CASS exchange information

What is Exchange?

Exchange is exactly that – a student at the ANU is selected to go to a partner institution and someone at that institution come here in their place. Students are enrolled at the ANU but attend classes at their selected partner institution. It is usually for six months, but that be extended to a year (subject to approval and availability).

Where can I go on Exchange?

A list of partner institutions for the ANU can be found here, but there are discipline specific partners for CASS for students who are seeking credit for specific majors, minors or program lists. You can find that list here.

What is the process to go on exchange?

Details on how to apply for exchange, including the process, deadlines and funding opportunities can be found on the Global Programs and Engagement site.


How does an Exchange fit in my program?

Students must go for a full time load (24 units). There are some cases where a student can go on an 18 unit exchange, but there would have to be a good reason. Talk about this to your Student advisor at a CASS drop-in session if you are thinking of applying for this.

If you are in a flexible double degree, you have a choice as to how your exchange is made up (dependent on approval from your other college). Let us know how you wish to approach this. You may elect to undertake:

  • Arts only exchange: This means that your courses are only going to count for your CASS program. You would be enrolled in 24 units of ARTS5920
  • A combined exchange: This means that you do part of your exchange for Arts credit, and the other part will be credit for your other degree component. For example, if you were in a BA with another degree you may elect to do 6 units for the BA, and 18 units for the other degree. Your enrolment in the shell course will reflect this split.
  • A non-arts exchange: You may do your exchange for the non-Arts component only. If this is the case, we do not need to approve your courses. If you do elect to do this, and you decide to change and do Arts courses overseas and want them to count to your Arts component, you will need to contact us as soon as possible so we can change your enrolment, and then start the course approval process.

It is far easier to go on an exchange for general elective credit. However, students may choose to apply for credit gained on exchange for majors, minors and program list courses. This can make things a little more difficult and will require the student to negotiate courses with the Academic Advisor according to the specific major, minor or program list.

I am a School of Art and Design student, do I do anything differently?

Yes. If you are in a School of Art and Design degree please refer here. All other CASS students keep reading.

How do I get my RAID form approved?

You would fill out the form using the online process through the Terradotta site. Information can be found here.

How do I get approval for the courses I want to do on exchange?

Submit your Exchange Course Approval Pack (ECAP) by 1 October for semester 1 exchange, 1 May for semester 2 exchange to ensure your credit is approved by the deadlines above.


If you do not meet the deadline for receiving a course approval letter the CASS Student and Education office cannot guarantee the courses you complete whilst on exchange will count towards your degree. You will remain financially liable for the ANU unit load of your ARTS5920 enrolment and your graduation may be delayed.

  • For students who are going on first semester exchange, the deadline is 1st November of the previous year.
  • For students who are going on second semester exchange, the deadline is 1st June of that year.

What do I do if I can't find the course outlines in time?

Have you written to the Department/Convenor of the course you want to do overseas? Sometimes the latest outlines are not available online yet, but the Department/Convenor can supply them.

If it will not be available until after the ECAP deadline, please get a statement from the Exchange University advising when outlines will be available.

Please include this statement with your ECAP by the deadline.

  • We are unable to enroll you in ARTS5920 (exchange shell course) until we receive the final outlines.

How is credit articulated into my program?


Type of credit



General Arts Credit

Counts as elective credit in your program. Will appear on your transcript as ARTS1900 (General Arts elective credit at a 1000 level) or ARTS2900 (General Arts elective credit at a 2-3000 level). For students who have no electives in their program (such as BIR students in a flexible double degree) this is not an option.

Applications are coordinated by the CASS student and education office.



General subject specific credit

Counts as subject specific elective credit in your program. For example, general History credit appears on the transcript as HIST2900. Again for students who have no electives in their program (such as BIR students in a flexible double degree) this is not an option, unless the major or minor allows for general subject specific elective credit to count. This is also the case for program list courses (such as the lists for BIR or for BPPE)

Course endorsement(s) are negotiated between you and the Convenor for the program or major/minor/specialisation.



Specific course credit

Course is approved and counts as a specific course in a specific major, minor, or a program list. For example, a student completes a course overseas called “The Cold war in Europe”. With convener approval, and dependent on the course having an equivalent credit load as one course at the ANU, the course may count as the ANU course “HIST2141 - The Cold War: 1945-1989”

Course endorsement(s) are negotiated between you and the Convenor for the program or major/minor/specialisation.




How does credit equivalency work?

Overseas institutions use different terms and measures for what is the equivalent of a full time load. A full time load at the ANU is 24 units. In the program entry in the Global programs site there is an entry that states the credit equivalency for each institution and will be the one which will be used by the CASS Student Office in determining the credit granted upon your return. You need to reach the credit attained limit in order to get the corresponding credit equivalency. This credit equivalency is fixed and cannot be changed. It is common that one course at the host institution does not equal one course here at the ANU. To find out the credit equiavlency for one 6 unit course at the ANU, divide the 24 unit equivalency by 4.

For example, if your host institution has an equivalency of 15 credits = 24 ANU units, and each course there is worth 3 credits, you would need to enroll into 5 courses to make up a full time load (because 3 credits x 5 courses = 15 credit = 24 ANU = full time load). Therefore you would need to get a minimum of 5 courses approved.

