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Open Learning Environment: In-Country Experiences

In-country OLELast updated Monday 26 February 2024

Learn a new language overseas as part of your degree

The University of Sydney’s School of Languages and Cultures offers in-country units within the Open Learning Environment (OLE) for undergraduate students to experience an intensive language and cultural immersion. Our units are designed for complete beginners with no prior knowledge of the language.
 
You’ll gain 6 credit points for successfully completing an online module, attending a compulsory pre-departure workshop and completing your assessment tasks. You will undertake formal language classes at your host university and participate in cultural activities such as visits to museums, theatres and other cultural sites.

Run in partnership with universities around the world, our offerings include:
  • OLES2137 Experience China
  • OLES2139 Experience Germany
  • OLES2143 Experience Italy
  • OLES2145 Experience Korea
  • OLES2147 Experience the French-Speaking World
  • OLES2149 Experience the Spanish-Speaking World
  • OLES2151 Experience the Arab World
  • OLES2153 Experience Japan
  • OLES2155 Experience Israel

Applications now open for:


Register now to be notified when applications for OLES2153 Experience Japan open.

Before you apply

Review these 7 important questions:
1) Are you an onshore student? Units requiring overseas travel are intended for onshore students only, due to evolving international border restrictions. If you do not reside in Australia, do not apply for units requiring overseas travel.
2) Have you checked your eligibility? It is your responsibility to check that you are eligible. We strongly recommend that you do this before applications open.
3) Do you have a back-up plan in case your unit is cancelled? Units are subject to cancellation if student numbers do not meet the partner institution's minimum.
4) Can you afford it? You will need to pay a $400 deposit to apply, and cover the cost of any travel (flexible airfares recommended) and incidentals required for your overseas stay.
5) Can you meet the border entry requirements for your unit's country of study? For units requiring overseas travel, check visa and entry requirements before you apply. For example, some countries may require proof of vaccination for entry. Make sure you can meet any border requirements before applying.
6) Are you close to finishing your degree? OLE In-Country Experience units are not recommended for final-year students as they can delay progression/graduation in some cases.
7) Are you a complete beginner in the language? OLE In-Country Experience units are designed for students with no prior experience in the language. Please choose a language that you have no prior experience with.

How to apply (detailed instructions)

Read and follow the instructions carefully. Please note: it is your responsibility to ensure that the OLE Unit is allowable in your degree. Do not apply unless you have checked your degree resolutions and progression as the deposit is not refundable if you do not complete the unit.

1.    RESEARCH and PLAN:
  • Find a unit that’s right for you and make sure you’re eligible. Checking your eligibility is your responsibility; check before applications open if you can.
  • Choose a language you have not studied before, as all language classes are starter level (designed for complete beginners).
  • Check that the unit can be studied in your degree and that you have space: refer to the handbook from the year you started your degree to see your degree resolutions, and check your academic progress. If you are unsure, make and enquiry with the Student Centre.
  • Think about the best timing for your OLE unit: it’s best to avoid waiting until your final year, as availability is not guaranteed, and the timing of some units can delay progression.
  • Prepare your $400 deposit, so you can secure your place as soon as you are approved (see our Payment and refund policy).
>>See ‘Important information (e.g., timing and enrolment)’

2.    APPLY:
  • When applications open, log in to the Global Mobility Database (this website) and submit your application.
  • Apply early as places fill quickly.

3.    BE APPROVED:
  • If places are available and you are eligible, your submitted application will be reviewed by the Unit Coordinator and approved in the Global Mobility Database.
  • You will receive an email notification when your application is approved. After approval, you'll need to pay your deposit as soon as possible to secure your place.

4.    COMMIT:
  • After your application is approved, log into the application portal again.
  • Read carefully.
  • Click the ‘commit’ button towards the bottom of the page.

5.    PAY DEPOSIT:
  • Read our refund policy carefully (see below).
  • In your application portal, click ‘Show Instructions’ at the top of the page. Read the instructions and click on the payment link ("Click here to pay your $400 deposit") to pay.
  • Pay your deposit as soon as possible to secure your place.
  • Your place is not secure until you have paid your deposit. If the number of paid places reaches the partner institution’s limit, all unpaid applications will be automatically withdrawn.
  • Some deposits are refundable: see our refund policy below

Payment and refund policy
•    Your deposit must be paid to secure your place.
•    All deposits are non-transferable.
•    IMPORTANT: Your deposit is NOT refundable if you do not/cannot enrol and/or if you withdraw from your unit for any reason. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are eligible to enrol.
•    Some partner universities charge an application fee. In these cases, the partner university application fee is deducted from the deposit and the balance remaining is refunded to students who complete the unit. Details of application fees can be found under the 'Finance' tab on unit program pages where applicable.
•    For OLE In-Country units which do not require a participation or application fee, deposits will be refunded to students who complete the unit. Students who cannot enrol and/or do not complete their unit are ineligible for a refund.
•    Refunds are processed following program completion.

