What is OS-HELP?

OS-HELP funding is an Australian Government loan scheme, funded through the Study Assist program, to assist eligible students currently enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place who wish to undertake an overseas experience that counts towards their degree.

More details should be sought from the Study Assist website.

How much can you borrow?

The amount you may apply to borrow is indexed annually by the Australian Government on 1 January. In 2017, the maximum amount is:

  • $6,567 for study not in Asia 
  • $7,880 for study in Asia
  • $1,050 for preparatory Asian language study for students applying for OS-HELP assistance for study in Asia

As part of your OS-HELP application, you can nominate the amount you wish to borrow, but it cannot exceed the above detailed maximum for their program destination.

The total amount of OS-HELP assistance approved for each applicant is dependent on the total OS-HELP funding made available to the University. In the event of limited availability of funds, the selection basis for the provision of OS-HELP loans will be based on merit.


OS-HELP eligibility requirements are determined under the Higher Education Support Act (2003). In addition, the University can determine its own internal additional criteria in accordance with the guidelines. To be selected to receive an OS-HELP loan, you need to meet all the eligibility criteria determined by the Australian Government and the University.

The Australian Government's requirements

To be eligible for OS-HELP assistance for overseas study in relation to a six-month period, you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen, a permanent humanitarian visa holder, or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency requirements,
  • Be enrolled as a Commonwealth supported student at ANU and have completed at least 48 units at ANU before receiving the loan,
  • Have at least 6 units remaining on your ANU degree upon returning from overseas experience,
  • Be studying full-time overseas and have the overseas study count towards the current Australian course requirements,
  • Have not received more than one previous OS-HELP loan at any institution for the same six-month period,
  • Be able to provide an Australian Tax File Number (TFN) or a Certificate of Application for a TFN,
  • Be selected by ANU to receive an OS-HELP loan.

To be eligible for a supplementary Asian language study loan, you must:

  • Be selected for OS-HELP assistance for overseas study in Asia for the same six-month period,
  • Have applied to and be selected to receive a supplementary amount for Asian language study,
  • Not be undertaking Asian language study as part of a course leading to a higher education award for which you are in a Commonwealth supported place or receiving FEE-HELP.

The University's requirements

You must submit your complete applications as detailed in the 'How to apply' section below by the deadlines.

You must apply:

  • No earlier than four months before the overseas program commences; and
  • No later than:
    • Four weeks after the program commencement for Exchange or Year in Asia (please note you will need to have collected the required paperwork from the ANU Global Programs before departing and post the original copies back to ANU Global Programs before your application will be processed. Forms will not be posted to you.)
    • Two weeks prior to the commencement date of the overseas program for short programs, clinical placements, internships, and other international opportunities.

The entire process can take up to one month, so please ensure you apply before you travel, as the loan must be approved and paid before your return to Australia.

How to apply

To apply for an OS-HELP loan, you must provide the following completed forms:

  • ANU OS-HELP Loan Application Form (This form  must be signed and stamped by your ANU academic colleges.)
  • OS-HELP Debt Confirmation Form. This is a hardcopy Australian Government form that must be collected from the ANU Global Programs office.

In addition to the above listed forms, the following documentation or action is also required as proof of overseas experience:

  • For exchange and Year in Asia:
    • Documentary evidence of acceptance or enrolment by the overseas institution with which you will be undertaking your study
    • Documentary evidence of acceptance or enrolment in an Asian language course, if you are applying for a supplementary Asian language study
  • For other international opportunities
    • Documentary evidence or confirmation from your ANU academic college of your acceptance or enrolment into the overseas study (if your overseas trip is part of your ANU course, you must enrol in the course via ISIS before the loan is paid.)
    • Documentary evidence of acceptance or enrolment in an Asian language course, if you are applying for a supplementary Asian language study

If you are applying for two OS-HELP loans to cover two consecutive six month periods of overseas study, you must complete two separate sets of application. Your second application will only be considered once you have provided us with an academic transcript from the overseas institution (or equivalent) and a letter confirming that you will be undertaking a further semester of study.

All application documentation must be submitted in hard copy. You can submit in person or by mail at ANU Global Programs, Unit 1/25 Childers Street, Canberra ACT 2601.

Notification of Outcomes

Once a loan is approved, a formal letter of offer will be sent to your ANU email address, following which funds will be transferred directly into the student's nominated bank account. Please ensure your bank account details

Provision of false or misleading information by students

The personal information collected in your OS-HELP application is collected for the purpose of determining your eligibility for an OS-HELP loan. If you provide false or misleading information in the applications, the University may be required to disclose information contained in the OS-HELP application to the department. The University may also be required to disclose your personal information as otherwise authorised or required by law.

How can you repay the loan?

The amount you borrow will be added to their existing HELP debt. Once the loan has been approved and paid, it cannot be cancelled and will be added to your HELP debt even if you do not complete your studies or cannot undertake or complete the approved overseas study. You can repay your accumulated debt through the Australian taxation system once your income is above the minimum repayment threshold for compulsory repayment.


If an OS-HELP application is declined, students have the right to appeal in writing. The appeal must state precisely the grounds on which it is made and be sent to the contact details on this page no later than seven working days after receipt of the decision. If you are not satisfied with decisions that ANU has made with respect to their OS-HELP application, you can lodge a formal complaint as described within the Student Complaint Resolution policy.