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Support for International Students

a group of students sitting and a bench at casuarina campus

Need immediate help in life-threatening danger? 

Do not delay. Call Triple Zero (000) now to request for Police, Fire, or Emergency Services.

Call Triple Zero (000)

If you are at a CDU campus when requiring Police, Fire or Emergency Services, contact Triple Zero (000) first and then contact CDU Security.

Call security

Police Assistance Line and Crime Stoppers

Do you require assistance from the Police, or would you like to lodge a police report? Contact the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

Call Police Assistance Line

Want to report suspicious behaviour and do it anonymously? Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Call Crime Stoppers

CDU Wellbeing support Line

If you would like to talk to someone about your mental health or how you are feeling and need to do so urgently, contact the CDU Wellbeing Support Line at any time.

Call 1300 933 393

SMS 0488 884 144

Student Central

Visit Student Central for all enquiries related to your study journey.

Contact Student Central

As a CDU student, you can access a number of different support services at any point in your student journey. There are also a select number of external support services listed here that you may find useful.

Internal (CDU-based) supports

There are a range of services and supports available to you within Charles Darwin University, which are free for you to access.

Accommodation Services

Whether you are looking for on-campus accommodation or a private rental, Accommodation Services can point you in the right direction to find suitable accommodation.

Learn more


If you are experiencing personal difficulties that are causing disruption and confusion in your study or personal life, one of the most helpful things you can do is talk with a Counsellor.

As a CDU student, you are encouraged to access these free and confidential services.

Learn more

If you need the assistance of Police, Fire or Ambulance and are in immediate, life-threatening danger, call Triple Zero (000) now. Do not delay.

Call Triple Zero (000)

If you wish to speak to someone about your mental health, you may contact the CDU Wellbeing Support Line and speak with a trained professional. This free and confidential service is available to students 24/7. 

Call 1300 933 393

SMS 0488 884 144


Access and Inclusion

CDU is committed to providing an accessible, supportive, safe and inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities. If you have a disability that is impacting your study, the Access and Inclusion team can help you manage your disability.  This can include help for things like a recurring migraine.

Students who are primary caregivers of someone who has a disability or ongoing health condition can also access this service.

Learn more

Complaints and Student Advocacy

If you have received an outcome of any Charles Darwin University decision — whether it be a grade, an outcome of a reduced study load, or another issue — and you are not satisfied that the situation is resolved, there is a process you can follow.

First, speak to your lecturer or unit coordinator, and calmly to ask for reconsideration of your case, and providing evidence to support you where applicable. You are welcome to contact your lecturer or unit coordinator to discuss the outcome of assignment grades or administration staff regarding the outcome of administrative decisions. However, you must respect their decision not to re-open your case, or to stick with their original outcome.

If you are not satisfied, approaching Complaints Management Unit is the next step in the appeal process if you have approached the staff member or team who issued the decision and have not received a positive outcome. You can contact the Complaints Management Unit to seek an appeal of grade or to appeal an official CDU decision.

Learn more about Student Complaints

The Student Advocacy Officer offers independent assistance by representing the student in areas that impact on the quality of their experience while studying at Charles Darwin University. Students are encouraged to use this service when issues arise, and they are unsure of what avenues to take.

Learn more about Student Advocacy

    Student Groups

    Joining a student group will help you connect with people with common interests, celebrate your culture or religion, and have fun with your peers. Whether you want to get fit, share your passion, discover something new, or try to change the world, there's something for everyone.

    Take me to the Student groups page

    Careers and Employment

    Talk with an expert to improve your chances of securing the career that you want and access resources that will build your skills and knowledge, giving you a competitive edge in the job market.

    Take me to the Careers Centre

    Library and Researching

    CDU Library staff can assist you with developing your research strategies, finding information using Library Search and online databases, and referencing your sources. Interlibrary loans and distance library services are also available.

    Take me to the Library

    Library location finder

    Language and Learning

    Our Language and Learning Support is free and confidential, assisting you with skill development tailored to your specific unit. The Language and Learning team assist students and lecturers to understand the requirements of varied assignments and further study skills.

