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Australia - Newcastle

University Overview

map of australiaThe University of Newcastle was founded as a technical college in 1965 in the town of Callaghan, only seven miles from the city center of Newcastle.  Since that time, the University of Newcastle has come to host a student body of over 35,000, including an international student population well over 7,400 students, offering some 85 different undergraduate fields of study at its five campus sites.  The Callaghan campus in New South Wales hosts a student population of 17,000 and is set in beautiful native bushland.

 In consideration of its origins as a research and technical college, it comes as no surprise that the University of Newcastle ranks today as one of the world's top 100 universities for engineering, technology, and computer science.  A wealth of offerings are also available in the humanities and social sciences. 

City Overview

The university is an easy distance from Newcastle, a lively port city with pristine beaches and an assortment of restaurants, cafes, parks, theatres, art galleries, shopping centers and nightlife.  The state's capital, Sydney, can be found only a little over an hour south, easily accessible by car, train, or bus.

Blackbutt Reserve can be found a short ten minutes from the city center, hosting a wide variety of native animals such as kangaroos, koalas, emus, wallabies, wombats and tropical birds.  Also nearby is Lake Macquarie, where students can enjoy an array of water sports or just soak in the beauty of the natural scenery.

Program Highlights aerial view of newcastle beach

Courses available for most majors! 

Academic Calendar

  • Fall Semester:  Late July to late November
  • Spring Semester:  Late February to late June  
  • Academic Year:  Late February to late November

Please see the 2020-21 Academic Calendar for specific dates

Academic Focus 

  • Exchange students can enroll in any class, provided they meet the prerequisites.  Certain fields, such as Medicine, are reserved for continuing Newcastle students and unavailable for visiting students.
  • Generally study abroad students can expect Level 1 classes to be introductions to the field, and therefore, lower-division.  Most upper-division, study abroad students could hope to enroll in Level 2 or 3 classes, having some prior knowledge of the subject under study.
  • Teaching will usually resemble a composite of both lecture and discussion sections.  Emphasis will be placed on course readings and outside research, therefore it is imperative that students bring with them a solid foundation of academic writing and research methods.
  • Final grades are generally based upon a comprehensive exam.  For this, keeping up with assigned and supplemental reading becomes critically important.
  • All work transfers back to San Marcos and can be used to fulfill all graduation requirements.
  • University of Newcastle Grading Scale

Language of Instruction



  • Class Level:  Upper-division status (completion of 60 units)
  • GPA of 2.75 or above and good academic standing to departure
  • Prerequisites:  Level 2 & 3 classes generally require experience in the field, sometime significant.  Check the course description for course prerequisites. 
    • If, based upon transcript review, you do not have the necessary prerequisites, you will be asked to consider an alternative course.
  • Special Note to Business Majors:  In order to receive credit for upper-division courses abroad, you must have already completed your Pre-Core course work at CSUSM.
University of Newcastle logo


16 semester units.  Each Newcastle course is 10 credits, or 4 CSU semester units.  A minimum of 3 courses (12 CSU units) is required for release of financial aid.


There are a number of on-campus housing options with/without meal plans available at the University of Newcastle.  On-campus housing is limited, so it is important to apply online early, and researching off-campus accommodations as a back-up plan is definitely suggested! 

There are a number of listings for off-campus housing hosted by the University of Newcastle Accommodations Office.  It is important to factor commuting time and expense into your budget when considering living off-site.  Deposits for off-campus housing should never be made prior to arrival.  It is important to check places in person, review the contract, and then offer a housing deposit (bond).

Estimated Expense

  • Students pay their normal State University Fee to CSU San Marcos, currently $3,858/semester.  No tuition or fees due at the University of Newcastle.
  • On-campus residence:  On average, $936 AUD/month for a shared room, shared bath.  Prices vary markedly...apply early!  Off-campus housing varies based on location and type.
  • Health Insurance:  Australian Compulsory Overseas Health Cover is $225 AUD a semester.  Supplemental Alliant/ACE Emergency Insurance is $69 USD/semester.  Both types are required for your term abroad.
  • Cost of meals and personal expenses will vary, but average $500 per month.
  • Australian Visa:  $389/575 AUD (entitles you to work up to 20 hours/week)
  • Sample 2020-21 Budget
  • Students on approved study abroad programs are entitled to apply Title IV federal financial aid to their program costs.

Application Deadlines

  • For Fall Semester Study:  March 15
  • For Spring/Year Study:  October 1

How to Apply

  1. Visit the University of Newcastle website at University of Newcastle to learn about the university. 
  2. Meet with the CSUSM Study Abroad Advisor in ELB 588 to determine if you are eligible for this program.
  3. Obtain course descriptions from the Unversity of Newcastle Online Catalogue.
  4. Consult with a faculty advisor in your major/minor department to determine if Newcastle courses will count toward your major/minor.   If so, complete a Study Abroad Credit Approval Form
    • Note:  For GE classes, simply list those on your credit approval form and provide us course descriptions and we will attain signatures for you.  This form MUST be submitted to Global Education before departure.
  5. Order an official transcript from CSUSM and any other college from which you have taken a semester or more in classes (even if you have already transferred credit to CSUSM) Please pick your paper transcripts up in person and deliver them to Global Education. 
    • Keep in mind that transcripts are now taking 7-10 business days to process.  Plan accordingly.
  6. Read about student accommodations.  Fill out the online student accommodation form by the deadline indicated. 
    • All housing is first come, first served and there is no guarantee that space will be available.  Apply early!
  7. Interested student applicants must be nominated by the Study Abroad Advisor and thereafter an online application will be sent via email. 
    • Whenever possible, print out and submit your application to the Study Abroad Advisor along with all other application materials. 
  8. Submit additional application details to Global Education at:  CSUSM General Study Abroad Application
  9. Submit your flight details to Global Education at:  Flight Information Form
  10. Attend the pre-departure orientation and consult with the Study Abroad Advisor as necessary regarding the Student Visa process after Newcastle acceptance.

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