COVID-19 and 2020 Exchange FAQs
This webpage is for students whose semester exchange was cancelled due to COVID-19. Please find below some Frequently Asked Questions.
Are Semester 1, 2021 programs definitely cancelled? Is there a possibility that this decision may change?
The decision to cancel all exchange and study abroad programs in Semester 1, 2021 is final; the decision won’t change.
Are allocations still happening for Semester 1, 2021?
No. Given the decision to cancel is final, no further allocations will be made for Semester 1, 2021.
When will decisions be made regarding whether Semester 2, 2021 programs will go ahead?
Monash will continue to monitor the global situation and follow the direction and advice of the Australian Government. No decisions will be made prior to March 2021. Further updates will be sent in the new year.
Can students defer their applications from Semester 1, 2021 to Semester 2, 2021?
If you are a student who submitted an application for the first time for Semester 1, 2021, or you were originally due to go abroad in Semester 2, 2020 but chose to apply for a new institution in Semester 1, 2021, you must withdraw your application and reapply for Semester 2, 2021 in MAP by 15 October.
Will students who were originally due to go abroad in Semester 1, 2020 and Semester 2, 2020 be given priority over new applicants?
For those students who will NOT need to submit a new application for Semester 2, 2021, what elements of the application will need to be updated?
You will need to create a new financial plan, in recognition of the fact that travel costs have changed due to the impact of COVID-19.
You will also need to submit updated course progression information and a new study plan, made up of units offered at your host institution in Semester 2, 2021 (if your host institution has not yet published this, you should choose units listed for Semester 2, 2019 or Semester 2, 2020 on the assumption that offerings don’t change drastically from year to year). Please remember that Monash’s Semester 2 is often referred to as Semester 1 in the Northern Hemisphere and can be commonly referred to as the Fall/Autumn/Winter semester or the Michaelmas term.
Please note that when the Semester 2, 2021 units are published later this year or in the new year, you will need to go back and check your study plan against that to make sure the units you listed are still being offered, to fill any gaps where that is not the case and to seek approval from your faculty for any new units you would like to do
You are welcome to resubmit a similar personal statement, but we encourage you to update it to reflect any changes to your circumstances.
If I need to create a new application in MAP, will I be able to access information from my previous application?
For students who applied for the first time in Semester 1, 2021, you can access this through your MAP application.
For students who have previously deferred, some elements of your application are still available but some elements have been erased. You'll need to provide updated documents for the elements that have been erased and there will be some new questionnaires that you will need to complete.
If I apply for Semester 2, 2021, when will I find out where I have been allocated?
Allocations for Semester 2, 2021 are scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. As allocations depend on negotiations with institutions and their deadlines there is no single date by which this is done, We will update you after applications have been submitted and results released for the semester.
Will more spots be available in Semester 2, 2021, given the cancellation of programs in Semester 1, 2020, Semester 2, 2020 and Semester 1, 2021?
Monash Abroad is working with our partners to provide as much flexibility and capacity as possible. There are, however, several factors that may have an impact on the availability of exchange spots for Semester 2, 2021:
- Having sufficient accommodation to allow an increase in the number of students partners can accept in a semester/term
- Physical distancing in host institution classrooms and the resulting reorganisation of academic offerings which might also mean preference for enrolling in units is given to local students ahead of exchange students
- Border restrictions around entry for citizens from certain parts of the world
- Host institutions deciding to cancel their exchange programs or only teaching units online for Semester 2, 2021
If I am a student who is making a new application for Semester 2, 2021, should I base my decision on which country/region to apply to based on current COVID-19 conditions in that area?
The Monash Abroad team recommends that you choose your preferences based firstly and primarily on your course progression and ability to create a strong study plan. If that does not work, you will not be able to go, no matter how much you might want to. How you choose your preferences after that is up to you. The specific situation, however, in countries/regions is subject to change and quite quickly, so we would not recommend picking preferences based on the current risk level, given many things can change more than once over the next year.
Is there anything different about Japanese semester exchange applications?
The Japanese semester exchange process will be the same. As study plans are administered slightly differently, the Japanese department will reassess your new study plan with an updated list of units for you to take. Please make sure that there are still suitable units available in Autumn/Fall 2021 at your preferred locations.
I am a Global Studies student. Is there more information available that is specific to my degree requirements?
An information session is being organised for Global Studies students. The Faculty of Arts and Monash Abroad will be in touch in the coming weeks with further details.
If I applied for a QTEM program, to whom should I speak?
As QTEM is a particular program administered through the Faculty of Business and Economics, please send any enquiries through ask.monash.
Is there information around the New Colombo Plan (NCP) grants and scholarships of which I should be aware?
New Colombo Plan Scholars should contact their case managers of their new plans. Please copy in Ryland Sack who manages the NCP program at Monash Abroad. NCP Mobility students will be notified if their program is still proceeding with funding in due course. Students currently in the process of applying for the New Colombo Plan Scholarship should proceed with their deferral as normal, and all changes can be made once an outcome has been reached.
If I opt to withdraw my exchange application, or won’t have the ability to go on exchange in Semester 2, 2021 or beyond, can you please advise on opportunities to go on exchange in a postgraduate program or other travel opportunities?
If you are no longer able to continue with your exchange program, we are very sorry that this pandemic has resulted in this missed opportunity for you. There are other options and we are working on further possibilities.
