Picking when and where you want to study overseas will be two of the biggest decisions you will make, so it’s important to consider your options carefully. To make your selection a little bit easier, we’ve come up with a list of things you may want to consider.
Selecting a date and destination is a very personal process, and will depend on your selected program, time restraints and personal preference.
It is always a good idea to research a variety of options, as the first destination that comes to mind may not be the one that offers the best experience for you. You also need to consider not only the countries, but the number of host institutions located in each.
Similarly, having some flexibility in the time you would like to go will open up many opportunities and help to build an unforgettable experience.
Keep in mind
Start and end times for semesters vary in some destinations. This may affect how long you have to complete your application or which destinations are a viable option for you. Different programs have different due dates, so allow yourself plenty of time to complete the application process.
If you are planning to be overseas in the final semester of your degree, there may be delays to your graduation.
Deciding where to study
Things to consider
- What is your main motivation for studying overseas?
- Do you plan on doing any personal travel while you’re away?
- Do you have family overseas?
- Are you interested in exploring your family history?
- Do you have a must-see destination?
By considering these questions, you’ll start to formulate an idea of the destinations that interest you. Your main motivation is particularly important, as those looking to explore family roots will vary to those looking for host institutions that excel in their field of study. Keep an open mind and research a number of options before making your final decision.
"Most students tend to overlook countries in Asia, but I think there’s plenty of things to see and do, even in a small country like Singapore."
"For my semester abroad, I really wanted to go to the UK. My immediate thoughts were to go to London. I stumbled across St Andrews one day when I was doing a search on the Programs Database and I was hooked."
Working out when to go
Things to consider
- When can you fit overseas study into your course?
- How long do you have to complete your application?
- How long do you want to go for?
- Is weather a factor for you?
- Do you have other commitments that you need to work around?
It is highly recommended that you leave plenty of time to thoroughly research, plan and complete an application for overseas study. Application dues dates are something you should consider as early as possible before you make a decision. Different programs will have different time frames, which you can see in the section below.
"I have gone to university wearing five layers of clothing and still shivering, bright-eyed with wonder as I watch snow falling in the middle of an urban street."
"It is not as cold in St Andrews as you might think. It is still cold for those of us who are not used to European winters, however it is nothing a big jacket, scarf and beanie can’t fix."
Semester and year-long exchange programs
It can take time to properly research the programs and destinations that are right for you. We recommend starting to think about your application for a semester or year-long exchange approximately 12 months prior to when you would like your experience to commence.
Semester 1: May of the year prior
Semester 2: October of the year prior
The upcoming deadline for the Semester 1, 2021 Exchange program is Friday 3 July 2020.
Semester and year-long non-partner programs
It can take time to properly research the programs and destinations that are right for you. You will need to start applying for a semester or year-long non-partner program approximately 6 months prior to when you would like your experience to take place.
Semester 1: October of the year prior
Semester 2: May of the same year
The upcoming deadline for the Semester 1, 2021 non-partner program is Friday 3 July 2020.
You will need to start applying for a short-term program in the semester prior to when you would like your experience to take place.
Winter break: April/May of the same year
Summer break: October/November of the same year
Winter 2020 short-term programs have rolling deadlines: Monday 17 February - Sunday 17 May 2020.
Please note: Applications that are complete and submitted may be processed prior to the program deadline – visit the Programs Database for specific application deadlines.
University of Melbourne Overseas Subject (UMOS)
The application deadlines for UMOS vary depending on the subject. You can find the application deadline of the UMOS you are considering in the subject's Handbook entry.
Each Non-credit program has its own application dates and timelines.
Programs for graduate researchers
Different dates and timelines apply depending on what type of overseas study you'd like to complete.