International Exchange

Studying in the German speaking world is the most effective way to improve your competence in communicating in German as well as to deepen your understanding of the German speaking countries. It is also a unique opportunity to increase your global connections. The Department of Germanic Studies encourages all students to spend one or two semesters of exchange at an overseas university.

The University’s International Exchange Program enables you to undertake approved overseas study, with the credit achieved counting towards your degree at the University of Sydney (Germanic Studies Exchange Units). In order to be eligible for an exchange, you need a credit average across all your subjects. Applications for exchange are competitive. Students with the best academic results and the intention of applying for Honours in Germanic Studies will be given preference.

Partner universities
You can study at one of the many partner universities across the world with which the university has signed a formal exchange agreement. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) has exchange agreements with seven universities in Germany and one in Austria that offer German as part of their curriculum:

Fees and Scholarships
Tuition fees for approved exchange units are covered by your HECS fees. Additional costs for living expenses (accommodation, meals, entertainment etc.) are not included. Scholarships and government loan schemes are available to help cover these costs, as well as the Emilie M. Schweitzer Exchange Scholarships in French or German Studies.

Preparation for exchange
The preparation for exchange starts approximately a year before you intend to go overseas. Most students will go on exchange in the third year of their degree in Germanic Studies, after they have achieved the intermediate language level of B1.2 (CEFR). It is possible for students to go on exchange in the second year of their degree as long as they can demonstrate they have achieved the level B1.2.

The Sydney Abroad Brochure Pages, a mobility database, gives students the opportunity to explore international exchange possibilities at our partner universities in over 40 countries worldwide. This tool allows students to search possible exchange destinations by city, location, institution, language requirements, and even faculty and specific study areas. With over 300 exchange programs to choose from, the Sydney Abroad Brochure Pages can even assist students refine their search geographically, using the interactive map feature. Each brochure page is packed with useful information about the exchange partner university, such as application requirements while also listing helpful weblinks.
Comprehensive information is available on the Student Exchange Office Website. Sydney Abroad also regularly runs Information Sessions on Exchange. These briefing sessions are obligatory for your application for exchange. Once you have attended these info sessions and chosen the host university at which you wish to spend your exchange semester/year, you submit an application online via Sydney Student.

Guidelines for approved overseas study
Students must complete the Academic Approval Form for Nominated Exchange Students for the International Office, often before the handbook of the host university is published. You will fill in this form without necessarily knowing if a particular unit will indeed be offered. This document, therefore, provides only an indication of the units in which you will enrol once you arrive at your host university. It will help you to get familiar with the universities websites and learn about the different units available. You must obtain written approval from the exchange coordinator of the department for the units you will attend and the credit points you will receive for accredition for your degree in Sydney (approximately 7.5 ECTS = 6 CP at Sydney University) prior to the commencement of your exchange semester.

To obtain approval for your chosen units of study at the host university, you must ascertain that these units meet the following criteria:

  • The language of instruction is German.
  • The workload must be equivalent to a unit in the Department of Germanic Studies (i.e. contact hours and expected self-study hours).
  • Only units requiring written assignments e.g. an essay (Hausarbeit) or a written exam (Klausur) can be accredited for your degree at Sydney.
  • The department cannot accredit language units, unless you are a student coming from the junior beginners language stream (Pathway 1) or the unit offered in the exchange program is above the level you completed at Sydney. Please note, only a total of 12 credit points can be accredited through language units.
  • Please also be aware that preparatory courses and units gained in a summer/winter school cannot be accredited as an exchange unit. They are an extra which will help you with your studies and, eventually, Honours.

Academic Approval
Once you have received the acceptance from your host university, then you should contact the to get the chosen units approved. Please send a unit description including unit code, duration of unit, contact hours per week, assessment requirements and amount of ECTS credit via email to the faculty officer. The faculty officer will forward your choices to the exchange coordinator.

The Department of Germanic Studies strongly encourages you to consider exchange as an enriching experience that will potentially shape your present and future. During your stay abroad you should also start to consider to apply for Honours in Germanic Studies. Our academic staff with their broad research interests can support you after you have decided on your thesis topic.