sydney harbor full of boats at sunset
Sydney, Australia

Arts + Sciences (University of Sydney)

New for Spring 2025!

Study Program

Tentative Dates


18 weeks


12 - 16 semester hours

18 - 24 quarter hours


Application Deadline

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Take your studies to the heart of dynamic Sydney at Australia’s oldest university: The University of Sydney! Choose from a variety of top-ranked courses across nearly every discipline while immersing yourself in vibrant Australian university life. While studying the arts, humanities, and/or social sciences, you’ll experience the unique blend of Australian charm and cosmopolitan flair that defines Sydney.

Whether you're scaling dizzying heights atop the Sydney Tower Eye or unwinding with a leisurely ferry ride across the harbor, Sydney invites you to surrender to its spell and discover the endless delights that await around every corner. So, pack your sense of adventure and prepare to be captivated by the irresistible allure of Australia's dazzling harbor city.

All courses will be complemented with co-curricular activities and excursions organized by CIEE beyond the city to enhance your classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding. 

Unique Experiences

Explore 100+ beutiful parks and reserves

scattered throughout the city


Enjoy access to 20 major art galleries and museums

showcasing both local and international works

Sydney boasts a diverse culinary scene

with 6,000+ restaurants offering cuisines from around the globe







  • Sydney
  • Sydney
  • Sydney

Your Destination

Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world and Sydney is its business hub and the country's launching point for exchanging goods, services, and ideas with its Asian neighbors. Sydney is one of the Southern Hemisphere's leading centers for startups, trade, finance, tech, and media production. With a population of around five million, Sydney is a cosmopolitan city consistently ranked as one of the best places to live globally due to its strong social inclusion, diversity, tolerance, and healthy lifestyle.  

Sydney is home to people from all over the world. Nearly half of its residents speak a language other than English at home and 36% were born overseas. The first inhabitants, the Aboriginals, are the world's oldest civilization, and this heritage has helped shape modern Australia. This one-of-a-kind mix of people and cultures has led to a shared spirit and attitude that is the Australian way of life. Aussies are known for their laid-back "no-worries" attitude, being open-hearted and open-minded, and believing that everyone should have equal rights and opportunities, what they call locally as having a "fair go."  

Sydney is blessed with some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world; more than 80% of Australia's plants and animals are unique to our islands and are found nowhere else on the planet. There is also a bubbling art scene, with the city government supporting young and fun artistic pursuits, including Sydney's Art and About, Vivid Sydney, Sydney Movie Festival, regular food, art, crafts, and music events, and the list goes on!    

The CIEE Sydney Center is strategically located in the heart of Sydney's Downtown (CBD) close to public transport, restaurants, retail shops and entertainment.

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Sydney. 

The Culture

sydney students posing with a koala

Excursions & Activities

We offer a variety of activities and day trips to allow you to immerse yourself in Australia's culture and historical heritage, which may include: 

  • Hiking the spectacular Blue Mountains with experienced and informed guides ready to share the environmental and cultural history of the spectacular landscape 
  • Learning about the world's oldest civilization during one of our Aboriginal cultural tours   
  • Enjoying a day at the famous Manly Beach and join a guided historical Q-station (Quarantine Station) tour in Sydney Harbour National Park and learn about the first Australian visitors' quarantine history and experience 
  • Hiking at one of Sydney's National Parks, such as Wolli Creek Park, La Perouse Park, and Sydney Harbour National Park 
  • Visiting one of the city’s many museums like Australian Museum, Art Gallery of NSW, and Contemporary Art Museum 
  • Learning about Sydney's beach lifestyle while enjoying an Aussie BBQ (Barbie) at Bondi Beach, Coogee Beach, and/or Shelly Beach 
  • Meeting local animals, including kangaroos and koalas, during one of our zoo visits to Taronga Zoo, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, or Sydney Zoo  

Program Blogs


Sounds of the Land Down Under: A Journey Through Australian Music

By CIEE Sydney at CIEE

Australia's music scene is as diverse and vibrant as the country itself, spanning genres from rock and pop to indigenous music and electronic dance. From iconic bands and legendary artists... keep reading


Exploring Sydney's Vibrant Markets: A Feast for the Senses

By CIEE Sydney at CIEE

Sydney's markets are bustling hubs of activity, offering a sensory delight of sights, sounds, and smells that capture the essence of the city's diverse culture and creativity. From fresh produce... keep reading


CIEE Sydney Staff Food Recommendations

By CIEE Sydney at CIEE

Are you tired of settling for mediocre meals and uninspiring snacks during your breaks between classes? Fear not! The CIEE Team has scouted the area surrounding the office and Abbey... keep reading



Established in 1850, the University of Sydney stands as Australia’s oldest university and is known for academic excellence and research. As a proud member of the Group of Eight, akin to the Ivy League in the U.S., its history is matched by its modern, vibrant campus in downtown Sydney's Camperdown neighborhood. Here, students benefit from a seamless integration of esteemed faculty, cutting-edge research, and a diverse array of programs across nine faculties, offering opportunities for growth and innovation in every field of study. Whether exploring historic architecture or engaging in groundbreaking research, students at the University of Sydney experience an academic journey like no other, where tradition meets innovation in the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic cities.

