Study Abroad & Student Exchange: a step by step guide

Step 1: Apply for student housing

It may seem strange to apply for on-campus housing as your first step, but as we have many international students applying to live on campus, rooms are offered according to the order that students submit their application to the housing office.

If you’re considering on-campus accommodation and have not yet applied, we strongly recommend you do this immediately as the rooms fill quickly and we are not able to hold or guarantee on-campus accommodation for exchange or study abroad students.

There is no application fee to apply for on-campus accommodation and no fee if you don’t proceed with your application.

When applying please add as the Curtin University contact as this will advise us that you have applied.

If you wish to live on campus, please take some time to read the residency handbook so you are aware of the requirements and rules.

Once you have applied for on-campus housing, Housing Services will contact you to confirm your application has been received and you will be placed on a waiting list until you are a confirmed student (ie, you accept your exchange or study abroad offer).

You can update your housing application details at any time. Housing Services will attempt to assign you to your first preference, however as this isn’t always possible, it is important that you consider second and third preferences or indicate on your application that you will take any room type available. Housing offers for Semester 1 will be made via email in November and housing offers for Semester 2 will be made via email in May.

Once you receive your room offer you are required to accept the offer by the due date. Unless alternative arrangements are in place, full payment is required at this time. Your room offer will include check-in and arrival information.

Curtin housing doesn’t have meal plans, instead most students will prepare their own meals in the kitchen area.

Students that will be studying for two semesters (but not our academic year), can only apply for on-campus housing for one semester and will need to reapply for their preferred housing option for their second exchange semester. Your Housing Manager will advise you when to apply.

If you prefer to live off-campus, Housing Services will be able to provide you with access to their off-campus database and provide assistance.

Visit the Housing Services  website to apply or to contact them with any queries you may have (let them know you are an exchange or study abroad student).

Step 2: The application process

Completing your application

Once you have completed your Curtin exchange or study abroad application, your application and supporting documents should be submitted via email by your home university to the Study Abroad & Exchange Office.

Selecting your units at Curtin

As you won’t be familiar with our Course Handbook, you may find searching for available units a little difficult to begin with.

You may select units from the Curtin Courses Handbook and/or from the range of pre-approved units.

The Search tips will help you understand the search options available.  Remember, at Curtin we call modules and courses “units”.

When selecting your units:

  • Please select eight units that have been approved by your home university and submit these in order of preference on your application form. Your request may need to be sent to the faculty for approval. A Curtin unit is generally worth 25 credits.  A minimum semester enrolment at Curtin University is 75 credits (generally 3 units)  and a maximum enrolment is 100 credits (generally 4 units)
  • Ensure the units are available at Bentley campus and in the semester in which you are intending to study at Curtin
  • Ensure you have met the equivalent of the pre-requisite/s required for the units and if possible provide evidence of this in the form of course or module syllabi.

Select units with a value between 1,000-3,999 for undergraduate (eg. “MINE1000” is a first year unit as indicated by “1” in the code).  Units with a value between 4,000 – 4,999 are fourth year or honours units and are available subject to special permission. Units with a value between 5,000 – 6,999 are postgraduate units and are available in most instances to postgraduate students only.

Step 3: Accept your letter of offer

Once your application has been assessed, you will receive a letter of offer from Curtin.  It will include your student ID along with other important information relating to your exchange or study abroad program and it is important that you read it carefully.

To be admitted into the exchange or study abroad program, you will need to accept your offer by signing it, pay tuition fees* as indicated on your letter of offer and then return it via email with the required documents to our office by the due date specified on the letter.

*Exchange students are exempt from paying tuition.

Health Insurance Requirements

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection requires all international students to have Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) and it must be purchased before you are able to apply for a student visa.You must purchase OSHC from the date of your departure to the date indicated on your letter of offer. If you leave Australia prior to the expiry of your OSHC you may be eligible to claim a refund for any unused portion from your OSHC provider (this is subject to the terms and conditions of your OSHC provider).

For Frequently asked questions about OSHC, please visit DIBP and/or Department of Health.

Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) is one of Australia’s largest OSHC providers and is our preferred provider, which means we have staff on campus who can directly assist policy holders and liaise with the Allianz Global Assistance team. However, you may purchase your OSHC policy through any government-approved provider.

Students from Sweden, Belgium and Norway don’t require OSHC but must provide us with evidence of their relevant insurance cover as indicated below:

  • a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
  • a Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet
  • a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.

Step 4: Apply for a student visa

Once you’ve accepted your offer, returned the required documents and purchased your OSHC policy (unless you are exempt), you will be issued a confirmation of enrolment document. You will need this document before you can apply for a student visa.

A student visa (subclass 500) is required by all students to study in Australia.

Study abroad and exchange students will apply for a Non-Award Subclass 500 visa. This indicates that you are studying short-term and not receiving a Curtin degree.

