International sponsored students

With over 53,000 students, including more than 18,074 international students from around 134 countries, The University of Queensland’s St Lucia, Herston and Gatton campuses are great places to study, make new friends, take part in sporting and cultural activities or just relax in a diverse and welcoming environment.

Throughout your program, the Sponsored Students Unit within UQ Global Engagement will regularly communicate with you and your sponsor to help you understand your rights and responsibilities. Depending on your sponsorship arrangement, UQ may assist in pre-departure support, arrangement of airport transport and temporary accommodation, and an orientation program to help you settle in.

We can help you access support at UQ, including dedicated learning advisors, international student advisors and university transition advisors. UQ provides facilities and services to support numerous faiths and their traditions, as well as a health service and free services for students with a disability, illness or injury.

Can my sponsor pay for my fees in advance?

If your sponsor wishes to pay the university directly, we must invoice them before payment can be made. Invoices are generally sent to each sponsor after census date.

When should I arrive?

All commencing international students and sponsored students are required to arrive in time for Orientation. If you are an Australia Awards student, you must arrive in time for the Introductory Academic Program or as required if enrolled in pre-course English or Foundation Studies.

How do I arrange my timetable and pick courses?

Attend a Getting Started session. This session is recommended for all new students, and compulsory for all new international students. 

We recommend that you attend your School and Faculty academic sessions during Orientation Week (O-week) and contact your School to discuss the requirements of your program with an Academic Advisor. The University offers a number of Pre-Semester preparation programs which can help with the transition into studying at UQ.

Please ensure that you ensure you enrol in courses by the required due date. 

I am a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student – how do I enrol?

Commencing Higher Degree by research students in Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are required to initially attend a meeting with their enrolling unit’s HDR Liaison Officer (HLO) and arrange for the enrolling unit induction.  This is an important process to help you finalise your enrolment.

How do I plan my arrival and find permanent accommodation?

The following link have comprehensive information on how to plan your arrival and find accommodation.  

Student Services run Accommodation Information Sessions for newly arrived students. You are strongly encouraged to attend one of these sessions before making any permanent accommodation arrangements. 

See Accommodation for further information on living in Brisbane.

How can I find my way around Brisbane?

Translink coordinates the bus, train and ferry services across South East Queensland. Type your destination in the Journey Planner or free app to find the best route. If you plan on using public transport frequently, purchase a Go Card from train stations and participating newsagencies, like Campus News at UQ. Once you receive your Student ID card you can apply for a concession Go Card.

See Getting to St Lucia for further transport information.

How can I find my way around the UQ campus?

Download the free UQnav app for iPhones and Android phones or use the interactive maps on the UQ website to find your way around the UQ campuses.

How do I get my Student ID card?

New coursework students must attend a Getting Started session, enrol and then wait 24 hours before applying for an ID card. New HDR students can apply for an ID card 24 hours after completing the online induction.

See Starting at UQ for locations, times and further information.

What support is available for students with disabilities?

The University has a dedicated team within Student Life to assist students with accessibility requirements.

See Disability Services for further information on support for students with a disability, illness or injury.

Who do I contact in an emergency?

If an emergency occurs on campus you must call UQ Security on 3365 3333 or 1800 800 123 (24 hours). UQ campuses have security call points in strategic locations and are patrolled 24-hours-a-day. UQ SafeZone is an easy-to-use, location-based application for mobile devices that can connect you directly with UQ security officers or emergency services during any type of first aid or emergency situation on UQ campuses and sites.

If you are off-campus, dial Triple Zero (000) for Fire, Ambulance and Police around Australia.

Please be sure to report all critical incidents and emergency situations to your Regional Coordinator as soon as possible.

How do I upgrade my Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) from single to family cover?

Please make sure you check on the level of OSHC your sponsorship covers. If your sponsor does not cover your OSHC and this cost is covered by you, then you will need to make the arrangements to upgrade through your selected provider.

If your sponsorship covers you for Single OSHC and you decide that you would like your family to join you, please contact the Allianz representative in the Student Centre to discuss upgrading your cover from single to family cover. Please be aware that you will need to cover the additional cost of upgrading to family cover.

