COVID-19 Updates

Overview

Semester 3, 2020 and Semester 1, 2021
Australia has recommenced granting student visas, so when borders re-open, students will already have visas and be able to make arrangements to travel. See more info at

Most of our university campuses are currently open, but in-person teaching is suspended. All universities have been transitioned to online learning. Many teaching blocks have been adjusted to move labs to later in the year; however, some small labs are still being held.

University Resources
Please find below the links to our universities’ COVID-19 communications sites, which are regularly updated and have contact information:

You can find another summary of the response evolution in Australia here.

In the News

In among the updates of how the universities are changing up their teaching delivery, we wanted to highlight some of the positive projects that our universities have on the go.

Our University Partners

The University of Queensland has been tasked by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a vaccine. Funding has been provided by both the Queensland Government and the Australian Government ($17 million AUD).

Melbourne researchers are looking to start an Australian preventative trial which will test an existing vaccine to see if can assist in preventing healthcare workers from falling ill with COVID-19. This will be led by the MCRI Infectious Diseased Research Group, whose leader is also a professor at the University of Melbourne. Find out more about the trial.

The University of Sydney’s Professor Edward Holmes is leading a scientific race to better understand SARS-CoV-2 and is working with scientists both in China and around the world to unlock the genetic code of the virus. This in attempt to better understand the origins of the illness and aid in the creation of an effective vaccine.

Interested in Lending a Hand?

Individuals looking to help out during this time can register their interest in volunteering with the Australian Red Cross. You will be matched based on your interest with locations where help is required.
If you’re able, blood donations are still required at this time, so feel free to sign up to donate!

Sign up to a local area Facebook group, like this one, Adopt a Healthcare Worker, to connect with healthcare workers in your area and offer to assist them in a variety of ways. (Think, providing baked goods, dropping off rescue packages, etc.).

Buy a medical professional a coffee!

Get yourself a lunch and pay it forward to someone else, Two Good has got you covered, if you’re interested! (Melbourne and Sydney both offer this service, delivery is $15).

What is the Australian Government doing?

The Australian government is also making many efforts to ease the impact that this is having on its population, as are businesses and the general public.

The Australian federal government has committed to providing $74 million AUD to aid in providing essential mental health services and support for all Australians. The National Mental Health Commission details what this commitment looks like!

Popular grocer, Woolworths, has launched the “Woolworths Basics Box” (it’s $80 AUD) and will contain meals, snacks, and a few essential items and will be delivered to the in-need individual. Ideal for individuals currently in self-isolation.

Three major Australian alcohol producers are helping to ensure the demand for hand sanitizer is met by changing what they produce. In Queensland, both the Beenleigh Rum Distillery and the Bundaberg Rum Distillery will be focusing their production on hand sanitizers with an aim to supply schools and frontline workers. In Sydney, Archie Rose Distillery has produced its own brand that has already sold out in pre-sale.

Questions?

Be sure to reach out!

We are all working through this for the first time together. If you have any questions or want to discuss anything, please feel free to reach out to our team. While we are practicing “social distancing” by working from home, we may be operating a little more slowly than usual, but we’ll respond as quickly as we can.

Thank you in advance for your patience!  

FAQs

Of course everyone has questions, and our goal is to answer as many as we can here. Please check regularly as we update often.

If you don’t see your question, please email info@oztrekk.com.

Will my tuition be lowered if I’m starting online? What financial assistance is available?

Despite many universities choosing to support students with online learning options, this does not mean that the cost of your program will be lowered. Any decisions about lowering tuition are being made individually by each university. Based on what we know at this time, here are some ways that universities are providing financial relief to students:

 

Bond University Bond University will provide fee relief by delaying the scheduled annual increases for 2021 until the May semester. This reduction is for the January semester only but applies to all international programs, including undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Offers that have already been issued will not be revised; however, students will be charged the lower fee when their enrolment is confirmed.

International Student Scholarships for January: Second round closing date November 21, 2020

Students commencing in January 2021 can apply now for an international student scholarship which awards up to the value of 50% off every semester to high achievers in the areas of academia, leadership and community endeavours:

International Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

Charles Sturt University International students who are commencing studies online due to COVID-19 border closures will be eligible to receive a 30% off tuition scholarship, applicable for the first two sessions of study: March 2021 & July 2021. For more details, please check their website.

