Frequently Asked Questions
What type of overseas program is right for me?
Study Abroad & Exchange programs are suited to students who wish to experience total immersion in another culture for a trimester or full academic year. Short-term Programs are more suitable for students with limited time or those who wish to fit another unit in over T3 or in the mid-trimester break. Study Tours also run over a short time period and are well supported with Faculty staff. They are a defined group of Deakin students who will be in a similar course and year level so it is a great option if you are new to travel and only have limited options to study overseas as part of your Deakin course. Volunteer programs can be for anyone and everyone!
Which Exchange or Study Abroad destination is right for me?
Deakin's Exchange partners vary greatly in terms of student population, location (small townships to major cities, coastal or inland), subject specialisations and strengths. These differences may guide your choice. Some countries will have fewer choices of partners than others.
It is important that you consider which destination is appropriate and best for your studies and lifestyle and that you research a number of potential Exchange destinations to find the right place for you.
The Education Abroad office can help guide you and the office has a collection of reports from returned Exchange students that you are advised to refer to. Also, talking to students who have already been on an Exchange or Study Abroad program is always a good idea. The Education Abroad office can put you in touch with them.
When is the best time to go?
If you are doing a single degree at Deakin, the second year of your course is the ideal time to spend a trimester or year overseas. If you wish to go later than this, you will need to ensure you have enough time left in your course to sustain full-time enrolment while overseas. It can also be difficult to go later in your course, as many Deakin courses have specialised final year subjects which can be difficult to match at a host university.
The Education Abroad office doesn't recommend that you take part in an Exchange or Study Abroad program in the final semester of your degree.
You can choose to commence your Exchange or Study Abroad program in Deakin trimester 1 or trimester 2.
You can participate in a Short-term study programs at any time during your course.
How will an Education Abroad program fit into my course?
Education Abroad programs are the perfect opportunity to add an extra edge to your Deakin degree. With careful planning, you should complete your course in the same time as if you had stayed in Australia. Take the opportunity to study subjects that will complement your course at Deakin but may emphasise different approaches, content or methodology.
Do I need to speak another language to go to a non-English speaking country?
No. Education Abroad programs are a great opportunity to live within another culture without needing to be proficient in the host language. Language-based programs are aimed primarily at students of that language who wish to rapidly improve their language skills, however, most of the Exchange partners teach classes in English, unless otherwise stated. Many of them also include introductory classes in the host language as part of the Exchange program.
Is it better to go on an Exchange or Study Abroad program for a trimester or a year?
This depends on your course requirements and financial limitations. If possible, we recommend that you consider a year-long program (a trimester can pass too quickly) as it gives you more opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the host university and country.
Can I extend my Exchange or Study Abroad program?
It is recommended that if you are interested in staying for a full year, you should apply for two trimesters when you origially apply to the Study Abroad & Exchange program. However students can extend in special circumstances but need approval from our office, your faculty and the host university.
In order for both your faculty and the Study Abroad & Exchange office to consider your extension, you will need to be certain of the following:
• You need to have enough credit points to sustain a full time study load during an additional semester
• You need to make sure that you have at least 4 units/ credit points to complete on your return to Deakin
• You need to research further units to study there and make sure that they match up to any core Deakin units that you may need to satisfy during that semester.
The onus is on you to do the groundwork here, and then contact your faculty at Deakin to see if approval can be granted.
Where will I live?
Most of Deakin's partner universities have on-campus accommodation. We recommend that you take advantage of this option if it is available. The type of on-campus accommodation varies from university to university. In some cases you may share a room in a student residence and eat the food offered in the residence canteen, while at other universities you have your own room and bathroom and share a kitchen with other students.
If you are unable or choose not to live on-campus, most partners have accommodation offices to assist you in locating off-campus accommodation.
If you are undertaking an Exchange or Short-term program, your host university will forward you information on available accommodation and how to apply for this. The Education Abroad office will assist you in applying for on-campus accommodation if you need help.
Study Abroad students responsible for finding their own accommodation and don't receive assistance from the Education Abroad office. However, your host university will likely offer assistance and information once you have been formally accepted. Accommodation is pre-arranged and pre-paid for students participating in international short-term study programs.
