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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Brisbane, Australia
  • Program Terms: Spring, Year
  • Budget Sheets: Spring
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: Nursing
Other Eligibility Requirements: Prior Coursework as Required by Subject, See Program Description Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: Apartment/Off-Campus Application Deadline: Spring: October 15
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

University of Queensland, Nursing

BUQ LogoRecognized as one of Australia's leading universities, the University of Queensland is a large, comprehensive, research-intensive institution internationally renowned for its highly awarded teaching staff, world-acclaimed researchers and superior campus facilities and services. UQ's long-standing reputation for quality is reinforced by affiliations with prestigious national and international groups, including the Australian Group of Eight (Go8) and Universitas 21. The University ranked 43rd in the 2014-2015 QS World University Rankings and 65th in the 2014-2015 Times Higher Education World University Ranking. More than 11,500 international students from over 142 countries study across three superb campuses equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. With a student population of over 48,800 students, one in every four students is an international student.
The University of Queensland, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work is the only nursing and midwifery program in Australia to offer intensive clinical learning to undergraduate students. Students are exposed to a course of learning based on integrated problem solving. This means students are exposed to the hospital environment from the earliest stages of their undergraduate degree. Lead by the Head of School, the School's academic and clinical staff are renowned leaders in their fields, with many known and highly regarded internationally.
For additional information, visit the University of Queensland School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work website
The City of Brisbane

The capital city of the state of Queensland, Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city with a population of almost 2 million people. Built on and around the hills overlooking the Brisbane River, the city is characterized by a subtropical climate, safe relaxed outdoor lifestyle, unique “Queenslander” architecture, bustling restaurants and cafes, and thriving arts, sports, and entertainment scenes. It contains Australia’s most popular art museum, state-of-the-art sporting grounds, a major inner-city business hub, and diverse eating districts. 

Did you know…?

Brisbane City Hall is the largest city hall in Australia. Upon its completion, Brisbane City Hall was the second-largest construction project in Australia after the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The clock tower of City Hall is 92m high, with an observation platform at 76m.



The program at the University of Queensland is for Nursing students only. Interested students are invited to complete a general Penn Abroad Nursing application for initial consideration by Penn Nursing, and are invited to an interview in April of the preceding year.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0 cumulative; 2.0 science

Language Prerequisite: No previous study required.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Grade of C or better in NURS 163 and NURS 164 by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure.  No incompletes in any course at time of application. Relevant course background pre-requisites.

Other Requirements: School of Nursing students in the spring semester of junior year.


Language of Instruction



A full course load at UQ 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.

The Penn Nursing Exchange program at UQ is open to students in the spring semester of the junior year. Students complete theoretical courses, along with 30-40 hours a week in the ward at Mater Hospital engaging in modules for adult and older adult acute care to match NURS 245 - Nursing of Young and Middle-Aged Adults and NURS 255 - Nursing of Older Adults here at Penn.  Students are expected to complete a clinical essay, a clinical presentation, the entire UQ clinical portfolio, and any additional activities designated by their faculty.
Please note: Students are not able to take elective or sector equivalent courses during their time at UQ and should modify their Penn plan of study accordingly.  In order to remain on track in the BSN program, students must take NURS 230 Introduction to Statistics (or STAT 111 equivalent) during either their sophomore year or the summer prior to the academic year in which they study abroad.  Students should also plan to take NURS 547 Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice during the fall before departure.

Penn students will become students in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at UQ during their semester abroad, which is dedicated to teaching and research excellence. Delivering contemporary high quality teaching from practicing clinicians, and conducting world class research, the School is committed to building relationships and clinical partnerships programs that will contribute to the health and well-being of the community. Students on exchange at UQ are based at Mater Hospital in downtown Brisbane, which is easily accessible via public transportation.

Prior to each student's departure for winter break, a total of six (6) clinical simulation modules must be successfully completed. The students will work in small groups, or one-on-one with a lab instructor, in order to complete each module. The student is subject to the Brunner Health Care Lab Evaluation and Grading Policy. Failure to pass any or all of the modules will result in the rescinding of admission to the exchange program.

In addition, each student participating in this program travels as an ambassador of the University of Pennsylvania and the School of Nursing. As such, academic and/or interpersonal behavior not becoming the spirit of ambassadorship will be addressed by the program director. Consequences for academic failure or severe behavioral infractions will be administered at the discretion of program director.

University of Queensland Academic Calendar
University of Queensland Course Catalogue
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 UQ scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
Queensland Grade Penn Grade
6-7 A
5 B
4 C+
1-3 F

Special Features

BUQ Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

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

Group Excursions

UQ provides access to a number of courses that include field trips to unique locations including the Australian Outback and Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island and a World Heritage listed area. Further details on courses and other excursions can be found on the Experiences and Activities website.

Student Associations

BUQ Special FeaturesPenn students studying at the University of Queensland have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. The University of Queensland has over 150 student clubs and societies that Penn students are highly encouraged to become involved with, including Mates@UQ which helps to integrate international students to life at UQ and in Australia. The Exchange Student Society (QUEST) is a student club that organize and support a range of events and activities on campus for visiting exchange students. More information on the full list of clubs and societies can be found here.

Additionally, UQ Sport organizes and oversees all of the sporting clubs and teams, as well as fitness classes at the University. There are a number of facilities available to exchange students at the St. Lucia campus including a Fitness Centre, Aquatic Centre, and Athletic Centre. More information can be found here.


BUQ CampusParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

Due to the location of Mater Hospital in relation to the main UQ campus, participants on the Nursing Exchange should avoid on-campus accommodation and should investigate off-campus accommodation options that are more convenient to the hospital. A range of off-campus accommodation is available to international students on the private rental market and on-site staff at UQ can help students in determining where in the city to live.

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 Brisbane, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.