COVID-19 Help Centre For International Students

This is a challenging time for all of us and particularly for our international student community. You may have lost your job or are unable to secure work. Given the global impact of COVID-19 your family at home are also likely to have been affected and may not be able to support you at this time.

The Gold Coast education sector is working hard to support your health, wellbeing, and academic success through this crisis and our priority is to ensure that you have accurate and up-to-date information about the support services that are available to you on the Gold Coast and nationally.

Your first point of call should be your institution, but there are other service providers that can help you as well, including local and national non-government organisations and community services. If you are experiencing difficulty or hardship at this time you may also consider contacting your Embassy or local Consular Office to see if help is available there.

With the situation changing so rapidly, including travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements, it is important to keep up-to-date and Study Gold Coast is here to support you. We provide an independent counselling service that can help you with any concerns you may have and we can also connect you with local support agencies. If you’d like to book a one on one counselling session (either via phone or video conference) you can do so here.

Many Gold Coast institutions and providers are already mobilising support, including food drives, access to social worker appointments and referrals to other welfare and community support services. Your mental health is paramount to us and there are many organisations in the mental health sector providing help through their programs and services. You’ll find a list of those organisations in the Q&A section below.

Most community organisations in Australia provide services based on the greatest need – not your migration status. Remember, you are not alone and the Australian community is here to support you. Your safety is our number one priority.

Tenancy and Housing Support

Tenants Queensland provide a free tenancy advice service - 1300 744 263 www.tenantsqld.org.au Factsheet: https://tenantsqld.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Fact-Sheet-26-3-20-v3.pdf

The Wesley Mission Supporting Those at Risk of Homelessness (STARH) Program may be able to provide financial counselling and other support to help you get back onto your feet. (07) 5569 1838.

Department of Housing & Public Works, Robina Service Centre may be able to assist with a range of housing options including RentConnect which connects tenants with private rentals. Their phone number is: (07) 5645 8100 or email: [email protected]

RTA (Residential Tenancies Authority) are a state government statutory authority that provides tenancy information and support, bond management, dispute resolution, investigations and prosecutions, and education services. https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/

Gold Coast Foodbanks and Charities

 

Organisation Services Available Time and Location Cost
Angel’s Kitchen Hot meal provided in takeaway container + sweet + loaves of bread

Sunday 4.00pm to 5.00pm [dinner]

Location

Southport Community Centre

Room G3

Lawson Street, Southport

Free
Hope Starts Here Hot meal provided in takeaway container

Thursday 5.00pm to 7.00pm [dinner]

Location

Southport Community Centre

Room G3

Lawson Street, Southport
Free
Crisis Care/St Johns Drop-In Centre Hot meal provided in takeaway container

11.30am to 12.30pm [lunch]

Location

Surfers Paradise Anglican Church/St Johns Drop-In Centre

36 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Free
Havafeed Community Relief

Meal provided in takeaway container

Food Parcels

Tuesday and Thursday 7.00am to 8.30am [breakfast]

Fridays from 9.00am to 11.15am [brunch - hot meal]

Food Parcels – contact Robyn directly 0423 694 247

Location

Mermaid Beach Community Centre

2439 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Free
Walk With Us Gold Coast Food parcels

Will home deliver or can collect from Pacific Pines

Email request to: [email protected]

Include number of people in household and an address.  Volunteering Gold Coast will deliver food items.

Free
Set Free Care  Food parcels  

Monday to Friday between 10.00am to 3.00pm

Op Shop

21 Rawlins Street, Southport

$10 per hamper

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

HEALTH

 

QUESTION: How can I prevent the spread of coronavirus?

ANSWER: Practising good sneeze/cough and hand hygiene is the best way to try and keep yourself healthy; please continue to wash your hands with soap and water regularly and avoid touching surfaces and your face - especially your nose, throat and eyes. Avoid touching other people and keep a distance of 1.5m between yourself and other people where possible.

Refer to Queensland Health for up to date information on COVID-19.

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QUESTION: How can I access health services?

ANSWER: Please refer to your institution’s list of providers or contact Queensland Health on (+61) 13 43 25 84). To find a doctor, feel free to use Health Direct’s search tool.

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QUESTION: I think I have COVID-19 what should I do?

ANSWER: COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection. Find out who is at risk and what you should do if you think you have COVID-19.

