Australia Award students

La Trobe University is proud to partner with the Australian Government to provide outstanding experiences for Australia Awards scholars. Our sponsored programs team ensures that Australia Awards students are well supported during their scholarship and enjoy a rich and rewarding experience. Check our Australia Awards for information on how we support you [PDF 3.5MB].

Contact officers

Australia Awards students are encouraged to keep in regular contact with their Student Contact Officers (SCO) at La Trobe by emailing They will assist you with a range of issues including, but not limited to:

  • airport pick up and short-term accommodation on arrival
  • establishment of your bank account and Contribution to Living (CLE) payments
  • Introductory Academic Program
  • Supplementary Academic Support - accessing funds
  • suspending your scholarship
  • travel arrangements (fieldwork, reunion, returning home)
  • changes to enrolment
  • academic progress issues
  • extension of scholarship
  • extension of visa
  • personal issues you may need some help with.

Your Australia Awards Contact Officers are available every Thursday morning from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm at La Trobe International Sylvia Walton Building, Level 3, Room 306, and outside of these hours by appointment by emailing or by telephoning +61 (03) 9479 3439.

Policy handbook

The Australia Awards Scholarship Policy Handbook is your primary reference as an Australia Awards recipient. It covers the rules and regulations governing your scholarship and the various entitlements available to you as an Australia Awards scholar. You should retain a copy of the Handbook for the duration of your studies and use this as your first point of reference for all queries about your scholarship.

The Australia Awards Scholarships Policy Handbook is also the primary reference tool for La Trobe as your host institution, your in-country Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Post or Managing Contractor, and DFAT Canberra for policy and procedure relating to the administration of your award.

Pre-departure and arrival

You must attend the pre-departure briefing organised by your in-country post, and we request that you read the My Life at La Trobe guide [PDF 6MB] prior to departing your home country. My Life at La Trobe 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 useful information.

Your La Trobe Australia Awards Student Contact Officers will provide you with information regarding short-term accommodation options in the Welcome Pack sent to your post prior to your departure. Some short-term accommodation options will require you to pay a deposit to secure your booking, and that the full cost of accommodation rests with you.

We also host a live online pre-departure webinar for you to log in from your home country via an internet connection and hear from us about your studies and arrival preparation. During the webinar, there is a live chat function for you to ask questions.

Airport Reception

All commencing international students are entitled to a free airport pick-up service. You will be met on arrival at the airport and transported to your accommodation. Australia Awards students should book online.

Arrival and Registration

We will assign you a current Australia Awards student either from your home country or from your same course, to meet you and provide assistance. Your buddy will bring you to LTI to register and will assist you to open your bank account. Your buddy will make contact you at your accommodation once you have arrived safely from the airport.

Introductory Academic Program (IAP)

You must attend the Introductory Academic Program when you arrive at La Trobe. The program runs prior to the start of each Semester, just for Australia Awards students. Your IAP dates will be included in the Welcome Pack, to be posted before you leave your home country. Contact your Australia Awards Student Contact Officers if you have any queries about the IAP.

We encourage you to arrive at least one week prior to IAP commencement, so you can settle into your new environment before the IAP starts. New Australia Awards scholars can commence receipt of your Contribution to Living Allowance up to two weeks prior to your IAP start date, so early travel to Australia is strongly encouraged.

Bringing your family

Before bringing your family to Australia, there is a range of issues you must consider first, including how your family will settle into life in Australia, the associated cost of bringing them to Australia and supporting them whilst here, and the impact that having your family here may have on your studies. You will also relinquish any reunion entitlement you have at your disposal if your family join you in Australia.

Please make an appointment with your Student Contact Officers to discuss further. It is strongly recommended that you spend at least three months studying in Australia to familiarise yourself with the demands of study, the local environment and cost of living prior to having your family join you.

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 are seeking a family visa prior to travelling to Australia, or by your Student Contact Officers if you are already in Australia.

Please refer to the Students with Spouse and/or Children booklet [PDF 1MB] for detailed information and this family information sheet [PDF 403KB]. Please also note that there are significant health insurance costs associated with bringing spouse and or children to Australia.

Please also note you will be required to sign a family acknowledgement declaration [PDF 236KB] that you take full responsibility for the financial support of your family and that no additional funds are provided by the scholarship.

Child Care

Australia Awards students may be eligible to access government support such as the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. New Australia Awards students can contact the Department of Human Services about support available and how to access these services.

Call 131 272 (Monday to Friday, 8.30 am - 4.45 pm) or 131 107 (Automated Child Support Information Service). You should contact your nearest office of Centrelink to discuss further.

Students may also use a government online service to search for suitable childcare options or refer to the My Life at La Trobe Guide [PDF 6MB] or the Students with Spouse and/or Children booklet [PDF 1MB] for more information.

Academic support

Australia Awards students are encouraged to utilise all available academic support to enhance their studies, within their college, the Student Learning unit, and through the Supplementary Academic Support funds available as part of their scholarship.

Taking leave from your studies and scholarship

Taking leave from your studies is permitted under special circumstances and this pauses your scholarship and stipend and adjusts your end date by the amount of time that you are away. However, as well as La Trobe University agreeing, DFAT Canberra and your Post (Australian Embassy in your home country) also have to agree.

Please make an appointment to discuss your situation with your student contact officer.

Extending your studies and scholarship

Extending your time in Australia is only permitted in very special circumstances as this increases the costs to your sponsor, DFAT. As well as this being permitted by the university it needs to be approved by DFAT Canberra and Post. If you think you need more time to complete your studies please make a time to speak to the student contact officer well in advance.

Please note that even if your scholarship and study extension is approved, any costs associated with obtaining a new visa must be covered by you.

Requesting reunion airfare

If you are entitled to a reunion airfare you are permitted to take it 12 months after your arrival date. Please book using this reunion travel form [PDF 304KB] and submit to your student contact officer.

Completing your studies

It is very important that you finish your studies within the scholarship timeframe stipulated by Australia Awards. You should meet with your Student Contact Officers immediately if you see any impediment to a timely completion, so they can work with your College to get you back on track. Australia Awards have strict requirements that students return to their home country within 30 days of completing your studies. The La Trobe student Contact Officers will assist you with booking your flight home.

Unfortunately, you are unlikely to be able to attend a formal University Graduation, however, we organize a Recognition of Studies event for you, and DFAT usually organises a State-based ceremony as well. Your Student Contact Officer will send you details.