Student Exchange

At UNSW, there's help for students wanting to take part in an exchange program at one of our overseas partner universities. Refer to the Student Exchange Moodle tutorial to see what's available. 

Your exchange journey starts here!

Imagine studying at one of our partner universities for a term or even a full academic year, and earning credits that count towards your UNSW degree! With a wide array of courses, many taught in English, you can stay on track with your studies while exploring new academic horizons.

But it's not just about the studies. This is your chance to build life-long connections, immerse yourself in different cultures, gain a new perspective on your studies and hone skills that employers value. The best part is that you don't need to extend your degree. 

Exchange expo

Join us for the 2024 UNSW Exchange Expo on 21 March and experience the world in a day!  This is a free event for UNSW Sydney students and gathers representatives from exchange universities, short program providers and students to provide you with exchange and short course opportunities around the world.  Start thinking about your destination

In-person exchange

Choose from one of our partner universities and find the destination that suits your study plan and goals.  

How does it work?

You can compare the UNSW term dates with the partner university's academic calendar to figure out the terms you will be away on exchange. It's helpful to look at the Academic Calendar for information on how our terms work for exchange.

You enrol in a full-time load, and, at the end of your exchange, you bring a full-time credit load back to your UNSW degree.  You can transfer up to 24 units of credit per half year, which will be reflected as satisfactory on your UNSW transcript. Plus, you'll receive a transcript from the partner university too. Exchange is also eligible for recognition on your AHEGS

It's best to plan a year in advance as the application process takes roughly nine months from when you start until you leave for your exchange.  You should allow 4-6 weeks to research your exchange, think about what you want to gain from the experience and the opportunities available to you.

All travel is subject to UNSW approval.  We recommend you are flexible with your plans as information can change quickly.

Cost and scholarships

Planning ahead is key to making sure you have enough funds while you are abroad! Calculate a budget according to the cost of living of your destination, and make sure that you have at least AUD$3,500 available each month for your exchange program. Do your research and plan well ahead of time so that you can make the most of your exchange experience!

Many scholarships and traineeships will continue while you are on exchange.  You should contact your sponsoring body about any conditions that may affect your application.

Tuition fees

In most cases you don't have to worry about paying for tuition fees to the host university. Instead, you will continue to pay tuition fees to UNSW for the entire exchange period. However, there may be additional fees depending on the destination of your exchange program.

In-person exchange is always a full-time workload, regardless of whether you're enrolled full-time or part-time at UNSW. For each term you are on exchange, you will be enrolled at UNSW. This determines how much tuition you are charged.

Scholarships and financial assistance

There may be financial awards available. Most awards are awarded on the basis of academic merit. Scholarships are usually confirmed after nomination to an exchange partner university.

Am I eligible?

General requirements for all students

  • You should have at least a credit average to apply, though some universities require higher grades. Students with less than a credit average should consult our Exchange Advisors.
  • Before your exchange begins, you need at least 18 units of credit remaining in your degree.
  • Your exchange must be to a UNSW partner institution.
  • Where language proficiency is required, you need to have studied that language at university level for at least 2 years. You may also be eligible if you've studied the language significantly outside of university or at high school level. Some universities require you to do a language proficiency test.

Undergraduate students

  • You are eligible to apply once you have completed at least 18 units of credit of your current degree at UNSW.

Honours students

  • You may be eligible to apply for exchange in your honours year and you should speak to your faculty about how exchange will impact your program. Students wishing to undertake research overseas should discuss their options with their faculty.

Postgraduate coursework students

  • You are eligible to apply if your degree is at least 72 units of credit in duration and you should apply in your first term at UNSW.

Postgraduate research students

Sponsored students

  • Sponsored international students should discuss their Exchange Program with their Sponsor and ensure they are eligible to apply. 

Key dates

April

  • Application deadline for exchange in Term 1 of the following year.
  • UNSW Scholarship applications for travel and exchange close.

September

  • Application deadline for exchange in Term 3 of the following year.