If you need to upgrade from single to family coverage prior to your arrival in Australia please contact your Regional Coordinator in the International Scholarships Unit to assist you in obtaining an OSHC Allianz Insurance single cover certificate in order to contact Allianz.

Am I allowed to participate in the UQ Abroad Student Exchange program if I am a sponsored student?

You must have approval from your sponsor prior to applying to the UQ Abroad Office if you wish to go on exchange. 

What happens if I need to return home unexpectedly?

If you need to return home due to a family emergency please contact the Sponsored Students Unit at before leaving. We may need to await the advice of your sponsor.

I have fallen pregnant during my studies or have a medical concern which may mean I need to interrupt my studies, do I need to tell anyone at UQ?

Yes. Please contact your Regional Coordinator as soon as possible to let them know as they can assist you in checking the conditions of your scholarship and directing you to available support services. 

Can I change program while at UQ?

Any changes to your academic program must be approved by your sponsor before a program change can be approved. If you are considering a program change, please contact your Regional Coordinator as soon as possible, and they can assist in liaising with your sponsor.

Do I have to maintain a full-time study load?

Generally, as an international student and as a sponsored student, you must maintain a full-time study load throughout your program. There are limited exceptions to this such as a Faculty-approved intervention strategy or if you are ahead in your studies. Please contact your Regional Coordinator if you have concerns.

I need to extend my program as I have failed a course or will not be able to submit my thesis on time, will my sponsorship be extended?

This is dependent on the individual conditions of your sponsorship. It is recommended that you alert your Regional Coordinator and sponsor as early as possible as extension requests can often take a number of months to be considered. If an extension is granted, you will need to provide The University of Queensland with an updated Financial Guarantee and extend your visa.

​I’m struggling with my studies, what should I do?

If you are concern about your academic progress, it is important that you consult with your Regional Coordinator/Student Contact Officer on the issues you are experiencing and to guide you through the learning support available at UQ.  Course Coordinators and Academic Advisors are also there to assist if you are worried about course content and meeting program requirements.

Student Services and the UQ Library offer a range of workshops and other support to help you develop academic and technical skills. 

Does the Sponsored Students Unit inform my sponsor of my academic progress?

In some cases, yes, your Regional Coordinator is required to send results to sponsors at the end of each semester. This is dependent on our agreement with your sponsor.

I’m an HDR student. How do I seek assistance with the progress of my program?

As an HDR student, you must reach certain milestones with your program. As a sponsored student, it is very important that you stay on track or advise the Graduate School and your Regional Coordinator, if you are having trouble or unable to meet a milestone this may affect your sponsorship or progress.

Where do I find my Regional Coordinator?

You can contact your Regional Coordinator either by phone, email or by coming into the office. View staff contact details.

I have a question which does not appear on this list.

If your question does not appear on the above list, please either contact the Sponsored Students Unit at or visit my.UQ.

Australia Awards COVID-19 DFAT Contingency Plan

The following advice was received from the Australia Awards Scholarships and Alumni Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade , on the 18 March 2020:

While in Australia, awardees should follow advice from the Department of Health  DFAT understands that this is a rapidly evolving situation.

  • Awardees who are concerned about family at home should make contact and assess the situation.
  • Awardees should be instructed to follow institution protocol.  For UQ, the following website link is updated regularly.   We encourage everyone to regularly read the information provided at
  • Check the travel advice of your home country and any possible transit points.



Awardees have the option to suspend their scholarship if the COVID-19 crisis is directly affecting their studies.

  • If awardees suspend and choose to return to their home country, they will be able to resume their scholarship, however this will not be until Semester 1 (January), 2021.  For UQ please be mindful of Census date if you are to suspend your scholarship.
  • If awardees suspend and cannot return to their home country due to travel restrictions, DFAT advises that they should remain on scholarship and continue with their studies.
  • DFAT will continue to support them if they choose to remain in Australia and continue with their studies in whatever mode their institution is offering, entitlements will continue to be paid.


University Shutdowns

Should Universities shut down and offer online delivery options awardees are permitted to continue their studies online while in Australia until such time that tutorials and lectures resume. Entitlements will continue to be paid.