6.    "PERMISSION TO ENROL" LETTER:
  • If you have committed and paid your deposit, you’ll receive an official "Permission to Enrol" Letter by email from the School of Languages and Cultures.
  • "Permission to Enrol" letters are generally sent during the week after applications close.
  • The "Permission to Enrol" letter for in-country units will automatically include a statement addressing Centrelink reporting requirements.
  • You need the "Permission to Enrol" letter to enrol in the unit. Save it and read it carefully, and remember to attach it when you enrol through Sydney Student.

7.    ENROL:
  • Log into Sydney Student and enrol in your chosen OLE In-Country unit.
  • To add the unit, select ‘Departmental Permission’ or ‘Enrolment Exception Request’ as applicable (see below).
  • Upload your "Permission to Enrol" letter.
  • You must enrol before the last day to add a unit for the session you wish to study in (see 'Unit list' above).
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully enrolled and that your chosen unit can be counted toward your degree.
Departmental Permission vs Enrolment Exception
When enrolling in OLE In-Country units in Sydney Student:
  • Select ‘Departmental Permission’ if you have received your "Permission to Enrol" Letter and are enrolling based on your course structure.
  • Select ‘Enrolment Exception’ if you have received your "Permission to Enrol" Letter but are enrolling outside your course structure (e.g., overloading). This can be used in situations where you need to select an OLE or other intensive unit that falls outside of the semester.
    [Note] Lodging an Enrolment Exception Request does not mean you are enrolled. You will need to wait for your Enrolment Exception Request to be approved before you can enrol.

8.    CONFIRM YOUR ENROLMENT:
  • Check that your enrolment has been approved and that the unit is listed on your record in Sydney Student.
IMPORTANT
Do not purchase flights or make any other financial commitment associated with travel for your unit until after your enrolment is confirmed. If you are unsure of your enrolment status, please check your Certificate of Current Enrolment or contact the Student Centre.

9.    PREPARE:
  • Arrange your visa and book your flights (flexible airfares recommended).
  • Explore funding options  (see “Scholarships and Funding” section below).
  • Attend your mandatory pre-departure workshop and complete your online module.
  • Complete any pre-departure questionnaires (e.g., about accommodation or roomshare preferences) sent by the partner university.

10.    STUDY:
  • Your Unit Coordinator will provide you with study details including assessments.
  • You must be fully enrolled and pass your assessments to earn the 6 credit points for your unit.
  • Have fun!

11. DEPOSIT REFUND:
  • After the unit finishes, your deposit will be refunded (less any administration fees charged by the partner university) if you have completed the unit. See our payment and refund policy for details. Refunds are processed after the partner university submits your final marks for the unit.

Before you apply, please read: >>Return to 'Contents' (TOP)

Important information (eg. timing, enrolment)

Eligibility:
  • Offshore students are not eligible to undertake units with an in-country delivery mode.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are eligible to enrol. Refer to the handbook to see your degree resolutions (see the handbook archive for enrolment years prior to this year), and check your academic progress.

Final-year students:
  • Final-year students are strongly advised not to rely on OLE In-Country Experience Units in order to graduate, especially in the final semester. This is because: 1) places are limited and there is no guarantee that applications will be approved, and 2) units may be cancelled if there are not enough applications to meet the partner institution’s required minimum number of students.

International students:
  • International students are strongly advised not to rely on OLE In-Country Experience Units to meet visa requirements. This is because: 1) places are limited and there is no guarantee that applications will be approved, and 2) units may be cancelled if there are not enough applications to meet the partner institution’s required minimum number of students.
  • Before applications open, consult with Faculty Services for the faculty of your enrolment to determine your eligibility and to understand your options for taking these units in addition to the loading needed to meet your visa requirements.

