Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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You can find answers to frequently asked questions below. Simply select the appropriate section and browse the information provided.

Application process

Am I an international student?

An international student is a person who:

  • is not an Australian or New Zealand citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident or a Permanent Humanitarian visa holder 
  • is enrolled in, or intends to enrol in, a study program with an Australian higher education provider

An international student is not:

  • a person entitled to stay in, or enter and stay in, Australia with no limitations on the duration or nature of their stay
  • a diplomatic representative of New Zealand or a member of staff, spouse or dependent of such a representative

All international students should hold visas with appropriate study rights.

An international Student visa holder is an international student who:

  • holds a Student visa issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • should make themselves familiar with the ESOS Act 2000 and National Code, which all CRICOS registered providers should adhere to when offering programs to international student visa holders
How do I apply to study?

If you are an international student, you can apply to study at USC by following our Steps to Study. You will not have to apply through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC).

What are certified copies?

A certified copy is a photocopy of an original document that has been signed and stamped by a witnessing or government authority stating it is a true copy of the original. Signatures must appear on the front of each page, if the document has more than one page. Approved Education Agents are also able to certify copies for you as part of the application process.

I have completed prior studies. Can I claim USC credit for this?

At USC, you may be eligible for credit for some or all of the courses you have successfully completed in your home country, allowing you to use them towards your USC degree or 'top up' your previous studies and obtain a higher level qualification.

If you would like to apply for credit, you will need to complete the Application for Credit Transfer form. Be sure to read more helpful information about credit transfer and the detailed instructions to assist with your application before lodging your application.

How do I accept my offer?

Follow the steps on the ‘Acceptance of Offer’ page in your letter of offer to accept your offer and pay your fees

USC will then issue your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), your USC Network login details, including username and password, and instructions on how to enrol in courses.

I have a Provisional Unconditional Offer. What does that mean?

If you have been issued a Provisional Unconditional Offer, you have met the entry requirements for your chosen program based on the entry criteria. However, you will need to provide original or certified true copies of your documentation to USC as evidence of your qualifications.

You can accept your offer and move to the next phase of the admission process, but before you will be able to enrol in a USC program or course, USC International will need to sight any documentation requested by us. This documentation can be forwarded to USC International Admissions before you arrive, or you can present it in person upon arrival at USC.

Please remember that if you do not provide documentation as requested you will not be able to enrol into your courses or commence your studies.

I have a Conditional Offer. What does that mean?

If you have been issued a Conditional Offer, you do not yet meet the entry requirements for your chosen program and you will need to fulfil the conditions outlined in your Letter of Offer, before we can offer you an unconditional place at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Please make sure you understand the conditions of your offer thoroughly and check with us if you are unsure about their meaning. Once you have successfully met the conditions of your offer, please forward us proof of this and we will be able to assess your application further.

Common conditions may include meeting English language requirements, completing academic requirements or providing USC with the certified true copies of your qualifications.

What is the Credit Transfer Advice and Acceptance form?

The Credit Transfer Advice and Acceptance form consists of a list of courses that you have been given as credit towards your studies at USC. The courses that you have been given credit for count as completed towards your USC degree and you will not have to take them again.

If you have been given credit towards your studies at USC and you would like information regarding what courses you need to enrol into, please contact Student Central to make an appointment with a Program Advisor.

Do I have to accept all of my credit transfer?

You have the option to accept all, part or none of the credit awarded.

For example, you may decide that accepting all of the awarded credit will prevent you from enrolling in additional courses from which you would benefit. Alternatively, you may want to satisfy the two (2) year ‘Australian study requirement' for the Post Study Work visa, and therefore you may not want to accept all of your credit.

You will find the different credit transfer acceptance options explained on the Credit Transfer and Acceptance form. If you choose not to accept all of your credit, you must indicate this on your form and cross out those courses for which you do not want credit.

When do I get my Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)?

You will receive your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) once you have accepted your offer and paid your first semester/trimester tuition fees and other costs as applicable.

You will need your CoE to apply for a Student visa.

My Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) appears to be invalid. What should I do?

If you are attempting to apply for your Student visa and your CoE appears to be invalid, please ensure the information on your CoE is correct. Remember that the Australian date format is ddmmyyyy (day, month, year) and you will need to enter your date of birth accordingly.

