Open Learning Environment: In-Country Experiences
(as at Tuesday 8 June 2021)
Following the travel ban imposed by the Australian Government, the University of Sydney, Sydney Abroad, and the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC) are working with partner universities to understand which programs will be available in a virtual format and are aiming to support participation in viable virtual programs for the Australian summer and Semester 1, 2022. These virtual programs will enable you to gain the valuable skills that you usually develop through international experiences. Once the international travel ban is lifted, the University will reassess our support of in-person international mobility opportunities.
For more information please consult the University's Coronavirus information page, Smartraveller website, and University Travel and student exchange on Current Students.
Learn a new language overseas as part of your degree
The University of Sydney’s School of Languages and Cultures (SLC) offers In-Country Experience units within the Open Learning Environment (OLE) to enable you to experience language and cultural immersion. Our units are designed for beginners with little to no prior knowledge of a language.
You’ll gain 6 credit points for successfully completing an online module, attending a compulsory pre-departure workshop (In-Country Experiences only) and completing your assessment tasks. You will undertake formal language classes (virtually) at your host university and participate in (virtual) cultural activities such as visits to museums, theatres and memorial sites.
- Important information: Applying for a unit
- Units available: Apply Now
- Student experiences: Photos, videos and stories
Important information: Applying for a unit
1. Read our OLE In-Country Experience Application Guide (pdf, 134KB)
2. All OLE In-Country Experience units are designed for students with no prior knowledge of a language. Do not apply if you have studied the language; we strongly encourage you to check our other units to expand your linguistic and cultural horizons.
3. All applications must be made through the Global Mobility Database instead of Sydney Student. Applications received through Sydney Student will automatically be declined.
4. Do not apply unless your degree resolution and progression allows you to enrol into an OLE In-Country Experience unit. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are eligible to enrol. Refer to the handbook for your degree resolutions based on the year of your enrolment (see the handbook archive for enrolment years prior to 2021), and find out how to check your academic progress.
5. Once your application is approved, you must pay the Cultural Activity and Incidental Fees within two days of your approval date:
Do not pay unless your degree resolution and progression allows you to enrol into an OLE In-Country Experience unit. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are eligible to enrol. Refer to the handbook for your degree resolutions based on the year of your enrolment (see the handbook archive for enrolment years prior to 2021), and find out how to check your academic progress.
a) For OLES2153 Experience Japan, the Fee, charged by Rikkyo University, is non-refundable/non-transferable.
b) For all other OLES, the Fee, is non-transferable. The Fee will be refunded (minus any Application Fee charged by the Partner University), after the Census Date, upon successful completion of the Unit. The Fee is not refunded if you do not/cannot enrol and/or if you withdraw for any reason.Please note: Please be advised that the University’s receipting system Xetta (OneStop) will upgrade on Monday 13th September 2021 to enable new functionalities in the system. The system will be unavailable from 8am – 1:30pm. If your payment is due Monday 13 September 2021, please pay on Tuesday 14 September 2021.
6. Status of Students and Student Responsibilities (In-Country Experiences only)
Your study and associated travels are undertaken at your own risk. It is your responsibility to arrange a comprehensive travel insurance policy for any personal travel(s) other than the pre-approved OLE In-Country Experience Unit of Study. If you are approved by the University of Sydney to participate in an OLE In-Country Experience Unit of Study, you will be covered by the University’s Student Travel Insurance Policy. This is a complementary policy to cover you for the duration of your University of Sydney mobility experience. For information about travel insurance, see our student insurance page.
6.1 Students will not be enrolled as award Students at the Partner institution. Each Student shall remain a USYD student throughout the Program. (both In-Country Experiences and Virtual Experiences)
6.2 Students undertaking the Program will be responsible for the following:
6.2 Students undertaking the Program will be responsible for the following:
(a) obtaining appropriate travel and health insurance as required;
(b) arranging an appropriate visa to enter the jurisdiction of the Partner for the purposes of the Program (if required);
(c) meeting all necessary ongoing visa conditions under the laws of the jurisdiction of the Partner to continue participation in the Program; and
(d) complying with all relevant laws of the jurisdiction of the Partner country.
