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Australia Awards

Supporting you to support your country

The Australia Awards are long-term training scholarships open to students from countries with which Australia has a development partnership.

There are three kinds of Australia Award:

  • Australia Awards Scholarships
  • Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships
  • Australia Awards Fellowships

The University of Sydney has a contract with the Australian Government to administer the Australia Awards Scholarships. Our Australia Awards Unit manages this contract and monitors and assists our Australia Awards students on campus.

Australia Awards Scholarships are a highly valued form of development cooperation between Australia and partner countries with which Australia has a bilateral aid program.

This program gives partner countries the opportunity to strengthen their human resource capacity by offering scholarships to people within key institutions to undertake tertiary studies in Australia in areas relevant to the country's development needs.

Scholarships are primarily for postgraduate study. However, a limited number of undergraduate scholarships are available in specific countries. Applicants need to satisfy both the general eligibility criteria and specific criteria established for each country.

For information on eligibility criteria and scholarship benefits, please visit the Australia Awards Scholarships website.

If you want to apply for this program, contact the Australia Award Post in your home country.

Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships provide opportunities for people from some developing countries to study at selected education institutions outside Australia.

The purpose of the scholarships is for people to gain knowledge and skills that will help the development of their home country.

For details, please visit the Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships website.

Australia Awards Fellowships aim to develop leadership, address priority regional development issues, and build partnerships and links between Australian organisations and their partner organisations in developing countries in these regions:

  • Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Caribbean
  • Africa
  • Middle East

Australia Awards Fellowships do not lead to academic qualifications. Instead, they are designed to provide short-term opportunities for study, research and professional attachment programs in Australia, delivered by Australian organisations, to nominated fellows from eligible countries.

For details on the application process, eligible countries, conditions and entitlements, please visit the Australia Awards Fellowships website.

Australia Awards Scholarships – the details

Costs covered

The Australia Awards Scholarship covers the costs of:

  • tuition
  • stipend
  • Overseas Student Health Cover
  • tutorial assistance (in certain circumstances).

You will receive a one-off establishment allowance of $5000 paid by the University at the beginning of your training. This allowance is for setting up your long-term accommodation and other initial expenses.

Your stipend is a Contribution to Living Expenses allowance, paid directly into your bank account each fortnight. This is arranged by International Services.

Your Overseas Student Health Cover is paid by the University. Australia Awards will not reimburse any additional medical expenses that are not covered by this insurance.

All costs related to course fees and the overall scholarship are calculated at the time of offer.

Australia Awards will not generally consider any additional costs unless they are a compulsory part of the course structure and a requirement of the course.

Costs you need to cover

You will need to pay for:

  • travel associated with fieldwork within Australia
  • travel to fieldtrips outside Australia, unless this is a mandatory part of your course
  • any other travel
  • conferences
  • thesis printing and binding
  • vaccinations required for clinical placements (however, part of the cost may be covered by your overseas health insurance).

Your obligations


Your Australia Award scholarship is dependent upon your continued attendance at and participation in your elected course of study. You are required to enrol in the maximum full-time load, which is 24 credit points per semester.

If you want to reduce this workload, you need to seek prior approval from the Australia Awards Unit Coordinator.

Regular communication

You need to maintain good communications with the University, particularly International Services, Counselling and Psychological Services, your faculty and academic supervisor.

We use your University of Sydney email address to send you official correspondence about your scholarship, study program and other associated matters, so we ask you to check this address regularly through MyUni.

If you are having a problem, please discuss it with the appropriate contact as soon as possible so that assistance or advice can be provided in a timely fashion.

Up-to-date contact details

If you change your address or telephone number, you need to notify International Services immediately. To do this, update your contact details through the Sydney Student portal.

If you're an Australia Awards Scholarship student, you will also need to send a separate email to Ms Sue Sullivan at so that your stipend pay advice can be sent to your new address.

Credit / Exemptions / Waivers

If you are offered any form of credit, exemptions or waivers by your faculty, you need to inform the Australia Awards Unit Coordinator before you accept.

Accepting may reduce your scholarship length. Australia Awards will not cover additional costs for subjects beyond what's needed to meet course requirements.


The University of Sydney will book temporary accommodation for all Australia Awards students.

To use this service you need to make a booking through the Australia Awards Post in your home country. If you are making your own arrangements and do not require temporary accommodation, please ensure you advise us at least five days before arrival.

You need to arrive two weeks before your Orientation, giving you plenty of time to find permanent accommodation. Most Australia Awards students find a place within this time.

Your pre-departure pack gives plenty of advice on finding accommodation in Sydney. You can also join the Australia Awards Unit’s online Facebook group to ask current students about options.

A dedicated International Student Housing Officer is employed at the University's Accommodation Service during peak times (January to mid- March and mid June to August) to help you.


The University offers all Australia Awards students a personal airport reception service. To use this service you need to make a booking through the Australia Awards Post in your home country.

If you are making your own arrangements and do not require the personal airport reception service, please ensure that you confirm this at least one week before you arrive in Sydney.

Sydney has an excellent public transport network of buses, trains, ferries and light rail. The University of Sydney is close to train stations and bus stops.

All Australia Awards students receive a half-price discount on public transport. Even further discounts can be gained by purchasing weekly or multi-journey travel passes.

Introductory Academic Program

All commencing Australia Awards students need to take a compulsory Introductory Academic Program.