If you find that the information on your CoE is incorrect (e.g. your name is spelled incorrectly), please send us an urgent email with your correct details. It is important that you do not attempt to apply for a Student visa in this case, as your application may be rejected. If you believe your date of birth is incorrect, please ensure you spell out your birth month when you send us an email, in order to avoid confusion.

Study Abroad and credit transfer

Can I study postgraduate courses as part of the Study Abroad program?

Yes, our Study Abroad program also offers students the chance to study postgraduate courses, provided you meet the necessary entry requirements. Please note, our Study Abroad Postgraduate program is run during semesters or trimesters, depending on the academic discipline you wish to study.

For information on postgraduate courses offered to Study Abroad students, contact USC International Admissions.

To find out the dates for a specific study period, consult the relevant academic calendar.

I am a US student. How many credits will I get for my studies at USC?

Credit at USC, as for most Australian Universities, is not directly linked to the number of hours a student attends class for a given course. This means that the concept of ‘credit hours’ does not exist at USC or other Australian universities.

In general, most USC courses have an equal credit weighting or ‘unit’ worth of 12 points regardless of the course level or the number of teaching contact hours (some exceptions apply). Whether courses are introductory or advanced level, or whether they have 3 teaching contact hours or 6 teaching contact hours, the number of units or credits for each course is 12. There may be some exceptions to this general rule.

Commonly, US institutions award 3 or 4 credits per approved course undertaken at USC, or 12 to 16 credits, for a full-time course workload per semester/trimester.

How many European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) points do my USC courses convert to?

Credit at USC, as for most Australian Universities, is not directly linked to the number of hours a student attends class for a given course. This means that the concept of ‘credit hours’ does not exist at USC or other Australian universities.

In general, most USC courses have an equal credit weighting or ‘unit’ worth of 12 points regardless of the course level or the number of teaching contact hours (some exceptions apply). Whether courses are introductory or advanced level, or whether they have 3 teaching contact hours or 6 teaching contact hours, the number of units or credits for each course is 12. There may be some exceptions to this general rule.

The standard full-time workload at USC consists of four courses per semester/trimester. For ECTS purposes, this standard full-time, four course workload is generally considered equal to 30 ECTS points.

Orientation and arrival

Do I have to attend Orientation?

Orientation is compulsory for international students and you will need to make sure you arrive in Australia early enough to attend. During Orientation, you will find out important information about your stay and studies in Australia, as well as meet new people and get to know USC and your new home.

In certain circumstances, you may be able to attend a later orientation, if you are unable to attend the official one. Please contact us if you are unable to attend.

When should I arrive?

You should aim to arrive with sufficient time to settle in and acclimatise yourself to Australia, before Orientation commences.

If you are planning on staying in short-term accommodation initially and finding suitable long-term accommodation upon arrival, you should give yourself sufficient time to do so. We encourage you to finalise your accommodation arrangements before Orientation commences, to leave yourself free to settle into USC without distractions.

If you are in a position to do so, plan to arrive early and participate in the free pre-semester skills preparation modules. These will help you to be prepared and understand what is expected of you, and what to expect, when you get to class. Attendance at these free sessions will make your transition into study in Australia much easier.

How do I get from the airport to my accommodation?

Once you have finalised your flight details, you should consider how you will travel from your arrival airport to your accommodation. The most convenient option is to book airport transfer. There are a number of companies that offer airport transfer across Australia, including Con-X-ion. Most airport transfer companies accept online bookings.

To avoid problems or delays, you should organise your airport transfer before you depart for Australia.

I have already left for Australia, but do not have a transfer to my accommodation. What should I do?

Once you arrive at your destination airport, please see the arrival desk and ask them for information on airport transfer providers. You will usually be able to book a service, however may experience long waiting times.

Do I need to buy textbooks and study materials? How much does it cost?

You will need to buy textbooks or course readers for each course you are enrolled in. As a general guide, you should allow between A$50 and A$150 per course for the purchase of textbooks. You will need to factor this cost in when you are planning your budget.

Other study-related costs, depending on your chosen course, include additional materials such as stationary, laboratory coats, art supplies, field trips, printing, and photocopying, which you should also consider when planning your budget.

How can I communicate with my family and friends at home?

