Frequently asked questions

About NIC

Q : What is NIC and where is it located?

A : NIC is also known as Newcastle International College. It is a college which has been established at the University of Newcastle's Callaghan campus. The University campus is located 10km from the city of Newcastle and is easily accessible by bus or by train. NIC is part of the Navitas group which has a long-standing reputation for providing pathway education programs to thousands of students around the world. With over 17 years of history, Navitas has colleges located across Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, USA, Africa, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Q : What courses does NIC offer?

A : NIC offers a range of Foundation and Diploma programs. The Foundation Program and Extended Foundation Program lead to year 1 of an undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle (UON) or an NIC Diploma, while the Foundation Program for Medicine is specifically designed for entry to year 1 of the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (progression rules apply). NIC Diplomas are equivalent to year 1 of the relevant UON bachelor’s degree. The following Diploma programs are available: Business and Commerce, Engineering, IT, Media and Communication. Successful completion of the NIC Diploma leads to year 2 at the UON.

Q : Are the Diploma courses the same as the first year of university?

A : Yes. The Diploma courses are the same level as those for the relevant first year undergraduate programs offered by The University of Newcastle. The difference is that students enrolled in the Diploma have access to additional academic and support services, helping you to succeed and enabling a smooth transition to university.

Before I Lodge my Application

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 every year. 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.

Q : How do I submit an application to enrol at NIC?

A : You can submit your application online to study at NIC through the Enrol Today page or download the NIC form here. In addition to a completed application form, you will also be required to submit all academic results along with proof that you meet NIC's English language requirements. Documents need to be certified by a Justice of the Peace, notary public, education agent or by the issuing authority.

Q : How long will it take to receive an offer from NIC?

A : NIC will be able to process your application and advise you of the outcome within one to two business days.

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.

Q : Does NIC accept mature age applicants?

A: Yes. NIC accepts students who are aged 21 or over and have relevant experience or other appropriate qualifications. Each application is assessed on its own merit.


Q : How do I pay my fees?

A : Tuition fees can be paid by one of the following methods:

  • Bank draft (issued in Australian dollars)
  • Telegraphic transfer (please ensure your student ID is included so that we can confirm when your fees have been received)
  • Direct bank transfer (if you are already in Australia)

For more information see our payments page.

International Students

Q : Do I have to have OSHC?

A : Yes. All international students must have OSHC. From 1 July 2010, The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) changed the student visa requirements. Under condition 8501, international students will have to obtain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the proposed duration of their student visa. For students who will be undertaking a packaged course, there cannot be a gap in the OSHC coverage.

Q : What does OSHC Cover?

A : OSHC 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.

Q : How much do I need to pay for OSHC?

A : This will depend on the duration of your visa. NIC will be able to advise the amount of OSHC payable on your offer letter.

Q : What if I already have OSHC?

A : 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 do I need to bring to orientation?

A : Bring your offer letter, pen, and passport.

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 need help with my studies whilst I am at NIC?

A : There are many avenues of help and support throughout your studies with NIC. If you find yourself having difficulty in a course, you should contact your lecturer and organise a time to meet for consultation. Our Student Services team will also be available to assist you with any of your needs.

Q : How are classes taught?

A : All classes are taught face to face and may include lectures, tutorials, workshops or laboratory sessions depending on the nature of individual courses and specific requirements for each program.

Q : What is the maximum number of units that I can study each semester?

A : Four subjects (or courses) is the maximum study load for any student in any given semester.

Q : What is the minimum number of units that I can study each trimester?

A : Due to visa conditions international students must study a minimum of 3 courses each semester, unless it is the last semester of study.

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 : Can I go directly into the first year of a bachelor's degree at the university once I finish my Foundation Program?

A : Once you successfully complete the Foundation Program you have the option of entering either an NIC Diploma program or the first year of an undergraduate program at the university. Admission to an undergraduate program at the University of Newcastle is dependent on students achieving the required Average Mark (AM) in the Foundation Program, along with a passing grade in FCOM201 (Academic Communication Skills II). Any other conditions listed for that program must also be satisfied. More information on AM requirements can be found here.

Average mark requirements for progression to bachelor’s degrees*

Q : Will I go directly into second year at the University of Newcastle once I finish my Diploma?

A : Yes - The University of Newcastle guarantees entry to Year 2 of the respective Bachelor's degree once you have completed your Diploma and passed all your subjects.

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 : How and when do I transfer from NIC into the University of Newcastle?

A : NIC will provide further information on UoN enrolment prior to the completion of your final trimester or semester at NIC. Your final results will be sent to UoN and if eligible, you will be able to enrol online through MyHub.

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 our blog.

Q : I am under 18 years old. What are my responsibilities?

A : NIC recommends that appropriate arrangements must be made with respect to your accommodation, ensuring sufficient support for your personal welfare during your stay in Australia or until you reach the age of 18 years. NIC offers support and counselling to all students through Student Services as well as from the International Office at the University, and will liaise with parents regarding the welfare of younger students.

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