Enrolment:
  • Students who attempt to enrol through Sydney Student without first applying through the Global Mobility Database (this website) will be rejected. >>See ‘How to Apply
  • OLE In-country unit students remain students of the University of Sydney, and are not enrolled as award students at the partner institution.
  • Do not apply unless your degree resolution and progression allow you to enrol into an OLE In-Country Experience unit. You ca check these in the handbook for the year you started your degree (you may need to refer to the handbook archive). If you are unsure, make an enquiry with the Student Centre.
  • If you need to guarantee a minimum number of credit points (e.g., for student visa reasons), please be aware of the risk that any of the OLE In-Country Experiences may be cancelled for a variety of reasons, including insufficient enrolment numbers.
  • To be awarded 6 credit points, students must meet the requirements of the program including:
    - Passing all online modules and assessment tasks (before, during and after attending the host institution)
    - Attending the pre-departure session (In-Country Experiences only)
    - Being fully enrolled in Sydney Student.
  • OLE In-Country units have a two-tiered structure for enrolment purposes, and are described as ‘Enrol in Intensive November to Study in Intensive December’ or similar. This means that you must enrol in the session prior to the session you will actually study in. For example, if the study dates for your program fall in Intensive December, you will need to enrol in Intensive November, because the unit is classified as an ‘Enrol in Intensive November to Study in Intensive December’ unit.
  • For enrolment and study load purposes:
    - ‘Enrol in Intensive November to Study in Intensive December’ OLE Units count towards Semester 2.
    - ‘Enrol in Intensive December to Study in Intensive January’ OLE Units count towards Semester 2.
    - ‘Enrol in Intensive June to Study in Intensive July’ OLE Units count towards Semester 1.
  • Study dates (e.g., last date to add a unit of study, census date, etc.) apply for the session of enrolment. For example, if your unit is described as ‘Enrol in Intensive November to Study in Intensive December’, the study dates for Intensive November will apply.
  • If you have received Permission to Enrol (see Step 6 in the application instructions above) and are having trouble enrolling through Sydney Student, please contact the Student Centre. If the Student Centre is unable to assist, ask to be referred to Faculty Services for the faculty of your degree.

Results:
  • Marks and grades for OLES In-Country Experience units are displayed in full on students’ academic transcripts (i.e., results are not listed as “PASS” or “FAIL” only).

Costs:
  • The program will be covered by your normal tuition fees, paid to the University of Sydney for enrolling in the OLE 6 CP Unit. Undergraduate student contribution amounts are determined by the Commonwealth government legislation. We encourage all students if they have queries to see StudyAssist or contact the HECS and Domestics Fees Office for assistance.
  • In addition to your normal tuition fees, you are required to pay a deposit when you enrol. This secures your place in the unit. The deposit is non-transferable. It is also non-refundable in some cases. Please see our Payment and refund policy and the 'Finance' tab of your unit's program webpage, which can be accessed via the links in the Unit list.
  • You will need to travel to the host institution to undertake In-Country Experience units, and you will need to pay all travel and incidental costs required for your overseas stay. Check the 'Finance' tab of your unit's brochure page (via the link in the Unit list) for details.

Scholarships and funding:
  • The scholarships below may be applicable for some students enrolling in some OLE In-Country programs.
- Vice Chancellor's Global Mobility Scholarship (Short-term mobility programs)
- Vice Chancellor’s Global Mobility Award
- Dalyell Global Mobility Scholarship (for Dalyell Scholars)
  • Note that funds from these scholarship programs cannot be used for:
- payment of University of Sydney tuition fees or SSAF
- refundable portions of the $400 deposit required to apply for OLE In-Country units (see Step 5 of the application instructions for details about deposits and the refund policy). 
  • If you are a domestic student in a Commonwealth-supported place, you may be eligible for a loan through the Australian government's OS-HELP program.

Travel Policy:
For information about University and government travel policies, see:
>>Return to 'Contents' (TOP)

Student experiences: Photos, videos and stories

Check out what it's like to go on an OLE In-Country Experience unit!
 
