Choosing your Host University
Key Factors to Consider
Some of the key factors to consider whilst researching your destination options include:
- available partner universities and their academic reputation;
- language of instruction;
- academic aspects of your program;
- whether you study at postgraduate or undergraduate level;
- personal, academic, recreational and other interests;
- lifestyle and campus location;
- matching your exchange trip to the overseas academic year;
- competition for exchange places;
- how much it will cost; and
- scholarships and loans.
The University of Sydney has over 300 formal student exchange agreements with universities in 35 countries all over the world that cover different academic disciplines and languages. The are outlined in the University Partner list. This list will clearly indicate which partnerships are available for exchange during this semester and outline important conditions and restrictions that may apply at various partner destinations. If you are planning for a future exchange, you must review the updated partner university list for the applicable semester to ensure you only apply for available destinations. You may also
search for an exchange university via the online database, however, this provides only a basic list of current partnerships.
While we have many university partnerships, exchange places may not be available at all destinations every semester. The availability of places may depend on deadlines specified by the partner university. Some universities only have one deadline per year and thus are only open for applications once a year. Places may also depend on the balance of students exchanged in past semesters and whether places are available for future students. Where the University of Sydney has sent more students to a partner university than we have received, we may temporarily suspend exchanges to this partner university until the imbalance has been rectified. There is no guarantee that an agreement that has been suspended in one semester will re-open the next semester.
In choosing the right host university for your exchange, you should allow yourself between 9 and 12 months prior to the commencement of the overseas semester to do your research and planning. The most suitable destination may not always be the most obvious and you will gain the most from your experience if you make well-informed decisions about your destination preferences. Cast a wide net and research the possibilities thoroughly before settling on your main preferences (you will need to give your top five preferences in the online International Exchange Program Application).
You should also attend an Information Session during semester to guide you through the most current program requirements and destination options.
Navigating the academic aspects of your programs can take some time. You must first start with your University of Sydney course requirements before investigating the availability of suitable and creditable courses at your preferred host universities.
Course handbooks and other general information for University-wide agreements can be found in the Exchange Resource Library at Sydney Abroad. Similar information can be found on the internet on the home pages of the host universities.
The final decision about an appropriate academic program is one that you must make in consultation with your course or year coordinator and the faculty. To assist your academic advisers with this process, you should do the following:
- identify the normal full-time load at the host university (e.g. 30 ECTS is the normal study load per semester at most European universities);
- obtain course descriptions and/or outlines;
- identify the number of contact hours for a given course;
- identify the assessment requirements; and
- prepare a short-list of potential courses at the host university for your adviser to consider.
You may also like to discuss your plans with this adviser or other members of the department as they may have useful suggestions and recommendations.
Progress Reports completed by past University of Sydney exchange students are available at International Services to provide you with a first-hand experience of the exchange experience. These are organised by country and exchange institution.
Talk to students at the University of Sydney on exchange from overseas or to Sydney students who are currently on exchange or who have just returned. Email addresses are available from the Study Abroad and Exchange Programs Unit.
The University of Sydney aims to provide accurate program information at all times, however, we reserve the right to temporarily suspend programs or not renew agreements without prior notice. In the event of this, your Exchange Adviser will assist in the placement of exchange applicants at other suitable destinations.
New programs may also be added from time to time. You are advised to double check destination availability, program conditions and other eligibility and selection criteria with an Exchange Adviser before proceeding with your application.