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Preparing for exchange

Overseas semester dates

Semester start and finish dates vary between continents. Generally speaking the following dates apply:

  • Australia (UTS)
    Semester 1:March to June
    Semester 2: July to October
  • North America
    Semester 1: January to May
    Semester 2: August to December
  • Asia
    Semester 1: April to July
    Semester 2: October to February
  • Europe (varies)
    Semester 1: January to June
    Semester 2: September to January


It is important to plan a budget and prepare for your time overseas by researching the living cost in your host country. The cost of going on exchange can vary considerably depending on your destination and on the factors listed below:

  • living costs in host country
  • your lifestyle
  • current exchange rate
  • type of housing/accommodation
  • travel plans in addition to your travel to and in your host country

As a general rule you will need approximately AUD$10,000 for one semester of exchange. However, you are advised to research the costs associated with going on exchange by reading the partner university feedback provided on UTS Online Global Exchange Feedback Folder.

While you won't pay tuition fees at your host university, you will still pay your regular tuition fees at UTS. Some countries, including the USA, require you to provide evidence that you are able to support yourself financially when you apply. In such cases, you may be required to purchase additional insurance and or pay a fee at the host institution to cover extra-curricular programs or student union activities.

Health and travel insurance

UTS offers all UTS students going on exchange comprehensive health and travel insurance.* The university also partners with International SOS (opens an external site) (ISOS), a 24 hour emergency resource centre. Travel insurance cover is available for a maximum 365 days from the date of travel for each period overseas. Students should contact UTS Insurance if they have questions regarding this.

You will find out more about UTS insurance when you attend the compulsory pre-departure workshops, where you will receive the UTS Insurance Guide. 

Note: some partner universities may require you to take out additional compulsory insurance.

*International Studies students continuing on exchange after their period of in-country study must first return to Australia to be eligible to receive UTS insurance.

Passport and visa

You must have a valid passport and, for some countries, a student visa. Your Study Abroad and Exchange Officer will notify you when the host university has received your acceptance. You can then apply for a visa and/or residence permit (if required). Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website (opens an external site) to learn more about visas and to find your nearest embassy or consulate.

If you are an international student you may need to apply for a student visa for your exchange host country from your home country. Contact the embassy or consulate of your host country to find out more.


Once you have a valid passport, visa and/or residence permit, you can book and pay for your flights. Try to book a flight close to the orientation period.


To get a feel for where you'll be studying, it's a good idea to organise temporary accommodation for a few days before orientation.

Once the semester starts, your accommodation options will vary depending on where you're studying. Some universities provide on-campus housing in student dorms, while at others you will need to find your own. Find out more by reading previous student feedback and by researching housing options at the host institution.

Pre-departure pack

You will also receive the information below at the pre-departure workshop.