Short term options

Like the idea of studying abroad, but not sure about committing to a full university course straightaway? If you’d like to test the waters before diving in, you can study in Australia or New Zealand for just one term (around six months)

Study Abroad (Tester Semester)

Short term study (Study Abroad) is available for students who have just finished school and for those currently studying a university degree in the UK, at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Undergraduate students can also consider Exchange.

A Study Abroad programme allows you to enrol at an Australian or New Zealand university for one or two semesters (terms) and take a variety of different courses as well as experiencing a new lifestyle and culture. 

Who can do Study Abroad?

School-leavers: If you want to take some time out after finishing school, Study Abroad is a great way of studying at university for a short time to see how you find higher education.

If, after the semester, you decide you love it and want to stay on and complete your whole degree, the academic credits you’ve completed in that semester will be credited toward your degree in Australia or New Zealand (so you’ll effectively already have the first half year under your belt).

If you decide to come home and study in the UK instead, you’ll have amassed experiences and insights that should serve you well going forward in other university applications, job applications and life in general! 

Current university students: Study Abroad was originally designed to allow a student studying in their home country a way of enrolling at an overseas university and then transferring the academic credit they earned back to their home degree. If taken in this way, Study Abroad is a direct alternative to an Exchange programme and does not extend the total time required to complete a degree.

University students wanting a break: If you are not worried about taking longer to complete your degree, you can request permission to simply take a year off from your UK bachelors and spend part or all of that year studying in Australia or New Zealand instead. Please note that this would require getting formal permission to take the break from your UK university. 

How much does it cost?

Study Abroad semesters are charged at a flat rate, so the fee is the same whether you take a normal course load (usually three or four courses per semester, depending on the university) or a heavier one. Fees vary, but per semester in New Zealand you should expect to pay around NZ$10,500, in Australia between AU$8,000 – AU$13,000. 

When would I go?

The academic year in the southern hemisphere runs from February to November, and there are two Study Abroad start dates to choose from: Semester 1: February – June (semester 1) or Semester 2: July – November (semester 2). Your student visa will allow you a few weeks after the completion of your course to stay and travel around, so remember to allow for this in your planning if you don’t want to leave straightaway.

How do I apply?

Through Study Options. If you’d like more information about Study Abroad, please contact us – we’ll give you details of what’s available and guide you through the application process.

Planning an application?

If you are hoping to do Study Abroad directly after finishing school, or are intending to enrol on the scheme as part of a year out from your UK degree, you simply need to get in touch with Study Options to request a list of all the options available so you can start building a shortlist of possible places to apply.

If you are already enrolled on a degree here in the UK and want your study time overseas to count toward your degree marks, the preparation stage is more complex. The first thing to do is to discuss your plans to do a Study Abroad semester with your home university as early as possible, so that you know from the start what subjects they will require you to cover during your time away.

Then get in touch with Study Options to get details of all the Study Abroad schemes available. You then choose your Australian or New Zealand university, and the courses you want to study there. Next, go back and check again that your chosen Australian or New Zealand university and the courses you’re proposing to take meet the requirements of your home degree. Once you have that confirmed, get an application form from Study Options, and send your application to us. The Australian or New Zealand university will say whether or not you are eligible for a place, and also which of your course choices have been approved. Once you have a final, confirmed list of courses, do a final check with your home university that the overseas academic credit will definitely be transferred to your home degree.

This may sound like a lot of planning – and a lot of checking – but having your home university approve your study plan in advance means you can head off overseas safe in the knowledge that the courses you take are definitely going to be credited to your degree when you get back. So you get all the advantages of studying abroad, but can still finish your UK degree in the time originally planned.


Exchange programmes are only available to students currently enrolled at UK universities that have formal exchange agreements in place with Australian or New Zealand universities. Please check carefully to see what international exchange agreements your UK university holds.

The advantage of participating in an exchange programme is that you will continue to pay your standard tuition fees to your UK university for your overseas study, so you avoid paying international fees. The other advantage is there will be an established cross-crediting arrangement already in place, so transferring the credit for the study you do overseas back to your UK degree should be straightforward.

