Return of international students

Charles Sturt is preparing to welcome back international students through the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan.

Last Updated

06 Oct 2021 at 3:38pm

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.

This has led to the approval of the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan, which allows 250 international students studying with NSW education providers to return to Australia each fortnight, starting in early December 2021.

Important information you should know

  • Who is funding the return of international students?

    All costs associated with airport transfer in Australia and quarantine 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?

    Once students complete their EOI, selected eligible students who have progressed to the registration stage, will be sent an invitation via email. 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.

    International border restrictions are still in place, and the Commonwealth Government handles student visas and travel exemptions to leave Australia. Please refer to the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs for any developments.

    We know many international students have remained in NSW during the COVID-19 pandemic and would like to return home and visit their friends and family.

  • 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 quarantine in Sydney only. Upon completion of quarantine, 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.

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.

For more travel information, please visit the FCM website and FCM FAQs website.

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

Can we help you find what you’re looking for?