Through an exchange program, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students can study overseas at a partner university while remaining enrolled at, and supported by, the University of Adelaide. Tuition fees are waived by the host institution, allowing you to continue to take advantage of your tuition arrangements at home, while having an amazing, immersive overseas experience.
Applications for Semester 1, 2018 are now open! Ensure you complete your application by 16 June 2017.
Select a region and country to begin your journey!
These eligibility criteria are for entry to the Global Learning exchange program. Meeting them does not guarantee your acceptance at a host university, but allows Global Learning to nominate you for an application to a host university. This application is a separate process which takes place after you have received your nomination.
Some partner universities will have additional requirements for students such as requiring additional study to have been completed, a higher level of grades, prior language study, and there may be discipline-specific restrictions or requirements. This information is provided in the Partner Pages.
Eligibility for exchange is not the same as eligibility for OS-HELP. If you intend to take out an OS-HELP loan to support your exchange, you must ensure you meet the OS-HELP eligibility criteria in addition to the exchange eligibility below. Check the OS-HELP page for details.
- Students must be in good academic standing (4.5 GPA and above) for the degree(s) for which they want to go on exchange.
- Some partner institutions require a higher GPA.
- Only a University of Adelaide GPA for the relevant degree, as published on a University of Adelaide transcript, will be considered. GPAs are cumulative, taking into account all study completed in that degree, and cannot be split or averaged.
- Students must be on track to complete 9 units of study by the end of the semester in which they are applying, with 18 units to be completed by the time they start their exchange.
- Some partner institutions require more units to be completed, either for all students or just for specific disciplines. Check the program brochure before applying.
- Previous (discontinued) study from the University of Adelaide, any study from another Australian university, or transferred credit from an overseas institution, can contribute towards the total number of units required. However, at least 9 units of study must be completed at the University of Adelaide in the year of application (i.e. the semester in which you are making your application to Global Learning, and/or the semester before). For universities which require a specific number of units completed in a particular academic area, transfer credit to be counted must clearly be from that academic area.
- Students who have been continuously enrolled at the University of Adelaide simply need to be enrolled in the current year and to have completed at least 9 units over the course of their continuous study. If you have been studying on a part-time basis, you will still need to enrol full-time on your exchange.
- Where a student has completed a University of Adelaide degree in the previous semester, or has internally transferred into a new degree without a break in enrolment, previous study can make up all of the unit requirements if the new program is in the same academic area (or at least 9 units of the previous study was in the new academic area). This will be verified by your faculty as part of your exchange application. If you have not completed at least 9 units in the relevant academic area in your previous study, you will need to complete 9 units in your new degree before you can be considered for exchange.
- Double degree or concurrent degree students can count units across their programs towards the total, but will still need to be able to demonstrate at least 9 units in the relevant academic area(s) as verified by the faculty as part of the exchange program.
- In all cases, you will need to be active in the program on which you wish to go on exchange, and will still need to have enough study completed in total to make up the unit requirement of 18+ units (and any additional requirements of the partner institution) by the time you depart for exchange.
- If a student has already participated in an exchange, they must complete at least one semester of study back at Adelaide before departing on this exchange
- Undergraduate results from a University of Adelaide degree may be considered when determining exchange eligibility for postgraduate students.
- Students must have completed at least 9 units at the postgraduate level and may have undergraduate units in a related academic area contribute to their eligibility.
- An exception to this rule is Master of Architecture students, who just need to be admitted to their postgraduate program, and apply for exchange in the last semester of their undergraduate program.
Please note: The information above only applies to undergraduate and postgraduate (coursework) students. MBA students are advised to speak directly with their Business School advisor, if they are interested in studying part of their program overseas.
Additional Eligibility Requirements
- Engineering Students
Engineering students should thoroughly read the exchange guidelines and faculty process as laid out by the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences on their website here.
- Psychology Students
The School of Psychology has outlined specific requirements for Psychology students which can be viewed on their website here.
- Law Students
The School of Law has provided exchange advice for Law students which can be viewed on their Unified page here.
- Professions (Commerce/Finance/Economics) Students
The Professions Hub has provided exchange advice for Commerce/Finance/Economics students which can be viewed on their website here.
