Return of international students

Charles Sturt University welcomes the NSW Government’s announcement that fully vaccinated student visa holders and other eligible visa holders can travel to and from Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption effective 15 December 2021.

Please consult the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website or Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for advice on COVID-19 vaccines recognised for the purposes of travel to Australia.

The NSW Government requires international students to have a COVID-19 rapid antigen test within 24 hours of arrival into New South Wales and self-isolate until they receive a negative result; please refer to NSW Government latest rules and restrictions to enter NSW. If you have a positive result from your rapid antigen test or develop COVID-19 symptoms, you must immediately get a PCR test and self-isolate until you receive a negative result. Visit the NSW Health website to find the closest clinic to you. Read the NSW Health requirements for mandatory testing here.

The University has missed the many positive contributions that international students make to both our campuses and local communities. We look forward to welcoming international students back to our campuses for a happy and safe 2022.

For further information and updates, visit the Study NSW website.

Last Updated

03 May 2022 at 9:13am

This page will be updated as more information is received, so please check the page regularly. Eligible students will be contacted directly with any updates.

NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan

Charles Sturt University and other NSW and Australian Capital Territory universities have been working closely and collaboratively with Study NSW, the NSW Government and the Australian Government to facilitate the safe return of continuing international students to NSW and the ACT.

Charles Sturt welcomed back students on the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan, commencing in early December 2021. Charles Sturt does not have any upcoming seats on Pilot Plan flights, as of 10 January 2022. The University will continue to work closely with StudyNSW and will provide further opportunities for students to return as they become available. Students are able to return to Australia on their own, separate to the Pilot Plan, effective immediately.

Important information you should know

  • Who is funding the return of international students through the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan?

    All costs associated with airport transfer in Australia and self-isolation will be covered by Charles Sturt. Returning international students will cover flight costs, travel to departure hub(s) and pre-departure health clearance and testing. Specific details about the costs will be communicated directly to eligible international students.

  • How will I know if I am eligible for the NSW International Student Arrival Pilot Plan?

    Charles Sturt University will continue to work with StudyNSW and if additional opportunities become available for Charles Sturt students to return via the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan, selected eligible students will be contacted. Eligible students will be selected based on a range of criteria, including vaccination requirements. Please refer to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) vaccination eligibility requirements in the FAQs below.

  • How many students will Charles Sturt be returning via this plan?

    While only a small number of Charles Sturt students will be eligible to return under the pilot plan, it’s an important milestone that will lay the foundation for the safe return of more students in the future. We will continue to work with other universities and the NSW Government to deliver a successful NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan.

  • Are COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for returning International students?

    Yes, based on current NSW Health advice, only students who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will be eligible to return through this plan. This is to help protect the safety of communities and students themselves.

  • If my vaccine is recognised in my home country but not by the TGA, can I be considered in the Pilot Plan?

    Only fully vaccinated students with a vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are eligible to initially return to NSW as part of the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan. The Pilot Plan will be overseen by all key NSW Government agencies, including NSW Health, and they will continue to review the pilot and communicate any changes to eligibility requirements in due course.

  • Do I need an active international student visa to be part of the Pilot Plan?

    Yes, international students must have a valid Australian Student Visa subclass 500 to travel to Australia.

  • I have submitted an Expression of Interest to participate in the Pilot Plan. Does this guarantee my place?

    No, only a few Charles Sturt students will be eligible to return in the initial phase. Charles Sturt will review Expression of Interest (EOI) submissions and identify selected students based on the number of student places allocated to Charles Sturt per flight and additional specific criteria outlined in the EOI process. The final decision on selected students will be made by Charles Sturt in its sole and absolute discretion.

  • What if I’m not eligible to return to Australia as part of the Pilot Plan?

    We will continue to provide remote and online learning options for students for as long as that is required. We will also continue to have dedicated international student support and one-on-one help for our offshore students if they need it. We will continue working with other universities and government partners to deliver a successful pilot and find ways for more international students to return to Australia in due course.

  • Can I be confident that I will be able to stay safe and protected from COVID-19 once I recommence my studies in NSW?

    International students should feel confident to recommence their studies in NSW, as the state government continually focuses on minimising the risks of COVID-19. The Pilot Plan will ensure that returning students can successfully resume their studies and enjoy NSW’s vibrant, multicultural community as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease in the state.

  • Can my family and dependents on my visa join me on the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan?

    No, at present, the Pilot Plan is only available to international student visa holders studying with NSW education providers to return.

  • Can an international student currently in NSW return to their home country and then re-enter Australia via the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan?

    The NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan aims to ensure that international students who have been overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic can return to NSW as soon as possible.

    As from 15 December 2021, international student visa holders will be able to travel in and out of Australia without applying for a travel exemption. If you do choose to leave Australia, you need to be aware that changing Australian Government restrictions and flight availability may limit your ability to return to Australia before your next semester commences. If you are enrolled in a course requiring on-campus study to complete your subjects, please consider how your travel decisions may impact your studies.

    Please refer to the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs for any developments.

  • I want more information about the actual travel arrangements, where do I go?

    Flight arrangements will be made for students by FCM Travel Pty Ltd, the travel agency appointed by the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan members. FCM will manage the actual travel arrangements for selected students to return to Australia as part of the Pilot Plan. Find out more travel arrangements such as hotel quarantine and the cost of flights at the FCM website and FCM FAQs website.

  • I am studying on a regional NSW campus. Will the Pilot Plan coordinate my travel to my regional campus?

    No, the Pilot Plan facilitates your return to Australia for self-isolation in Sydney only. Upon completion of self-isolation, you will be responsible for your onward travel to your campus. FCM Travel Pty Ltd can book the onward travel for you or you can organise yourself. You are responsible for paying the costs of the onward travel.

    If you require information regarding travel to your regional campus, contact your International Student Liaison Officer.

  • If I am successful in entering Australia via the Pilot Plan, will my classes be held on-campus?

    For students in Australia, it is intended that classes will be held on-campus for Session 30 2022, where consistent with regulatory requirements. This may change according to prevailing circumstances, in line with regulatory requirements related to COVID-19. Summer session is optional, however, for students enrolled in this session, classes will remain remote and online learning options for students will be available for as long as that is required.

  • Can I leave Australia?

    If you do choose to leave Australia, you need to be aware that changing Australian Government restrictions and flight availability may limit your ability to return to Australia before your next semester commences. If you are enrolled in a course requiring on-campus study to complete your subjects, please consider how your travel decisions may impact your studies.

Need more information?

For regular updates, please visit the Study NSW website or subscribe to the Study NSW newsletter and follow Study NSW on FacebookInstagramTwitter and WeChat.

If you are participating on the Pilot Plan, for more travel information, please visit the FCM website, FCM FAQs website and Pre-departure and arrival information website.

If you require continuing international student support, connect with your International Student Liaison Officer here.

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