STUDENT COUNSELLING SERVICES
The Counselling Service is available to students free of charge, on a confidential basis at the campus or by emailing our Student Support Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Counselling Service staff are available to clarify and resolve a range of issues which might otherwise interfere with academic or personal effectiveness.
Such issues include:
- adjustment to life in Victoria
- personal and family difficulties
- relationship problems
- situational stress
- and course-related problems
The Service offers both individual and group counselling. Our Student Support Officer is based at the campus. They are there to help international students who are facing difficulties with:
- settling into life in Australia
- coping with Australian learning styles
- dealing with other students and teachers
- conflict resolution
- personal and study issues
LANGUAGE, LITERACY AND NUMERACY ASSISTANCE
Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) Support is available to provide students with advice and support services. Students needing LLN support are identified on enrolment. Overseas students need Minimum of IELTS test results of 5.5, with no individual band lower than 4.5, or equivalent in other forms of testing that satisfy the college’s requirement to enter Danford College’s courses. Once a student’s course has begun and they still think they need assistance they can talk to their trainer. Many trainers have a background in language learning and teaching and are able to offer students case by case support in their area. If the student still feels they need assistance then they can contact the Student Support Officer to be directed to the appropriate support service. Language, Literacy and Numeracy skills are generally included and identified in all course programs. In identifying literacy and numeracy requirements, students need to:
- Count, check and record accurately
- Read and interpret
- Estimate, Calculate and Measure
Legal Aid – Victoria, Australia was established to provide legal assistance and other legal services to socially and economically disadvantaged people to ensure they understand and protect their rights. For people who meet Legal Aid’s means and merit tests, legal representation may be provided at minimal cost. Where legal advice and minor assistance is required, these services may be provided free. Contact Legal Aid for more detailed information.
Call Legal Aid Victoria: 1300 792 387 or Visit http://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/
24 hour Crisis Emergency Contacts
Lifeline – 131 114
Police: a free call – 000
Salvo Care Line – (03) 8878 4500
VIC Sexual Assault Services – 1800 806 292
ALCOHOL AND DRUG COUNSELLING
Alcoholics Anonymous – (03) 9529 5948
Alcohol and Drug Service – (+61 3) 9096 9000
VICTIMS OF CRIME SUPPORT LINE
24 hour information, support and referrals – 1800 819 817
DRIVING IN AUSTRALIA
Overseas students are permitted to drive using their home country’s driving license as long as the student has a study visa. Overseas students also can apply for a driver’s license test. You can contact the VICROADS on 131 156 for more information.
OVERSEAS STUDENT HEALTH COVER
Australia has a very modern and efficient health care system. It is subsidised by the Australian Government.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a type of insurance that allows you to use the Australian healthcare system and it covers the majority of costs for any medical or hospital care which you may need while studying in Australia. It will also pay for some prescription drugs and emergency ambulance transport.
If you are an international student studying in Australia, you must purchase an approved OSHC policy from a registered health benefits organisation – commonly referred to as health funds — before applying for your visa. You will need to buy OSHC before you come to Australia, to cover you from when you arrive. You will also need to maintain OSHC throughout your stay in Australia.
It is a requirement of Department of Education that the student visa holders must have Overseas Student Health Cover. Below here are few private Overseas student health cover providers for your perusal.
Australian Health Management
OSHC Worldcare (Lysaght Peoplecare)
If you get sick, you may have to go and see a doctor. In Australia, you do not go to a hospital unless you are seriously ill. You go to your local doctor who will have a surgery near your house. Surgery hours usually start from 9:00 am and the surgery may be open all day. When you arrive, the receptionist will ask you for your Medibank Private Membership card or book. Don’t forget to take your Medibank Private Membership card when you go to the doctor’s surgery. If you cannot leave the house, you can ring the Doctor’s receptionist and make an appointment for the doctor to visit you, which will be more expensive and may not be covered by OSHC. If you cannot come to the College, the doctor will give you a medical certificate that describes what is wrong with you and says how many days you may stay at home. Do not forget to give your medical certificate to the Administration Manager when you return to the College. You keep the original certificate and we will place a copy on your file.
In Australia, you only have to pay 15% of the cost of a visit to your local doctor, and if you are in a public hospital you do not have to pay at all. However, you may have to pay more to see a specialist or if you are in a private hospital. When you get a bill or receipt for medical service, take it with your medical card to the Medibank Private office and apply for a refund.
Under OSHC you are covered for accommodation and/or treatment in Public hospitals. This applies whether you need to stay in hospital or are a patient at the hospital’s outpatient clinic or casualty department. Public hospitals throughout Australia have emergency clinics where you can go at any time of the day or night in an emergency. Doctors at the hospital will attend to you. Some specialist costs may not be covered by OSHC.
