Course Choice During a Semester Abroad in Australia

By | June 23, 2021

A semester abroad at a university in Australia shouldn’t just be a great personal experience. Rather, it should also be an academic success. Choosing the right courses is an important aspect. But how does the course selection actually work during the semester abroad in Australia ? And what should students consider?

Choices when choosing a course in Australia

International students who come to Australia for a semester abroad are usually not assigned to a specific subject area or semester. This gives them a great deal of freedom in choosing a course, because they can largely compose their schedule freely from the courses on offer at the university.

The free choice of courses has two major advantages for semester students:

  1. In this way, students can coordinate their courses at the university in Australia with the requirements of their home university. This facilitates the recognition of academic achievements made in Australia.
  2. If you like, you can think outside the box of your own subject and take courses from other subject areas in order to continue your education “broadly”.

Basically, at the vast majority of Australian universities, both Bachelor and Master courses are open to semester students. However, courses at the master’s level can usually only be taken by students who have already successfully completed their bachelor’s degree.

Anyone entering Australia on a student visa is required to complete their studies there full-time. Full-time is usually 3 courses per semester, whereby the “usual” occupancy is 4 courses – this number of courses is normally also included in the price for the “Study Abroad” program. However, more and more Australian universities are starting to offer international students a so-called “ 3 course option ” at a reduced price, which is especially true for students who have to keep an eye on their money and who have no special requirements from their home university regarding the number of courses to be taken, is a great way to save.

Step by step: Course selection process for a semester abroad in Australia

Choosing a course for a semester abroad in Australia is very easy in itself. International students specify their course requirements when applying to the Australian university. This is possible at both state and private universities in Australia. In contrast to the USA, for example, the course selection process is very uniform.

Anyone who would like to have the courses taken during the semester abroad credited towards studying at home should discuss their choice of course with their home university in advance. This way, nasty surprises can be avoided.

It is advisable to specify twice as many courses in your application as you ultimately want to take. In this way, there are sufficient alternatives if courses should overlap in time, for example.

The university in Australia then uses the Transcript of Records to check the course requirements of the students to determine whether they meet the requirements for these courses. This is especially true for courses that require certain prior knowledge. If students do not meet the requirements for individual courses, the university usually offers alternatives for these.

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The feedback if they can prove the desired courses, receive “Study Abroad” -Bewerber either directly to the admission to the University or shortly thereafter. Once the courses have been approved by the Australian university and the tuition fees have been paid, it is usually possible to formally enroll for the courses, which is done online.

Some students may find at the beginning of the semester that a chosen course does not meet the expectations at all. In such a case, it is often still possible to switch to another course, provided there are still places available. However, it is also important here to adhere to the formal requirements. If you do not like a course and simply do not go there any longer, you risk that this course will appear on the transcript as “failed” at the end or, in the worst case, have to be paid extra. The Australian universities are usually very service-oriented and will be happy to help you if you are unsure about the right approach.

Tips for choosing a course during your semester abroad in Australia

Finally, two tips on choosing a course for your semester abroad in Australia:

  1. Read the course descriptions from Australian universities carefully. Exciting courses are often hidden behind inconspicuous titles.
  2. You can often adapt the course selection at your home university to the courses you want to take in Australia. Often this can be used to avoid losing time in your studies due to the semester abroad. The fact that the early choice of courses in Australia makes this possible is a great advantage of the course selection process there compared to the processes in many other countries.

Course Choice During a Semester Abroad in Australia