Maintaining good health is important when studying overseas.

Australia has one of the world's best health systems. Modern, well-equipped hospitals, medical centres and doctors' offices are located in Sydney and throughout NSW.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

Why do I need OSHC?

Health insurance, called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), is compulsory for international students studying in Australia. It covers you for certain medical costs if you need to visit a doctor or go to hospital.

You should check the OSHC policy carefully, including the details of what is covered. Extra cover is available for an additional fee.

Serious medical problems should be treated before you come to Australia, because standard OSHC generally does not cover pre-existing medical conditions.

How do I arrange OHSC?

TAFE NSW International will arrange standard OSHC cover for you with the medical fund insurer, Medibank Private. We invoice you for the insurance payment with your tuition fees.

Health cover cards will either be posted to your Australian postal address directly from Medibank Private or via TAFE NSW International. This process may take a few weeks. If you need medical attention before you receive your membership card, you should pay for the service and keep all receipts. You can then claim a refund from Medibank Private when issued with your card.

Ordering a membership card

Medibank logo

In order to start using your Medibank Overseas Student Health Cover when visiting a doctor, seeking treatment in a hospital or visiting a Medibank store you will need a valid membership card.

To order your Medibank Overseas Student Health Cover membership card, just go to the Medibank Student Registration page and enter and confirm your personal details including your mailing address within Australia.

Once you have completed registration, your OSHC membership card and welcome pack will be sent to you. Print and save your confirmation letter as proof of cover until you receive your membership card.

If you are unable to register online call 132 331 or visit a Medibank store.

How much does OSHC cost?

In 2016, the cost for standard OSHC is A$600 per year per single student and $A3,009 per year for a student with a family.

Where can I find out more about OSHC?

Go to the Medibank Private website.

Other health information

Cigarettes and alcohol

Buying cigarettes and alcohol is legal for people over the age of 18, but it is illegal to buy it on behalf of someone who is under 18. You may be asked to show proof of your age with a driver's licence, student identification card or similar when you buy alcohol or cigarettes.

Illicit drugs

Buying, selling, possessing or using drugs such as marijuana, amphetamines and opiates is illegal in Australia. If you are caught, you could face severe penalties, including fines, imprisonment and even deportation. If your student visa is cancelled, you may find it difficult to get a visa to return to Australia in the future.


If you need to bring any special medication from your home country into Australia, bring your medical records and prescriptions with a letter from your doctor. For more information, visit the Travellers section of the Department of Health - Therapeutic Goods Administration website.

More information about topics related to managing your health in Australia can be found on the Study in Australia website. Some of these topics include:

  • nutrition
  • counselling and mental health
  • access to health services (e.g. doctors, emergencies)
  • prescription medication
  • dentists

You should also visit the NSW Health Department website and the Better Health section of the Medibank Private website.




Do you need help?

Ask a question online or contact
TAFE NSW International or an authorised agent for help with choosing a TAFE NSW course or enrolling.

New South Wales


NSW lies on the east coast of Australia.
Sydney is the state's capital and the largest
city in Australia.

To find a campus go to TAFE NSW Institute locations.

Helpful guides

Guides on living, studying and working in:

ESOS Framework

The Australian Government wants international students to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding study experience in Australia.

Read more about the ESOS Framework.

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