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Travel and student exchange

Find out about study abroad and exchange programs.
The University has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our students and staff. Find out about the changes to student mobility programs, Faculty programs, and travelling on behalf of the University.

Travelling within Australia

Restrictions change regularly based on COVID outbreaks, please check the NSW Government website for more information.

If you are planning to visit other Australian states and territories, please make sure you're aware of the travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in place

Travelling from Australia

Fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents can travel overseas without an exemption. There will also be reduced quarantine requirements for eligible fully vaccinated travellers when they return to or enter Australia. Learn more about vaccinations, pre-flight testing and travel requirements.

States and territories can apply their own restrictions, including additional quarantine requirements. In NSW, quarantine is not required for fully vaccinated travellers, however testing requirements are in place.

Travel by students for the purposes of overseas student exchange or electives (including vocational placements) is considered international travel. International travel means travel outside of Australia and New Zealand.

International travel by students for the purposes of overseas student exchange or electives (including vocational placements) is currently suspended up to and including Semester 1, 2022. The University is currently considering when and how student and staff travel can resume. Any requests for international travel at this time need to be approved by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, noting that approval will only be given in truly exceptional circumstances.

Higher Degree Research (HDR) students continue to be subject to the same travel restrictions and approval processes as staff, for the purposes of travel to complete core components of their research projects. HDR students continue to be subject to the same travel restrictions as students for the purposes of overseas student exchange or electives to for completion of coursework components. 

Faculty programs

A faculty can permit students to undertake an elective, exchange or placement in their home country (but not in a third country) where:

  • the student is already located overseas in their home country and is unable or unwilling to return to Australia; and
  • the Faculty is satisfied that the proposed study meets the Faculties’ academic standards

A faculty can permit students to undertake an elective or placement in New Zealand (for a maximum of 6 months) where:

  • the student is currently in Australia and willing and able to travel to New Zealand; and
  • the Faculty is satisfied that the proposed study meets the Faculties’ academic standards.

Students must follow local risk management processes to seek approval for travel for the purposes of domestic student placements. There are currently no additional institution-wide measures in place to approve travel for this purpose. You will need to note COVID-19 as a risk within the Risk Assessment and adopt appropriate mitigation strategies.

Study abroad and exchange

The University has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our students.

When Australia’s international borders were closed the University made the difficult decision to suspend student mobility programs, up to and including Semester 1, 2022.

With border restrictions easing and international travel resuming, the University is carefully considering how we’re able to support in-person student mobility programs. Applications for in-person programs including Semester 1, 2023 Exchange and winter break 2022 short-term programs will open during Semester 1. If you want to find out more, please contact sydney.abroad@sydney.edu.au.

With all outbound mobility programs being suspended, the status of your Semester 1, 2022 application will be updated to ‘Program Suspended by USyd: COVID-19’. Your application will not be deferred and you will have to start a new application on the Global Mobility Database if you wish to apply for a future semester exchange program.

International students who have submitted an application for an exchange program but are currently in their home country and unable to travel to Australia, should email sydney.abroad@sydney.edu.au.

You will be supported in participating in mobility programs in your country of citizenship/permanent residence, where the host university allows and places are available.

The University has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and the safety, health and wellbeing of students remains the priority. Due to this and the uncertainty surrounding the current global pandemic and travel, the University is not currently supporting overseas study programs to a country where students are not a citizen/permanent resident.

The University is currently considering when and how we’ll be able to support international travel for student mobility programs. At this time, we’re unable to move forward in supporting applications where international travel would be required up to and including Semester 1, 2022.

With international travel resuming, the University is carefully considering how we’re able to support in-person student mobility programs. There will also be several virtual programs offered by our partner universities which will enable you to gain the valuable skills that you usually develop through international experiences.

Applications for in-person programs including Semester 1, 2023 Exchange and winter break 2022 short-term programs will open during Semester 1. If you would like to find out more in-person global experiences, please contact sydney.abroad@sydney.edu.au.

Travel expense claims

If you are a University of Sydney student whose study abroad/exchange program was impacted by COVID-19, you may be eligible to claim the return travel and/or other expenses incurred in returning to Australia. Please contact the Sydney Abroad team at sydney.abroad@sydney.edu.au for further advice.

If you are an international student undertaking University of Sydney degree programs and you have been affected by Australian Government travel restrictions, you are not eligible to claim insurance. However, you may be eligible for Hardship funding support – please see further details in the financial assistance application form.

Last updated January 2022.