Go to top of page

Personal problems affecting studies

400x300 6

Personal problems affecting studies

  • Seek treatment from a professional.
  • If you are having difficulties in your course talk to your student advisor.

Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.

Swati successfully completed a Certificate IV in Business at the Blue Gum Institute and applied for a second visa—a subclass 573 student visa to study a Bachelor in Management at the Australia University. She hoped these skills would help her family’s business in India.

One week before Swati was due to start her management degree, she received a call from her father—her mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Swati was upset and worried about her mother and would ring India every few hours. She wanted to return home but her father insisted she continue her studies in Australia. Swati tried hard to continue with her studies but she could not concentrate because she was so upset and worried.

Swati’s course attendance started to decline, until she was too upset to attend her studies at all. Swati received a warning letter from the Australia University advising that her course progress was not adequate and she risked being reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. This made Swati feel more depressed.

Swati went to see the student advisor at the Australia University for advice. The advisor suggested she go and speak to a doctor. Swati went to her local doctor who referred her to a psychologist.

The psychologist diagnosed Swati with depression. Swati wanted to feel better before continuing her studies. She took her documentation from the doctor and psychologist to the student advisor. The advisor granted Swati a deferral on the grounds of compassionate circumstances.

One week after the deferral was granted, Swati returned home to India for the period of her deferral. She took her medical and deferral documents with her as well as her new confirmation of enrolment that showed she would recommence her course in six months.

Swati felt better at home and was able to support her mother. She returned to Australia five and half months later and resumed her course two weeks after arriving in Australia.

Comments (2)


If the student changes their course to a similar course at the same sector within the same university, the student can continue their studies on their current student visa.

However, the student should take note of their visa expiry date as their new course end date may be after the current visa expiry date.


Dear Officer,

An international student comes to Australia for a two years masters course at a SVP university in July. He wants to change his study to similar course at bachelor level in February the following year at the same university. Will he have to apply for a new visa or can he continue with the original visa?

Thank you.