Another example would be if the host institution has if your host institution has an equivalency of 60 credits = 24 ANU units, and each course there is worth 20 credits, you would need to enroll into 3 courses to make up a full time load (because 20 credits x 3 courses = 60 credit = 24 ANU = full time load). Therefore you would need to get a minimum of 3 courses approved.

The CASS Student and Education Office does not determine the credit equivalency. The Global Programs and engagement office maintain the Global Programs site and they enter the credit equivalency statement into that site. We are informed by their expertise in this area, and give the equivalency based on what they decide that is officially listed on the Terradotta Studio abroad site. If you have any queries about the equivalency, you should contact the Global Programs office directly.

The credit you will receive is based ONLY from what is recorded on the official transcript we will receive, usually via the ANU Global Programs and Engagement office, once you have completed your study. Statements of grades, or printouts from learning management systems for example, are NOT suitable.

If you receive any less credit than the equivalent of 24 ANU units, or however much you are enrolled at the host institution, because you did not pass courses, did courses that were not approved or you enrolled in less than the equivalent load, you will receive the appropriate amount of credit calculated by the formula.

Please note that we are only able to provide credit rounded down to the nearest 6 units. Similarly, if you do more credits than the equivalent full time load (equal to 24 ANU units), you will still only receive 24 ANU units. Please talk to the advisor at your student drop in appointment if you have any questions regarding credit equivalency.

My host institution wants to offer me a different load to what I have planned, what should I do?

Often students will receive different advice from their host institution regarding full-time loads once they arrive at their host institution. Frequently this advice is based on a ¾ full-time load (= 18 ANU units/sem. rather than 24 units) which can satisfy overseas visa requirements. However, it is a requirement of going on exchange to be enrolled in a 24 ANU load equivalent. Please liaise with the Student Global programs and engagement office if these inconsistencies arise.

What is ARTS5920 and why did I put this on my enrolment change form?

While you are on exchange, you will be enrolled at the ANU in the course "ARTS5920". This is a generic shell course that indicates that you are still enrolled at the ANU, but will be physically attending an overseas university on an approved exchange experience.

You do not enroll yourself in this course. The CASS student and education office enrolls you in this course once you fill out the Enrolment Change Form (see the Exchange course approval process for CASS students).

The unit load for this shell code is determined by whether or not you are taking a combined exchange as part of your flexible double degree, or not. The options are:

  • Arts only exchange: You would be enrolled in 24 units of ARTS5920
  • A combined exchange: For example, if you were in a BA and another degree, you may look at the courses on offer for you at the host institution and decide that you want to do 6 units for the BA, and 18 units for the other degree. Your enrolment in the ARTS5920 course would be for 6 units. You would find 6 units worth of courses at the host institution that would fit into the BA. You would have to negotiate with the other college who administers your other program for the remaining 18 units.

Enrolment in this course, or combination or courses, for 24 ANU units also is proof that you are enrolled full time and can be used as proof for Centrelink, or other purposes. You will have the grade “EE” listed against the shell code ARTS5920. This indicates that you are “Enrolled Elsewhere”. You will not receive a grade for this course.

What is a course outline?

A course outline is a detailed description of the course you will be doing. You can negotiate this with your Academic Advisor as to how they want to get the course outline, but as a guide, it should be as detailed as possible and include at least:

  • The name of the course
  • The course code
  • Description of the subject matter/area
  • Unit value: How many ECTS, credits etc
  • Workload statement: e.g.: Two hours of lectures and one tutorial per week
  • Indicative Assessment: What elements make up the assessment and what is their weighting?
  • Reading list
  • Tutorial list: What is the subject and description for each tutorial?

Please note:

It is impossible to assess courses by their title alone, or by one line or a short paragraph. If you cannot find anything on the website before you go, please email for help.

You do not need to find exact matches for courses at the host institution with courses here at the ANU. It is highly unlikely that you will find courses that are the same. You are best to find courses in the subject areas you require and then have them approved as general subject area credit (like POLS2900 for Politics courses or SOCY2900 for Sociology courses etc)

The courses I chose and were approved to do have changed and I am already overseas, what do I do?

Why don’t my grades from my exchange courses show on my ANU transcript?

The grades that you receive at the host institution will not be transferred to your ANU transcript with the credit that you will receive. If you require these grades at a future date, then it is best that you provide whoever is asking with a copy of your transcript from the host institution, as the credit you will receive has a mark of “STE” which stands for “External Credit.”.

I am about to finish up overseas– what should I do?

On completion of your exchange, please ensure that all academic and administrative matters at your host institution are finalised, particularly unpaid fees or fines, which may cause your results to be withheld. The ANU is normally sent an official copy of your transcript but you should get your own copy.

I am back at ANU, what now?

Upon your return to the ANU, you will be responsible for re-enrollment via ISIS. Check the University Calendar for the appropriate dates for re-enrolment for the semester of your return to the ANU. Financial penalty will apply for late enrolments according to guidelines given at that website. If you require any course advice, please do not hesitate to contact us. It may be prudent to come to another drop in session upon your return to discuss the best courses for you to enroll in.

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Updated:  24 April 2020/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications