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If you’re studying in a Commonwealth supported place and you’re thinking of completing part of your studies overseas you may be eligible for OS-HELP.

  1. Overview and eligibility
  2. How to apply
  3. What happens next

Overview and eligibility

OS-HELP is part of the Australian Government’s HELP scheme and assists eligible students to fund a range of overseas expenses through a loan.

You can receive one loan per six-month study period and two OS-HELP loans over your lifetime.


You can apply for OS-HELP in the six-month period before the start of your overseas study. Your application needs to be for study that you have not yet completed.

You are eligible to apply if you are a Commonwealth supported student participating in:

  • an approved exchange program
  • an overseas professional placement (clinical, industry or internship)
  • a fieldwork program
  • a program where study is for academic credit or is otherwise a mandatory component of your current course at the University of Sydney.

You also need to meet all of the criteria below.

  • You’re an Australian citizen, permanent humanitarian visa holder or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency requirements.
  • You have not received an OS-HELP loan on more than one other occasion.
  • You have completed one full year of study (48 credit points) towards your current course.
  • You have at least 0.125 EFTSL (six credit points) of your course left to complete once you return from overseas study.
  • You have not been granted OS-HELP assistance by another university for an overlapping six-month period.
  • You meet the tax file number (TFN) requirements.

Eligibility criteria and legislation around OS-HELP can change, so see the Study Assist website for full details.

How much can I borrow?

In 2018, successful applicants can select from the following amounts to borrow per six-month study period.

  • non-Asian destinations: $2000, $4000, $6665
  • Asian destinations*: $2500, $5000, $7998.

If you are taking a relevant and endorsed Asian-language course before studying in Asia, you can also apply for a supplementary OS-HELP loan of $1065.

The language course must be in preparation for your primary study in Asia and cannot be credited to your degree.

*You will be considered to be undertaking overseas study in Asia if you are undertaking study in at least one of the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Timor-Leste, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Sydney Abroad

Open 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday
  • Level 3, Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus
Last updated: 07 May 2018

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