Financial assistance

Information about how to finance your global experience through scholarships, grants, OS-HELP loans, continuing Centrelink payments and costs and budgeting while you’re overseas.

Can I get financial assistance?

RMIT has a range of funding options for students, from $1,000 Global Experience grants to scholarships worth up to $10,000. You may qualify for one funding opportunity per global experience, and are considered for all possible options, but please be aware that due to quotas and eligibility, we cannot guarantee that you will be eligible for financial assistance. See below for details and the application process for each funding option.

Budgeting for your global experience

Planning your finances is an important part of preparing for your global experience. You'll need to pay for all living expenses, such as accommodation, travel and food. Living costs vary according to your destination and length of your global experience, so it’s important to prepare a budget. Be sure to check costs and inclusions for the program you're applying for in order to plan your budget.

Grants and scholarships

Amount

Maximum $1,000 per student.

Eligibility

Eligible students are primarily defined as students who are not eligible for any other form of Global Experience funding (including OS HELP.) This includes international students, postgraduate students who are not in CSP/HECS-HELP places and vocational education students. Global Experience Grants are not guaranteed due to limited funding. For short-term global experiences like study tours, the program leader will apply on the group or tour’s behalf. If your program has funding available, it will be outlined in the program description on Mobi. Before you accept a grant or scholarship, view the RMIT Funding Terms and Conditions (see below).

How to apply

There is no application form for Global Experience grants. If there is funding available and you are eligible you will be contacted by Global Experiences with an offer.

The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is an initiative of the Australian government which aims to increase knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian students to participate in semester-based or short-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research in 40 host locations across the Indo-Pacific region.

Mobility grants are the most common form of NCP funding and support both short-term and semester-based global experiences. Mobility grants are available for specific projects selected by the Australian Government, so check the program description on Mobi to find out if there is NCP funding available for the project you are interested in.

Amount

  • Short term study (less than 10 weeks) – up to $3,000 per student
  • Semester study (10 weeks or more) – up to $7,000 per student
  • Online programs – varied amounts. Refer to Mobi for details of programs and grants available

Eligibility

If there are NCP grants available for a project, students must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Currently enrolled in a bachelor or bachelor with honours degree program
  • Hold Australian citizenship
  • Will receive credit for your overseas program
  • Have not received an NCP grant before (students are eligible for one semester-based and one short-term NCP mobility grant)

How to apply

There is no application required for NCP mobility grants. If there is funding available for the mobility project you are participating in, and you are eligible, you will be contacted by Global Experiences with an offer by email.  Before you accept a grant or scholarship, view the RMIT Funding Terms and Conditions (see below).

The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is an initiative of the Australian government which aims to increase knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian students to participate in semester-based or short-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research in 40 host locations across the Indo-Pacific region.

The New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program offers up to 120 highly competitive scholarships to Australian students each year and supports study and internship experiences in Indo-Pacific locations.

Amount

Up to $10,000, plus additional allowances.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the NCP scholarship program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be nominated by RMIT University
  • Currently enrolled in a bachelor or bachelor with honours program
  • Be an Australian citizen
  • Plan to undertake a semester exchange or internship in the Indo-Pacific region
  • Have achieved a minimum 70% graded average at the time of application

How to apply

Students who meet the eligibility criteria will be invited by RMIT to apply for an NCP scholarship (usually towards the end of semester one each year). Before you accept a grant or scholarship, view the RMIT Funding Terms and Conditions (see below).

The Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship offers Australian students an international experience to help develop their cross-cultural thinking and leadership skills, as well as access to networking opportunities with Australia-Asia thought leaders. The scholarship is designed to forge meaningful relationships between the next generation of Australian and Asian leaders.

Amount and number of scholarships available

Each scholarship is valued at $12,250. Approximately 35 scholarships are awarded annually to undergraduates from 14 partner universities to undertake a university-approved exchange program in Asia for one to two semesters. Current exchange locations include mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (pending no travel restrictions).

Eligibility

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a minimum of a credit average
  • Be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate degree at a RMIT campus in Australia
  • Be completing at least your second when commencing your exchange, be applying for the RMIT Exchange Program via RMIT Global Experiences
  • Not be receiving any other RMIT scholarship or financial support apart from an OS-HELP loan
  • Be eligible for up to two semesters at an RMIT exchange partner institution in one of the above-mentioned countries

How to apply

Applications for 2022 Asian Exchange Scholarships open 13 September 2021 and closes at 5pm AEDT on 29 November 2021.

