FAQs - University of Sydney exchange students

Is the International Exchange Program open to postgraduate students?

Generally, "yes", although some partner programs have restrictions.

Can I get credit for my studies overseas?

Yes, as long as you stay enrolled in an approved program of study.

Does the program extend my degree by a semester or a year?

No, unless you do not stay within an approved study program or you fail some classes.

Do I have to pay overseas tuition fees?

No. You are liable to pay only University of Sydney fees and receive a tuition fee waiver overseas.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes. Please check the costs and scholarships section.

How early should I start planning for my exchange?

Application deadlines are between 9 - 12 months prior to the start of the overseas semester. To prepare a strong application, you should give yourself at least 3 months prior to the deadline to research your program.

Does the University provide travel insurance for exchange students?

Currently enrolled students are covered by the University's travel insurance policy when your travel is formally approved by the University and related to your studies, and as long as your travel arrangements have been approved by your faculty before your departure. This means that travelling on exchange is covered, though extended private travel is not. You can find more information about whether you are covered and in what circumstances on the student travel insurance page.

Where do I live while on exchange?

Many exchange universities provide dormitory accommodation on campus, however, where there is a high demand for this accommodation, you can expect to live in off-campus share housing with other students.

Must I be fluent in a foreign language?

If you choose a destination that teaches in a foreign language, you will be expected to have a strong level of fluency to be able to cope otherwise your grades may suffer. Your fluency must be endorsed by your language department on campus. There are also a range of destinations that teach in a combination of English and a foreign language eg: Japan, Korea, Sweden, The Netherlands, Malaysia. You may be able to choose to study only in English or in a combination of both languages.

Can I work while on exchange?

Work rights for international students vary from country to country. In the USA and Canada, you can work for a limited number of hours on campus only. In other countries you can work part-time off-campus. In others, you will not be allowed to work at all. In Canada and the UK, a special visa is not required for study under 6 months, unless students wish to have work rights. Investigate all visa conditions very carefully and do not make any assumptions about work rights.

Can I get a work visa to increase my chances of finding a job?

This is not likely. As long as you are on a student visa, you are normally not permitted to hold any other visa. Students who hold citizenship in the host country may have more flexible work rights. Please check all immigration matters very carefully before your departure.

Can I still apply for the exchange if I have failed a subject?

You may be still be eligible if you have failed one subject. In this case, you will be required to demonstrate that there were extenuating circumstances which contributed to the failure. Please consult with an Exchange Adviser for more information.

Can I take courses just for interest on exchange?

Your primary goal must be to take courses overseas that can be credited to your Sydney degree. If you have extra time at your host university above and beyond the approved study program, you may be able to take an additional course for interest if the host university allows this.

Can I defer a place once it has been offered to me?

Due to increased demand for exchange places, if you choose not to take up a place after it has been offered, you will be expected to re-apply for the exchange program by the next relevant deadline.