- Sciences Students
The Faculty of Sciences has provided exchange advice for their students which can be viewed on their website here.
- Arts Students
- Scholarship Students
Students studying at the University of Adelaide on an Australia Awards Scholarship should note that the guidelines require that they reside in Australia during their Scholarship period; and they should not use the scholarship entitlement to study in a third country.
- Preference Guidelines
When applying for exchange you are required to list three partner institutions, in order of preference, where you would like to be placed for your exchange semester or year.
It is part of Global Learning’s job to place you at a partner institution. There is a limited number of places available at each institution, based on the balance of students sent between the two institutions over time. This can mean a wide variation in the availability of places at our partner institutions.
The Global Learning Office provides place availability indicators on each partner’s application brochure:
‘High competition for places’ indicates that there are usually many more applicants than places available for that partner institution and that often only one or two applicants per round will be successful in receiving a place there, on the basis of academic merit in addition to other components of their application, partner requirements and University data.
For this reason, you are required to choose at least one preference which has either a Moderate or High availability of places so that we have the best possible chance of successfully placing you. When completing your Preferences and Credit questionnaire in the Global Learning Application System (GLAS), you will find that your third preference option will be restricted to only those institutions with a Moderate or High availability indicator to prevent students from selecting all High competition institutions, which may render you unable to be placed. Your first two preferences are unrestricted.
Click the buttons below to view all partners with:HIGH
competition NO PLACES
in current round
- How to search for suitable preferences
You will need to do a significant amount of research in order to make sure your preferred universities are suitable for you. There are two places on the Global Learning website where you can find information about our partner institutions.
Browse the Partner Pages
Use the Region and Country drop-down menus above or on the Global Learning home page to find dedicated websites for each of our partner institutions. These websites contain all the relevant information and links that we have available to help you find information about courses, eligibility and student life at each partner. Follow the links to the partner website to find the information you need to find study areas and choose your preferences.
Check the Application Brochures
You can jump straight into the Global Learning Application System by clicking the ‘Search by other criteria’ button above (or on the Global Learning home page). From here you can search through our partners by a number of criteria. You can also go straight to a certain institution’s listing by clicking the blue ‘View Application Brochure’ button on its Partner Page.
In particular, you can see the study areas taught by that university (a guide only, you should investigate the partner’s website for more detail), the number of units you will need to have completed by the time you apply and by the time you depart, and most importantly the Exchange Place Availability indicator. Remember that you won’t be able to apply for an institution that says ‘No places this round’, and must select at least one preference that says ‘High availability of places’ or ‘Moderate availability of places’.
If you are on an Application Brochure and want to find links to that partner’s website and extra information, follow the link next to ‘More Information’ near the top of the page and you will be taken to the appropriate Partner Page.
- Things to consider when choosing preferences
You should be able to tick the following boxes for each of your preferences before you apply.
- The institution offers enough appropriate courses in my academic area, in the semester(s) I will be there on exchange, that are available to exchange students. Students need Faculty Pre-approval and ultimately Faculty Approval for a minimum of 9 units of credit per exchange semester in order to be eligible for exchange.
- The institution offers courses at the appropriate level to my study ie undergraduate or postgraduate and the Academic Level parameter in the Global Learning Application System reflects this.
- The institution teaches in a language I speak competently
- I am on track to meet the minimum units required upon application and at time of commencement, and the minimum GPA
- The institution offers a student culture and accommodation options that suit my lifestyle and needs
- The estimated cost of living at the destination for the duration of my exchange is manageable for me. Refer to the Finances tab for information about costs you will need to consider and funding options. You can also refer to our partner university pages which may have links to estimated costs for individual partners.
- The institution offers any additional services that I require (eg disability support)
- I can meet my personal goals for my overseas experience if I attend this institution
- I have ascertained the above through proper research on the Global Learning and partner institution’s websites.
Students often focus on only one part of the world when considering their exchange destination. Particularly with a country such as the United States, this can mean that there is extremely high competition for very few places. We encourage you to consider a wide variety of locations. If you need to study in English, you don’t have to go to the USA, Canada or the UK. You could also look at Sweden, the Netherlands, Singapore, and other destinations where the whole curriculum is taught in English. You’ll find other international students like you from around the world at all of our partner institutions, and support services on campus to help you settle in.
