Study Tour FAQs

Why do I need a Distinction average to apply for the Study Tour?

The reason we look at a Distinction average for Study Tour scholars is that the universities we visit usually require these grades for successful applications.  To date, 94% of those who have ended up applying for postgraduate study at these universities have been accepted.  If your marks are a little under a Distinction average, you are welcome to apply; the success of your application will depend on the strength of the rest of the applicants. 

What reference documents are required for the Study Tour and what information should it cover?

Applicants require three written references, including two academic references and a personal reference. Referees should forward references directly to the Scholarships team at  References should outline and address the below: 

  • Referee’s relationship with the candidate 
  • Referee’s academic and/or professional position in relation to the candidate 
  • Academic ability and capabilities of the candidate 
  • Personal qualities and characteristics of the candidate 
  • The candidate’s leadership potential in their field of study and/or Indigenous community 
  • If applicable, the candidate’s contribution to the Indigenous community 
  • Timeliness of this opportunity in the candidate’s academic and career development 

What do we mean when we ask for Proof of Aboriginality and a Confirmation of Aboriginality?

Aboriginality as defined in the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 is determined in accordance with three main requirements.  

An applicant must:  

  1. Be of Aboriginal descent  
  2. Identify as an Aboriginal person and  
  3. Be accepted by the Aboriginal community in which he or she lives or has lived. 

We will need confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent through a signed statement (including common seal) from the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Heritage Association, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Corporation or Land Council of the country of your ancestors.  You can also provide proof by descent if your parents or their siblings hold such a confirmation, and you can provide birth certificates tracing the relationships back to you.   

What is the selection process for the Study Tour?

Applications will be reviewed by the Scholarships team and Aurora’s Deputy CEO.  Those shortlisted will be interviewed via videoconference. 

The successful applicants will be chosen primarily on the basis of academic achievement (First Class or high Second Class Honours, or a Distinction average in their studies) but also on the basis of their potential to become leaders in their field of study and in their communities. 

Preference will be given to students in the final year of their studies.  Students currently undertaking a PhD in Australia, who hope to complete some of their program or a postdoc overseas, will also be considered; however, priority will be given to those seeking to complete a full-time degree overseas. We are looking for applicants who have the potential to become Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholars. 

Contacting academics and administrators at overseas universities

The difference between academic and administrative contacts: 

  • Academic contacts are members of departments, schools and faculties who conduct research, teach classes, etc, relevant to your study interests.  Meeting with these contacts should help you define exactly what, or explore the possibilities of what you want to study from an academic perspective.  These meetings can help you identify potential supervisors and the most suitable courses or research programs 
  • Administrative contacts are generally university personnel who work in student services (e.g. Graduate Admissions, Student Support, Financial Aid, International Student Support), or alternatively are academics who hold an administrative role such as the chair of a department or coordinator of a postgraduate program that you are interested in learning more about.  Meeting these contacts should help you clarify what is required to study at each university in a particular program, and what kind of facilities and support may be available to you.  Contact details of administrative contacts are often found listed under the ‘staff’ section of a Department’s website (as opposed to ‘Faculty’, which is where you would find academics listed), or in the student services section of a university’s website.