Macquarie University

Located only 30 minutes by train from central Sydney, with more than 300 leading-edge companies around campus, Macquarie provides innovative real-world learning in one of the world's most exciting cities.

Highly ranked in the fields of linguistics, marine and earth sciences, dance, and business, Macquarie University is known for producing some of the most sought-after professionals in Australia. It is currently ranked in the top 14 universities in Australia, and in the top 1% globally (#237, QS 2020).

Macquarie's main campus at North Ryde spans over 126 hectares (with a free shuttle around campus), and was established in 1964 in Australia's largest high-tech precinct. The university has a student population of over 40,000 students, including almost 8,000 international students.


Key information




Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



2021-2022 applications

Fall 2021, Winter 2022, and "Australian full year" (Winter 2022 + Fall 2022)

Priority deadline: January 11, 2021


NOTE: Applications for Winter 2021 UGo virtual exchanges are open until December 10, 2020. First come, first considered for available spaces!

University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

2022-2023 applications

Open November 1, 2021

Student experience

A day in life of a Macquarie student

Program details

Areas of Study: Macquarie offers a wide variety of subjects, including Actuarial Science, Anthropology, Biology, Business, Mandarin (Chinese), Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminology, Croatian Language, Dance, Earth Science, Economics, Education, Engineering (electrical, mechanical, computer, software), French, Game Design, Geography, Geology, Greek, History & Classics, Indigenous Studies, International Studies, Italian, Japanese, Journalism, Linguistics, Math & Statistics, Media Studies & Communication, Meteorology, Music, Neuroscience, Paleobiology, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Polish, Psychology, Russian, Sociology, Spanish, Translation Studies, Urban Studies, and more.

Course requirements: At Macquarie, courses are called a "unit" or a "subject". Exchange students are expected to take 9-14 Macquarie credit points per semester (generally 3-4 courses).

Student Experience: "I would say the biggest differences were classes were only once per week, and longer, which made it nice as it felt like we covered more in class and then had the rest of the week to study and prepare. The library also carried most of the textbooks I needed for each course."

The academic year is divided into 2 semesters.

  • Session 1 runs from late February to late June
  • Session 2 runs from late July to late November

Students can start in either semester, however full-year students must start in February (Session 1).

  1. Costs

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. 

    It is recommended that students budget a minimum of AUS$9000 per semester to pay for accommodation and living expenses. Cost of living estimates can be found online. University accommodation ranges from $696-$2218 AUD per month, with an average cost of around $1450/month including utilities for self-catered options. Mobile phone plans are typically under $20-40 AUD per month, with excellent rates on data and international calls. Here's a cost comparison of residence rates for the 2019 academic year

    Students studying from our Winter to Fall semesters (over the Australian academic year) may be able to work up to 20 hours/week (40 per fortnight) during the school year (and full-time over holidays). Macquarie offers Career & Employment services for students to assist with job hunting.  

    Additionally, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is mandatory for all students studying in Australia and will be applied for at the time of application to your host university. You will be required to provide evidence of OSHC for the duration of your Student Visa at the time of your visa application. Estimated cost is roughly $350ish for a semester and $600 for the full academic year. 

    Also, remember to include things like visas, flights, vaccinations, etc. in your budget planning. 

    Past Participant Cost Estimates (averaged):

    Expense Cost per Month (AUD)
    Accommodation $1200-1600
    Food $0-350 ($0 if included with residence)
    Toiletries $20-40
    Laundry $15-25
    Transit $50-100 (depending on adventures that month)
    Textbooks/Supplies $0-$350 (per semester)
    Mobile Phone $35-40
    Internet $0 (typically included in most residences)
    Gym $0-55 ($0 if included with residence)


    Student Experience: "I suggest taking an unlocked phone and buying a pre-paid SIM card (either from Telstra, Optus or Vodaphone). For $40 per month with Telstra I was able to get unlimited call and text (international as well), 10Gb of data and an extra data bank of 5Gb. You can also get $20 and $30 options that just drop data to 5Gb or 7.5Gb. They have amazing apps to tell you how much data you have left, and you can recharge the card from the app on your phone, making it very easy."

  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? Since you remain a degree-seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange, you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the funding page for more information.

Exchange students to Macquarie are guaranteed housing, as long as they apply by the deadline. Student apartments are all located off-campus and contain up to six single or double bedrooms with a shared kitchen and bathroom. When living in university housing, students can expect rent in the range of $250-375 AUD per week.

Alternatively, students may apply for a homestay with a local family, or search for accommodation on the private market; the university makes several recommendations for both homestay & housing providers. See more information online.

