Exchange & study abroad study guide for incoming students

Every university is different. When you study at ANU you will find that some things are done differently to the way they are done at your home university. Some general information is provided below.

Choosing courses

Whether you are an exchange or study abroad student, it's critical that you ensure the ANU courses you take can be counted towards your degree.

Before you complete an application to study at ANU, research suitable courses that are available during your proposed semester of studies through the Programs & Courses website. Note any prerequisites that are identified as entry requirements to the course.


When you apply you will be asked to provide a list of six proposed courses to study while at ANU.

Following acceptance, your course selections will be checked and you will be notified of approval for your enrolment.

When you arrive

During orientation at the beginning of each semester students can meet academic advisors to further discuss their course choices. You can change your course enrolment during the first two weeks of classes.


Most courses have a value of six units. The normal full load is 24 units each semester. This is expected to equate to 30 ECTS credits or 15 US credits. Be sure to check your home institution's expectations before you leave.

Your time at ANU will be divided between organised classes and private study. The teaching system, like those of other Australian universities, is a combination of lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes. The amount of time you spend in classes will vary depending on the specifics of the course. As a fulltime student you should be prepared to put in the equivalent of a full working week, ie 40-45 hours of study.

Gaining credit

Course assessment can take a variety of forms and ANU has a uniform grading system for all courses.

Ideally, you will receive credit for your course selection through a planning and approval process with your home university academic advisor. It is best to start this process while you are researching course choices before you apply to ANU. To make sure that you get full credit for your studies at ANU you should ensure you get approval for your enrolled courses from both your home university and ANU.

On completion of your studies we will send a copy of your transcript to your home university or to your sponsor. Your home university or sponsor will determine how much credit you will receive.