Our free support services are available to help you adjust to study and life at Victoria University (VU) in Melbourne.

You will find information about services for all our students in our current students section.

The links for some support services are also included on this page so that you can find them easily. You will also find additional information on this page, which has been put together especially for you as an international student.

Welfare & support services

Health, safety & OSHC

Melbourne is generally a safe city. In any city, it’s important that you understand what you can do to keep yourself and your belongings safe.

VU’s Health Advisor can provide medical advice, information and referrals.

When you are sick in Australia you usually phone and make an appointment to visit a doctor (also called a general practitioner or GP). You can talk to a doctor online or by phone by making a telehealth appointment.

You only visit hospital if it is an emergency, or if the doctor sends you to hospital. Call Nurse-on-call on 1300 60 60 24 if you are feeling unwell but you are not sure if you should go to hospital or make an appointment with a doctor. Nurse-on-call is a free service in Victoria that is always open, even at night and on the weekends or public holidays. Phone calls are free from landline phones, although your mobile phone provider might charge you, depending on the details of your phone plan.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is available while you are in Australia.

Allianz OSHC is Victoria University’s preferred OSHC provider:

  1. Create your Allianz online account using your preferred email address and your VU student ID number followed by the letters 'VU' e.g. 1234567VU.
  2. Download the Allianz app, access your e-membership card and explore the services available.
  3. View the Allianz orientation video for more information (English language, closed captions available).

Allianz OSHC members have free access to Doctors on Demand, a video and phone medical consultation service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that allows you to speak to a qualified doctor.

If your OSHC is with another provider, please contact your provider directly for information about their services. Other OSHC providers include:

Police, fire and ambulance are free services you can call if there is an emergency in Australia. They are here to help everyone in the community stay safe.

Call triple zero (000) in an immediate life-threatening emergency for police, fire or ambulance.

  • Calls to triple zero (000) are free, even from your mobile phone.
  • You can call triple zero (000) even if you do not have any credit (money) on your phone.
  • When you call, stay calm and speak slowly.
  • The person on the phone will ask which service you want, police, fire or ambulance.
  • If you need an interpreter, tell the person on the phone what country you are from and what language you want to speak.
  • You can read all the questions the triple zero (000) operator will ask on the Ambulance Victoria website.

Emergency services recommend you download the Emergency Plus app. The app shows your address and location so you will always have that information available.

Fire Rescue Victoria

When you’re asleep, you can’t smell smoke. Smoke alarms save lives as they wake you and alert you to the danger from smoke and fire. By law you must have a smoke alarm where you live. All homes must have a smoke alarm on each level.

Landlords are legally responsible for installing and maintaining alarms in rental properties; tenants are responsible for testing them regularly. We recommend changing the batteries every six months, when daylight savings starts and ends.

If you live off campus in a house or flat there must be a smoke alarm. If you live in UniLodge Victoria University the smoke alarm in your room will be tested by UniLodge staff. You do not need to touch the smoke alarm.

Find more fire safety information in the fire safety flyer.

Tips from Victoria Police

  • Get to know your local area and public transport.
  • Save emergency contact numbers in your phone.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and remain alert.
  • Trust your instincts, if you feel uneasy, head towards a location or situation that feels safer.
  • Never leave your belongings unattended.
  • Call 131 444 for non-urgent assistance and to find your local police station.

Read more safety information from in the Victoria Police student safety flyer.

Water safety is very important.

For the beach:

  • View the beach safety video to learn about rip currents and how to stay safe when swimming at a beach (English language, closed captions available).
  • Use the Beachsafe app and Beachsafe website to find out which beaches have life savers on duty and other important information about beaches around Australia.

For inland waterways such as rivers, creeks, lakes and dams:

VU has many safety resources and services to help you to be safe online, in the community and on campus.

Safer Community is VU’s central point of enquiry, response and support for concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour. This includes online behaviours and incidents that occur on or off campus. Safer Community provides support at all stages of complex and sensitive situations.

You can report an incident or seek help from Safer Community if you:

  • have safety or wellbeing concerns for yourself or someone else
  • are feeling attacked, harassed, intimidated, bullied or threatened
  • witness or have information about concerning behaviour.

Download the VUSafe app. It has safety information, tools and features to help you stay safe.

Studying at VU

It is important that you understand the requirements of your course, including what is expected of you with regard to class attendance, completing and submitting assessments and course progress.

Your teachers and academics will explain your course requirements or advise you where to find that information at the start of each unit. If you are not sure about any of these requirements, ask your teacher how to obtain the information during your first class.

Even if your classes are online, you are expected to participate online in your classes at their scheduled times.

Learning Hub

The Learning Hub provides study support, English language support, and career guidance to VU students. You can access workshops, drop-in sessions, online resources and get advice about assessments and assignment questions.

Learning Hub staff and Student Mentors are available to support you during your study and pass on knowledge and skills in specialised areas. VU Employ provides specialist careers advice and services.

The Learning Hub's video (English language, closed captions available) gives more information about Student Mentors and accessing the Learning Hub services online.

After you enrol, log into the Learning Hub online to see all the workshops, drop-in sessions, study essentials and other services available. If you have any questions or cannot log in, email [email protected].

Library

The VU Library Start Guide is a great place to start exploring the VU Library and all the services and resources it offers. Use the chat link to contact a librarian or ‘Ask a Librarian’ to email a question.

Employment rights & information

Working in Australia may be different to working in your home country.

There are rules about what employees get at work, such as what hours they work, their minimum payment and how often they have to have a break.

Visa holders, including international students, have the same workplace rights as all other workers in Australia. The FairWork Ombudsman provides free advice and assistance to all workers to help them understand these rights. The FairWork Ombudsman can also help to resolve employment issues.

You can also seek help to resolve workplace issues or understand your work rights from the Study Melbourne Student Centre International Students’ Work Rights Legal Service. This is a free, confidential and independent service, provided by employment lawyers, to help international students.

Legal advice & information

Student support can refer you to a legal service that provides free legal advice.

Study Melbourne Student Centre’s International Students’ Housing and Accommodation Legal Service is a free, confidential and independent legal service, provided by lawyers, to help international students who have issues or questions about their accommodation rights and obligations.

Inner Melbourne Community Legal has created legal information for international students to help you know where to ask for help with a legal problem.