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Country Handbook

Western Sydney University

ISEP now offers a special Direct program at Western Sydney for Peace and Development Studies. See the list of course options on the next tab. The program includes housing at the Penrith campus and the opportunity to work with local organizations like the MacArthur Centre for Sustainable Living and STARTTS (NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors).

From around each Western Sydney campus, take public transport to the heart of the cosmopolitan city of Sydney, and immerse yourself in the world-famous Sydney Harbour, some amazing shopping, and restaurants offering cuisine from all over the world. Although ISEP students are welcome to study at any Western Sydney campus, it is estimated that the Parramatta and Penrith campuses will be most popular.

Bankstown (student pop. 6,709) is one of the largest local government areas in New South Wales with approximately 170,000 residents speaking more than 60 different languages. The city of Bankstown is host to an array of recreational and sporting facilities, including parks and reserves covering a total of over 730 hectares.

Campbelltown (student pop. 6,057) is rich in culture and heritage with many historic sites and buildings scattered throughout the city that are a reminder of early colonial history. Campbelltown is an energetic, lively city set in a landscape of rolling hills and farms. Recreational activities abound with venues for golf, swimming, tennis, horse riding and fascinating walks in nearby Mt Annan botanic garden, with an abundance of birdlife and native plant species.

Hawkesbury (student pop. 2,401) is a friendly and rural community, located at the foot of the Blue Mountains, adjacent to the vast wilderness of the Wollemi National Park, where pristine creeks feed into the magnificent Hawkesbury River. Despite Hawkesbury’s close proximity to Sydney, it is still very much a rural community, with market gardens, orchards and rich pasture covering much of the landscape from the flood plains to the hills.

Paramatta (pop. 148,000; student pop. 9,293) is the closest of the six campus locations to downtown Sydney (only 24 km away—a short train or Rivercat ferry ride takes you straight into the Harbour). However, besides its proximity to some of Australia’s most iconic sites, Paramatta is also a diverse and thriving urban centre in its own right. It is the second largest central business district in Sydney and the sixth largest in Australia. Parramatta is also recognized for its rich historical background and great colonial architecture, as well as its multicultural community, and wide variety of cafes, shopping, sporting and outdoor activities, and nightlife options.

Penrith (pop. 170,000; student pop. 7,985) is a city located on the spectacular Nepean River at the base of the Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. Unsurprisingly, it is a paradise for anyone who likes the outdoors, offering abundant parkands along the river banks, bicycling and hiking trails (a ten-minute train ride takes you into the Blue Mountains), extensive boating activities (from canoeing to white-water rafting!), and gorgeous scenic views. Penrith also offers all the modern conveniences and social activities of any city (shopping, sports facilities, and entertainment options). It takes 1-1 ˝ hours to get from Penrith into downtown Sydney by rail or car.

ISEP Exchange: Semester placements only
ISEP Direct: Academic year or semester placements

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
ISEP-Direct site for students from all member institutions.

Chance of Placement
Excellent chance of placement on ISEP Direct.
Very Limited chance of placement on ISEP Exchange. To increase your chance of placement on Exchange, ISEP recommends listing this site as your first choice. Also consider the Direct option.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

Program Dates
Western Sydney observes the Southern Hemisphere calendar.

Academic year: February to November; Semester 1 (Autumn Session): March to June; Semester 2 (Spring Session): July to November.

For more information go to the ISEP Direct Fee page.

The ISEP-Direct program fee includes the benefit package for: Tuition, Housing and ISEP Insurance

ISEP-Direct Program fees:

Tuition, Housing and ISEP Insurance
U.S. Full Year 16-17: $29,950
U.S. Semester 1 16-17: $15,750
U.S. Semester 2 16-17: $16,250

For priority consideration, applications for the following semester should be received before February 15 and September 1 unless otherwise noted. Rolling admissions are considered for ISEP-Direct before these final application deadlines:
SM1: April 15, 2016
SM2: October 15, 2016

Fast Facts
Greater Western Sydney area, Australia (pop. 1,848,854)
Student Enrollment: 35,000
Language of instruction: English
University Home Page
Western Sydney International
Course search by keyword or department
Course search by department and campus
Past Courses Taken at Western Sydney

Accounting, agriculture and animal science, American studies, art history, Asian studies, business, chemistry, communications, computer science, computing and information technology, creative arts, economics, English, engineering, construction and industrial design, European studies, forensics, policing and criminology, family studies, film and drama, finance, geography, history, humanities, human resource and industrial relations, international studies, interpreting and translation, journalism, law, literature/history, languages (Chinese, Japanese), linguistics, mathematics, management, marketing, music, natural environment and tourism, natural sciences, health sciences, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, public health, social science, social work, sociology, sports science, teaching/education, and urban studies.

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
Students may take graduate level courses as long as the pre-requisites have been met. However, students may NOT take MBA courses.