Can I work when I am on an Exchange or Study Abroad program?This depends on the host country and the type of visa you have. In Canada and the USA , the student visa allows you to work part-time, but only on campus. In the UK you can work part-time, while most student visas in the rest of Europe don't allow you to work.
You should not count on being able to work in your host country and if you are able to do so, you should see it as an extra bonus rather than taking it into calculation when working out your financial situation.
Do I need to show evidence of money available to me during my Exchange or Study Abroad program?
When you apply for an Education Abroad program you need to submit a financial statement outlining the costs you expect to have during the program (including airfares, health and travel insurance and living expenses) as well as how you will meet those costs.
Many host universities, including all American universities, will also require that you are able to show evidence of how you will support you during the exchange. Once you have been accepted to the Exchange or Study Abroad program by Deakin University, you may be required to submit, together with your host university application, original bank statements, scholarship letters and other documents as relevant showing that you have available to you the amount specified by your host university. In these cases you need to be able to demonstrate that this money is available to you upon application. It is not sufficient to show that the money will be available to you once you depart for your host destination.
It is a requirement by all American universities that you are able to provide financial evidence upon application. American universities cannot issue your offer letter and your visa enabling documentation without evidence that you will be able to support yourself during your Exchange or Study Abroad program.
Many countries also require that you can show evidence of financial support when you apply for your student visa.
Why are there two different application deadlines for the same trimester?
If you want to go on an trimester- or year-long Exchange program there are two deadlines:
Faculty Study Plan Deadline
Study Abroad & Exchange Application Deadline
If you haven't made an appiontment with your faculty before the study plan deadline, you may miss out on making an appiontment to get your study plan approved. All application materials must be submited by the Study Abroad & Exchange application deadline for the application to be considered.
Can I get in contact with someone who has gone to the host university or country I am interested in?
If you wish to be put in contact with Deakin students who have previously studied overseas, please contact the Education Abroad office. Many students returning from Education Abroad programs are happy to share their knowledge and experience.
What happens after I have been accepted on an Education Abroad program?
If your application is successful, you will be notified in writing. The letter will contain full details of what to do next.
If you are taking part in an Exchange, Study Abroad or Summer/Winter program it is important not to pay for any flights, accommodation, visas etc until you receive written confirmation from the host university.
If you are taking part in an international short-term study program you may be required to pay a deposit to confirm your place.
All students taking part in an Exchange, Study Abroad or Summer/Winter program will be required to attend a compulsory full-day pre-departure session. Pre-departure sessions take place in September/October for students participating in an Exchange or Study Abroad in trimester 1 or a Winter program and in April/May for students participating in an Exchange or Study Abroad in trimester 2 or a Summer program.
Can I travel while on my Exchange or Study Abroad program?
The Education Abroad office strongly recommends that you travel after completing your Exchange or Study Abroad program rather than before.
Sometimes students have to wait a long time for their acceptance letter from their host university to arrive. You need this letter to apply for your student visa(s) and sometimes it also takes a long time for your visa to be issued. Also, grants and scholarships cannot be dispensed from the Education Abroad office until you have received your host university acceptance letter.
If you plan to travel prior to the start of your Exchange or Study Abroad program you may not have received your host university acceptance letter and/or appropriate visas by the planned departure date. You may then be obliged to pay for airfares, tours, hotels etc that you are not able to utilize as you will not be able to leave Australia until you have received your acceptance letter and/or relevant visas. It is always better to consider travelling once you have completed your program.
What contact do I have with the host university before I get there?
If you are going on an Exchange or Summer/Winter program, the Education Abroad office will provide you with the application forms for the host university in your acceptance pack. You must complete and return these forms to the Education Abroad office and we forward them to your host university.
After processing your application, your host university sends you a formal acceptance letter advising you that you have been accepted to their Exchange or Summer/Winter program, together with any visa-enabling documents. This can take some time. If you have not had a response from your host university 6-8 weeks after being notified by the Education Abroad office that your application was sent, please contact us and we will contact your host university on your behalf.