Many of our international students use the internet to stay in touch with their family and friends at home. You can also purchase an Australian prepaid SIM card for your mobile phone. Please note that Australian mobile networks run on GSM bands and some phones, particularly those from North America, may not be able to operate on this band. Alternatively, you could send your family and friends a traditional letter or postcard.

What activities can I pursue at USC?

At USC we offer a wide range of activities in which you can participate, ranging from sports and clubs, to international student trips. Below is a list of links that you can visit to find out more:

Accommodation

Where can I find out more about my accommodation options?

You will have different accommodation options available to you, including student accommodation and private rentals. You can find out about the different options available to you at your USC campus through the accommodation pages.

When should I book my accommodation?

You should start thinking about your preferred accommodation option during the application process and book your accommodation once you have formally accepted your place at USC and received your Confirmation of Enrolment.

We strongly recommend you finalise your accommodation arrangements prior to departing for Australia.

Alternatively, you may wish to book short-term accommodation and find more suitable long-term accommodation upon arrival. This option may be more suitable for you, if you are planning to bring your family with you.

Is it possible to arrive without accommodation?

It is essential that you have suitable short- or long-term accommodation arranged prior to departing for Australia.

If you do not want to commit to a long-term accommodation option from overseas, it is possible to book short-term accommodation and look for more suitable long-term accommodation upon arrival. This option may be more suitable for you, if you are planning to bring your family with you.

I have arrived in Australia, but have no accommodation. What should I do?

You will need to arrange suitable accommodation as soon as possible. There are a range of short- and long-term accommodation options available.

Student  can visit the accommodation pages for accommodation options.

Can USC International book my accommodation for me?

USC International does not book accommodation on behalf of students. You will need to ensure you arrange suitable accommodation for yourself prior to departing for Australia.

During the application process, USC International provides you with information regarding accommodation options, which will assist you in finding suitable housing.

Students can visit the accommodation pages for accommodation options.

I am coming with my family. Where can we live?

Student accommodation may not be suitable for you if you are planning to bring family members to Australia with you. We recommend you explore the options of share houses or house/unit rentals.

It is usually easier to first arrive by yourself, as this will allow you to settle into life and study at USC, while looking for suitable family accommodation. This allows you to be more confident when deciding on long-term accommodation and prevents you from rushing into rental agreements.

Can I live in Brisbane and study at USC Sippy Downs?

Brisbane is located approximately 100km south of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

By car, the north side of Brisbane can be reached in approximately 65 minutes. It can take longer to reach the city and the south side of Brisbane. Generally, you should expect heavy traffic and slow peak hour travel periods.

Travelling from and to Brisbane by public transport will take approx. 2 hours and 30 minutes, making living in Brisbane an unattractive option for students who do not have access to private transport.

My courses are only available at the USC Sippy Downs campus. Can I live in Brisbane regardless?

If the majority or all of your courses are held at the USC Sippy Downs campus, we strongly advise you to find suitable accommodation on the Sunshine Coast. At USC, classes are held Monday to Friday, starting as early as 8am and finishing as late as 9pm. Occasionally, classes may also take place on Saturday.

Students who live in Brisbane or surrounding suburbs may find it difficult to attend their classes at USC Sippy Downs, due to public transport schedules.

OSHC

Do I need to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) requires all students, who are studying in Australia on a Student visa, to maintain OSHC for the duration of their Student visa.

Students covered under the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, the Swedish Legal, Financial and Administration Agency (Kammarkollegiet) or the compulsory health care insurance in Belgium, do not require OSHC. Belgian, Norwegian and Swedish students who are not required to purchase OSHC, will be covered for treatment that is medically necessary under their country’s Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia.

USC can accept payment and arrange visa-length OSHC on your behalf with our preferred provider Allianz Global Assistance.

For more information about OSHC refer to the OSHC pre-arrival section on our website.

Does USC pay for my family’s Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?

For students who commenced in 2015 or prior, USC provides free OSHC Essentials single cover for eligible students on a Student visa, while they are enrolled at USC. Cover for any dependants also travelling on the Student visa must be paid for by the student.

Students requiring cover for dependants will need to purchase their own family OSHC from a recognised Australian provider if on a Student visa, or other insurance if not on a Student visa.

Students can ask USC to purchase an OSHC upgrade (e.g. from single to dual) on their behalf from USC's preferred provider, Allianz Global Assistance.