Should Universities shut down completely awardees are permitted to remain in Australia and remain on scholarship. All entitlements will continue to be paid. DFAT and institutions will support awardees with visa issues where necessary, i.e. extending current visa arrangements or applying for a new visa.


Completion of Scholarship

If an awardee cannot return to their home country at the completion of their scholarship due to COVID-19 travel restrictions they are permitted to remain in Australia. DFAT will continue to support the awardees with CLE payments, health cover, visa extensions and other costs incurred as a result of extending their stay until travel restrictions have been lifted. This will be done in close consultation with the awardees institution.


Critical Incidents - Awardees diagnosed with COVID-19

All awardees and carers of an awardee and those who fall into the high risk categories (e.g. underlying or pre-existing medical conditions) are diagnosed with COVID-19 and are hospitalised, DFAT advises that they are covered under our existing policy and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) applies.

Should I bring my family with me?

We strongly advise all Australia Awards students to arrive unaccompanied by their family.

Trying to get settled in with your family can be very stressful and expensive, and you need to ensure that you can focus on your Introductory Academic Program (IAP) and degree program.

All students should wait at least one semester before arranging for family to come and join them in Australia. This will give you time to find suitable accommodation, enquire about schooling, and settle into your program.

How much money should I bring?

Australia Awards students are encouraged to bring a minimum A$750 with them when travelling to Australia. Initial expenses include full payment of temporary accommodation, public transport, food and other essentials.

Soon after meeting with your Student Contact Officer you will have access to your establishment allowance.

How do I access my establishment allowance?

You will be provided with a cheque for your establishment allowance after you have met with your Student Contact Officer shortly after your arrival. Once you receive your establishment allowance cheque you will need to open a bank account, deposit the cheque and provide your banking details to your Student Contact Officer. Your banking details are required for the University to pay your contribution to living expenses (CLE).

How much is my contribution to living allowance (CLE) and when will it be paid into my account?

The current CLE rate is A$1150.01 and is paid into your nominated bank account each fortnight. Payments are calculated from your date of arrival in Australia and will cease 5 days after the official release of results or the end of your scholarship period, whichever comes first. The CLE is tax-free.

Your first pay date will depend on when you submit your bank account details to the Sponsored Students Unit. Please note there is no additional CLE provided for accompanying family members. If you have an issue receiving your allowance please contact your Student Contact Officer immediately.

What is the Introductory Academic Program (IAP)?

The Introductory Academic program (IAP) is a 4-5 week course that all commencing Australia Awards Scholarship holders must complete before the semester starts. During this program you will learn about the academic expectations at The University of Queensland and gain useful skills to manage your studies and life in Australia. The Program is organised by UQ Student Services.

When is Introductory Academic Program (IAP)?

For undergraduate and master’s students, semester one IAP sessions run from mid-January to mid-February and semester two IAP sessions run from mid-June to mid-July.

There is a separate IAP program for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students which runs from early January to early February for research quarter 1 commencements.

Please monitor your email for exact dates and requirements.

How many courses do I have to take each semester?

You must study 8 units each semester to complete your degree within your original scholarship dates. If you do not complete your program on time your scholarship may be terminated.

The only instance in which you can study fewer than 8 units is if you are ahead in your studies, such as if you took courses in a previous Summer Semester. You can enrol in less than 8 units if you are in your last semester of study and require fewer than 8 units to meet the requirements of your program.

Can I transfer programs?

Australia Awards students are generally unable to transfer or upgrade their programs. Any program changes must be approved by the Australia Awards post.

If you would like more information on transferring programs please speak with your Student Contact Officer in the Sponsored Students Unit.

What supplementary support is available to Australia Awards Scholarship holders?

Depending on your program and circumstances, you may be able to access supplementary academic support, fieldwork support or workshop attendance support and reunion travel.

