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Get out of here: How to study overseas for part of your degree

Interested in overseas study, but not sure if it’s for you?

Read on to find out some of the best reasons to study overseas, as well as tips on when and how to organise some time abroad as part of your university studies – and how to afford it all.

Why you should go

“I can’t stress enough how much employers value overseas study experience,” says Anna Ekstrand, Team Leader of Student Mobility.

It’s a really important point of difference. They know that people who have been overseas will be willing to step outside the square. It’s that kind of broad-minded thinking that many employers are looking for. And from a personal point of view, when else can you take off overseas for half a year – or a year?

If students have doubts about leaving the familiar, these often disappear once the adventure is underway.

“Most people, by the end of semester, don’t want to come back,” says Ms Ekstrand.

When you should go

Students should start thinking about overseas study right from the first semester of their first year, says Professor Ralph Crane, Associate Dean (Global) in the College of Arts, Law and Education.

“We want people to start thinking about it from the very beginning of their studies, so they can start planning and saving,” says Prof. Crane.

The ideal time to go is the second semester of second year, or the first semester of third year. If students start planning early, it makes the whole process much easier.

Too many students decide they are keen to study overseas later in their degrees, Prof. Crane says, when they don’t have sufficient units left to make an overseas study venture possible or worthwhile. They may also not have thought ahead and saved some funds to make a study trip easier financially.

So where can I study overseas?  Check out our exchange partner institutions


Ways you can do it

The ways to study overseas, as part of your degree, fall into three broad categories:

1. Student exchange

This means going to one of UTAS’ 100+ partner institutions in one of 30+ countries. You pick a uni and find the units that suit you and you receive credit for your study into your Australian degree. Exchange lasts from 1–2 semesters.

2. Short-term programs

These are summer (or winter) schools and other study trips or internships, usually 6–9 weeks long, which are organised by private specialist study abroad providers like Aim Overseas and CISAustralia. You organise the trip with these third party partners, having consulted with your department to ensure all your study will be credited towards your degree.

3. Unit-based practical work and field trips

These are short trips, usually 2–4 weeks which may form part of a unit of study at UTAS. You may go on a guided field trip, do immersion language study, or work in a placement or internship.

How to fund it

The big question: How can I afford this? Anna Ekstrand at Student Mobility is surprisingly upbeat on this point.

In fact, you can get lots of funding, and in some cases you can cover almost all of your costs. Of course, it will always help to have saved a little, but overseas study needn’t be totally unaffordable.

For example, students who go on exchange to one of the UTAS partner institutions pay domestic fees as if they were still in Australia. They can still get any Centrelink payments, and they can twice access up to $7,998 in Commonwealth Government OS-Help Loans for up to two six month periods of overseas study, with the loan amount paid back as part of HECS debt.

Students who go on short term programs organised by private providers can also get OS-Help and Centrelink payments, subject to eligibility criteria.

There are also scholarships available from schemes like the New Colombo Plan program (up to $7,000 for a semester), and the Tasmania Overseas Travel Scholarship ($3,000). 

Want to know more? Visit Student Mobility (Facebook) in the Student Union building, Sandy Bay campus (PDF 785.1KB), call 03 6226 1805, or get in touch via email

Check out all the Overseas Study options through the College of Arts, Law and Education, and Student Mobilityor be inspired by students’ overseas study stories.