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Programs : Brochure
Northeastern University SAX
Boston MA, United States (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Semester 1,
Semester 2,
Year (Sem 1 & Sem 2),
Year (Sem 2 & Sem 1)
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Program Details:
#i18n(14)# parameter/value output
Glossary entry for program parameter 10000
Minimum Mark:
65%; Credit
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Agreement Scope:
Glossary entry for program parameter 10008
Program Type:
Exchange Semester/Year
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2019 Ranking:
Program Description:
Program Description:


Northeastern University
Location: Boston, MA
Year Established: 1898
Student population: 20,000
As a university where teaching and research are grounded in global engagement, Northeastern’s  impact is being felt in all corners of the world. Northeastern students shape the world through experiential learning opportunities for work, research, study, and service with more than 3,000 partners in the United States, in 131 countries and on all seven continents; and through the diversity of a dynamic campus that connects students from 138 countries, all engaged in the exchange of ideas and the common pursuit of academic, cultural, and professional experience and enterprise. 

The hallmark of a Northeastern experience is experiential learning, which integrates study with professional work, research and service. Much of what students learn is outside the classroom, giving them a deeper understanding of their studies. The attractive urban campus offers grassy open spaces, exceptional facilities, a vibrant student centre and good support for international students, right in the heart of Boston.

Unique characteristics
There are more than 150 undergraduate majors offered by nine colleges and schools. Students can tailor their studies and incorporate research, urban engagement, service learning and global learning. Northeastern provides exclusive cultural programing for exchange students including:
  • Guided Freedom Trail tour of revolutionary Boston
  • See the Boston Red Sox play baseball
  • Explore Salem at Halloween
  • Tickets to see the Boston Symphony/Boston Ballet
  • Group dinners
  • Much More!
Boston is one of America’s most forward thinking cities, boasting universities, libraries, technology centres and financial institutions – it has possibly more researchers and PhDs per capita than anywhere else in the world. You can easily walk around this fascinating city and the public transport system is excellent. Boston is a world-class center for public health, history, education, finance, and startups. An International city known for its love of sports and politics, Boston is also recognized for its deep appreciation of the arts. And because Northeastern is so connected to the city, you'll be able to take advantage of all it has to offer.

United States - Northeastern University - building

Academic Information

Course Information  
As an international exchange student at NU, you will be registered as a full-time non-degree seeking student. You can select your courses from most of the schools and colleges at Northeastern University so long as your previous coursework meets the prerequisites for courses. Also you are not required to take all of your classes within the same college; for example, you might register for 2 classes in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, 1 class in the College of Arts, Media and Design and 1 class in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. More information on Northeastern University's units of study and course catalog.

Subject Area/s:

Arts and Social Sciences



Visual Arts




Health Sciences


Below are NU schools and programs in which classes are not available to exchange students. Please take these into consideration when planning your courses.

School of Law
This is a separate graduate-level degree program which is not available to exchange students. We recommend that if you are studying undergraduate law at your home institution you browse through the Undergraduate Course Catalog to find courses which have a law focus in many different areas of study.
  • International Business (BSIB) Core Courses
  • Strategy Courses (STRT)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • College of Professional Studies (CPS)
  • Cooperative Education courses and experiences
This program is designed for full-time degree seeking NU students to alternate semesters of academic study with semesters of full-time employment in positions related to your academic and/or career interests. As an exchange student only here for 1 to 2 semesters you will not have access to this program or its courses.
Teaching Periods: Semesters/Terms
Fall Semester (USyd Semester 2): September - December
Spring Semester (USyd Semester 1): January - May

Credit (Full-Time Load/Semester)

University of Sydney

Host University


15 Credits

The above full-time load is indicative only.
Applications for academic credit are assessed by the relevant University of Sydney faculty/department based on: study load, contact hours, assessment requirements and level of study.

Grading System
Grades at the host university as calculated based on the 4-point scale. More information on the Northeastern University's grading system.

Transcripts Issued by Partner
Transcripts will be available at the end of your exchange period



Language of Instruction
Classes at the host university are taught in English.

Language Requirement
See language requirement for non-native speakers of English.



What is the host city like?
Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the most historic and cultural cities in the United States. It is considered a university town, with many undergraduate and graduate programs, and at the forefront of scientific, biotech, and medical research. Always known for its avid sports fans, Boston now boasts several world champion sports teams.
More than 18 million people visit the city annually, making it a top tourist destination. It is home to an internationally acclaimed symphony, a wealth of museums and galleries, bustling nightlife, theatre, concerts, sporting events, shopping, exquisite dining, and more. Learn more about Boston.

New England

The New England region offers access to some of the most beautiful mountains, countryside, and seaports in the country, with opportunities for hiking and camping, and water and winter sports.

On-campus housing is not guaranteed for exchange students, due to limited availability.The housing options vary each semester depending on availability. There are, however, numerous housing options, both on- and off- campus, available to international students. See here for more details on housing!
Cost of Living
Use this guide provided by Northeastern to estimate living expenses associated with studying in Boston.

Students are required to obtain health insurance valid during their exchange.


