What is OS-HELP?
OS-HELP is a loan provided by the Australian Government and is designed to assist eligible Australian students to undertake an overseas experience as a part of their degree studies. The loan can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses.
The 2021 OS-HELP loan amount is:
- $7,037 (for studies outside Asia)
- $8,444 (for studies inside Asia)
A supplementary loan amount of $1,123 is available to assist with the cost of language study undertaken in preparation for overseas study in Asia
There is no loan fee applied to OS-HELP loans and the amount you borrow will be added to your existing HELP debt. Students who don't have a current HELP debt can still apply for OS-HELP as long as they are studying within a Commonwealth supported place at University. Eligible students may receive up to two OS-HELP loans in their lifetime, however the second loan can only be paid 6 months and one day after the commencement of the first program.
Please note: a Finance Closure takes place in December-January every year. Because of this, the last time frame to apply for OS-HELP for the calendar year is approximately mid-November. If your application is submitted by this time frame, OS-HELP payment should be received by mid-December before the closure. If you submit your application after mid-November, it is likely you will receive payment of your OS-HELP in the second week of January onward.
Before applying for a loan, please ensure you are familiar with the OS-HELP loan requirements.
How to apply
1. Check your eligibility
To be eligible for a 2020-2021 OS-HELP loan, you must:
- be an Australian citizen, permanent humanitarian visa holder or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency requirements;
- be enrolled in an undergraduate or a postgraduate program at Griffith University as a Commonwealth Supported Student in a Commonwealth supported place;
- have completed at least 80CP of study in your current Griffith degree program (at the time of application) OR successfully completed your undergraduate program at Griffith University as a Commonwealth supported student and be enrolled into Honours or a postgraduate program at Griffith University;
- have at least 10CP of your degree remaining upon your return from overseas;
- be undertaking full-time study overseas for credit (see academic requirements); and
- not have already completed the overseas program at the time of application
Eligible students may receive up to two OS-HELP loans in their lifetime, however the second loan can only be paid 6 months and one day after the commencement date of the first program (not the application or payment date).
*Cross-institutional students from other Australian universities are not eligible. You need to apply for an OS-HELP loan through your home university.
**Transfer credit from another program or other Australian Universities/TAFE is accepted as long as this credit is counting towards your current degree at Griffith.
***OS-HELP is only available to students who depart Australia for their mobility programs. If you participate in a virtual mobility program remotely from Australia, you will not be eligible to receive OS-HELP.
Asian language loan supplement:
To be eligible for the Asian language loan supplement, you must:
- be selected to undertake overseas study in Asia;
- be undertaking language study in preparation for the overseas study;
- have been selected to receive an OS-HELP loan for the overseas study; and
- have not yet completed the Asian language study before applying for the supplementary amount
Language study delivered by Griffith University is not eligible for the loan supplement.
2. Check academic requirements
The overseas program must be equivalent to a full-time study load. This is calculated as follows:
- If your overseas program is up to six weeks in duration you be must approved to receive at least 10CP of credit towards your Griffith degree program
- If your overseas program is more than six weeks, but less than a trimester, in duration you must be approved to receive at least 20CP toward your Griffith degree program
- If your overseas program is a full trimester you must be approved to receive at least 30CP of credit back to your Griffith degree program. For one year, this must be at least 60CP.
3. Prepare supporting documentation
As a part of the application, you will be required to submit the following documents:
- Evidence of Griffith Short Term Program Application*
- Acceptance notification from Griffith Study Tour Convenor OR Overseas Program Provider OR Host University
- Evidence of credit approval
- Australian or NZ passport OR permanent humanitarian visa
- Evidence of enrolment in Asian language study (only applicable if applying for the supplementary Asian language study loan)
*Evidence of Griffith Short Term Program Application is the automatic email confirmation sent to you once you have completed the application. Providing this evidence ensures that your program is registered with Griffith Global Mobility as OS-HELP is managed by a separate department.
OS-HELP is assessed by the Financial Aid and Sponsorship Office therefore they need to ensure you have registered with Griffith Global Mobility before processing. Please refer to the relevant instruction below depending on your overseas program.
Short-term Program: In order to access the online OS-HELP application portal, you must first submit your Griffith Short Term Program Application. The OS-HELP link will be provided to you in the automatic email confirmation.
Trimester or Year Exchange Program: Exchange students will be provided the OS-HELP link once our office has received the host university acceptance letter.
After you have submitted your OS-HELP application, the Financial Aid and Sponsorship Office will issue an outcome within 10 business days.
Got a question?
If you have questions regarding OS-HELP or require assistance in completing the online form, please contact the Financial Aid and Sponsorship Officer on 555 27190 or to submit an online enquiry:
- Visit Ask Us for current students (log in may be required)
- Select the topic (International, Scholarships and financial aid)