The disadvantage of exchange programmes is that you are relatively limited in your choice of overseas study destinations – you can only apply to the universities that your UK university has a formal exchange relationship with.

The other potential drawback is that places may well be limited, and therefore very competitive to get. Generally, universities can only send as many students out on exchange as they receive in return, which sometimes means that while a university has lots of exchange agreements in place, it might only have a few places available for each. Make sure you check this out carefully! 

If you wanted to apply for an exchange programme you would do so through your UK university. Most students go on exchange during their second year of undergraduate study.

Featured course: Rugby Study Abroad at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand

The University of Canterbury offer a specialist Study Abroad experience for rugby union players (male and female) at their campus in Christchurch. Students combine one semester of academic study at the University with specialised training with Canterbury’s elite Super 18 Rugby team, the BNZ Crusaders. This is your chance to hone your rugby skills in New Zealand, the cradle of world rugby, and experience university life at the same time!

On this UC Global Rugby Abroad programme, you can choose courses across all areas of the University of Canterbury: Liberal Arts, Science, Education, Engineering, Forestry, Music, Law and Business. You will also be enrolled on a specialised rugby programme encompassing all aspects of player development, from tactical and technical skills to mental and personal development.

The Canterbury Crusaders are the most successful rugby team in Super Rugby history, winning seven Super Rugby titles. They are captained by current All Blacks captain Kieran Read and their alumni include some of the sport’s most iconic figures, such as Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. Head coach Scott Robertson says: “We’re passionate about developing the players of the future and welcoming international college rugby players of all levels to learn from the best.”

2019 course dates: February – June 2019

Open to school leavers and current undergraduates.

For more information on this course or to make an application, please contact Study Options.

Why do Study Abroad?

Study Abroad allows you to build an overseas study experience into your degree and can add breadth to your studies. Choose courses that aren’t available at your home university, or which are taught from a different perspective in a new country, to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Study Abroad also gives you all the benefits of overseas study – the chance to experience a different culture and lifestyle; to give yourself and your CV a point of difference; to travel and try new things; to develop your initiative and self-confidence and so on – without having to commit to doing your whole qualification overseas.

Study Abroad in Australia and New Zealand is a great option for student athletes. It offers people training and competing in sports such as rugby union, rugby league, cricket, netball, rowing, swimming, athletics and cycling the opportunity to experience amazing facilities, a sports-mad culture, a training-friendly climate and world-leading training methodologies, all at the same time as studying. Swimmers – did you know that many of our universities have Olympic-sized pools on campus, including the University of Queensland, UNSW Sydney, Griffith University, ANU and Bond University? There are over 600 50m pools across the country, according to Swimming Australia – where the UK has less than 50. Netballers – were you aware that in New Zealand your sport is shown on prime-time television? Members of the New Zealand national netball team, the Silver Ferns, are feted as stars and have a profile not dissimilar to footballers in the UK. And aspiring rugby players can spend six months in New Zealand, a country that lives and breathes the sport in every way! If you are looking for a way of experiencing life overseas, but sport is important to you, Australia and New Zealand are both great destinations to consider.  

Student stories: Study Abroad and Exchange

  • Sara Al-Bazaz

    Sara did a postgraduate Tester Semester in...

    Sara Al-Bazaz in Sydney

    I was studying a Master of Finance and Accounting in London when I decided that I wanted to study abroad for a semester. My UK university did not have any exchange partnerships for my degree, so I...

  • Theodora Wilmot

    Theodora is studying history at the University of...

    “The idea of studying in Auckland came about because my boyfriend is there working at the moment. I’d also spent some of my gap year in New Zealand. I was keen to spend time studying overseas. My...

  • Tom Sparkes

    Tom Sparkes is studying at the University as a...

    “I’m studying a mix of environmental units at UTas including wilderness management and natural resources management.“I chose to come to Tasmania because the University has a great reputation for...

Contact us now