Students affected by exchange cancellation

27 March 2020

I am currently overseas; how should I respond to the situation? 

A travel ban is in place for all Australian citizens and permanent residents effective 25 March 2020. The do not travel advice from the Australian Government applies to ANU international students on exchange too. If you are currently overseas, you must return to Australia as soon as possible by commercial means. If you are having difficulties arranging this, please inform us for support and tracking purposes.  

The Global Programs team have directly contacted all exchange students and Student Central have contacted all students with other travel approvals in place with this advice. Communications will always be sent to your ANU email account.  

Please make sure that you are regularly checking your ANU Email account. Please refer to the Smartraveller website for accurate and up-to-date information. Please also ensure you follow any instructions your host university provides. 

Travel circumstances in each country are changing rapidly, in particular border controls. You will need to urgently arrange travel to return home by commercial means. Please note that ANU will make all efforts to assist you with reasonable non-insured expenses related to returning home (this might include things such as a change fee for an existing booking, emergency accommodation,  or the cost of a one-way economy airfare). Please keep copies of all booking and payments for any reimbursement claims. 

Who do I contact in an emergency? 

We know this is a difficult time so please ask for help if you need it. In the case of an emergency, please use the emergency contact information for your host country.  

If you require urgent Australian consular assistance, please contact: 

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas 

  • 1300 555 135 from within Australia 

  • +61 421 269 080 from SMS 

If you feel unsafe or unsure at any point, you have access to 24/7 emergency support through the ANU Travel Insurance Policy and should carry a copy of the assistance card with you at all times:  

  1. The 24/7 number for ANU (ANU Security) is: +61 612 52249   

  1. You can contact Chubb Security 24/7 for advice and support:   
    The 24/7 insurance contact number is +61 2 8907 5995.    
    ANU Policy Number: 01PP528643   

  1. You can access the ANU Crisis Support line which is a 24/7 support service available to ANU students experiencing situational stress, emotional difficulties and mental health concerns. The best way for you to access this while on your program is to text them (they should be able to call you if needed) SMS Text message service:  +61 488 884 170  

  1. You can also contact the Global Programs team between 9am and 5pm AEST and we can assist you or direct your enquiries.   

I am a concerned family member or friend and my child/loved one is overseas - where can I get more information?  

The University is unable to disclose any specific information without the written consent of students as per the ANU Privacy Policy. We have been in touch with all students directly and are responding to students who have sent through enquiries to us as quickly as we can.   

In the first instance, you should be contacting your loved one to touch base with them directly. Please encourage them to remain actively informed of their circumstances and the quickly changing situation. This includes following advice from the host country health authorities, the host institution, Australian consular services and the ANU.   

How does COVID-19 affect my travel insurance?  

The ANU Insurer (CHUBB) confirmed that COVID-19 was a foreseen circumstance effective 4:00pm on 2 March 2020. This means that new paid travel arrangements made after this date may not be eligible for expenses incurred that relate to COVID-19.   
  
Claims will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  You will need to understand that you may not have insurance coverage for any expenditure relating to COVID-19. You will need to understand that beyond assistance for students who decide to return immediately, the University may not provide financial support for non-insured expenses relating to COVID-19 if you decide to stay.  

ANU will provide additional financial support to affected students to ensure you can safely return home as soon as possible. Students can apply for reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses (e.g. change fee for an existing booking, or one-way economy flight) by contacting ANU Global Programs.   

My host university is offering online courses, can I continue these after leaving my host country?  

ANU can approve you to complete the remainder of your courses online, however credit for these courses remains at the discretion of your academic college. ANU will support you with additional assessment requirements you may have for these courses, e.g. invigilation of any distance examinations.  

I cannot/do not want to continue with online courses. Can I return to ANU and take courses this semester?  

Students may be able to enrol in some courses at ANU up to the ANU census date (Friday 8 May 2020). Please contact the relevant academic college/s as soon as possible if you would like to explore this option. Enrolment at this stage in semester is at the discretion of the academic college, and is dependent on availability of courses.  

Will there be accommodation available to me at ANU when I return?  

If you need to organise accommodation back at ANU to support your return to studies this semester, the ANU Accommodation team can help. Please contact them directly at uni.accom@anu.edu.au or +61 2 6125 1100.   

I will need to self-isolate upon return to Australia, Can ANU provide me with support? 

If you decide to return to Australia, you will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This applies to all travellers, including Australian citizens. For details see the Australian Border Force website

Please follow all advice from the Australian government and ACT health regarding hygiene and self-isolation.  

The ANU Community Wellbeing team can provide support to you through the self-isolation process, assist with navigating the University to get the referral or help you need with a particular issue, and arrange welfare checks over the course of the self-isolation period. You can contact the team by email at CommunityWellbeing@anu.edu.au, by calling +61 2 6125 3346 (option 1) during business hours, or calling ANU Security (+612 6125 2249) outside of business hours.    
   
