Pre-departure Information

For detailed pre-departure information download the  Outbound Exchange Student Handbook (PDF, 7875 KB).


Exchange students typically live in on-campus accommodation or other student lodges or hostels. While it is not usually guaranteed, most host universities do try to make sure that exchange students obtain a place in campus accommodation.

Some students find private accommodation near their university. The host university will usually provide advice and support, including an application form for accommodation when they offer you a place.


You will need to arrange your own travel. You are advised not to book your flights before you have received your official acceptance to your host university.


Visa requirements vary from country to country and are updated frequently, so you will need to find out what the existing requirements are. The best place to start is to research the embassy website or call them. They can also inform you of the exact documentation you need to submit in order to obtain a visa. Be well informed of what you need to have with you before you show up at the embassy – it will save you a lot of hassle.

Students going to United States of America (USA)

Obtaining a visa to study in USA has in recent years become a more complicated process and you will now need to travel to Sydney to attend an interview. For information visit the US Embassy in Australia website.

Students transiting USA on their way to the final destination

If you are travelling through USA on your way to your final study destination, it is very likely you will need a transit visa for USA. Please talk to your travel agent and the Global Experience Office about this.

Note: Under the visa waiver program, time spent in Canada and Mexico and adjacent islands count towards the maximum of the 90 day stay allowed under the program. So if you are intending to study in any of the above countries and want to visit the USA you will need to apply for a B1/B2 visa.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above, email and you will have a reply within 24-48 hours.

Students going to France

You will need to lodge your visa application in person at the embassy in Sydney. More information can be on the French Embassy's Australian website.

Students going to the United Kingdom (UK)

Students exchanging to the UK must provide biometric data to obtain their visa. This process requires taking a digital photo and ten fingerprints of each applicant and it means you will have to do this in person at the UK Consulate office. For more information visit the United Kingdom Consulate website.

Fees and Costs

It is important that you consider the financial costs of going overseas on exchange before you decide to participate in the program. While on exchange you will pay your HECS fees for a full-time load at JCU. You will not pay any tuition fees to your host university.

Cost of living

The cost of studying overseas will vary depending on your destination and lifestyle, and can range anywhere from $10,000-$20,000 per semester. You will need to consider the costs of accommodation, meals and entertainment, travel costs (airfares), travel insurance, health insurance, visa and passport fees, and textbooks.


You may be allowed to work part-time (usually up to 20 hours per week) while on exchange. However, this depends on where you go and there may be restrictions on the work that you can do. It is your responsibility to ensure that you understand your rights and obligations and any regulations relating to work while in your host country.

It is not recommended that you work while on exchange, as you want to make the most of your academic and cultural exchange experience. Plan your exchange early to give yourself time to save money before you go.


Health and travel information varies from country to country. Check out the Travel Doctor or Smart Traveller websites for further information.

Having comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory (as well as common sense) for students participating in the JCU Exchange Program. This insurance needs to cover you from your first day of travelling until the day you return home. You must ensure that your travel insurance covers all areas that need to be insured: health, travel, repatriation and liability.

Mandatory Host University Health insurance

Many exchange partners require students to purchase a health insurance package to meet student visa requirements. This means that, although you are covered by the JCU Corporate Travel Insurance for while you are on exchange, you may have to purchase the health insurance provided by your host university.

International students

If you are an international student studying at JCU, you are entitled to apply for Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) credit for any period you are out of Australia for longer than one month. This includes the period you are studying outside of Australia on an exchange.

To apply for OSHC credit, you will need to provide a copy of your passport Photo ID page and Immigration Australia stamps for Departure and Arrival to the Allianz Global Assistance OSHC Representative at the Townsville International Student Centre within 28 days of returning to Australia. A refund for the unused portion of the OSHC can then be obtained from Allianz Global Assistance.


For detailed pre-departure checklists download the  Outbound Exchange Student Handbook (PDF, 7875 KB).