Australian Government OS-Help Loan Scheme

The Australian Government provides loans to assist eligible students to undertake studies overseas that will contribute to their Australian courses. An overview of the criteria are listed below and more detail can be found in the application kit, available from International Services, Level 4, Jane Foss Russell Building.


You are eligible under the 2015 criteria 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 as a Commonwealth supported student in an course at the University of Sydney;
  • have completed one full year of study (48 Credit Points) towards the course you are enrolled in currently as a Commonwealth supported student (HECS-HELP);
  • are studying on an approved exchange program, undertaking an overseas professional placement (clinical/industry/internship), fieldwork program or other course that will contribute as credit for the course in which you are currently enrolled at the University of Sydney;
  • will have to complete at least 0.125 EFTSL (6 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; and
  • have not completed the overseas study before making this OS-HELP application.

*According to the Commonwealth definition of "full-time" as explained in the application forms

Selection Criteria

Loans are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Students cannot be selected for OS-HELP more than six months before the commencement of their overseas study.

Loan Details

The 2015 loan rates are:

Non-Asian Destinations

Asian Destinations

Supplementary Asian

Language Loan









  • Non-Asia destinations - Up to $6,362 (indexed to inflation) for a 6 month study period. There are also smaller loan amounts available – $2,000 and $4,000.
  • Asian destinations - Up to $7,635 (indexed to inflation) for a 6 month study period. There are also smaller loan amounts available – $2,500 & $5,000.
  • An additional $1,018 if you will be undertaking a relevant and endorsed Asian language study in preparation for study in Asia (this course is not to count for credit and application/enrolment evidence must be provided)

The loan amount is added to your existing HECS debt, indexed accordingly, and will have the same repayment conditions as that debt. The loan rate normally increases annually with the CPI. There is no loan fee.

Second Loans

Students may receive one loan per six-month study period and can access a total of two OS-HELP loans over their lifetime.

If you are applying for a second OS-HELP loan, the application should be submitted one month prior to the end of the first loan. Payment for an approved second loan will then be made close to the start of the second 6-month period.

Application process

Further information, including details of the eligibility criteria, is outlined in the application forms, which are available from International Services, Level 4, Jane Foss Russell Building.

Applications will be assessed after the closing date. Approved loans will be processed for payment and successful applicants notified of the expected date regarding transfer of funds.

Students are to monitor their institutional account for correspondence regarding progress and/or outcome of the OS-HELP Loan Applications.

Application Deadlines

Allocation of OS-HELP Loans normally takes place once each semester for loans applying to semester long programs. Submit applications by the applicable deadline below.

  • For study commencing First (March) semester – Application due 31 October previous year
  • For study commencing Second (July) semester – Application due 30 April of current year
  • For short-term programs/placements/internships - Applications due 3 months prior to the commencement of study

Late loan applications may be considered if funding is still available.

Payment of Loan

To receive your OS-HELP loan you must:

  • complete and submit an OS-HELP Debt Confirmation Form; and
  • confirm your bank details upon accepting the formal loan offer

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. It takes approximately 10 working days from the time the fund transfer is submitted to University Finance by the International Exchange Program.

Withdrawing from the Loan program

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 the Commonwealth immediately of the suspected offence.

Further Information Sources

Australian Government
Study Assist - OS-HELP Loans and Study Overseas Website

Sydney Abroad
Level 4, Jane Foss Russell Building G02
University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia
Tel: +61 2 8627 8322
Fax: +61 2 8267 8390