When you receive your formal host university acceptance letter, you usually also receive a package containing pre-arrival information regarding housing, medical insurance, enrolment and orientation. You should liaise directly with your host university on these matters.
If you are going on a Study Abroad program you are responsible for all contact with your host university before and during the application process.
When I apply to the Exchange program, will I get to go to my first choice university?
Most students are offered a place at their first choice host university. However, some universities are more popular than others and the Education Abroad office may receive more applications than there are places available. In this case, places are offered to students according to academic merit.
It is important that you provide two study plans with your application in case it is not possible to offer you a place at your first preference host university.
Do I need insurance?
Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is compulsory for all students participating in an Education Abroad program. You need to ensure you are covered for the whole period you are overseas. Some host universities have compulsory medical insurances and you will need to buy this insurance before you can enrol at the university. Others have recommended medical schemes which are not compulsory and in these cases the Education Abroad office strongly encourages you use the recommended scheme.
If you purchase an insurance policy at your host university, you need to arrange travel and medical insurance to cover you until you arrive at your host university.
Who makes my travel and visa arrangements?
For Exchange, Study Abroad and Summer/Winter programs, the student is responsible for making the necessary travel arrangements. Travel grants for students on Exchange and Summer/Winter programs are paid through the STA Travel office on the Burwood and Waurn Ponds campuses and you are strongly recommended to book through one of these two STA offices.
Some international short-term study programs arrange group travel bookings, in which case the tour leader will assist with the travel arrangements. Others require the individual student to organise their travel independently.
On any Education Abroad program, each student is responsible for ensuring they have the correct visa for the countries they will be transiting through or studying in before leaving Australia. The Education Abroad office and/or the host university will assist by providing contact details of the relevant embassies/consulates, but you are responsible for the visa application and for ensuring that you have all the necessary and correct visas. Make sure that you don't leave Australia without the correct visa in your passport. It is very important that you don't leave arrangements for your visa until the last minute as some countries take considerable time to issue visas.
Many countries require that you can show evidence of financial support when you apply for your visa. You must then be able to demonstrate that the required amount is available to you when you apply for your visa. It is not sufficient to show that the money will be available to you once you depart for your host destination.
When should I book my tickets?
You should book your tickets as soon as you have received your acceptance letter from the Education Abroad office. However, don't pay for any tickets, tours, visas etc until you have received formal acceptance from your host university.
When should I apply for my visa(s)?
The Education Abroad office recommends that you wait to apply for your visa until you have been formally accepted by your host university. Also, most countries will not let you apply for your student visa until you have received your official acceptance letter from you host university.
Can I withdraw from an Education Abroad program once I have been accepted?
Yes, you can withdraw from an Education Abroad program at any time before you depart for your host university. You will need to write a letter to the Education Abroad office to inform us about your decision. The letter must include your name, student number, contact details, the name of your host university, the trimester you intended to go on the program and your reasons for withdrawing. The letter must be signed and dated.
Will my application fee be refunded if I withdraw?
If you need to withdraw from an Education Abroad program because of events caused by Deakin University, the Education Abroad office or your host university and over which you have no control, your application fee will be refunded in the form of a cheque. Your application fee will not be refunded if you decide that you want to go on an Education Abroad program in a different trimester or year, to a different university or because you have changed your mind.
Can I defer my place on an Education Abroad program?
You cannot generally defer your place on an Education Abroad program. If you wish to go in a different trimester you need to withdraw your application and re-apply for a different trimester.
What about my results while overseas?
If you are taking part in an Exchange, Study Abroad or Summer/Winter program, your host university will send a transcript of your results to the Education Abroad office. This will be copied and certified and forwarded to the Division of Student Administration (DSA) for entry onto your Deakin transcript. You will not be graded but will be awarded an External Pass (EP) for each unit successfully completed overseas.
The original transcript is yours to keep as you may need it when applying for jobs or further study. You may wish to arrange for an extra copy to be sent to you directly from the host university for these purposes.
If you are taking part in an international short-term study program, you will be given an exam and/or assessments either while overseas or on your return to Australia. These will be graded according to the Deakin grading scale and your faculty will forward your results to DSA to be entered onto your Deakin transcript.