Australia Awards Scholarships

The Australia Awards Scholarships are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government that aim to contribute to the long term development needs of Australia's partner countries, in line with global, bilateral and regional agreements. The Awards strive to develop leadership potential and stimulate lasting change by empowering a global network of talented individuals through high-quality education experiences in Australia and overseas. Recipients return home with new ideas and knowledge, and the ability to make a significant contribution to their home countries as leaders in their field.

The International Student Compliance Team at UNSW manages the aid-funded inbound Australia Awards Scholarships (AAS) offered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). As an AAS recipient you enjoy various entitlements, as listed below:

Temporary accommodation upon arrival

Upon your request, initial accommodation can be arranged for you for the first seven days after your arrival in Australia. Please note that you are responsible for the entire cost of the initial accommodation.

Airport pickup service

Upon your request, you can be picked up from the airport and taken either to your accommodation or the UNSW campus, whichever is more appropriate at the time of your arrival. The Airport Pickup Service runs 7 days a week. [If you have arranged for your own accommodation, please refer to the FAQs for important information]

Introductory Academic Program (IAP) prior to the commencement of your studies - COMPULSORY

A compulsory program for commencing AAS recipients, the Introductory Academic Program will teach you academic English and communication skills.

The IAP is paid for by DFAT, and new recipients must attend and participate in the IAP before the term starts. The Program is conducted by the International Student Compliance Team. It includes general information sessions and familiarises new students with the demands of the Australian academic environment with an emphasis on academic skills needed to make a smooth transition to study in Australia.

The IAP covers academic English and communication skills including written, oral and learning components and you will also learn about managing your studies at a postgraduate level.

The Program further provides you with library skills as well as computing courses consisting of contact hours in computing labs to give you relevant skills for your learning and/or research needs at UNSW. For AAS recipients the IAP includes attendance and participation in Orientation Week and the International Students Welcome Day.

Again, please be advised that attendance at all components of the IAP is compulsory for all AAS Recipients.

Establishment allowance

The establishment allowance will be paid to you when you arrive in Sydney. This once-only payment is a contribution toward initial expenses such as rental bonds, laptop, text books, study materials etc.

Amount: $5,000 as a once-only payment.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

OSHC is provided for the duration of your scholarship. Certain services might not be covered by OSHC but ancillary cover can be purchased at your own expense.

It is important that you always inform the OSHC provider of your current address details.

Contribution to living expenses (CLE)

Rate: $82.20 per day / approx. $30,000 per annum
You are responsible for all your expenses in Australia including the expenses of any family members. AAS recipients receive a standard CLE rate. We also refer to the CLE as a stipend.
The CLE is paid every fortnight into your nominated bank account. If you change your bank account, please update those details immediately via myUNSW.

Important: The CLE ceases five days after examination results are officially published for coursework students. For research students this is up to five days after the submission of your thesis.

Tuition fees

Full academic fees and other compulsory fees (e.g. Student Services and Amenities Fee) that apply to international students undertaking the same course are funded under your scholarship.


You are entitled to a single return airfare to and from Australia at the beginning and end of your scholarship. You might also be entitled to airfares during your scholarship depending on the scholarship you are on and the length of your award (e.g. fieldwork, conference attendance, reunion).

All airfares are for the cheapest economy class fare via the most direct route.

Reunion airfares

Under the AAS Policy Handbook, section 10.10 Reunion Airfare, unaccompanied AAS recipients holding a scholarship for 2 academic years as minimum are eligible for Reunion Airfare.

Please refer to the Scholarship entitlements for more details.

Supplementary Academic Support (SAS)

SAS is accrued at a rate of $500 every 6 months.

Institutions may arrange supplementary academic support in the form of:

  • tutoring/academic support;
  • academic training or workshops (such as academic writing skills);
  • thesis editing (only while On-Scholarship!!!);

Please refer to the Scholarship entitlements for more details.


Students who have a fieldwork entitlement are able to travel back home during their scholarship to conduct Fieldwork. This entitlement only covers the cost of the return airfare. To apply please complete the Fieldwork Travel Form

Please note: PhD students are entitled to three trips that can be either reunion or fieldwork. Masters students are entitled to one trip that can be either reunion or fieldwork.

Student typeFieldwork trips available (during scholarship period)
Masters by Coursework
(compulsory research component only)
(Only if the awardee has not used the reunion airfare)
Masters by ResearchOne
(Only if the awardee has not used the reunion airfare)
PhD StudentUp to Three
(Only one trip if scholarship was accepted before 1 Feb 2015)


The DFAT website has an up-to-date list of countries currently eligible for these scholarships, with specific eligibility requirements or contact information for each country.

Australia Awards Leadership Program

These awardees are required to participate in a Leadership Development Program and associated costs are covered by DFAT.

Independent Opportunities 

Awardees can apply for up to $2,000 to attend a conference or other professional development activity.

AAS Policy Handbook

This Australia Awards Scholarships Policy Handbook outlines the awardee's responsibilities and entitlements, gives information on student management and scholarship processes and is a good resource to refer to in the first instance if you have any questions about your scholarship program.

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