Why Study Overseas
Diversify your studies, become a global citizen, and make the world your classroom!
Overseas study offers a broad range of personal, academic, and professional benefits. It presents a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a foreign culture, experience a different education system, and make connections with people from all corners of the globe. 98% of our returned students would recommend overseas study to their friends!
Whether it’s a short 2-week Study Tour in China or a whole year of exchange in France, you can choose an experience that suits you.
Still need convincing? Watch the video and read on to hear what other students have said about their experiences studying abroad.
- See the World
Isadora Aldam, University of British Columbia
Location: Alberta, Canada
Talk to any student who has studied overseas and they will no doubt tell you that travelling around their host country and continent was a highlight of their time away. Studying abroad is a fantastic way to explore the unfamiliar without needing to extend the length of your degree..
- Live in a dream destination
- Explore your host city and country
- Go on day, weekend, and road trips to neighbouring countries
- Create lifelong memories with new global friends
- Try new things and dive into adventure!
Where Can You Go?
- See some of the amazing places our students have visited on Instagram and Facebook!
- Browse our student blogs by location
- Search our application database for current opportunities
- Browse our exchange programs by location
Waseda University, Japan
“I’ve travelled more than I’ve ever travelled in my life, which is an irresistible urge when in a brand-new country: stood on lonely island beaches where the sea and sun and sky merged into one, watched super-volcanoes belch smoke and ash, blundered down treacherous rainforest tracks in the howling rain, and undertaken a surreal 36-hour, 30-train cross-country train trip just for the sake of it.” Read the full blog post.
University of Strasbourg, France
“We went on trips to all the adorable old towns, and tasted wine in the nearby wine region. We took day trips to Germany just because we could. I went skiing for a day in the Vosges Mountains. In the university breaks I went on incredible holidays to Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin and Vienna and other French cities.” Read the full blog post.
- Experience a New Culture
Araj Haider, Beyond the Great Wall: Public Health in China Study Tour
Location: Shandong, China
Another exciting aspect of studying overseas is the opportunity to live in a foreign country, rather than to just visit as a tourist. Take part in an overseas study program and:
- Immerse yourself in a foreign culture – experience different languages, cuisines, and customs
- Boost your language skills
- Live like a local and become part of the community
- Expand your world view and develop an interest in global affairs
- Experience new perspectives and ways of living, and challenge your own ‘norms’
- Develop intercultural competence
Overseas Study Opportunities Include:
- 2 to 4 week intensive programs for a specific topic through a Study Tour
- Short intensive courses across a variety of disciplines at an overseas University through a Summer or Winter School
- A semester or year of study across a variety of disciplines at one of our partner universities through our Exchange Program
- Short programs through Third Party Providers, Internships, Placements, and Volunteering
- Practically anything overseas that you can count towards your degree, through our Self-reporting Programs.
Lund University, Sweden
“As an exchange student, you have the opportunity to meet and form friendships with locals, and to become truly immersed in the culture of your host country – after all, you are not simply visiting, but are living in that country.” Read the full blog post.
Stendhal University, France
“I would highly recommend studying abroad especially in a non-English speaking country. It can be daunting at first and the language barrier is intimidating, however, it is an excellent opportunity to improve your language skills both socially and in an academic setting.” Read full blog post.
- Learn from a Different Perspective
Keisha Nguyen, Deep Water Deep Jungle Study Tour
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Break out of your study routine by learning at a different institution, or taking an intensive short course. Tertiary education systems vary from country to country, and an international dimension can add value to your degree in many ways:
- Experience alternative teaching styles, learning methods, and study expectations
- Gain an international perspective in your field of study
- Learn about topics on-location where they have the most impact
- Work with international academics and researchers
- Take courses not offered at the University of Adelaide
- Renew or change your academic focus
The learning benefits of overseas study are not just limited to the classroom. Studying abroad also presents an invaluable opportunity for experiential learning. Expand your mind and world view by interacting with people who hold opinions and beliefs different to your own, by travelling and saying yes to new experiences.
Pitzer College, USA
“The schooling methodology and teaching style feels quite different than at Adelaide University mostly due to their focus on small class sizes. This cozy style gives the whole experience a high school feel and suddenly not showing up to class seems like a huge deal (unlike in a class of 200 where it can feel like you won't be missed).” Read the full blog post.
University of Edinburgh, UK
“While abroad my inspiration for essays no longer comes from textbooks and articles, but from things I’ve experienced too…No longer is my university experience just about churning out mechanical papers and achieving high grades, but about drawing upon global experiences and perspectives to better myself as an academic and person.” Read the full blog post.
