Study abroad

Would you like to study for a semester in Sydney at Australia’s national institution for dramatic arts education and training?

NIDA offers international students access to its undergraduate courses in Acting, Costume and Technical Theatre and Stage Management through the NIDA Study Abroad Program. Study Abroad is a fee-based option for international university students studying a related course to join NIDA’s full-time courses for one semester.

Study Abroad students have the opportunity to develop existing knowledge or gain new skills, and, subject to the agreement of their home institution, to transfer credits towards their studies at home.

Credit transfer

Study Abroad students do not receive a NIDA award but their home institution may grant credit towards the degree in which students are enrolled at the home institution.

NIDA provides the Study Abroad student with a letter recording their results for the semester/s studied at NIDA. The Study Abroad student’s home university must determine how to credit this in the context of the course being studied at the home institution.

How to apply

Select the course you would like to join

Information on the undergraduate courses currently available to Study Abroad applicants is available on the following links:

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting)

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Costume)

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance)

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Properties and Objects)

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Scenic Construction and Technologies)

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Theatre and Stage Management)

Please note there are only places available for Study Abroad students in the first or second year of these courses (this will be determined by the Course Leader).

Complete the application form

Click here to complete the online application form.

The application process


You will need to provide a show-reel which will be assessed, along with your academic record, by the Head of Acting and senior staff of the Acting department.

Your show-reel must be provided as an unlisted YouTube video.

The video must contain two contrasting pieces of your choice. One as a close-up/mid-shot and the other with full body visible. 

Click HERE for instructions on how to upload an unlisted YouTube video.

All other courses:

You need to provide access to a portfolio of your work. You will also be required to participate in an interview with the relevant Head of Department. Unless you are already in Sydney, the interview can take place through Zoom or similar.

For more information on how to prepare for your interview please contact

English proficiency

It is a requirement of NIDA that international students have a satisfactory level of English language proficiency. NIDA requires that students have an English language proficiency equivalent to an overall band score of 7.0 for courses other than Acting and 8.0 IELTS for the Acting course.

For testing centres in your country see IELTS.

Application deadlines

  • For Semester 2 2023 intake (Carnegie Mellon University applicants only) applications close on Mon 22nd May 2023 AEST.
  • For Semester 1 2024 intake applications close Mon 4th Dec 2023 AEST.

Submit your application as soon as possible to allow time for processing of your application and for you to obtain a student visa for Australia.

Please allow up to two weeks for the assessment process to take place. The Heads of Department and senior staff will assess your academic background, show-reel or portfolio and may contact you for a brief interview. You will then be notified if your application has been successful or not. If your application is successful and if there are places available on the course you have selected, you will receive a letter of offer of a place in the subjects for the semester/s you have applied for.

After you have accepted your place, you will be sent a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), which you will need to apply for a student visa. You will also receive information on how to prepare for your course, timetables and equipment/clothing/reading lists.

If you are applying from a country classified as Assessment Levels 2 – 4 on the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection Student Visa Program you will need considerably more time for visa processing and in some cases this could take up to six months.

Financial obligations

As an international student you must ensure that you have the financial resources to cover the cost of living while in Australia. International students are not eligible for public transport concessions.

International students accepted into NIDA are responsible for all arrangements concerning entry into and residence in Australia. This includes visas and health insurance.

International students are required to demonstrate and/or declare to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that they have genuine access to sufficient funds to be granted a Student visa. For more details see Study in Australia.

Cost of Living

We estimate that you need approximately AUD20,000 to cover living expenses in Sydney for each year of study.

In addition, we recommend that you have at least AUD2,000 when you arrive to cover the initial costs of books, rental bond, and furniture.

These figures do not include large household items (such as a refrigerator) or a car. We recommend that you use public transport, as owning a car can be expensive and there is very limited parking near NIDA.

For more information on living costs see Study in Australia.  

Health cover

You must have acceptable health insurance cover for the period of your intended stay in Australia. You will be required to provide evidence that you have paid Overseas Student Health Cover for the period of your study before you are permitted to commence your course at NIDA. This is also a condition of your visa.

To meet this requirement, you should pay for overseas student health cover (OSHC) for yourself and any family members who will live with you in Australia. The OSHC provides medical and hospital insurance. For information of the OSHC (including details of OSHC providers) please refer to the Study in Australia website.

Students studying in Australia must satisfy the health requirements specified in the Migration regulations.

Semester dates and tuition fees

Semester 2 2023: 17 July 2023 – 15 December 2023 (Carnegie Mellon University applicants only).

Semester 1 2024: Feb 2024 – June 2024 (exact dates TBA).

Tuition fees are payable to NIDA and must be paid in full prior to commencing the course for Study Abroad students enrolling for one semester. Study Abroad students enrolling for a full year must pay their tuition fees before the start of each semester. Tuition fees are paid by electronic funds transfer to NIDA. Credit card payment is not accepted.

Please also refer to NIDA's:


NIDA does not provide accommodation for students. However the following information will help you consider some options available to you.

UNSW on-campus housing

Although NIDA is not part of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), NIDA students can access the student accommodation at UNSW.

UNSW is located directly across from NIDA on Anzac Parade, Kensington and has a number of on-campus residential colleges and self-catered apartments that Study Abroad students can apply for by going directly to their websites:

Fully catered colleges:

Self-catered apartments:

Seeking rental accommodation independently

Rental accommodation in the immediate vicinity of NIDA is not usually easy to find at short notice, can be expensive and Sydney landlords usually require a minimum six month lease to be signed. It is also in high demand so it is advisable to start searching at least two or three weeks before you start the course. You should also consider that not all accommodation is furnished and you may need to buy furniture.

Students tend to look for accommodation in suburbs near NIDA such as Randwick, Kensington, Kingsford, Coogee and Maroubra or, slightly further away, in Newtown, Surry Hills or Paddington, because of proximity and transport services. Students at NIDA often have to stay late during production and projects times so it is important that transport is available. Some useful websites that list rental agents and/or rental accommodation are:

Seeking share housing

Many students at NIDA find share accommodation in houses and apartments in the surrounding areas. The advantage to share renting is that all costs, rent, electricity, gas etc are shared, reducing the overall cost of living. Share rentals are often advertised on the rental websites given above, but NIDA students also post notices to the student web pages when they are seeking someone to share their accommodation. Students will be able to access these pages as soon as they have accepted their offer of place at NIDA.

Alternatively, there are local, public forums for seeking share-housing independently such as and closed Facebook groups such as Eastern Suburbs Housemates and Inner West Housemates (read the guidelines listed and request to join).

For any queries regarding the NIDA Study Abroad program contact us at

Page functions

NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the sacred lands, from the mountains to the sea, on which we learn and tell stories.

The lands of the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.