Travel and student exchange – COVID-19 response – News – The University of Sydney

December 12, 2021 by No Comments

Restrictions change regularly based on COVID outbreaks, please check the NSW Government website for more information.

If you are planning to visit other Australian states and territories, please make sure you’re aware of the travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in place
Fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents can travel overseas without an exemption. There will also be reduced quarantine requirements for eligible fully vaccinated travellers when they return to or enter Australia. Learn more about vaccinations, pre-flight testing and travel requirements.
States and territories can apply their own restrictions, including additional quarantine requirements. In NSW, quarantine is not required for fully vaccinated travellers, however testing requirements are in place.

Travel by students for the purposes of overseas student exchange or electives (including vocational placements) in 2021 is considered international travel. International travel means travel outside of Australia and New Zealand.
International travel by students for the purposes of overseas student exchange or electives (including vocational placements) is currently suspended up to and including Semester 1, 2022. The University is currently considering when and how student and staff travel can resume. Any requests for international travel at this time need to be approved by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, noting that approval will only be given in truly exceptional circumstances.
Higher Degree Research (HDR) students continue to be subject to the same travel restrictions and approval processes as staff, for the purposes of travel to complete core components of their research projects. HDR students continue to be subject to the same travel restrictions as students for the purposes of overseas student exchange or electives to for completion of coursework components. 
If you are considering travel outside of Australia, for example to return home for the holiday period, there are very important considerations to be aware of, including potential risks to your ongoing ability to study.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, travelling overseas involves considerable uncertainty and may affect your studies in significant and unforeseeable ways.  
The University strongly recommends that you consider carefully all relevant circumstances before deciding to travel overseas.
Strict border controls, quarantine requirements and other conditions of international travel are likely to continue for some time and you may be unable to return to Australia in time to resume your studies or fulfil certain course requirements, such as placements or in-person elements.
Up-to-date information about travelling to and from Australia is on the Department of Home Affairs website.
We understand restrictions on travel have created difficult situations for international students and their families. Find out about the various support services for students, including financial support and support for mental health and wellbeing.
A faculty can permit students to undertake an elective, exchange or placement in their home country (but not in a third country) where:
A faculty can permit students to undertake an elective or placement in New Zealand (for a maximum of 6 months) where:
Students must follow local risk management processes to seek approval for travel for the purposes of domestic student placements. There are currently no additional institution-wide measures in place to approve travel for this purpose. You will need to note COVID-19 as a risk within the Risk Assessment and adopt appropriate mitigation strategies.
The University has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our students.
When Australia’s international borders were closed the University made the difficult decision to suspend student mobility programs, up to and including Semester 1, 2022.

Now that border restrictions are easing, the University is carefully considering when and how we’re able to resume supporting in person student mobility programs. Applications are currently open for Semester 2, 2022 Exchange. If you want to find out more, please contact [email protected].
With all outbound mobility programs being suspended, the status of your Semester 1, 2022 application will be updated to ‘Program Suspended by USyd: COVID-19’. Your application will not be deferred and you will have to start a new application on the Global Mobility Database if you wish to apply for a future semester exchange program.

International students who have submitted an application for an exchange program but are currently in their home country and unable to travel to Australia, should email [email protected].
You will be supported in participating in mobility programs in your country of citizenship/permanent residence, where the host university allows and places are available.
The University has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and the safety, health and wellbeing of students remains the priority. Due to this and the uncertainty surrounding the current global pandemic and travel, the University is not currently supporting overseas study programs to a country where students are not a citizen/permanent resident.
The University is currently considering when and how we’ll be able to support international travel for student mobility programs. At this time, we’re unable to move forward in supporting applications where international travel would be required up to and including Semester 1, 2022.
There are several virtual programs offered by our partner universities during the upcoming summer break. These virtual programs will enable you to gain the valuable skills that you usually develop through international experiences. The University is currently considering when and how we will be able to support in-person international mobility opportunities.

Applications are open for the Semester 2, 2022 Exchange Program. If you would like to find out more in-person global experiences, please contact [email protected].
If you are a University of Sydney student whose study abroad/exchange program was impacted by COVID-19, you may be eligible to claim the return travel and/or other expenses incurred in returning to Australia. Please contact the Sydney Abroad team at [email protected] for further advice.
If you are an international student undertaking University of Sydney degree programs and you have been affected by Australian Government travel restrictions, you are not eligible to claim insurance. However, you may be eligible for Hardship funding support – please see further details in the financial assistance application form.
Last updated November 2021.


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