How and when to apply

When can I apply?

  • If you are an undergraduate student, you can apply after completing at least 18 units of credit. This is generally from Term 3 of your first year.
  • If you are an Honours student, you may be able to go on exchange in the 1st term of your Honours year. Speak to your faculty about your exchange will impact your program.
  • If you are a postgraduate coursework student studying full-time in a degree of at least 72 units of credit, you need to apply in your first Term.  If you are taking 96 units of credit, you can apply in the following round.  Please consult with the Exchange Office.

Ready to apply?

1: Get started by completing the Student Exchange Tutorial and accessing your application form.

2: Plan which courses you want to take during your exchange and make sure that they fit your degree plan so you can still graduate on time.

3: Attend an Information Session to learn more.

4: Sign up for a digital drop-in session so you can chat with an Exchange Advisor and ask them any questions you have. Visit the Student Exchange Tutorial for further details.

5: Make sure to apply before the application deadline.

Virtual exchange

Some partner universities offer virtual exchange.  You get to have an international experience without leaving home.  It's a great way to build skills and collaborate with people from other cultures. 

How does it work?

Virtual exchange is like in-person exchange without the need to travel.  It's cost-effective and you get to study remotely and connect with students from a partner university. It gives you flexibility as you take one or two courses alongside your UNSW courses. 

You are still enrolled at UNSW according to the number of courses you study, and the credit earned is applied to your UNSW degree. You can look up the partner’s academic calendar and compare it to UNSW term dates.

Tuition fees

You continue to pay UNSW tuition fees for each virtual exchange course, and you will be enrolled in a relevant UNSW exchange code. This determines how much tuition you are charged.

Am I eligible?

General requirements for all students

  • You should have at least a credit average to be considered, though some universities require higher grades. Students with less than a credit average should consult our Exchange Advisors.
  • Before your exchange begins, you need to have sufficient units of credit in your degree to transfer back your virtual exchange courses.
  • Your exchange must be to a participating UNSW partner institution.
  • Where language proficiency is required, you need to demonstrate you have sufficient language skills.  Some universities require you to do a language proficiency test.

Undergraduate students

  • Are eligible to apply.

Honours students

  • May be eligible to apply and you should speak to your faculty about how virtual exchange may impact your program. Students wishing to undertake research should discuss their options with their faculty.

Postgraduate coursework students

  • Are eligible to apply and should speak to their faculty about how it may impact on your program

Postgraduate research students

Sponsored students

  • Sponsored international students should discuss their virtual exchange with their Sponsor and ensure they are eligible to apply. 

Key dates and deadlines

Key dates

Check out our Learning Abroad News for opportunities as they become available. To be eligible, you must apply by the deadline and be nominated by the UNSW Learning Abroad Office.  

Application deadlines

Deadlines are dependent on the partner university meaning there is a shorter lead time to in-person exchange. Applications are assessed according to the partner deadline.​

How and when to apply?

You can start your research by subscribing to the Learning Abroad Notices.  Think about your goals and what you hope to get out of your virtual exchange. 

When can I apply?

  • If you are an undergraduate student, you can apply after completing at least 18 units of credit at UNSW.
  • If you are an Honours student, you may be able to take an online course(s) in the 1st term of your Honours year. Speak to your faculty about how it will impact your program.
  • If you are a postgraduate coursework student, you generally need to apply in your first term.  Please consult with the Exchange Office.

You should talk to your Faculty Office about getting courses approved before you apply, and you need Faculty approval to receive credit for any virtual exchange courses. Please refer to our Student Exchange Moodle tutorial for further information.

Ready to apply?

1: Get started by completing Virtual Exchange section of the Student Exchange Tutorial.

2: Plan which courses you want to take virtually and make sure they fit your degree plan so you can still graduate on time.

3: To find a program, check out our Learning Abroad Notices.  Application information and deadlines are listed here. 

4: Make sure to apply by the application deadline.

 

Back to top