Part 1

You are an Australia Awards scholar!

You are an Australia Awards scholar!

About the Australia Awards Scholarships

For more than 60 years, the Australian Government has supported the education of emerging leaders from eligible countries, through the Colombo Plan in the 1950s to today’s Australia Awards. The Australia Awards help build future leaders, assist your country with its development goals, strengthen regional trade and economic linkages, and foster people-to-people networks. The Australia Awards is a whole-of-government initiative with scholarships offered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. More than just a study opportunity, your scholarship in Australia will open your eyes to other ways of operating in the world. It will give you some of the skills to live and work in our globalised society, as well as incredible links and connections. There will be on-award enrichment opportunities, and when you return home you will be part of the Australia Awards alumni and Australia’s Global Alumni for long-lasting connections and professional development opportunities.

Australia’s aid and development program

Australia Awards Scholarships are part of the Australian Government’s aid and development commitment. This commitment seeks to create healthy, educated and well-governed communities, working towards sustainable growth and more resilient to external shocks. Australia works with the belief that a more prosperous and secure region increases mutual advantages and opportunities for all. Through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Government is particularly committed to investing aid in the sustainable development of Australia’s close neighbours in the Indo-Pacific. Priority areas include health, gender equality, the environment and regional security. As a recipient of an Australia Awards Scholarship you are not just studying for a degree. You are helping to build the international partnerships required for regional strength, security and prosperity. You are studying in a field that has been mutually agreed between Australia and your own government as critical to the future of your country. The successful completion of your studies is important to you, to Australia, and to your home country.

Responsibilities and obligations


Your Australia Awards Scholarship comes with obligations and responsibilities and by taking up this opportunity you are entering into a contract with the Australian Government.

The contractual obligations of the Australia Awards scholar pretty much refer to being consistent in their academic progress. The Australian Government wants scholars to do well in their studies.
Student Contact Officer, University of Queensland

Your obligations

As the recipient of an Australia Awards Scholarship you have certain obligations that you must fulfil. These are outlined below:


  • You must attend the Australia Awards pre-departure briefing run by the Australia Awards team in your country prior to leaving home, as well as attend your institution’s compulsory Introductory Academic Program on arrival in Australia.
  • You must take up the scholarship in the academic year in which it is offered. You can’t hold another Australian Government scholarship at the same time as an Australia Awards Scholarship, and you must undertake only your approved program.
  • With the exception of reunion visits, holidays and fieldwork, you must live in Australia during your studies.
  • You must maintain an appropriate study load, attend all activities that are part of the program (including tutorials and lectures), submit assignments on time and sit all examinations. You must make satisfactory academic progress throughout the course and follow the rules of the institution.
  • You must complete your scholarship within the period stated in your contract.
  • You must not take on any work obligations if you cannot balance these with the pressures of study deadlines. Paid work during term could compromise your studies.
  • You must leave Australia within 30 days of finishing your scholarship, or by the end date on your visa, whichever comes first.
  • If your scholarship is terminated, you will no longer be eligible to hold the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade sponsored visa. For information on your visa and departure dates from Australia, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs.
  • You must return home immediately after your scholarship is completed and not permanently re-enter Australia for at least two years. Any time spent in Australia during the two-year return home period will extend your original end date of the two-year period.
  • If you apply for permanent residence or for a visa to remain in Australia within the two-year period after completing your scholarship, you will incur a debt to the Commonwealth of Australia for the full cost of your scholarship. This may be as much as $320,000 Australian for a PhD student.
  • Your contract includes conditions about the collection and transmission of personal information between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and relevant parties, which may include information about you and your dependents. This information will be used for the purposes of administering your scholarship.

Ensure that you read the Australia Awards Scholarships Policy Handbook for a full list of your scholarship conditions. Your scholarship may be terminated if you breach your contract.

You may be contacted by the Australia Awards team during your studies to complete a survey and we encourage you to take this opportunity to assist us improve Australia Awards.


The Australia Awards Scholarships Policy Handbook is also available online in the resources section of the Australia Awards website.

Your institution’s obligations

Your academic institution works directly with the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver your scholarship, including expending the fees and allowances in line with scholarship policy. The Student Contact Officers at your institution will be your main points of contact throughout your Australia Awards Scholarship and their advice must be followed at all times. When you accept your scholarship the Australia Awards office in your country will work with your institution to arrange your travel and accommodation for when you first arrive. They will be in touch prior to your departure to help organise your arrival, including:
  • pick you up from the airport (based on the information that you provide)
  • provide you with temporary accommodation
  • providing any additional institution-specific guidelines that you might need.
Once you are in Australia, they will:
  • organise your compulsory Introductory Academic Program
  • monitor your academic progress
  • provide support and assistance for any health and wellbeing needs you may have
  • be in contact with you about scholarship enrichment opportunities
  • provide you with your contribution to living expenses, paid fortnightly.
At the end of your scholarship, they will:
  • arrange and pay for your return home travel using the most direct route. While Student Contact Officers are your most important contact, they are responsible for many other students, so you need to be respectful of their time and aware of what they can reasonably be expected to assist with.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s obligations

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has certain obligations towards you that it is required to fulfil. The department will:
  • conduct a pre-departure briefing in your home country and help you obtain your visa
  • work with institutions to monitor your progress and welfare
  • pay your entitlements to your institution, as outlined in your contract.
We guide scholars through the journey from arrival to returning home. We help scholars navigate both the administrative and social aspects of living and studying in Australia. If we cannot answer your question ourselves, we can certainly point you in the right direction—in fact, that’s a big part of our job. If you are not sure who to ask or where to turn, get in touch with your Student Contact Officer.
Australia Awards Coordinator, University of Melbourne