Please note, Bachelor of Dental Science students are not eligible for this scholarship. See the full list of exclusions.

Deakin University TBA
Flinders University Go Beyond Scholarships allow students a chance to receive anywhere from 20% – 50% off of their tuition, depending on their academic standing and program. You can check out full details on their scholarship page.
Griffith University Griffith Excellence Scholarships rewards students with 25% off tuition for the duration of their program, for anyone who has a minimum 5.5/7.0 cGPA.
James Cook University TBA
Macquarie University The university offers several scholarship opportunities for Canadians totalling up to $10 000 off tuition. For a full list of available scholarships, please check out their scholarship site.
University of Melbourne TBA
Monash University Monash offers an array of scholarships for internationals, which you can find on their International Scholarship site.
University of Newcastle TBA
University of Otago TBA
University of Queensland Full-fee paying international students will be eligible for a 12.5% reduction of tuition fees based on your actual course enrolments in Semester 1, 2021. Please review UQ’s Frequently Asked Questions for further information on the rebate.
University of Sydney TBA
University of Western Australia TBA

Updated October 27, 2020

If borders remain closed when my program commences, when should I get started on planning my accommodation?

While we regularly encourage students to prepare in advance, this year, we suggest that students wait. As there is no clear date when students will be permitted into Australia, please wait before booking anything. This is especially important for students preparing to live on campus (in a residence or college) or in managed accommodation (like Urbanest or UniLodge). If you choose to book in advance, you will want to be certain you understand your financial obligations if you do not arrive in Australia at the time your lease commences.

You can certainly use the information we provide to start familiarizing yourself with the options available, but please do keep in mind that even once borders open, you will most likely be required to complete a 2-week quarantine period, which will prevent you from apartment hunting and/or moving into your place upon arrival.

Updated: October 22, 2020

I am supposed to start my program in semester 1, 2021. What should I do if borders do not open?

As the situation is everchanging, we are unsure of what it will look like for your 2021 study plans. There is currently a travel ban prohibiting non-residents (including students with Visas) from entering Australia.

Several adjustments have been made across our Universities in order to best support students in their study planning. Some programs are allowing students to commence their studies online, while other programs will not be able to support online studies, meaning students will need to defer studies should borders not open in time for program commencement. Here is what we know so far:

Medicine

UNIVERSITY Will my program be offered online if borders do not open in time for semester 1 commencement?
Deakin University Online studies for first semester
Flinders University Online studies for first semester; second semester under review
Griffith University BSc: Online with transition to Australia ASAP. Must be in Australia for MD portion
MD: First year online, will need to complete components in person once onshore; second year must be onshore
James Cook University Unable to start online; must arrive by March 31, 2021
Macquarie University Unable to start online
Monash University First year online
University of Melbourne Online studies for first semester
University of Queensland Online studies for first semester. Deferrals not allowed
University of Sydney Unable to start online
University of Western Australia Unable to start online

Updated: October 27, 2020

 

Dentistry

UNIVERSITY Will my program be offered online if borders do not open in time for semester 1 commencement?
Charles Sturt University University has not made a decision
Griffith University Yes. Some components cannot be completed online and will need to be completed once students arrive in Australia to study on campus. Students must be in Australia at the commencement of second year.
James Cook University Yes, semester 1 can be completed online
University of Melbourne Online studies not available; must be in person
University of Otago Unable to start online
University of Queensland Yes
University of Sydney Unable to start online
University of Western Australia Yes

Updated: October 16, 2020

 

Rehabilitation Sciences

UNIVERSITY Will my program be offered online if borders do not open in time for semester 1 commencement?
  Physiotherapy Occupational Therapy Chiropractic Science Speech Pathology Audiology
Flinders University Yes Yes Yes Yes
Griffith University       Unable to start online
Macquarie University     No. Studies must be in person University has not made a decision University has not made a decision
University of Melbourne Online studies not available; must be in person        
University of Queensland Yes. (November 2020 commencement)       Yes
University of Sydney University has not made a decision University has not made a decision   University has not made a decision  

Updated: October 16, 2020

 