Supplementary Academic Support (SAS) is an entitlement that all Australia Awards scholars can access. Funds accrue at a rate of $500 per semester and can be used for individual tutoring, editing of a research project thesis or for conference attendance that is directly related to your program. Individual tutoring is generally approved for an initial eight hours. If you apply for funding to attend a conference you must have satisfactory academic performance and sufficient SAS funds remaining for future semesters. If approved the cost of the registration only will be able to be claimed from your SAS entitlement. All other expenses such as travel and accommodation expenses are to be paid by students. Students are permitted to travel to the conference destination one day prior to the conference and are required to return one day after the conference completion. Conference attendance will not be approved during your first semester.

If fieldwork is an essential part of your Higher Degree by Research (HDR) program, you can complete the Application for Fieldwork Support for HDR students. If you are planning to go on a mandatory fieldtrip as part of a course, you can complete the Application for fieldtrip. Please contact your Student Contact Officer to discuss your eligibility.

You are entitled to reunion travel support if your program length is at least two full-time academic years and you are not accompanied by family members. A 2-year master’s by coursework student is entitled to one reunion airfare. A PhD student is entitled to three reunion airfares. Reunion airfares must be booked through a campus travel agent and can only be accessed after you have successfully completed one full academic year. You cannot depart until the official release of results and must return before the start of the next semester. If your original offer includes a reunion travel entitlement and after you arrive you decide that your family will join you, you must forfeit your reunion airfare entitlement.

You must submit the required supplementary support form to your Student Contact Officer in the Sponsored Students Unit for approval. Written approval must be received before any support can be accessed. Please ensure you consult the Australia Awards Scholarships handbook in regards to the policy surrounding the use of your entitlements prior to submitting your application to your Student Contact Officer.

What are the visa conditions for me and my dependents?

Please refer to visa information in the Australia Awards handbook on the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website. 

Can I travel during semester breaks?

There are no travel restrictions during the study breaks, however, you must obtain permission from your Student Contact Officer if you intend to travel overseas.  

Please be aware that all travel must be within the non-study period.

OSHC will cover you for the entire duration of your scholarship period, including semester breaks, providing you are in Australia. If you are travelling internationally you should purchase additional traveller’s insurance.

Can I stay in Australia and pursue a PhD?

Generally Australia Awards Scholarship students are required to return to their home country for a minimum of 2 years after they have completed their scholarship studies in Australia.

Please see the Australia Awards handbook on the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for further information about visa requirements and remaining in Australia. 

When do I have to leave?

Australia Award Scholarship holders are required to leave Australia and return to their home country within 30 days the official release of results at the University, or before their visa expires, whichever comes first.

If you fail to depart Australia within 30 days of the official release of results, Australia Awards will immediately notify the Department of Home Affairs. You could be issued with a debt to the Commonwealth for the value of the entire scholarship.

How do I book return travel?

All completion travel must be booked through Campus Travel St Lucia when you are in your final semester of study. You should not purchase completion travel independently as no expenses will be reimbursed.

The Sponsored Students Unit will review and approve the proposed travel arrangements.

You are responsible for dependants’ travel and all dependants must depart Australia before you or with you. Dependant family members cannot remain in Australia once you have departed.

Please note that once completion travel is booked it cannot be varied without the approval of the Student Contact Officer in the Sponsored Students Unit. Any expenses related to changing a flight are your responsibility.

Can I attend my graduation?

If you are a coursework student you should be able to attend your graduation as graduation ceremonies are held approximately 2 weeks after the official release of results. 

If your results are not finalised at the time of the official release of results due to incomplete assignments or deferred exams, your graduation ceremony may be held in the next semester and you may not be able to attend.

Attending a graduation ceremony is not compulsory. Please keep in mind that financial support from Australia Awards ceases 5 days after the official release of results.

How do I make sure I settle back in once I am home?

Australia Awards offer a re-integration plan and Awardees are required to make contact with the Australia Awards office in their country/region to advise them of their return.

The Australia Global Alumni Engagement Strategy is also an excellent way to connect, form professional networks and foster the global Australia Awards alumni community.

Australia Awards Predeparture Guide

An introduction to studying at UQ as an Australia Awards recipient. Includes information about arrival and getting started, finances, family issues, and key contacts to help you with any questions.

Australia Awards supplementary support

Please use the following forms to apply for support for fieldwork, reunion travel, additional academic assistance or thesis editing, or attending a conference.