Return to in-person study

Information on the return of in-person study in Australia for International students

During the COVID pandemic, many of the requirements for students studying with Australian institutions on student visas were relaxed. The government has announced that from 30 June 2023, this flexibility will cease. This means that all international students must comply with the requirements of their student visa, and education providers must return to full compliance with the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework, from 30 June 2023.

What does this mean for students?

From 30 June 2023, international students who are studying on a student visa must:

  • Be enrolled in a full-time study load;
  • Be in Australia and studying face-to-face, on campus; and,
  • Comply with all other student visa requirements and conditions.

UOW College Australia will be offering courses for all international students on a face-to-face basis. Program-specific information is provided as follows:

  • Academic Programs - all classes will be held face-to-face on campus from 26 June 2023, with some online lectures available for select subjects. 
  • ELICOS - all classes will be held face-to-face on campus from 10 July 2023. For students commencing the English for Tertiary Studies 12-week course from 22 May 2023, all classes will be face-to-face on campus. Students will need to ensure they are in Australia and ready to commence classes in person on campus on this date as no online classes will be available.

  • Vocational - the HLT54121 Diploma of Nursing to remain exclusively face-to-face. 

Important information

Students are encouraged to return to Australia prior to the start of session. By being present from the start of the session, you can ensure that you have ample time to:

  • Settle into life on campus in Australia,
  • Familiarise yourself with the campus and course requirements, and
  • Receive necessary academic support. 

It is important to note that delays in returning to Australia may also affect your visa status, so we urge students to make arrangements to arrive as soon as possible.  Accommodation in Wollongong and surrounding regions is in high demand and the University’s on-campus accommodation is at capacity for 2023. For 2023, students are encouraged to explore and secure off campus accommodation.

Options for students unable to return to Australia on time

If you are not able to arrive in Australia for study by 30 June 2023, you may have the option to defer your course. 

If you are currently enrolled and cannot return to Australia because it is not safe or practical to do so, please contact a Student Advisor to initiate the deferral process. You can reach out to a UOW College Student Advisor via email at

For those who have not yet commenced their course, please contact the UOW College Australia International Admissions team via email at

There are separate arrangements in place for  the return to face-to-face study for Chinese students.

The Chinese Ministry of Education's Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) has announced that from Semester 1, 2023 (Southern Hemisphere), all Chinese students must return to their overseas campus to resume their face-to-face study.

Online study from Semester 1, 2023, may not be recognised by CSCSE except where a student can provide supporting evidence as to why on-campus study was not possible, including visa and travel delays, access to accommodation, and access to on-campus class options. The CSCSE has the discretion to make final decisions regarding exceptions.

During Autumn session and ELICOS Intakes 2, 3 and 4 2023, you can contact the College to request information to support applications for exemption.

Resources and support

If you are finding it difficult to navigate these changes or you are experiencing confusion, uncertainty or any range of emotions, free, confidential counselling and wellbeing services are available 24 hours a day to support students.

Support for students in Australia Support for offshore international students