adelaide city

University of South Australia

Adelaide's avid cycle culture and natural attractions makes it one of the world's coolest cities.

Often thought of as the "Amsterdam of Australia", Adelaide's plethora of botanical gardens, parks, and cycle pathways has led to its reputation as the world's 5th most liveable city in the world (tied with Calgary!). Located just South of the Barossa valley next to the coast, with an eclectic Central Market and great access by public transit to Glenelg beach, many find that it lives up to its informal moniker - "Radelaide". 

The University of South Australia (UniSA) is the state of South Australia's largest university - with 2 main campuses located in and around Adelaide's central business district (CBD), 2 in the outer suburbs, and 2 regional campuses in Mount Gambier and Whyalla ("where the outback meets the sea"), its many campuses cater to various fields and styles of study. UniSA offers an active and extensive range of activities for students, and is perfectly situated for weekend adventures along the Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island, or the charming German settlement of Hahndorf (in the Barossa Valley). UniSA is ranked in the top 250 universities worldwide, and #30 in the top 50 universities less than 50 years old (THE & QS, 2020). It excels in the fields of kinesiology, art & design, and environmental studies, and has one of the largest social work programs in Australia.

Key information

Language

English

Semester

Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type

Exchange

Application information

Application status

Open

Apply Now

2024-2025 applications

First come, first considered for remaining spaces

Winter 2025 semester or "Australian full year" (Winter 2025 + Fall 2025) 

Final deadline: August 15, 2024

University-specific additional requirements

No reference letter required; minimum GPA 2.5. See Eligibility section below for details.

2025-2026 applications

Open November 1, 2024

Please note: This application round will be open for Fall 2025 only. Due to administrative changes at UniSA, we are unable to send exchange students in Winter 2026.

Program details

University-wide Areas of Study:
UniSA offers a wide variety of courses, including Aboriginal Studies, Animation, Arabic Studies, Art & Design, Asian Studies, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Communications, Computer Science, Drama, Environmental Systems, Film & Television, Gender Studies, Geoscience, Human Movement, Information Systems, International Studies, Justice, Librarianship, Linguistics, Math, Outdoor Education, Performing Arts, Physics, Psychology, Public Relations, Religious Studies, Sociology, Sport Studies, Social Work*, and more. Explore course offerings online here.

*Students interested in the Social Work Practicum at UniSA should speak with the social work practicum advisor as selection is done through the faculty. Please note that as of 2021, this option is only available for Masters level Social Work students, not undergraduates.

Haskayne students, see Haskayne program page.

Course Information:
Course credits at UniSA are called "units". Exchange students are expected to take 18 units (typically 4 courses) per semester. When searching for courses, ensure that you are checking the semester it is offered (Study Period 2 = Winter, Study Period 5 = Fall) and that all your desired courses are offered at the same campus (City East is main campus). You can also see courses popular with exchange students in UniSA's exchange brochure here on page 24.

"Exchange Plus" Internship Program: Accepted exchange students for UniSA may also be able to participate in the Exchange Plus program. Exchange Plus at UniSA is designed to provide you with a range of services to increase your future employment prospects by completing, alongside your studies, a four week (20 day) Internship. As places are limited, please express your interest to the exchange advisor upon or before nomination. Further information will also be provided during Orientation - additional cost is $2000 AUD

The academic year at UniSA is divided into several study periods; exchange students will attend Study Period 2 and/or Study Period 5.

  • Study Period 2 runs from early March to early July. 
  • Study Period 5 runs from late July to late November.

Students can start in either semester, however full-year students must start in March.

  1. Costs

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

    Adelaide offers the cheapest living costs of Australia's major cities, though it is recommended that students budget around AUS$250-450 per week to pay for accommodation and living expenses. Cost of living estimates can be found online. Also, don't forget to include things like flights, visas, insurance, vaccinations, etc. in your budget planning.

    A typical weekly budget at UniSA might look like this:

    Expense & Cost (low - high)

    Accommodation (shared/single) 135 AUD - 385 AUD

    Public Transit 20 AUD - 35 AUD

    Food (not including restaurants) 90 AUD - 135 AUD

    Utilities 40 AUD - 55 AUD

    Mobile Phone & Internet 20 AUD - 40 AUD

    Clothes & Entertainment 50 AUD and up

    Total weekly estimate: 355 AUD - 700 AUD

     

    UniSA suggests using Insider Guides "Cost of Living" calculator to ballpark your approximate costs per week. Additionally, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is mandatory for all students studying in Australia and will be applied for through UniSA when the time comes. You will be required to provide evidence of OSHC for the duration of your Student Visa at the time of your visa application. 

