Study Overseas Basics

Are you brand new to studying overseas?

If you're yet to begin your Study Overseas journey, find out all you need to know here.

  • Why should I 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, 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.

    Don't just take our word for it - hear more from our students!

  • Types of study overseas programs

    Study Overseas supports students in undertaking a wide variety of international study programs. This table summarises the main program types. Click the name of the program type for more information. 

    Program type What is it? Who should apply? How do you apply? What costs are involved?
    Semester exchange A semester- or year-length program which involves students from the University of Adelaide attending a partner institution on a fee-waiver basis. Students with the flexibility and independence to leave Adelaide for a semester or year, and who are on track to have completed at least one semester of full-time study at the time of application. Apply through SMART before the advertised deadline. All exchange programs close at the same time each semester. Enrol at Adelaide; tuition fees are paid or deferred as usual and overseas tuition fees are waived. You are responsible for all living expenses.
    Study Tours A short program, usually 2-4 weeks in length, co-ordinated by University of Adelaide academic staff and with pre-set academic requirements and credit arrangements. Students who may not have the lifestyle or degree flexibility to study overseas for a full semester, or who would prefer to try a shorter program first, and would like to travel in a group setting. Apply through SMART before the advertised deadline. Study tour deadlines vary depending on the program. As a study tour is an Adelaide course, you enrol at Adelaide and pay or defer fees as usual. Program fees do apply separately and require upfront payment.
    Short Programs Short intensives, including summer or winter exchange programs and third party provider programs. Students who wish to take a shorter program but may wish to choose from a wider range of study options beyond University of Adelaide study tours. Application process varies; follow the instructions on the Short Programs page. Tuition and/or program fees may be payable to the program provider, or in some cases a fee-waiver may apply to selected Adelaide students.*
    Self-reporting programs Any type of overseas study experience including study abroad, internships, placements, third party provider programs and so on, where a student organises their program independently of Study Overseas. Students who are interested in an overseas experience that is not offered or managed via the University of Adelaide (i.e., is not one of the program types listed above). Apply to your program provider directly. Register your plans in SMART.

    Tuition and/or program fees will usually apply and are payable directly to your provider.*

    *Any program that does not require enrolment at the University of Adelaide while overseas may impact on your ability to access Centrelink while away. Always check your travel plans with Centrelink before committing.

  • Explore our programs

    Semester programs

    Semester or year programs, including exchanges at our 120+ partner universities around the world.

    Short programs


    Short-term intensive overseas programs during semester breaks.

    Global IQ Connect

    An extra-curricular, intercultural program here in Adelaide, closely linked with the Adelaide Graduate Award. Participate either before going overseas, after coming back or as an alternative to an overseas experience.

  • Seeking help and advice

    Program support

    Your best contact for assistance with organising your overseas program may vary depending on what sort of experience you're undertaking. Use the table below for quick reference, but you can always contact Study Overseas in the first instance if you're not sure where to go next.

      Application process Credit and degree questions Program logistics and advice
    Exchange programs Study Overseas Faculty advisor Study Overseas; your host university once you have been accepted
    Study tours Study Overseas Faculty advisor Study Tour leader
    Short programs

    May be Study Overseas, or your program provider - check the program brochure

    Faculty advisor Your program provider
    Self-reporting programs Your program provider Faculty advisor Your program provider

    Student feedback and advice

    Study Overseas publishes many student stories and testimonials on our news page, and organises information sessions and events for students who are thinking about applying or who are already in the application process with us.

  • Family and friends

    Study Overseas sees many students realise their dreams by studying overseas every year. We also recognise that this leaves many proud (but also potentially anxious!) loved ones.

    Study Overseas is subject to the University's privacy policy, and as such will only correspond directly with students regarding their overseas program. Study Overseas is available via phone and email every weekday. Students are encouraged to reach out to us directly if issues arise, as this will allow us to discuss their situation fully.

    However, we understand that it is useful for loved ones to have an understanding of how our processes work, so that they can support students in their adventures. We hope this information will be of assistance.

