Here you can find support for UNSW students to study on exchange with our overseas partner institutions. We recommend you refer to our Student Exchange Moodle tutorial for more information.  For Exchange to UNSW, please see our information for students of overseas partner institutions.

Please note - UNSW continues to review and monitor the COVID-19 situation and relies on advice from Australian Federal Departments as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for travel related matters.  We are hopeful that outbound programs for 2022 will go ahead and information will be provided to students as it becomes available.  Please visit the UNSW COVID-19 website, in particular Travel Advice for the latest updates.  You may also wish to consider a virtual program.

Program overview

Through student exchange, undergraduate, honours and postgraduate coursework students gain credit towards their degree while studying, living and travelling overseas. Exchange is also eligible for recognition on your AHEGS. From China to Germany to the United States, you can choose from a wide range of courses which may not be offered at UNSW. You aren't limited to studying in English speaking countries as many of our partners teach their courses in English.

How does it work?

As a UNSW student, you can study on exchange at one of our partner institutions for up to one year.

Student exchange is part of your degree. The way it works is that you remain enrolled at UNSW while on exchange and, at the end of your exchange, you bring a full-time credit load back to your UNSW degree. Exchange does not add extra time to your studies.

You will be completing your exchange within the partner university’s academic session/s and you can check the terms you will be away for by comparing UNSW term dates with the Partner’s academic calendar. See Academic Calendar for information on how our terms work for exchange.

The courses you take and pass at the partner university are credited back to your UNSW degree (to a maximum of 24 credit units per half year). However, the specific marks you attain for each course are not transferred. Your transcript simply shows satisfactory for the courses transferred. You will receive a copy of the partner university's transcript at the end of your exchange.

Cost and scholarships

It is important to plan your finances. As a general rule, you should be able to show that you will have at least AUD$3,000 available to you for every month of the exchange.

You will need to cover your living expenses, including accommodation, travel and food. Living costs vary according to your destination. Visit the international students sections of the partner institution websites to find out more about the cost of living, specific to each city.

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

Tuition fees

Some destinations may require you to pay additional fees but in general, you do not pay tuition fees to your host university. Instead, you continue to pay tuition to UNSW.

A student exchange program 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 in turn determines your contribution or tuition band fee rate and the amount you are charged.

Scholarships and financial assistance

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


At first studying overseas on exchange might seem daunting but as returned students will tell you - it's worth it! The entire application process takes about nine months and you should also expect to spend about six weeks researching your options before the application deadline so it is a good idea to start planning a year in advance.  You can start your research by seeing where you can study. Think about your goals and what you hope to get out of your exchange. There are many amazing opportunities available to you!

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.
  • You need at least 18 remaining units of credit in your degree at the start of your exchange.
  • 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

  • Are eligible to apply.

Honours students

  • Are eligible to apply but you should speak to your faculty about how exchange will impact your program. Students wishing to undertake research overseas should refer to research overseas.

Postgraduate coursework students

  • Are eligible to apply if their degree is at least 72 units of credit in duration.

Postgraduate research students

Sponsored students

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

Key dates


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


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

How and when to apply

When can I apply?

  • Undergraduate students - Can apply after completing at least 18 units of credit. This is generally from Term 3 of your first year.
  • Honours students - Usually go on exchange in the 1st term of the Honours year. Speak to your faculty about how exchange will impact your program.
  • Postgraduate coursework students - Full-time students with 72 units of credit need to apply in their 1st Term.  Full-time students with 96 units of credit can apply in the following round.  Please consult with the Exchange Office.

Application deadlines

There are 2 application deadlines each year:

  • May - for student exchange in Term 1, of the next year.
  • September/October - for student exchange in Term 3, of the next year.

Late applications incur a late fee (AUD$100) and may not be accepted. Please contact us for specific details.

How do I apply?

Step 1: To start the application process and to access the application form, you need to first complete the Student Exchange Tutorial.

Step 2: Map out your courses for exchange and plan your degree to graduate on time.

Step 3: Attend an Information Session. You can talk to an Exchange Advisor at one of the online drop in sessions about any specific questions you have.  

Step 4: Apply by the application deadline.

Virtual Exchange

Did you know that some of our exchange partners are offering virtual opportunities?  You can study online and take courses at the host university while it is not possible to travel.  Virtual and online experiences are a great opportunity to develop your global competencies and make international connections from the comfort of your own home. 

Check out our Learning Abroad News for new opportunities as they become available. To be eligible, you must apply by the deadline and be nominated for a virtual exchange place by the UNSW Study Abroad and Exchange Office.  

We recommend you talk to your Faculty Office about getting courses approved before you apply, and you will need Faculty approval to receive credit for any virtual exchange courses. You can do this by completing the virtual exchange course approval form and submitting it along with the course outlines from the Host Institution via the Cross Institutional Study webform.  Please refer to our Student Exchange Moodle tutorial for further information.

Need more information?

Contact our friendly student advisers for advice on Exchange and Learning Abroad opportunities.  We recommend sending an enquiry while staff are working remotely:

Office addressJohn Goodsell Building, Room G30
Phone02 9385 3179 
EmailSend enquiry
Information SessionAttend information session