About ESE

Equal Student Exchange (ESE) is a volunteer-based student network which provides free information about student exchange and study overseas opportunities.

Focusing on providing information to students from developing countries, ESE acknowledges the financial and organisational obstacles these students must often come to face. It is the belief of ESE that both universities and students can benefit through international engagement. A more culturally diverse range of international students will contribute to the continued exchange of knowledge, ideas and culture between different universities and countries.

The volunteers of ESE recognize the importance of establishing enduring educational, cultural and professional links through student exchange.

Follow this link for more in-depth information About Us.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

PEOI Online Education and Volunteering Opportunities

Professional Education, Testing and Certification Organisation International (PEOI)
This month, Equal Student Exchange (ESE) shares information about another organisation with an equity-based vision. PEOI is an organisation which seeks to provide equity-based opportunities and access to education for people from developing contexts and particularly those who would otherwise experience difficulty in gaining access to education, testing and certification.

The article is relevant for two main target audiences - 
  1. Those who would like to gain access to these online courses and programs of study through PEOI. education
  2. Those who would like to contribute to PEOI as online volunteers. PEOI is one of the many organisations promoted by UN Online Volunteering. 


PEOI, provides complete university level courses online free of charge in twelve languages to absolutely anyone in the world. PEOI's goal is to help disadvantaged students and aspiring professional to improve their lives and help their country.

PEOI began in 2001. PEOI it is not [currently] a university. However, PEOI designs its courses so that they can be taken as part of a program of studies with a professor at an accredited institution. PEOI listens carefully to prospective employers in order to offer courses that are authoritative, complete, up-to-date and relevant to professionals. PEOI courses can be thought of as dynamic textbooks that can be modified by each professor. Course content improvements are invited by everyone. PEOI would like to become a central location where reliable, high quality and cutting edge learning is available for all professions at little or no cost.
The creation of PEOI has been part of a wider movement to prove that professional education can be made available at little or not cost to all that need it.

Read more About PEOI here.

PEOI's courses are first of all complete high quality open textbooks. After studying a chapter, students can take tests, submit assignments and participate in class discussions. Students enrolled in a completed course with average grade of 70/100 or better on all tests in the course are awarded a course completion certificate.

PEOI has over 500 courses under construction, but only two dozen completed courses.

In addition to professional programs of study, PEOI is developing language courses since fluency in some key language may be crucial to secure employment. Language programs currently developed are in
- English as a second language

PEOI was created back in 2001 and is run by over 5000 volunteers. These volunteers believe that it is time for open post secondary education be made available to all free of charge, and that the Internet is making this possible.

Developing course requires either writing content in teams or importing it from open education sources. Developing or translating course content is high demanding, requires having completed university studies and preferably having teaching experience. Volunteers must also have advanced computer skills because all work is done online in PEOI's course development platform.
PEOI has been developing its courses for over ten years, but this is only the beginning: there is still an enormous amount of work, and a wide range of tasks must be completed (from research of references on the internet to illustrations, writing test questions, cases, assignments, class discussions and answering student questions). 

If you are interested in being a part of this equity-based effort you can read more through the following links

PEOI's goal is to serve millions and millions of students who do not have access to higher education because of cost or location. We believe that the internet make it possible to deliver free university education to all. But this can only happen if volunteers like you join in PEOI's course development.

Check out PEOI on facebook 
And visit their website here

Australia Awards for the Africa Region

Maasai Mara - Kenya - Wikimedia Commons Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

This month, Equal Student Exchange (ESE) shares information about study and scholarship opportunities in Australia for students coming from the region of Africa.

The particular program is called the Australia Awards Africahttp://www.australiaawardsafrica.org/

The Australia Awards aim to develop the capacity and leadership skills of Africans to enable them to contribute effectively to development in their home country. 

The Australia Awards, are a part of the Australian Government’s development assistance program for Africa. The awards provide access to postgraduate education, training and professional development opportunities for suitably qualified Africans from specific eligible countries such as Kenya.

On their return to the workplace, Australia Awards Alumni are expected to contribute actively to development in their home countries.

  • Masters level degreesAustralian Awards Scholarships, to undertake higher degree Masters studies in Australia
  • Targeted professional development fellowships - Australia Awards - Africa Fellowships, to undertake short-term, targeted professional training courses, in Australia and/or in Africa, in a range of development-focused sectors.

Applying for an Australian AID Scholarship

The Australia Awards Scholarships are prestigious international  awards offered by the Australian Government to the next generation of global leaders for development. Through study and research, recipients develop the skills and knowledge to drive change and help build enduring people-to-people links 
with Australia. 

In terms of broad criteria for selection, applicants will be assessed for their professional and personal qualities, academic competence and, most importantly, their potential to impact on development challenges in Africa. Applications are strongly encouraged from women and people with disability.