    Responsible parties

    Study Overseas

    We help facilitate your student's overseas experience. In the case of exchange programs, we select students for nomination to our partner institutions. Decisions regarding admission and enrolment rests with the host institution, rather than with Study Overseas. We will nominate and advocate for students, but cannot force any decisions on behalf of host universities.

    We also assess eligibility and process applications for scholarships, grants and OS-HELP loans. More details can be found on our funding page.

    Study Overseas is the only party that should liaise with the partner institution, at least until the student has been accepted by that institution. If you have any questions regarding a partner institution, they should first be addressed to Study Overseas (from the student). This does not apply for self-reporting programs.


    Studying overseas is excellent for fostering a sense of self-reliance and independence in students. The need to research and work through processes is normal in order for an application to be successful. It should be the student's expectation that some independent work will be required in order to participate in an overseas experience.

    Students are responsible for ensuring that they are applying to appropriate programs, meeting deadlines as well as supplying information in an accurate and timely fashion. It's also necessary for students to monitor their emails to ensure they are receiving all instructions and updates.

    Faculty offices

    A student's faculty makes all decisions regarding their academic program, including credit eligibility and transfer. Students often complete all correspondence with their faculty office via SMART, our online application system. Students are advised to allow 3-4 weeks for credit approval before following up with their faculty adviser. It is the student's responsibility to allow adequate time.

    For study tours, the relevant Faculty or School will also be responsible for the selection process and program logistics.

    Host universities

    When students are accepted to a host university, they become a student of that university and as such are subject to the same rules and requirements as local students. Agreements and contracts signed by a student to that university are binding, and the University of Adelaide will not interfere except in circumstances where a student's safety or wellbeing may be in question.

    Visas, flights, insurance, immigration

    Our applicant support page contains information regarding these matters.

    Study Overseas is not legally able to advise students on visa matters. Students can find information about how to obtain a visa from their acceptance documents for their overseas programs, or by checking with the relevant Embassy or Consulate. We have no involvement in the logistics for students' programs as most are independently organised, which means that students need to obtain visas, book flights, arrange transfers and so on. For some Study Tours, the relevant School or Faculty may make some of these arrangements for the student, and in that case the relevant Course Coordinator or School should be contacted.

    It is never recommended for students to book flights until they have been officially accepted into their program from the host organisation and have qualified for a visa. This may mean booking within a couple of months of departure. Some students may choose to book flights in advance to obtain cheaper airfares, but should be aware that Study Overseas will not pressure host institutions to expedite acceptances or other paperwork to accommodate their plans. As such, students do so at their own risk. Students who plan to leave Australia earlier than necessary to travel in advance of their program may run into similar issues.

    The University's travel insurance policy covers all students travelling on University business - this automatically applies if a student is receiving academic credit for an overseas program, or is otherwise endorsed by the Head of School. Students should read the university's travel insurance policy carefully. Queries regarding travel insurance should be directed towards the University's Legal and Risk Branch. In some cases, students will need to purchase local insurance at their destination.

    What if something goes wrong?

    The University of Adelaide has partnered with AIG Travel to provide students with medical and security assistance whilst abroad. In an emergency, students should contact AIG Travel directly using their membership card (+60 3 2772 5642) and quote the policy number as listed on the University of Adelaide Travel Insurance Guide

    If a student is having issues overseas with their studies, accommodation or host institution they should contact Study Overseas directly. We understand that those close to the student wish to assist by contacting us on their behalf, however it is far more effective for students to contact us in writing (via email) with an outline of their issues so that we can take action on their behalf if needed. It’s important to note that Study Overseas cannot take action on a student's behalf without the express consent of that student.

    Once a student has contacted Study Overseas with their concerns, we will act on their behalf and liaise with any relevant parties.

    How can students stay safe?

    Health and safety of our students is of paramount importance to us and to our partner institutions. Before students travel overseas on one of our programs, they are given detailed briefings regarding what to expect and what they can do if they need support.

    Students are always encouraged to become familiar with their host institution's health, safety and wellbeing services once they arrive.

    In addition, students can always reach out to Study Overseas for support while they are away, and access online resources provided by the Wellbeing Hub.

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