Equity Travel Grants are financial assistance for Australian students on a global experience who can demonstrate financial and educational disadvantage.

Amount

The grant provides up to $4,000, depending on your program and destination.

RMIT is fortunate to maintain relationships with a range of generous philanthropic donors who are committed to supporting RMIT students to participate global experiences. Please see below for philanthropic funding available.

Note: Australian citizenship is a requirement to be eligible for most philanthropic funding.
 

Storey Scholarship

Amount and eligibility 

The Storey Scholarship pays AUD $10,000 as a one-off payment to 3 students per semester. 

Selection criteria

Scholarships will be awarded based on:

  • academic merit (cumulative GPA)
  • community service activities
  • extra-curricular interests
  • successful placement as an RMIT exchange student
  • amount of time applicant has spent abroad

How to apply

For more information and to apply for a Storey Scholarship, please refer to the instructions and application form on Mobi.

Ma Kam Ming Grants

Amount and eligibility: Up to $14,500 each year. Available to support students participating in global experience programs in China.

How to apply: No application required. This funding will be allocated to relevant projects. Check Mobi to see if there is funding allocated to the project you are participating in and any specific eligibility requirements.
 

Carolyn and Hans Varney Travel Scholarship for Interior Design Excellence

Amount and eligibility: $7,000 each year to support one student studying interior design.

How to apply: Selection is based on academic performance and equity. Eligible students will be contacted directly to apply.
 

Andreas Florez Scholarships

Amount and eligibility: $5,000 each year to support one student participating in overseas exchange and undertaking studies in music, film or similar fields. Students from both undergraduate and vocational education courses are eligible.

How to apply: Selection is based on academic performance. Eligible students will be contacted directly to apply.
 

RMIT BSA Foundation Scholarships

Amount and eligibility: Up to $6,000 each year available to support students participating in global experience projects related to social impact.

How to apply: No application required. This funding will be allocated to relevant projects. Check Mobi to see if there is funding allocated to the project you are participating in and any specific eligibility requirements.
 

The Milan Program – Annemarie and Arturo Gandioli-Fumagalli Foundation

Amount and eligibility: $7,000 each year to support one undergraduate or postgraduate industrial design student participating in semester exchange to Milan, Italy.

How to apply: Selection is based on academic performance. Eligible students will be contacted directly to apply.
 

Damian Rasmussen Scholarship

Amount and eligibility: $1,300 each year to support one undergraduate or postgraduate design or landscape architecture student participating in a global experience.

How to apply: Selection is based on academic performance and equity. Eligible students will be contacted directly to apply.
 

Before you accept a grant or scholarship, view the RMIT Funding Terms and Conditions (see below).

Speak to your RMIT Program Coordinator to find out about any funding that may be available specific to your academic area.

There are also funding opportunities available through external providers, including but not limited to:

The Erasmus+ Programme is a European funding programme established in 1987, designed to support university students studying abroad in Europe.  

Amount and eligibility: Dependent on individual partner institutions and subject to change annually; can include monthly stipends and/or travel payments. Only applicable to students allocated to a European partner institution with Erasmus+ availability for RMIT in the relevant academic year. 

How to apply: Eligible students will be contacted directly to apply. Selection is based on host institution allocation, Erasmus+ funding availability, and academic performance. 

Loans and Government support

Overseas Student HELP loans (OS-HELP) are provided by the Commonwealth government to eligible HECS-HELP students undertaking various international experiences for credit. This loan is added to your HECS-HELP debt.

Value and duration

In 2022, the maximum you can borrow for a six-month study period is:

  • $7,100 (if you do not study in Asia); or 
  • $8,519 if you study in Asia; 
  • Plus an extra $1,133 if you do Asian language study in preparation for study in Asia.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this loan, you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen OR be a permanent humanitarian visa holder OR a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the residency requirements
  • Have not received OS-HELP on more than one previous occasion
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate by coursework program at RMIT
  • Be a Commonwealth-supported student
  • Be eligible for HECS-HELP
  • Have successfully completed the equivalent of at least two full-time semesters of study (96 credit points) towards your RMIT program as a Commonwealth supported student
  • Be studying full time while overseas for credit which counts towards your RMIT program
  • Have at least 12 credit points of study to complete your program at RMIT when you return
  • Provide a Tax File Number
  • From 1 January 2021, you must have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) before your application
  • Not receive an OS-HELP loan from another higher education institution for an overlapping period
  • Receive approval from RMIT Global Experiences for your overseas mobility activity
  • Not apply after the completion of your overseas mobility activity