Academic Notes
Recommended study areas are accounting, business, communications, economics, engineering, environmental science, finance, forensic science, health sciences, hospitality management, human resource development, organisational development, industrial design, international business, international studies, interpreting and translation, law, marketing, natural sciences, traditional Chinese medicine, and sport science.

A typical courseload is three-four units per semester, which equals 30-40 Western Sydney credit points. Most units consist of a one hour lecture and two hour tutorial each week. Each semester runs 13 weeks plus an exam period.

Transcripts are issued approximately two weeks after exam results are released. Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student's home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes
ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be substituted for official score? No
TOEFL: 90 iBT/ 577 PBT with minimum 4.5 in TWE/ 233 CBT with minimum 4.5 in Essay
Institutional TOEFL accepted? No
IELTS: 6.5 with no band less than 6.0
Other tests accepted: 58 on Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
English as a Foreign Language courses available?: Yes, but not covered by ISEP benefits. For more information about pre-session and in-session English language courses, please contact the ISEP Coordinator at Western Sydney.
Additional comments: Some programs require higher English language proficiency. For more information click here.

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special Academic Conditions
IMPORTANT: Not all fields of study are offered at all campuses. For students interested in TV and radio production, the Penrith campus offers state-of-the-art studios and is also the home base for production of the actual station “Television Sydney.” It is possible, but not recommended, to study units at both Penrith and Parramatta campus during one semester.

Some units may have prerequisites (e.g. nursing and psychology). Medicine and Nursing courses are closed to ISEP participants.

Special ISEP Application Instructions
1) Choose at least four units (classes) to take during the semester with one or two backups in case these are not available.

2) Clearly state the campus of preference on the application and be careful to choose only units that are offered on that campus.

Hints for Researching Courses
REMEMBER that this site operates on the Southern Hemisphere calendar! Be sure to search for courses using the correct semester parameters: Southern hemisphere SM1 (NH SM2) is March - June; Southern hemisphere SM2 (NH SM1) is July – November.

To search units to take at Western Sydney, please go to the: Western Sydney Online Handbook.

The Western Sydney academic year begins in Autumn (March) and concludes after the Spring (July) semester. As such, the Online Handbook for the following academic year will not likely be available until late in the year. Please ensure that you will have met the pre-requisite for any unit you intend to take by the time you commence your study at Western Sydney, so that we can seek the relevant academic approval to secure your unit selection.

Housing and Meals
ISEP Exchange students are housed in fully-furnished, self-catered apartments with single rooms in either UWS Residences (located on campus) or UWS Village (adjacent to campus). Each accommodation option has shared bathrooms, and laundry and cooking facilities. ISEP Exchange students receive a fortnightly meal stipend which can be used to prepare meals. Family housing is not available.
ISEP Direct Peace and Development Studies students receiving housing in shared apartments at the Penrith campus. Meals are not included.

You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: fees not required of all participants (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainments, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at: AU $600. ISEP Direct students should budget between AU $100-150 per week for meals and weekly living expenses.

Upon arrival, students participate in a comprehensive orientation program including a customised information session for study abroad and exchange students. ISEP students will enroll in courses, receive support in finding accommodation (ISEP Direct only), and have opportunities to meet other new students. Free bus services are provided to reach orientation, as well as free lunch, gifts, and entertainment.

Western Sydney offers free airport pickup. Students should arrange this with the ISEP Coordinator at Western Sydney.

Student Activities
Western Sydney University has great university life across all campuses with regular activities and events run through student groups, clubs and societies. A dynamic range of sporting, entertainment and leisure activities are held across all campuses which are mostly free and provide students with a fantastic opportunity to interact with fellow Australian students. Students studying at Western Sydney have access to many of Sydney’s attractions including 40 beaches, bush walks and camping in the Blue Mountains, the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
Students enrolling in the ISEP Direct Peace and Development Studies program will take on projects with local organizations. Contact ISEP for more information.

ISEP participants have the option to apply for an unpaid internship at Western Sydney, by requesting to take a unit that has an internship component (limited areas of study), or by applying for a paid internship (these are very competitive). Internships that are undertaken as part of an enrolled 'internship unit' unit are fully supervised by Western Sydney academic staff and provide students with valuable industry experience in an organisation based in Western Sydney, Australia’s third largest regional economy. Internships are a great way to make valuable contacts and gain a competitive edge in the job market. Internship applicants must submit:
  • A Resume (Curriculum Vitae)
  • Two letters of reference with the contact details of the referees (ISEP referee reports are acceptable)
  • A statement outlining the area of preferred interest for the work placement

Western Sydney University is a modern, progressive university with more than 100 study areas, over 2000 staff, and about 36,000 students from Australia and around the world. There are six campuses spread across Greater Western Sydney in Bankstown, Blacktown / Nirimba, Campbelltown, Hawkesbury, Penrith, and Parramatta. While each campus offers a unique learning environment, they all share the same friendly, communal atmosphere that makes Western Sydney a great place to study and make friends. Exchange and study abroad students at Western Sydney can study at any campus depending on course selection.