Covid-19 is having a major impact across the globe. Our thoughts are with everyone during this challenging time, particularly you, our international student community. We know that some international students are finding it hard to meet their living expenses, while others may want to return home, but at the moment this may not be possible.
International students’ first point of contact should be their institution. However, there are also government services and organisations that can provide assistance, whether it be food relief, financial assistance or mental health/wellbeing support. Help may also be available from your Embassy or local Consular Office.
For information on changes to facilities, services and events within the City of Greater Geelong, along with other Covid-19 resources, visit https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/covid19.
The City of Greater Geelong has also released a Healthy at Home toolkit. It has tips and advice on food and nutrition, mindfulness exercises, mental health and wellbeing and more.
Testing for COVID-19
If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days. 1800 675 398.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) test is free for everyone. This includes people without a Medicare card, such as international students.
If you have symptoms, you can receive a free test at any Victorian public respiratory clinic.This does NOT include general practice (GP) clinics.
Please bring a form of identification and contact details with you to the testing clinic, for example, your driver’s licence, passport, transport concession card or student ID. The testing clinic does not need to know your visa status.
If you are worried you will lose pay while you wait for your results you may be eligible for a $450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment.
The hotline can be contacted for a range of Covid-19 assistance including health information, if you are feeling lonely and need help to stay connected to friends, family and community, help during mandatory quarantine and information about restriction levels and more.
COVID-19 Vaccination Program
From Wednesday, 25 August everyone aged 16 years and over is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
You can now book or change a vaccination appointment at a vaccination centre through the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine online booking system.
The vaccines are free. This includes for Australian citizens, permanent residents, refugees, people seeking asylum, temporary and provisional visa holders (including international students and temporary migrants).
You do not need a Medicare card to get a vaccine. If you do not have a Medicare card, you can apply for an Individual Health Identifier (IHI) number.
To do this, you will need to complete and submit a Request or update an Individual Healthcare Identifier form. You can also visit a Medicare office to get an IHI.
If you cannot get an appointment at your preferred location, you should continue to check back, as more appointments will become available over the coming weeks.
Please remember that you are not alone - we are #InThisTogether.
Local and Online Support
There are many local organisations that can provide a range of assistance, including food relief, legal services and mental health/wellbeing support. It is important to remember to use the services offered by your education provider, but support from other organisations is also available.
Stay Healthy and Informed
Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website provides health information and advice on COVID-19 in English and multiple languages. This includes information on Covid-19 symptoms, testing locations, prevention, hygiene and handwashing, physical distancing requirements, restrictions and self isolation in Victoria.
Make sure you get correct and up-to-date Covid-19 information for Victoria by following:
Study Melbourne Support
Study Melbourne shares current and accurate information, and connects all international students in Victoria to resources that can help. The Study Melbourne Student Centre can assist you to access services, and provide free and confidential information, support and practical help. This includes the Victorian Government’s $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund, mental health services, accommodation and employment legal advice and referrals to other servicers.