Before heading overseas, there are lots of things you need to prepare for

You should take the time to familiarise yourself with the preparations required as it can sometimes take several weeks to make all the necessary arrangements, and you don't want to leave everything to the last minute.

This webpage is designed as a starting point for you to do your research, but it is up to you to make sure you are well-prepared for your overseas program.

Pre-departure sessions

Trimester Exchange

If you are spending one or two trimesters abroad as part of the exchange program, you will be required to attend a compulsory in-person, pre-departure session at the Gold Coast or Nathan campus. It is typically held in study week in the trimester before your exchange program. Confirmation and further instructions will be sent to your student email once you have been accepted.

Short-term Program

Due to the varied nature of these programs, we are unable to host an in-person, pre-departure session for every experience. Instead, we will email you important information to your Griffith student email once you have complete the Short-term Program application form and it has been assessed by us. If you are undertaking a Griffith study tour, you may be required to attend an in-person, pre-departure session which is delivered by the School. Otherwise, please ensure that you browse this page for important information relative to your program, including as insurance and International SOS.

If you are on an approved exchange or short-term program, you will have access and coverage under Griffith University's International SOS membership. International SOS provides 24/7 medical, travel and security assistance while you are on your approved program.

We highly recommend that you visit the International SOS membership website and view or print a report for the country you are travelling to. The report includes information such as medical risks and vaccinations, security advice, local travel information, cultural tips, and much more.


As part of your Trimester Exchange or Short-Term Program Application you will be required to register your accommodation through International SOS's MyTrips portal. It is important to ensure that your MyTrips account is updated to include as much information as possible, including return flights and accommodation, as it allows International SOS and Griffith University to know what you are in-country. This is important in the event of an emergency and also related to your insurance coverage.

HDR students must also complete the Short Term process.

Short Term - MyTrips User Guide

Exchange - MyTrips User Guide

Please ensure you keep this updated throughout your overseas program.

24/7 assistance

If you need medical or emergency assistance, please contact International SOS. An electronic membership card will be sent to you upon approval of your Short-term Program Application or, if you are an exchange student, a physical card will be provided to you at the in-person, pre-departure session.

Griffith University supports you through your overseas program with coverage under Griffith University's Corporate Travel Insurance Policy at no additional cost. Once you submit your Trimester Exchange or Short-term Program Application, you are automatically assessed for access to this coverage.

The dates of coverage depend on the type of program you are approved to do:

  • Trimester Exchange: coverage is for entire period of exchange, plus an additional five (5) days prior to the commencement at your host university (including orientation) and up to five (5) days after exams have finished to travel from your host university up to a maximum of 365 days in total.
  • Short-term Program: coverage is for the entire period but only within the country of your approved program, up to a maximum of 360 days in total.


  • Leisure travel before and after the overseas program is not covered. For example, if you extend your stay in-country in order to have a holiday. Leisure travel during your approved program is not covered if you travel outside the country your approved program is delivered in. For example, if your approved program is delivered only in Thailand but you choose to travel to Vietnam for a mid-program trip/weekend.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions are not covered.
  • International students returning to their home country are not covered.
  • Other general exclusions as listed in the Product Disclosure Statement.

For specific insurance questions, please contact Griffith Insurance by emailing

It is your responsibility to ensure you have arranged adequate accommodation for your overseas program. Host universities will usually send you information about housing options with your Letter of Offer/Acceptance document. You can also find information on their website.

We strongly recommend that you research accommodation options in advance so you can budget accordingly and be aware of any application or payment deadlines. At some universities, on-campus accommodation is highly competitive and has an early application deadline.

When researching and applying for accommodation, you should consider questions such as:

  • What is the distance to campus and how do I get there?
  • What are the payment requirements and deadlines?
  • How reputable/trustworthy is the accommodation provider?
  • What are my rights as a tenant?
  • Who will I live with?

We highly recommend that you do not purchase flights until you have been accepted by the host university and have applied for, and received, a valid visa (if required). This is because if you are not accepted into the program or your visa in denied, it is likely that you will not be able to secure a refund of your flights. Please check with the airline about their refund policy if you are unsure.

Griffith University's Gold Coast and Nathan campuses have an STA travel branch on site. If you are not a frequent traveller (or even if you are), we recommend that you purchase your flights through STA.

Griffith Global Mobility is prohibited from providing any visa advice, so please ensure you check with the relevant immigration authorities.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid visa for the duration of your overseas program. Even if you are going for a short course, you should still check the host country's immigration website for confirmation about whether a visa is required. Please ensure you are aware of the process, costs and whether travel is required to apply. Some countries require you to attend an in-person student visa interview in Sydney or another interstate Consulate. These include (but are not limited to):

  • United States of America
  • France
  • Spain.


A new Cultural Competence Program (CCP) is now available to assist students and staff develop graduate attributes and professional development requirements. CCP has a range of online modules and resources designed to train people in the areas of cultural competence, diversity and inclusion.

Find out more

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