Freshman abroad program

The Freshman Abroad program is a unique opportunity for recently graduated high school students to spend their first year of university in Australia. This program features additional services and guaranteed on-campus accommodation. It allows students to undertake approved subjects of study for credit towards their ‘home’ college degree, as well as gain an understanding of Australia’s culture, history, and natural and social environment.


One semester

Course load

Three or four units (subjects) per semester.

Certificate of specialisation option

Freshman abroad students can choose to add a certificate of specialisation to their studies.

To qualify for the certificate, you must complete two units from any one discipline. Or you can qualify for a dual certificate of specialisation if you complete two units from each of two disciplines.


To qualify for the Freshman Abroad program you must be:

  • A recent high-school graduate, or
  • A student enrolled at a university that offers a freshman abroad program
  • if you choose design or film and television units you may be required to submit a portfolio with your application showcasing work of an appropriate standard.

Tuition fees

The freshman abroad fee for 2020 is AUD $9900 for 4 units and AUD $7425 for 3 units. The fee includes:

  • online pre-departure orientation and support
  • airport reception and transfers to your accommodation
  • on-campus Swinburne welcome orientation program
  • dedicated freshman abroad advisers at Swinburne
  • 24/7 Swinburne emergency contact
  • student development and counselling services
  • official Swinburne transcript.

Other costs

You will need to meet your own travel expenses, accommodation charges, living expenses and any additional spending money.

Travel costs

  • return airfare to Melbourne, Australia
  • travel insurance
  • visa (where applicable)
  • Australian health insurance (mandatory)
  • Extra excursions and social activities. Swinburne Student Life offers many sporting and cultural clubs as well as volunteer opportunities. They also organise low-cost day and weekend trips to tourist places of interest.


Cost will depend on your choice. There are on-campus and off-campus options, including homestay, shared rentals, individual rentals, bed and breakfasts, hotels and serviced apartments.

Take a look at our student accommodation pages to get an idea of costs and a downloadable guide about finding accommodation in Melbourne. You will also find contact details for Swinburne’s student accommodation adviser.

Living expenses

You will need to pay your own living expenses including food, bills, transport, books and stationery. See our estimated costs for living in Melbourne.