This section provides a number of tips on how you can prepare for your exchange and enjoy your time abroad.

It is important that you update mySI-net with an address where correspondence can be sent whilst you are overseas.  We recommend that you use your UQ student email address or redirect it to another account so that UQ emails are read regularly and responded to promptly.

Host universities are obliged to provide in-coming exchange students with advice on available housing options, and many arrange accommodation on the student’s behalf; however, it is your responsibility to secure accommodation for the duration of your exchange.

Depending on the host university, students may be able to choose from:

  • On-campus
  • Off-campus
  • Share house/apartment
  • Home stay

The type of accommodation available will vary depending on the location and infrastructure of the host university. Many European partner universities don’t have a single campus, so accommodation is located throughout the city and students must commute to class. Most North American partners offer accommodation on campus very close to lecture halls.

Thoroughly research all of your accommodation options. Spaces may be limited in the housing options near your host university, so it is advised to secure a place as soon as possible.

A few things to consider:

Types of available accommodation

Research all the options available. Consider the location and proximity to your classes, cost, and the amenities and furnishings provided. Budget for purchasing your own food if it is self-catered, and investigate who you will be living with (international or local students) if accommodation is shared.

Know your rights and responsibilities

There may be rules and regulations at your accommodation, like a curfew or no alcohol allowed even if you are of legal age.  Consider if you are happy with such requirements and only choose accommodation where you are willing to abide by the rules.

Read the lease thoroughly before signing it, and understand your rights and obligations before committing to your acommodation.  Bear in mind that sometimes housing deposits are non-refundable, so you may lose this deposit if you decide to change acommodation or withdraw from the exchange program before getting overseas.

When to arrange accommodation

Depending on the type of accommodation available, you may be able to arrange accommodation before you arrive in your host country. If your host university is arranging the accommodation for you:

  • Confirm you have a place well before the beginning of semester
  • Confirm the move-in date
  • Confirm whether you need to bring linen (sheets, towels etc) or whether this is included in the accommodation fee

If you are arranging accommodation through a local rental agency, be cautious about paying a large down-payment without first confirming that they are a legitimate company.

Temporary accommodation

If you arrive before your accommodation becomes available you should book a hostel or other temporary accommodation so you have somewhere to stay once you arrive in the country. If you will be searching for your own accommodation after arrival give yourself at least 2 weeks in temporary accommodation to allow plenty of time to a find permanent place.

Where to get more information

Read through the accommodation website of your host university, and any information they provide to you. If you are going to find your own accommodation check out the local real estate websites to get an idea about the prices, locations, types of accommodation, and requirements for renters.

The student testimonials on UQ Abroad’s website are a great resource to get advice from students who have been to your host university before. You can find these testimonials on the right side of host university website, and also under Student Experiences from the UQ Abroad homepage.

Contact UQ Abroad if you run into issues with your host university or their accommodation office and would like assistance. Be flexible with the type of accommodation you are willing to live in, and remember exchange is only a short period of time. Part of the exchange experience is living in a new and different type of accommodation!


Accommodation on Exchange from UQ Abroad on Vimeo.

If you receive assistance from Centrelink, you can arrange to continue to receive these payments while you are overseas as a UQ exchange student.

Centrelink requires the following information in writing from UQ:

  • that you will remain enrolled at UQ for the duration of your exchange studies;
  • your study load while overseas;
  • the duration of your overseas study; and
  • that your overseas study will count towards your UQ degree program.

You can request a Centrelink letter from UQ Abroad once you have been officially accepted by your host university.

Please contact Centrelink for more details concerning your eligibility, and payments . Note that Rent Assistance is not generally paid while you are on exchange.

During your exchange you will still be enrolled as a full-time student at UQ. Before you leave for exchange, you will need to ensure that you are correctly enrolled on mySI-net.

Course codes

UQ Abroad will enrol you in course codes which show you are on exchange; however it is your responsibility to check that you are enrolled correctly by the appropriate UQ census date (March 31 for Semester 1 or August 31 for Semester 2) or you will be charged a late fee. Please contact UQ Abroad if you have any questions or concerns.

The codes that you must be enrolled in for your UQ Abroad period of study per semester are:

  • Semester 1: EXCH1011, EXCH 1012, EXCH 1013, EXCH 1014
  • Semester 2: EXCH1021, EXCH 1022, EXCH 1023, EXCH 1024

If you are in the final semester of your degree program and have only six units left to complete, or if you have special permission to be enrolled in six units, you will need to withdraw yourself from one 2-unit EXCH course code before the appropriate census date.

Withdrawing from non-exchange units

If you are going on exchange during UQ's second semester, please ensure that you have withdrawn from all non-exchange units for second semester by the end of May to allow UQ Abroad to enrol you in the exchange codes for Semester 2.

UQ Abroad does not recommend that you purchase tickets until you receive an official acceptance letter from your host university. Although we understand that you would like to purchase your ticket early to get the best price, unfortunately it is out of our control whether you will be accepted by your host university and when we will receive your acceptance letter.

If you decide to purchase your ticket prior to receiving your acceptance letter, please ensure that the terms and conditions of the flight will allow you to change the departure date without financial penalty and/or provide a refund in the case that you are not accepted by the host university.


The period of your exchange is clearly stated in your acceptances letters from both UQ Abroad and your host institution.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned and you may need to come home early. If this does occur, please contact your UQ Abroad Exchange Advisor for further information.

If you need to return to UQ early, you will need to consider the following implications.

Abroad & at the Host University:

  • Does your host university have a withdrawal fee?
  • What financial penalties are there with regard to your accommodation?
  • Will you be subject to any fees to reschedule return flights?

In Australia & At UQ:

  • Have you passed the financial liability for withdrawal date for enrolled study? If you are withdrawing after March 31 (Semester 1) or August 31 (Semester 2), you will be financially liable for the fees for that semester. If you have special circumstances that might warrant the removal of that financial liability, you can make an application accordingly.
  • Will you be able to return to study at UQ in the current semester?
  • Have you received a scholarship that you will need to pay back?
  • Do you have to do anything regarding Centrelink payments?
  • OS-HELP – if you are withdrawing a semester early you will not be eligible for your second OS-HELP payment.

Please note that if you return prior to the census date for that semester, you will need to remove yourself from the exchange enrolment codes on your mySI-net.

You will not be able to stay longer on exchange than indicated on your acceptance letter. If you have any questions about this, please consult your UQ Abroad Exchange Advisor.

Visiting a doctor before you leave for your exchange is strongly encouraged. The doctor will be able to provide information about required vaccinations and health advice for your destination.

If you are on any medication, be sure to take an adequate supply, as an equivalent medication may not be available at your destination. You will require a letter describing the contents of your medication from a doctor in order to carry this through customs in Australia as well as overseas.


It is a good idea to consider the likely temperature and climate in your destination, so that you can take enough (and the right kind of) clothes to be comfortable on arrival.

Have a chat with other students who have been on exchange in the country where you are headed and get their tips on what to pack.

The weight limit for baggage is usually about 20kgs - make sure that you keep some room in your suitcase for all of the fabulous souvenirs that you purchase while on exchange.

Carry your study plan and latest academic transcript

Having a copy of your latest academic transcript will make it easier to enrol at your host institution.

You will also need to carry a copy of your study plan so you know what courses you already have been approved for, and which units may still need approval once you have enrolled overseas.

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