Full-time load whilst overseas

To meet this eligibility criteria a full-time load is calculated by a formula that takes account of both the credit points and the length of time of the overseas study. Travel dates to and from the study program are not included in the calculation. In general, the following are regarded as full-time study loads for OS-HELP:

  • 72 credit points over two semesters (26 weeks) of overseas study
  • 36 credit points over a semester (13 weeks) of overseas study
  • 24 credit points taken over no more than 8 weeks of overseas study
  • 12 credit points taken over no more than 4 weeks of overseas study
  • 6 credit points taken over no more than 2 weeks of overseas study

Asian language supplement loan

A supplementary OS-HELP loan is available to assist with the cost of language study undertaken in preparation for overseas mobility activity in Asia (in addition to the overseas program). This study must be additional and relevant to the mobility program, not part of a student’s current RMIT award and taken at an appropriate level. The study can be taken at any institution, domestic or abroad and must be taken prior to starting the mobility program/activity. (Note: a supplementary loan amount is considered as part of an OS-HELP loan for overseas study and does not count towards the lifetime maximum of two OS-HELP loans).

Evidence such as receipts, enrolment records, or results must be supplied when you receive your offer.

How to apply

To apply, complete the OS-HELP Application Form through Mobi.

Note: you must be accepted in Mobi for your overseas mobility activity before payment is made. All information, including frequently asked questions, is provided through the link above.

Application deadline

You can apply any time. It is highly recommended that students apply for OS-HELP at least 4 weeks before the overseas mobility activity start date. Note that payment can be made a maximum of 6 months prior to your program start date.

Students cannot apply for an OS-HELP loan after they have finished their overseas mobility activity. However, an application is still possible whilst you are undertaking your overseas mobility activity, and loan approval will be dependent on current processing times.

You must complete all required steps outlined in your offer email to receive your loan prior to the completion of your mobility activity. If you have not completed all three steps once your activity is complete, your application will be automatically declined.

Terms and conditions

Your OS-HELP loan is added to your HELP debt. See Study Assist: Terms and Conditions.

If you are currently receiving Youth Allowance or Austudy you may be able to continue to receive payments while studying overseas. If you undertake a short-term or semester-based program and are studying the equivalent of a full-time load while overseas, you should make an appointment with Centrelink to discuss your plans.

The Global Experience team will be able to support your discussion with Centrelink by providing you with a Mobility Confirmation letter. Please contact your Global Experience Advisor for more information.

Find out more about continuing your Centrelink support while overseas:

Global Experience Funding Terms and Conditions

Each funding type has specific terms and conditions. Please read the Global Experience Ambassador Requirements (see below), as well as the type of scholarship or grant you have been offered to see the specific terms and conditions that apply. Contact global.funding@rmit.edu.au if you have any questions or require clarification.

All RMIT students who receive a grant or scholarship to support their Global Experience are required to act as responsible RMIT Global Experience Ambassadors. Requirements and conditions are as follows:

  • You will produce images/videos and blog posts during your mobility activity that may be used by RMIT to promote Global Experiences (see guidelines below).
  • If requested, you will agree to submit a profile with official RMIT news.
  • After completing your global experience, you will participate in a pre-departure session to share your experience and answer questions, if requested. This may include being on the panel to provide general advice and tips or share examples from your personal experience.

Share your content

Please click to complete the Global Experience Returned Student Survey and share links to your social media content (eg. blog link).

Guidelines for blog posts

  • Create 2-3 blog posts describing your experience. Posts can be on any platform of your choice and should be between 100-500 words (approx.)

Guidelines for images and video

  • Examples of what you may include are photos/videos of life on campus, local public transport, weekend trips, local food, unique accommodation, etc
  • If you post pictures of people, please ensure you have their permission first. Images of children/people under 18 should be avoided
  • Images/video should be posted to your social media account/s (Facebook, Instagram, and/or YouTube). If you prefer to use Instagram but don’t want to make your account public, we suggest creating a public profile specifically for use on your Global Experience or use either of the other two platforms where individual posts can be made public
  • All posts must include the following hashtags: 
    #RMITAbroad, #Outbound, #NewColomboPlan and #ncp (if applicable) and #RMITVietnam (if applicable)
  • Please also consider geo-tagging your location

In addition to the Global Experience Ambassador Requirements, the terms and conditions outlined below also apply.

By accepting New Colombo Plan funding I acknowledge that I am obliged to fulfil the conditions under which the grant is awarded, and I will be personally liable to repay the funds in full should I fail to comply with these conditions.

