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.

Semester 2, 2020
Students heading into Semester 2 are very likely to be impacted by travel restrictions, at minimum; we will communicate directly with each affected student. Unfortunately, there is no single approach—every program and university may have a slightly different arrangement.

If you have any questions, you are strongly encouraged to contact your university or program director to discuss your situation. If you need our help, we are happy to assist in any way we’re able, even if you want to talk it through.

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.

Have the medicine application timelines changed?

For information about important dates such as deadlines, please refer to the following links: Graduate Medicine or Undergraduate Medicine. These timelines are updated as soon as we receive any amendments from the universities.

If you have any specific questions about this or if you’re looking for more information about the timelines for specific universities, please reach out to our medicine admissions officer at medicine@oztrekk.com.

Will there be financial assistance for international students at this time?

Many of our university partners recognize the financial situation that many students are facing as a result of COVID-19. Here are the latest financial opportunities provided by our universities that we’ve heard about so far:

Bond University students can receive 20% off their semester 2 tuition. Check out more info under “Fees” at Bond’s FAQ Site.

Charles Sturt University offers the COVID-19 Grant to meet a short-term financial need and be available to enable students to support their continued study at Charles Sturt University.

Deakin University has announced $25 million worth of Hardship Support for International Students.

Flinders University has allotted $12.5 million total to support students during this difficult time. Check out their Student Support Package to see if you are eligible.

Macquarie University is offering the  Student Success Support Package, which has 5 options and students can ask for all the options or any of combinations.

Monash University offers COVID-19 Student Compassionate and Hardship package for students who have been adversely affected by COVID-19

University of Melbourne is offering emergency support grants for students facing hardship.

University of Newcastle students may apply for the Financial Assistance Fund (FAF). For more information please visit their Student Financial Support page.

University of Otago students may apply to access the Hardship Fund for a one-off payment of up to $250. The New Zealand government has recently confirmed that international students who are legally entitled to work and who are employed by a New Zealand employer are covered by the wage subsidy. The subsidy covers employees who are working part-time or on a casual or contract basis. The subsidy is paid to employers. It does not cover international students who were not in employment before the outbreak of COVID-19.

University of Queensland students who are experiencing urgent and unexpected financial problems that are affecting their studies may be eligible for an interest-free loan or emergency hardship grant ($2,000 maximum).

University of Sydney is opening their general bursaries to all enrolled students.

Updated: April 15, 2020

Will the Australian universities cancel the DAT requirement for 2021?

The DAT requirement was not waived by the graduate-entry programs this year. All of the deadlines for the grad-entry programs have now passed for the 2021 intake, so if you are interested in the University of Sydney’s DMD, University of Melbourne’s DDS or University of Western Australia’s DMD, please contact dentistry@oztrekk.com for information on the 2022 intake.

Updated: July 28, 2020

Will my tuition be lowered if I’m starting online?

As far as we are aware at this time, the cost of your program will remain the same, regardless of whether the content is delivered online or in person. Any decisions about lowering tuition will be made individually by each university, and students are encouraged to check in with their faculty to see if any fee changes will be made.

Updated: April 3, 2020

I’ve commenced studies in Australia. What will happen to my existing visa?

Based on information provided to OzTREKK by Austrade, students should not be adversely impacted by COVID-19.

  • Students who have returned home and are unable to return to Australia to continue their study must defer; this will not affect their visa status.
  • Student visas cannot be extended onshore at this stage (students may need to apply for another visa or a visitor visa if their current visa runs out).

Please note that things are evolving, and this could all change as the curve starts to flatten. In the meantime, please confirm your understanding with the Department of Home Affairs.

Updated April 3, 2020

I’m starting an Australian program in the next few weeks / month. What should I do about my visa? 

Based on information provided to OzTREKK by Austrade, students should not be adversely impacted by COVID-19. Students should not apply for a visa at this time, and if you are starting a course online, you will not require a visa until it’s time to come to campus when borders open and flights resume.

At this time, you’d need to be able to satisfy requirements for a student visa application that may be required for assessment (e.g., a panel doctor health check, English language testing, and evidence of financial capacity). We advise that you wait to lodge any visa application until you have more information.

Please confirm this information with the Department of Home Affairs.

Updated April 3, 2020

Will the Australian Government provide any financial relief to students who are unable to maintain an income from part-time work? 

No. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated that international students will not receive financial assistance from the government. The only two profiles of student who will be able to work beyond their visa-allocated part-time hours will be nursing students working in aged care, and those working for major grocery retailers.

For more information on what Prime Minister Morrison stated in a recent press statement, check out this article.

The situation is changing all the time, so please be sure to regularly consult the Australian Government website for updates on financial aid as well as general recommendations and announcements concerning COVID-19.

Updated: April 3, 2020

My university has eliminated letter grades. Is there further documentation I will need to provide to supplement my transcript for assessment?

We’ve been made aware that some Canadian universities are moving to the pass/fail or credit/no credit system. At this time, we do not know how this will affect application assessments; however, we’ve shared the information that we currently know with our partnered universities to see how this will affect assessments. Please note that what we hear back will likely differ by university and program, and your admissions officer will be in touch as soon as there is an update for you.

If you’ve been made aware that your university is moving toward pass/fail or credit/no credit, please notify your admissions officer right away so that we can have a more detailed picture of the situation.

Updated: March 30, 2020

 

Can students remain in university accommodation during this time?

We’ve heard from some students whose universities are allowing them to remain in their accommodations, and we suspect this will be common everywhere.  In the instance of needing to self-isolate, some accommodations are offering food delivery and support services. For those who are living off campus, some universities are allowing students to apply to self-isolate on campus. Check in with your university’s student housing department to find out about your options.

Students who are looking to remain on campus for the next semester and are choosing to remain in residence during the semester break should contact their university to see if fees will be waived for the break (we’ve heard some universities are doing this). Students who are not continuing should contact their university’s student housing department to learn when they will be expected to vacate.

Updated: March 27, 2020

Have the dentistry application timelines changed?

A few of our dental schools have pushed their deadlines back by a month, including the University of Sydney and Griffith University. Overall, timelines for 1–2021 have not been largely impacted by COVID-19 so far. As we get closer to the start of the 2021 intake, our universities will begin to develop a plan for what the school year will look like. We will keep you updated as we receive any news or updates!

Please email dentistry@oztrekk.com if you have any questions.

Updated: July 29, 2020