Before I Go
Now that you have decided to participate in an overseas program, you need to make sure that you have completed all of the important steps before heading abroad. In addition to the information provided below, to support your experience prior to going abroad, download the Before I Go (BIG) Checklist (opens in a new window) and complete the Online Pre-Departure Tutorial & Quiz (currently under review).
How to Participate
Please note that some of the following steps can be completed concurrently, at the same time.
STEP 1: Find out if you eligible for academic credit
- To receive academic credit for your overseas experience, talk to your Academic Course Advisor about credit arrangements and how it fits best with your course structure.
- Note 1: At this point you are not required to apply for Academic Approval – that comes after you have detailed information about your overseas units/subjects or project. To apply for academic approval, see STEP 3
- Note 2: For students applying for the Western Sydney Go Global Exchange Program, you are required to complete an Academic Study Plan Worksheet. This plan is mandatory for your preferred host University and helps you think about the classes you can take overseas. To find out more, see Go Global Exchange Program Application webpage.
- Note 3: If you have questions about this process or the other steps below, feel free to contact Western Sydney International Office's Go Global team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or book for an Advising Session
STEP 2: Research an opportunity and submit an Expression of Interest
- Western Sydney University (WSU) has many different types of overseas experiences available for students. These include semester exchange, units at overseas universities, study tours, internships, volunteering, and clinical placements - see Western Students Go Global.
STEP 3: Apply for Academic Approval
- STUDY ABROAD: When researching an opportunity on the Western Students Go Global webpage, unless it states the program is 'Exchange', it will be a Study Abroad program. Programs provided by AIM Overseas, CISaustralia, ISA, ACICIS, Michigan State University and many of the internship providers are 'Study Abroad'.If you are participating in a Study Abroad program, you pay a PROGRAM FEE to the host organisation or university. Depending on the program, the fee may cover tuition fees (1-2 units), accommodation, meals, excursions, airport pick up, local travel (please check with the individual program to see what it covers). The following is standard practice for Study Abroad:
- 1. Submit your application directly to the overseas provider
- 2. Apply for Academic Credit (Study Abroad): To receive recognition for your overseas experience, it is important that you seek advice from your Academic Course Advisor and apply for academic approval at least 3 months prior to commencement. To receive academic recognition, complete the credit approval for non-exchange.
- 3. Apply for OS-HELP: If you intend to apply for OS-HELP, click on the link above to find out more about Academic Approval process and OS-HELP.
- EXCHANGE - Students participating in an exchange opportunity require permission from Western Sydney International. You do not pay TUITION FEES to the host university but continue to pay their fees to WSU by enrolling in special exchange units (ie. upfront or through HECS 1-2 units). Exchange students pay an ADMIN FEE to the host university. Depending on the program, the fee may cover accommodation, meals, excursions, airport pick up, local travel (please check with the individual program to see what it covers). The following is standard practice for Exchange:
- 1. Apply for Exchange by completing an Expression of Interest (EOI) to Western Sydney International (WSI). To find out more see Western Students Go Global or Contact Us
- 2. After permission is granted by WSI, submit an application to the overseas institution
- 3. Apply for Academic Credit (Exchange): Many degrees at Western Sydney University have dedicated core units that can be utilised for overseas experiences, or you may wish to use an elective. To receive recognition for your overseas experience, it is important that you seek advice from your Academic Course Advisor and apply for academic approval at least 3 months prior to commencement. To receive academic recognition, complete the credit approval for exchange
- 4. Apply for OS-HELP: If you intend to apply for OS-HELP, click on the link above to find out more about Academic Approval process and OS-HELP.
- Note: If you require an academic transcript, order your latest academic record/transcript here..
STEP 4: Complete the Online Pre-Departure Tutorial
- Download the Before I Go (BIG) Checklist and complete the Online Pre-Departure Tutorial & Quiz (currently under review).
- NOTE: This process does not replace Pre-Departure Sessions that may be offered by the International Office, School, or overseas program provider. It has been designed to to support your experience prior to going abroad.
- All students that have completed STEP 8 Confirmation of Overseas Travel below, will be invited to attend a pre-departure information session offered by the International Office
STEP 5: Apply for OS-HELP
- You may be eligible for OS-HELP, a deferred HELP debt loan for undergraduate Australian citizens:
- loans up to $8,295 for 2020
- Academic Approval is required
- have completed 80 credit points of study
- have 10 credit points remaining on return
- Find out more about OSHELP
STEP 6: Receive an Overseas Acceptance Letter
- To continue with the steps below, you will require an acceptance letter from an overseas university or provider and have completed the Online Pre-Departure Tutorial (see STEP 4).
