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COVID-19 Information for international students

Recent Updates

International student onshore arrivals information

Update from the Northern Territory Government
Date: 1 September 2021

StudyNT welcomes the arrival of international students relocating from interstate to the Northern Territory for the purpose of study at an institution with a physical campus in the Territory.

If you are relocating to the Territory from a COVID-19 hotspot or public exposure site for educational purposes, you must meet the requirements and complete an ‘approval to enter the Northern Territory exemption form’, which can take up to 72 hours to process. Do not travel without approval to enter the Territory.

In submitting your ‘approval to enter the Northern Territory exemption form’, StudyNT encourages you to:

  • attach your certificate of an enrolment form, which includes the duration of your course, course provider, and make it clear in your application you are relocating to the Territory for the purpose of the study

  • provide proof of residency (where you will stay/who you will live with while in the Northern Territory)

  • proofread and make sure your application is clear, free of spelling mistakes and check your grammar before submitting

  • it may be helpful to have a second person review your application before submitting it to make sure you have filled in all the questions correctly.

    When you have all your documents and are ready to submit your application, the form can be found online here. Applications will not be approved for courses of under six months in duration.

    If your entry is approved, you will need to note your approval number on your ‘border entry form’, which should be completed seven days or less prior to entering the NT.

Download this announcement  (PDF, 463.85 KB)

Pandemic financial support payments for international students

Date: 11 June 2021

International students who are studying and working in Australia may be able to access financial assistance when they are:

  • required to self-isolate or are caring for someone with COVID-19 (Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment) or;
  • adversely affected by a state public health order and are required to be in lockdown for more than seven days (COVID-19 Disaster Payment).

 For more information on the financial support payments, including eligibility criteria, refer to the Australian Government website

CDU COVID-19 updates

Keep up to date with CDU's COVID-19 updates here

Want to know about future charter flights?

Frequently asked questions

Health and wellbeing

What to do if you're experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  • The symptoms of COVID-19 can appear similar to those of common colds and the flu.
  • If you are experiencing cold and flu symptoms but you haven’t been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or been overseas recently, stay at home and rest. Contact your doctor if symptoms worsen.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, breathing difficulties, a cough or sore throat and have recently returned from overseas, or come into close contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, separate yourself from others, call the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 020 080 and isolate yourself at home for the required 14-day period.
  • If you have severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, call 000 immediately and request an ambulance. Inform the paramedics that you have recently had contact with a confirmed case.
What does “close contact” with someone mean?

Close contact is when you have been face-to-face for at least 15 minutes with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or you have been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours, when that person was potentially infectious.

What to do if you have tested positive to COVID-19
  • Isolate yourself and follow the recommendations of your medical professional, Australian Health Department. If you are overseas, please follow your Health Department's recommendations.
  • If you are a student, notify Student Central: or 1800 945 010.
What to do if you're concerned about someone

The symptoms of COVID-19 can appear similar to those of common colds and the flu. It shouldn’t be assumed these symptoms are connected to COVID-19. If you are concerned for a friend or co-worker’s health and wellbeing, encourage them to make an appointment with their doctor.

Personal hygiene
  • Proper handwashing not only reduces the spread of COVID-19, but it can also prevent the spread of other viral illnesses such as cold and flu.
  • Staff and students should clean their hands often, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used.
  • If hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
  • Additional key times to clean hands include:
    • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After using the restroom
    • Before eating or preparing food
    • After contact with animals or pets
    • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)
    • If you have been in close contact with someone who is unwell.
  • People should follow normal preventive actions while at work and home including recommended hand hygiene and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • It is also important to clean frequently touched surfaces (e.g.: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, taps, sinks) with household cleaners and disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces (tables, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, reception areas, toilets, sinks etc) daily.
COVID-19 Vaccine

Health advice for students


International travel for study purposes

No travel requests will be approved for our students to travel internationally until further notice.

Domestic travel for study purposes

Travel restrictions between states and territories and in some remote areas of Australia are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Find out more about domestic travel restrictions and where to find more information here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) domestic travel restrictions

Domestic travel will be allowed in line with the NT Governments travel requirements. No travel will be authorised if the destination is a hotspot. If a destination becomes a hotspot, please contact your faculty staff immediately. For more information on domestic travel, consult the NT Government website.

Students travelling to remote communities

Please refer to the NT Government website for the most recent and up to date information regarding travel to remote communities. 

Support for students

Financial support

Pandemic financial support payments for International Students

International students who are studying and working in Australia may be able to access financial assistance when they are:

  • required to self-isolate or are caring for someone with COVID-19 (Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment) or;
  • adversely affected by a state public health order and are required to be in lockdown for more than seven days (COVID-19 Disaster Payment).

For more information on the financial support payments, including eligibility criteria, refer to Centrelink payments and services.


CDU has partnered with the Australian Government on a new initiative called Moneysmart which will help you to understand and manage your finances at this challenging time. The website has specific resources for students around COVID-19.

Visit Moneysmart's website for more information.

Job support

A Jobs Hub has been launched by the Australian Government to support Australians, and those on visas, to find work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jobs Hub advertises the latest vacancies across Australia, in addition to providing updates and relevant information.

Visit Jobs Hub

Emergency housing

If you are experiencing housing difficulties, CDU has established an Emergency Accommodation Initiative at International House Darwin. To apply for emergency accommodation at IHD, email outlining the issues you are facing.


If you are feeling stressed or anxious as a result of COVID-19, you can arrange to make a free and confidential appointment with one of our qualified counsellors.

