Student Services and Groups

Student Portal / Living in Adelaide / Student Services and Groups

If you need support while you’re living in Adelaide, there are a range of services available to help you.

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StudyAdelaide offers a range of free and discounted student support services and programs.

Our events and activities are designed to help you connect with other students, enhance your employability skills and balance your studies while enjoying all that Adelaide has to offer.

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South Australian Skills Commission

The South Australian Skills Commission has a dedicated Complaint Handling, Advocacy and Dispute Resolution Service that can assist international students with free, confidential advice and support in relation to the following:

  • assistance to understand the terms and conditions of enrolment agreements with education and training providers
  • how to access education and training providers’ internal complaints handling processes
  • how to find course information on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students
  • responding to a complaint about an education or training provider: if an international student believes their education or training provider may not have met the terms of their enrolment agreement or polices and has exhausted the complaints processes of the provider, the Commission may be able to assist with advocacy on the student’s behalf. 

Where necessary, the Commission can employ the services of a translator to assist with providing support to an international student.

More Information
South Australian Skills Commission

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Overseas Students Ombudsman

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has a special role investigating private schools, colleges, institutes, and universities who teach international students. They handle complaints from overseas students for free. 

They can take complaints from international students before, during and after their study in Australia. They are independent and don’t take sides, but they look at the facts and decide if the education provider correctly followed laws, policies, and procedures.

Common types of complaint issues that International Students raise to the Ombudsman include:

  • refunds of fees paid to education providers when students cancel enrolment or withdraw from study
  • students wishing to transfer to another education provider (during the restricted period)
  • being reported for unsatisfactory course progress or attendance
  • being unhappy with a grade received and feeling that the provider didn’t follow the correct process when reviewing the grade
  • being unable to access a provider’s internal complaints and appeals process.

More Information
Overseas Students - Commonwealth Ombudsman
Call: 1300 362 072

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Ombudsman SA

Ombudsman SA is an independent officer who handles complaints about South Australian State and local government and can take complaints from international students about public education providers in South Australia.

More Information
Ombudsman SA
Call: (08) 8226 8699

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Financial and Emergency Assistance

Food and Essential Items

Do you need help buying food, paying rent or bills, seeing a doctor, or buying medicine? There are organizations that can help you if you are in a difficult situation. These services are FREE or heavily discounted, and confidential. You only need to show your student ID card.

Anglicare SA

Anglicare SA can provide support if you need food, groceries, clothing, pharmacy vouchers, no-interest loans, or financial counselling.

They also have Food Hubs, which are small supermarkets that sell fresh food and groceries at subsidized prices; you can find these Food Hubs at their Elizabeth and Christies Beach locations.

To use their services, you'll need to book an appointment, which you can do by checking their website or calling them.


  • Adelaide CBD: 82 Gilbert St - (08) 8305 9434
  • Christies Beach: 111 Beach Road - Call 1800 748 149 between 9am and 9.30am for a same day appointment
  • Elizabeth: (08) 8209 5400

Or visit their website.

Baptist Care SA

Baptist Care services are available at several locations across Adelaide. They can help you with food and emergency relief, including temporary accommodation, as well as health and wellbeing services.

If you visit their Community Food Hub at 216 Wright Street in Adelaide, you can get FREE bread, fruit, and vegetables with any purchase, and buy food and essential items at a reduced cost. The Food Hub is open from Monday to Thursday, 10am to 3pm.


  • Adelaide CBD: 11-19 Millers Court - (08) 8118 5200
  • Christies Beach: 34 Beach Road - (08) 8683 6600
  • Mylor: 32 Wingrove Road - (08) 8388 5234
  • Salisbury: 30 Gawler Street - (08) 8273 7190
  • Wayville: 130 Rose Terrace - (08) 82737100
  • Strathalbyn: 660 Old Bull Creek Road - (08) 8388 5234

Or visit their website.

Uniting Care Wesley Bowden

There are 14 Uniting Care Emergency Relief centres in South Australia that provide emergency assistance to people in need, including food, clothing and essential items.

To find the nearest Uniting Care Emergency Relief Centre, you can call (08) 8245 7139 or visit their website.

Uniting Communities

Uniting Communities provides emergency assistance through phone assessment, Monday to Friday, for people living in the Adelaide area and Adelaide Hills.

They can assist with food, clothing, pharmacy vouchers, bills and expenses, and connect you to other services that can help.


  • Adelaide CBD: U City, 43 Franklin Street
  • Smithfield: 26 Anderson Walk
  • Christies Beach: 3/107 Dyson Road

You can also call 1800 615 677 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm or visit their website.

Salvation Army

Are you struggling to manage your finances? Do you find it difficult to pay your credit card bills or keep up with your expenses? The Salvation Army can provide you with the support you need to gain control of your finances.

The Salvation Army has professional financial counsellors who offer free and confidential advice to help you overcome your financial difficulties and avoid future problems.

Additionally, if you need a personal loan, you may qualify for our No Interest Loan Scheme.

To find a financial counsellor near you, call 08 8130 6188 or visit their website.

Financial Support for Accommodation

The International Student Support Network (ISSN) offers affordable accommodation options through its homestay program. The homestay program is designed to provide international students with temporary housing to have comfort and support when needed.

The standard homestay period is four weeks, but your education provider may request a shorter stay in exceptional circumstances, or you can extend your stay by mutual agreement with your host. The homestay includes a private room, three daily meals, access to shared laundry and bathroom facilities, internet, and support from your host family.

To apply for a homestay, you must first confirm your eligibility with your education provider. After your eligibility has been confirmed, they will refer you to ISSN, and you can register for placement in this link.

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On-Campus Student Services

Your university, college or education institution can offer you support to help deal with problems you may be having with your:

  • Health
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Finances
  • Personal security

Visit your education provider’s website or speak to your adviser to find out more.

Students sitting around a laptop whilst teacher points to screen

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If you need assistance with a legal matter, the Legal Services Commission of South Australia can offer you legal help if you can’t afford to pay for a lawyer.

More Information
Legal Services Commission of South Australia
Call: 1300 366 424

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Cultural and Student Groups

South Australia’s multicultural community is home to people from more than 200 diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.

Cultural Groups

There are many community and cultural groups in Adelaide where you can meet new friends and join in festivities and programs.

Find other multicultural organisations:

Student Groups

You can also get involved in a range of student clubs to suit your social, academic, sporting and religious interests.

Ask your education provider for information on clubs and campus activities where you can socialise and have fun with your study friends.

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Student Stories

Hear from international students about living and studying in Adelaide.

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