CDU building

Support services and contacts

The Team

The international support team aims to offer the highest level of support to the international students at Charles Darwin University, to help make your experience in Australia the best it can be.

There is a dedicated member of the support team on every CDU campus. Our staff have lived and studied in other countries just like you, and have firsthand experience of the highs and lows of such a big and important journey. Issues you can discuss with the team include but aren’t limited to:

  • Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)
  • Orientation
  • Student visa conditions
  • Intermission  (leave of absence/study leave)
  • Study load/management of studies in given timeframe / Reduced Study Load (RSL) / Variation of study load
  • Payment of fees
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
  • Clubs and Events
  • CDU support services relevant to your issue

The team can provide support and advice in person, online or over the phone. You can drop in or book a private appointment.

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Location and contact details

Darwin

Postal Address:
Charles Darwin University
Office of International Services
Building Orange 2 - ground floor
Casuarina Campus
Ellengowan Drive
Darwin, Northern Territory 0909
Australia

T: 08 8946 7215, F: 08 8946 6644, E: international@cdu.edu.au

Team members:
Lynn HARTNEY – Senior International Student Adviser
Lana GUO - International Student Support and Events Officer

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Sydney

Postal Address:
Charles Darwin University
Level 10, 815 George Street
Haymarket, Sydney
NSW 2000
Australia

T: 02 8047 4100, E: international@cdu.edu.au

Team member: Henriette DU TOIT - International Student Support Officer

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Melbourne

Postal Address:
Charles Darwin University / ATMC
Mezzanine level
271 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Australia

T: 03 9631 9100, E: international@cdu.edu.au

ATMC support team members:
Claudia ROSSI HUNT - Student Contact Team Leader
Tie Sing SOON - Program Contact Officer
Andreana VASALLO – Student Contact Officer
Satwant SINGH – Academic Program Coordinator
Michelle Preston – Library Contact Officer

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Make an appointment

General enquiries

For general enquiries, please contact your campus international reception desk located in:

  • Darwin - Office of International Services, building Orange 2, ground floor. Phone: 08 8946 7215
  • Sydney – Level 9, 815 George Street, Haymarket. Phone: 02 8047 4100
  • Melbourne - Mezzanine level, 271 Collins Street. Phone: 03 9631 9100

Comprehensive advice in relation to student visas, compliance and welfare support is provided to international students by the:

  • Senior International Student Adviser, aka SISA - Lynn HARTNEY (Darwin)
  • International Student Support and Events Officer – Lana GUO (Darwin)
  • International Student Support Officer – Henriette DU TOIT (Sydney)
  • Student Contact Team Leader – Claudia ROSSI HUNT or Program Contact Officer for Student Services – Tie Sing SOON (Melbourne)

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Make an appointment with SISA

Except for the Senior International Student Adviser (SISA), all other support officers are available throughout the week during standard business hours. No appointment required.

The Senior International Student Adviser is available only upon arranged phone or face-to-face appointments. Appointments are available in max half hour slots and you must make an appointment online.

To book an appointment online, click on an available time slot, and enter your details. If you need to meet with the SISA but cannot attend an appointment on campus, please include your telephone number and a note specifying that this is a phone appointment. You will receive a call from the SISA at the specified time.

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Student support and services

Personal support (Equity Services)

You may be feeling overwhelmed from your studies, stressed from work, or dealing with something difficult in your personal life. Equity Services provides support in a range of these areas to assist you during your studies. As a CDU student, you are welcome to access some free, confidential services including

  • Counselling - At times, we all experience personal difficulties that may cause disruption and confusion in our lives. Sometimes these personal matters impact our ability to study and, in such circumstances, it can be helpful to talk with a Counsellor.

  • Accommodation services - There are plenty of accommodation options in Darwin, including on-campus accommodation, student accommodation, and private renting. Accommodation services can point you in the right direction to find suitable accommodation.

  • Careers & Employment – Talk with our expert staff to improve your chances of securing the career that you want and access resources that will build your skills and knowledge, giving you a competitive edge in the job market.

  • Disability Service - Charles Darwin University is committed to providing an accessible, supportive, safe and inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities. If you have some disability which may impact your study, discuss this and the support available to you with the team.  

Visit Equity Services to find out about the services available.

Reception - Building Blue 1, Casuarina campus
T: 08 8946 6288, 1300 933 393 (Out-of-hours telephone crisis support)
F: 08 8946 6654
Email: equity@cdu.edu.au

Respect. Now. Always

Charles Darwin University is committed to providing a safe and respectful learning, working and living environment. Sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable. The Respect. Now. Always. The campaign, led by the Australian Human Rights Commission and Universities Australia, seeks to prevent sexual assault and harassment by raising awareness, supporting students requiring assistance and giving bystanders the confidence to speak up.

