Plan your overseas study

While studying overseas is a great experience, it's important to ensure your studies will fit into your degree so that you can complete your degree requirements and graduate. You will need to carefully consider which host institution has the right subjects for your overall study experience.

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First, have you chosen your program?

Before continuing with this stage of the process, you'll need to have decided on which program type is right for you. If you need help, take a look at Choose the right program page.

Keep in mind

  • Do not pay for any flights or other bookings until everything is approved and you have been accepted into your host institution.
  • Prepare backup preferences! Around 20 per cent of students are not selected for their first preference, so we suggest you thoroughly research at least three institutions.
  • The overseas exchange credit planning checklist is a great tool you can use to ensure you are picking host institutions that will fit with your degree requirements.

Must do

  • Ensure you meet the eligibility guidelines

    To be eligible to participate in a semester and year-long program you must*:

    • Be enrolled as a student at the University of Melbourne.
    • Have completed a minimum of two study periods (undergraduate students) or one study period (graduate students) at the University of Melbourne before departure.
    • Not have an 'at risk' status at the time of application or before commencing the overseas study program.
    • Not have conditions imposed by the Course Unsatisfactory Progress Committee.
    • Not be subject to an undischarged misconduct penalty, suspended for misconduct, or become suspended any time before commencing the overseas study program.

    There is no minimum Weighted Average Mark (WAM) criteria.

    *Melbourne Law School students are required to satisfy eligibility requirements as outlined by the School including a 65% WAM requirement.

    More information can be found on the Eligibility page.

  • Attend myWorld First Step session

    myWorld First Steps is a compulsory online program for anyone thinking about applying for an exchange program. Through the program, you'll receive important information from our advisers about the exchange application process and how to plan for exchange within your degree.

    You can access myWorld First Steps via the Canvas Course Catalogue.

    This program is compulsory for students applying for semester or/and year long exchange. You are required to confirm your completion of the program in your application.

  • Understand your degree requirements

    It is important to understand how your overseas study will fit into your degree. This means understanding what subjects you will need to take for your University of Melbourne degree while abroad.

    The Overseas Study Planner is the tool that you will use to seek credit transfer approval for the subjects you would like to study while overseas. Note that:

    • You will complete your Overseas Study Planner after you have completed your application and been advised of your host institution allocation.
    • On your application, you will only need to list the subject discipline areas you intend to take and whether they are core, breadth, or elective in your University of Melbourne degree.
    • You need to ensure all host institution preferences you list have the right subjects for your degree.

    To get help ensuring you are choosing the right subject areas and host institutions for your degree, you can:

    If your preferred host institution subject offerings do not fit into your University of Melbourne degree, you may not be able to go on exchange.

  • Choose a host destination

    Selecting your destination is one of the most exciting parts of planning an overseas study experience. However, with so many institutions to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start researching. In our When and where to travel section, there's useful tips and advice to help you narrow down the list of potential host institutions.

    We recommend you thoroughly research your top three preferences, in case your first preference is unavailable. Base your choice of institution on academic opinion, not just general reputation! Speak with academics here at Melbourne about overseas study and ask their opinion on appropriate destinations. Often institutions will excel in particular disciplines and choosing the right one could set you up for great career paths or future study. You can book an appointment with a Stop 1 adviser to better understand what subjects you will need to take abroad and which institutions can offer these subjects.

    If you are weighing up whether to study overseas for a semester or a year, it is best to apply for the year. Reducing your time overseas is a lot easier than extending it if you decide you want to stay.

    Search our Programs Database for partner institutions

    You can search the University of Melbourne’s Programs Database to find suitable host institutions for your overseas study. Using the search functions 'parameters', you can customise and filter options specific to your interests and areas of academic pursuits.

    • Program type: This refers to the type of study program you are looking for (eg. exchange, short-term)
    • Agreement type: Sometimes only students from a certain faculty will have the opportunity to study at a particular host institution. This will depend on the type of agreement the University of Melbourne has with them. Leave this filter as 'General' unless you want to discover opportunities only available to your particular faculty.
    • Level: Depending on where you go, certain institutions might only accept undergraduate students, while some are only open to graduate and graduate research students. Filter by what is applicable to you.
    • Language of instruction: While most of our partner host institutions teach in English, some institutions might conduct classes in another language. It is important to note that while you might have proficiency in a language, the level of language skill used for academic curriculum might be different from what you are used to. You are encouraged to sit a placement test when applicable. Please note that for non-English speaking countries, classes in English might be offered but can be limited depending on the subject discipline.
    • Discipline: If you are pursuing a major, this filter will limit results to programs which match your area of study. Programs which are available for all areas of study will not appear when using this filter.

Good to do

  • Drop into Stop 1

    Stop 1 advisers are available if you would like some personalised course planning help. The advisers will look at your situation and work with you to help you formulate a plan. Contact Stop 1 for further information.

  • Attend an Explore my Exchange Options session

    There are Explore my Exchange Options sessions held by Education Abroad Advisers available to assist you with making a decision on where to study overseas. The sessions are tailored by region, and you will have a chance to meet returned exchange students and international exchange students studying on campus. Check out what sessions are available and register on our student services workshops and sessions page.

What's next?

Step 2: Complete your application

The University has updated its current travel advice to all students due to COVID-19, and overseas study will not be possible in Semester 2. Read the latest travel advice or find out more about completing semester exchange in 2021.