You should also reach out to them if you develop symptoms, require testing for COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 - they will be your primary point of contact within the University. Ensuring your wellbeing and protecting your privacy is their upmost priority.

Can I defer my exchange place to next semester?  

We are not able to support deferments at this stage, however we encourage you to reapply for exchange in Semester 1, 2021 or Semester 2 2021. We will be preferencing students who have been affected by COVID-19 when allocating exchange places for both semesters.  

I have received an OS-HELP loan for my Learning Abroad experience. If I cancel my program, do I need to repay this? 

Once you have received an OS-HELP payment it cannot be rescinded. You can, however, make a voluntary repayment towards your HELP loan through your MyGov account. If you complete this prior to the end of the financial year, the debt amount will not have been indexed. This loan will still count towards your two-loan maximum. If you have not yet received your OS-HELP loan, you can contact global.programs@anu.edu.au to request the loan be cancelled.   

I have received an NCP or Endeavour grant for my learning abroad experience. If my program is cancelled, do I need to repay this?  

If your program has already begun, or you have already made payments which cannot be reimbursed through travel insurance, you will not be required to repay the NCP or Endeavour funding in full. If you have unspent money remaining from your NCP or Endeavour grant, you will be required to repay this to the university. Global Programs will be in contact with you regarding your repayment options. If you have spent the entirety of your grant on travel-related expenses, please let us know.  

I have received a VCTG grant for my learning experience. If my program is cancelled, do I need to replay this?  

Where students have been paid the VCTG funding amount and commenced their programs and an early return is requested, they will not be required to repay the monies. Where students have commenced preparations and spent some of the funding, they will not be required to repay the funding. If the students have not yet expended the monies, they will be requested to repay the funding.   

I have received a scholarship or grant from my College for my learning abroad experience. If my program is cancelled, do I need to replay this?  

College grants and scholarships each have a respective condition of award. Please contact your college or ANU scholarship provider to determine whether the grant or scholarship will need to be repaid.  

I am meant to be undertaking a learning abroad program this coming winter/next semester as part of my ANU studies; will this still be going ahead?  

The University is closely monitoring the situation in relation to COVID-19 and the safety of our community is our highest priority. As a result, the University has made the decision to suspend travel approval for programs scheduled beyond Semester 1 2020 to all destinations. All Winter Session programs have been cancelled. This is not a cancellation of Semester 2 at this stage.  

This is a complex and evolving situation, so we are actively monitoring and implementing required measures as and when appropriate. GP will update students as new information becomes available. If this situation changes Global Programs will be in contact with all nominated students to provide advice on required next steps and your options. For now, please do the following: 

  1. NOTIFY US: Please notify us that you would like to withdraw from your program early. 

  1. DO NOT MAKE BOOKINGS: We strongly recommend you do not make any bookings or outlay any expenditure related to your overseas program as these expenses are unlikely to be covered by insurance if your planned travel is unable to go ahead. 

  1. STAY UP TO DATE: You will need to keep up-to-date with information from the ANU in relation to your program and continue to regularly monitor your ANU email. 

  1. SEEK INFORMATION: We strongly encourage you to inform yourself of the current situation, and the risks associated with travelling. 

I would like to know about future options for international programs for students affected by this recall. 

Unfortunately we are not able to support students to defer your exchange placement, if you were not able to take up exchange for 2020 S1. You can re-apply for exchange in 2021. You must start a new exchange application and obtain a new RAID form signed by your ANU academic college(s). Apply as a new applicant through the Global Program System. 

Global Programs will be prioritising any affected Semester 1 or Semester 2 2020 exchange applicant in the Semester 1 2021 round of exchange. You will still need to meet the eligibility requirements and list 5 preferences. 

Where can I find more information relating to the University's response to COVID-19?  

We encourage you to keep up to date with the University's ongoing response to COVID-19 at: https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/covid-19-advice 

I have questions/concerns regarding my learning abroad program. Who should I contact to discuss these concerns?  

Please contact the relevant ANU team or Global Programs if you have any questions relating to your overseas program or require any advice/ support. You can contact us via the following methods:  

Email: global.programs@anu.edu.au  

Phone: (+61 2) 6125 7857  

I have further questions/concerns regarding my travel insurance coverage and limitations relating to COVID-19. Who should I contact regarding this?  

Please contact the ANU Insurance Office for advice and support relating to ANU Insurance coverage. They can be contacted via the following methods:  

Email: insurance.office@anu.edu.au   

Phone: (+61 2) 6125 8734  

I'm an exchange student from abroad, I am living in student accommodation at ANU and I've been recalled by my home institution. What is the process? 

We understand that a number of home universities or countries are asking you to return home. We also understand this must be a very stressful time for you being so far away from home. You will need to meet with your Head of Residence who will ask you to complete an early departure form.  You will need to provide your Head of Residence correspondence from your home university that speaks to your requirement to end your exchange and return home. 

The early departure form and all supporting documentation will be forwarded to ANU's Accommodation Services for review.  A request for early termination will not be accepted automatically and Accommodation Services will process the application when possible.