International Student Welfare Grants

Up to $50,000 is available for projects that support international students during their stay in Victoria.

International Student Welfare Grants



The International Student Welfare Grants (ISWG) is a program administered by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (the department or DEDJTR) and it is intended to benefit post-secondary international students, including those studying at:

  • Universities
  • TAFEs
  • Registered Training Organisations (RTO)
  • English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Providers



The objectives of the International Student Welfare Grants (ISWG) program are to:

  • Support international students living in Victoria
  • Increase reach of services available for international students in Victoria
  • Ensure that a wide range of international student matters are considered. These could include (but are not limited to):
    • Social isolation
    • Consumer affairs
    • Housing
    • Health
    • Financial management
    • Safety
    • Community connectedness
  • Respond to either existing international student welfare needs, or prevention of potential issues



Eligible applicants can apply for up to $50,000 per project, per year for the duration of the program.


Eligible Activities

Examples of the types of activities that would be considered include, (but are not limited to):

  • Welfare services
    • Professional and financial advice
    • Counselling
  • Events
  • Sporting activities
  • Workshops
  • Volunteering/leadership programs
  • Applied research to inform best practice and shareable with other Victorian organisations on improving student experience
  • Practice guides shareable with other Victorian organisations on improving student experience


Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants must be:

  • A legal entity operating in Victoria with an Australian Business Number (ABN) (Individuals not eligible to apply. Trusts and partnerships must consult with the department prior to applying to confirm eligibility)
  • Have been in existence as a legal entity for more than two years
  • Applicants seeking between $10,000 – $50,000 must be willing and able to provide on request financial reports for up to the last two financial years to enable the department to conduct a risk assessment. (Note: local government and publicly funded educational institutions are exempt from this requirement)

Eligible organisations include:

  • Industry associations
  • Education providers
  • Not for profit organisations
  • Local government organisations
  • Student associations
  • Dedicated international student community organisations

Eligible organisations that are not international student associations are expected to partner with an international student support organisation or association.



Application is open on an ongoing basis until June 2019.


More Information


Media Release

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting the 175,000 international students in Victoria with the launch of a new legal support service at the Study Melbourne Student Centre to assist students with workplace issues.

The service, provided by JobWatch, offers a suite of work-related legal support for international students thanks to $120,000 from the Labor Government’s International Student Welfare Grants Program.

The extra support will ensure students are aware of their workplace and consumer rights, to help combat unacceptable instances of workplace exploitation.

Students can either access the service in person every Thursday at the Study Melbourne Student Centre or over the phone from Monday to Friday by contacting 1800 056 449.

JobWatch is a community legal centre that has operated for more than 35 years, and is the only service of its kind in Victoria. Existing services include its Telephone Information Service and legal case work undertaken by internal expert legal advisors.

The announcement follows a number of cases of international worker exploitation at a number of large and small employers where students were being paid below minimum wage and worked more hours than legally allowed.

The Government’s $4 million International Student Welfare Grants Program is supporting new approaches and partnerships to protect student welfare and enhance student experience.

International Education is Victoria’s number one service based export and supports more than 30,000 jobs across the state, generating $5.6 billion dollars for the economy last financial year.

The Victorian Budget 2016/17 included $32 million to drive continued growth in the international education sector. It will also be used to help implement the International Education Sector Strategy.


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