COVID-19 International student support

International Student emergency relief fund

The Gordon and The Victorian Government is committed to supporting our international students during this challenging time. We are committed to ensuring you stay informed and supported.

The Gordon Institute is closed for applications to International Student Emergency Relief Fund. If you are an international student in Victoria experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for emergency financial support through the Victorian Government’s Extreme Hardship Support Program. 

The program is for temporary and provisional visa holders and undocumented migrants, including international students, who:

  • are experiencing significant hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) 
  • have little or no income, savings or community support.

Please visit to apply.

For further information on the range of support available to international students from the Victorian Government visit

Visit the Study Melbourne COVID-19 support for international students and Study Australia COVID-19 International Student Information for helpful advice and information during coronavirus (COVID-19).


Health information and advice

COVID-19 health costs waiver
To ensure payment issues are not a barrier for people from overseas with symptoms of COVID-19 seeking early medical advice, Victorian hospitals will waive the costs of treatment for overseas travellers, including international students, who fall ill in Australia (and are not eligible for Medicare) and do not have adequate insurance coverage. Seeking medical treatment will not impact your student visa.
International students on a student visa can also contact your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) insurance provider for advice on your health cover and services available.
Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website provides health information and advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) in English and multiple languages for people in Victoria.

  • You should stay at home where possible.
  • All gatherings are restricted to no more than 2 people except for members of your household and for work or education purposes.
  • Social distancing rules should also be observed. This minimises the chances of transmission, protects the health system and saves lives.
  • If you are with other people, you must observe the rule of 1 person for every 4 square metres to ensure a safe physical distance.

To find out more about the latest measures and restrictions in place in Victoria, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.
self-assessment guide is now available to help people determine if they need to be tested for coronavirus.
If you are in Victoria and you think you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days - 1800 675 398.
Australian Government Coronavirus Australia app and Whatsapp Feature
The Australian Government has launched an official app with the information you need to know about coronavirus. Search "Coronavirus Australia" in the Apple App Store and on Google Play to download or access the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Working Arrangements and Financial Hardship

There are a number of steps you can take if you are experiencing financial hardship:

  • Reach out to your family support network for help
  • Contact International Office about your difficulties
  • If you are experiencing financial hardship and have been living in Australia for longer than 12 months, you can access your Australian superannuation. Register your details at myGov.
  • There is a list of community organisations that provide food assistance in the local Geelong region check:
  • Contact your Embassy or local Consular Office to see if help is available.

Accessing your superannuation
If you are experiencing financial hardship and have been living in Australia for longer than 12 months and have been working, you can access your Australian superannuation.
Exemptions for the 40 hour per fortnight work limit
The Australian Government has announced special working arrangements to extend your working hours for international students to support the supply of essential goods and services for Australians, if they are:

  • employed in the health sector, enrolled in a health related course (such as nursing or medicine) and are directed by a health official to assist in the effort against COVID-19
  • employed in aged care by an Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged - care service provider
  • employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider.

See Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders:

Working for Victoria program
If you’re legally allowed to work in Australia, you can apply for the Victorian Government’s Working for Victoria program. This includes workers who have recently lost their jobs and casuals who no longer have shifts. Find out more here.

Visa, travel, and Consular assistance

The Government is taking a flexible approach in relation to student visa conditions where COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions have prevented conditions being met, such as attendance at class or use of online learning.
Visit The Department of Home Affairs website for updates to Australia's immigration and border arrangements during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
If you need to contact the Embassy or Consulate of your home country or need advice about returning to your home country, please contact your local Consular office. Find the location and contact information of your local Consular office by visiting the DFAT website.

Legal Advice for International Students

  • Study Melbourne's International Student Accommodation Legal Service offers a free, confidential and independent help for international students with accommodation issues, whether you remain in Australia or plan to return to your home country.

  • The International Student Legal Information is a free legal information resource is for international students living in Victoria and helps you know what to do and where to get help for problems connected to where you work, live and study. 

Wellbeing and Support

If you experience feelings of anxiety, distress and concern in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s important to ask for support. Contact International Office anytime or make appointment to speak to a Gordon student counsellor.
Other free online and phone support services

Free online resources to help you look after your mental wellbeing:

Free Career Counselling: The Gordon’s careers services provide support for career consultation, job applications, resumes, interview skills and employment information, etc.
Connecting with other international students in Victoria: joining Study Melbourne’s International Students of Melbourne and Victoria Facebook group. 

Keep up with The Gordon

To keep up-to-date with the latest news, competitions and new course information, sign up to The Gordon News today.

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About The Gordon

The Gordon Institute of TAFE is one of the largest regional TAFEs in Victoria and has been helping people gain real skills for real jobs for over 125 years. We pride ourselves on delivering a great range of TAFE courses from short courses to nationally accredited training across apprenticeships, traineeships, certificates, diplomas, and advanced diplomas, which can lead you to a great career or create pathways to university.

The Gordon acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work, study and do business. We pay respect to their Elders, past and present. The Gordons Reconciliation Plan can be found here.

Our training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. | Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne.

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