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Study support


Academic Language and Learning Success Program

The Academic Language and Learning Success Program (ALLSP) is a free service that assists all higher education students with academic skills development tailored to the specific unit you are seeking help in. The ALLSP team offers free workshops focused on developing academic skills needed to succeed in university studies at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

In addition to workshops, the ALLSP offers individual consultations during normal business hours. They also offer an after-hours and weekend service to students that cannot attend during normal business hours. Find out more about the services offered by ALLSP.

Building Blue 1, Casuarina campus
T: 08 8946 7459, 1800 157 900 (after-hours freecall)
Email: allsp@cdu.edu.au

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Academic Liaison Unit

The Academic Liaison Unit (ALU) provides up-to-date advice on your course, including study plan provision and maintaining satisfactory progression. The ALU works closely with the faculties and teaching staff to maintain information on all units offered by CDU.

There are two team members of the ALU qualified to assist international students, the International Progression Officer and the International Administration Officer.

The ALU is open during normal business hours Monday to Friday.
Building Blue 5, Level 1, Casuarina campus
T: 08 8946 7357
Email: alu@cdu.edu.au

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Library

The Library staff can assist you with developing your research strategies, finding information using Library Search and online databases, and referencing your sources. Interlibrary loans and distance library services are also available.

Building Red 8, Casuarina campus
T: 08 8946 7016
F: 08 8946 7022
Email: askthelibrary@cdu.edu.au

The Liaison Librarians are also available for Darwin, Sydney and Melbourne campuses via phone or email:

T: 08 8946 7014 (please leave a message)
Email: library-liaison@cdu.edu.au

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Support with complaints and appeals

If you have received an outcome of any Charles Darwin University decision — whether it be a grade, an outcome of a reduced study load, or another issue — and you are not satisfied that the situation is resolved, you have several options regarding what to do next. These include:

  • Speaking to the concerned staff member calmly to ask for reconsideration of your case, and providing evidence to support you where applicable.  You are welcome to contact lecturers to discuss the outcome of assignment grades or administration staff regarding the outcome of administrative decisions. However, you must respect the staff members’ decision not to re-open your case, or to stick with their original outcome.
  • The Complaints Management Unit is the next step in the appeal process if you have approached the staff member or team who issued the decision and have not received a positive outcome. You can contact the Complaints Management Unit to seek an appeal of grade or to appeal an official CDU decision. Find out more information about the Complaints Management Unit.
  • The Student Advocacy Officer offers independent assistance by representing the student in areas that impact on the quality of their experience while studying at Charles Darwin University. Students are encouraged to use this service when issues arise, and they are unsure of what avenues to take.

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External support


Support in the workplace

When you are studying in Australia, you may find a casual or part-time job to help support yourself or make new friends.

At the time of your employment, it is very important that you make yourself aware of your rights in the workplace, the correct wages for your area and age, and penalty and weekend rates. It is the law in Australia to treat employees fairly and equally, and to pay employees according to the wages set by the industry.

As an international student, despite your restricted working hours, you have the same rights to a fair and safe workplace as any other person. You should also receive the same level of pay as any other employee in this position.

If you do not feel that you are being treated fairly, you do have options:

  • Discuss your concerns with your employer if you feel comfortable. Ask for copies of your pay slips, and ask to see the outline of their pay grades for employees, to ensure you are being paid correctly for your age and position.
  • Enquire with your employer about penalty rates if you work weekends or public holidays. Also, enquire about uniform entitlements or any other additional payments you should be receiving. Search online for industry relevant information on salary information, i.e. the Northern Territory hospitality industry pay standard. 
  • If you feel that you are being exploited or treated unfairly, you can contact Fair Work Australia or your local Ombudsman. Search for your local office, and speak to their team. Gather evidence, such as payslips and any evidence of communication with your employer, to discuss with your Ombudsman. You should not be afraid of speaking with the Ombudsman, as there is no issue with checking on your work rights.

Commonly, students may fear speaking to these agencies due to being on a student visa, or because they may be paid in cash or have worked overtime. It is important that you remain within your legal working hours, and work legally. If you are being exploited, however, you should always go to the Ombudsman to discuss your case.

Fair Work

The Fair Work Ombudsman released on 25 September 2017 their International Student Engagement Strategy, seeking to increase compliance in Australian workplaces employing international students. 

Consequently, the Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James has penned an open letter to international students, urging them to be aware of their workplace rights and to seek free help from the FWO if they experience issues while working in Australia. For more information about the FWO’s current initiatives, tools and resources about Australia’s workplace laws, visit Fair Work Ombudsman – Open letter to international students.

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Cyclone information (relevant for students in Northern Territory)

Safety should be your first priority. If at any point you think your safety is in danger, please dial 000 and ask for emergency assistance.

