Engineering and Business Enterprise in a Complex Environment

Location: Timor Leste
Dates: June 24 - 4 August 2019

(including two weeks in Timor Leste from 30 June to 14 July)
Eligible students: Undergraduate business and engineering students
Application close date: Second round applications close 17 March 2019


Have you ever thought about travelling overseas to expand your engineering or business and enterprise skills? If so the Engineering and Business Enterprise in a Complex Environment program is for you!

University graduates are faced with complex global challenges such as climate change, increasing population and sustainability. The Engineering and Business Enterprise in a Complex Environment is a unique program that will increase your skills and confidence to work on complex projects in addition to building your understanding of your role as an engineer or business leader to create social impact through your work. The program will allow participants to deeply explore the intersection between engineering, business, enterprise, technology and the creation of social impact.

Engineering and Business Enterprise in a Complex Environment is a for-credit-unit designed specifically for engineering and business students. The program will run in the 2019 winter-term from the 24 June to the 4 August within a 25 credit point unit. The unit includes pre- and post-work on the Hawthorn campus in addition to a two-week intensive in Timor Leste.

Known for its impressive beauty, pristine beaches, unspoiled reefs, warm-hearted people and unique culture, Timor Leste is one of the most distinctive and least explored countries in Asia. While in-country you will work in teams alongside Engineers Without Borders Australia visiting engineering firms, local enterprises, and development organisations to explore what role engineering and entrepreneurship plays in a development context.

Why go on this study tour?

By participating in the program you will:

  • explore the role of engineering, business and entrepreneurship in a development context while working on a group project in collaboration with our in-country partner Engineers Without Borders
  • gain experience working cross-culturally by meet with engineering firms, local and international development agencies, social enterprises and many more
  • gain insights into the complexities of the Timorese socio-political and environmental context
  • experience the dynamic Timorese culture and learn basic Tetum.

Unit details

If your application to participate in Engineering and Business Enterprise in a Complex Environment project is successful you will be enrolled in ENG21001 if you are an FSET or FBL student or ENG31001 if you are an Engineering Practice Academy student. Both of these units are 25 credit point units. Note a standard unit is 12.5 credit points and so for FSET (non-Academy) and FBL students this will count for two electives.

Both of these units are run within the Engineering Practice Academy. You will participate in pre- and post- studio classes in addition to spending an intensive two weeks in Timor Leste. You will work in teams to deliver project outcomes for our community-based partner organisation Engineers Without Borders Australia. You will also work through a series of credentials to extend your skill development and an Individual Development Plan to enhance your personal development over the course of the experience.


Program cost is approximately $3,500 AUD.

Program cost includes: Additional expenses to consider (not included in program cost):
All project costs
Most meals
Facilitation and organisation costs
Travel insurance
International airfares
Food and incidentals
Tuition fee

Timor Leste project in-country fee due dates:

  • $500 AUD non-refundable deposit due 3 April 2019
  • $3,000 AUD balance due 20 May 2019

The following types of fee help and funding are available to help eligible students with the costs towards this program:

  • OS Help Loan of up to $8,149 (as at 2019)
  • New Colombo Plan Short-Term Mobility grants of $3,000 AUD

Eligibility and selection criteria

To be eligible to participate in this program you must have completed an equivalent of one year of full-time study.

Preference will be given to people who demonstrate a passion for creating social impact and who can work well in teams. 

How to apply

Participation in this program is through an application process. Ensure that you upload the response to selection criteria form to your application. Places are limited so apply early so that you are not disappointed.

You do not need to upload a signed study plan with your application. If required you will be prompted to get a signed study plan after you have been accepted.

Information sessions

To learn more about this program, please attend one of the following sessions:

Wednesday 6 March 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm TC206
Tuesday 12 March 2019 1:30pm - 2:30pm TC206


Jenny Turner
Engineer in Residence
Swinburne Engineering Practice Academy