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office of international programs

Australian trolley crossing a city center
Bridge in Australian harbor

Australia was first inhabited an estimated 45,000 years ago by tribes that settled in the deserts and rainforests. European explorers arrived in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and in 1788 the British arrived at what is now Sydney Harbor. Despite the escalating conflict between Europeans and Aborigines, which led to the near-total annihilation of the Aborigine people, the country continued to thrive and expand. Influenced by its past as well as by new immigrant groups, Australia today is a country with a unique culture, strong economy, vibrant urban centers, and spectacular beauty. With its proximity to Asia, Australia has become a major economic and political player in the region and serves as an important bridge and meeting point between Asia and the West.

Boston College students wishing to spend a semester or year in Australia have many options. BC study abroad locations include the larger cities of Sydney and Melbourne and the smaller but exciting cities of Perth and Brisbane. Students can choose from programs based at large, comprehensive universities or smaller institutions like the University of Notre Dame Australia. BC students are  completely integrated at all of the Australian universities and study alongside their Australian counterparts. No matter what students’ academic and personal interests entail, they will find a suitable program in Australia.

BC Programs - Semester & Academic Year

BC students wishing to study in Australia have the choice of a semester or academic year at the University of Queensland, located in Brisbane, the University of Melbourne and Monash University, both located in Melbourne, University of Notre Dame and University of Western Australia, both located in Perth, and University of New South Wales, located in Sydney. All of our Australian partner universities are internationally competitive and offer a range of subjects for students to study.

Approved External Programs

Boston College has over 60 BC programs around the world. To accommodate those students who would like to study in a country or a city in which BC currently does not offer a program or need tailored programs for certain majors.

Please note that if Boston College has a contractual agreement with an institution abroad, BC students may attend that institution only through a BC program and not through direct enrollment or through another college, university or independent organization.


Speak to an OIP Advisor

In preparation for your study abroad in Australia, you will work with a Boston College OIP Advisor who specializes in this country and in BC's programs there. Your advisor will help guide you through the application and pre-departure process, as well as act as your main contact with BC while abroad. For students studying abroad in Australia, your advisor is Minna Ha. 

To find out more information about this program, schedule an appointment. 


Buildings around the rocky Australian coast

Currency in Australia

The main unit of currency in Australian is the Australian Dollar. ATM's are widespread and are your best way to get Australian currency. It is important to remember that Australian dollars and US dollars are not equal, however, and students should consult a currency conversion calculator.


Ocean at sunset

Current Events & News Resources

In preparation for your time in Australia, you should familiarize yourself with the current events and contemporary issues facing the island nation. By knowing about your host country before you arrive, you are making yourself a more informed traveler, a more receptive student and a better prepared individual. It is also helpful to know about your host country so you can engage local students in meaningful conversation. Following these and other news sources will be of great value in preparing you for your time abroad.


Language & Customs

While 18 different indigenous languages are still widely spoken in Australia, English is the de facto national language, so BC students can rely on their own language skills to get around.

Australian customs may be very different than many in the United States. It is best to familiarize yourself with acceptable practices before you arrive in the country. Some tips for successful cultural integration may be found here.

Sydney Harbor Opera House

Visa Information

To study in Australia, you must have a passport (valid at least six months beyond your estimated return date) and a student visa. You may apply for a passport at any major U.S. post office.

If you are a U.S. citizen, you should apply for an e- Visa as soon as it is appropriate to do so but remember that you may not apply more than 3 months prior to your departure. Once you have been accepted by the host university, you must accept the offer in order to receive a Confirmation of Enrollment (COE). Once you receive your COE, you may go to the Australian Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs website. Click on the e-visa icon. You are considered “Subclass 575.” You will need to have the passport you intend to travel on, your COE details and a credit card (please note that the visa is expensive). Once you have submitted your application you will be given a receipt number which you will be able to use to track the status of your visa application. Within 5–10 business days, you should receive an e-mail confirmation that your visa has been granted; carry a physical copy of this e-mail with you when you travel to Australia as you will not be issued a student visa prior to your arrival.

Once you arrive in Australia and are being processed by the Department of Immigration the e-mail will be invaluable in case there are any problems. Make certain that when you are applying for your visa you provide an e-mail address that you use regularly. If there are any problems in the granting of your visa you will be contacted by e-mail. If you have any problems you can contact: or or phone (202) 797-3000. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should follow the directions on the Australian Department of Immigration website (see above).

Vaccinations are not required for U.S. citizens; however, you should check the Australian Department of Immigration website for recommendations.