- Enhance Your Future Career
Sanjna Singh, University of Pittsburgh Exchange
Location: San Francisco, USA
Although it might not be top of your list of reasons to study abroad right now, global study experiences can be of incredible professional value. Taking part in an overseas study program can give you a leg up in the following ways:
- Create international professional connections by networking with other students, academics, and professional organisations
- Develop the ability to communicate and build relationships with people from other cultures
- Develop the capacity to adapt to new environments and deal with change
- Demonstrate to employers that you are a self-starter and have real-world experience beyond your borders
- Take part in an overseas study tour or internship in your field of study
- Expand your resume
You can talk to Careers Services directly about your career goals and how study overseas can increase your employability. Visit the Careers Services website for more information.
If you’d like to read more about how your overseas experience can contribute towards your future career, we recommend reading the IEAA report “Outcomes of Learning Abroad Programs” (2016) and the IIE report “Gaining an Employment Edge: The Impact of Study Abroad on 21st Century Skills and Career Prospects in the United States, 2013-2016” (2017).
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
“Asia is a fantastic place to build networks relevant to your career, both with likeminded peers and industry leaders. I did some volunteering, was involved with the Australia-China Youth Association and interned with leading law firm King & Wood Mallesons while in Shanghai - these opportunities gave me insight and experience that was personally valuable and relevant to career pathways both at home and abroad.” Read the full blog post.
Careers Education Officer, University of Adelaide
“In a global job market, students who have overseas experience are often described by employers as the self-selecting elite, meaning for the many jobs on offer requiring cross-cultural communication skills and global awareness, you will naturally rise to the top.” For more information, see the Careers Services website.
- Develop as a Person
Daphne McLeod, Beneath the Waves Study Tour
Location: Timor Leste
Stepping outside the comfortable bounds of everyday life and into new and distant environments can work to develop a variety of valuable personal attributes, including:
- Confidence, communication and interpersonal skills
- Resilience, adaptability, and problem-solving skills
- Independence, autonomy, and practical skills
- Self-awareness and self-discovery
- Cultural competency
Feedback from Our Returned Students;
- 98% found this experience changed their life for the better
- 96% now have the confidence to do some things in life that they didn’t before
- 90% feel like they have a better understanding of how the world works
Paige Le Cornu
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
“I learnt a lot about myself, my limits, my motivations, and how I deal with and adapt to new and different situations. I learnt new ways of problem solving and gained a lot more confidence with who I am." Read the full blog post.
University of Strasbourg, France
“The freedom I felt living in France was incredible…Suddenly I was able to be just myself, or whoever I wanted to be, outside the context of my normal life.” Read the full blog post.
Bocconi University, Italy
“Search “study abroad” on the UoA website and you’ll receive dozens of results stating how exchange programs are “life-changing” and “unforgettable.” As I prepare to head home from spending a semester studying at Bocconi University in Milan, I can confirm that the hype is accurate." Read the full blog post.
- Form Global Friendships
Ruby Lyons-Reid, Utrecht University Exchange
Location: Maastricht, The Netherlands
When you study overseas you will meet, study, live, and travel with many different people – those from your host country, as well as international and exchange students from all around the world. Creating an international network of lifelong friends represents the true value of studying abroad (having places to stay when you visit their home countries in the future is an added bonus!)
- Create international friendships through shared experiences
- Join local clubs and societies
- Create lifelong memories with new global friends
- Find new opportunities to connect with other students, both abroad and in Adelaide
Before and after you go, you can still access international communities in Adelaide. Join the Exchange Student Network (ESN) to get in contact with returned students and students from overseas who are studying in Adelaide; join the Global Society forums; or join a University of Adelaide cultural club.
University of Mannheim, Germany
“Since all the other exchange students are in the same boat, everyone is eager to meet new people, make friends, experience new things, and have fun. You will never struggle to make friends.” Read the full blog post.
Hosei University, Japan
“I made many friends from Japan and all across the world! I had my group of fellow exchange students who I would get curry with on Mondays and Ramen on Thursdays, as well as my dorm friends who I would get brunch with in Omotesando on Saturdays and sushi on Sundays." Read the full blog post.
University of Canterbury, New Zealand
“Exchange has enabled me to meet people from all corners of the world and make lifelong friendships through the places I've travelled. I'm fairly certain that I now have a couch to sleep on in most countries around the world!" Read the full blog post.
Ready to Get Started?
You’ll need to choose an experience that suits you. The main things to consider before you start an application include location, duration, cost, eligibility, and course credit towards your study plan.
- Learn about things to consider when choosing an experience on The Low Down
- Explore the types of experiences available on our Options page
- Discuss what experiences will work for your study plan by contacting your Faculty Course Advisor
- Plan your funding and expenses to afford your trip on our Funding page
- Subscribe for updates and announcements about our programs by connecting with Global Learning on Facebook
If you need any support with understanding your options and the application processes, please contact us. To find out if your preferred experience can fit into your study plan and receive recognition towards your University of Adelaide degree, contact your Faculty. You can find a list of Faculty contacts on our Faculty & Advisors page.