Duration and Timing
Will you go on exchange for a semester or a year? Here are some things to help you decide:
- You need to be able to maintain a 75% (9 Adelaide unit) workload in every semester you’re on exchange, so you need to have space in your degree to receive full time credit for overseas study. Some partners will require a 100% load. This can be a challenge if you do not have many electives left.
- Some partner institutions are only available for exchange in certain semesters or certain combinations of semesters (eg will accept Full Year (July-July), but not Full Calendar year (Jan-Dec)).
- International students will need to ensure that they are preparing to take a study load that still allows them to complete their degree within the duration of their Australian CoE (speak to the ISC if you're not sure).
- There are other reasons you might choose either one or two semesters for an exchange. Factors such as friends and family, financial considerations, cultural factors, obligations at home, and many other things should be taken into account.
The exchange application process can seem complicated, but just requires some planning and organisation. Read the steps below to understand how it all works and what you'll need to do at each stage.
We've included some advice to help you make sure you get credit for your experience. The Global Learning Office doesn't decide whether or not you get credit, though - that's up to your Faculty, and you'll need to contact them if you have any questions about your credit.
- Step 1: Before you apply
Following the advice found in the Choosing Preferences tab, research our partner institutions and determine three suitable preferences, of which one must be of High or Moderate availability.
Ensure you will be able to receive credit:
Look closely at the university’s academic offerings and make sure there appear to be enough courses that you could receive a full time credit load. Students need Faculty Pre-approval and ultimately Faculty Approval for a minimum of 9 units of credit per exchange semester in order to be eligible for exchange.
- Step 2: Applying for exchange (Pre-Decision phase)
You can open an application by clicking the ‘Apply for Exchange’ button on any program's application brochure, which will take you to the Outbound Exchange Program application brochure. Click 'Apply Now' and log into the Global Learning Application System portal. The system will prompt you to log in with your University of Adelaide credentials. (You can always log back in through the ‘Current Applicant’ link on the Global Learning home page or clicking the Global Learning button in Unified.)
Once logged in, you will be asked to select the term for which you are applying. Semester 1 or Semester 2 applications are just for a single semester. If you want to go for two semesters starting in Semester 1, select Full (Calendar) Year. For two semesters starting in Semester 2, select Full Year.
You will now see the Pre-Decision phase of your exchange application. You should complete all components of your application before the application deadline. Take special note of all instructions!
Note: There is no final 'Submit' button to complete your application. You just need to ensure that everything is submitted before the deadline, excluding your Faculty Pre-Approval, which just needs to have all 'STUDENT' sections completed and the questionnaire saved.
Ensure you will be able to receive credit:
When you’re completing the Faculty Pre-Approval questionnaire, answer only the questions marked ‘STUDENT’ and indicate to your faculty advisor what you’re intending to do on exchange. This may be something like “I would like to use my 4 remaining electives” or “I will be trying to match core courses such as Course X and Course Y.” Save the questionnaire and your faculty advisor will complete and submit it on your behalf. Your faculty will have many of these requests to complete so please allow 3-4 weeks for completion. Students need Faculty Pre-approval and ultimately Faculty Approval for a minimum of 9 units of credit per exchange semester in order to be eligible for exchange.
- Step 3: Assessment by the Global Learning Office
After the application deadline has passed, the Global Learning Office will assess all applications and allocate students to exchange destinations. All students will be notified of their allocation through the Global Learning Application System on the decision date. Make sure you have researched and are happy with all of your preferences – many students will receive their second or third preferences and in some cases, additional preferences will need to be considered.
Ensure you will be able to receive credit:
The Global Learning Office will take into account the response from your faculty advisor regarding your eligibility to go on exchange. If your advisor doesn’t pre-approve your application, unfortunately you will not receive a placement. Students need Faculty Pre-approval and ultimately Faculty Approval for a minimum of 9 units of credit per exchange semester in order to be eligible for exchange.
