Inbound students Study Abroad and Exchange at the University of Melbourne

Frequently Asked Questions: General information


How does exchange work?

As the term implies, you exchange your place here at the University of Melbourne, with a student from a partner institution. You continue to enrol at the University of Melbourne as if you are physically here then you go to a partner institution where (theoretically) you take the place of a student who is coming to Melbourne. You continue to pay fees/HECS to Melbourne and therefore do not pay these fees to your host institution. The studies you do on exchange must be for credit towards your University of Melbourne degree.


Can I go to a destination not on the partner list?

No. If you plan to study at an institution not on the partner list you will need to make your own arrangements to study there. You will most likely have to pay tuition fees at the institution. You will still need to seek faculty approval if you want credit for these studies. See your Faculty advisor if you are planning independent studies overseas.


Where should I go?

People select their exchange destinations for a variety of reasons. If you are unsure of which destinations to choose, it's wise to do some research. Consider:

  • Language
  • Culture
  • Location
  • Climate
  • Reputation of institution in your field of study
  • Living costs
  • Family/ friends nearby
  • Travel opportunities
  • Exchange rate

The following resources are available to assist with your research:


Can I go on exchange for a year?

Yes, as long as you have faculty approval and have the appropriate level of funding. Some faculties have quite strict rules regarding how much credit you can get for studies overseas. Check with your Faculty advisor before applying.


What happens if I go for a semester and want to stay longer?

If you are unsure how long you wish to study overseas for, it is advisable to apply for one year. You can return earlier if need be. There is less stress involved in returning earlier than trying to extend your visit. Once you have been studying at your host institution for a while, it may be possible for you to extend your exchange by a further semester.


Can I go for longer than a year?

The maximum period for exchange studies is usually one year.


Can I do exchange over the summer?

At this stage it is not recommended for course work programs. If, however, you are doing a research project you may apply for exchange over the summer period, as long as you have faculty approval, and pay fees/HECS to Melbourne for this period.


Do I have to speak a language to go to a non-English speaking country?

It depends on the destination and whether they teach your subjects in English. For example, destinations which teach some subjects in English may also expect you to take their language courses - Technion (Israel) and SELF program at Lyon (France).

You need to carefully research your preferred exchange destinations to ensure you are able to study your subjects in English. You will get more out of your exchange experience if you have a basic understanding of the native language of your host country.


How much language study/what level of proficiency is required for a language exchange?

This depends on your destination. Check the notes about language requirements on our partner list. Some partner institutions require written approval from your language tutor/teacher at Melbourne Uni, stating your ability is sufficient to cope with studies taught in the language.


Do I have to pay tuition to the Host University?

No, as you pay your tuition/ HECS fees at the University of Melbourne, there is no need to pay further fees to the host institution.

Please be aware that some partner institutions may charge a "bond" fee which covers any outstanding library fines etc. This money is refundable when you leave the institution. Other institutions may charge other fees to obtain a student card or for other services.


Can I travel before my exchange?

Travelling prior to your exchange is not recommended. It is wiser to travel after your exchange. If you choose to travel before your exchange, bear in mind that you may be required to change your departure date if your official acceptance documents and/or student visa are not ready in time. We cannot exert pressure on host insitutions and consulates to speed up the processing of documents to suit your holiday plans. You need to keep Melbourne Global Mobility informed of a contact email whilst you are travelling, in case some information affecting your exchange is received from your host institution. You are also required to attend a Melbourne Global Mobility pre-departure session in person - proxies are not permitted.


Can I travel after I have completed my studies?

Yes, as long as you inform the appropriate people at the University of Melbourne and complete the appropriate forms (leave of absence).


How many places are available?

Presently the exchange program has more places available than applicants. Therefore, if you meet the selection criteria and have faculty support, you will be able to go somewhere. We can not guarantee you will get your first preference, but you will be able to go to one of our partner institutions.

Every semester there are certain destinations where there are limited places. In cases where there are more applicants than places, the nominations will be based on academic ranking.

To avoid disappointment it is advisable to take a flexible approach when choosing your exchange preferences- the more flexible you are, the more likely you will have a positive and successful exchange experience.

BE ADVENTUROUS! Consider destinations such as Chile, Mexico, Estonia, Singapore, Sweden and Lithuania.


Other frequently asked questions


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