For all emergencies that are life threatening, dial 000 from your telephone (or 112 from your mobile phone) to be attended by the emergency service departments. This includes Fire, Police and Ambulance services, operating 24 hours a day. Please follow the steps below to get assistance as soon as possible.
- Ask the operator for the service you need
- Wait to be connected
- Describe the problem
- Be aware of your address or be ready to describe your location as clearly as possible.
- Listen to any instructions given by the operator.
- Do not hang up until asked to
Dialling 000 (or 112 from mobiles) is a free call. For general police enquiries please contact a local police station.
NOTE: Dialling 000 (or 112 from your mobile) as a prank call or for non-serious events is an offence and you may be in trouble with the police if you do so.
Your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) will cover costs for ambulance only when it is used in a state of emergency where medical attention is needed immediately. The costs for an ambulance used for nonemergency medical transport is not covered by OSHC.
If a student is ill or injured on campus and needs help please contact any member of the College staff, as First-Aid cabinets are available on the premises. The College is not permitted to provide or administer medication to any students. Students must report all injuries, accidents and near misses to their trainer or a staff member. Students who suffer from a serious illness or allergies or who are required to take medication daily should advise the Student Support Officer for any assistance or special arrangements.
There are many consumer protection and support services available for international students. This includes services provided directly by institutions as well as those provided by a range of state, territory and federal government departments.
Australian has a strong consumer protection framework to protect the rights of Australian consumers, including international students in Australia. The Australian Consumer Law includes a national law guaranteeing consumer rights when buying goods and services. You should contact the relevant government trade and consumer agency in your state or territory, if you:
· Would like information about your consumer rights.
· Have a problem with a consumer good or service that you have bought or are considering buying.
· Would like to know how a business should behave under the law.
· Would like to make a complaint about a business.
Visit australia.gov.au or www.consumerlaw.gov.au to find the relevant government agency for where you are living and studying.
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. You can find out more about this service on their website: www.oso.gov.au. The OSO also produces an email newsletter for international students. You can subscribe to the newsletter on the OSO
If you are studying at a public institution, such as TAFE colleges and many universities and schools, you should contact the Ombudsman in the state or territory in which you are studying to lodge a complaint. You can find details of what the Ombudsman can investigate on their website. Below is a list of the Ombudsman websites for all states and territories in Australia:
Victorian Ombudsman – www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au
Tuition Protection Service
The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) is an initiative of the Australian Government to assist you if your institution (referred to as ‘Education Provider’ under the TPS) is unable to fully deliver your course of study. The TPS may also assist you if you have withdrawn from, or not started, your course and are eligible for a refund of tuition fees and the institution has not paid them.
The TPS will make ensure that you are able to either:
· Complete your studies in another course or with another institution, or
· Receive a refund of your unspent tuition fees.
Under the Tuition Protection Service international students have a number of rights and obligations. For more information visit the Tuition Protection Service website.
Australia has a number of student associations representing and assisting students from Australian institutions. National associations include:
Council of International Students Australia (CISA) – national peak student representative body for international students studying at the postgraduate, undergraduate, private college, TAFE, ELICOS and foundation level.
Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS) – assisting international students in maximizing the scope and potential of their experience living and studying in Australia.
International Student Care Service (ISCS)
The International Student Care Service (ISCS) is a free and confidential support and welfare service for international students studying in Victoria. The ISCS provides a single point of contact for international students. Staff can be reached on a 24-hour phone line for advice and support, or by visiting the office during business hours. ISCS provides vital support if you are experiencing difficulties during your time of study.
Services provided by ISCS include crisis intervention and support in emergency situations.
· accommodation and housing providers
· legal services
· health services
· other specialist support services
All services are free and confidential.
ISCS can assist you through personal difficulties by providing emotional and practical support that is sensitive to your experience as an international student.
You can drop-in to the service without an appointment, though you are encouraged to call first to ensure a staff member is available.
Office hours are Monday – Friday from 9am-5pm. So feel free to come along and seek advice and assistance.
Phone: 1800 056 449 (free call from landline phones)
Drop-in to the office: 599 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000
Salvation Army – The Couch
International students congregate throughout the week at The Couch, based at The Salvation Army Melbourne Project 614’s Hamodava Cafe. The Couch links students to support services, information and creates an environment to socialise, interact and engage with like-minded individuals. The Couch operates from 5pm to 9pm, Monday to Thursday.
What are the benefits of The Couch?