- Step 4: Commitment and application to the host (Post-Decision phase)
You can choose to ‘Commit’ to your offered place, or ‘Decline’. You are now in the Post-Decision phase of your application, and more application components will appear for completion.
This is an important time to be monitoring your application in the Global Learning Application System and checking your emails as the Global Learning Office will be contacting you regularly and there will be many forms and documents to complete.
All exchange students will also complete an application to their host university. Global Learning will contact you directly regarding the application process. You should wait for instructions before attempting to apply to or contact the host institution.
Ensure you will be able to receive credit:
As soon as you have committed to your program, you should start looking for specific courses offered by your partner institution that fit into your degree. You should attach information such as course descriptions, credit loads, and assessment requirements to your Faculty Approval questionnaire. We recommend you seek approval for more courses than necessary in case some are not available. Again, only complete the questions marked ‘STUDENT’ and your faculty advisor will complete the rest.
Make sure, when choosing courses, that:
- They are available to exchange students
- They are offered in the study period you will be on exchange
- They are offered in a language of instruction for which you are eligible
- You meet any prerequisites associated with the course.
Some universities do not release their course catalogues until quite late. In this case, you could base your research on courses offered in the previous year and be open to revising them later.
Again, your Faculty will have many of these requests to complete so please allow 3-4 weeks for completion. If you have not received a response after 4 weeks, you can contact your advisor directly. We do not recommend that you make travel arrangements in advance of receiving final confirmation of your acceptance from your host institution, and credit approval from your Faculty. Until you receive these confirmations, your acceptance and credit is not guaranteed, and you may find yourself out-of-pocket for any arrangements you have made.
Students need Faculty Approval for a minimum of 9 units of credit per exchange semester in order to be eligible for exchange.
- Step 5: Acceptance by host
Finally, your host institution will send notification of your acceptance, either to the Global Learning Office or directly to you. Now it is time to finalise visas, arrange your finances and everything else involved in Preparing to Go!
You will still need to maintain contact with the Global Learning Office as there may still be steps for you to complete, especially if you are hoping to receive funding for your program.
Always remember that you can review your whole application, including information provided us and the exchange terms and conditions, by logging into the Global Learning Application System.
Ensure you will be able to receive credit:
Make sure you enrol in the correct dummy courses at the University of Adelaide, and when able, enrol in only your approved courses at your host institution. Students need Faculty Approval for a minimum of 9 units of credit per exchange semester in order to be eligible for exchange. You can read more about what you need to do before you go at Preparing to Go.
- Step 6: After you return
At the conclusion of your exchange, your academic transcript will be sent directly to the University of Adelaide. Once you have completed the returnee surveys and reflections visible in GLAS at the conclusion of your program, your transcript can be released to you and your Faculty for the transfer of appropriate credit. If you receive an exchange transcript direct from your host university, please send it directly to the Global Learning Office for verification, and not to your Faculty who will not accept transcripts from students directly.
Credit will be awarded based on successfully completing/receiving a passing grade for courses at the host university as will a grade of NFE (No Formal Examination). Please note: Time-frames for receipt of both results and transcripts from different universities vary.
Whilst your overseas grades are not assessed by your Adelaide faculty and therefore have no effect on your GPA, you may be asked to produce exchange transcripts and academic results for employment applications and as supporting documentation in other formal processes. Accordingly, you should endeavour to keep your marks as high as possible.
Exchange Application Fee
For students applying for exchange in the Semester 1, 2018 round, there is no Global Learning application fee. For students who applied for exchange for Semester 2, 2017 or earlier should consider the guidelines below before requesting a refund of their application fee.Can I have the application fee refunded?
We will only refund the fee under the following circumstances:
- Your course (Study Plan) approval is denied (and you can demonstrate that you took all necessary steps to ensure your eligibility to receive faculty approval - including obtaining Pre-Approval and following any suggestions included), or
- Unexpected and compelling reasons such as family emergencies, illness, and so on. You will be required to write a letter of withdrawal justifying the return of the application fee, and may be required to provide evidence.
In all cases, request for refund must be made within one month of withdrawal. Please note that application fees are not transferrable to other application rounds and, where not refunded in line with the refund policy above, will be forfeited if an application is discontinued in a given application round. New applications in a subsequent round will be liable for the fee as usual.
