Currency and conversion rates

OANDA currency converter
A useful currency conversion site, which allows you to convert between 164 currencies. You can also specify a particular date for the conversion.

Allows you to create and print a wallet

A multi-currency converter that can be downloaded. It can be set up to automatically update whenever you HotSync your Palm Pilot

The Trading Room
A quick look at how the Australian dollar compares

Travel Insurance

All students travelling overseas on an approved RMIT program receive free basic travel insurance.

There are two requirements to access the insurance:

a/ students must be registered in Mobi
b/ students must register their travel itinerary in MyTrips

For WIL students that have applied through InPlace, this means that it is even more important that they follow the instructions of registering overseas activities in Mobi (see attached link). They will simply not be able to claim, if they are not registered.

This is a basic insurance that covers key items such as medical expenses, loss of baggage etc. However, it is a basic insurance and does not cover mobiles or tablets. Students are asked to familiarise themselves with the PDS and make sure the cover is right for them.

You can read more about the insurance at:

Health concerns

One thing that often concerns students thinking about going overseas is their health. It is important to be fit and healthy, if you want to manage the full range of activities available.

Students who have had a history of depression or other mental illnesses should carefully consider which country they are choosing to travel to, but more importantly discuss the plan with a doctor.

Travelling can be taxing physically and mentally, but this should not stop you from having this experience, if you and your doctor feel you are ready for it.

Similarly, people with a physical disability will find that some countries are easier to negotiate than others. Students need to do their research and get good advice from appropriately trained medical staff, family and carers.

General Health
Six weeks prior to departure you should seek information about any immunisations or health issues relevant to travelling and living in another country. Please refer to your own doctor for more information and consult Smart Traveller’s Health site.

The International SOS (ISOS) website has health information under each country listing.

Health and well being information is also provided in the pre-departure sessions run by the Education Abroad Office and Schools.

Your safety

We encourage you to take your own security seriously. Find accommodation in safe districts, do not expose yourself unnecessarily to harm, and make sure you research the country you are planning to intern in.

RMIT offers students an International SOS service when you have registered your trip.

International SOS (ISOS) is a provider of 24 hour medical and security advice and assistance for medical, security or other emergencies, for all authorised RMIT business travellers, including students.

Travellers should simply call ISOS – reverse charge, from anywhere in the world, for emergency assistance: +61 2 9372 2468. You can call ISOS before you travel to discuss your travel needs, security etc. If you need to make an insurance claim, ISOS can assist in contacting the university insurer.

If you do not register you trip then you are not covered by this importance service.

It is important you research and check the level of risk in the country and region you are interested in going to. It is always a good idea to register your travel with Smart Traveller, as well as ISOS.

If travel to your country of choice is not recommended by Smart Traveller you should consult your Program Coordinator to discuss alternative ways of gaining credit so that you do not suffer any academic penalty.

We also strongly urge students to register with the Australian embassy in the country in which they are interning.

You can find country and region risk level information here:

  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – the Smart Traveller website provides up-to-date information about the risks you might face overseas, helping you to make well-informed decisions about whether, when and where to travel.

Depending on the circumstances, you may wish to contact your course coordinator directly  if you encounter any travel problems while overseas. Your coordinator can contact the Global Mobility Office on your behalf if necessary.

Featured Image: ** RCB ** via VisualHunt / CC BY

Money matters

Doing an internship can be costly. Not only are you not working in your ordinary job, you may be paying for accommodation and meals which you may not ordinarily do. Just getting to “work” can be expensive if you aren’t used to paying fares.

To make your international internship dream come true you need to factor in costs for:

  • Airfares
  • Passport
  • Visas
  • Accommodation
  • Travel and Health Insurance
  • Living Expenses: food, utilities, transport
  • Working equipment such as phones, data plans etc.

Even if you receive financial assistance, if you are planning to do an international internship you will need to budget carefully to ensure that you can afford to spend time away from home.

Costs vary depending on your destination. As a guide, it is recommended that you budget at least AU$2,000 for accommodation and living expenses for each month you will be away.

In preparing for your international internship you should:

  • Apply in a timely manner for any financial assistance available through RMIT (the pot does empty, so if you leave it too late you may miss out).
  • Make sure that any government benefits you receive normally will continue (you may need some paperwork from the university explaining why you are away).
  • You may be eligible to add some of the cost of your internship to your HECs debt, but rules change frequently and you will need to talk to Global Mobility about the latest information.
  • You maybe eligible for help from the RMIT Equity Travel Grant scheme.

Featured Image: kawaiikiri via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

What is an internship

Students can get course credit by doing a formal internship organised as part of their studies.   But before students are ready for those formal internships they are strongly advised to volunteer their time with student organisations or in charitable organisation to build up a portfolio of workplace and industry skills.

Popular placements for RMIT  journalism interns, for example, are at the Herald Sun, The Age, Broadsheet Media, ABC, and SBS. However, interns can go to any place where their skills can be put at use, including in-house publications and internal communication roles.

It does not really matter if you are interning in Australia or overseas, it is important to have done the research on your host organisation and to be ready to show your skills.

And here’s something that another student wrote about the experience of being an intern.

Other Program Options

Students have a number of options at RMIT where they can have international experiences

Semester-long Programs

Some students are interested in spending a semester at a university somewhere else in the world. RMIT University has agreements in place with more than 200 universities across Asia, Europe and the Americas.

To organise a semester abroad you will need to start researching the options and apply to go before the end of your first year of study.

Smart Traveller has an entire section on studying overseas.

The most difficult part, apart from choosing your country, is finding courses at the foreign university that match the courses you would be studying here in Australia if you didn’t go away. If you don’t find a good match, you could find that your studies take longer to complete.

Start by talking to Global Mobility about the countries and universities that are available.

Short-term Programs

Each year there are range of short-term programs overseas which are often electives or a part of a larger course. To find out about  opportunities, which include Global Intensives (Study Tours), Global Summer and Winter Programs and Work-based Programs, talk to your academic advisor or to RMIT Global Mobility where expert staff can explain your options and guide you on your way.

For more information contact RMIT Global Mobility.

Why intern overseas?

Many parts of the university are encouraging students to do paid or unpaid internships overseas. Talk to your course coordinator about countries and places where internship agreements already exist or if you have a contact or a new idea, you can also suggest these to your course coordinator. As international internships take some time to organise you should do this at least 6 months before your proposed internship date.

Travel experience

Photo credit: FotoGrazio via / CC BY-NC-ND

Many students who apply to do an international internship are already experienced travellers, they may have gone abroad many times with their families or school. However an international internship is a different experience.

You may be the only Australian at your workplace, and you may find there are few people outside work who speak English.

Overall you are immersing yourself in a different culture for a length of time, alone.

When considering if you are ready for an international experience, do you think you have the necessary independent living skills required, for instance will you be okay to get on public transport from the airport to your pre-booked accommodation? You will be ordering food in a foreign language and shopping for everyday items in a place where ‘everyday’ means something different to home.

Some social and political realities might seem shocking, compared to what you are used to, but are your host country’s normal. You need to be open to radically different environments and recognise that is not going to be easy or comfortable the whole time. But what an adventure!

Take our 15 quick questions  Are you Ready? self-test guide.