CIEE students can choose to enroll in 3-4 courses across a diverse range of fields. CIEE Sydney is located in the suburb of Ultimo, right in the heart of the Sydney Central Business District and minutes away from cafes and shops in the iconic Darling Harbour. There is a commute of about 20 minutes between CIEE Sydney and the University of Sydney campus. 



Additional Requirements

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.   

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


All Arts and Sciences at University of Sydney students take 3-4 courses for a total of 12-16 semester credits, choosing from: 

  • A CIEE course (optional) 
  • Host Institution courses taught in English at The University of Sydney  
    • Participants can either take all their classes at the University of Sydney or combine three classes at the host institution with one additional course offered at CIEE. There is a commute of about 20 minutes between CIEE Sydney and The University of Sydney campus.  

Program Credit

Total credit: 12-16 U.S. semester/18-24 quarter credits. 

Course Credit

  • University of Sydney Courses: typically 4 U.S. semester credits/6 quarter credits; 60 contact hours 
  • CIEE Courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Academic Culture

The academic environment at the University of Sydney emphasizes active engagement, collaboration, and the integration of diverse perspectives. Lectures are typically led by knowledgeable instructors who foster discussions and encourage active participation from students.  

The CIEE course, augmented by Canvas Learning Management System, is designed to follow U.S. academic culture and standards. The class environment typically features a combination of traditional lecture and discussion with co-curricular excursions and activities. Heavy emphasis is placed on student participation. Similar to classes at U.S. institutions, students should expect to spend an average of two hours of preparation and study for each hour in CIEE classes. 

To avoid falling behind, students should not plan personal travel out of Sydney when classes are in session and plan trips for the long weekends.

Class Format

Classes are scheduled throughout the week, Monday to Friday, offering flexibility to accommodate students' various commitments. Attendance is emphasized, with students expected to attend a significant portion of face-to-face sessions. 

Australian universities typically require students to take responsibility for learning and encourage self-motivation and self-discipline. Daily assignments and readings are common, disseminated through online platforms or email, allowing students to engage with course material beyond the classroom with the expectation that they will contribute actively to discussions during class. Students are expected to work much more independently than in the U.S., thus more time may be required for studying than students are accustomed to at their home campuses.  

To enhance learning experiences, many courses at the University of Sydney incorporate practical applications such as local field trips and guest speakers. These opportunities not only deepen students' understanding of the subject matter but also provide insights into the local culture and context. 

Courses taught at the CIEE Center are typically for CIEE students only. Host Institution classes include both local and international students. Attendance in CIEE classes is strictly enforced, both for classes and required co-curricular excursions. Instruction for both CIEE and Host Institution courses is supported and augmented online by the learning management system, Canvas. 


Assessment at the University of Sydney is typically based on essays, project reports, a midterm, tutorial/seminar participation and performance, and practical and final exams. CIEE reports final grades for host institution courses using recommended U.S. letter grade equivalencies, following a predetermined grade conversion scale. For CIEE-administered courses, students’ grades are based on attendance, class participation, homework, project work, presentations, and midterm and final examinations. Learning outcomes assessment is continuous through personal reflections, evaluation feedback, self-assessment, and requirements as set out in course syllabi. The U.S. grading scale of A – F is used.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction


Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


Course Information

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Semester Credit

Students can opt to take courses across a wide range of academic fields, including:  

  • Architecture, design, and planning
  • Arts and social sciences
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Economics
  • Education and social work
  • Engineering and computer science
  • Law
  • Medicine and health
  • Music
  • Science

Host Institution: The University of Sydney offers around 2,500 courses per semester. Explore the full list of courses in the Course Handbook Online.  

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.


Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Trailblazer Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application.

Learn more about scholarships

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program Spring 2025 18 weeks Start Date * End Date *

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel protection with benefits.

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

See Scholarships

What's Included



Pre-departure Advising

Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions

Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet


Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city

On-site Staff

Full-time program leadership and support in your city

Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities

Excursions and/or Study Tours

Travel Protection

CIEE iNext travel protection

24/7 emergency on-site support


Our Staff

Thais Oso

Center Director

Thais has over 18 years of education industry experience which include running an American study abroad program in Sydney and working in the exchange programs at one of Australia’s top universities.

Dr. Lesley Turnbull

Academic Director

Dr. Turnbull is the Academic Director of CIEE Sydney and is responsible for all aspects of academics.

Request Info