Newly commencing students are required to purchase their own OSHC cover for themselves and any dependants, however, USC can arrange cover on your behalf with our preferred provider, Allianz Global Assistance.

I am coming on a Working Holiday visa. Will I have insurance?

Working holiday visa holders are not eligible for OSHC and should make their own travel and health insurance arrangements.

Can I take out OSHC with an overseas insurer?

No. Only Australian registered private health insurers can offer OSHC. This is because the Australian Government wants to be able to monitor and regulate insurers covering people living temporarily in Australia. The Government is not able to protect the interests of people insured by overseas insurance companies in the same way.

USC can accept payment and arrange visa-length OSHC on your behalf with our preferred provider, Allianz Global Assistance. USC has no relationship with any other government-approved OSHC providers and cannot accept payment from students for any provider other than Allianz Global Assistance. However, you can contact another OSHC provider and insure with them directly. Providers who offer OSHC can be found on the Department of Health website.

What is my OSHC policy number?
  • If USC provided free OSHC Essentials single cover through our preferred provider Allianz Global Assistance, your policy number is your student ID followed by S-USC.

    For example: 1234567S-USC

  • If you have purchased your OSHC Essentials cover and USC have arranged this cover on your behalf with our preferred provider Allianz Global Assistance, your policy number is your student ID followed by P-USC.

    For example: 1234567P-USC

If you have arranged your OSHC through another provider, please refer to your OSHC policy.

How do I order my OSHC card?

You can order your OSHC card online at Allianz Global Assistance*:

  1. Click on 'Students login' and log into your account
  2. Select 'Order a membership card' from the list
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions.

NOTE: You will need your policy number to log in.

If you have arranged your OSHC through another provider, please refer to your provider's website.

*If you have difficulties ordering your card online you can visit an OSHC representative on our USC Sippy Downs campus at the USC International Office on Level 1 in Building J.

How do I upgrade my Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from single cover to family cover?

Option 1: Where USC has provided OSHC Essentials single cover at no cost to the student

If USC provided free OSHC Essentials cover through Allianz Global Assistance to you and you wish to upgrade your visa-length OSHC to dual or multi family cover, please contact USC International to request a quote. USC will continue to pay for the single portion of your cover and you will only need to pay for the cost to upgrade.

If you would like to proceed with the upgrade as quoted, USC will have the charge added to your USC student account. Once payment is made, USC will arrange your upgraded cover with Allianz Global Assistance.

To obtain a quote, please email AskUSCI@usc.edu.au

Option 2: Where OSHC Essentials single cover was purchased through the University

If you have purchased your OSHC policy through the University you will need to contact Allianz Global Assistance directly for upgrading your OSHC.

You can apply to upgrade your OSHC online at Allianz Global Assistance:

1. Click on 'Students login' and log into your account

2. Select 'Upgrade to Family Cover' from the list

3. Follow the onscreen instructions.

NOTE: You will need your policy number to log in.

How do I renew my OSHC?

Your OSHC policy is scheduled with Allianz Global Assistance until the OSHC end date indicated in your original Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). USC arranged your OSHC policy for your original visa-length. Your OSHC policy will remain active until this date.

It is a visa requirement that students must obtain OSHC for the proposed duration of their Student visa. If you extend the length of your student visa, you must renew your OSHC policy. Evidence of your OSHC must be provided at the time you lodge your Student visa extension application.

If you require to extend your OSHC policy, you can apply to renew your OSHC online at Allianz Global Assistance*:

1. Click on 'Students login' and log into your account

2. Select 'Renew my membership' from the list

3. Follow the onscreen instructions.

NOTE: You will need your policy number to log in.

*If you have arranged your OSHC through another provider, please refer to your provider's website.

I have gained Australian permanent residence. Can I have a refund of my OSHC?

Option 1: Where USC has provided OSHC Essentials single cover at no cost to the student

Students who are granted Australian permanent residency status and are requesting to change their citizenship or residency details at USC, will have their CoE and their OSHC policy with Allianz Global Assistance cancelled.

If you paid additional fees for dual or multi cover, organised through USC, you may be eligible for a refund of any unused portion of your OSHC.

Please complete the “Application for refund - International student" form (if applicable).

Option 2: Where OSHC was purchased through the University

Yes. If you obtain Australian permanent residency you will need to contact Allianz Global Assistance directly for a refund.*

*If you have arranged your OSHC through another provider, please refer to your provider.

