Studying while caring

2 minute read
 

Many students also care for someone and this can be hard. The time and energy that caring takes can interfere with your study. This is true for all students, whether you are a young high school student, an older university student or a returning continuing education student.

It's worth talking with your school, university or training centre about your situation, because they might be able to help.

You can also talk with other carers in our online carer forum, to get tips about how others have handled studying and caring.

Support while studying

If you are a student at school, university or other training centre, you may be able to get support to help you to combine studying and caring.

What support can you get

You can talk with your school, university or centre to see what help they can offer. For example, you can ask for:

  • permission to stay home from school or classes when you need to
  • permission to use your phone to call home
  • ways to catch up on work from home, such as catch-up lessons, take-home work, e-learning or note-taking services
  • later deadlines for assignments
  • any other supports that you could get

Young carers (under 25) can get financial help and many other services to support you.

Getting help with studying while caring

If you would like to start studying while you are caring, Carers Trust has some places to start.

The Young Carers Network website has information on studying while you are caring, and you can call them on 1800 242 636 if you want to talk.

Talking with your school, university or centre

Your school and teachers or university and tutors probably don’t know you are caring for someone. If you tell them, they might be able to help you.

Who to talk with

If you are at school, you can talk with your teacher, principal or school counsellor. If you are at university or a training centre, you can talk with your lecturer, course advisor or student counsellor.

If it helps, take someone along to support you. You could also ask a parent or friend to speak to them for you.

What to talk about

You can tell them as much or as little as you want. You don’t have to go into detail about the person you care for, or their medical condition. You could talk with them about:

  • what the problem is
  • the extra responsibilities you have in caring for someone
  • how this affects being at school or university and doing your work
  • who they can share this information with
  • who you should talk with if things change

You can also talk with them about special arrangements that might help you. For example, you can ask for:

  • permission to stay home from school or classes when you need to
  • permission to use your phone to call home
  • ways to catch up on work from home, such as catch-up lessons, take-home work, e-learning opportunities, or note-taking services
  • later deadlines for assignments
  • any other supports that might be available

Even if you don’t want special arrangements, it’s a good idea to tell them about your situation so that they understand if there is an emergency or if your caring affects your study.