Law

UNIVERSITY Will my program be offered online if borders do not open in time for semester 1 commencement?
Bond University Likely to be online
Flinders University University has not made a decision
Griffith University Yes
Monash University University has not made a decision
University of  Melbourne Studies are likely to be online
University of Newcastle University has not made a decision
University of Sydney University has not made a decision
University of Western Australia University has not made a decision

Updated: October 27, 2020

 

Veterinary Medicine

UNIVERSITY Will my program be offered online if borders do not open in time for semester 1 commencement?
University of Melbourne University has not made a decision
University of Sydney University has not made a decision
University of Queensland Yes

Updated: October 16, 2020

 

Pharmacy/Public Health/Nursing/Optometry/Teacher’s Education

 

University Will my program be offered online if borders do not open in time for semester 1 commencement?
  Pharmacy Public Health Nursing Optometry Teacher Education
Charles Sturt University University has not made a decision University has not made a decision
Deakin University Yes University has not made a decision Not available online
Flinders University Yes University has not made a decision University has not made a decision
Griffith University University has not made a decision Yes University has not made a decision.   Not available online
James Cook University University has not made a decision Yes University has not made a decision University has not made a decision
Macquarie University   Yes   University has not made a decision
Monash University An online start is likely, but no decision has been made. More info to come in December Yes  
University of Melbourne Yes   University has not made a decision University has not made a decision
University of Newcastle University has not made a decision Yes      
University of Queensland Yes Yes University has not made a decision.   Not available online
University of Sydney University has not made a decision Yes University has not made a decision.   Yes, students must go to Australia as soon as they are able
University of Western Australia Yes   University has not made a decision

Updated: October 27, 2020

 

Don’t see commencement plans for your program? Contact meghan@oztrekk.com for more information on whether or not your program will be offered online should borders remain closed.

 

 

I am struggling and am stressed. I don’t know what to do. What should I do?

We understand that this is a stressful time for you. If you have specific questions, or just want to chat, please reach out to our team. We’re working remotely, but we can email and hop on a Skype / call quite easily.

The following resources are from current OzTREKK students who have been juggling the “new norm” over the past couple of months:

If You’re in Australia, here are some great resources:

Australian Psychological Society offers tips to maintain positive mental health.

Discuss any questions you have with your state or territory Public Health Agency:

Mental health resources by university

Updated: October 16, 2020

I’m in Australia. What if I choose to return home for the holidays?

If you are a current student studying in Australia, or a commencing student who happens to already be in Australia, we recommend that you remain in Australia if you are serious about completing your studies on time.

There are a few scenarios that you may find yourself in when deciding to return home to Canada, and ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what is best for you and your family.

1. You wish to fully withdraw from studies

If done on time (please confirm with your uni as to what this date is), your fees will be refunded. Should you choose to attend studies in Australia later, you would need to reapply to the program.

2. You wish to complete studies online

Before making the decision to return home, please check in with your program coordinator/faculty to ensure this is an option, and if so, there are no components you might miss (this semester and next) by returning home.

If you return home, please be aware that you will need to be quarantined in Canada. You will not be able to return to Australia until the current Australian-entry travel restriction has been removed.

3. You wish to defer studies to a later intake

Some programs will allow students to defer their studies to the next available intake. We are not sure of the possibility of deferring a professional program (medicine, dentistry, health sciences, etc.), but will update this page as we learn more info. We strongly recommend that you check with your university to see if you are able to defer your program.

Updated: October 16, 2020

What is going to happen with my clinical placements during COVID-19?

Once your studies commence in 2021, you must contact you program coordinator directly to discuss clinical placement details. If you’re having difficulty, please let your OzTREKK Admissions Officer know and we can follow up with your university.

Updated: October 16, 2020

Is the Australian border closed to non-Australians?

The Australian Government has closed the border indefinitely, meaning that non-Australians will not be able to enter the country for the foreseeable future. If you hold an offer or CoE and to a program that commences in early 2021, this will mean one of a few things:

  • You’ll be able to commence studies online, and start studies in-person once borders open.
  • Your program may not be offered online if borders do not open, and you’ll need to defer to 2022.
  • Your program may not be offered online, and you will need to reapply to a later intake.

Once borders open, you will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon re-entering Australia; should your studies resume as normal (i.e., face to face lectures), you may be unable to attend for 14 days upon re-entering.

Updated: October 16, 2020