The Bachelor of International Studies provides students with an interdisciplinary core of courses which provide grounding in the cultural and communicative aspects of globalisation and the world system. Each student completes a major in a language other than English from the wide range of languages taught at UQ and another major with strong international relevance.

First year plans

In order to complete the BIntSt program you must successfully complete 24 courses, which equates to 48 units. To meet the requirements for the BIntSt you must complete:

Part A 16 units (including 6 units electives)
Major (Part B) 16 units
Major (Part C) 16 units
Total 48 units

See further information on the BIntSt program.


The standard full-time workload at UQ is 16 units (8 courses) over the year. So this breaks down to 8 units (4 courses) each semester. You don’t have to decide what courses you want to do for your whole program at the start of first semester; we only ask you to choose courses one year at a time. So all you need to worry about at this stage is choosing four courses for semester one and four courses for semester two. However, at the start of your BIntSt you will need to choose which language you wish to study and which other major from Part C you wish to study. By doing this you can start to formulate a rough plan of what your three years of study might look like. It might look something like this:

Semester 1 Semester 2
Course 1 - COMU1002*  (Part A) - 2 units Course 1 - 2 units from Part A
Course 2 - Introductory Language major (Part B) - 2 units Course 2 - Introductory Language major (Part B) - 2 units
Course 3 - Introductory Part C major - 2 units Course 3 - Introductory Part C major - 2 units
Course 4 - 2 units from Part A Course 4 - Part C major - 2 units

*This course is offered in both Semesters in 2020.

Please keep in mind that Semester One of your third year is when you should expect to undertake the compulsory exchange component of your program, so it may be helpful to keep in reserve those courses or parts of the majors that offer the most flexibility.

What courses do I need to do?

To ensure that students are familiar with their program rules and requirements we ask that all students complete a self-progression check in the first instance. Then if you still have questions or concerns about your outstanding program requirements the Faculty would be happy to review your progression check and provide advice. To complete a progression check please use the following steps:

Step 1 – Print out your studies report from mySI-net using the following steps:

  • Log into mySI-net
  • From the top left-hand side menu select the option for ‘Studies Report’
  • Follow the prompts

Step 2 – Select your program from the list:

Step 3 – Select your year of commencement from the top right hand side and click ‘Change’.

Step 4 – Go to ‘Program Rules and Requirements’ and ensure that you have understanding of your program requirements, for example, do you need to select a major; is there an advanced level requirement etc. Once you understand your program requirements you can move to the next step.  

Step 5 - Select the green course list button on the left hand menu.

Step 6 – Compare your studies report to the course list and tick off the courses you have completed, and note the courses you are planning to complete in the future. Ensuring that you have completed all of your compulsory courses, and courses towards your major(s).

Step 7 – Once you have gone through and ticked off all of your completed courses, view your program rules and requirements again to ensure that you are meeting all requirements (e.g. overall structural requirements, advanced level requirements etc). Ensure you can tick off that you have completed (or are planning to complete) all of the requirements.

Please Note
•    To have your progression check verified by a Student Administration Officer, or if you have questions or concerns, please upload your completed check by signing in here using your UQ username and password.  Please ensure that you upload your studies report, course list(s) (ensuring you have indicated all completed courses and future enrolments), and program rules with your notes.

•    A course may only count once toward the program (including dual programs).


Plan your exchange experience

1.    Start planning early! 

Check out: Quick Overview (Semester 1 and 2 2019 Exchange)

You need to start preparing for exchange at least 12 months prior:

  • Visit the UQ Global Experiences webpage for information on eligibility, the application process, links to seminars and to read about others’ experiences.
  • Attend an information session conducted by UQ Global Experiences
  • Remember an exchange semester is a compulsory component of your program. You must complete a minimum of 6 units to satisfy your program rules.
  • Refer to the BIntSt Exchange planner* that demonstrates how an exchange semester can be incorporated into your program. As this is a structured program we recommend undertaking exchange in Year 3, Semester 1.
  • Remember to save 6 to 8 units of electives or non-compulsory courses, which should include 6 units of electives from Part A, for your exchange semester.
  • Whilst on exchange you will also be required to complete COMU3060 or COMU3065. This is a yearlong course that commences your semester abroad and completes the following semester. You will also be required to attend a pre-departure seminar the semester prior to your exchange to familiarise yourself with the requirements of the course whilst on exchange.
  • If you need help with planning your program, contact the Faculty of HaSS

*to open as an editable form, please right click on the link and save as PDF or open in Internet Explorer/ Microsoft Edge

