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Global Learning Experiences

Learn and explore overseas

Travel overseas, experience other cultures, develop global networks and broaden your real-world experience. Do this while completing the requirements of your program!

The Faculty of Sciences works in conjunction with the Global Learning office to enable our students to go on overseas experiences. Whether a semester exchange or a short study tour, we are here to help you fit a global experience into your science program.

Bachelor of Science (Advanced) student Madeleine Massy-Westroop spent seven months in Singapore as a New Colombo Plan scholarship recipient. She studied at the National University of Singapore in for a semester and then completed an internship.

Maddie completed her undergraduate degree in 2017 and is now studying drug design through a masters degree.



Exchange programs are generally open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Some opportunities are limited to specific disciplines or faculty areas. Both domestic and international students are encouraged to apply.

To apply for an exchange, check the eligibility requirements and ensure you are applying within the right round for your desired study period.

  • You will need to be able to study full time for the duration of your program. 
  • You will also need to make sure you’re not missing core courses in crucial semesters.
  • We usually recommend that you go on an exchange in the second semester of your second year.
  • The faculty will assist in the exchange application process by providing degree checks and credit approval.

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First steps

If you are thinking about an exchange, we recommend you come into the faculty office and talk to a student adviser.

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The faculty and the Global Learning office set guidelines for determining whether you are eligible to apply for an overseas exchange program. You will be required to meet the requirements of both areas in order to be made an offer.

  • Global Learning eligibility requirements
  • Faculty of Sciences eligibility requirements:
    • The Faculty of Sciences determines eligibility for exchange by calculating the amount of appropriate space you have left in your degree.
    • Students must complete a minimum of 50% of their courses at the highest level relevant to their program of study at the University of Adelaide.
    • Students must present a minimum of 50% of courses taken towards their program of study from the University of Adelaide.
    • Students must complete at least 50% of the courses contributing to their major/s (for relevant programs) at the University of Adelaide.
    • Transfer credit limits are considered as the minimum number of units students are required to study at the University of Adelaide. This is in accordance with the Academic Credit Arrangements Policy.

How to apply

The Global Learning Application System (GLAS) manages applications for all students interested in undertaking an overseas exchange. You will need to select three different universities as part of your application process.

Before you depart for exchange, you will be required to obtain the following two separate approvals from the faculty. This is in addition to any Global Learning requirements.

Step 1: Pre-approval
Completed before the exchange application deadline set by Global Learning.

  • Confirmation of the host university placement by the Global Learning office.
  • Confirmation of eligibility to undertake placement by the Faculty of Sciences.
  • Confirmation of courses available for potential credit by way of a degree check by the Faculty of Sciences.

Step 2: Course approval
Completed after you have been made an offer by Global Learning and committed to that offer.

  • Confirmation of courses undertaken at the host university.
  • Confirmation of the credit that will be awarded at the University of Adelaide upon successful completion of the courses

Prior to commencing the exchange program, it is your responsibility to ensure:

  • the courses for your program of study are approved; and
  • the faculty approval study plan questionnaire is completed.

While on exchange, you must be enrolled at the University of Adelaide in the relevant exchange course. The faculty office can help you enrol in the correct course.

Courses studied without formal faculty approval may not be eligible to be counted as credit towards your science program.

Step 1: Pre-approval

Student responsibilities
  • Go to the Global Learning website to find out about the host university.
    • It is your responsibility to understand the eligibility criteria, costs, visas, academic calendar, and workload requirements for the host university.
  • Apply for exchange through the GLAS portal, where you can submit your application for pre-approval.
Faculty responsibilities

Once your pre-approval questionnaire has been submitted, a student adviser will assess the application. The outcome will be recorded in GLAS. You will then receive an email notification.

Step 2: Course approval

'Course approval' is required once pre-approval has been obtained in Step 1 and your placement has been confirmed by the Global Learning office.

Student responsibilities

Choose and enrol in courses at your host university. For help, talk to your program coordinator and course coordinator or make an appointment with a student advisor.

  • If your University of Adelaide course has a practical component, you must ensure that the overseas university course also has a practical component.
  • Courses selected will need to be identified as either ‘specified credit’ or ‘unspecified credit’. Courses contributing towards a major will normally require ‘specified credit’.
  • Locate all the information for each of the courses you wish to enrol into. You will need:
    1. Name of overseas course /subject.
    2. Value of overseas course, in ECTS, credits, units etc. - e.g. 5 ECTS.
    3. Equivalent value of overseas course in University of Adelaide units: (e.g. 2 units)
    4. Whether a course matches to an University of Adelaide core course? If yes, which course(s)? Include the name of course or year level for unspecified credit’.
    5. URL of course descriptions on partner university/host institution website. Include a link to syllabus information and unit value on the host university’s website)
  • Request your courses for approval via the faculty approval (study plan) questionnaire on your GLAS application, question 4, using the above template. Ensure you ‘save’ the questionnaire when you are ready for your courses to be assessed. Never ‘submit’ this questionnaire.

Special notes:

  • You must complete a minimum of 50% of the courses contributing towards your major at the University of Adelaide.
  • Elective courses must be approved at the same time as core courses or courses contributing towards a major. The proposed study plan will be approved as a package.
  • If for any reason you need to change your pre-approved study plan while overseas you must seek Faculty of Sciences approval. Do not enrol into a course overseas and assume that you will be granted credit for it – all courses must be pre-approved.
  • Request courses for approval early! Not all courses you choose may be suitable matches.
Faculty responsibilities
  • The faculty office will confirm your course matches and credit arrangements via GLAS.
  • The faculty office will submit the faculty approval (study plan) once your credit arrangements have been finalised.

After your exchange

  • Once you return from exchange, your host university will provide your completed transcript to the Global Learning office. You will also need to provide a copy to the faculty office for processing your credit.
  • Exchange study does NOT count towards your Grade Point Average (GPA). The grade for each course will be recorded as ‘transfer credit’.
  • Transcripts from overseas may take several months to arrive. If you go on exchange in your final semester of study, your graduation ceremony may be delayed.

Study tours

Study tours are short programs which give you credit for one or more of your courses. They are usually two to fours weeks in length and take place during university holidays.

You may hear about these opportunities from your course coordinators or via the Global Learning website. You can apply for these programs via the Global Learning Application System.

More information:

Example study tours
Program Potential credit
Conservation Marine Biology 3 units of Level 2 unspecified science credit
Biodiversity in Peru 3 units of Level 2 unspecified science credit
Innovations in Environmental Sustainability 3 units of Level 2 unspecified non-science credit
Cambridge Sciences Summer Program - 1 Term 3 units of Level 1 unspecified science credit
Cambridge Sciences Summer Program - 2 Terms 6 units of Level 1 unspecified science credit

Other short programs

  • International summer and winter schools
  • Third party provider programs
  • Internships
  • Placements
  • Volunteering
  • Study abroad
  • Other international experiences

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