3. Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for an OS-HELP loan, you have to meet all of the below criteria:


Read the:


  • Australian Citizen
  • New Zealand Special Category visa holder, or
  • Permanent Australian humanitarian visa holder.

UQ enrolment

  • Enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place
  • Completed at least two semesters of standard full-time study (16 units) that count towards your current UQ program. Credit from concurrent diplomas is excluded
  • At least 2 units remaining on your UQ program upon the completion of overseas study
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 4.0.

Overseas enrolment

  • Full-time (or full-time equivalent) while outside Australia
  • Counted as credit toward your current UQ program
  • If applying for a UQ course: at least 75 per cent of the course must be taught overseas.

Loan history

  • Haven't received more than one previous OS-HELP loan
  • Won't receive a second OS-HELP loan for the same six-month period.


What is full-time equivalent?

If the duration of your overseas study is for less than one semester, it has to qualify as full-time equivalent.

Overseas study that meets the equivalent of 6 units per semester is considered full-time for the purposes of an OS-HELP loan.

To work out if you qualify, use the full-time study formula:

Credit for overseas study Must be greater than or equal to Duration of overseas study (in weeks) divided by 16 Multiplied by 6

For example:

Tim is eligible to receive 2 units of course credit for a four-week short-term program in China. To be eligible for an OS-HELP loan:

  • 2 units
  • must be greater than or equal to
  • 4 divided by 16
  • multiplied by 6.
  • 2 ≥ (4 ÷ 16) x 6 = 1.5.
  • Because 2 is greater than 1.5, Tim is eligible for OS-HELP.
Alternative proof of full-time overseas enrolment

If you believe your overseas study is full-time, but it doesn't satisfy the requirements of the full-time study formula, please submit official documentation from your overseas host university or organisation with your application.

Documentation must include:

  • your full name
  • the number of contact hours, and
  • dates of the study.

30 contact hours per week is considered full-time for the purposes of an OS-HELP loan.

Study must be undertaken on a full-time basis (i.e. if a placement is three weeks long, you should be receiving three weeks of approved placement credit for the activity).

Your full-time study status will be assessed based on the information you provide with your application.

If you do not submit documentation at the time of making your application, any OS-HELP loan can only be conditionally approved. You must submit the required documentation for your loan to be fully approved.


Send any questions to the Student Employability Centre:

Further information is also available in the OS-HELP loan FAQs (PDF).