The Asian language study must be relevant to your preparation and completed prior to your primary study in Asia* and cannot be credited to your current course.

* 'Asia' includes these countries: 

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Timor-Leste, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. 

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Last updated: 30 November 2023

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