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Changing Your Study Arrangements

Your student visa has certain conditions that are particular to international students. It's a good idea to be clear on these conditions, as well as understanding general University rules when considering making changes to your study arrangements.

Be sure that you are aware and are compliant with your visa conditions before making any changes to your study arrangements.

Coursework students

In order to apply for a new student visa, you will first need to apply for a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from the University. A CoE can only be extended under a limited range of circumstances.

  • You first need to apply for a new CoE online. Please note that CoE applications are only accepted after you have received your grades for the current study period.
  • Your new CoE will be emailed to you at your student email address. Please note that this may take up to three weeks.
  • You should extend your OSHC policy for the length of your new student visa before you lodge your visa application.
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection - Student visa

Grounds for renewing your CoE

CoE extensions for coursework students can only be issued for a limited number of reasons. These reasons are:

  • Where there is an implemented intervention strategy
  • Where there is an approved leave of absence
  • Where there are compassionate or compelling grounds:
    • Failed occasional courses throughout the program and was unable to undertake repeat courses in Summer or Winter School or through flexible delivery mode
    • Serious illness or bereavement of you or a close family member
    • Traumatic experience, such as if you were the victim of a serious crime
    • The University was not able to offer a prerequisite unit or a course needed to meet degree requirements
    • Other (Please discuss with International Student Support)

Research students

If you are a research student, you are eligible to apply for a new CoE for the full duration of your scholarship or sponsorship, or up until your candidature end date. If you require an extension beyond your candidature end date, you will first need to apply for a candidature extension through the Adelaide Graduate Centre.

Scholarship students

Adelaide Scholarship International (ASI), Research Training Program Scholarship, and students receiving Faculty or school based scholarships will receive their new CoEs automatically after the Adelaide Graduate Centre (AGC) approves their extensions.

Home government sponsored students

Once you have received a new Financial Guarantee from your sponsor, please forward your Financial Guarantee to International Student Support so we can arrange your new CoE in line with your sponsorship.

Full fee paying students

If you are intending to extend your studies beyond your existing scholarship or sponsorship OR you are a full fee paying student, please fill in the CoE Extension - Research student form and return it to International Student Support.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

Once you have your new CoE, you must purchase sufficient Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to cover the full duration of your new visa. It is easier to do this before applying for your new student visa.

  • International research students may be entitled to a visa for up to 6 months after their CoE end date so that they may remain onshore while their thesis is being marked and to give them time to make any corrections, if required.
  • If you are a sponsored student and your OSHC is arranged by the University, your CoE will reflect the total OSHC duration to which you are entitled. If you wish to take advantage of the full visa duration to which you may be entitled, you will need to purchase additional OSHC yourself before lodging your visa application. 

As a student visa holder, you are expected to study and maintain enrolment while you are in Australia.

It is important that you discuss any potential break with both your Faculty and International Student Support. Deferral for one or more study periods will likely have an impact on your CoE and student visa.

Coursework students

If you require a short break from your coursework program (i.e. 1-2 weeks), you may be able to take a break from your program without it affecting your student visa if the break is for a compelling or compassionate reason (e.g. due to a short term illness), and provided you are still able to meet all of the program requirements, including attendance and assessment requirements.

It is important that you discuss any potential break with both your Faculty and International Student Support.

If you need to take a longer break from your studies for any reason and, as a result, you will be not enrol in any courses for a given study period, you will need to defer your studies. For student visa holders, deferring your program usually means you must leave Australia or move to a different visa type during your deferral.

Please contact International Student Support for further information about the deferral process.

Research students

Research students have different types of leave, some of which affect their student visa and some of which don't. Research students should discuss any periods of leave first with their academic supervisors.

All leave request for research students are handled through the Adelaide Graduate Centre.

Leave of absence

Research students are allowed to take a Leave of Absence for up to 28 calendar days (i.e. including weekends) in any given calendar year (i.e. from 1 January until 31 December) without it affecting their student visa.

If you need to take a Leave of Absence for longer than 28 days in a given calendar year, please contact ISS and ask to speak to a Compliance Officer about your leave options.

Annual (recreation) leave

Research students are entitled to four (4) weeks of annual leave per year. Annual leave is managed by your School or Faculty and does not affect your student visa in any way.

Study leave

Study leave is a special type of leave research students have access to. You can discuss study leave with your academic supervisor. It does not affect your student visa.

If you feel that your program isn't right for you, there are two different methods to change your study:

  • an internal transfer (changing to a different program within the University of Adelaide)
  • an external transfer (changing to a program at a different education provider).

Internal transfer

If you are currently studying at the University of Adelaide and wish to change your academic program to another program offered by the University of Adelaide at any stage of your current program, you can apply to the International Admissions Office online.

This form is also used by students finishing their undergraduate degrees who wish to continue to a postgraduate degree (e.g., Masters).

Please note: this form is only available at certain times of the year.

The process for internal transfers is as follows:

  1. Lodge your internal transfer request before the deadline for applications.
  2. If you are successful in your transfer, you will receive a Letter of Offer for the new program.
  3. After accepting the Letter of Offer, you will be issued with a new CoE for your new program. Your CoE for your previous program will be cancelled.

    Please note that your Letter of Offer may contain a condition that you wait until you have received your grades for the current study period before you are able to accept the Offer.
  4. If your new program will be longer than your old program, you can use your new CoE to apply for a new student visa.

    Please note that you can only apply for a new student visa from roughly 3 months before the expiry date of your current visa.

If you have further questions about the internal transfer process, please speak to staff at the International Admissions Office.

If you are currently studying a Pre Enrolment English (PEP) program and would like to change your degree program at the University, please speak to the English Language Centre.

External transfer

The procedure of transferring education providers is different depending on how long you have been at the University.

If you have been in your principal program for more than 6 months and you are transferring to another provider, you need to complete the Amendment to Enrolment Form and submit it to ISS along with your new Letter of Offer from your new provider.

If you have been in your principal program for less than 6 months, you will need to obtain a Letter of Release before you can accept your offer from your new provider.

A Letter of Release is only offered under limited circumstances. To obtain this letter, you will need to submit the application form along with your Letter of Offer from your new provider to ISS. You can also review the University policy on Letters of Release.

Students who are working while studying should also be aware of the visa conditions surrounding their employment.

If you are thinking about making changes to your enrolments that aren’t listed here, please contact International Student Support first in order to discuss the possible impact of these changes on your student visa status.

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