Starting your studies at an Australian university can be a daunting experience. At Swinburne, we have a variety of support services available to assist you.  This includes a specialist International Advisory & Support team who can help you settle in to the university community, whether you are in Australia or studying from your home country.

Need emergency assistance?

If you’re an international student needing urgent assistance, or in a non-life-threatening emergency, please call us on  +61 3 9214 6741.

Learn more


At Swinburne, we have several on-campus accommodation options for students, including shared and private rooms.  

For international students we have a designated Accommodation Adviser who can help you through the process of finding a place to stay or advise on lease or contractual issues. Please don’t hesitate to contact him with any queries relating to accommodation. 

Sam Tsering 
Accommodation Adviser

As a Swinburne student, you can access several services to help you improve your employability including access to the SwinEmploy database. Extra employability support and tailored workshops are available for International students, to enhance their opportunities and employability skills from our designated International Student Advisor – Employability.

Olivia Doyle 
International Student Adviser – Employability

Swinburne provides support when you're affected by an emergency, whether it's in Australia or your home country.


Melbourne is a city with low crime, and Swinburne campuses are safe places. However, it's important to know what to do if anything goes wrong. In life-threatening emergencies dial 000 for police, ambulance or fire services.

If you require security on-campus, contact Swinburne security immediately on +61 3 9214 3333. (or simply dial 3333 on any Swinburne phone). 

In a non-life-threatening emergency or if you’re hospitalised, contact the International Student Advisory & Support team for support.  

You can call the International Student Advisory & Support 24 hour urgent assistance line on +61 3 9214 6741.

If you find yourself anxious or stressed, or would like assistance from 5pm to 9am weekdays or on weekends and public holidays, you can call the  Swinburne out-of-hours crisis line on 1300 854 144 or text 0488 884 145. 

Home country emergencies

If you’re directly affected by or concerned about an issue in your home country that impacts you personally, register your details with International Student Advisory & Support. To do this, email with the name of the disaster or event in the subject line (e.g. Paris/Beirut terrorist attacks, Nepal earthquake). In the email, provide your student ID number and phone number.  For urgent support or advice after hours, call +61 3 9214 6741.

We can provide advice on managing the situation or give you access to a private room with a telephone so you can contact close relatives you’re concerned about in your home country.  If you need to return home urgently, we can assist with your study obligations accordingly.

Swinburne is collaborating with Shandong University of Science and Technology (SDUST) in China to open an Overseas Learning Centre (OLC) to assist students who remain in China due to the current travel restrictions.

Students will have access to the on campus facilities and resources as well as various support services. Available to current coursework students.

Find out more
Orientation and the International Student Resource Guide
Starting at Swinburne in Semester 2, 2021? 

Orientation is 26–31 July 2021.

Students who participate in Orientation activities experience more successful in their studies. Explore the opportunities available during your university life. 

In addition, the International Student Resource Guide is a valuable resource designed to help you be successful in your studies – whether you are in Australia or studying from your home country. It also includes key information about safety and wellbeing services for students who are in Melbourne.

The International Student Resource Guide is a personalised space in Canvas – our online learning management system.

Studying from your own country?

We recommend focusing on the following International Student Resource Guide resources to help you prepare:

Module 1 – Letter to self: This is an opportunity to reflect on your future experience as an international student and write to your future self. Wherever you are, we are all living through ground-breaking and historic times. You can use it as a journal to write down your excitement and what you wish to achieve in your studies. You can also use it to reflect on your concerns and what it means to you. This is a letter written by you and stored just for you to re-visit any time you wish; it will not be shared with others unless you want to publish it in our international student newsletter, freetime

Modules 3 and 4 – These modules will teach you more about how to prepare for the start of the semester, including enrolment, timetable and academic support.

Module 6 – This module features very important information about your rights and responsibilities as an international student, wherever you may be. 

The International Advisory & Support team will host online drop-in sessions in Canvas during the first weeks of Semester 2. The sessions are an opportunity to ask questions and catch up on information you are unsure about.

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International student advisers

International Student Advisers (ISAs) are here to help with any questions you might have big or small. From balancing life demands while adjusting to study, all aspects of living in Melbourne, and when life becomes complicated. They will also refer you to other services when you need specialist or personal advice.

Make an appointment

+61 3 9214 6741
Monday to Friday: 9am–5pm
Reception: Ground floor, AMDC Building (Room AMDC106), 477 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, VIC 3122

Virtual appointments available

During COVID-19 adjustments, offshore international students should contact us via email to book an appointment. The ISA will contact you at your confirmed time to host your virtual meeting.

Australia Awards and Endeavour students

ISA for under-18 students


The university regularly hosts events for international students. Get involved in these to make friends, expand your networks, improve your academic skills and create unforgettable memories. 

Find out what events are happening.

  • students-talking-in-park

    Student visas

    Here’s everything you need to know about the type of student visa you’ll need, and how to apply for it.

  • International students sit at a yellow desk and use an iPad tablet

    Fees for international students

    Find all the information about your international student fees including Foundation Year, UniLink diplomas, vocational education, undergraduate and postgraduate study, or research options.

Living costs, banking and financial advice

Melbourne is a relatively expensive city, but there are ways to manage your money to make it go further.

Setup costs

You need to budget approximately A$2,300–A$,5000 for the initial costs of establishing yourself in Melbourne, excluding airfares. We also recommended you allow A$1,000–A$2000 to buy a computer if you aren't bringing one with you. Generally, if you choose accommodation close to the city centre it will be more expensive, but you will have lower transport costs; if you live further away, accommodation is more affordable, but transport costs more. 

Living costs

Besides the costs of establishing yourself, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) suggests student visa holders budget at least A$21,041 for each year of study to cover living expenses. We recommend that your budget is a minimum of A $25,000 – and more realistically, around A$32,000 per year – depending on your living arrangements and lifestyle choices. These costs do not include tuition fees.  

If you are bringing your family, you will also need a minimum of A$7,362 per year for your spouse and A$3,152 per year for each child (not including school fees and uniforms). For more information on on-going living costs, refer to our Sample Budget or visit the Study in Australia website.

Download the sample budget now


If you plan to work at a job or have money paid to you by anyone from your home country while you live in Australia, you will need an Australian bank account. You can compare banks here.

To open a bank account in Australia various amounts of personal identification, proof of your current address, contact details and some money to deposit is required.  If you open a bank account within the first two weeks of your arrival, your passport and flight ticket showing your recent arrival is acceptable identification along with a current address and some funds to deposit. You may also be required to show your student visa and/or your Confirmation of Enrolment.  

Note: if you intend to do any paid work while you study in Australia, you will need an Australian Tax File Number.  

Financial advice

If you’re looking for financial guidance, feel free to contact the Student Equity Adviser. They can help you budget and, if required, source emergency financial assistance. For more information, read our financial support and advice page

Need assistance?

Our International Student Advisory & Support team are here to help you with all aspects of living and studying in Melbourne. To speak to an International Student Adviser, call +61 3 9214 6741 or visit Room AMDC106, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Contact us