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Australia Study Abroad Program at the University of Sydney

About the University of Sydney

  • Minimum GPA: 2.8 (4.0 scale)
  • Application deadlines: November 1 for semester 1 (Feb-June)
    November 1 for calendar year (Feb-Nov)
    Conservatorium of Music students must apply by October 15
    for semester 1 and calendar year.

    March 15 for semester 2 (July-Nov)
    March 15 for academic year (July-June)
  • Program advisor: Hannah Sutton
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Program Snapshot


We're so excited that you're considering IFSA-Butler's program at the University of Sydney for your semester or year abroad. The university is a great academic institution located in an even greater city. We're sure you're going to love studying there!

What the University of Sydney has to offer

  • One of Australia's most prestigious universities, modeled after Oxford
  • Main campus next to the laid-back, trendy Newtown neighborhood with a cafe culture and a New Age attitude
  • Ranked among the top 100 universities worldwide by the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities
  • The business school is the only one in Australia to have AACSB accreditation for both Accounting and Finance
  • More than 100 teaching departments organized into 16 faculties
  • A magnificent 1857 quadrangle regarded as a national treasure
  • The modern Fisher Library, the largest of its kind in Australia
  • More than 200 student societies and clubs to give students a rich and diverse experience
  • Great sports facilities, including indoor pool, rock climbing, tennis pavilion, gymnasium and recreation center, plus a ski hut
  • A short bus ride from the central business district, Darling Harbour and Circular Quay, and about 30 minutes from the closest beach
  • Includes the United States Study Centre, the only center of its kind in Australia


  • Housing is with other IFSA-Butler students in Urbanest or with local and other international students in one of the three residential colleges
  • Residential colleges have mandatory meal plans; students at Urbanest purchase or prepare their meals in shared kitchen facilities


  • Over 4,000 courses available in a huge range of disciplines
  • Students take four courses per semester
  • AACSB International accredited business school
  • A state of the art internship program that offers many different opportunities, including sports management, marketing, nonprofit management and medical research

We look forward to working with you!



Where can I find a list of courses that the university offers?
Use Sydney’s Unit of Study Tools to view all available courses (called “units of study”) for study abroad students. You can either open the master list for all undergraduate units (linked on page 2) to browse all available units or you can open thematic lists or faculty/department lists that have been organized by area of study.

What courses am I eligible to take?
As an IFSA-Butler student, you are entitled to enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and in which space is available. Course descriptions in the online course catalog (see above) include prerequisites you must fulfill in order to enroll in each course.

For each course that you list on your preference form, be sure to check the following:

  • When determining which courses to take, please bear in mind that the Australian academic system is an intensive, three-year program.
    • First-year (1000-level) courses are appropriate for departments in which you have little or no prior experience.
    • Second-year (2000-level) courses will be equivalent to advanced sophomore or junior-level U.S. courses.
    • Third-year (3000-level) courses will be equivalent to senior-level U.S. courses.
    • Fourth-year (4000-level) courses are between U.S. undergraduate and U.S. graduate level work, so not all courses may be available for undergraduate study abroad students; the University of Sydney will determine your eligibility for them based upon your application materials (especially your transcript).
    • Fifth-year (5000-level) courses and higher are part of a postgraduate degree (Masters or Ph.D.). You are not eligible to take these courses as an undergraduate study abroad student.
  • Remember in Australia, U.S. fall semester = semester 2 and U.S. spring semester = semester 1. Be sure to select courses for the correct semester you are studying abroad.

What if I need to take a required course?
Please be aware that IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee that your host university will offer a particular course, or that you will be allowed to take that particular course. However, if you need to take a required course, you may indicate that it is required on your course preference form. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor will communicate your needs to your host university.

Course Restrictions

There are a number of restrictions or additional requirements at the University of Sydney. Please read below for more information:

You must submit a portfolio with the following information:

  • Photographs representative of your previous study
  • Resume
  • Short piece in a cultural area of academic writing
  • Short piece in a technical area of academic writing

You will meet with architecture staff upon arrival at University of Sydney to discuss the courses for which you are best suited. It's easier to take architecture courses if you study abroad during semester 1.

Art Workshops/Art Studio
These subjects are introductory art units (including ceramics, photography, sculpture) that do not require previous experience. The units are listed under the AWSS or DESA codes. These subjects have limited space due to quotas, and you will have to wait until you arrive to try to enroll in these units. Be prepared to choose other courses.

