Student in the Austrian Alps

How to find your best time to study abroad

From two weeks to a year, there’s an overseas experience for you

Studying overseas opens up a world of possibilities and global perspectives – and it’s never been easier. There's an ideal program for every student. The first step is to find your ‘mobility window’.

Find your mobility window

The chance to spend part of your degree in another country is something University of Sydney students can take advantage of. With so many programs, destinations and options available to University of Sydney students, figuring out where to start may leave you scratching your head.

But that’s okay! Our Sydney Abroad advisors are here to help you along the way – and here’s what they recommend.

First of all, it’s important to understand the requirements of your degree. We know every degree and major is different, so if you're planning to study overseas, you'll want to find the time in your degree which has the most flexibility.

This might mean swapping around some units so you can choose the right combination of major, minor or elective unit to take overseas. For example, you could switch a core unit with an elective unit in your mobility window so you are taking only electives on exchange. Check with your faculty about progression and pre-requisite rules in your course.

Mobility window checklist


Consult your faculty handbook, published in the year you started your degree and look at your current transcript to see the units you have completed already.


Once you have this information, you should plot the units you’ve taken and intend to take. A course planner might be helpful with this.


Identify which units are core units, which units contribute as part of a major or minor, and which units are free electives.


The time in your degree where you have the most flexible units, is your mobility window.


After you have found your mobility window, start looking for programs that best suit you. Whether that’s a semester or year-long program, or a short-term program (2-6 weeks over the summer or winter break), there’s an ideal overseas experience waiting for you.

Remember, you’re not limited to one overseas experience. So, when the travel bug bites, there’s nothing to stop you from going on another program later in your degree.

Have more questions about destinations and applications? Come to an information session held by Sydney Abroad advisors.

Last updated: September 2021

2 October 2018

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