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OS-HELP and overseas study

OS-HELP is a loan for students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) who want to study some of their course overseas.

You cannot get OS-HELP if you are enrolled at or your qualification will be awarded by an overseas university or higher education provider. 

If you get OS-HELP, your provider will pay the loan amount directly to you. You can use it to pay for airfares, accommodation or other travel costs.

You can get two OS-HELP loans over your lifetime, but they can't be within the same six month period.



Your provider will assess your eligibility for an OS-HELP loan against the criteria below. If you have any questions, please contact your provider.

To get an OS-HELP loan, you must:

  • have been selected by your provider to receive an OS‑HELP loan;
  • be an Australian citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the residency requirements;
  • have not received an OS‑HELP loan on more than one other occasion;
  • be enrolled with an Australian provider in a Commonwealth supported place and have completed one equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) - usually one year of full-time study;
  • be studying full-time overseas and this study will count towards the course requirements for the Australian course you are enrolled in;
  • have at least 0.125 EFTSL of your course left to complete once you have finished your overseas study - usually one unit of study;
  • have a valid tax file number (TFN) at the time of applying
  • from 1 January 2021 have a Unique Student Indentifier (USI) before your application
  • have submitted an OS-HELP debt confirmation form to your provider; and
  • have read the OS-HELP Statement of terms and conditions.


How much OS-HELP can I get?

In 2021, the maximum you can borrow for a six-month study period is:

  • $7,037 (if you do not study in Asia); or
  • $8,444 if you study in Asia; PLUS an extra $1,123 if you do Asian language study in preparation for study in Asia.

Your provider will tell you how much OS-HELP you can borrow. 


OS-HELP and Asian language study

You can get an extra loan amount if you study Asian language in preparation for your overseas study in Asia.

You cannot get an extra Asian language study amount if your Asian language study is a part of your course or if you are already using a HELP loan to pay for those units. 

If you plan to study overseas in more than one country, you can still get the extra OS-HELP loan amount for Asian language study if at least one of the countries is in Asia. 

'Asia' includes these 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. 


Overseas study

You can also apply for scholarships to help pay for your overseas study. 

Each provider has their own scholarships. Ask at their International Office for more information. 

You can also apply for the following Australian Government scholarship:



To get an OS-HELP loan, you will need a TFN, a USI and an OS-HELP debt confirmation form, which your provider will give you.

Your form must be filled in and submitted to your provider before their due date.

You must study overseas within six months of your OS-HELP application being approved.