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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Sydney, Australia
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College, SEAS, Wharton
Other Eligibility Requirements: Prior Coursework as Required by Subject Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: Apartment/Off-Campus, Arranged by Student, University Residence Hall/Apartment Application Deadline: Fall/Year: March 1, Spring: October 15
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

University of Sydney

BSY LogoThe University of Sydney was established in 1850 as Australia's first university. The University's commitment to learning is reflected by its international reputation for excellence in teaching and research as well as a diverse range of courses in both leading-edge and traditional areas of study. Today, the University is one of the largest in Australia with a student body of over 49,000, representing 134 countries. Consistently ranked among the leading universities worldwide, Sydney is known for its progressive teaching and active outlook on the world as a whole. Its constantly evolving curriculum is fed by the latest research, influencing the teaching in classrooms, labs, libraries, teaching hospitals, research farms, building sites and galleries. Staff and students are consistently doing amazing things. Sydney is recognized as a leading institution in Australia and internationally. It has been consistently ranked high both for its academics and for the student experience.
Located just a 15-minute bus ride from central Sydney, the University is a blend of neo-gothic sandstone history complete with gargoyles, cloisters and courtyards and contemporary, well-equipped architecture, offering the highest quality teaching, learning and research facilities. The Camperdown and Darlington campuses also house the library - the largest academic library in the Southern Hemisphere.
For additional information, visit the University of Sydney website
The City of Sydney

With a population of 4.4 million (nearly 40% of whom were born overseas), Sydney is quite an international city blending European, Asian, Middle Eastern, and African influences. Sydney’s climate, multicultural population and attractive natural environment make it an ideal place to experience diverse culturally and culinary delights, and to get involved in a huge range of outdoor and indoor activities.

Did you know…?

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the widest long-span bridge and tallest steel arch bridge in the world, and the 5th longest spanning-arch bridge according to Guinness World Records.

The Sydney Tower was the tallest structure when it opened in 1981, and still is the second tallest freestanding structure in all of Australia at 1,001 feet over the Sydney CBD.



The program at the University of Sydney is for Engineering and Wharton students, and College credit only.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0


Language of Instruction



A full course load at the University of Sydney consists of four classes per semester. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Penn students have the freedom to select any course which is offered during their exchange semester as long as they meet the prerequisite requirements and if there are vacancies available.

*Beginning Spring 2019, the University of Sydney's calendar will change to reflect semester dates similar to that of Penn's semester dates.*

University of Sydney Academic Calendar
University of Sydney Course Catalog
Undergraduate Courses – list prepared by University of Sydney Study Abroad office
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

Grades are reported to Penn on the University of Sydney scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
Univ. of Sydney Grade Penn Grade
>82 A
79-81 A-
74-78 B+
68-73 B
64-67 B-
60-63 C+
57-59 C
54-56 C-
51-53 D+
50 D
<49 F

Special Features

BSY Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by the University of Sydney prior to the start of each semester.  More information on the University of Sydney’s orientation activities can be found here.

Internship Opportunities

Some internship opportunities exist at the University of Sydney that students may be eligible to apply for, including a summer internship prior to the start of Semester Two at the University of Sydney (Fall term at Penn). Further details on this program are available from the Global Programs Manager in Penn Abroad. Additionally, the Global Internship Program (GIP) now has placements at the University of Sydney for summer internships. For more information, visit the website here.

Buddy Program

BSY Special FeaturesThe University of Sydney’s Mates Abroad mentoring program is highly encouraged for Penn students studying abroad at Sydney. Students are paired with Australian student mentors where they meet and connect pre-arrival, provide support as students settle into life in Sydney, assist students with traveling on the Sydney public transport network and experience the student lifestyle. Information on joining Mates Abroad is provided to students upon acceptance in to the program by the University of Sydney.

Student Associations

Penn students studying at the University of Sydney have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. The diversity of its student community, 200+ clubs and societies, the famous Manning Bar, and successful sporting organizations mean that there is even more to learn outside the classroom. Joining a club is one of the best ways to get involved at University and Penn students are encouraged to partake in university life. More information can be found here.


BSY Campus
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

Beginning in 2014, exchange students are guaranteed accommodation at the new Urbanest Cleveland Street located 10 minutes from the Sydney campus. Students have the options of living in a twin share studio or twin share room in an 8 person apartment with shared kitchen/lounge. Penn students wishing to live in other options are responsible for making their own accommodation arrangements.

More information regarding accommodation can be found here.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets


Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Sydney, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.