Australian Government OS-HELP Loan Scheme

If you are going on an exchange (fee-waiver) program at one of RMIT’s partner institutions or a study abroad (fee paying) mobility activity, or undertaking a short-term mobility activity, this loan could assist with your overseas travel expenses.

Value and duration

In 2018 the maximum value of the OS HELP loan is AU$6,567 for non Asian destinations, AU$7,880 for destinations in Asia and AU$1,050 for the Asian language supplement.


To be eligible for this loan, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa
  • have not received OS-HELP on more than one previous occasion
  • be enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate by coursework program at RMIT
  • be a Commonwealth-supported student
  • be eligible for HECS-HELP
  • have successfully completed the equivalent of at least two full-time semesters of study (96 credit points) towards your RMIT program as a Commonwealth supported student
  • be studying full time while overseas for credit which counts towards your RMIT program
  • have at least 12 credit points of study to complete your program at RMIT when you return
  • provide a Tax File Number
  • not receive an OS-HELP loan from another higher education institution for an overlapping period
  • receive approval from RMIT Global Experience Office for your overseas mobility activity
  • not apply after the completion of your overseas mobility activity.

OS-HELP definitions of full-time study whilst overseas

To meet this eligibility criteria a full-time load is calculated by a formula that takes account of both the credit points and the length of time of the overseas study. Travel dates to and from the study program are not included in the calculation. In general, the following are regarded as full time study loads for OS-HELP:

  • 72 credit points over two semesters (26 weeks) of overseas study
  • 36 credit points over a semester (13 weeks) of overseas study
  • 24 credit points taken over no more than 8 weeks of overseas study
  • 12 credit points taken over no more than 4 weeks of overseas study
  • 6 credit points taken over no more than 2 weeks of overseas study

Study in Asia – Asian Language Supplement

A supplementary OS-HELP loan amount of up to AU$1,035 is available to assist with the cost of language study undertaken in preparation for overseas mobility activity in Asia. This study must be relevant to the mobility activity, not part of a student’s current RMIT award and taken at an appropriate level. The study can be taken at any institution, domestic or abroad and must be taken prior to the mobility activity. (Note: a supplementary loan amount is added to an OS-HELP loan for overseas study, and does not count towards the lifetime maximum of two OS-HELP loans).

Evidence such as receipts, enrolment records, or results must be supplied when you receive your offer.

How to apply

You should apply for OS-HELP at the same time as you apply for your mobility activity, and you must be accepted for your mobility activity by the Global Experience Office before payment is made.

To apply, complete the online OS-HELP Application Form.

Application deadline

Students cannot apply for an OS-HELP loan after they have finished their overseas mobility activity, however an application may still be possible whilst you are undertaking your overseas mobility activity.

As OS HELP is a lengthy process it is highly recommended that you submit your OS-HELP application at least two months before you commence your overseas mobility activity. If you apply late, you will receive your loan late.

You must complete all required steps outlined in your offer email to receive your loan prior to the completion of your mobility activity. Once your activity is complete if you have not completed all three steps your application will be automatically declined.

Terms and conditions

Your OS-HELP loan is added to your HECS-HELP debt.

Terms and Conditions (PDF 384KB)

Further info