Note: It is up to you how long before the deadline you pay your application fee, but please note that until your fee is paid, your application will not be considered. Paying the fee in advance and then deciding not to continue with your application due to a change of mind is not grounds for a refund once paid.
We are often asked which costs are the student's responsibility while overseas. Your tuition fees at the host institution are waived, which can save you thousands of dollars, but otherwise your travel, living and entertainment costs are your responsibility.
We ask that all students consider the cost of exchange and how this would differ between partner universities before finalising exchange preferences. There are numerous study abroad budget calculators available online or you may choose a simple excel document. You should look for something which allows you to input your estimated expenses and subtract this from your estimated available funds, the required outcome being to have sufficient funds to cover your expenses.
Costs you will need to consider
- Your home course fees (at the University of Adelaide). Course fees at your partner university are waived by agreement, however you must still pay course fees as you normally would at home (through HECS or direct payment). In addition, you will still be liable for the Student Services Amenities Fee each semester you are away, which can also be paid through HECS or directly to the University.
- Airfares and travel costs - flights to and from your exchange destination, and side-trips or excursions you may undertake whilst on exchange.
- Accommodation - this varies widely depending on your destination. Most partner universities will provide an accommodation guide.
- Food and meals.
- General living expenses - entertainment, public transport, personal items, etc.
- Passports and visa costs.
- Some partner universities will require students to pay the equivalent of a SSAF direct to them. This will be in addition to your University of Adelaide SSAF. There are some cases where this fee is greater than the SSAF at the University of Adelaide.
In creating a budget for your exchange, you should consider both the length of time you intend to spend overseas and the cost of living at your destination. Our partner pages provide information about cost of living and other institution-specific expenses as provided by partner universities. There are also resources you can access online such as destination guides and visitor information that will provide an additional indication of how much it will cost to live and study in at your destination.
As an exchange student, your travel insurance is covered under the University of Adelaide's Travel Insurance policy. However, if study for a period that exceeds the maximum allowed by this travel insurance, or undertake activities that are outside the policy's coverage, you may need to pay an additional amount (before you depart) to ensure you are fully covered, and for which you should budget.
In some cases, students will be required to purchase specific health insurance as directed by their host institution. For more information, read about insurance here.
As an exchange student, there are several options which you may use to fund your exchange.
- OS-HELP loans
- Scholarships (both home and foreign)
- Global Learning Travel Grant
- Personal savings
- Centrelink (if eligible - Global Learning is not affiliated with Centrelink)
For more information about paying for your exchange, see the Global Learning Funding page.
The best way to find out what it is really like to live and study at one of our partner universities is by hearing it straight from a past student! Here are some resources that can help you find what you need to make your decision.
The Global Learning Blog contains over a hundred blog posts written by our students while on exchange around the world. Every blog post is tagged so you can search by city, country, or institution. We also have returned student testimonials on our Student Reflections page. Know what it’s like to be on exchange directly from someone who’s been there before you!
We sent a videographer to meet with our students while they were studying overseas to capture their thoughts and experiences:
Exchange Student Network
ESN Adelaide is a student-run club dedicated to students who have been, are going on, or are visiting Adelaide on a study abroad or exchange program. Get in contact with them on Facebook to meet other exchange-minded students and ask them about their experiences!
The Global Society
The Global Society is a membership based organisation for globally-minded Australian university students like you. Members are comprised of students who are about to depart on an overseas study experience, students who are currently studying overseas and students and professionals who have returned from overseas study.
The Global Society's Community Forum
One of The Global Society’s resources is their national study abroad and exchange forum. Access is available to all University of Adelaide students with a university email. In the forums, you can ask questions about exchange and overseas study or browse through past discussions. Click here to start using the forums today.
The Global Society Full Membership
Full membership to The Global Society is automatically granted to all University of Adelaide students who have been accepted into a semester or year exchange program. If you have been accepted to study on exchange for a semester or year, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started, including your name and “UOA”. Your benefits as a Global Society Member includes access to resources on flights, student identity cards, international travel sims and other travel needs, and region-specific Facebook groups. For more information, visit The Global Society's website.