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Sydney - Frequently Asked Questions

Passport and Visa

Do I need a passport even if I’m only going for a month?

Yes.  Always bring a passport with you when traveling to a foreign country.  Remember: make lots of copies of your passport!  Leave one behind with your emergency contacts and put a copy of your passport in each piece of luggage you take with you, including your carry-on.


Should I keep my passport with me every place I go during my time abroad?

No.  Leave your passport and other important documents in a safe place at your apartment.  However, you should carry a COPY of your passport at all times.  That way, should you misplace your wallet or purse, you will not lose your most vital information.


What should I leave behind for my parents/emergency contacts?

Leave your correct contact information, a copy of your airline tickets, a copy of your passport and visa (if applicable), and your Onsite Program Director’s contact information.  

City Information

What is the typical weather in this city?

The National Weather Service provides an International Source Weather service with information on weather conditions.  Check it out at  If you want to find out more information on typical weather in Sydney try This site provides information on current conditions, historical statistics, seasonal weather, and much more.


What types of clothes should I bring?

Summers in Sydney are typically warm. Temperatures often range from the 80's to low 90's for the majority of the summer season. GSE students are advised to bring clothing that is light, comfortable, and easily layered should temperatures unexpectedly change. Cotton T-shirts, short/skirts, swimwear, sandals, comfortable walking shoes and light pants are recommended. In the winter temperatures are a bit cooler. You will want to ensure that you have a few pairs of pants, jeans, long and short sleeve shirts, and a light rain jacket. Although it does not rain often, most showers will be heavy. You may bring several heavy rain items, however it is advisable to bring a single heavy raincoat.  


Will I have free time?

GSE offers numerous group activities, but there is also plenty of time to explore and experience all that Sydney has to offer.


What are some things to do?

In Sydney and the surrounding areas it is easy to find any type of activity.  Within the city limits you can discover Sydney through its numerous historical sights, museums, galleries, shopping districts, and nightlife. The universities also provide plenty of campus activities and events.


Should I bring a computer?

If you decide to bring a computer on this trip, you must assume all responsibility for the computer.  GSE is in no way responsible for the loss or damage of any personal items while participating on a GSE program.  Maquarie University will have computer labs accessible to all GSE students.


What type of transportation does the city offer?

As a major urban city Sydney has numerous means of transportation.  All students are provided with a metro pass good for the beginning of their program, which gives them access to the Sydney urban rail system known as Cityrail.  Sydney's metro system is easy to use and provides transportation to major districts of the city center as well as the outer suburbs. The metro will ensure that GSE students can travel throughout the city at their own leisure.

University Information


Is attendance mandatory?

Attendance is mandatory.  All matters of attendance comply with the attendance policies of Maquarie University.

Do credits transfer?

Maquarie University is a fully accredited university. Those student who have received credit for GSE programs in the past have complied with the same protocol set in GSE’s “Transfer Credit” instructions.  Also, it is important to comply with the policies of Maquarie University, which include regular attendance, participation, and completion of all required course work and exams.


Are there any optional university courses?

You must enroll in a minimum of three courses at Maquarie University. GSE offers you the freedom to choose from numerous courses in variety of different topics.


What will books and school supplies cost?

The estimated cost of these items while on a semester program is approximately $250.  You will be instructed during your first days of class on how and where to obtain these items.




Are meals provided?

Semester and year long GSE programs do not provide daily meals.  We recognize that each student prefers their own type of diet.  In order to allow students to eat whatever they want and whenever they want, GSE ensures that all student housing is equipped with a kitchen.


Who will I be living with?

Typically, you will live with other GSE students participating in your program, however you may also have the opportunity to live with foreign students. You will most likely be living in a multi-room apartment, sharing a room with a friend (if applicable) or a GSE participant who most closely matches your Student Housing Preference questionnaire.


Will I have a single, double or triple room?

As a GSE participant you will most likely share a room with one other person.  If you are participating in the program with a friend, GSE will try to accommodate the two of you together.  Remember to let GSE know that you are going with a friend so that housing assignments will be created according to your liking.  If you are not going with a friend, GSE will match you with a program participant who most closely matches your answers on the Student Housing Preference questionnaire.  Occasionally students will have a single or triple room.


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