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  • Locations: Sydney, Australia
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Restrictions: Virginia Tech applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Language(s) in which classes are available: English Program Type: Bilateral Exchange
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3 Areas of Study: Aerospace Engineering, Biological Systems Engineering, Biomedical Engineering (BME) Minor, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Science & Applications, Computer Science (CS) Minor, Construction Engineering and Management, Electrical Engineering, Engineering, Engineering Education, Engineering Mechanics, Engineering Science & Mechanics (ESM) Minor, Engineering Science and Mechanics, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mining and Minerals Engineering, Mining Engineering, Naval Engineering (NAVE) Minor, Nuclear Engineering, Ocean Engineering
Housing Options: Dorm/Residence College Sponsor: COE
Program Description:

Australia map
Bilateral Exchange Icon

More Information

Photos Courtesy: University of New South Wales
Academic Year, Fall, Spring

Semester Exchange at the University of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is one of Australia's leading research and teaching universities. Established in 1949 with a unique focus on the scientific, technological and professional disciplines, UNSW now attracts more than 50,000 students from over 120 countries. The University is ranked 49th in the 2016 QS World University Rankings and 78th in the 2016/7 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

UNSW is committed to making a difference through pioneering research in critical areas, from climate change and renewable energy to lifesaving medical treatments and breakthrough technologies. The university offers an extensive range of undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs.

Virginia Tech partners with the University of New South Wales to exchange students across all colleges. VT students are invited to apply for the exchange for a semester or an academic year.

UNSW campus


The main UNSW campus is located on a 38 hectare site at Kensington, seven kilometres from the centre of Sydney. Located on the south-east coast of Australia, Sydney is surrounded by beaches and its energetic central business district is positioned on breathtaking Sydney Harbour, meaning a water view is never far away. Sydney was crowned the Australian city with the best living standards and ranked among the top 10 best cities in the world, making it the number one choice for international students.

Sydney offers a myriad of affordable indoor and outdoor activities. Set off on a beautiful coastal walk, enjoy an Aussie barbeque in a leafy parkland, or ask a local for tips on breathtaking swimming, snorkeling and surfing spots. Sydney also offers a vibrant creative community with art galleries, museums, live music and festivals. In addition, Sydney is an ideal base to explore the rest of Australia – it’s easy to hop on a train to the Blue Mountains or fly to Melbourne, the Gold Coast and beyond.

Video Courtesy: UNSW

Approximate Semester Dates

Semester 1*: July to November
Semester 2: February to June

*UNSW's academic calendar does not align with VT's academic calendar. This may affect the date of your financial aid disbursement.


While there is possibility for exchange to occur university-wide. Students should be in good standing with a minimum overall GPA of 3.


UNSW offers VT Engineering students the opportunity to take classes in different areas. Students are recommended to search for courses on the UNSW Handbook, and also check semester availability of courses based on the current academic year on the UNSW Timetable. Internships and Volunteering opportunities are available, check here.

All exchange students are required to enroll in 24 units of credit per semester or 48 units of credit per academic year. Most courses are worth 6 units of credit.

Students need to submit the courses they wish to take at UNSW as part of their application form. It is important they refer to our Handbook for course information to select their courses. 
We advise students to select multiple courses as the more approvals they receive before leaving home.

When seeking online course approval, it is important to:

  • Ask for the appropriate level – undergraduate students are not able to take postgraduate coursework and postgraduate students are not able to take undergraduate courses
  • Ensure classes are running in the term that a student is visiting. Term offerings can be viewed here
  • Request for course approval can be made on an ongoing basis until classes begin. Students can study across multiple faculties/schools.
  • Students are not able to enroll themselves in classes. Advisors at the Study Abroad and Exchange Office will enroll on students’ behalf based on their approved subjects. 

Student Life

Arrival Support

UNSW Global Education Office organizes a compulsory Orientation for all exchange students. The orientation activities ensure that students are correctly enrolled and settled before the commencement of studies. It is also a great opportunity to meet other students, attend social activities and get to know Sydney. The office also provides a complimentary airport pick-up service for exchange students if arriving within two weeks of the start of the semester. 

