Australian Government OS-Help Loan Scheme
The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) provides loans to assist eligible undergraduate students to undertake studies at overseas universities that will contribute to their Australian degrees.
- Selection Criteria
- Loan Details
- Second Loans
- Application process
- Application Deadlines
- Payment of Loan
- Withdrawing from the Loan program
- Further Information Sources
You are eligible if you:
- are an Australian Citizen or holder of a permanent humanitarian visa;
- have not received OS-HELP assistance on more than one previous occasion;
- are currently enrolled in an undergraduate course at the University of Sydney;
- have completed one full year of study (48 Credit Points) towards the degree you are enrolled in currently as a Commonwealth supported student (HECS-HELP);
- are or will be enrolled full time* as a Commonwealth supported student (HECS) student with an overseas higher education institution outside Australia and such study will contribute as credit for the course in which you are currently enrolled at the University of Sydney;
- will have to complete at least 0.5 EFTSL (24 credits) in your course on return from your overseas study;
- have not been granted OS-HELP assistance by another university for an overlapping six month period;
- have not completed the overseas study before making this OS-HELP application; and
- are selected by the University of Sydney to receive OS-HELP on academic merit.
*According to the DIISRTE definition of "full-time" as explained in the application forms
Where there are more applications than funding available, loans will be allocated on the basis of academic merit. Students with the highest weighted averages will be allocated their requested funding first. Students cannot be selected for OS-HELP more than six months before the commencement of their overseas study.
In 2013 you can borrow up to $6,051 for a 6 month study period. There are also smaller loan amounts available - $2,000, and $4,000. This will be added to your existing HECS debt, indexed accordingly, and have the same repayment conditions as that debt. The 2014 rate is expected to increase with the CPI. There is no loan fee.
If you are studying overseas for two semesters, you may apply for a second loan. You can do this at the time you apply for the first loan or in a later round. This second loan can only be assessed approximately four weeks prior to the end of your first six month period.
Further information, including details of the eligibility criteria, is outlined in the application forms, which are available from the International Office.
- Applications will be assessed after the closing date.
- Following the assessment of applications, conditional offers of loans shall be made in writing to successful applicants either within two months of receiving the application or within two months of the application closing date, whichever is later, and shall include rights and responsibilities of loan recipients.
- Successful applicants will be required to accept the conditional offer of an OS-HELP loan within 14 days of the date on the offer letter.
- Successful applicants may be required to substantiate claims made in their application before payment is made.
Allocation of OS-HELP Loans takes place once each semester for loans applying to semester long programs. Submit applications by the deadline below.
For exchange study commencing First (March) semester – Application due 31 October previous year. Eligible students will be contacted by email at the start of October inviting them to apply.
For exchange study commencing Second (July) semester – Application due 30 April of current year
For short programs - Application due 3 months in advance of the commencement of study
Late loan applications may be considered if funding is still available.
To receive your OS-HELP loan you must:
- have been accepted by an approved overseas institution;
- complete and submit an OS-HELP Debt Confirmation Form; and
- complete and submit a Vendor EFT form (electronic funds transfer).
The OS-HELP debt is incurred on the day that the you receive the money. The money will be paid by electronic transfer of funds into a bank account you nominate within a fortnight of the above information being confirmed.
Before being paid
If a student is selected for an OS-HELP loan and his/her circumstances change so that he/she no longer meet the eligibility criteria or it is determined that he/she has provided false or misleading information but has not been paid the loan, the loan offer will be withdrawn.
After being paid
If the loan has already been paid to the student and his/her circumstances change so that the student is no longer eligible or able to study overseas, the debt has already been incurred and the student can only repay the debt through the Australian Taxation Office.
If it is discovered or there is reason to believe that the student provided false or misleading information as part of the application process and the student has already incurred an OS-HELP debt, the University must notify DIISRTE immediately of the suspected offence.
DIISRTE - Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
Study Assist - OS-HELP Loans and Study Overseas Website
International Exchange Program
International Office G02
Level 4, Jane Foss Russell Building
University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia
Tel: 02 8627 8322
Fax: 02 8267 8390