Computer Science
These courses are available under a number of different faculties. The Faculty of Science and department of computer science will have courses in computer science listed under COMP, SOFT and NETS. Information Systems offers the courses under INFO and ISYS, and the Faculty of Economics and Business offers them in the information systems department as INFS.

Economics and Business
Please make sure you have met all the prerequisites if you choose a 3000-level unit. About 15 percent of IFSA-Butler students regularly fail economics and business courses because they have chosen a unit that is too much of a stretch for them, given their experience in that discipline. Choose carefully!

All education units of study require special approval, which means you should be prepared to wait a few extra weeks for a decision.

Fine or Visual Arts
If you are a fine or visual arts major, you will probably want to take courses at the Sydney College of the Arts, located at the Rozelle Campus. This campus is a 40-minute bus ride from the main campus where you will be living. The cost of commuting is your responsibility. If you are admitted, you will be allowed to work in a studio in your chosen field while also studying studio theory and techniques. You must include a portfolio with your Unit of Study Enrolment form. The portfolio should include the following:

  • The portfolio may be presented in one of the following formats: VHF video, photographic, CD or DVD ROM.
  • Should consist of 10 pieces maximum.
  • Items should be relevant and representative of your abilities and interest.
  • Items do not need to be directly relevant to the area which you would like to study at Sydney.

Health Sciences (including Nursing and Occupational Therapy)
These courses have limited space and require students to provide descriptions of previous courses with their Unit of Study Enrolment form. The courses in this faculty are on the Cumberland campus, which is about an hour by public transportation from the main campus. If you are going to take courses at Cumberland, we suggest that you try to take all of your courses on this campus rather than trying to commute between the City and Cumberland campuses. The cost of commuting is your responsibility.

Law and Criminology
An Australian student can pursue a law degree as an undergraduate. Consequently, it is difficult for most U.S. undergraduates to qualify to take law and criminology courses at Sydney. While the courses are technically available, they will require special approval, which means you should be prepared to wait a few extra weeks for a decision. Please check to make sure you meet any prerequisites.

Medicine and Dentistry
Study abroad students may not take courses in either of these two faculties. There are courses available to study abroad students in anatomy and histology, immunology, pathology, pharmacology and physiology as long as prerequisites are met and previous course work is included along with the Unit of Study Enrolment form. The above mentioned courses are found in the Faculty of Science.

Students may take courses in music in two different ways at the University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The Conservatorium is located about 20 minutes from the main campus by public transport. The cost of commuting is your responsibility.

  • Non-performance courses
    Coursework in music history, theory and composition is offered under the course code MUSC. Students who are music majors may also take courses under MCGY.
  • Performance Courses
    Because you will be in the United States at the time of application, you will not be able to participate in a live audition. You will need to submit an audition either via videotape (in PAL format) or DVD, which includes a statement signed by both you and your teacher certifying that it is a true recording. To find out more details on the audition requirements and submission requirements for composition and musicology applicants, see the University of Sydney website.

    Additional fees will be charged to your bill once you have officially signed up for courses in instrument, voice, composition or musicology. Students may not study more than one instrument or area of principal study during a semester, and it may not be possible to take one-on-one instruction. The additional fees may be as high as US$500, but we will not know exactly how much this extra fee will be until you have arrived in Sydney and started your courses. This fee will be sent to your billing address approximately two months after your arrival in Sydney.

Students taking science courses (especially those that have a lab component) may be charged a supplemental tuition fee, as IFSA-Butler's tuition fees are based on the arts and social science tuition fee.

Veterinary Science
There are numerous restrictions on study abroad students in this faculty. If you wish to take courses in this faculty, you must submit descriptions of previously completed work when you return the Unit of Study Enrolment form.


How many courses am I able to take, and how do I determine U.S. semester credit hours?
IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution. The number of courses you take depends on the credit value of the courses you select. At the University of Sydney, a full course load consists of 24 Sydney credits per semester or 48 Sydney credits per year. For information on the credit weight, please consult the information below.

4 USY points = 2.75 U.S. semester credit hours
6 USY points = 4 U.S. semester credit hours
12 USY points = 8 U.S. semester credit hours


What are the registration conditions?
You must take a full University of Sydney course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.