    The Language and Learning Support team offer various services such as drop-in sessions, 24/7 online tutor help via Learnline, individual consultations during normal business hours, after-hours help for students who cannot attend during normal business hours. Online/external students can request online or phone appointments. There is an excellent Study Skills webpage with useful guidelines to help you throughout your studies.

    Take me to Language and Learning Support

    Take me to Study Skills

    Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

    As an international student, you must hold health insurance in the form of Overseas Student Health Cover. Most CDU international students obtain their OSHC from AllianzCare, which has a variety of services including the ability to see General Practitioners (GPs) through telehealth, accessing on-demand safety and wellbeing services, and gaining skills in building mental health fitness.

    Students can also access a drop-in service at CDU with the Allianz OSHC Representative. 

    Learn more about Allianz OSHC

    Drop-in service hours and location

    If you are an international student that is covered by another OSHC provider, please refer to your insurance policy and contact them directly.

    Security and Safety

    Security is here to make all CDU campuses safe and easy to get help 24/7.

    Learn more

    Call security

    We encourage all students to download the SafeZone app. SafeZone allows you to quickly and easily request assistance and contact campus Security.

    Download for iOS/Apple devices

    Download for Android devices

    International Student Support

    International Student Support looks after the general wellbeing of all current international students at CDU.  ISS seeks to empower international students to seek out information, resources, supports, and networks on their own, working with other teams to help resolve complex issues.

    If you are in need of further support, contact ISS. However, please note that due to the high demands of this service, we encourage students to seek further clarification from Student Central before contacting ISS.

    Contact ISS

    CDU International College students may seek further support from your dedicated CDU International College Student Support team.

    Contact CDUIC Student Support

    External support

    There are a number of external (non-CDU) services that you may find useful to know. Most of the support services below are free to access. Please confirm with the service if you have any questions.

    Mental health and crisis support services

    Remember: If you need the assistance of Police, Fire or Ambulance and are in immediate, life-threatening danger, call Triple Zero (000) now. Do not delay.

    Call Triple Zero (000)

    The following mental health services are available to support you. A majority of services have 24-hour phone services, with some offering SMS or web-based chats. Note that this is not a list of all support services.

    Lifeline Australia (24hr crisis support)

    Call 13 11 14

    SMS 0477 13 11 14

    Chat online

    Beyond Blue (24hr support for anxiety, depression, and crisis)

    Call 1300 22 4636

    Chat online

    Kids Helpline (support for young adults aged 18 to 25)

    Call 1800 55 1800

    Chat online

    Qlife (support for LGBTQIA+ people from 3pm - 12am ACST)

    Call 1800 184 527

    Chat online

    1800RESEPCT (national domestic, family, and sexual violence counselling service)

    Call 1800 737 732

    MensLine Australia (relationship and family counselling service for men)

    Call 1300 78 99 78

    Relationships Australia (relationship and family support service)

    Call 1300 364 277

    Northern Territory Mental Health Line

    Call 1800 682 288

    Suicide Call Back Service (support service for people affected by suicide)

    Call 1300 659 467


    Consumer protection

    Australia has a strong consumer protection framework to protect the rights of Australian consumers, including international students in Australia. When you are shopping or buying any kind of service in Australia, you have legal rights and protection. There are laws on fair-trading and consumer law guiding businesses and protecting consumers. For information about consumer laws and enforcement where you are living and studying, please visit the websites below.

    NT Consumer Affairs

    NSW Fair Trading

    Overseas students ombudsman

    The Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO) investigates complaints about problems that overseas students have with private education and training institutions in Australia. The Ombudsman’s services are free, independent and impartial. State and Territory Ombudsmen also provide services at a state or territory level, and may be able to assist in your issue if all other options have been attempted.

    Overseas Student Ombudsman

    Northern Territory Ombudsman

    New South Wales Ombudsman

    Workplace support

    When you are studying, you may find a casual or part-time job to help support yourself or make new friends.

    In Australia, there are laws that regulate working conditions and entitlements. There are rules in place to ensure you are treated fairly and paid appropriately. When you get a job it’s important to check what the legal wages, overtime and weekend rates are.

    The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is a government agency that can help you understand your workplace rights and responsibilities and can work with you to fix any workplace problems you’re having. The Fair Work Ombudsman's services are free to all employees including international students.

