international students in Australia
As unis prepare for the influx of international students in Australia with the lifting of border restrictions, there’s also the challenge of the fee hike which has been met with much discontent — the Australian National University tuition fees have increased by 16%. Source: William WEST/AFP

Fee hikes, a pandemic, financial struggles — it’s been a tough two years for international students in Australia. 

If you’re dealing with any problems, help and support are available. Beyond the federal government, state governments and universities, there are several non-profit organisations providing food, migration and job advice, and more. 

Navneet Mittal, the Vice President of AISA, previously spoke to Study International about using the team’s collective power to help solve problems afflicting international students in Australia. With this network of support, they’ve managed to offer groceries, money, accommodation — and even bicycles.

Below is a list of organisations international students in Australia can seek help from: 

New South Wales

For those facing hardship in Sydney, the best organisations to get in touch with for emergency food assistance are the following: City of Sydney Community Hotline, Uniting Harris Community Centre Emergency Food Support Service, OzHarvest, The Staples Bag, Addi Road Food Pantry, and Lou’s Place

Those outside Sydney but still in NSW can get reach out to FoodBank, Food Fairness Illawarra, Anglicare, and Food Recovery. From Sydney to Wollongong, these organisations help provide food packages, free meal services and hampers to the international students in Australia facing food insecurities. 

international students in australia

International students who are draining their family savings to be able to get a degree from Australia. Source: Dean Lewins/AFP

Oz International Student Hub (OISH) addresses issues such as social isolation and advocate for welfare support. Redfern Legal Centre is a legal service in NSW you can seek advice from, while the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network has a Youth Ambassadors Network open to anyone. 

Western Australia

CISWA helps with visa information as well as updates for international students in Australia dealing with COVID-19 challenges. Students who do not have access to support from their respective institutions can contact StudyPerth via email.


In Victoria, students can apply for the one-off Coronavirus (COVID-19) rent relief grant, the Utility relief grant scheme, and Working for Victoria — an assistance platform to find employment. The state has also set up a COVID-19 online support hub for funding programmes and food relief services. 

The Council of International Student Australia (CISA) helps by providing the latest updates on quality education, immigration, work rights, travel concessions, and accommodation.

international students in Australia

The students who do not have access to support from their respective institutions are prioritised with StudyPerth via email. Source: Peter Parks/AFP

South Australia

StudyAdelaide has the latest news regarding COVID-19 including up to 1,500 Australian dollars Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment programme and information on food and essential items. Baptist Care Community Food Hub and Affordable SA help with information on local support services, including housing, transport, health, financial support, food and emergency relief in South Australia.

The South Australian Skills Commission helps provide quality education and training through a variety of courses that will help you be job-ready. Open Your World helps with wellbeing through a variety of simple activities. 

Northern Territory

Study NT established an International Student Accommodation Grant to assist students with their relocation to Darwin. The grant covers the fee for the first four weeks of your accommodation.


If you’re a temporary visa holder, you may be eligible for the Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants and to gain access, you have to call the Public Health Hotline — 1800 671 738.

You can also apply for The International Student Support Grant for funds to take part in activities, buy materials and supplies and so on.

international students in Australia

For the general community of international students in Australia, the Salvation Army and the Australian Red Cross offers help without discrimination. Source: William West/AFP


For the general community of international students in Australia, the Salvation Army and the Australian Red Cross offer help without discrimination.

Across all states and NSW, St Vincent de Paul Society, Metro Assist, and Job Match help with finances, food, health, employment, and tenancy. 

Free counselling services

eHeadspace, ASKPEACE Project, Beyond Blue and Lifeline are all free to use and discreet — you can rest assured your information won’t be shared.