    Adelaide cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here

  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 several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learning program; the amount varies year-to-year as the money is split among chosen recipients). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, for more information.

UniSA does not manage any student housing. However, they provide advice and assistance to help students find their own housing, including managing an online rental database for both shared and private accommodations. Options may range from residential complexes, apartments, homestays, and more. There may private or shared housing available as well as self, semi-, or fully-catered meal options. Because of the range in housing types, and the variance by location in and around Adelaide, rental fees can vary drastically. Students are encouraged to look into the detailed information providedonline for their desired housing types.

Rooms offered by Urbanest, UniSA's main provider of student accommodation range from $199AUD to $489AUD per week.

At the main city campus, Pridham Hall offers a 25m 5-lane swimming pool, fitness centre, rock climbing wall, and multi-purpose courts! There are also multiple food vendors across campus.

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at the U of C, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

Haskayne Students:
Haskayne students at UCalgary can ONLY apply for this exchange through Haskayne. Please click here for the Haskayne website.

 

What's special about Adelaide?

Tied with Calgary for one of the top 5 most livable cities in the world, Adelaide is often informally referred to as the "Food and wine capital of Australia" for its abundant markets and wineries, and the "Amsterdam of Australia" for its flat terrain and expansive cycle culture. Bike rentals can be found throughout the city (note cycling without a helmet is illegal in Australia!) and the relatively calm traffic and plentiful bike paths make it an accessible form of transit. Adelaide is also one of the most affordable cities in Australia (21% cheaper than Melbourne, 23% cheaper than Sydney, 4% cheaper than Brisbane and Perth), saving you money for travelling across the continent. 

Adelaide Central Market is South Australia's most visited landmark, is one of the country's oldest (since 1869) and largest fresh produce markets, making it a mecca for foodies and connoiseurs, with unique offerings and culinary delights you can't easily find elsewhere in Australia. Check out some of Adelaide's best festivals at this link

For information about Halal food availability in Adelaide, check out the "Muslim students' guide to Adelaide", which is published online by the organization Study Adelaide. 

What resources are available for new students?

UniSA runs an orientation O-Week for incoming students before the semester starts, which includes plenty of informative and social events. They also offer extensive events for students during the academic year.

What supports or services are available at UniSA?

UniSA's Disability Hub provides comprehensive support for students with disabilities. Several of UniSA's campuses have Access Maps that indicate full-access facilities (click on the campus to view its maps).

Also, please note that UniSA has a smoke-free campus policy. Smoking on campus is not permitted.

Student Experience Quotes

"Adelaide is great in that even though it is a small city, there is so much to do inside and outside of Adelaide! I would recommend using Facebook to keep up with events going on in the city. The Fringe takes place from February-March every year I believe and it brings people from all over! It is similar to Stampede in terms of city spirit. Go check it out and see a few shows if you can! I enjoyed going to the Barossa Valley, surfing, kayaking in the dolphin sanctuary and the ships graveyard, doing a Great Ocean Road tour to Melbourne (G’s Adventures was amazing!), going to the central market and Plant 4 Bowden Market, the zoo (there is also an open zoo where you ride in a safari cart around the open exhibits - I wanted to do this, but didn’t have time). There are also hikes that are accessible by bus close to the city. Kangaroo Island is about a 1.5 hour drive from the city to get to the ferry and I would highly recommend going on a tour there! It is beautiful! Glenelg beach is also stunning and is one of the first places I went to when I got to Adelaide and never got bored with it!"

"I wish I had brought warm clothes (more sweaters, long sleeved shirts, and jackets). I was surprised that it was actually cold in Australia in May, June, and July! I also wish I packed my rain boots and more formal clothes as well. The last thing I wish I packed was a reusable mug or a tea infuser. I don't think there were any items that I could not get in Australia that I did not bring."

"Climate wise- it is really hot in January/February and even in March still. However, it will get cold! 10-15 degrees Celsius does not seem cold- however, in Australia- it feels very cold! The houses are not insulated the best there either, so bring warm clothes/gloves/scarves too!". 


Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program 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

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

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.

APPLY NOW

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 global learning 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 Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.