What is the Unit of Study Enrolment form and why do I have to complete it?
The Unit of Study Enrolment form is an important piece in the academic planning process for your semester or year abroad. Completing the Unit of Study Enrolment form gives you the opportunity to inform the University of Sydney of the courses you'd like to take. University staff members then use the form to preregister you in your top selections. If it is not possible for them to put together a complete preregistration schedule for you, then IFSA-Butler will contact you with more information. You ONLY need to complete sections B and C of the Unit of Study Enrolment form and sign it under section E.

The Unit of Study Enrolment form is not a registration form; neither you nor the university is bound by your selections, and you do not officially register for courses until you arrive at the University of Sydney. You should discuss your course selections with your academic advisor at your home institution and have several backup choices in mind.

What is the University of Sydney signature page and what do I need to complete on it?
The University of Sydney signature page requires your signature. All you need to do is sign it and return it with the other forms.


What do I need to know about exams?
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Please refer to your program calendar to review the exam period for your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting a grade appeal or academic follow-up for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned at the University of Sydney. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.


Housing Options

What are my housing options?
The following housing options are available during your semester or year abroad:

Self-catered student apartments
The majority of IFSA-Butler students at the University of Sydney will be living at the Cleveland Street location of Urbanest Apartments. Each apartment houses eight people of both genders and offers four twin rooms with a shared bathroom in each twin room. The apartments include a fully functioning kitchen (housing is self-catered) and lounge room that includes a flat screen television. A linen pack, including a fitted sheet, pillow, pillow case, duvet, bath towel, and hand towel, is provided for each student.

The apartments also have wireless Internet throughout the building, security systems, a large outdoor courtyard with BBQ, fully equipped gym and yoga/stretch room, and big screen TV/games room.

Urbanest is a five-minute walk from most buildings on the University of Sydney campus.

Residential Colleges
Residential College applicants, please note: If you are placed in a residential college, you will incur a supplemental charge six to eight weeks after you have arrived; this charge is in addition to your IFSA-Butler housing fee and varies from college to college. Please see the Dates & Fees tab for more information on the supplemental fees for the Residential Colleges.

Residential college spaces are highly competitive. If you are not offered a place in the residential colleges, you will be placed in self-catered accommodation. Please note that most students will be placed in a self-catered accommodation.

  • Wesley College
    Wesley College has a neo-gothic flavor and more than 230 students in residence. Wesley has its own special atmosphere, offering accommodation, collegiate life, sports and tutorial opportunities. There is a vibrant social scene, as students often plan and arrange the various social engagements throughout the semester. College students are diverse with many international students and local students of all ages (undergraduate and postgraduate) living in close proximity in double and triple rooms.

  • Mandelbaum House
    Mandelbaum House is a modern, smaller college where students from both Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds are integrated. While all food served is kosher, students are allowed a comfortable environment to practice all aspects of the Jewish faith at Mandelbaum. Up to half the residents are from a variety of other backgrounds and a diverse mix is encouraged. Rooms are all singles with a shared mini-kitchen and lounge at each end of each floor. There is a library, recreation room and dining room where the meals provided are served.

    Situated on the edge of the university campus, it is only a short walk to any part of the university.

  • Sancta Sophia College
    Sancta Sophia College is mainly a residential college for women, though some male postgraduate students live there as well. All rooms are shared. Rooms vary in size depending on their location within the residential wings. A bed, desk, chair, lamp, wardrobe and wireless connection are provided. Bathrooms, washing and ironing facilities are shared. There are rooms where students gather informally and computer facilities with printing capabilities. All computers are connected to the Internet and the university networks.

Residents are encouraged to participate in the many university activities and clubs, and take full advantage of its sports and social events. There is an active intercollegiate life among the neighboring residential colleges revolving around formals, tutorials, drama, music and activities.


Students placed in residential colleges will have a mandatory meal plan that incurs a supplemental fee. Students placed in self-catered apartments will be responsible for purchasing and preparing their own meals. See the Housing Options tab for more information.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for any commuting costs you may incur. Australian university housing requires students to move out during breaks between semesters. If you are studying abroad for a year and wish to remain in residence during the vacation period(s), you must notify the university housing office upon arrival to make necessary arrangements. Staying in residence during these breaks may incur additional costs not covered by the IFSA-Butler program fee.

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in Australia for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail when it is released by the university.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.