- An acceptance letter usually includes:
- Your full name
- The program of participation
- The dates of participation
- The overseas university or provider letter head or logo
- The overseas university or provider contact details
- To find out more about when you will be receiving the Overseas Acceptance Letter, contact the overseas university or provider
STEP 7: Apply for a Travel Grant or Scholarship
- As soon as you have completed the Online Pre-Departure Tutorial (STEP 4) and received an Overseas Acceptance Letter (STEP 6) from an overseas university or provider, you may be eligible to apply for a Travel Grant or Exchange Scholarship.
- To apply for a Grant or Scholarship, you are required to complete the Confirmation of Travel (COT) below.
STEP 8: Confirmation of Overseas Travel (COT)
- Before heading overseas, you are required to:
- 1.Complete the Online Pre-Departure Tutorial (see STEP 4)
- 2. Register your overseas travel by completing the Confirmation of Overseas Travel (COT).
- The COT is an important multi-purpose form that:
- Records a student’s overseas activity and provides information for university insurance
- Creates a profile on University Travel Management System
- Allows some students to apply for a Grant or Scholarship (conditions apply)
- Generates an Official Confirmation email from Western Sydney University that can used for Centrelink, visas, or other purposes.
- Find out more about the Confirmation of Overseas Travel (COT)
STEP 9: Email your e-ticket to the University Travel Management System
- The University Travel Management System (TEMS):
- Confirms your participation in overseas activity with University insurer
- Sends important safety and security updates about the countries you are visiting
- Group Travel Bookings
- If a School or University department has booked your flights, they will also register you on the university's Travel Management System (TEMS). You should receive important safety and security updates about the countries you are visiting.
- Independent Travel Bookings
- If you have booked your flight independently, Western Sydney University may not recognise your overseas activity until you have provided the Travel Management System (TEMS) with an e-ticket/itinerary.
- After completing the COT, the Western Sydney University Go Global team will process your COT and register you on the university's Travel Management System (TEMS) - this will occur at least 2 weeks after the 15th of the month processing date - please be patient!
- You will be sent a confirmation email requesting that the following steps are completed in order:
- Login to TEMS and update your profile - see helpful instructions
- Email your e-ticket/itinerary to email@example.com
- The email must be from your student email address. The system will only recognise Western Sydney University email
- Leave the subject line blank
- Leave the body of the email blank (remove any signatures)
- The email must contain only one pdf attachment of a booking confirmation sent from the Hotel or airline i.e. (e-ticket)
- Monitor your student email whilst travelling for alerts from firstname.lastname@example.org or important updates.
When you Apply
Download the Before I Go (BIG) Checklist
To support your experience prior to going abroad, download the Before I Go (BIG) Checklist and complete the Online Pre-Departure Tutorial & Quiz (currently under review).
Do you require an academic transcript?
When you submit an application to the overseas provider, you may require a formal record of all units and courses undertaken at Western - order your latest academic record/transcript here.
Do you have a valid passport?
- Prior to travelling abroad, you will require a valid passport. Do you have a current passport that has more than 6 months until expiration from the date of your return? For further information see the Australian Passport Office (opens in a new window) or relevant foreign consulate (opens in a new window) (non-citizens).
Find out about the countries you are visiting?
- For comprehensive information about the countries you are visiting, see the following websites:
Travel Health Information
- Although participating in an overseas activity is exciting, it may have the potential to expose you to serious health risks. It is advised that you visit a doctor 6 to 12 weeks before leaving Australia, have a checkup, discuss your future travel, and any medications you made need to be taking. It is also advised that you visit a dentist.
- With respect to vaccines, don’t wait until the last minute - you may need several doses of a particular vaccine and time for your body to develop full immunity.
- Further information and advice can be found by visiting Travel Doctor-TMVC, Smartraveller, and the Australian Government's Department of Health websites.
- Medications: If you need to take medication overseas, check with the appropriate host country consulate(s) (opens in a new window) and ensure it is not illegal
Identify your insurance needs
- Students that travel overseas on approved University activities are covered by the corporate travel insurance policy for the official University component of their trip. This may include travel overseas for the purposes of placement, work experience, practicums, research, conferences, student exchange and study tours. Please note this cover is limited and does not include personal travel or participating in extreme or high risk activities.