OLE Experience Videos Photo albums
The Arab world Highlights (Jordan, Jan 2020) Jordan (Jan 2020)
Korea Q&A with students (Seoul, Jan 2020) South Korea (Jan 2020)
The French-speaking world Highlights (Lyon, Dec 2019) Lyon, France (Dec 2019)
Japan Highlights (July 2019) Saitama (July 2019)
Germany Highlights (Bamberg, July 2019) Bamberg (July 2019)
Highlights (Berlin, Dec 2018) Berlin (Dec 2018)
Highlights Week 2 (Berlin, Dec 2018)
Highlights Week 1 (Berlin, Dec 2018)
Italy Flipbook collage (Padua, July 2019) Padua (July 2019)
Stories (Padua, July 2019)
China Stories compilation (Dec 2018) Beijing (Dec 2018)
The Spanish-Speaking World Learning journey (July 2019) Valladolid, Spain (July 2019)
  Highlights (Valladolid, July 2019)  
Related articles
Enquiries: For questions about your eligibility to enrol in OLE units, please consult the handbook for your year of enrolment and/or the Student Centre.
For questions about the application process, contact the School of Languages and Cultures


Follow us on social media (@usydslc)
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>>Return to 'Contents' (TOP)
  • Find a unit that’s right for you and make sure you’re eligible. Checking your eligibility is your responsibility; check before applications open if you can.
  • Choose a language you have not studied before, as all language classes are starter level (designed for complete beginners).
  • Check that the unit can be studied in your degree and that you have space: refer to the handbook from the year you started your degree to see your degree resolutions, and check your academic progress. If you are unsure, make and enquiry with the Student Centre.
  • Think about the best timing for your OLE unit: it’s best to avoid waiting until your final year, as availability is not guaranteed, and the timing of some units can delay progression.
  • Prepare your $400 deposit, so you can secure your place as soon as you are approved (see our Payment and refund policy).
  • When applications open, log in to the Global Mobility Database (this website) and submit your application.
  • Apply early as places fill quickly.
  • If places are available and you are eligible, your submitted application will be reviewed by the Unit Coordinator and approved in the Global Mobility Database.
  • You will receive an email notification when your application is approved. After approval, you'll need to pay your deposit as soon as possible to secure your place.
  • After your application is approved, log into the application portal again.
  • Read carefully.
  • Click the ‘commit’ button towards the bottom of the page.
  • Read our refund policy carefully (see below).
  • In your application portal, click ‘Show Instructions’ at the top of the page. Read the instructions and click on the payment link ("Click here to pay your $400 deposit") to pay.
  • Pay your deposit as soon as possible to secure your place.
  • Your place is not secure until you have paid your deposit. If the number of paid places reaches the partner institution’s limit, all unpaid applications will be automatically withdrawn.
  • Some deposits are refundable: see our refund policy below
  • If you have committed and paid your deposit, you’ll receive an official "Permission to Enrol" Letter by email from the School of Languages and Cultures.
  • "Permission to Enrol" letters are generally sent during the week after applications close.
  • The "Permission to Enrol" letter for in-country units will automatically include a statement addressing Centrelink reporting requirements.
  • You need the "Permission to Enrol" letter to enrol in the unit. Save it and read it carefully, and remember to attach it when you enrol through Sydney Student.
  • Log into Sydney Student and enrol in your chosen OLE In-Country unit.
  • To add the unit, select ‘Departmental Permission’ or ‘Enrolment Exception Request’ as applicable (see below).
  • Upload your "Permission to Enrol" letter.
  • You must enrol before the last day to add a unit for the session you wish to study in (see 'Unit list' above).
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully enrolled and that your chosen unit can be counted toward your degree.
  • Select ‘Departmental Permission’ if you have received your "Permission to Enrol" Letter and are enrolling based on your course structure.
  • Select ‘Enrolment Exception’ if you have received your "Permission to Enrol" Letter but are enrolling outside your course structure (e.g., overloading). This can be used in situations where you need to select an OLE or other intensive unit that falls outside of the semester.
    [Note] Lodging an Enrolment Exception Request does not mean you are enrolled. You will need to wait for your Enrolment Exception Request to be approved before you can enrol.
  • Check that your enrolment has been approved and that the unit is listed on your record in Sydney Student.
  • Arrange your visa and book your flights (flexible airfares recommended).
  • Explore funding options  (see “Scholarships and Funding” section below).
  • Attend your mandatory pre-departure workshop and complete your online module.
  • Complete any pre-departure questionnaires (e.g., about accommodation or roomshare preferences) sent by the partner university.
  • Your Unit Coordinator will provide you with study details including assessments.
  • You must be fully enrolled and pass your assessments to earn the 6 credit points for your unit.
  • Have fun!
  • After the unit finishes, your deposit will be refunded (less any administration fees charged by the partner university) if you have completed the unit. See our payment and refund policy for details. Refunds are processed after the partner university submits your final marks for the unit.
