Volunteer Abroad

Would you like to go to Costa Rica and participate in Sea Turtle Conservation? Or maybe you like to contribute to Marine Conservation and Dolphin Research in Tanzania. Many degrees at Western Sydney University provide an opportunity to participate in domestic or international experience.

How do I participate?


STEP 1: Find out if you are eligible to receive academic recognition

  • Before you continuing it is important to ensure that you are eligible to receive academic recognition. For instance, one of the criterion for receiving OS-HELP (up to $8,149 - see STEP 5), is that the overseas program must count towards your degree requirements in which you are enrolled, e.g. work experience, internship hours, or an elective.
  • Many degrees at Western Sydney University provide an opportunity to participate in domestic or international work experience. These are offered as core units (e.g. a clinical or professional experience placement) or as an elective. Some of these are provided below:
  • To find out if your degree provides a unit/subject for work experience, go to Western Sydney University course and unit Handbook and review the information related to your degree.
  • Alternatively to find out which units/subjects are associated with work experience across the entire university: 
  • If you are still uncertain, you may wish to seek further advice from your School coordinator - placement officer, Academic Course Advisor (ACA), or Director of Academic Program (DAP).
  • Note, at this point you are not required to apply for Academic Approval – that comes after you have met with the overseas provider and have been given detailed information about the project. To apply for academic approval, see STEP 4

STEP 2: Research an opportunity below and submit an application to the overseas provider

  • Submit an application directly to the overseas provider. These organisations will contact you to discuss the the processes and potential project.
  • Don't forget, you may need to apply for academic recognition (see Step 3).
  • If you require any supporting documentation such as an academic transcript, order your latest academic record/transcript here.
  • For further advice, contact the Western Sydney University Go Global team - Contact Us

STEP 3: Apply for academic approval

  • To apply for academic approval, see Overseas Academic Approval (non-exchange).
  • If you are applying for OS-HELP (STEP 4), there is direct relationship between Academic Approval and OS-HELP. For advice on how to complete the OS-HELP application and apply for credit, see Overseas Academic Approval (non-exchange)
    • This process may differ, depending on School requirements. You may wish to discuss the opportunity further and with your Academic Course Adviser (ACA) or placement coordinator - visit your School website and see 'Contact'
  • Can I use an elective for international work experience?
    • Some of the companies listed below have partnered with American universities, offering a U.S. transcript and award up to the equivalent of 20 Western academic credit points. The transcript will be awarded based on assessment tasks including the successful completion of written academic assignments, evidence of reflective learning, and an evaluation from the host organisation. These companies are:
      • The Intern Group (TIG)
      • International Studies Abroad (ISA)
  • Steps 3 and 4 can be completed concurrently (at the same time). Don't forget to submit your application to the provider by the appropriate closing date

STEP 4: Apply for OS-HELP

You may be eligible for OS-HELP, a deferred HELP debt loan for undergraduate Australian citizens - loans of $4,000, $6,791 or $8,149 are available. Academic Approval is required; have completed 80 credit points of study, and have 10 credit points remaining on return.

STEP 5: Complete the 'Before I Go' Online Checklist

Complete the Online Checklist to ensure you have completed the important tasks before heading overseas including travel insurance.

    Opportunities Worldwide

    Provided below are opportunities endorsed by Western Sydney University. Please submit your application directly to the program provider. These organisations work very closely with Western Sydney University and will provide you with further advice about processes and departure.


    Need further advice?

    Academic Recognition: see your School coordinator - placement officer, Academic Course Advisor (ACA), or Director of Academic Program (DAP).

    International component: Feel free to contact the partner organisation to ask questions about your potential experience. If you would like to discuss a program with a member of staff at Western Sydney University, please email goglobal@westernsydney.edu.au or attend a face-to-face consultation available on Wednesdays and Fridays - book now through our dedicated bookings portal.