Sydney is the capital city of the state of New South Wales. It is located on the south-east coast of Australia, in the temperate zone, which gives it a mild climate year round. It is also the largest (and oldest) city in Australia. First established by the British as a convict settlement in 1788, it has developed into a major industrial, business, and manufacturing center. It is also a cosmopolitan city that offers a wealth of entertainment, shopping, and sightseeing. Sydney has sprawling suburbs that reach out from the city-center about 35 miles north, 21 miles west and 19 miles south. Its harbor is one of the largest in the world, and is famous for the unmistakable arch of the Harbour Bridge and the sails of the Opera House.
The University of New South Wales is one of the top research institutions in Australia. The Kensington (main) campus is situated on 85 acres of land and is located 5 km (15 minute bus ride) from Sydney's central business district. The University has modern buildings, attractive grounds, extensive sporting and recreational facilities, and a library that houses over 1.5 million volumes. The University of New South Wales is committed to developing innovative models of educational delivery using the latest technology and approaches to educational design.
To learn more about the University of New South Wales check out their YouTube channel.
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.
The University of New South Wales offers a large selection of courses, with strengths in engineering, business, architecture, fine arts, and natural sciences. Use the on-site course catalog to find more information about specific courses. You will take regular courses with local students at this institution. Course registration takes place during your on-site orientation period, so enrollment in particular courses cannot be guaranteed in advance of arrival. You may enroll in any courses for which space is available and for which you meet the host institution's requirements or prerequisites. You must take what the host institution considers to be a full-time load (generally, the equivalent of 12-15 Penn State credits or 24 units of UNSW credit).
Faculty-led Field Courses
Exchange students are now encouraged to participate in faculty-led field courses at the University of New South Wales. Most field courses take place just before or just after your regular semester at New South Wales and last about two weeks. You will enroll in the field course in the same manner as an Australian student.
For example, during spring 2016 exchange students are invited to enroll in a faculty-led field course titled "Aviation and Sustainable Tourism." This unique course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the physical, social and economic sustainability of societal decisions in the context of the Great Barrier Reef. Students will visit Lady Elliott Island, a coral cay located at the southern tip of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef which boasts the state-of-the-art Reef Education Centre. The class will discuss air and water transport logistics, reef ecology, remote destination management and sustainable tourism development.
For more information about Aviation and Sustainable Tourism, use the University of New South Wales on-site course catalog and search SCIF3900 or AVIA3900.
Academic Terms in the United States and Australia
When viewing the on-site course catalog, please note that the Australian academic terms are different than what is used in the United States.
Academic Terms Used in the United States and Australia
United States Term
School or College
Subject, Unit or Paper
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the Sydney UNSW Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program.
Housing and Meals
Students will have the option of living in on-campus dorm-like accommodations or off-campus apartment style accommodations. The Study Abroad office at UNSW will provide information about how to apply for on-campus housing and can provide a list of recommended off-campus accommodation providers to students wishing to live off campus. On-campus housing is not guaranteed and students should be prepared to consider living off-campus should they not be offered a room on-campus. In general, you will live in a student apartment or rental house, where you will be responsible for providing your own meals. Alternatively, if desired, you may apply to live in a residential college (the Australian equivalent of a dormitory) at the University, but placement is highly competitive and full-degree students receive priority over study abroad and exchange students. For more information on the housing options at UNSW, visit the University of New South Wales housing website and understand the cost of living.
Housing costs in Australia can vary significantly between the different residential colleges and off-campus options. Students are responsible for researching the different housing opportunities in order to choose their best option. Review the notes section of the Budget Sheet for more details on the varying costs.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the fall budget sheet and spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit theFunding Study Abroadsection of the Global Penn State website.
For More Information
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
Education Abroad Questionnaire
One academic recommendation
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
Studying Abroad with a Disability
Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks final day of classes/exams. Confirm dates with the University of New South Wales before purchasing airline tickets.
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. Arrival date may vary depending on when selected housing becomes available. End date marks departure from program housing. Confirm dates with the University of New South Wales before purchasing airline tickets.
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.