So, now that we’ve all read about Bailee, Davina and Gemma’s adventures, and are all dying to go on exchange....... how exactly do we go about it?
I started looking into going on exchange a few months ago, for Semester 2 next year (woo! Yes, it does take that long to organise!!) - and I just handed in my application!
The first thing to do is check out the exchange website (http://www.usyd.edu.au/fstudent/studyabroad/). It will tell you exactly what you need to do to get yourself jetted off to another country to study.
Nevertheless, here is my very basic to-do list:
1. Go to an info session - these are talks run explaining exchange, how it works, etc. There are country-specific ones, but as long as you go to one you will get general information on what you need to do. Also, you will get all the forms you need to complete to apply.
2. Have a think about which country you want to go to, see which universities are available for your degree/major, check out some university websites and see what subjects they have to offer.
3. Book an appointment to see an exchange officer, who will help you finalise your decision and answer any questions you have.
4. Fill out the forms: academic referee (two of your university lecturers or tutors need to fill these out), academic approval (Heads of Faculties etc need to fill these out to credit the subjects you are doing overseas), statement of purpose (your statement about why you want to go on exchange, etc)
5. Hand them all in - in one big bundle - by the due date.
6. Cross your fingers and wait!
Things to note:
* In most cases you won’t have to add an extra year or semester onto your degree back at Sydney - the point is that the overseas study replaces this time.
* If you are studying at a non-English speaking country, the subjects you do will most probably count towards your language credit points. For example, my friend is studying in France next year, and even though she will be doing Film studies, History and Japanese (that's going to be interesting), most will count towards her French major because they are being taught in French (except the Japanese!).
* You need at least a Credit (65 percent) average to apply, and preferably to have not failed any subjects, or at least no more than one.
* You have to apply very far in advance: the cut off date for a Semester 2 exchange is the end of Semester 2 the previous year. (Eg to go next July, so Semester 2, 2007, I had to apply by the 15th of October this year, that is the end of Semester 2, 2006). There is also another deadline for Semester 1 exchanges (31st of May).
* As an undergraduate student, you need to have completed 48 credit points at time of application. You can apply at the end of first year like I did, if you like!
Good luck and bon voyage!