Home Brisbane International students during the pandemic – What to do?

International students during the pandemic – What to do?

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How to deal with your school fees (and lower them), with your landlord, work issues and what implications are there for your visa.

We know you are being bombarded from every angle with information about the coronavirus crisis, so let’s focus on four areas that are probably impacting you the most if you are an international student in Australia.

1. School fees

If you are unable to pay your tuition fees, because you lost your job, please contact us. Most of our schools are offering discounts, special installment plans, bursaries or other forms of help to international students. If you need to take some time off until this blows over, we recommend you to request a course deferral (not a complete course cancellation). If the school agrees to defer your course or your next payment, your visa will not be affected. Course deferral can even be a better option than a flight out of Australia because many of them are being canceled or are overpriced. Plus you can work more than 40 hours per fortnight when your course is deferred.

Feel free to contact us with your specific case even if you are nor a student enroled with Study Anywhere. If we can help, we will.

2. Work

Many international students lost their hospitality jobs or jobs in the travel and tourism industry. Although this isn’t an easy time to look for work, there are still companies that are hiring at scale (think e.g. Aldi, Coles, Woolworths, Harris Farm…). Students employed by the major supermarkets may now even be able to work more hours than usual under the Student Visa.

3. Rent

Rent is one of the biggest if not the single biggest cost for many international students in Australia. If you are struggling to pay your rent, we recommend you to proactively approach your landlord and try to negotiate the rent. You can use this template letter provided by the Tenant’s Union. Also, the Australian government is making it more difficult for landlords to evict tenants during this crisis and you cannot be evicted from your housing unless the landlord follows the proper legal process.

4. Visa

There haven’t been any major visa changes announced yet. If your current visa is due to expire soon, you will need to apply for a new visa as usual. The processing times are slower, but you will most likely be eligible for a Bridging Visa to cover your stay while waiting for the new visa to be granted. Contact us for a free consultation for your specific case and assistance from our migration agent.

Where to get more help

  • For course, work, visa advice, please join our new Facebook Group. It’s called Europeans in Australia (because most of our clients are from Europe), but everyone is welcomed to join.
  • Download the Coronavirus Australia app by the Australian Government in the Apple App Store or Google Play
  • Join the WhatsApp channel run by the Department of Health.
  • For more information about coronavirus COVID-19 call 24-hour National Coronavirus Helpline: 1800 020 080 or 000 if you have serious health symptoms such as difficulty breathing.

Stay safe guys!

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