In terms of postgraduate study, many of our exchange agreements are also open to postgraduate students. You can see if this is the case in the “Overview” tab of the partner brochure page in MAP. In fact, in non-English speaking parts of the world, units in English are often more widely available at postgraduate level. Please note, though that due to the shorter length of postgraduate degrees (usually a maximum of two years), if your course allows you to go on exchange as a postgraduate student, you’ll usually need to apply in your first semester of the program and be very organised in planning the structure of your course.
If exchange is generally no longer an option for you, the good news is that there are alternatives for global opportunities.
Some students may want to investigate programs that take place during summer or winter terms, as these are shorter time periods and less credits, so can fit more easily into your remaining degree space.
You could consider postgraduate study as a full degree student at an overseas institution. If this is of interest, go to the institution’s website to see what is available, how much it will cost and how you apply.
Outside of academic travel, you could also apply for a working holiday visa. Many countries, for example the UK, France, and Canada, allow people up to 30 years old (and in some cases 35) to come to their countries for a limited period to work. The number of these visas issued in a year can be capped and very popular, so do your research and be prepared to apply early.
There are also options to apply for programs that involve you teaching English language skills overseas, such as in Spain, Chile, Japan and South Korea. Again, do your research and be prepared.
While travel may be limited at the moment, in the longer term there will again be opportunities for backpacking (or flashpacking if that’s more your style!) or other work-related travel opportunities.
I’m worried that I won’t do well this semester and that my WAM/GPA will drop below the eligibility criteria.
We are conscious that students have had a lot of change this year, and that the transition to online learning has posed challenges to many of you. Some of you may be looking at two semesters of SFR, which is understandable. Please have a read of Monash's Semester 2, 2020 Assessment information here. We wish the best of luck to you all for this semester and once results have been released, your IEC will be happy to discuss your individual circumstances.
Because of the impact of COVID-19, I am now going to be in a situation where I am taking my last semester on exchange. What do I need to keep in mind?
In most cases it is possible to take your final semester on exchange but we encourage you to consider carefully the potential implications for your graduation and your subsequent plans.
You should take into account the following:
- Transcripts can take up to 6 months after the end of your exchange to be sent by your host institution Until your transcript has been received and the credit applied to your Monash degree, you will not be able to course-complete. This could delay you being able to graduate, which in turn may stop you from taking up post-graduation employment or being admitted to postgraduate study.
- If you fail any units on exchange, you will need to prolong your degree in order to do further study to earn the credit you failed on exchange.
- Lastly, if you are an Australian citizen and do not have at least 6 credit points remaining in your degree when you return from your exchange, you cannot apply for an OS-HELP loan. This is a loan scheme offered by the Australian government. It is intended to be used to help fund overseas study. You can read more about the eligibility criteria here
To take an equivalent unit at my host institution, do I have to meet the Monash prerequisite of that unit?
There is a two step academic process for being approved for exchange units:
- Having a unit from your host institution approved on your study plan (an internal document that is not shared with your host institution) by your faculty as being eligible to be credited towards a unit in your course map.
- Meeting the prerequisites that the host institution determines are necessary for that unit. These may be different to the Monash prerequisites, and there may be additional restrictions e.g. units having quotas or not accepting exchange students.
Can I go on intermission for 6 months or a year and then come back and go on exchange?
Yes. As long as your faculty approves your intermission, and you undertake to stay in contact with Monash Abroad during the application process for the host institution.
My degree does not allow core units to be completed on exchange. I have one semester in my course map which is all electives. Can I delay my course 6 months and push my electives to another semester for exchange?
As long as your faculty approves this, and you are aware of the impact this will have on ability to course progress and course complete.
I'm planning on deferring/reapplying to Semester 2, 2021 and I've got a small list of potential equivalent units but if it turns out there aren't enough equivalent units for my study plan and I have to change institutions, will I be penalised for withdrawing and changing institutions?
No, we understand that not all institutions will be a suitable match in Semester 2, 2021, where they might have worked in previous years. There will be no penalty as this is a situation outside of your control!
If I change my undergraduate degree and I submit my study plan before the change, will this affect my application?
Please submit your study plan based on the assumption that your course transfer will be successful. Also make a note on your study plan of your transfer plans, so your faculty is aware of this when assessing your study plan. Remember that changing courses may have an impact on your ability to continue with exchange, so consult with your faculty to ensure you will have sufficient space in the new course! If you have any questions about your study plan or course progression, get in touch with your faculty here.
I had been allocated to do exchange for a full academic year, should I delay my exchange to Semester 2, 2021 and rearrange my course progression?
In some cases, you won’t be able to do a full year of exchange from the start of the calendar year, because some partners don’t allow it. You’ll need to speak directly with your IEC about your situation and course progression.
Your IECs are happy to speak with you or email with you regarding your individual circumstances. We appreciate the cancellation of Semester 1, 2021 programs has been disappointing and has meant you will have questions about what this means for you. Remember that you still need to speak to your faculties for any academic-related matters (e.g. your course progression or study plan), but your IECs are here to help with everything else! You can either arrange a call with us, or email us directly, if you prefer to correspond in writing. In this case, however, please think carefully about your questions and put them all in one email rather than sending them one after the other.
Mandi Burns (USA, Canada, Latin America, UK and Ireland)
Tiong Hui Jin (Oceania)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org