- It is advised that you visit the Overseas Travel Insurance webpage and review the information and policy provided on this site. You should find out what it doesn't cover before you go, and if needed, organise additional personal travel insurance. Note, if you need to arrange your own travel insurance, you may access the University's insurer or search for another provider.
- Before travelling abroad Download World Travel Protection Card
- If you experience a medical or security problem while travelling, you are encouraged to contact Customer Care (see What to Do in an Emergency below).*For more information or enquiries regarding insurance, please see the contact details on the Overseas Travel Insurance webpage.
Do you require a working with children check?
Some overseas programs may require you to have a Working with Children Check. Please visit Working with Children Check (opens in a new window) and fill in the online application form. You will be asked whether your child-related work is paid or unpaid.
Join The Global Society
- If you are participating in the Go Global Exchange Program, Western Sydney University has paid your membership fee for The Global Society – Australia's national society for students studying overseas. We believe this to be a fantastic opportunity to meet other students and get information from those in the same situation as yourself:
- Head to The Global Society (opens in a new window) and click the pink "Join Now" button.
- Fill in your basic details. Then, click the blue "Get Started on Your Application" button.
- Click the big red "Continue Your Application" button.
- Fill in the remainder of your details. Then, click the blue "Join The Global Society" button.
After you receive the Official Overseas Acceptance Letter
Do you need a visa?
- A visa is a form of permission for a non-citizen to enter and temporarily remain within a country.
- Staff at Western Sydney University including the Go Global team are not permitted to give advice about visas. You are responsible for checking with your overseas provider and the appropriate consulate(s) (opens in a new window) about the country(s) you are entering.
- You are responsible for ensuring that you have the correct visa for your circumstances, regardless of whether or not you are participating in an official activity organised by a Western Sydney University school/institute such as a Study Tour.
- If you require a visa, you may require an Official Letter from Western Sydney University and an official acceptance letter or email from an overseas University or provider. See Confirmation of Overseas Travel (Step 6 above).
Do you receive Centrelink benefits?
- If you receive Centrelink payments, your payments may cease immediately upon leaving Australia - see Centrelink requirements.
- To continue payments, you will need to provide Centrelink with evidence that you are continuing your studies at Western Sydney University and that the overseas activity is a legitimate part of your study.
- For this process you may require an official letter from Western Sydney University and an official acceptance letter or email from an overseas University or provider. See Confirmation of Overseas Travel (Step 8 above).
Do you require an Official Confirmation Letter from Western Sydney University?
- You may require an Official Confirmation Letter from Western Sydney University that can be used as evidence of participation and/or proof of travel insurance. For instance the Australian Government, Centrelink, foreign embassies, and other organisations may require certain information about your trip.
- Note: If you are travelling overseas on an approved University activity, you will be covered by the corporate travel insurance policy - this cover is limited (see further information about Travel Insurance below). Approved activities include the Western Sydney University Go Global Exchange Program, Overseas Short Courses, clinical or work placements, internships, or other activities that are sanctioned by the University and receive academic approval or recognition by the University.
- To receive an Official Confirmation Letter, see Confirmation of Overseas Travel (Step 6 above).
The Student Mobility Travel Grant or International Exchange Scholarship
- To be considered for Student Mobility Travel Grant or the International Exchange Scholarship, see STEP 5 above.
Culture shock is a common phenomenon and can be experienced on arrival overseas or take months to develop. Culture shock can affect people in different ways and may be caused by simply being unfamiliar with local culture and customs.
- Experiencing a different country and social isolation, can also heighten existing mental health conditions or trigger new concerns. When you travel abroad, you are leaving behind Australia's support systems, emergency service capabilities, medical facilities, and help from family and friends. When an incident occurs overseas, it may be particularly traumatic for the person experiencing mental health issues and for their family and friends back home.
- The Australian Government stresses that anyone travelling abroad is subject to foreign jurisdictions and consequently it’s important to thoroughly research your destination and determine if there are any concerns that may trigger mental health concerns. See Australian travellers with mental health conditions (opens in a new window).
- Further if you need to take medication, make sure it is legal in the host destination by contacting the embassy or consulate.
- If you're facing any barriers that may affect your study or overseas travel, students are encouraged to access free, confidential counselling services as early as possible before going abroad.
