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OS-Help loans

OS-HELP (opens an external site) is a Commonwealth Government funded loan scheme designed to assist you to pay for overseas study and other course related opportunities whilst at university in Australia.

If you are a Commonwealth supported student you can apply for up to two OS-HELP loans in your lifetime. OS-HELP loans are paid back to the Commonwealth after the completion of your studies via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) along with your HECS-HELP debt. As with HECS-HELP loans, no interest or fees are charged; the amount is indexed with inflation.

In 2014 you can borrow up to $6250 in any six month period to help you cover the costs related to In Country Study, Global Exchange, BUiLD Abroad programs or other Faculty approved degree related overseas program, such as an internship, clinical placement or field trip.

At UTS, we offer three different loan amounts that can be taken in a six month period:

  • $2000
  • $4000
  • $6250

OS-HELP conditions

  • OS-HELP loans can only be used to support overseas programs undertaken within six months of the loan being awarded; you may not apply for an OS-HELP loan for a program you have already started or completed.
  • You may apply for OS-HELP loans in addition to and irrespective of other scholarships and grants administered by UTS.
  • You may apply for a maximum of two OS-HELP loans during your degree.
  • The commencement date of each loan must be at least six months and one day apart.

OS-HELP for programs in Asia

From 2014 an increased maximum loan amount of $7500 applies to study programs in Asia. If you choose to study in Asia, you can also apply for an additional $1000 loan supplement to be used towards study in an Asian language (not for credit) that will help you prepare to live and study in your destination country.

Eligibility criteria

There are a number of eligibility criteria you must meet to be able to be able to receive an OS-HELP loan.

  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent humanitarian visa holder.
  • You may not have received an OS-HELP loan on more than one other occasion.
  • You are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at UTS as a Commonwealth supported student.
  • You have completed 48 credit points of study towards your current UTS degree (also required for postgraduate students).
  • You will have at least 6 credit points remaining to complete on your current UTS degree upon return from the overseas experience.
  • You have been approved for an In Country Study or Global Exchange place or a place on a BUiLD Abroad program organised by UTS International, or other Faculty approved overseas study program contributing to your degree (such as an internship, clinical placement, field trip or other course related opportunity).
  • You must have a valid tax file number.

Please note that OS-HELP loans cannot be applied retroactively i.e. after you have returned from your study period overseas.

Additional eligibility requirements

BUiLD Abroad
To apply for an OS-HELP loan for a BUiLD Abroad program you will need to gain approval from your Faculty that this program may count toward your current UTS degree.

Faculty approved degree related programs
If you want to apply for an OS-HELP loan for any other overseas opportunity other than Global Exchange or BUiLD Abroad, you will need to provide additional documentation that shows:

  1. Confirmation of the opportunity
  2. Dates involved from the program provider or institution
  3. Written approval from your Faculty that this program may count toward your current UTS degree – this approval can be gained for non-credit bearing programs
  4. Evidence that the program is conducted on a full-time basis

Examples of programs may include for credit programs such as:

  • Internships
  • Clinical placements or practicums
  • Field trips
  • Summer schools and short courses at non-partner Universities

Asian language training – supplementary OS-HELP loan
If you want to apply for a supplementary OS-HELP loan of $1000 to cover the costs of a language training course before you begin your program:

  • The language course must be taken in preparation for study in Asia (you may not apply if you have already finished your study overseas)
  • The language study may not be credited towards your current UTS degree
  • The language loans must be used in conjunction with regular OS-HELP loans
  • The language you wish to study must be spoken in your destination country (e.g. Mandarin or Cantonese would be acceptable for Hong Kong, but Thai would not be).
  • The language level must be suitable for your skills and experience

Find out more from the Australian Government about how OS-HELP loans work and the general OS-HELP eligibility criteria (opens an external site).

Apply for an OS-Help loan at UTS

  1. Ensure that you are eligible for an OS-HELP loan by reading the information above carefully.
  2. This will include applying for and confirming your place on your In Country Study, Global Exchange, BUiLD Abroad or other Faculty approved course related program, and checking if you  may be eligible for an Asian Study OS-HELP Loan and language loan.
  3. Attend a compulsory OS-HELP Application Workshop (dates below). There are several steps to this application process, which will be explained in detail at the compulsory Application Workshops.
  4. Check the application timelines outlined below.
  5. Complete the online UTS OS-HELP Application Forms (link received at Application Workshops).

Application timelines

The application timeline in the table below is for:

  • Global Exchange and In Country Study programs for Spring semester 2014
  • Short Term Exchange, BUiLD Abroad and other Faculty approved programs that begin during the Winter 2014 university break period (beginning 7 July 2014) up until the beginning of the Summer university break period (beginning 1 December 2014).

*OS-HELP loan applications for Autumn semester 2014 Global Exchange and In Country Study programs are now closed. Please contact the Study Abroad and Exchange team with queries.

Early April 2014 OS-HELP Application Workshops will occur on 15 and 17 April (dates subject to change)
15 April 2014 Applications for OS-HELP loans open on 15 April 2014. Detailed instructions on how to apply will be covered in the compulsory OS-HELP Application Workshop
15-April to 16 May 2014 Prepare your application and attach any documentation required (e.g. UTS OS-HELP Faculty Approval Form).
16 May 2014 OS-HELP applications close.
Late June 2014 Students notified of outcome and successful students receive OS-HELP loan.

Further assistance

  • Study Abroad and Exchange
    Phone: +61 2 9514 7915
    Enquiries handled: OS-HELP enquiries relating to In Country Study, Global Exchange and other semester-long course related overseas opportunities.
  • BUiLD and Community Connections
    Phone: +61 2 9514 1970
    Enquiries handled: OS-HELP enquiries relating to BUiLD Abroad programs and other short-term course related overseas opportunities.

Resources

UTS OS-HELP Loan Application – Faculty Approval Form (PDF, 190kB)