You need to apply for a student visa online at the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). The DHA website contains general information about student visas (subclass 500) including:

  • Application requirements
  • Supporting document requirements
  • Visa processing times
  • Visa costs
  • OSHC requirements
  • Visa conditions

Curtin University is not able to offer visa advice, however we have provided some tips below that will guide you through the process:

  • You should apply for your student visa as soon as you have received your confirmation of enrolment from Curtin and gathered any required supporting documents.
  • Evidence to show that you meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement for a student visa will need to be submitted with your visa application to the Department of Home Affairs. This must include a written statement in your application form that states you intend to stay in Australia temporarily and/or documentation to support your claims.
  • Your CoE Code is printed in bold on the top right-hand corner of your confirmation of enrolment. You will be required to enter this code in your online visa application.
  • It is a requirement of a student visa that you have an OSHC policy for the duration of your student visa (unless you’re exempt). Your CoE may indicate “No” next to “Provider arranged Overseas Student Health Cover”. This is not necessarily an error! If Curtin hasn’t paid for the OSHC cover on your behalf, we indicate “No” in this section. If Curtin has purchased OSHC cover on your behalf then this will be indicated with “Yes”.
  • The visa application will ask you for your residential or postal address in Australia. If you don’t know this at the time you apply for your student visa, you can use Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley WA 6102 and then update your address once you have confirmed your accommodation.
  • Although you may have met Curtin University English entry requirements, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection may have additional English requirements. For more information on these requirements, please go to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website.

For more detailed information or general enquiries about applying for a student visa, we recommend that you contact ImmiAccount.

Step 5: Complete your enrolment and register for classes

You will be enrolled in a not for degree course (sometimes referred to as a non award course) for the duration of your studies.  This means you won’t receive a Curtin degree, but as an enrolled student you are welcome to participate in on-campus events, and utilise the university services.

Study Abroad and Exchange students are unable to self-enrol or withdraw from units.  Once enrolments are open, our office will enrol you into your units. Most units are valued at 25 credits, however there are some 12.5 credit and 50 credit units. A full-time load at Curtin University is 75 credits (usually three units) or 100 credits (usually four units) per semester.

Please ensure your home university has approved your units and study load.

You will need to complete an enrolment form and return this by email to our office. Please list your preferred 75 credits (3 units) or 100 credits (4 units). Once we have enrolled you, you will be required to register for your classes and complete your timetable. We will provide you with easy-to-follow instructions on how to complete your timetable at this time. If you have a timetable clash, you will need to let us know and in most cases you will need to select an alternative unit to enrol into.

You will have the opportunity to change your units during the first week of classes but Curtin University does not permit students to commence classes after the end of the first week of semester.

Step 6: Prepare for arrival!

It is a requirement of your enrolment that you read through the pre-departure information and arrive in Perth to participate in the Orientation (O-Week) activities.

O-Week is a fun-filled, week-long timetable of activities and information sessions that prepare you for your studies and allow you to familiarise yourself with Curtin’s main campus in Bentley.

If you are studying at Kalgoorlie Campus, you will need to ensure that you organise to arrive in Kalgoorlie to participate in their O-Week schedule.

We offer an airport pick up service (fee applies) or alternatively you may wish to travel to campus by taxi from the airport. If catching a taxi, please ensure you have your room details and address with you. You must also remember to supply the housing office with your flight and arrival details. A fee will apply if you are arriving outside office hours.

Once you are offered a room, your Housing Manager is your point of contact for housing and will be able to provide more arrival information.

The pre-departure app helps you discover Curtin. If you’re struggling to figure out the right accommodation, what you need to bring, what events are on in Perth or what you can do at Curtin, this app is for you.

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Everything else you need to know

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OASIS student portal

OASIS is your Curtin student portal. We will provide you with more information on how to set up your OASIS account once you have been admitted as a student.

It’s a requirement of your student visa that the details in your OASIS account are correct, so don’t forget to update your address upon arrival.

The Agency (Social Media facility)

Academic Integrity Policy (AIP)

Curtin requires all newly enrolled students to complete Curtin’s Academic Integrity Program (AIP) within 14 days of the start of their first study period in their course at Curtin.

The purpose of the AIP is to explain academic integrity, Curtin’s values, and what Curtin expects of you as a student.  The module is online and topics include ethics, referencing, plagiarism, cheating, and misconduct processes and possible outcomes. The online module will be available through your OASIS account.

We value our students and recognise the importance of the overall student experience. Curtin’s Student Charter outlines expectations and responsibilities of students who study at Curtin.

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Exams, grading and transcripts

Once you have access to Blackboard you will be able to access your unit outlines for your classes. These will provide you with in-depth information regarding the requirements and assessments of the unit.

You should plan to remain at Curtin until the final day of exams. The exam timetable will be accessible on your OASIS account later in the semester.  Curtin does not allow resits or re-writes for failed units or assessments. Supplementary Examinations and Assessment Extensions may be granted in some circumstances but are subject to strict guidelines.

At the end of your semester, and once your results have been released, a transcript will be ordered and posted to your home university.  If you wish to order additional transcripts, these can be purchased through Student Services.

Curtin Mentor Program & Student Guild

All new to Curtin students are provided with a Curtin Mentor who will be able to help you during your exchange semester. This is a great opportunity to meet lots of students and to settle in quickly!  They will probably introduce you to some Aussie delights such as Vegemite, Tim Tams and, of course, let you know how to get to the beaches!

You’re also welcome to join the Student Guild – it’s FREE!  The Guild offer discounts, events and support. When you arrive on campus, the Student Guild will have booths where you can join.

Volunteer programs

Get the most out of your exchange experience and join one of the Volunteer Programs on offer. What a fantastic way to meet people and learn new skills.

Curtin Experiences

There are a wide range of activities and trips offered through our Curtin Experiences program. These include surfing lessons, getaway adventures, sports, dancing and so much more. We will share more information about the opportunities and the programs available only to Study Abroad and Exchange students during our orientation week. The tip is to register early so that you don’t miss out!
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We’re located in Curtin Connect, Building 102, at Curtin’s main campus in Perth.