If you are sick and think you have symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical advice. To seek medical help from a doctor or hospital, please call ahead of time to book an appointment advising of your symptoms. If you want to talk to someone about your symptoms, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on (+61) 1800 020 080.

You will be asked to take precautions when you attend for treatment. Follow the instructions you are given. If you have a mask, wear it to protect others. Stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people. Cover your coughs or sneezes with your elbow.

Tell the doctor about:

  • your symptoms
  • any travel history
  • any recent contact with someone who has COVID-19

Please note, although all international students should have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) fees may be incurred. Refer to Study In Australia’s website for more information.

If you are required to self-isolate for 14 days, you must stay at home unless you need to seek urgent medical care. Do shopping online or have a friend or neighbour deliver to your doorstep. Do not have visitors. If you need to speak someone, contact the Virtual Gold Coast Student Hub support team or a mental health foundation:

Headspace (under 25s) – (+61) 1800 650 890

Beyond Blue (over 25s) – (+61) 1300 224 636

Lifeline Australia(+61) 13 11 14

MENTAL HEALTH

 

QUESTION: Who do I contact if I am feeling overwhelmed?

ANSWER: COVID-19 is impacting everyone in different ways. Look after yourself, eat well, exercise at home or take a walk around your neighbourhood – make sure your practice social distancing (a minimum of 1.5m apart). Vary your day with different things like art, cooking, music or read that book that you have been wanting to read for a while!

Remember it’s OK to seek help if you need. You are not alone. We are all #InThisTogether.

Headspace (under 25s) – (+61) 1800 650 890

Beyond Blue (over 25s) – (+61) 1300 224 636

Lifeline Australia(+61) 13 11 14

All these services are available 24 hours a day, every day.

ACCOMMODATION

 

QUESTION: I can no longer stay in my accommodation. Where do I go?

ANSWER: In this unfortunate circumstance, please ensure you have reached out to your institution for any guidance and assistance. Study Gold Coast are here to help too – please feel free to book an online Student Support appointment at the Virtual Gold Coast Student Hub if you would like to have a chat with someone confidentially.

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QUESTION: What are my accommodation rights?

ANSWER: On 29 March 2020, the Australian Prime Minister announced that State Governments will put a moratorium on evictions from rental properties due to financial stress. We encourage you to speak with your landlord or property manager so they are kept abreast of your financial issues.

Study Gold Coast are here to provide information and assistance. Book an online appointment with one of our Support Officers at the Virtual Gold Coast Student Hub.

FOOD SECURITY

 

QUESTION: Where can I get food?

ANSWER: Essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies will continue to stay open during this pandemic so that everyone can access the food and health products they need. Please remember to practice social distancing (stay 1.5m apart), wash your hands before and after visiting the shop and ensure personal hygiene at all times. Staying at home is the current advice so only go out to buy the necessities and quickly return home.

JOB SECURITY

 

QUESTION: I’ve lost my job and have no money. What do I do?

ANSWER: In this unfortunate circumstance, please ensure you have reached out to your institution for any guidance and assistance. You can also book a free online appointment with our Student Support Officer or Career Support Officer at the Virtual Gold Coast Student Hub.

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QUESTION: Who is hiring during COVID-19?

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, many students have lost their casual work as their work was in industries that have been hit hard by the pandemic, especially retail, restaurants and cafes.

As companies and businesses find ways to keep afloat and adapt to new market demands during this time, extra staff are needed and new jobs are being created. We encourage you to visit the following employment websites to keep up to date with jobs and we wish you all the best in your applications.

If you need career advice, book a free online appointment with our Careers Support Officer at the Virtual Gold Coast Student Hub.

EDUCATION PROVIDERS

 

QUESTION: My education provider has closed. What do I do?

ANSWER: In this unfortunate circumstance, please ensure you are checking your email regularly for any communication from your institution for further guidance, information and next steps. Also, you may receive communication from the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) with further information and next steps with regard to your pending studies, fees and other relevant concerns. Lastly, please feel free to book an online Student Support appointment at the Virtual Gold Coast Student Hub if you would like to have a chat with someone confidentially.

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QUESTION: I can’t pay my study fees, what do I do?

ANSWER: Please contact your institution and let them know. Most providers are working out options for their students as they understand the problems international students are facing during this time.

If you need support, please book a free online appointment with our Student Support Officer or Career Support Officer at the Virtual Gold Coast Student Hub.

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