Darwin’s tropical wet season (1 November – 30 April) sometimes brings tropical cyclones. Also known as a hurricane, a cyclone is characterised by high winds, thunderstorms, rough seas and heavy rain, all of which can cause damage to property and people. Cyclones develop over large bodies of water (usually over the ocean) and can affect areas within about 50km of the coast. Commons effects of a cyclone are flooding, property damage due to high winds, fallen trees and power outages.

The new construction standards and building codes post-Cyclone Tracy, as well as annual public awareness campaigns, ensure Darwin is a safe place to live. Also, community cyclone shelters are available if required and brochures and pamphlets with step-by-step advice are readily available and actively promoted. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology provides cyclone information and weather updates and further information about preparing for a cyclone can be found via the Northern Territory Emergency Services. For more information visit CDU Emergency Advice.

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Legal aid

Darwin

You can get legal advice from a range of organisations and individuals in the Northern Territory (NT). Some are free and others charge a fee for their services. However, please note that most do not offer advice on immigration matters.

Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission provides legal help for people who can’t afford a private lawyer. The initial advice session is free; however, you will be assessed before you are granted ongoing legal advice, and you will need to pay a small fee.

Darwin Community Legal Service (DCLS) offers a range of free legal and advocacy services. Free legal advice sessions are held three times a week at different locations around Darwin. You can talk confidentially about your legal problem with a lawyer who can give you advice and suggest action.

Top End Women’s Legal Services (TEWLS) provides free and confidential legal advice, legal education and support to women in Darwin and surrounding areas. You can get legal advice in most areas of civil law, with the exception of immigration and commercial matters.

Sydney

Redfern Legal Centre provides advice to international students about housing problems, fines, debts, car accidents, employment, discrimination, family law, domestic violence, and complaints about colleges or universities.

Women’s Legal Services NSW (WLS NSW) is a community legal centre providing women across NSW with a range of free legal services.

Melbourne

Study Melbourne – Legal advice can refer you to a legal service that provides the advice you need or you can make an appointment to talk to a lawyer for free on Thursdays.
Women’s legal service Victoria provides free legal service to women on legal issues arising from relationship breakdown and or violence.

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Overseas Students Ombudsman

The Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO) investigates complaints about problems that overseas students have with private education and training institutions in Australia. The Ombudsman’s services are free, independent and impartial. You can find out more about this service on the Ombudsman websites for your state or territory:

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Consumer protection

Australia has a strong consumer protection framework to protect the rights of Australian consumers, including international students in Australia. When you are shopping or buying any kind of service in Australia, you have legal rights and protection. There are laws on fair-trading and consumer law guiding businesses and protecting consumers. For information about consumer laws and enforcement where you are living and studying, please visit the websites below.

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Student associations

Australia has a number of associations representing and assisting students from Australian educational institutions. National associations include:

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City for international students

Darwin

Darwin welcomes international students to a modern, vibrant, youthful, and energetic city. The City of Darwin provides support and advice to those studying, living and working in Darwin—along with information on Darwin’s many exciting festivals, cultural and social activities — at StudyNT. Inspiring stories from people who have studied in Darwin can also be found at StudyNT.

Sydney

Sydney welcomes international students to an exciting, multi-cultural city and global talent hub. There are now over 35,000 international students studying in the city's local area. The City of Sydney provides a range of services, advice and support to international students living, studying and working in Sydney. Visit City of Sydney’s dedicated webpage for international students to learn more. In addition, the City of Sydney, together with Insider Guides, has assembled this 2017 Sydney International Student Guide, which will help you discover everything there is to love about your temporary hometown.

Melbourne

Students from all over the world come to Melbourne to study. The City of Melbourne provides a range of services, advice and support for international students and there are events for international students running throughout the year. Visit City of Melbourne’s dedicated webpage for international students to learn more. The Study Melbourne Student Centre offers free support and information to help you enjoy living and studying in Victoria. In addition, the City of Melbourne and Insider Guides have produced an Insider Guide to help international students settle into the Melbourne way of life.

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Student forms

Letter of completion

International students who have recently completed their studies may request a Letter of Completion. This letter is only provided to students whose status has changed to “complete” on the student system and are eligible to graduate.

Before submitting a request to obtain a Letter of Completion, you must submit the Nomination to Graduate (PDF 127KB) to Student Central (Casuarina Campus, Building Orange 1 or by email at student.central@cdu.edu.au).

After you have submitted the Nomination to Graduate form, you can then apply for a Letter of Completion by emailing graduation@cdu.edu.au.

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Confirm my status as a student

In some instances, certain students may require letters confirming their status as students at Charles Darwin University. These letters are often required by governments, institutions and other bodies. These letters include the following:

  • Program of study
  • Date commenced
  • Expected completion

On special request, fees paid or due for a given semester can be indicated on the letter. You must clearly request this in your email.

