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Open Learning Environment: In-Country Experiences

In-country OLE

(as at Thursday 3 September 2020 9:00am)

COVID-19 note:
Effective from 25 March 2020, and following the travel ban imposed by the Australian Government and the University of Sydney, the University of Sydney, Sydney Abroad, the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC), and our Host Partners, will not be offering any program participation in-country in 2020, and we have cancelled all outbound mobility programs for Summer 2020/2021 and Semester 1, 2021.

The School of Languages and Cultures (SLC) are working with Host Partners to understand which programs will be available in a virtual format and we aiming to offer participation in viable virtual programs for Intensive February 2021 and Intensive July 2021. We encourage you to consider virtual program options - they will still enable you to gain the valuable skills that you usually develop through international experiences.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as the University, Sydney Abroad, the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC), and our Host Partners navigate these unusual and challenging circumstances and as we do everything possible to identify suitable alternative international opportunities for students. More information about these programs and application timelines will be shared with students on here in the coming months.

For more information please consult the University's Coronavirus information pageSmartraveller website, and University Travel and student exchange.
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 and completing your assessment tasks. You will undertake formal language classes at your host university and cultural activities such as visits to museums, theatres and memorial sites.

Destinations and dates
Please Note: All destinations and dates are subject to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Travel Advice and University requirements and may be cancelled based on travel warnings and/or travel bans.
Language Country Unit of study
Arabic Jordan OLES2151
Chinese China OLES2137
French France OLES2147
German Germany (Berlin) OLES2139
Indonesian Indonesia OLES2141
Italian Italy (Padua) OLES2143
Italian Italy (Venice) OLES2143
Japanese Japan OLES2153
Korean Korea OLES2145
Spanish Spain OLES2149
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. Please do not apply if you have studied the language; we strongly encourage you to check out 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 2020), 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 one week of your approval date:
a) For OLES2153, 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, after the Census Date, upon successful completion of the Unit. The Fee is not refunded if you do not enrol and/or if you withdraw for any reason.

6. Status of Students and Student Responsibilities
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.
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).
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
- Being fully enrolled in Sydney Student.

Remember for enrolment:
  • December OLE Intensive Units count towards Semester 2
  • January OLE Intensive Units count towards Semester 1
  • 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:
Student experiences: Photos and videos
Check out what it's like to go on an OLE In-Country Experience unit! For more information about the Open Learning Environment: In-Country Experiences, please read: OLE In-Country Experience Application Guide (pdf, 134KB)FAQs (pdf, 133KB)Important contacts (pdf, 139KB); and, Important terminology (pdf, 131KB) before emailing

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