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.

Meet your International Student Advisors (ISAs)

Our International Student Advisors (ISAs) are here to support you throughout your time at VU. We will help you connect with support services at VU in the community.

Your first opportunity to meet with us will be online at the compulsory Meet Your ISAs session. We look forward to meeting you and helping you to ensure your time at VU is as rewarding as possible.

Register for the compulsory Meet Your ISAs session before your course start date:

Register to meet your ISA

Getting started at VU

If you're enrolling in an English Language or Vocational Education and Training (VET/TAFE) course, you will receive an email about your enrolment session.

If you’re enrolling in a Higher Education (HE) course, you can enrol online after you receive your ‘Enrolment is Open’ email. Find out more information about enrolling online.

You will have access to a range of tools and IT services to assist you with your studies.

The Getting Connected videos introduce you to some of these services. You can adjust the video speed at the bottom of the screen.

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 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].

Preparing to arrive in Melbourne

In your preparations for arriving in Melbourne, you'll need to consider your housing options.

If you plan to live in a student apartment that meets best practice requirements or in Homestay organised through VU's preferred provider, it should be safe to pay a deposit before your arrive.

Welfare & support services

Your safety

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.

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.

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.

Violence, including family violence, is illegal in Australia. Victoria University does not tolerate violence in any form. VU's Counselling and Respect and Responsibility services provide resources, guidance and support if you or someone you know needs help or information. Safe Steps and 1800 Respect provide information and support in relation to family violence.

If you are in immediate danger at any time, call triple zero (000) for police, fire or ambulance.

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:

Scams are designed to deceive you, generally for the purpose of stealing your money or personal details. Anyone can fall for a scam. Know the risks and take the quiz to test your knowledge.

Your health & OSHC

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

Medical treatment

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.

Allianz Care OSHC provides doctor’s appointments by phone or video. Check your OSHC provider’s website for more information.

Find health services and information online on the Better Health and Health Translations websites.

Dental treatment

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) does not cover dental services, but you can pay extra for additional coverage. Ask your OSHC provider for more information.

Some dentists may offer discounts to full-time students. Confirm when making an appointment and make sure you take your student card with you.

Melbourne University Dental Clinic is a teaching clinic and charges lower fees than most dentists. This website has a link at bottom of their page to search for a dentist by location.

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

Allianz Care OSHC is Victoria University’s preferred OSHC provider:

  1. Create your Allianz Care account.
  2. Download the Allianz Care app, access your e-membership card and explore the services available.

Allianz Care 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:

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.

In remote (online) and face-to-face classes you will be expected to:

  • attend classes
  • prepare for classes in your own time
  • understand principles
  • think critically
  • research and analyse information
  • discuss ideas
  • solve problems
  • ask for help if you don't understand something
  • work in groups
  • contribute to discussion
  • communicate in English.

The relationship between students and staff is usually informal. It’s common for you and your teachers and lecturers to use each other’s first names. Your teacher will introduce themselves in the first class for each unit. They will tell you how they prefer you to contact them if you have questions about your class content. Use your VU student email address and include your VU student ID number when you email staff.

  • Arrive a few minutes before your class start time.
  • Keep your phone on silent.
  • If you are working on a group assignment, attend all group meetings and complete your part of the group work on time.

Your Course and Unit Advisor (CUA) is the best person to contact for administrative assistance relating to your course, units and study plan.

You must maintain satisfactory progress during each study period. Attending all your classes and seeking help from support services when you need it will give you the best chance of success in your studies.

If you need help with your studies or are at risk of making unsatisfactory progress the Learning Hubs provide English language and academic support. VU’s other free and confidential support services are available to help you adjust to study and life at VU.

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.

Working in Melbourne

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

All people in Australia, including international students, have basic work rights. There are rules about what hours employees work, minimum payment and how often breaks must be taken.

If you are planning to look for part time work there are a few things you need to consider:

The FairWork Ombudsman provides free advice and assistance to help all workers understand their rights and can also help to resolve employment issues.

The Study Melbourne Student Centre International Students’ Work Rights Legal Service provides help to resolve workplace issues and advice to understand your work rights. This is a free, confidential and independent service, provided by employment lawyers, to help international students.

If you work while on your student visa, you will pay personal tax. You will be considered a ’resident for tax purposes’ after you have been living and studying in Australia for more than six months. If you work, you will need a Tax File Number (TFN). You can apply to the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) for this number.

If you work and earn money you may be required to lodge a tax return using your TFN. You may be able to receive free help to lodge your tax return.

Not all workers need an Australian Business Number (ABN). You only need an ABN if you are a contractor. Contractors usually run their own business and make their own decisions about work. They need an ABN. As an employee you only need a Tax File Number (TFN).

Employees and contractors have different rights at work. You have better rights and protections as an employee, like minimum pay. View information about ABNs & seek advice before you apply.

VU Employ offers career and job-search advice, resume help, mentoring, a jobs board and more.

Volunteering is a great way to get to know the local culture, practice English and make friends and new contacts. You can also list volunteer experiences on your resume as this experience is valued highly by employers. These websites list volunteer opportunities:

Read about the volunteer journey of a former international student who is now the International Education Project Coordinator at the City of Melbourne.

Your rights & responsibilities and VU's obligations

The Student Charter outlines your rights and responsibilities as a student at Victoria University.

The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework protects the rights of international students studying in Australia on a student visa. It establishes legislative requirements and standards for the quality assurance of education providers offering courses to international students who are in Australia on a student visa. ESOS also provides tuition fee protection for international students.

The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code 2018) sets nationally consistent standards for the delivery of courses to overseas students.

View the ESOS Journey for International Students.

You are responsible for making sure you have a valid visa and for meeting your visa conditions. Make sure you understand your visa entitlements and responsibilities by checking your visa documents and Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

One of the conditions student visa holders must uphold is that you must let your education provider know your residential address within 7 days of arriving in Australia if you were outside Australia when your visa was granted. If your residential address changes, you must let your education provider know within 7 days of the change.

VU is your education provider. If you have enrolled, you can update your contact details online through MYVU.

Complaints & appeals

Victoria University’s Student Complaints Policy provides for the fair and prompt handling of student complaints in a manner that’s consistent with the University’s values. Our process encourages students to be independent and effective problem solvers. We encourage you to try to resolve your concern at the local level before lodging a complaint.

If you feel that the outcome of the University-managed complaint isn’t consistent with the prescribed grounds of the Student Appeals Regulations, you can lodge an appeal through the University's appeals process.

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.

Northern Community Legal Centre provides free and confidential legal advice and assistance to people who live, work, or study in the Moreland, Hume, or Mitchell Shire local government areas.