Visa information

What visa should I apply for to study at USC?

As an international student, you have several different visa options available to you, depending on the length of your studies at USC.

More information about your visa options can found under the Visa information tab on the Before your arrive page.

What is the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF)?

SSVF has come into effect on 1 July 2016. It applies only to student visa applications submitted from 1 July 2016 and will not affect the visas of existing student visa holders.

Under the SSVF all international students will apply for the same student visa (subclass 500) regardless of their program of study, and will be required to apply for their student visa online. The student's chosen education provider and their country of citizenship will help determine how much evidence of English language and financial capacity they will need to provide with their student visa application.

SSVF replaces the previous eight student visa subclasses, the Assessment Level (AL) framework, and Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) arrangements.

What are Post-Study Work Rights (PSWR)?

Students may be eligible to apply for a Post-Study Work Rights visa under the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) if:

  • The student applied for and was granted their first Student visa on or after 5 November 2011; and
  • The student completes an eligible qualification from an Australian university; and
  • The student meets the two (2) year Australian study requirement.

The duration of the Post-Study Work Rights visa under the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)  will depend on the level of qualification achieved. A visa in this stream can be granted from two to four years, depending on the qualification.

For more information, visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

What is the two (2) year Australian study requirement?

To be eligible to apply for some post-study work visas, including both streams of the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), students will be required to meet the two (2) year Australian study requirement.

To meet this requirement, you must have completed one or more courses registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) that:

  • resulted in the award of a Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral Degree; and
  • was conducted in English; and
  • was at least two full-time academic years (minimum 92 CRICOS weeks) in duration; and
  • was lawfully completed in no less than 16 months; and
  • was completed at an Australian educational institution in Australia

For more information, visit this information page from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and follow the Post-Study Work stream.

Payment

How can I pay my fees?

At USC you can pay your fees in a variety of ways, including credit card and direct bank transfer. Please note that we cannot accept cash payments on campus.

If you would like to pay your fees for your first semester/trimester, please follow the steps on the ‘Acceptance of Offer’ page in your letter of offer.

If you are a continuing student wishing to pay your fees, please follow this link to find out about payment options for continuing students.

When are my tuition fees due?

In order to secure your study place at USC, you will need to provide us with payment for your first study period tuition fee. The remainder of your tuition fees will be payable by the due date of the relevant study period.

A late payment fee of A$250 in 2018 will apply for payments that are made after the fees due date.

Student support

Where can I find more help?

USC offers a wide range of services to assist students with their studies and personal life. It is important to seek help as soon as you require it. Visit the Student Support pages for an overview of services available to you.

If you have questions about your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), Student visa or OSHC, contact USC International Student Services.

Do you offer English language support during my studies?

At USC you will be able to benefit from a wide range of student services available to international students. To improve your academic English, we offer an informal four-week English for Academic Study module during the semester free of charge.

To register for Academic Skills workshops, log into Student Hub using your USC username and password and select Events and Workshops, or contact Student Central for assistance.

We encourage you to find out more about all of the different academic support services we have on offer to assist you in your studies at USC.

Contact information

Who can complete a form or issue a letter for me?

If you need USC to complete a form for your home university, government or other agency, you can forward the form to us via email or drop it off at Student Central (Building C). Please make sure you complete as much information as you can yourself, such as your name, date of birth, semester of study, courses enrolled in, etc.

If you require an official letter from USC (including payment receipts, enrolment or completion confirmation, etc), please contact Student Central for assistance.

How do I update my personal details?

If you would like to update your information during the application process or would like to change your permanent overseas address, please send us an email with the new details.

Once you are enrolled, you can update most of your personal information via USCCentral. It is a requirement of your visa that you provide USC with your most recent mailing address in Australia. Please ensure you update your contact details as soon as you arrive at USC and keep them up to date at all times.

I am not receiving any communication from USC International. How can I fix this?

USC International will send you periodic emails throughout the study period, to keep you up to date on important information. All electronic communication sent by the University of the Sunshine Coast is considered official, and is sent to your USC student email account, so it is important that you regularly check your USC student email account.

If you are not receiving any communication from USC International, please log into your USCCentral account and confirm that your contact details are recorded correctly. It is important that you register your correct private email address, as well as your Australian mailing address and mobile phone number.

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