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Support for International Students

a group of students sitting and a bench at casuarina campus

As a CDU student, you can access a number of different support services at any point in your student journey. 

There are a range of services and supports available to you within Charles Darwin University, which are free for you to access. There are also a select number of external support services listed here that you may find useful.


Explore the support services available at CDU

Personal support services

CDU provides personal support when you need it, so you can focus on your studies and achieving your goals.

Academic support services

Our academic support programs are designed to help you successfully transition into university study.

Time management & goal setting

Pave your road to success with helpful tips and tricks.

Student Central

Our one-stop service to support you throughout your student experience.

Support specifically for International Students

International Student Support Officer

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



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. 

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

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.


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.


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.


Security and Safety

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

Safety on campus

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

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



Contact Student Support

CDU Wellbeing Support Line (available 24/7)

Available if you would like to talk to someone about your mental health or how you are feeling

Tel: 1300 93 33 93

SMS: 0488884144

Student Central

Mon–Thurs: 8:30am–4pm
Fri: 8:30am–3pm

Free call 1800 061 963

Learnline support

24-hour Learnline support for students

1800 984 057

Online support portal

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