2.      Consider Course Constraints

  • As this is a structured program, students should aim to complete their compulsory exchange semester in Year 3, Semester 1. Exchange during Year 2, Semester 2 will also be considered, if you have planned your program appropriately.
  • It is strongly recommended that you save your Part A electives and undertake these while on exchange to give yourself the most choice and flexibility when choosing universities and should your pre-approved courses at your host university not be available on arrival.
  • For this reason you should not undertake any core compulsory courses (currently labelled gateway, cornerstone and capstone) towards your Part B or Part C majors, as these courses are very difficult to match overseas and other courses often cannot be substituted for those that are pre-approved.
  • Where a core course or course towards your major needs to be included, such as a language acquisition course, sufficiently detailed course profiles must be provided to demonstrate that the content covered within the course is sufficiently equivalent to content studied in the course at UQ. Course profiles should include information about the extended syllabus, aims and objectives, contact hours, texts and references and assessment.
Additional Information for your Part B - Language Major
  • Undertaking language acquisition courses while overseas sometimes requires you to pass a placement test at your host institution. Be aware that occassionally a student does not achieve a level sufficiently high enough for entry into the required equivalent course at the host institution.  In such cases (mostly involving capstone courses) you may not be eligible for credit towards your language major at UQ. It may also take longer for you to complete your major on your return, due to progression prerequisites.
  • At some institutions, it is not possible to study more than one language acquisition course while on exchange. We therefore recommend that you save some of your electives for your exchange semester so that you can undertake a combination of language acquisition and cultural courses. For example you could use the electives in your language major (often coded LTCS/SLAT/MSTU) and/or some of your program electives, to allow you flexibility and to gain the full benefits of a language immersion experience.

3.      Decide on a Host University

  • Where major convenors or the Faculty of HaSS have preferred hosts these are indicated on the attached list, together with any supplementary guidelines; however, other universities will be considered. If no recommendation exists for your major then your convenor, to date, or the Faculty, have not indicated any preference. You should refer to the List of Host Institutions provided on the UQ Global Experiences website, take heed of additional advice specific to host and choose those that offer courses in your desired elective areas.
  • Only universities that offer the study areas you require, whose semesters align with UQ and who can provide detailed course profiles will be considered.

4.      Applying for Exchange

Please refer to the UQ Global Experiences website for application details and deadlines. Documentation to be submitted must include the following:

  • Completed UQ Global Experiences exchange Study Plan form.
  • Relevant Host course profiles detailing the extended syllabus, aims and objectives, contact hours, texts and references and assessment for each of the courses listed on the study plan so that they can be assessed.
  • The completed BIntSt exchange study planner*.

*to open as an editable form, please right click on the link and save as PDF or open in Internet Explorer/ Microsoft Edge

Remember while an exchange semester is a great opportunity, you should be prepared for experiences outside your comfort zone. You may have setbacks such as approved courses not being available when you arrive, so a flexible attitude is important, and while UQ Global Experiences and the Faculty will try to assist, be ready to take responsibility for resolving challenges that arise as well as taking advantage of the exciting experiences in front of you.

Important Things to Consider

An exchange semester may add time to complete your program

  • You should understand that undertaking a semester on exchange may add up to one year onto your program subject to the prerequisite requirements of your UQ courses and the sequence of study required, if you do not plan your studies accordingly. Requests for program or major variations will not be approved due the completion of exchange and the scheduling of courses. It is up to you to ensure you plan your program requirements around your exchange semester.
  • If you are a student who is on a scholarship, requires Centrelink funding, or any other funding where continuous full time enrolment is required we ask that you carefully consider taking an exchange semester and be aware that subject to circumstances that may arise, when you return you may not be able to enrol full-time due to the prerequisite requirements of your courses.
International students only

As complications during an exchange semester may add time onto the completion of your program, due to stringent visa requirements international students should think very carefully before undertaking an exchange semester and if you choose to do so, plan your program and select host institutions very carefully.

Applying for credit for previous studies

If you are eligible, think carefully before applying for credit for previous studies towards the Part A elective component of your degree. Elective courses provide the most flexibility while on exchange, so it is recommended that you keep 6 to 8 units of electives for your exchange semester.

Short Term Global Experiences

If you loved your exchange semester and want an additional experience, we recommend participating in a short-term global experience (e.g. 4-6 weeks over winter or summer semester). Some global experiences may be for credit such as towards unspecified electives. More information is available from the Student Employability Centre website – Global Experiences.

For a print friendly version of the Exchange Fact Sheet, please click here*.

*to open as an editable form, please right click on the link and save as PDF or open in Internet Explorer/ Microsoft Edge

Preparing for exchange

Please review the following audio presentation for information on completing exhange studies within the Bachelor of International Studies.

-Bachelor of International Studies Exchange Event (Audio only)