The benefits of student exchange
If you have already made the move to Australia to study, it might seem strange to go to another country for one or two semesters on a student exchange program. However, as an international fee student, the option is readily available to you. There is no better time to try an exchange than during the course of your university degree — exchange offers you a great opportunity to experience even more of the world while completing your studies in Australia.
Some of the advantages:
- You get to experience two countries — Exchange allows international students to experience what it is like to live in two different countries over the course of their degree, which is a great option for students who struggled to decide between the various international study destinations.
- Expand your language skills — Exchange provides you with an opportunity to further develop your English skills in a new environment where English usage may differ, or you could develop your skills in a different language.
- Double your benefits — Studying in Australia is already developing your confidence, expanding your worldview, providing you with a first-class education and improving your résumé; an exchange will add to these benefits and maximise your studies in Australia.
- Educational benefits — Exchange enables you to add to the knowledge that you are learning in your Australian course by trying new specialisations and learning in a different cultural context.
- Make sure you approach your institution’s international exchange office and apply early (at least six months in advance) because exchange programs are highly competitive and may take some time to organise due to the approvals required from both institutions and the timetabling that must occur.
- Research your exchange destinations carefully (you can view these on your institution’s website). Initially your options may seem overwhelming, so it is important to narrow them down to a just a few institutions according to the countries you are interested in, the language in which classes are held and the courses offered (for example, a design university in Milan would be an ideal destination for a fashion student). You will generally need to pick more than one potential exchange institution in case the exchange office cannot secure your first preference.
- Exchange is not your only option; you may also want to consider a study abroad program, a research exchange program, short courses, international internships, international volunteering or studying at an overseas campus of your institution.
- Once you have been accepted you can apply for exchange grants and scholarships offered by your home institution, book your flights, apply for visas and organise your accommodation (your exchange institution will help with this). International students with Australian student visas need to make sure that their visa covers the full exchange period.
For more information on student exchange and study abroad, including features and eligibility requirements, click here.