International Student Resources

International Education Professionals can direct students to the following organisations and resources for community engagement and support.

The Insider Guides

Printed annually and with a weekly update, the Insider Guides are available at no cost to students both onshore and offshore at various stages of their decision making. The Insider Guides offer professionals working with international students free online resources  covering a range of topics including essential information, localised and cultural features, and aim to meet the interests, challenges, and needs of international students at pre-departure and in Australia.

the Insider Guides are produced for six Australian cities (Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra), as well as several offshore guides for students who are considering coming to Australia. The Guide lists events available to international students. As a professional working with international students, you can recommend the emailed weekly update, an excellent resource to encourage them to get involved in local communities and access timely advice, such as employment and study strategies. The Insider Guides also present webinars on a range of topics, including the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on students.

Meld Magazine

Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit online media outlet in September 2008. Based in Melbourne, it is run by international students for their peers. It provides students with the opportunity to gain real work experience by developing their skills in journalism and publishing.

Meld’s founders include present and former international students from various industries, including media and marketing, business, law and international student services. Its extensive repository of articles and archives is available online, including Facebook and Twitter

An annual event is Meld’s Sextember campaign, focusing on sexual health, relationships and building a culture of respect on and off campus. The campaign offers information, articles, interviews, and resources to Meld readers. Meld lists additional resources that have value to professionals who advise and support international students. For example:

Overseas Students Ombudsman

The office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman was established by the Ombudsman Act 1976, and is administered by the Prime Minister. The Overseas Students Ombudsman is a specialist role of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The role:

  • investigates complaints about problems that intending, current or former overseas students have with private schools, colleges and universities (education providers) in Australia.
  • provides information about best practice complaints handling to help private education providers manage internal complaints effectively
  • publishes reports on problems and broader issues in international education that we identify through investigations.

The Fair Work Ombudsman

The Fair Work Ombudsman is an independent statutory office. Its jurisdiction is set out in the Fair Work Act and its services are free to all workers and employers in Australia, including international students.

On 25 September 2017 the Fair Work Ombudsman agency launched a new strategy aimed at raising awareness of workplace rights among international students, who make up a large proportion of temporary entrants to Australia – numbering more than 560,000 as at July 2017. The Record My Hours app, available in 18 languages, allows employees to record and store the hours they work, plus other information about their employment.

The Fair Work Ombudsman urges international students to speak up if they have any concerns in relation to their employment, underlining that they have the same workplace rights as all other workers in Australia. In the twelve months up to July 2017 almost half the litigation the Fair Work Ombudsman filed in court involved a visa holder – over a third of these involved an international student. Some of these are listed on its website.

Research commissioned by the Fair Work Ombudsman found that many international students were not aware of their rights under Australian workplace laws and did not know where to go for help.

International students seeking assistance can visit the website or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or our Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50

The Fair Work Ombudsman lists recent matters investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman involving international students on its website.