Location Info

Living and Studying Abroad in Sydney, Australia

About Sydney
Population: 4.5 million
Location: State of New South Wales, in southeast Australia

City features

  • Known as the "World's Friendliest City"
  • Renowned for its multicultural flavor
  • At its heart is a spectacular harbor, home to the famous sails of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Distinct neighborhoods with a huge range of lifestyles and cultures, linked by excellent public transportation
  • Darling Harbour is a glittering entertainment district and a hub of endless fun
  • Nearby are the historic Rocks, Sydney' oldest preserved colonial district transformed into a vibrant area of pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops

Do more!

  • Enjoy surfing, swimming and sunning at the beaches on the east coast of the city
  • Visit the Blue Mountains in the west
  • Sample wines in the Hunter Valley to the north of Sydney, where some of Australia's best wines are made

City of Sydney
Travel South: A Visitor's Guide to South Coast New South Wales Things to Do
Lonely Planet Sydney
Sydney Morning Herald
Time Out Sydney

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

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IFSA-Butler orientation begins at 11 a.m. on the orientation start date.

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

All program support services end on the “Program Ends” date.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Australia exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals.

Program Fees

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What's included in our Australia program fees
Expense calculator

Calendar Year and Semester 1 Payments Due: December 15
Academic Year and Semester 2 Payments Due:
May 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs. Meals are estimated based on the cost of a weekly standard grocery shop with one meal out.  If you plan to eat out once a day or more, we recommend using a higher estimate.  If you have dietary restrictions or follow a specific diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc), you may also wish to budget more due to the higher cost of specialty food items.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Australia:

hannahProgram Advisor Hannah Sutton assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Hannah graduated from Butler University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. During her junior year, Hannah spent a semester in Dublin on the IFSA-Butler Ireland program. Her experience led her to develop a passion for study abroad and education and she joined the IFSA-Butler team to help guide other students to their own study abroad adventures. Hannah currently advises students planning to study in Australia and New Zealand, and can be reached through the email link above or by phone at 800-858-0229 ext. 4266.

beckiStudent Accounts Coordinator Becki Niccum assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Becki can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-3077.

altStudent & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

fiona della caOnce abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our student services coordinator Fiona Pearson. Click here to read more about Fiona.



abbyAcademic Records Coordinator Abby Miller graduated from Butler University where she worked as a guide for international students from all over the world. From that experience and combined with her own world travels, she knows the amazing experiences that studying abroad can provide. Abby is excited to work with IFSA-Butler students and to help answer any questions about their academic records. Abby can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4217.

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:
Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students


The University of Sydney offers a highly competitive internship program. Interns must have a strong academic background and achieved a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. Interns will spend at least 15 days working on a specialized project with one of the University of Sydney's host organizations. Students will be awarded a letter grade for participating in the internship program, which will appear on their Butler University transcript. The internship is worth 4 U.S. credit hours. In general, students selected for the program will enroll in three traditional classes plus the internship, for a total of 16 U.S. credit hours per semester.

Internships are available in the following areas:

      • Accounting
      • Banking and finance
      • Marketing
      • Special events and public relations
      • Communications and media
      • Operations
      • Human resource management
      • Information technology
      • Not for profits
      • Government and policy
      • Medical research
      • Biotechnology
      • Engineering
      • Environmental science
      • Marine biology
      • Architecture
      • Sports management
      • Graphic design
      • Visual arts
      • Film and television production
      • Research placements (juniors and seniors only; please contact your IFSA-Butler program advisor for assistance selecting an available area from within the university's faculties/departments)

If you are interested in applying for an internship, please list ARTS2600, Internship 1 as your first choice on your Unit of Study Enrollment form (see the Forms tab). You'll then also need to complete and return:

      • Current resume: Click here for guidelines from University of Sydney.
      • Personal statement/cover letter: Click here for guidelines from University of Sydney.

You can return those to us by mail, fax (317-940-9704), or scan/email.

Placement into the internship program will not be guaranteed until you have completed the interview process. Whenever possible, Sydney tries to arrange interviews via Skype or phone before students arrive, but you may have to wait until your arrival for an in-person interview. Please also note that the internship is offered for 4 U.S. semester credit hours, and you will be receiving a letter grade. In addition to the internship you will need to take three other courses at the University of Sydney.

Additional information can be found on the University of Sydney's website.

Please note, however, that some information such as fees and the application process do not apply to IFSA-Butler students, so be sure to contact your IFSA-Butler program advisor with any questions rather than contacting the University of Sydney directly.

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