International Students

Photo of 3 students in a park

Every year, Victoria hosts thousands of international students from around the world.

Studying overseas can be a very exciting time. However, finding and accessing suitable healthcare services can be quite confusing.  

Overseas Student Health Cover 

If you are an international student studying in Victoria, you probably have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).  

OSHC is private insurance to help you cover the costs of medical treatment, hospital care, and some prescription medications you may need while in Australia. This insurance might be provided through somewhere like BUPA, Medibank, Australian Health Management, NIB or Allianz.  

Each OSHC provider will have a range of plans available, so contact your provider to check you are covered for what you might need. You should ask them about waiting periods, exclusions and other limitations on your plan – for example, many plans do not cover pregnancy-related care for your first year. 

If you’re from a country with a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) you might receive some Medicare benefits, also known as Reciprocal Medicare. 

If you don’t have health cover in Australia, medical services can be very expensive.  

Paying for treatment and medication 

When you need medical treatment, there are two options for payment: 

Depending on your insurance plan, you may still need to pay an extra amount for some services – this is called an “out-of-pocket” cost, or a “gap fee”.
If you are buying prescription medication, you will first need to pay the pharmacy directly before making a claim to your insurer. 

Finding sexual health services 

If you are an international student, or are advocating on behalf of an international student, 1800 My Options can help you find appropriate sexual and reproductive healthcare.

Contact us on 1800 696 784 (Weekdays 9am – 5pm), or email info@1800myoptions.org.au.

 

Resources

Following consultation with Victorian international students, we've produced the following fact sheets to address some of the most common topics international students have questions about.

More information: