Four easy steps to studying overseas on a student exchange

30 March 2016

It’s a lot easier to combine study and overseas travel than you think. Here’s four easy steps to make the world your campus, and the truth about some myths you might have heard about student exchange.

So you’ve got a half hour break between lectures. Fancy sipping on an espresso on the shores of Venice’s Great Canal, or taking a jog along one of the world’s most famous stretches of sand, Brazil’s Copacabana Beach?

Got the day off to study? Why not take your textbook to a Zen garden in Kyoto, Japan, a hot tub surrounded by snow in Reykjavik, Iceland, or Paris’ Left Bank in the Quartier Latin where students have been sharing ideas since the 11th century?

Looking for something to do this weekend? How about catching football star Lionel Messi running rampant in Barcelona’s famed Estadio Camp Nou, taking the world’s highest bungee jump off Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado (a thrilling 321 metres!), or just sitting back on a picture-postcard beach in the South Pacific?

Just because you’re studying with us doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole degree in Australia. In fact, we have more than 250 opportunities to study overseas (more than 100 of which are located at the world’s top 200 universities) in more than 40 countries, and it’s a lot easier than you think to take advantage of these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Taking part in student exchange not only provides the opportunity to travel and learn about different cultures, it can also add an international dimension to your studies and value to your degree.

“Studying under a different educational system will take you out of your comfort zone and help you to develop a range of new learning techniques,” said University of Sydney Mobility Manager Cara Bonnington.

Ms Bonnington also said studying abroad can open new doors.

“It provides opportunities to network with other students, academics and professional organisations, and students return home with a renewed focus.”

Here’s four steps to get you started on an adventure that’ll make your Facebook timeline, Instagram posts and Twitter feed the envy of your mates.

1. Attend our Exchange Fair and come and chat with us

A good place to discover the many opportunities available is our Exchange Fair that takes place on Eastern Avenue on Monday 4 April 2016 between 10.30am and 2.30pm. You’ll also be able to meet representatives from some of our partners from 11am to 2pm (New Law School, seminar room 102). If you can’t make the fair, talk to one of our peer advisers at the Student Centre (Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm), or a representative in your faculty. It’s a good idea to plan early to work exchange into your degree to make the most out of your experience. 

2. Attend an information session

We’re hosting exchange and short-term information sessions every week during Semester 1 where you can learn about the various opportunities available, including year-long, semester-long and short-term winter and summer schools.

When: 12pm – 1pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during semester
Where: Chemistry lecture theatres 1 and 2

3. Choose a program

We provide more than 250 programs in 41 countries from North, Central and South America, to Asia, Europe, the UK, Scandinavia, the Gulf and Africa, and the South Pacific so you should be able to find one that meets both your study needs and travel wishes. Search online by location, subject area or term, and download our Exchange Guide to get started.

4. Put in your application

Apply now because there are still positions available for Semester 2, 2016 (but be quick because the deadline is 11 April), register your interest for Semester 1, 2017, or apply for a short-term program and go this July.

Three myths about student exchange

Myth: Going on exchange means it’ll take longer to finish your degree.
Fact: You’ll remain enrolled during your exchange and receive credit for your studies. There is no reason for an exchange to delay the completion of your course requirements.

Myth: Your options are limited because you can’t speak another language.
Fact: Many of our partners in non-English speaking countries are home to students who study and speak English. Download our Exchange Guide to find out more.

Myth: You need a high weighted average mark (WAM) to go to competitive destinations.
Fact: Your WAM is not the sole factor in deciding where you will be offered a place. We take into account your whole application, including your statement of purpose and eligibility for chosen subjects at your preferred universities to find the best fit.