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20 September 2023

International students: learn more about dating in Australia and protecting your sexual health

Sex can be amazing but it can also be complicated. You may even find sex a little intimidating, especially if you’re not aware of some essential facts, you don’t have a trusted person to confide in, or it is completely new to you.

In addition to this, as an international student, you may find the culture or other aspects of dating and relationships in Australia very different to what you may have encountered at home. 

At Deakin, we want to empower you to have fun meeting new people and creating new relationships while also making informed decisions that are right for you, your body and your lifestyle. It’s Sexual Health Month (Monday 4 September–Monday 2 October), and we also want to remind every student who is sexually active to look after their sexual health. With recent changes to Victorian laws, in which an ‘affirmative consent’ model now applies, it is important you understand what is acceptable conduct in dating and sexual activity, for both your protection and the safety of your partners.

Learn how to protect your sexual health in Australia

As part of Deakin’s Student Health Promotion Plan 2023–2025, we teamed up with Sexual Health Victoria to create You CAN Ask That, a frank and fearless video series about sex and sexual health – we encourage you to take a look.

We also encourage you to view the following videos by Sexual Health Victoria, which feature international students talking about their understandings and experiences of sex and relationships while in Australia, including cultural differences, LGBTIQA+ relationships, sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), contraception options, unintended pregnancy and how to seek confidential help. 

Dating in Australia

What is dating like as an international student in Australia? Hear more from young people about their experiences.

Sexual health

How do international students in Australia feel about accessing sexual health services? Learn more about how to navigate the health system.

Healthy relationships

How can you get help in Australia if your relationships become unhealthy? Find out how to seek support if a relationship becomes abusive, controlling, or violent. 

Pregnancy and contraception

What options are available for international students in Australia who have an unplanned pregnancy? Learn more about accessing the health system and seeking support.

Want more information?

Find more advice and information about health services via the Sexual Health Victoria website or Deakin’s You CAN Ask That webpage.

You can also learn more by completing Sexual Health Victoria’s Dating in Australia: Reproductive and Sexual Health for International Students eLearning Module – the module is free and you can work through it online at your own pace.

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