Respectful Relationships Training Program
When participating in an overseas program, students must comply with all university policies and standards.This includes a commitment to preventing sexual assault and harassment, and promoting positive respectful relationships. Western Sydney University has agreed to participate in the development of a respectful relationships education program to be implemented across the Australian University sector. Through the Respect.Now.Always. campaign, the University has implemented a number of initiatives and strategies to affirm that sexual assault and harassment is not tolerated at this University. All commencing students will need to undertake from 2020 compulsory training on Respectful Relationships. For further information about these initiatives visit: https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/respectnowalways
Conditions of Participation in an Overseas Program
The University of Western Sydney University is committed to demonstrating high standards of personal and professional conduct at all times. When participating in an overseas program, students must assume certain obligations to Western Sydney University (WS), the prospective country and towards other participants in a program. Find out more.
- Smartraveller is a website managed by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and provides advice for people going abroad about a range of topics. These include avoiding danger, laws, what to do when things go wrong, and general travel knowledge.
- To get updates about travel advice and critical alerts, all Western students are required to subscribe with Smartraveller (opens in a new window) before going abroad. If a crisis situation occurs overseas that affects Australians, DFAT will develop a crisis webpage with further details and how to respond. To find out more, see https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/FAQs
- For more about what to do in an Emergency, see Emergencies below.
Before you go Overseas
Packing Your Bags
What are you going to pack in your bags when going overseas? What should you take? There is a lot of advice on the web and it often depends on a destination's climate and facilities. For some great tips and important topics to think about when packing your bags, see The Ultimate Travel Packing List (opens in a new window). Remember to also check your with your airline about baggage requirements and any restrictions.
CISaustralia Green Book - The Guide for Sustainable Learning Abroad
- At CISaustralia, we understand that international education is about much more than simply seeing new places and having an incredible experience, it’s the first step on the journey to becoming a global citizen. That is why we have developed a Green Book to help students understand the positive impact they can have on the world and what steps we can all take to lighten our environmental footprint when travelling abroad.
- The guide is divided into three easy-to-follow sections:
- Before You Go
- Finding the lowest carbon flights
- Cutting waste and saving resources
- Packing light
- Measuring you carbon footprint
- Once You Get There
- Getting around
- Sustainable eating
- Understanding local climate issues
- Once You Come Home
- High impact ways to tackle climate change
- Change-making skills as a career boost
- Share your experiences and keep learning
- Request an electronic version of the Green Book on the CISaustralia website (opens in a new window).
Sign up with TripIt Pro
- University staff and students with TEMS access can sign up to TripIt Pro (opens in a new window) free of charge. TripIt Pro can help you organise your travel, provides real-time flight alerts, gate changes, and much more. You will not be able to access TEMS or sign up for TripIt Pro until after registering on the Confirmation of Overseas Travel form (COT).
- Use TripIt on a PC or laptop, or download the app. Just forward your confirmation emails to email@example.com and they will be condensed it into one itinerary - this includes flights, accommodation, and other travel.
Emergency calls can be made any time, day or night direct to World Travel Protection on +61 2 8907 5686 (Reverse Charge).
- Download World Travel Protection information (opens in a new window) and quote membership number: CC112UWS
- Please note, you are not required to register to with World Travel Protection. All students that are registered on the University Travel Management System (TEMS), are automatically covered under University’s travel insurance during the program course when they undertaking approved University activity.
When calling, please have the following information ready:
- The number and precise location you are calling from
- Your personal details
- The nature of assistance that you require
For more information, please see the World Travel Protection (opens in a new window).
If you need to speak urgently to a Western Sydney International staff member due to a critical incident, call +61 414 274 211 or Western Sydney University Campus Security (24 hours) +61 1300 668 370
Anxiety or Depression
Students are encouraged to access the university's free, confidential counselling service as early as possible. The Counselling Service has a team of qualified social workers and psychologists who are trained to work with diverse student populations on any issues of concern. Find out more.
If you have difficulties overseas your host university or provider may be able to assist with seeking advice with a Counsellor or you may wish to speak with a Western Sydney e-Counsellor (opens in a new window).
Consultation with Western Staff
Feel free to contact the partner organisation and asks questions about your potential experience. If you would like to discuss an opportunity with a member of staff at Western Sydney University , please email firstname.lastname@example.org or book a Consultation via our dedicated bookings portal.