Useful Information

For Exchange/International Students
Specific information for exchange students provided by the host university.
Semester/Term Dates
Access the University’s calendar
The Global Experience Office and the Office of Global Services (OGS) will hold a mandatory immigration clearance before the first week of courses at the beginning of each term. You must be present, as this is the start of your program date. At these meetings, you will receive information on classes, student ID cards, library services, student activities, and living in Boston. Please visit the OGS website for more information before your arrival.
Support Services 
International Student and Scholar Institute provides services and assistance to exchange students. Northeastern University also offers a selection of Support networks for local and international students alike. 
Information provided by Northeastern University
Information from the Embassy of The United States in Australia


Student Experiences

Shareeka Helaluddin
Bachelor of Arts, Semester 1, 2016
Host City Highlights
Underground music scene, access to word class academic talks / panels all over Boston, art galleries, alternative DIY community spaces, Harvard Arboretum, buses and trains to get to New York and other cities, Haley House Bakery, Makeshift Boston, Jamaica Plain is such a lovely suburb (and I lived on the border of here and Brookline, so was really easy to get to). It’s also really worthwhile travelling outside of the city; the Massachusetts woods are so beautiful.
Uni Life
There was a strong social justice orientation at Northeastern and my professors went above and beyond to foster open, safe, learning communities (note: I had small, final year classes so may not be universally true). In particular, the different collectives and movements of diverse, often-marginalised students were so strong and present and it was really easy to find like-minded people. Also, a lot of the students organised events such as having international guest speakers, etc. -- so I think there is a fair bit of funding that goes to things outside of the classroom. I think because the campus is quite sparse you can feel a bit lost, but I found heaps of groups and events via Facebook and I knew what I wanted to do/ see/ be a part of, so it was pretty easy to reach out to people (highly recommend using groups in Facebook to find things!).
Generally, all classes were of an exceptional standard in terms of learning, resources, political engagement -- but I knew this coming in to this school. This meant classes were exciting, people were both engaged and compassionate. I did all gender studies subject, so I think that's also why. All my professors had unconventional approaches to assignments and teaching such as project-based learning, creating a website, leading seminars -- which made every week different and interesting, and allowed a space for everyone to engage. They were tough and inspiring but what I needed in my fifth year! Classes were demanding in terms of reading and had about four hours per class per week. I had a few group assignments which I would also consider as part of contact hours. I got so much out of my classes, especially a Digital Feminisms course with Dr Moya Bailey and the amazing friends made from that.
Diners are cheap and fun, Caribbean food is best in Dorchester, Chinatown is a never fail - and lots of vegan options, Haven in Jamaica plain has the best burger in Boston, Roxy's grilled cheese, there are some cute ~Sydney style~ cafes in Brookline but also lots of cafes in Brookline and Jamaica Plain to study in, el pelon plantain burrito, anything from Haley House (if you're there at the end of the day they give you free food!) Also, Northeastern has food trucks every day from local businesses as it is on a main street - this is really cheap and convenient.
I lived off campus and am so glad that I did. It was cheaper, I had a huge room to myself in a share house and my housemates were great (3 other students, different years and institutions) I was close to the T-stop and to things to do, could get to downtown and could walk to university (when it wasn’t snowing). There are always subleases available because of the high student population and turnaround - a search in Gumtree or any of the Facebook housing groups should yield good results. Because I wasn't on campus I had to be more conscious of finding things to do / other people, but that's what I preferred as I didn't want to be on campus 24/7.
Money Matters
Technically you are allowed to work as an exchange student but there are a lot of forms to fill out and by the time you do finish it may not be worthwhile especially if you're only doing one semester. I had saved heaps and had a loan and scholarship. Boston isn't as expensive as Sydney in terms of rent, food, cost of living, but it is certainly not cheap. In saying that, I lived comfortably. I even had enough funds to get to Mexico and to stay in Boston / New York for a few weeks on either side of the semester (Dec and June). The exchange rate was terrible, so that definitely affects your budget.
Getting Around
I had a monthly Charlie pass for US$75 a month which is actually really worthwhile, especially if you choose to live off campus (Northeastern doesn't give you student passes, so you have to pay for the adult one). if you live on campus you can easily walk downtown or pay a few dollars to catch the T or a bus. Also, Northeastern has two stations, and the Ruggles stop has some intercity/ interstate lines. Honestly, transport is not the best, in winter this was really frustrating because a walking a few stops in the snow took forever. But once you work it out and know to plan ahead with the weather, it was totally fine. Try to avoid buses, the T is more reliable.
Boston really lights up in the spring and summer, but despite the brutal winter, there is always something to do so long as you know people. If you're on a budget, it's actually surprisingly easy to travel around Massachusetts to go to the woods, hiking, Singing Beach, catch the Chinatown bus to New York, or the train to providence. The inner city/ interstate buses are efficient and relatively affordable. Within Boston, I mostly walked everywhere and caught the T if it was snowing or had to go a long way. Boston is deceptively small and pretty easy to navigate. If you can afford it, there are frequent flights to Mexico and prices are competitive. Though, depending on your interests I guess, I wouldn't go during Spring Break. Mexico City is affordable with a ton of cool things to do.
Top Tips
Look up things/ people you're interested in; don't live on campus if you feel comfortable doing that; be present and committed to your classes - especially if they're small; do three subjects instead of four - just makes your time more meaningful and manageable! Get to New York when / if you can.

Want to read more experiences from Northeastern? Find more here:

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