Student exchange: study overseas while at uni

Why consider going on exchange?

Participating in the Study Abroad and Student Exchange programs is an exciting and challenging way of broadening your horizons in a new environment. You can:

  • globalise your educational experience
  • enhance academic opportunities that may otherwise be limited or unavailable
  • establish professional and career opportunities through networking
  • improve language skills and cultural understanding
  • experience personal growth by developing self confidence and social skills

How exchange programs work

The University of Sydney signs agreements with selected overseas universities to exchange a specific number of students each year. Over the term of the exchange agreement, the numbers of students exchanged must be equal. As an exchange student you remain enrolled full-time at the University of Sydney while you are on exchange. Therefore, you pay HECS on your enrolment and the compulsory student subscription fees. At your exchange university, a local student there also enrols full-time and pays any relevant tuition and student fees that apply at their University. This equal exchange of enrolled students who have already paid for their home university’s fees, allows the waiver of tuition fees.

For detailed information about how exchange works, visit University of Sydney Study Abroad and Student Exchange Information


All students should check with the Faculty of Science to ensure there are no restrictions on their program of study before applying for the exchange. If there are none, the following eligibility criteria normally apply for the University-wide student exchange programs:

  • Undergraduate students must have completed 48 credit points at the University of Sydney at the time of application (you can apply in the second semester of first year to depart in the second semester of second year). Students who have transferred from another University and received credit for previous study must have completed at least one semester of full-time (24cp) study at the University of Sydney before they can apply for the exchange program.
  • You must have at least achieved a credit average (65% or higher) over your academic record at the University of Sydney and should have passed all subjects. A failure may be overlooked if you can demonstrate extenuating circumstances.
  • You must be enrolled as full-time students at the University of Sydney while away on exchange taking classes that will count as credit towards your normal Sydney enrolment i.e. you cannot study classes overseas for recreation or personal interest.


You must have sufficient funding for the exchange period. While you are not required to pay tuition fees or other student administration or service fees, you will be responsible for most other costs while you are on exchange. We estimate that you will require at least AUD$10,000 for one semester to cover your living expenses and cost of air tickets, travel and health insurance, etc. Prices will vary depending on the exchange rate and cost of living in each country. More information about the cost of going on exchange.

James Wolfensohn Travelling Scholarship

This scholarship aims to promote international understanding and advance the academic development of students by enabling them to spend part of their degree in an approved overseas institution where they will undertake studies.

Full time students who are Australian citizens who are enrolled in their later years of an undergraduate degree (excluding Honours) are eligible. Your proposed studies must be approved by the Faculty of Science and count towards the completion of your degree. Preference will be given to students who wish to undertake their studies at an institution in Asia.

The scholarship is valued at $5000 for one semester abroad.

More information and how to apply.

Chevening scholarships for postgraduate study in the UK

The Chevening Scholarships programme is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) through the British High Commission, Canberra and administered by the British Council. The programme offers outstanding graduates and young professionals the opportunity to study at UK universities. The awards are made for one year's formal study for a postgraduate qualification or for a shorter period of not less than three months to pursue private study or research at a university or similar institution in the UK. More information about the Chevening scholarships.

Applying for exchange

You must plan early for an exchange. Many students begin their initial brainstorming about a year before they plan to leave the country. The application process itself is quite complex and you should plan to commence the application process 4 to 6 weeks before the deadline.

Detailed information about the application process is available from the Study Abroad and Exchange Office.

For exchanges that commence First Semester (March) next year:

  • Collect the Exchange Application Kit by the first Friday in June of this year.
  • Submit the Exchange Application by the first Friday in July of this year.

For exchanges that commence in Second Semester (July) next year:

  • Collect the Exchange Application Kit by the last Friday in October of this year.
  • Submit the Exchange Application by the last Friday in November of this year.