P: (08) 8946 6288 for telephone appointments
1300 933 393 after hours: 4.30pm – 8am, 7 days per week
book an appointment online

Legal support

If you are experiencing legal issues as a result of your tenancy arrangements relating to COVID-19, CDU has set up a referral process with the Tenants’ Advice Service and Specialist Services based at Darwin Community Legal Service.

Email outlining your issues and we will connect you to the service.

Changes to study

Are CDU campuses open?

All of our campuses are open. Physical distancing restrictions have been relaxed to enable a return to normal class sizes for face-to-face delivery in our NT campuses. However mandatory safety principles remain in place:

  • Practice physical distancing outside classrooms where possible.
  • Stay home if unwell and seek medical advice if needed.
  • Use the Territory or NSW check-in system when entering classes or any buildings.
CDU libraries

CDU libraries across the NT are open. Refer to the CDU Library Services website for up to date information relating to COVID-19.

International students

Are online programs available for new students studying overseas? If so, which courses offer this option? 

We offer almost every higher education program online for students studying overseas. You will receive information in your letter of offer where there are specific units that are conducted face-to-face, such as placements or practical units. Study plans will also be provided to assist you in planning your studies while overseas.

What is the minimum number of subjects/units that students must take each semester? 

International student visa holders in Australia should be taking a full-time study load. However, CDU may approve a reduced study load on a case-by-case basis to support our students. Non-student visa holders and students overseas can take their preferred study load online.

Are the online tuition fees the same as the on-campus programs?

Yes, online tuition fees are the same as studying face-to-face. Online study is the same high-quality course, same experienced lecturers as on-campus study; with access to 24-hour support. Tuition fees depend on the number of units of study, not the mode of study.

Are scholarships available to me if I study online? 

Scholarships for online study are the same as an on-campus study. Visit the international student scholarship page for more information.

What if I cannot get access to an English test centre? Can I still apply to CDU without a current English test?

Due to COVID-19, many English language testing facilities are closed. As such, the University has been able to approve the following alternative English language tests to ensure international applicants can commence studies for Semester 2 2021 and Semester 1 2022.
View the list.

Can I do part of the program online and then come to CDU to complete the program?

Yes, CDU offers this option. The added benefit to you is that online programs are taught on the same schedule as face-to-face programs. Our online students are virtually in the classroom face-to-face with other students. As COVID-19 travel restrictions lift, our students can easily transition to on-campus study.

Visa Updates

For important Australian Government updates for international students regarding their visas, visit the Current International student's website and read Important Updates for International students.

For HDR students

How to circumvent impediments to your research

The coronavirus will delay or impede the research endeavours of many candidates and researchers worldwide. Amid all the devastating effects of COVID-19, these impediments to research might seem trivial, almost inconsequential, in comparison. Yet, research is particularly invaluable during these challenging times. In response to these impediments, you can:

  • accept that your research may be delayed significantly and request extensions or other provisions to accommodate these delays
  • consider alternative methodologies and methods that are more resistant to pandemics
  • change the order in which you complete various phases; you might prioritize tasks in which personal contact is unnecessary, such as systematic literature reviews
  • utilize this time to develop skills that might expedite your research later, such as writing ability.
Training, development, and progress

To help us accommodate your needs, we will continue to seek feedback from all candidates. When completing your Annual Progress Report in September, you will be prompted to:

  • indicate how COVID-19 has impeded your progress and,
  • consider how the university could perhaps help you address these impediments.
Extensions to candidature and scholarships

Several academic bodies, such as the Australian Council of Graduate Research, are lobbying to seek more clarity and support around PhD and Masters by Research degrees. Therefore, the policies and practices around extensions of candidature or scholarship will continue to evolve.  Rest assured, however, that any changes will benefit, rather than a disadvantage for you. Here is the latest advice we can impart around extensions: 

  • all candidates will be granted a 6-month extension to their candidature from 4 years to 4.5 for PhD and 2 years to 2.5 for Masters by Research. If you are outside of these time frames you will need to apply for a further extension as per the usual process.
  • for candidates who are paying fees, contact ORI if you need to seek a 6-month fee waiver to cover the candidature extension from 4 years to 4.5 (PhD) and 2 years to 2.5 for Masters by Research.
  • all candidates currently receiving an RTP stipend scholarship will be granted a 6-month extension from 3 years to 3.5 years for PhD.
  • some candidates may apply for an additional extension of up to 6 months to this RTP stipend—receiving up to 4 years of RTP support in total—if they can show that COVID-19 had impaired their progress and they could not circumvent these impediments. 


To justify this additional 6-month stipend extension, candidates may indicate that, because of COVID-19:

  • they could not collect data, such as to conduct fieldwork, as planned
  • they could not progress because of family responsibilities
  • they experienced illness from COVID-19 that exceeded the sick leave provisions of their scholarship.

Please contact the HDR Team in ORI if you have any questions about extensions at

How to manage changes to your thesis

To help you respond creatively to the challenges you experience, we will attempt to facilitate some changes.

If you need to change your topic substantively, seek advice and approval from your principal supervisor, in conjunction with the Assistant Dean of Research or HDR convenor in your college or the Dean of Graduate Studies.

International students who want to change topics substantively should also consult CDU Global to determine whether they comply with visa conditions.

During this period, if you want to collect data in person, such as conduct interviews, you must contact the Dean of Graduate Studies first. The Dean, in consultation with relevant authorities, can then determine whether your protocols are safe and comply with university and national regulations.

Ethics approval

If you decide to change your study—such as the methods, participants, or settings—you should send an email to to request a variation. Specifically, you should:

  • outline the changes you plan to introduce
  • justify these changes
  • discuss the risks of these changes relative to the benefits.

The chair will then decide whether to accept the changes, seek advice, or request a new ethics application.