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What is an OS-HELP loan?

OS-HELP is a loan available to eligible students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place who want to undertake some of their study overseas. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses. Students may receive one loan per six-month study period and can access a total of two OS-HELP loans over their lifetime.

You are eligible for OS-HELP if you meet ALL of the below criteria:

  • You have been selected by your provider to receive an OS-HELP loan for a six month period (students must contact their provider regarding the application process)

  • you are an Australian citizen, permanent humanitarian visa holder or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency requirements;

  • you have not received an OS-HELP loan on more than one other occasion;

  • you are enrolled with an Australian provider as a Commonwealth supported student and have completed one equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) - which is usually one year of full-time study;

  • you will be undertaking full-time study overseas and your overseas study will count towards the course requirements for the Australian course of study in which you are enrolled;

  • you will have at least 0.125 EFTSL of your course of study left to complete once you have finished your overseas study (usually one unit of study); and

  • you meet the tax file number (TFN) requirements.

Applicants can select from the following specified amounts to borrow per six-month study period: 


  • non-Asian destinations: $2000, $4000, OR $6567

  • Asian destinations: $2500, $5000, OR $7880 

If you are taking a relevant and endorsed Asian language course before studying in Asia, you can also apply for a supplementary Asian language loan of:

  • 2017: $1050

The language course must be in preparation for your primary study in Asia and cannot be credited to your degree.  

How do I apply?

The 2017 OS-HELP Loan application is now available. You will need to complete both parts before your application for OS-HELP can be assessed.

  1. OS-HELP Loan for Overseas Study application through Sydney Student (online)

  2. 2017 OS-HELP debt confirmation form (hard copy)

You will find the application link in Sydney Student under My Finance > Your finance > Scholarship, Prize and Bursary Applications > Available Applications > Apply for OS-HELP Loan for Overseas Study. (Please note that the application link will only appear if you meet the key requirements to be eligible for the OS-HELP loan.)
To prepare to complete the online application, please ensure that you have the following information at hand.


You will be asked to enter the following information.
-       Study Period commencing year, commencing semester, duration of study
-       Nominated Exchange Destination University
-       OS-HELP loan amount you are requesting. This must match the loan amount specified on your OS-HELP debt confirmation form exactly (see below).
-       Do you wish to apply for a Supplementary Asian language study loan?

o    If so, you will need to provide:

  • Language Course Start and End Dates

  • Evidence of your enrolment in a relevant Asian language course


  • Name, start and end dates, and country of your overseas study program.

  • Faculty credit approval: Study Abroad credit approval from your home faculty which must include the University of Sydney unit of study and credit point value you will be credited upon successful completion of your overseas study.

  • Confirmation of program acceptance: An acceptance letter or email confirming your participation in the program. Please note that this must be addressed to you, not just a general description of the program (see below).

  • Study program overview: A brief overview of the overseas study program. This may be a copy of a brochure or web content regarding the program including the location and dates.

  • Supplementary Asian language study loan: If you would like to apply for this additional funding, you will need to provide evidence of your enrolment in a relevant Asian language course and the course start and end dates. The language course must be in preparation for your primary study in Asia and cannot be credited to your degree.  

Before your application for an OS-HELP loan can be processed, you must also complete a 2017 OS-HELP debt confirmation form. 

  • Please ensure that you complete all sections of the debt confirmation form accurately.
  • The OS-HELP loan amount for overseas study indicated in Section C. #5 must match the loan amount requested in your Sydney Student OS-HELP loan application.
  • The OS-HELP loan commencement date indicated in Section C. #6. of the OS-HELP debt confirmation form must match the program start date (first experience) in your Sydney Student OS-HELP loan application and on your acceptance letter.

Debt confirmation forms are available from the Sydney Abroad Peer Adviser, Student Centre, Level 3 Jane Foss Russell Bldg., between 9am - 5pm Monday - Friday. If you are currently overseas or are otherwise unable to come onto campus, please email your current mailing address and phone number (if available) to and a 2017 OS-HELP debt confirmation form will be sent to your current address.
OS-HELP loan applications will be assessed in order based on the application submission date and the program start date.

Students remain subject to assessment and approval based on the government’s eligibility criteria.

Application Deadline

  • 31 October 2016 - for students participating in short-term programs in November 2016 through February 2017 or commencing semester or year-long exchanges in the equivalent of Semester 1, 2017. 

  • 31 May 2017 - for students participating in short-term programs in June - August 2017 or commencing semester or year-long exchanges in the equivalent of Semester 2, 2017.

Deadline: You must submit the 2017 OS-HELP loan application through Sydney Student AND return the 2017 OS-HELP debt confirmation form either in person or postmarked to the address below prior to the end date of your overseas study period. Applications submitted online after the program end date or without a corresponding debt confirmation form will not be considered.

Important things to consider

  • Applications will be assessed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Related correspondence will be sent to your university email address;
  • Loan applications for semester/year-long exchanges will be processed no earlier than 6 months prior to the program’s start date and for short-term programs no earlier than 3 months prior to the program’s start date. Applicants are encouraged not to consider the loan as their primary source of funding as they remain subject to assessment and approval. Even if deemed eligible, the outcome may be finalised close to or even after you depart for your overseas study period.

  • If approved and loan offer accepted, students have to wait approximately 10 business days for the transfer to be made to their nominated bank account.

  • Students who have not achieved 48 credit points will be informed and will have to await the release of the current semester’s results for their eligibility to be determined.

  • Students applying for a second loan must wait until the 6 month period associated with the first loan has ended prior to the second loan being processed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at


ABN: 15 211 513 464 
CRICOS number: 00026A