UNSW Clubs and Facilities

Arc is UNSW's student association. Exchange students are welcome to sign up during the orientation week, and get access to over 250 student-led clubs and social societies covering sporting, social, cultural, religious, and intellectual and hobby interests. Arc membership also includes access to volunteering programs, discounts on- and off-campus, and free and priority entry to events throughout the year. UNSW also has a Fitness and Aquatic Centre that is the largest and most comprehensive recreation and sport centre in the eastern suburbs region of Sydney. Check Arc Sports for more information.

Check Life at UNSW page, and UNSW Student Life Guide.

UNSW also offers Disability Services to provide support and education adjustment to students with special needs.  Students should bring any supporting materials relating to the support they receive at their home campus along with medical reports in relation to their condition. Students are advised to contact Disability Services before leaving home


Video Courtesy: UNSW


UNSW is the largest provider of student housing in Sydney. There are six residential colleges, seven self-catered apartment buildings and multiple affiliated communities. Each UNSW college and apartment has its own unique culture and community, food arrangements and proximity to campus. For on-campus housing, there are very limited residential communities accommodation for exchange students in fully-catered Kensington Colleges, and self-catered University Terraces apartments. UNSW also has 8 other affiliated Colleges and Apartments that provide high quality accommodation. Students should apply directly to the college or apartment.

UNSW Basser Residential College

Students who prefer off campus housing, there are lots of properties available for rent in the suburbs surrounding the university. Costs vary according to the number of bedrooms, condition and location. When renting, students can expect to sign a 6 or 12-month lease and pay rent in advance, plus a security deposit called a ‘bond’. Rental properties can come furnished and unfurnished and additional expenses like electricity, gas, telephone and Wi-Fi are not included.  Check UNSW Accommodation webpage for more information and resources on finding private accommodation. Also, students can find useful resources at StudyStays, and on both the UNSW Study Abroad and Exchange Guide and the UNSW Pre-departure Guide.

There is also a Homestay option, including full-board and room only options.

You can check UNSW International Students Accommodation page. 

UNSW University Terraces Apartments


University Tuition & Comprehensive Fees

Virginia Tech tuition and comprehensive university fees will be billed according to the University Bursar policy. See here for credit hour rates for the appropriate term and residency status:

Study Abroad Administrative Fee

Participants in exchange programs will be charged a $300 administrative fee through the Bursar.

CISI Travel Medical Insurance (required)

Participants will be required to enroll in Virginia Tech's travel medical and security insurance coverage for the duration of the program. The cost is approximately $35 per month.

Room and Board

Room and board is not included in the exchange. Students are responsible for finding and arranging their own housing and meals. Please check the housing section below for more information.
     -Kensington Colleges (2017 weekly rates AUD 493-543) 
     -University Terraces apartments (2017 weekly rates AUD 390-502).
     -Shared House: AUD 150 – 300 per week 
     -Homestay: AUD 180 – 300 per student per week.

Australian Study Visa

Exchange students need to apply for a student Visa (subclass 500). Students are encouraged to apply as soon as they get an offer from UNSW as processing can take up to 6 weeks. Visa fees is AUD 550. Please check the Australian Department of Immigration website.

Overseas Student Health Insurance (required)

US* students are required to maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) during their stay in Australia. Student cover per month is approx. $46 (with preferred provider Medibank).  Check UNSW Pre-departure Guide or more information. Further instructions are provided upon acceptance.

*Exceptions for some EU students. Please check the Department of Health website for information. 

**Additional expenses are likely to include travel costs i.e. round trip international airfare, passport, immunizations, books/supplies, telecommunications, and personal expenses. Please check the UNSW Pre-Departure Guide and the UNSW Cost of Iiving webpage for information about cost of living.


GEO website: Information on scholarships and financial aid.

Undergraduate students from the US can apply for the NSEP David L Boren Scholarship or the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Students who study abroad in Australia are eligible for these scholarships. Please read the requirements prior to applying.



Fall Semester:

GEO Application Deadline: February 15

Spring Semester:
GEO Application Deadline: September 15

VT GEO Application

Begin your application to the GEO by clicking "Apply now" at the top of the page. All documents should be completed by the deadline.

UNSW Application

Only nominated students from VT Global Education Office (GEO) can proceed to fill out the University of New South Wales application. Information will be provided upon acceptance to the program.

Contact Information

VT GEO Contact

More information available at UNSW Exchange Program Website

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 09/15/2019
09/15/2019 TBA TBA
Fall 2020 02/15/2020 02/15/2020 TBA TBA

Indicates that deadline has passed