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Newcastle International College

Frequently asked questions

Q : What is NIC and where is it located?

A : Newcastle International College (NIC), the international pathway college at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Many international students start their journey with us, and then progress to either Year One or Year Two of their degree.

The University of Newcastle is one of Australia’s best universities – it is ranked 197 in the world and is 11th nationally. We have around 7,000 international students who have all made the decision to study here and we hope to see you here too in the near future!

Q : What courses does NIC offer?

A : NIC offers a variety of programs:

  • Foundation Program
    (leads to the Diploma or Year One of a Bachelor degree)
  • Foundation Program for Medicine
  • Diploma of Business and Commerce
    (leads to Year Two of the Bachelor of Business or the Bachelor of Commerce)
  • Diploma of Engineering
    (leads to Year Two of either Civil, Computer Systems, Electrical & Electronic, Mechanical, Mechatronics or Surveying Honours degrees)
  • Diploma of Information Technology
    (leads to Year Two of the Bachelor of Information Technology)
  • Diploma of Media and Communication
    (leads to Year Two of the Bachelor of Communication)
  • Diploma of Medical Engineering
    (leads to Year Two of the Bachelor of Medical Engineering (Honours))
  • Pre Master’s Program
    (leads to 10+ postgraduate degrees at the University of Newcastle)

Q : Does NIC offer scholarships?

A : NIC occasionally offers part scholarships. Students will still be required to pay tuition fees and living expenses. Students also need to provide evidence of funds in order to get a visa. NIC Diplomas are less expensive than direct entry into first year and the cost of housing is significantly lower in Newcastle (60% cheaper than Sydney) so in general it is a less expensive option to study here.

Q : What are the advantages of doing a diploma instead of first year?

A : The Diploma is equivalent to the first year of the bachelor’s degree except that classes are smaller giving more academic support in the first year of study. NIC lecturers teach the same courses at the university and NIC students begin their study on the University of Newcastle Callaghan Campus which is 10 kilometres from the city centre and surrounded by affordable accommodation.

There is the option to commence the Diploma in February, June and October. Upon successful completion of the Diploma, students progress to Year Two of their degree. Tuition fees are also lower for the Diploma.

Q : I am not an international student. Can I still study at NIC?

A : NIC courses are only available to international students. If you are an Australian citizen or Permanent resident there is a range of options available to you for alternative entry to The University of Newcastle. Please visit the University's website for more information.

Q : When can I start my studies at NIC?

A : NIC offers 3 intakes per year - commencing in February, June and October for Foundation and Diploma levels and in January, May and August for the Pre Master’s Program. For more information see our academic calendar.

Q : Can I work part-time?

A : Yes, students on an Australian student visa are able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight when their course is in session, and unlimited hours when the course is not in session. However, international students must study full-time to meet visa conditions. It is important to remember that your first priority is that you are in Australia to study. NIC runs a part time jobs fair called the Hire Me! Project three times a year.

Q : What are the entry requirements for NIC?

A: Entry requirements are country specific and each application is assessed on its merits. Please refer to the admissions requirements information on our website.

What is the fee structure?

A : Please refer to the below table.

To accept your offer
  • 50% of your starting program For example – if your first program is the Diploma of Business and Commerce which is AU$25,040, you will need to pay AU$12,520
  • 100% Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) For example – if you are doing the Diploma of Business and Commerce followed by the Bachelor of Business, you total study program will be three years so you will need to pay three years of OSHC (OSHC is approximately AU$800 per year – so AU$2,400)
Other financial evidence to provide statements for in order to get a visa
  • The other 50% of your starting program
  • One year’s living expenses which is AU20,290
  • AU$2,500 to cover airfare (even if it is less)
Future payments
  • Future payments are made at the start of each trimester or semester

Q : How do I apply?

A : If you are interested, I would recommend taking the first step towards being an NIC student by submitting an application. There is no application fee and you can do this online through our website –

If you are eligible, we will refer you to a genuine education counsellor in your country who can help you with your application and visa.

Q : Do you offer postgraduate study?

A : Yes, NIC offers the Pre Master’s Program leading to a number of postgraduate degrees at the University of Newcastle.

Q : Which degrees does the University of Newcastle offer?

A : Check out the University of Newcastle website. It is a long and exciting list but there are options to filter your search in the left column –

Q : What does OSHC Cover?

A : Overseas Health Cover helps pay for medical and hospital care should you become ill during your stay in Australia. OSHC will also pay for most prescription drugs and emergency ambulance transport. OSHC will not cover any illness or disability that you had prior to arriving in Australia. It will also not cover any ancillary services (for example, dental or optical services). If you require ancillary services you can take out extra cover, provided by an approved OSHC provider. Make sure you bring any optical or medical prescriptions with you to Australia.

If you already have OSHC please provide proof of coverage to NIC before you accept your offer.

Q : What happens at orientation and do I need to attend?

A : Attendance at NIC's orientation session is compulsory as this session will enable you to seek enrolment advice about the correct courses you should enrol in. You will also meet NIC staff and be informed of the many services available to you on campus as an NIC student.

Q : What happens if I am late or cannot attend orientation?

A : Please notify NIC immediately if you cannot attend and you will be instructed about further options.

Q : What if I fail some units - do I have to repeat the whole semester of study?

A : No. Because of the flexible nature of the program it is possible to progress to new units whilst retaking those which have been failed. As three semesters of study can be completed in one calendar year, students who fail one or more units can get back 'on track' without losing any time.

Q : As an NIC student, am I able to use the university's facilities and join university activities?

A : Absolutely. As an NIC student you are able to use all services and facilities at the university including one of the best undergraduate libraries in Australia. The university also has great sport and recreation facilities including a fully equipped gym and a swimming pool. You are also able to join all clubs and societies available to all university students.

Q : I need advice on accommodation options available in Newcastle - how can I locate this information?

A : NIC students have access to accommodation services provided by the university for on-campus and off-campus housing assistance. For more information please visit the Accommodation page on our website.

Q : Where can I meet other students studying at NIC?

A : You can meet students from NIC prior to arrival by joining our NIC Facebook group (details will be provided prior to arrival). You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn.

Q : What is it like to live in Newcastle?

A : Newcastle is a great place to study. The main Callaghan campus is located in a beautiful bushland setting, only 10km from some of the city's best beaches. People in Newcastle are relaxed and friendly and there is a relatively low cost of living (compared to most major cities in Australia). For more information about living and studying in Newcastle please visit or check out .