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PSA: Students, you need to know what ISA is.

Image Credit: fauvism.com

Suffer from wanderlust? Envious of your friends who skipped the uni life to travel the world? Struggling to save for a holiday because of, you know, rent and textbooks?

 

Independent Study Abroad (ISA) is a quirk of any UTas degree and any student could be eligible if they know what to do. Still unsure? I’m here to tell you exactly how to get yourself overseas ASAP.

 

I have no money – none. This is a fact which made uni almost impossibly hard for me, because I tried to juggle too many jobs with my study load. Thankfully, I came to my senses before my GPA became unsalvageable and ditched the jobs – which lead to even less money.

 

Why am I telling you this? Because I’m going to Austria and I can ‘like, totally’ afford it!

 

How? Well it’s all thanks to my ISA!

 

If one of my close friends hadn’t gone on a similar study abroad I wouldn’t have known it existed; I would have lived my life believing the only way for a student to go overseas is to go on exchange (which can be expensive), but this just isn’t true.

 

So, what is an ISA? It is what you want it to be. There are a lot of short courses available to university students which offer course credit for Australian universities. A well-known provider of these courses is AIM Overseas, and they are a good organisation to google if you want to know more about studying abroad. They offer courses from French to marketing all over the world.

 

For my course, I simply googled “German courses” and checked out the results. I found a course which goes for four weeks, isn’t expensive, and I applied to the UTas administration to have it credited to my degree.

 

This all sounds so easy doesn’t it? The truth is that it really is this easy to get overseas study applied to your degree.

 

There are a few criteria the course has to meet: It has to be the equivalent of a semester’s worth of lectures and/or contact hours, it has to have a formal assessment criteria, and you have to return home with some sort of qualification – for me, this will be a German Diploma.

 

The reason it is so important to have the course credited to your degree is because this makes you eligible to apply for an OS-Help Loan, in addition to other travel scholarships offered by UTas.

 

The OS-Help Loan can be worth up to $7800 if you’re studying in Asia, and $6500 if you’re going anywhere else in the world. It does add to your student debt, so if you’re uncomfortable with that then it’s not for you.

 

The minute I stop studying, I won’t be eligible for the OS-Help Loan- it is an opportunity we are afforded as students. I want to utilise this opportunity before it’s too late.

 

If you feel the same, then head down to the GLOW Lounge, start googling your future course, and get in touch with your lecturers and student administration early. Get planning, and I’ll see you at the airport!

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