I declare that I understand the following:

Payment

I will be paid the funds into my Australian bank account and the funds received will be used to meet the costs incurred during my mobility activity. Payment will be made within a few days of the payment schedule date as outlined on my scholarship offer in Enrolment Online, as long as I have provided my updated bank details.

Conditions

  • I accept the Grant Amount from RMIT University and ultimately the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) under the New Colombo Plan
  • I agree to comply with the conditions under which the Grant is awarded
  • I have read, understand and agree to comply with DFAT’s policy on Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PSEAH) and
  • I acknowledge that I will be personally liable to repay the grant amount to RMIT in full should I fail to meet or comply with the following conditions:
  • I am an Australian Citizen
  • If, for any reason, I withdraw or am expelled from my program, I will return the Grant Amount to RMIT no later than seven (7) working days from providing written notice of my withdrawal; or written notice of expulsion from your Host University or RMIT, regardless of whether the withdrawal or expulsion occurs before or after my program commences
  • I acknowledge that regular failure to attend essential components of the mobility activity, including orientation, classes, professional placements and examinations, may result in me being deemed by RMIT to have withdrawn from the mobility activity, even where I have not provided notice of withdrawal and that under such circumstances the Grant Amount must be repaid to RMIT no later than seven (7) days of written notification being provided
  • In the event that, prior to my departure from Australia, the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT)’s travel advice for a region or country in which my mobility activity is located – is upgraded to Level 4, and where no suitable alternate location which can be found for the running of my mobility activity, I will return the full Grant Amount to RMIT no later than seven (7) days after receiving notification of the upgraded DFAT travel advice

New Colombo Plan Guidelines as outlined by DFAT can be found here:

Privacy

In order to assess your application to participate in the New Colombo Plan (Program), RMIT collects personal information including, but not limited to, your name, your contact details including (residential address, phone number and email), sensitive information including health information, your passport and travel details as well as declarations regarding your financial ability to participate in the Program.  If you do not provide this information, in whole or in part, we may not be able to provide you with a funding grant. RMIT may use your information to:

  • Administer the Program
  • Assess your application to the Program
  • Monitor performance of the Program
  • Contact you regarding the Program (including to invite you to events relating to the Program in Australia or overseas)
  • Promote the Program (including in promotional material, information and publications in hardcopy and/or on the internet) and,
  • Related purposes

Some of your personal information will be provided to third parties including overseas recipients, including, but not limited to, your Host University and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Information will only be used for purposes related to your application for participation or subsequent participation in your specified program/s. DFAT will only use personal information for the purposes outlined in the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program Guidelines (Section 13).  Where personal information is provided to overseas recipients the overseas recipient may not be bound by Australian privacy legislation and/or subject to any privacy obligations. In such circumstances, DFAT is not be accountable under the Privacy Act should the overseas recipient breach Australian Privacy Principles. More information regarding the way in which the Home University, DFAT will manage your personal information, including full privacy policies and contact details, can be obtained hereeducation.gov.au/privacy and dfat.gov.au/privacy or by requesting a copy from the relevant organisation.

In addition to the Global Experience Ambassador Requirements, the terms and conditions outlined below also apply.

In accepting this grant, I acknowledge that I am obliged to fulfil the conditions under which the grant is awarded, and I will be personally liable to repay the funds in full should I fail to comply with these conditions.

I declare that I understand the following:

Payment

I will be paid the funds into my Australian bank account and the funds received will be used to meet the costs incurred during my mobility activity.  Payment will be made within a few days of the payment schedule date as outlined on my scholarship offer in Enrolment Online, if I have provided my updated bank details.

Non-Completion of Global Experience

If for any reason I am unable to participate in the Global Experience, even if the program has commenced, I will repay the award within four weeks of notifying the Global Experiences team of my circumstances. I will provide a written account of the reasons for the non-completion to Global Experiences as soon as the activity is terminated.

Please provide your written account to the Global Experience team by lodging a ticket through the Student Connect Student Service and Support Portal.

Reporting

I will complete any reporting requirements within a reasonable timeframe, if and as requested by Global Experiences.

Privacy

I understand that my personal information is collected for the purpose of determining my eligibility to receive the funds.  Disclosure of my personal information may be made to the Department of Education as required by law, and to the RMIT Finance area to facilitate payment of my funds.  I also understand that the privacy of my personal information will be protected in accordance with the RMIT Privacy Policy. Further information on privacy at RMIT is available here. I have read and understood the information above, and I confirm that I accept the conditions and obligations outlined.

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.