--PACE International

--PACE International

Through PACE International, you can gain work experience with organisations around the world and get a head start on your career before you finish university.

Founded on the principle of reciprocal benefit to students, organisations and communities, an international PACE activity will help you to build your knowledge and skills, whilst reflecting on how to become a more engaged and ethical global citizen. With PACE International, you will be exposed to some of the key social, ethical and business challenges in today's world and will see first-hand how leading organisations are tackling them.

PACE International has a proud history of partnering with organisations in developing countries that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainable community development. Students that participate in these unique programs will have the opportunity to actively contribute to more just, inclusive and sustainable societies across the world.

Through PACE international you will:

  • Apply your academic knowledge and skills to real world projects
  • Experience life in a community and culture
  • Engage in current social, business and ethical challenges
  • Explore future career options
  • Contribute to positive social change

Academic requirements 

All PACE International activities can be undertaken within a PACE unit, which counts for credit towards your degree. To participate, you first must check which units fit into your degree program and whether you need to complete the unit before, during or after your activity. Information about current PACE units can be found in the handbook.

Depending on the unit, you will need to apply to PACE International at the end of your second year or during your third year. Find out more about these requirements.

PACE International activities are open to all enrolled Macquarie University domestic and international students, including Macquarie University Exchange and Study Abroad students. There are three basic requirements that you need to meet to be eligible for PACE International activities: 

  1. completed one session at Macquarie University
  2. have a Macquarie GPA of 2.0 or above*
  3. be enrolled or eligible to enrol in a relevant PACE unit (if undertaking for credit).

*Note: LAWS452 students must hold a GPA of 3.0 or above.

It is very popular and entry can be competitive. It is important that you plan early and attend an information session to make sure you understand the program and selection criteria.

See the current international opportunities

What can I do 

PACE International activities are usually between 2 and 12 weeks. To support you to complete your activity successfully, you will be required to attend compulsory pre-departure training before you leave Australia and a re-entry workshop on your return. All activities are designed to meet the learning outcomes of your PACE unit and contribute to the goals of the partner organisation.

There is a range of activity types available. You can:

Your activity may be in the heart of a busy cosmopolitan city or within a small rural town. You might stay in one location for the duration of your activity or you might have the opportunity to travel to other areas of the country.

If you join a pre-arranged activity through PACE International there will be several students travelling to the same country and some of them may be working with the same partner organisation.

Where can I go?

PACE International offers activities in over 25 organisations around the world. A selection of these include:

  • Cambodia
  • Fiji
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Vietnam
  • Vanuatu
  • Nepal

If you would like to find your own activity overseas, please note that there are some restrictions on travel to certain countries based on official travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

As a rule, PACE International does not approve PACE activities in countries listed on the Smart Traveller website as ‘reconsider your need to travel’ or ‘do not travel’. Travel to countries listed as "High degree of caution" will require a detailed risk assessment before your activity will be approved. As such, keep in mind that you need to start the assessment and approval process at least 3 months in advance of your desired start date.

How much does it cost?

Undertaking a group activity through PACE International does involve costs, so it is important to consider your budget well before you apply. If you are selected to participate in an international activity, you will be required to pay a ‘student activity contribution’* to cover the costs associated with the activity. The contribution amount is dependent on the location, work requirements, duration and time of your activity. It also helps to cover your accommodation and some meals. This contribution is in addition to the cost of your unit enrolment.

Along with your activity contribution you will also need to budget for extra costs of travelling and living overseas. Consider your international airfares, incidental living costs and perhaps a visa application fee. The following table details some expected costs in a PACE International activity:

PACE International pays for

Your ‘student activity contribution’ covers*

You pay for directly

Travel Insurance for official PACE activities

Health checks

Student activity contribution*

Pre-departure sessions at Macquarie University

Airport transfers

Vaccinations (where applicable)

In-country orientation sessions (where applicable)


New/renewed passports (where applicable)

Re-entry workshop

Some meals

Visa (where applicable)

Emergency assistance

 In-country orientation (meals, transport, venue)

National police checks

In-country management (where applicable)

Expenses associated with your activity (e.g. materials, field trips, transport to meetings)

Some meals

Organising the activity, supervision and logistics


International return airfares


Incidental living and travel costs (weekend activities, laundry, souvenirs etc)

*Student nominated activities do not require a PACE International student activity contribution

Financial support

There are various grant schemes to assist you with the costs of undertaking an international activity. These include:

If you are accepted into an activity arranged by PACE International you will automatically be considered for a travel grant. However, if you nominate your own international activity you will need to apply for the PACE travel grant separately as with the other grant schemes. Find out more.

*New Colombo plan grant funding is only available on some selected pre-arranged activities with PACE International. In this case you will receive the New Colombo Grant instead of the PACE Travel grant as you cannot receive both

Find out more 

PACE International is a highly competitive program and our information and application workshops are designed to give you a competitive edge. In these sessions you will learn more about our partners and activities and get advice on your application and the interview process. Come and meet us in person to learn more about the program and to ask questions.

Upcoming sessions and locations for 2017

Thursday 16 February          11:00am - 12:00pm         E3A 244 Seminar Room

Monday 20 February            12:00pm - 1:00pm           E3A 244 Seminar Room

Thursday 23 February          12:00pm - 1:00pm           E3A 244 Seminar Room

Tuesday 28 February            9:00am - 10:00am           E3A 244 Seminar Room

Friday 3 March                      10:00am - 11:00am          E3A 244 Seminar Room

Monday 6 March                   10:00am - 11:00am          E3A 244 Seminar Room

Wednesday 8 March             11:00am - 12:00pm          E3A 244 Seminar Room

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