  • FAQs (pdf, 133KB)
  • Important contacts (pdf, 139kb)
  • Offshore students are not eligible to undertake units with an in-country delivery mode.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are eligible to enrol. Refer to the handbook to see your degree resolutions (see the handbook archive for enrolment years prior to this year), and check your academic progress.
  • Final-year students are strongly advised not to rely on OLE In-Country Experience Units in order to graduate, especially in the final semester. This is because: 1) places are limited and there is no guarantee that applications will be approved, and 2) units may be cancelled if there are not enough applications to meet the partner institution’s required minimum number of students.
  • International students are strongly advised not to rely on OLE In-Country Experience Units to meet visa requirements. This is because: 1) places are limited and there is no guarantee that applications will be approved, and 2) units may be cancelled if there are not enough applications to meet the partner institution’s required minimum number of students.
  • Before applications open, consult with Faculty Services for the faculty of your enrolment to determine your eligibility and to understand your options for taking these units in addition to the loading needed to meet your visa requirements.
  • Students who attempt to enrol through Sydney Student without first applying through the Global Mobility Database (this website) will be rejected. >>See ‘How to Apply
  • OLE In-country unit students remain students of the University of Sydney, and are not enrolled as award students at the partner institution.
  • Do not apply unless your degree resolution and progression allow you to enrol into an OLE In-Country Experience unit. You ca check these in the handbook for the year you started your degree (you may need to refer to the handbook archive). If you are unsure, make an enquiry with the Student Centre.
  • If you need to guarantee a minimum number of credit points (e.g., for student visa reasons), please be aware of the risk that any of the OLE In-Country Experiences may be cancelled for a variety of reasons, including insufficient enrolment numbers.
  • To be awarded 6 credit points, students must meet the requirements of the program including:
    - Passing all online modules and assessment tasks (before, during and after attending the host institution)
    - Attending the pre-departure session (In-Country Experiences only)
    - Being fully enrolled in Sydney Student.
  • OLE In-Country units have a two-tiered structure for enrolment purposes, and are described as ‘Enrol in Intensive November to Study in Intensive December’ or similar. This means that you must enrol in the session prior to the session you will actually study in. For example, if the study dates for your program fall in Intensive December, you will need to enrol in Intensive November, because the unit is classified as an ‘Enrol in Intensive November to Study in Intensive December’ unit.
  • For enrolment and study load purposes:
    - ‘Enrol in Intensive November to Study in Intensive December’ OLE Units count towards Semester 2.
    - ‘Enrol in Intensive December to Study in Intensive January’ OLE Units count towards Semester 2.
    - ‘Enrol in Intensive June to Study in Intensive July’ OLE Units count towards Semester 1.
  • Study dates (e.g., last date to add a unit of study, census date, etc.) apply for the session of enrolment. For example, if your unit is described as ‘Enrol in Intensive November to Study in Intensive December’, the study dates for Intensive November will apply.
  • If you have received Permission to Enrol (see Step 6 in the application instructions above) and are having trouble enrolling through Sydney Student, please contact the Student Centre. If the Student Centre is unable to assist, ask to be referred to Faculty Services for the faculty of your degree.
  • Marks and grades for OLES In-Country Experience units are displayed in full on students’ academic transcripts (i.e., results are not listed as “PASS” or “FAIL” only).
  • The program will be covered by your normal tuition fees, paid to the University of Sydney for enrolling in the OLE 6 CP Unit. Undergraduate student contribution amounts are determined by the Commonwealth government legislation. We encourage all students if they have queries to see StudyAssist or contact the HECS and Domestics Fees Office for assistance.
  • In addition to your normal tuition fees, you are required to pay a deposit when you enrol. This secures your place in the unit. The deposit is non-transferable. It is also non-refundable in some cases. Please see our Payment and refund policy and the 'Finance' tab of your unit's program webpage, which can be accessed via the links in the Unit list.
  • You will need to travel to the host institution to undertake In-Country Experience units, and you will need to pay all travel and incidental costs required for your overseas stay. Check the 'Finance' tab of your unit's brochure page (via the link in the Unit list) for details.
  • The scholarships below may be applicable for some students enrolling in some OLE In-Country programs.
  • Note that funds from these scholarship programs cannot be used for:
  • If you are a domestic student in a Commonwealth-supported place, you may be eligible for a loan through the Australian government's OS-HELP program.
  • the University's Covid-19 Response information page
  • the University's Travel and Student Exchange page in the 'Current Students' section of the University website
  • the Australian government's Smartraveller website