aerial view of bondi beach in sydney
Sydney, Australia

Semester in Sydney

New for Spring 2025!

Study Program

Tentative Dates


18 weeks



12 - 17 semester hours

18 - 25.5 quarter hours


Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information


Experience the ultimate freedom to shape your academic journey with this exceptional Semester in Sydney study abroad program! No matter your major, we've got you covered. Combine CIEE classes with those offered by the prestigious University of Sydney, CIEE’s renowned partner institution, giving you access to top-notch programs across various subjects. While you immerse yourself in vibrant Australian university life, 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.

Outside the classroom, all your courses will be complemented with activities and excursions organized by CIEE beyond the city to enhance your academic learning and provide intercultural understanding. Bonus: Diversify your academic adventure with an optional credit-bearing internship or independent research courses (in English) to round out your experience abroad!  

Unique Experiences


Immerse yourself in Sydney's vibrant culture

with hands-on opportunities like Indigenous art workshops, harbor cruises, and guided walking tours through historic neighborhoods

Discover Sydney's dynamic urban scene

with access to world-class museums, bustling markets, and live performances at iconic venues like the Sydney Opera House

Experience the natural beauty of Sydney

with excursions to stunning coastal cliffs, wildlife sanctuaries, and surfing lessons on famous beaches like Bondi and Manly







  • Sydney
  • Sydney
  • sydney opera house student singing

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 cities to live in globally because of its social inclusion, diversity, tolerance, and healthy lifestyle.   

Sydney is an incredibly diverse city, and 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 led to a shared spirit and attitude that is the Australian way of life. Aussies are known for laid-back "no-worries" attitudes, 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 in the world. There is also a bubbling art scene, the city government supports 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) and minutes away from Central Station, with local, intercity, and interstate transport in close proximity. 

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 student feeding a kangaroo

Excursions & Activities

  • 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 learning about the first Australian visitors' quarantine history and experience 
  • Going on a hike at one of Sydney's National Parks; previous visits included Wolli Creek Park, La Perouse Park, and Sydney Harbour National Park   
  • Visiting one of our many museums; previous visits included Australian Museum, Art Gallery of NSW, and Contemporary Art Museum     
  • Learning about Sydney's beach lifestyle while enjoying an Aussie BBQ (Barbie); previous visits included Bondi Beach, Coogee Beach, and Shelly Beach   
  • Meeting our local animals, including kangaroos and koalas, during one of our zoo visits; previous visits included Taronga Zoo, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, and Sydney Zoo 
sydney student intern working a premiere

Academic Projects

For-credit Directed Independent Research is for qualified students who have demonstrated academic rigor and curiosity toward a particular research topic. Independent research topics will be approved by CIEE Sydney Academic Director and home institution and must reflect a topic that is relevant to Australia. To be accepted into this course, students must submit a structured proposal with topic of exploration, significance of research topic as it relates to Australia, methodology, a literature review, and a schedule of research milestones. Upon research completion, students will present their findings to a panel of academics. 

A for-credit part-time internship allows students the opportunity to have practical work experience in a company within a variety of industry sectors. In addition to the on-site business experience, students participating in an internship program have a weekly classroom component, which provides academic support to their practical experience. Students applying for an internship are required to submit additional materials during the course selection process.      

Program Blogs


Australia vs. New Zealand Study Abroad: Which is Better for You?

By College Study Abroad at CIEE

You’ve decided to study abroad in the Oceania region. Congrats! You’ve taken the first big step in your study abroad journey. Next up? Choosing between Australia vs. New Zealand study... keep reading


The Ultimate Guide to Studying Abroad in Australia

By College Study Abroad at CIEE

Known as the Land Down Under, studying abroad in Australia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. From the country’s stunning coastline and its indigenous history to its modern, multicultural vibe, Australia has... keep reading


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



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 USA, 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 4-5 courses across a diverse range of fields. Students take a minimum of two CIEE courses. They can take all CIEE courses or can combine with University of Sydney courses.  

CIEE Sydney is 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 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 Semester In students take 4-5 courses for a total of 12-17 semester credits, choosing from: 

  • Minimum of 2oCIEE courses  
  • 0-2 University of Sydney courses taught in English  
    • Participants can either take all their classes at CIEE or combine courses at CIEE with courses offered at the University of Sydney. There is a commute of about 20 minutes between CIEE and the University of Sydney campus.  

Program Credit

Total credit: 12-17 U.S. semester/18-25.5 quarter credits 

Course Credit

  • CIEE Courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours 
  • CIEE Internship: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 seminar hours, 100-120 placement hours  
  • University of Sydney Courses: Typically, 4 U.S. semester credits/6 quarter credits; 60 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.  

CIEE courses, augmented by Canvas Learning Management System, are 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

The academic environment at CIEE Sydney offers a focused and immersive experience for students, blending rigorous coursework with hands-on learning opportunities to deepen understanding of both academic subjects and the local culture.

CIEE courses typically run from Monday through Thursday, providing students with a concentrated schedule that allows for intensive study and exploration. This condensed format encourages students to fully engage with the material and make the most of their time in Sydney. Attendance in CIEE classes is strictly enforced, both for classes and required co-curricular excursions.

University of Sydney 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 both CIEE and 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. Instruction for both CIEE and Host Institution courses is supported and augmented online by the learning management system, Canvas. 


Assessment at 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

Academic Projects

Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Semester Credit

Business, Economics, Management, and Marketing

Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

Semester Credit


Semester Credit

University of Sydney

  • 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

The University of Sydney offers around 2500 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:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant
  • 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 * Fees & Housing $21,950

*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.

Participation Confirmation = $300*

Educational Costs = $14,456**

Housing = $7,000***

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $21,950

Estimated Costs

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

Meals not included in program fee = $1,688

International Airfare = $1,700††

Local Transportation = $800

Books & Supplies = $40

Visa Fees = $470

Personal expenses = $285†††

Total Costs = $4,983

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

*non-refundable fee

**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

***Housing fees listed are for financial aid purposes only and should not be considered a basis for calculation of refunds.

For groceries if you plan on making your own meals, budget more money if you plan on eating out regularly.

††round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

†††$100 emergency fund + cell phone expense + toiletries

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.

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