    They have a range of tools and resources about your working rights including:

    • Pay Calculator to help you check how much you should be paid (including rates for working weekends, overtime and public holidays)
    • an Award Finder to help you find your 'award' (the legal document that sets your hours, pay rates and other entitlements)
    • Record My Hours app to help you keep a record of your working hours
    • information for visa holders and migrant workers to help you understand Australia’s workplace laws.

    Fair Work Ombudsman

    What to do if you’re having problems at work

    We know that students may fear speaking to government agencies because they’re on a student visa, or because they may be paid in cash or have worked overtime. If you’re being exploited, however, you should always go to the FWO to discuss your case.

    The FWO has an arrangement with the Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs) to support visa holders, including international students, who come to the FWO. Visa holders can seek help without fear of visa cancellation, even if they’ve breached their work-related visa conditions. This arrangement is called the Assurance Protocol.

    What is the Assurance Protocol?

    Under the Assurance Protocol, Home Affairs usually won’t cancel your visa if you have breached your work-related visa conditions because of workplace exploitation, and:

    • you have sought advice or support from them and you’re helping them with their inquiries
    • there is no other reason to cancel your visa (for example for national security, character, health or fraud reasons)
    • you have committed to following your visa conditions in the future.

    FWO can often do more to help when someone contacts them directly, but if you’re concerned about speaking up you can also report an issue to them anonymously in English or in another language.

    External Student Associations

    Australia has a national organisation that advocates for the safety, wellbeing, and education experience of international students. The Council of International Students Australia (CISA) is the national peak student representative body for international students studying at the postgraduate, undergraduate, private college, TAFE, ELICOS or foundation level.

    Learn more

    Legal services


    You can get legal advice from a range of organisations and individuals in the Northern Territory (NT). Some are free and others charge a fee for their services. However, please note that most do not offer advice on immigration matters.

    Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission provides legal help for people who can’t afford a private lawyer. The initial advice session is free; however, you will be assessed before you are granted ongoing legal advice, and you will need to pay a small fee.

    Learn more

    Darwin Community Legal Service (DCLS) offers a range of free legal and advocacy services. Free legal advice sessions are held three times a week at different locations around Darwin. You can talk confidentially about your legal problem with a lawyer who can give you advice and suggest action.

    Learn more

    Top End Women’s Legal Services (TEWLS) provides free and confidential legal advice, legal education and support to women in Darwin and surrounding areas. You can get legal advice in most areas of civil law, with the exception of immigration and commercial matters.

    Learn more

    Youth Law Australia's Young Workers' Rights Services provides full, free and confidential employment law practice. Services include legal information and advice on workplace rights, responsibilities, and entitlements, as well as assistance with workplace disputes and lodging applications. While normally service people under 25, this service welcomes international students of all ages.

    Learn more


    Redfern Legal Centre provides advice to international students about housing problems, fines, debts, car accidents, employment, discrimination, family law, domestic violence, migration and complaints about colleges or universities.

    Learn more

    Women’s Legal Services NSW (WLS NSW) is a community legal centre providing women across NSW with a range of free legal services.

    Learn more


    Cyclone information (relevant for students in Northern Territory)

    Safety should be your first priority. If you think your safety is in danger, please dial 000 and ask for emergency assistance.

    Darwin’s tropical wet season (1 November – 30 April) sometimes brings tropical cyclones. Also known as a hurricane, a cyclone is characterised by high winds, thunderstorms, rough seas and heavy rain, all of which can cause damage to property and people. Cyclones develop over large bodies of water (usually over the ocean) and can affect areas within about 50km of the coast. Commons effects of a cyclone are flooding, property damage due to high winds, fallen trees and power outages.

    The new construction standards and building codes post-Cyclone Tracy, as well as annual public awareness campaigns, ensure Darwin is a safe place to live. Community cyclone shelters are available if required and brochures with step-by-step advice are readily available and actively promoted. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology provides cyclone information and weather updates and further information about preparing for a cyclone can be found via the Northern Territory Emergency Services. For advice on how to stay safe in an emergency, please visit the CDU Safety and Emergency Advice webpage.

    Learn more about tropical cyclones

    Learn more about preparing for cyclone season and emergencies

    CDU Safety and Emergency Advice

    Student forms

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