In order to request a confirmation letter, please send an email to international@cdu.edu.au, ensuring you include your full name and student number.

When requesting a confirmation letter, please allow three days for this to be processed. The letter will be sent to your CDU email in PDF format. If you require a physical copy, please request this and it will be made available at the Office of International Services reception in Orange 2.1.

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CoE extension

As an International student, you are required to complete your program within the standard duration, as stated in your CoE. It is a condition of your student visa that you study a full-time study load, and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Standard 9 of the National Code states that the University must monitor the enrolment of all international students, to ensure they complete their course within the expected duration of their CoE. According to the National Code, students are only permitted to extend the duration of study for their course in limited circumstances. These circumstances can include, but are not limited to:

  • Compassionate or compelling circumstances (e.g. illness where a medical certificate states that the student was unable to attend classes)
  • Following implementation of an intervention strategy for students who are at risk of not meeting satisfactory course progress (e.g. students places on a Learning Management Plan following identification as Under Review or Unsatisfactory Progression)
  • An approved deferment or suspension of study having been granted (i.e. intermission).

Please Note: Applications are not processed until results for the current semester have been released. To find out grade release dates for this semester, please look at Important Dates.

What to expect after you submit the online CoE extension form:

  • You will receive a confirmation email that your application has been successfully received
  • Applications are assessed no sooner than grade release date of the study period in which you apply for the extension
  • Your CoE may expire before you receive an outcome. This is nothing to worry about, as your visa is still active. If you are eligible for a CoE extension, you will receive your new CoE before your visa expires.

To apply for an extension of your CoE, please complete the online form through the below link:

Apply Online: CoE Extension

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Reduced study load

All international students are required to maintain a full-time study load (40 credit points per semester) unless otherwise instructed or approved (i.e. following unsatisfactory progress). If you are not able to complete a full-time study load in any given study period, then you will need to apply for approval. Find out further information about study load.

To submit an application for reduced study load, please complete the online form available by clicking the link below:

Apply Online: Reduced Study Load

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Letter of release

All international students are required to obtain a Letter of Release from Charles Darwin University if they wish to transfer to another education provider within the first six calendar months of their principal program.

A Letter of Release will only be granted on compassionate and compelling circumstances relating to the welfare of the student. These are family, medical or ‘well-being’ reasons for supporting a transfer (compassionate reasons), or circumstances that are generally beyond the control of the student which affect their course progress or well-being (compelling reasons).

Submit an online application for Letter of Release

Submit also the following supporting documentation:

  • An Offer letter from another registered provider
  • Other supporting documents (if applicable) such as a medical certificate, a letter of support, etc.

The processing time for Letter of Release is within ten (10) working days of receiving a request.

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Extension of fee payment deadline

All international students are expected to make full payment of tuition fees by the first day of each Semester.

Extensions of time are only granted in certain, exceptional circumstances, as assessed by the CDU Compliance Officer. If you are applying for an extension of time, please ensure you provide detailed reasons and supporting evidence with your application.

Apply Online: Extension of fee payment deadline

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Apply for a refund

Refund of tuition fees will be made in accordance with the Charles Darwin University Refunds Policy - International Students Refund of Fees Procedures (PDF 80KB).

There is no automatic right to a refund of fees if students change their minds about studying at the university. No refunds will be issued for Semester 1 after 31 March and for Semester 2 after 31 August for continuing students.

Under the conditions outlined in the policy, it may be possible for a student to obtain a full or partial refund. An application fee of $400 (included in tuition fees) is non-refundable in all cases, except in extenuating circumstances.

To apply for a refund you will need to fill out an International Student Refund Request form (PDF 511KB) and submit to the international office via email to international@cdu.edu.au.

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Supplying appropriate documentation

When making an application for a change to your enrolment, it is important to supply appropriate documentation for the application to be considered within the National Code guidelines of ‘compassionate and compelling’ circumstances.

If you are applying for a change to your enrolment on medical grounds, you must supply up to date, detailed medical records, signed and stamped by a doctor. Charles Darwin University has the right to contact the medical centre individually to have documents verified, and may also contact you to request more detailed medical reports.

If you are applying on non-medical grounds, you must supply evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances in the form of a counsellor’s letter, proof of change of circumstances, or an alternate form of the document. Statutory declarations may be accepted, alongside other forms of evidence.

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Feedback

Feedback

We always try to improve the structure and content of our website. We particularly want to know:

  • what you are looking for on the site and whether you found it
  • whether you had problems finding it 
  • whether you found it easy to navigate on the page
  • whether you experienced any technical difficulties

We look forward to hearing from you. Please provide us with your feedback by emailing international@cdu.edu.au.

When sending us feedback about your experience, please include your name, student number, and the address (URL) of any pages you may be experiencing problems with and a description of what actions you took before encountering the error. This will help us to investigate the problem.

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