As an International Student, you have perhaps made one of the biggest decisions in your life when you finally said “Yes! I’m going to study in Australia!” You were hopeful that you’ll be successful someday with the study program you wished to take. But it is pretty normal these days that sometimes, you have a shift of interest. Other reason may be because you’re expectations are not actually met and then you will realize your chosen program is not the best option for you.

Worry no more! Here is a simple guide for you if you’re having thoughts of changing your course or your provider:

Changing your course in the same institution

This is not actually a very big issue to deal with when you wish to change your study program with the provider where you are presently taking your course provided that you will have to take the same level of study.

To give you a better idea, you do not need to apply for a new visa if your student visa is valid for the duration of your new course and your transfer is:

  • to another course at the same level (for example from one Bachelor degree to another)
  • from a PhD to a Masters
  • to a course at a higher level (for example from Bachelor to Masters level)

Yet, note that:

If your student visa is only valid for part of the duration of your new course, you are required to renew your student visa within a few weeks before it expires.If you have transferred to a course at a lower level (for example Masters to Bachelor level) you must apply for a new Student visa as soon as you receive your new CoE. The only exception to this is if you are transferring from a PhD to a Masters course.

Transferring to another provider

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection gives you a comprehensive answer if you want to change your education provider:

If you have not completed six months of your principal course (the main course of study you are undertaking) and you want to change your education provider, the ESOS National Code explains the circumstances in which this will be possible. Unless special circumstances apply, you usually need to have permission from your existing education provider to transfer to another education provider.

If you want to transfer, your education provider must assess or consider your request to transfer. All education providers have documented procedures about their transfer policy. Make sure you understand your education provider’s transfer policy, and what your written agreement says you must do, before you attempt to enrol with a new education provider.

If your education provider does not give you permission to transfer to another education provider and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you should first use your education provider’s internal appeal process. If you are still not satisfied, you can appeal the education provider’s decision at an external complaints handling body such as the State or Territory Ombudsman or the Overseas Student Ombudsman.

You may know more about this at

To give you concrete discussion:

If you have been studying in your primary program for less than six months then you will need permission from your institution to transfer elsewhere. This means you have to be accepted into the new course then request a ‘letter of release’ from your current provider. This request must state the reasons why you are seeking the release. If this is accepted then you will receive a new Confirmation of Enrolment from your new institution that will be electronically supplied to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. If you wish to transfer to another provider after you have completed six months of your principal course, you do not need to seek permission from your current provider.

Your current institution has the right to refuse your request especially if reasons are not qualified for them according to their policy or written agreement. You will need to demonstrate why continuing at your present provider is not in your best academic benefits or that you have special situations surrounding the move.

Speak to your student advisor

Stress contributes a lot to your decision to change your course or transferring to another education provider. There are chances that abrupt decisions will give you further a wrong move. Student Advisors are always available in most schools so they can help you to cope with it. If you have concerns on your mental health or if you are hard up coping with stress, then it is appropriate maybe to refer you to more capable professionals to help you deal with it.

Effective planning and counselling

There are students’ dilemmas that of high concern when they arrive here in Australia, which is when they did not get the appropriate planning of their study program and plans. It is always important that you should establish your blueprint and have a goal. Your goals in your study should not be influenced by anyone else. Your line of interest and passion gives you a good reason to take your own course. Satisfaction is guaranteed when you do that. 🙂

Education planners and how they can help

Education Planners/Counsellors are of great help when you want to know more about your course or study programs and your career outcomes.

If you want to know more about changing your courses/provider, visit SOL Edu offices or send an online enquiry thru our website: