Study abroad to get a step ahead

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Step beyond the classroom, beyond Australia, beyond your comfort zone - that's where you'll gain a competitive edge.

A UNSW degree is your passport to a global education; use it to unlock international opportunities across 39+ destinations and 300+ partner institutions. Immerse yourself in another culture, discover different perspectives and add global experience to your resume. 

Travel may have been off the cards lately, but it won’t stay that way forever. It’s never too early to plan how you’ll enhance your time here, so start mapping out your learning abroad experience now. Restrictions will ease and when they do, you’ll be ready to make the most of our international opportunities. 

Harness UNSW's global connections & flexible calendar

As a top 50 global university*, we're connected to prestigious networks like Universitas 21, APRU, China 9 and the Global E3. These connections create opportunities for our students to pursue overseas study experiences and work placements. We offer exchanges, short courses and internships through hundreds of leading universities and companies across the globe.

Many of our partners also teach their courses in English, so you aren't limited to studying in English-speaking countries. Experiences are as brief as a two-week study tour or as long as a full-year exchange. There are even scholarships to help you get there.

We’ve made it easy to build international experiences into your studies. Our three-term academic calendar (known as UNSW3+) gives you the flexibility to study abroad without extending your degree. We’re also aligned to the Northern Hemisphere university calendars, so you can study overseas without falling behind.

UNSW student Linda Truong

"Exchange gave me the opportunity to study, explore and live overseas. It definitely lived up to everything I thought it would be. UNSW was an easy choice for me because initially I didn’t really know what to study, but the broad double degree options made it easier to find my degree and combine it with an overseas exchange.”

Linda Truong
Bachelor of Science

International experience = enhanced employability

At UNSW, employability is at the heart of our education, both onshore and abroad. Employers are looking for graduates with more than just a degree - they’re looking for well-rounded individuals that approach their career with an open mindset. 

Studying abroad stands out on your resume. It shows employers you’re not afraid to step outside your comfort zone and make the most of every opportunity. In fact, a large-scale QS survey revealed more than 80% of employers worldwide actively sought graduates who had studied abroad**. Employers value international experience as it teaches you soft skills that are essential for career success in any work environment.  

Studying abroad teaches you how to network with new people, adapt to unfamiliar environments and manage your time and finances. You'll also gain a head start on the cultural and language skills you need to thrive in today's global economy. You’ll be interacting with people from different backgrounds, learning about other cultures and perhaps even working on your foreign language skills. In our globalised world, cultural intelligence and an ability to speak multiple languages is highly regarded, if not required, by many employers. 

University is a time when people start to build valuable social and professional networks. As an exchange student, you’ll have the advantage that your professional network is global. When you graduate, your international connections may open doors to greater career opportunities.   

Living overseas, where you’re separated from your regular support network, demonstrates to employers that you possess a maturity and confidence that cannot be taught - only gained through lived experience. In a job interview, you’ll be able to demonstrate your interpersonal skills and cross-cultural competencies with international examples.  

Discover new places, new people & new perspectives

Your university experience is so much more than a degree. It’s about the people you meet, the skills you develop and the experiences you gain. Studying abroad enriches your out-of-classroom experience even further. It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself, make lasting international friendships and widen your worldview. 

Studying abroad is an experience like no other. Our recently returned students share their exchange highlights and what they gained from studying abroad: 


Studying abroad gives you a chance to explore your exchange destination and travel to nearby countries. Dana went on exchange to Amsterdam, where it was easy and affordable to visit other parts of Europe. 


Exchange Destination: University of Amsterdam (UvA), The Netherlands

Exchange Type: Full year exchange (2019)

Degree: Bachelor of International Studies/Law 

What skills did you gain from your exchange experience? My experiences with local and international students and the training I received through my host university’s exchange ambassador program have extensively honed my intercultural communication and problem-solving skills. Adaptability is definitely one of the more prominent skills that I have developed upon, and I find myself more open to challenging myself and broadening my worldview as a direct result of my exchange. 

What was the highlight of your exchange? I loved the freedom of being able to bike almost anywhere within the city at any time of the day or night, and it definitely felt a little extra cycling to a night out with mates. Everyone I met during my stay was so friendly and enjoyed a good time, and I still keep in touch with my exchange buddies and 'Amsterfam' to this day. The Netherlands was so central in a way that made travel a breeze, and it was a pleasant surprise to find out that you can get a bus to Germany for about the same price as a takeaway meal.


UNSW student Dana on exchange



Studying abroad can help you clarify your study and career path. Anna went on exchange to the United States in her third year of study. The experience helped her to identify the career path that was right for her. When she returned to UNSW, she changed her degree. 


Exchange Destination: The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Gies College of Business), United States

Exchange Type: Full year exchange (2019)

Degree: Bachelor of Commerce

What skills did you gain from your exchange experience? I definitely gained stronger interpersonal and communication skills through interacting with new people and learning to adapt to a different environment/culture. These experiences encouraged me to become more self-aware and observant. Above all, I learnt to become independent and try things out of my comfort zone, like solo travelling for a month after my exchange. 

What was the highlight of your exchange? Making new friends in a different country, living that ‘American college life’ and getting the opportunity to travel! I explored parts of the US, Central America, Europe, and Asia. My exchange also made me realise that I wanted to pursue a more business-focused career path, which led me to change my degree from a Bachelor of International Studies to a Bachelor of Commerce.


UNSW student Anna Woo on exchange in the US




Studying abroad may take you out of your comfort zone, but the challenges will empower you to become more confident and self-aware. Naman went on exchange to the United States, where she learnt to balance her study, work and social life, all while living independently for the first time. 


Exchange Destination: Purdue University, United States

Exchange Type: Full year exchange (2019)

Degree: Bachelor of Engineering (Materials Science)(Honours)/Master of Biomedical Engineering

What skills did you gain from your exchange experience? I became a member of the ‘American-Indian Foundation’ on campus, in which I worked closely with the fundraising committee to organise events. Along with making some new friends, I was able to learn the hard work behind running and managing an organisation, ultimately refining my communication and organisational skills in the process. I also took up a job as an assistant cook in a restaurant on campus, where I was in charge of managing the breakfast buffet. The overall experience allowed me to learn how to properly balance my university life with my social and work life.

What was the highlight of your exchange? This was an out of book experience for me, a journey of self-discovery and personal growth, as this was my first time living independently and on campus. The highlight of my exchange was the chance to meet with fellow local and exchange students and share stories about our various cultures and experiences. Travelling around the States was another memorable aspect of my journey as I got to visit places I could only dream of like Disneyland and Hollywood.


UNSW student Naman Bansal on exchange in the US


Get ready to take your studies abroad

Visit our exchange website for further information on the application process, key deadlines, eligibility, costs & scholarships, academic credit and more. 


Discover UNSW's international opportunities


*UNSW ranks 44th in the 2021 QS World University Rankings

**QS Global Employer Survey Report