Study or travel? Porque no los dos!

As the summer break rolls around, you may be wondering how all your friends managed to afford international holidays. Unless they’ve spent their uni semester doing some pretty shady stuff or working a million hours behind the checkout, there’s a good chance they’ve received government funding for an international study trip. Incoming are the pics of your friends living it up in some island destination and posing 197 times for the perfect Insta shot (with maybe not quite as many study selfies).

Yes, that is an option. And yes, some people are taking full advantage of these opportunities.

International study trips are widely endorsed by the University and generally vary between two weeks to one semester. Depending on your degree, they can either be made up of electives or directed/specific courses. The opportunity for overseas study is borderline endless and so is the opportunity to get funded for it.

So what’s so good about studying overseas?

The Australian government sees the value cross-cultural study can have for students, so they’re providing as much incentive as possible so you can experience it! Imagine performing nursing treatments in a remote village in Tonga, learning Environmental Law under the roof of the Supreme Court in Brazil or overseeing child abandonment cases in orphanages in Cambodia.

You’ll likely be spending anywhere from three to five years within the walls of the Uni of Newcastle, so why not venture out a bit and gain a totally different take on your chosen career path! Plus, employers love seeing external study experiences on your resume.

Fourth-year Bachelor of Laws student, Grace Lancaster, will have completed two partially-funded overseas study trips this year. Both her group study trip to Vietnam, and her individual trip to the Czech Republic were funded by an OS-Help Loan through the Australian government.

“I absolutely loved my trip to Vietnam! We got to visit the Chu Chi Tunnels, the War Museum, and a number of Universities in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Can Tho, learning from fellow law students and professors. We also sat in on two criminal proceedings including a murder and drug trial, met with a People’s Court Judge and went to the Australian Embassy,” Grace said.

“This trip definitely gave me an entirely different perspective on the criminal justice system and the invaluable experience of teaching me to think critically so I can question the core values I hold as an Australian citizen.”

“As for my trip to the Czech Republic, this one will be focused on International Law and Human Rights organised through Aim Overseas. This program offers a European perspective on various topics, including Equality and Discrimination, Right to Life and Freedom of Speech. We also will be going on a number of field trips including a visit to the United Nations Office in Vienna and overnight trips to Prague and Budapest,” Grace said.

So what funding options are available?

OS-Help Loan

This is what made Grace’s trip possible. An OS Help Loan is provided by the government for selected courses and is added to your HECS debt. There are no upfront costs and it is directed straight into your bank account. Students can select how much money they want depending on the location of their study trip, anywhere up to $8295. You can check out the full criteria for applying for an OS-Help Loan here. TRUST ME WHEN I SAY, IT’S A GREAT DAY WHEN THE GOVERNMENT GIVES YOU $6000 FOR AN OVERSEAS TRIP.

AIM Overseas

Aim Overseas is a program that helps students find study trips abroad along with funding. Students can apply for scholarships, get help with fundraising opportunities and information on applications for OS Help Loans.

Endeavour Mobility Grant  

Endeavour Mobility Grants are awarded to selected university short-term study programs. I know in my law program, trips to Cambodia, Brazil, Vietnam, China, the Cook Islands and Japan have all received funding. This consists of $2500 directed straight into your bank account to go towards costs associated with your trip. 

So what have we learnt from all this?

Get in contact with the Global office to check out your study and funding options. Funding is readily available for students and makes for a great time when gallivanting and learning overseas. On top of the added bonus of a partly-funded holiday, future employers will look favourably on your resume when you show your dedication to study was developed at an overseas institution.

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