6.3 All costs of travel, transportation, meals, outings, books and any other incidental costs or expenses whatsoever arising out of the OLE In-Country Experience Unit of Study, are the responsibility of individual Students and neither the host institution nor the University of Sydney will be liable for such costs.Remember, it is your responsibility to arrange, book and pay for your own flights, visa and accommodation (See the ‘Finances’ tab of each OLE In-Country Experience unit page for specific details or contact your Unit of Study Coordinator for more information). (In-Country Experiences only)
University of Sydney Tuition: 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.
7. Upon acceptance, you must enrol in Sydney Student where you upload your Departmental Permission Letter from the School of Languages and Cultures as documentation of approval.
8. To be awarded 6 credit points, you 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.
Remember for enrolment:
- 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 1
- Enrol in Intensive June to Study in Intensive July OLE Units count towards Semester 2
- We strongly advise Students not to rely on one of our OLE In-Country Experience Units in their final year, especially in their final semester, as there is no guarantee that their Application would be "Approved", noting places are very limited and remembering Applications are on a first-come-first served basis so we cannot guarantee you a place in an OLE In-Country Unit even if you apply on time.
Before you apply, please read:
Units available: Apply Now
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 Fee is non-refundable/non-transferable.
|Unit of Study
(use links below)
|Host Institution||Enrol by (last day to add a unit of study)||Program Commencement||Program Completion||Program Times (AEDT) (local time in Sydney)|
|OLES2137 Experience China Virtually in December 2021*||Peking University||Monday 18 October 2021||Monday 29 November 2021||Friday 17 December 2021||Monday to Friday
1pm - 3pm
Plus, a 1 hour review and practice session 4 times a week (time to be confirmed by PKU)
|OLES2147 Experience the French-Speaking World Virtually in December 2021*||Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University||Monday 18 October 2021||Monday 29 November 2021||Friday 17 December 2021||Monday to Friday
6pm - 9pm
|OLES2139 Experience Germany Virtually in December 2021*||Humboldt-Universitat Zu Berlin||Monday 18 October 2021||Monday 6 December 2021||Friday 17 December 2021||Monday to Friday
5pm - 8pm
|OLES2151 Experience the Arab World Virtually in January 2022*||Sijal Institute
||Friday 12 November 2021||Sunday 9 January 2022||Thursday 20 January 2022||Sunday to Thursday
3pm - 8pm
(Friday/Saturday is the weekend in Amman)
|OLES2145 Experience Korea Virtually in January 2022*||Korea University||Friday 12 November 2021||Monday 10 January 2022||Friday 28 January 2022||10am – 1pm for Language Classes (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays);
11am – 1pm for Cultural Activities (Tuesdays, Thursdays).
Applications are on a first-come-first-served basis, so apply early!
Units may be cancelled where there are insufficient enrolment numbers.
Reminder: 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 Fee is not refunded if you do not/cannot enrol and/or if you withdraw for any reason.
For more details, please see:
Table O – Open Learning Environment Table within the Interdisciplinary Studies Handbook 2021
Table O – Open Learning Environment Descriptions within the Interdisciplinary Studies Handbook 2021.
Remember, you enrol in the Session prior, for example enrol in Intensive November to study in Intensive December, and enrol in Intensive December to study in Intensive January.
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||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)|
|The Spanish-Speaking World||Learning journey (July 2019)||Valladolid, Spain (July 2019)|
|Highlights (Valladolid, July 2019)|
|Italy||Flipbook collage (Padua, July 2019)||Padua (July 2019)|
|Stories (Padua, July 2019)|
|China||Stories compilation (Dec 2018)||Beijing (Dec 2018)|
For more information about the School of Languages and Cultures, visit our website.
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