Australia Awards students

If you’re coming to La Trobe as part of the Australia Awards program, here’s what you need to know.

Led by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia Awards scholarships support selected students from developing countries.

If you’ve successfully secured an Australia Awards scholarship, you’ll have the same high level of support as other La Trobe students, and you’ll also gain access to specific programs and dedicated Student Contact Officers.

For more information about Australia Awards, including how to apply, visit the DFAT website.

If you’re looking for information about how your scholarship works, the Australia Awards Policy Handbook should always be your first point of reference. The Handbook contains important information about your obligations and entitlements as an Australia Awards recipient.

The Handbook is also the primary reference for La Trobe and DFAT for the administration of your scholarship.

At La Trobe, you'll have access to a dedicated team of Student Contact Officers. They can help you with a range of issues, including:

  • arranging airport pick-up and short-term accommodation when you arrive
  • setting up a bank account
  • preparing for your IAP session
  • accessing supplementary academic support (SAS)
  • taking leave from your studies
  • arranging travel (for fieldwork, reunion airfares or returning home)
  • changing your enrolment
  • academic issues
  • extending your scholarship
  • extending your visa
  • personal issues.

You can talk to a Student Contact Officer in person during office hours or contact them by phone or email.

Contact us

Phone: +61 3 9479 3439

Email us

Drop-in sessions: every Wednesday (during Semester)

11am–1pm at La Trobe Library (in the agora)

We host a live online pre-departure webinar where you can hear from us about your studies and how you can prepare for your arrival. You can attend this online while still in your home country. There’s also a live chat function for you to ask questions.

Before you leave your home country, you must attend the pre-departure briefing organised by your in-country post, and you should also read the My life at La Trobe guide [PDF 6MB]. The guide provides lots of useful information regarding settling into life at the University, including details about the cost of living, finding accommodation on arrival, and other information.

Your Student Contact Officers will provide you with information about short-term accommodation options in the Welcome Pack that we send to your post before you leave home. Please note that some short-term accommodation options require you to pay a deposit to secure your booking, and you are responsible for managing the full cost of your accommodation.

Airport reception

All commencing Australia Awards students are entitled to a free airport pick-up service. The pick-up service will meet you when you arrive at the airport and transport you to your accommodation.

Arrival and registration

To help you settle in, we’ll assign a current Australia Awards student to be your buddy. Where possible, they will either be from your home country or studying the same course as you and will contact you at your accommodation after you’ve arrived safely from the airport. When you’re ready, they’ll bring you to the La Trobe International office to register your arrival and will also help you open your bank account.

Thinking about bringing your family with you to Australia? It’s a good idea to make an appointment with your Student Contact Officers to discuss this further.

You should consider all the factors involved with bringing your family to Australia, including:

  • how your family will settle into life in Australia
  • the associated cost of bringing your family to Australia and supporting them while they’re here, including the significant health insurance costs associated with bringing your spouse and/or children to Australia
  • the impact that having your family here may have on your studies
  • the fact you relinquish any reunion entitlement you have at your disposal if your family join you in Australia.

In general, we strongly recommend you spend at least three months studying in Australia before deciding if your family will join you. This is so you can familiarise yourself with the demands of study, the local environment and the costs of living.

If you proceed with applying for a family visa, the Australian Consulate or Embassy in your home country may request a Letter of No Objection to bring your family to Australia. This letter will be provided by your in-country post if you’re seeking a family visa before travelling to Australia, or by your Student Contact Officers if you’re already in Australia.

Please refer to the Family information sheet [PDF 403KB] for detailed information.

If your family does join you in Australia, you’ll need to sign a Family acknowledgement declaration [PDF 236KB] stating you take full responsibility for the financial support of your family and acknowledging no additional funds are provided by the scholarship to support your family.


Australia Awards students may be eligible to access government support such as the Child Care Subsidy. New Australia Awards students can contact Services Australia about the support available and how to access the subsidy.

The Introductory Academic Program (IAP) is a compulsory session that you must attend before you start your studies. The IAP runs before the start of each semester and is specifically designed for Australia Awards students.

We’ll send you a welcome pack before you leave your home country, which will include your IAP dates. We recommend you arrive in Australia at least one week before the IAP begins so you have plenty of time to settle in. For more information, see the Services Australia website.

We encourage you to take advantage of all the academic support services we offer at La Trobe, including through your College and our learning support programs.

As part of your Australia Awards scholarship, you can also access additional funds to help you succeed. Known as supplementary academic support (SAS), this money can go towards activities such as tutoring and academic training.

SAS Information frequently asked questions [PDF 238.2 KB] SAS request form [PDF 166.9 KB]

As the recipient of an Australia Awards scholarship, you may be eligible for a reunion airfare. This means your scholarship may cover the cost of a flight back to your home country during a study break.

If you’re entitled to a reunion airfare, you can take it 12 months after you arrive in Australia.

Request a reunion airfare [PDF 332.3KB]

You may be able to take leave from your studies in special circumstances. Your leave will need to be approved by La Trobe, DFAT and the Australian Embassy in your home country. If your leave is approved, your scholarship will pause, and your study completion date will be adjusted accordingly.

If you need to take leave from your studies, make an appointment to discuss your situation with your Student Contact Officer.

Extending your scholarship increases the cost to DFAT, so extensions are only granted in very special circumstances. All extensions must be approved by La Trobe, DFAT and the Australian embassy in your home country. Please remember, even if your extension is approved, you will need to cover the cost of renewing your student visa.

If you think you might need more time to complete your studies, please speak to your Student Contact Officer well in advance.

It's very important you finish your studies within the timeframe set by DFAT. As part of your scholarship’s requirements, you must return to your home country within 30 days of completing your studies. Your Student Contact Officer can help you book your flight home.

Unfortunately, the requirement for you to return home means you will probably miss your formal graduation ceremony. However, we will organise a recognition event for you while you’re in Australia and DFAT usually organises an event as well. Your Student Contact Officer will provide you with the details.

If you are concerned that you won’t finish your studies within your scholarship's timeframe, please contact your Student Contact Officer immediately.