This four-week intensive program at the University of Sydney consists of two parts:

  • University of Sydney Orientation program
  • Advanced Skills for Academic Success

Orientation program

This concentrates on helping you settle into your stay in Australia and your studies here at the University of Sydney.

The program introduces you to important University contacts, and tells you about issues such as Overseas Student Health Cover, banking, welfare, safety and security, and Sydney’s transport system.

Advanced Skills for Academic Success

This program helps you with your academic transition to the University of Sydney. Is is run by the University of Sydney’s Centre for English Teaching daily from 9am to 4pm.

The program will reinforce your academic study skills in writing, reading, note-taking, listening to lectures, seminar skills, effective presentation methods and information technology.

It will prepare you for a return to studies (especially helpful if you've spent the past few years in the work force) and for study in the Australian tertiary environment.

Some sessions of this program are run by International Services and other service providers at the University. At these sessions we will give you important information about your scholarship conditions as well as support services available.

At both sessions you will have opportunities to network, meet new and continuing students, make new friends and participate in excursions and other social activities.

Bringing your family to Australia

If you want to bring your family with you, please contact our Australia Awards Unit for advice. We can tell you what's involved and give you advice on how to apply for your family's visas.

Please note that Australia Awards and the University of Sydney strongly recommend that you wait at least three months before bringing your family to Australia. This gives you time to settle in to Sydney, find appropriate accommodation and adapt to your new study load.

Once your family arrives, they will rely heavily on you for support in their new environment and this may have an impact on your studies.


There is high demand on childcare centres in Sydney – long waiting lists are common. If you are planning to put your pre-school age children in childcare, you need to apply to a childcare centre long before you arrive in Australia.

The cost of childcare is about $60 to $110 a day, including government-funded childcare rebates – to which Australia Award students are entitled.


If a member of your family is of school age (5-18 years of age), and will be living with you in Australia for more than three months, they will be expected to attend school here.

For details, refer to the NSW Department of Education and Training (Schools).

As Sydney is a top destination for migrants and their families, our schools are welcoming and well equipped to cater for the needs of students who have English as a second language. 

School attendance for the dependents of Australia Awards students is free of charge. However, there may be some school-related costs you will need to cover, such as the purchase of school uniforms, books, special events and excursions.


Working in Australia

As an Australia Awards student, you are granted limited work rights by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Your partner's work rights depend on the type of degree in which you are enrolled. For your partner to be allowed to work full time, you need to be enrolled in one of the following:

  • master's degree by coursework
  • master's degree by research
  • doctorate by research (PhD)

Neither you nor your partner will be eligible to start work until after you have commenced your main course of studies (your university program – this is usually early in March (Semester 1) or early August (Semester 2)).

For up-to-date information on work entitlements and conditions, please refer to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Academic assistance

If you are experiencing difficulties with your studies, inform the Australia Awards Unit as soon as possible. You should also discuss your situation with your supervisor or lecturer.

Various kinds of support are available.

  • Academic Assistance is available for students who are at risk of failing without additional academic support. Please contact the Australia Awards Unit Officer to request an application form. Approval is not automatic. It will be determined giving due consideration to all Australia Awards guidelines and policies.
  • You may be eligible for Tutorial Assistance, funded by the Australia Awards. Email to obtain an application form.
  • Australia Awards research students may be able to access this funding for thesis editing.
  • Visit your faculty's website to check if there are any faculty support services you can access.
  • You may be able to take Summer or Winter School units of study to complete a previously failed unit, or lighten your study workload during semester. Contact the Australia Awards Unit to obtain permission. If successful, Australian Awards will pay your fees for the Summer or Winter School subjects you need to take.

You should also explore these academic facilities at the University:

Returning home

You need to leave Australia at the end of your scholarship (on or before the end-date), regardless of any remaining period for which your visa is valid.

The Australia Awards Officer will contact you in your last semester of studies to arrange your  return home travel by the most direct route on an economy flight. Stopovers are not permitted.

If you finish your training early, you need to inform us. The scholarship end date will be brought forward to coincide with the end of your training.

Restrictions on staying or returning to Australia

Australia Awards and the Australian Migration Regulations place restrictions on Australia Awards Scholarship students who seek to remain in Australia or seek to return to Australia on completion of their scholarship.

Restrictions may apply to permanent and temporary visa subclasses, and may include:

  • requiring Australia Awards approval
  • repaying any outstanding debt to the Australian Government (such as repaying the total cost of the scholarship); and
  • not re-entering Australia within two years of completion of the scholarship.

Important dates

Final semester End date Stipend end Departure date
Semester 1 (coursework) 20 July 25 July 19 August *
Semester 1 (research) 31 August 5 September 30 September *
Semester 2 (coursework) 20 December 25 December 19 January *
Semester 2 (research) 31 March 5 April 30 April *

* or your visa end date, whichever comes first

Course end date: For coursework students, this is the date that university exam results are officially released (20 July or 20 December). For research students, it is the date you submit your thesis or treatise (31 March or 31 August).

Scholarship end date: This is 30 days after the course end date (19 August or 19 January for coursework students; 30 April or 30 September for research students), or your visa end date (whichever comes first).

Stipend end: Your stipend payments will finish five days after your course end date. The exception is if you depart Australia before this date, in which case your stipend payments will stop on the date you depart.

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Australia Awards


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