Student Tips: "I lived at Robert Menzies College (RMC) on campus. It was amazing. It is fairly big with 5 different blocks (wings) each having about 20 rooms per floor (3 floors). Blocks A-D are quite old but very well kept and renovated. Block E is newer and very nice, but more expensive. The rooms are decent size containing a bed, desk, chair, window ledge, lots of wardrobe storage and cupboards. I was in shared accommodation, so I had my own private room but shared bathrooms (3) with 8 other students (same gender). There was also a shared kitchen for the whole floor (20 people-ish). I loved my room personally, it was perfect for what I needed. Furniture and bedding were both provided, along with a fan, heater, desk, chair, etc. Every week we could get new clean sheets on a set day. I had a meal plan where all my meals were provided in the dining hall with a set two-week schedule. I had to buy decorations, school materials, and a light blanket, but that was all. The building had a music room with a piano, a common room with a pool table, ping pong table, foosball table, and couches, a tv/movie room, a dining hall, a sport court, a huge outdoor picnic table, outdoor human chess and about 4-5 study rooms. In addition, each floor of each block had its own little common room with couches. There isn’t a gym on site, but we had free membership at the uni gym through our residence. There was good wireless internet and a print room where we could use computers and printers (just needed to bring our own paper).

It was very close to campus, a 5 min walk to most things and max a 10 min walk. It was about 2 mins from the train station and 5 mins from a huge mall with shops, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, movie theatre, skating rink and more.
In terms of food services, there is a full, semi or self-catered plan. I was fully catered where I got all three meals, seven days a week. If I were to miss lunch, I can put in a request for a sandwich of my choice with a piece of fruit and a juice box for a packed lunch which is available for pick up the morning of.  
It is important to note RMC is a dry campus, no alcohol allowed (other residence options may not be). The whole residence was gated, and we needed cards to get both on site and then into each of the buildings and bathrooms. I loved being close to campus and having the opportunity to meet so many friends. It was nice not having to buy a bunch of things and to be close to the mall, gym, class and train station. I loved the atmosphere, the rooms, the people and the options they gave us. The meal plan was great, everyone hung out in the common rooms together, lots of optional events were hosted that most people attended, and it was a great experience. RMC is close to pretty much everything and was such a good place to live. 
Some people also liked Dunmore Lang College (DLC). The biggest difference is they are not a dry-campus, so alcohol is allowed. This however means there is a lot more noise and less of a community atmosphere from what I have seen. Macquarie University Village looks really nice, but it is far away, and you have to buy everything such as bedding, cooking tools, fans, heaters, etc. It is nice for people who are looking for more of an independent place to live, just important to look and see if it is right for what you need."

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-).

An academic reference is required for a complete application.

What resources are available for new students?

Macquarie organizes an orientation O Week with a variety of informative and social events aimed at introducing incoming students to campus. 

There is also an International Student Arrival Guide, published online annually. (Download the PDF along the right-hand sidebar.)

Student Experience: "Both my uni and residence (RMC) had planned social activities. During O-week there were lots of events such as buddy nights, movie nights, BBQs, etc. with the uni. In addition, my residence had scavenger hunts, dances, etc. Particularly for exchange students, Macquarie Uni had events planned such a coast walks, blue mountains trips, AFL games, surf lessons and more that we could participate in. I also was part of the scuba diving club on campus."

"Make friends and participate in as many activities are you can, especially during O-week. Also, get involved and participate in as many activities as you can. I joined clubs, sports teams, the gym, participated in the buddy system and got a mentor. All of these things made me feel so much more connected and helped Sydney feel like home."   

What supports or services are available at Macquarie?

Macquarie's Disability Service provides comprehensive academic support for students with disabilities.

Is there a gym on campus?

Yes, and membership is free with certain accommodation options. 
Student Experience: "Macquarie has an awesome gym (and membership is free for Dunmore Lang College and Robert Menzies College residents). The gym was definitely better than at UCalgary - bigger and more equipment. "

What is the climate like? How easy is it to get around?

Student Experience: "Summer is hot, and winter can be cold. Prepare for cold weather after April in Sydney where jeans, long sleeves and jackets are needed." 
"Transit is amazing – you can get anywhere very easily. There is an app called TripView that is very useful for planning your route and the opal card (transit card) is easy to use. Make sure to apply for the concession card, you get great deals on fees. To get from Macquarie Uni to Circular Quay (Sydney opera house, bridge, harbour, ferries, etc.) it is a 30 min train ride that is very easy to do. There are so many cool places to go that are easy to get to by transit such as Bondi, Manly, The Rocks, Circular Quay, etc."

Macquarie has a smoke-free campus policy. Smoking on campus is not permitted. 

Macquarie's semester starts with a mandatory online orientation session on 15 February 2021. Lectures run from 22 February to 28 June 2021 (including final exams). 

Click here to view the promotional slides from Macquarie University!

Courses at Macquarie are called "units". You can search for units here:

  • When clicking on each department, look for units that say they are offered in “Session 1” and “fully online/virtual”. Virtual exchange students are allowed to take any of these units, as long as you meet the prerequisites.
  • Lecture schedules won’t be released until closer to the start of semester. There may be some synchronous attendance required (i.e. tuning into a virtual lecture in Australian time; Sydney is 16h ahead of Calgary) but lecturers will try to accommodate international students as much as possible.

A full-time courseload at Macquarie is 4 units, however virtual exchange students are allowed to choose from 1 to 4 units. You may take this in combination with UCalgary courses and will pay only UCalgary tuition fees. 

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The exchange advisor for this program is: Kathryn Bauer

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.