· Provides a safe, non-commercial lounge space for international students in Melbourne
· Allows students to connect with support services and information on a range of issues including housing, employment, counselling, student services, legal aid, and more
· Provides meals to students
· Creates an environment where students can engage, socialise and interact, which will contribute to their positive experience whilst studying in Melbourne
· Facilitates cultural exchange between local young people and international students though social activities such as footy nights, movie sessions and other activities held within the centre.
For more information please contact:
See more at:http://www.salvationarmy.org.au/find-us/victoria/melbourne614/melbourne614-services/the-couch-614/#sthash.S1eu4HbI.dpuf
Australia has laws that protect individuals from discrimination in many areas of public life, including education. A person with a disability has just as much right to study as any other student. This means that institutions cannot:
· Refuse admission on the basis of disability.
· Accept a student with a disability on less favourable terms than other students (for example, asking for higher fees).
· Deny or limit access to a student with a disability (for example, not allowing access to excursions, or having inaccessible student common rooms or lecture facilities).
Many institutions offer services for students who require assistance with their studies because of a disability or chronic medical condition. These may include voice-recognition software, hearing aids or note-taking services. You should contact your institution several weeks before you arrive to make the appropriate arrangements for your specific needs.
Institutions must make every effort to accommodate a student with a disability. However, the institution is not legally required to make modifications if the changes involve major difficulties or unreasonable cost. The institution has to prove the changes are unjustified and, before making such a claim, must have direct discussions with the student and seek expert advice.
If you are experiencing a problem with your institution, you should first talk to staff at your institution. If informal discussions do not resolve the problem, you have the option of lodging a formal complaint. Institutions are required to have a process for students to register complaints. If you feel you have a legitimate complaint that is not being recognised by your institution, you should approach the Australian Human Rights Commission. Confidential enquiries can be made by telephone but a formal complaint must be lodged in writing before the commission can take action. Find out more about disability rights in Australia at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission .
While many larger institutions have childcare facilities with trained staff, there are also a wide variety of private and not-for-profit childcare centres available around Australia. The Australian government provides financial assistance to help parents with childcare costs. International students who receive direct financial assistance from the government, through a government scholarship, may be eligible to receive the child care benefit. To find out if you are eligible for child care financial assistance, read more at the Australia.gov.au >website.
Dependant children of international students
A student bringing a spouse and/or children to Australia will need to have enough money to support them before the Australian Government will issue a visa.
For more information, contact the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
DIBP requires dependant children between the ages of five and 18 to attend school full-time as a condition of the dependent visa.
It is a visa requirement that school-aged children (primary or secondary school age) are enrolled in school. A list of schools which admit international students is available by consulting the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website.
The Victorian Government schools website has useful information and lists of schools.
Work and study rights for families
You and your dependent family members will have permission to work automatically included with your student visa. Work rights for dependants of students vary between unlimited hours, for dependents of postgraduate research students, and a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight for others. Further information is available from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). Your spouse can also study whilst they are in Australia for up to 3 months. If they wish to study for longer, they are then required to apply for their own student visa.
For further information please visit the DIBP website.
Other support services
Some other support services that may be useful to know while you are studying in Australia are:
· Contact details – 000
· Service details – Life threatening situations, such as a car crash or a fire.
Local police – non urgent matters
· Contact details – Call 131 444 (everywhere except Victoria). In Victoria you need to call your local police station (consult your local Telephone Directory)
· Service details – Police attendance for non-urgent matters.
· Contact details – 13 11 14
· Service details – Lifeline provides crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services across Australia. These can include stresses from work, family or society and physical and mental wellbeing. Lifeline offers support services by phone or through their online chat available on their website.
· Contact details – 1800 551 800
· Service details – If you’re between 5 and 25 and you’re feeling depressed, worried, sad, angry or confused about things like your studies personal relationships, Kids Helpline offers free 24 hour, 7 day telephone counseling support (anonymous if you prefer).
Poison Information Centre
· Contact details – 131 126
· Service details – Provides advice on the management, assessment and treatment of poisonous products including non-prescription pharmaceuticals, household and industrial chemicals, and plant and animal venom.
Sexual Assault counseling service
· Contact details – To contact any CASA and the after hours Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL) simply call 1800 806 292 or Email SACL at email@example.com or Sexual Assault Crisis Line on 1800 806 292 or Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491
· Service details – If you, or anyone you know, has experienced or is at risk of sexual assault, call one of the state-based sexual assault counseling services. These provide a free 24 hour, 7 day a week telephone counseling service (anonymous if you prefer). Many are connected to hospitals or government health departments to help you if the assault has left you with injuries.