Universities are constantly looking for ways to ‘internationalise’ their institution and courses, encouraging students to build their knowledge and understanding of the world around them and fostering a ‘global mindset’ — something of increased value to employers. There are many ways you can add an international focus to your studies — we explore a few of the top options below.
Head overseas through a study abroad or student exchange program
While not the easiest way to add an international spin to your studies, study abroad and student exchange remain popular options for many students. These programs allow you to absorb the culture, lifestyle and study environment of another country for an extended amount of time, while offering time to explore and travel during study breaks.
Look for study tours or work experience opportunities
If you’re looking to head overseas, but don’t want to commit to a lengthy study abroad or exchange program, most universities also offer shorter study tours for specific disciplines — everything from arts, science and business to engineering and medicine. These tours offer a chance for students to apply their skills in a real-world setting, visit industry hotspots, lend a hand to those in need or simply learn in a new environment. It may also be possible to gain some work experience overseas, by completing an international internship.
Study a language
Most universities allow students to enhance their studies by completing a Diploma of Languages at the same time as their undergraduate degree. These programs usually add an extra year of study; however, it may be possible to fast track your studies by applying for cross credit (receiving credit for language units rather than completing elective studies, for example). There are options for those looking to build on previous language study, as well as those starting from beginner level.
Complete an international studies major
International or global studies degrees are becoming more and more popular at Australian universities, with students able to study these specialisations as a standalone degree, as a major within an arts or business program or combined with a second area of specialisation through a double degree. These programs usually see students head overseas for a semester or year, or complete a series of subjects from an international stream — often focusing on a specific region, country or language. For those looking for other ways to tailor their studies, electives in areas such as international business, Asian studies, global politics, intercultural communication, anthropology and international relations are commonplace in most universities.