Wikimedia Commons - AusAID awardees from Africa meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu - DFAT Australia

From the Australia Awards Handbook for 2014 - p.17

To be eligible to receive an Australia Awards Scholarship, applicants must: 
  1. be a minimum of 18 years of age at the time of commencing the 
  2. be a citizen of a participating country (as listed on the Australia Awards website) and be residing in and applying for the scholarship from their country of citizenship 
  3. not be married, engaged to, or a de facto of a person who holds, or is eligible to hold, Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency, at any time during the application, selection or mobilisation phases (note: residents of Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau with New Zealand citizenship are eligible but must apply for a DFAT (subclass 576) visa 
  4. not be current serving military personnel 
  5. not be a citizen of Australia, hold permanent residency in Australia or be applying for a visa to live in Australia permanently 
  6. not be applying for another long-term Australia Award unless they have resided outside of Australia for twice the length of the total time that they were in Australia (for example, a previous awardee who has been on an Australia Awards Scholarship in Australia for four years will not be eligible to apply for another Australia Awards Scholarship until they have been home for eight years) 
  7. have satisfied any specific criteria established by the Program Area or the government of the applicant’s country of citizenship 
  8. be able to satisfy the admission requirements of the institution at which the award is to be undertaken (this may mean that Program Areas will need to withdraw an award offer if the recipient cannot satisfy the institution’s admission requirements. This may not be known until Program Areas request a placement at selected institutions) 
  9. be able to satisfy all requirements of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to hold a DFAT (subclass 576) visa. This may mean that the Program Area will need to withdraw an award offer if the recipient cannot satisfy the visa requirements. 
  10. Applicants must inform the Program Area of any connection or relationship to staff employed at Program Areas or with managing contractors so that the application may be properly and transparently managed. 

Scholarship recipients will generally receive the following: 
  • return air travel 
  • a one off establishment allowance on arrival 
  • full tuition fees 
  • contribution to living expenses 
  • introductory academic program 
  • Overseas Student Health Cover for the duration of the 
  • Scholarship 
  • supplementary academic support and 
  • fieldwork allowance (for research and masters by course work which has a research component where fieldwork is a compulsory component.).
Wikimedia Commons - Brisbane Town Hall - Lacrimosus

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Where can I get more information about the Australia Awards program?
  2. I need financial support towards my primary or secondary studies. Can I apply for a Scholarship?
  3. Can I apply for a scholarship for a Bachelor degree under Australia Awards?
  4. How can I apply for an Award?
  5. When can I apply?
  6. If my country is not on the list of eligible countries, can I apply for a scholarship?
  7. I already have an offer for admission to an Australian university for a Masters degree. Can I now apply for a scholarship?
  8. What is the best way for me to find the most appropriate course for me in Australia?
  9. What costs are covered by Australia Awards?
  10. Can I take my family to Australia if I receive an Australia Award?
  11. Am I covered by health insurance while I am in Australia?
  12. How do I prepare for going to Australia if I receive a Long Term Award?
  13. What support can I expect from my chosen university when I reach Australia?
  14. What is the policy of Australia Awards towards encouraging participation by women in the program?
  15. Is there any special support available to assist women who receive an award?
  16. What support does Australia Awards provide for people with disability to assist their participation in the program?
  17. Abbreviations and Acronyms
  18. Can I apply for the awards if I am HIV positive?
Wikimedia Commons - Melbourne at night - Photo Attribution Dillif

Subscribe to future articles:
If you are interested in searching for other scholarships, study opportunities and student experiences in other countries, don’t forget to join and follow our ESE blog.

You can also find more information on our facebook community page. We hope that the information here can benefit students from developing countries.

Opportunities for Africans (OFA)

This month, Equal Student Exchange (ESE) shares information about study and scholarship opportunities in Australia for students coming from the region of Africa.

About OFA
About 65% of Africa’s population is below the age of 35 years,
Over 35% are between the ages of 15 and 35 years.
Africa is the most youth full continent.
By 2020, it is projected that out of 4 people, 3 will be on average 20 years old.
About 10 million young African youth arrive each year on the labor market (ILO 2008).
six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Opportunities for Africans (OFA) is an online information portal that seeks to connect Africans to the latest life changing opportunities.

The Opportunities for Africans portal hosts life changing opportunities such as scholarships, fellowships, internships, conferences, jobs, competitions, Volunteering and other life changing Opportunities for Africans.

The OFA portal was created with the aim of helping Africans achieve their potential by seizing the latest opportunities around the Globe.

Subscribe to future articles:
If you are interested in searching for other scholarships, study opportunities and student experiences in other countries, don’t forget to join and follow our ESE blog.

You can also find more information on our facebook community page. We hope that the information here can benefit students from developing countries.

About Me

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"Equal Student Exchange" (ESE) - non-profit/grassroots community, is a student network made up of students who want to help make international student exchange a more equal process. We hope to do this by assisting students from developing countries gain access to information and opportunities about studying/vocational experience overseas. Our audience is primarily students who want to study/travel overseas. The information we provide may include advice about: *International Universities, *Costs and fees (travel/living/study), *Procedures for obtaining Visas, *Possible support through scholarships and grants, *General tourism information, *Other study overseas opportunities Programs and conferences overseas. *international conferences Benefits and Opportunities: This is an opportunity to bring local and international students together, make new friends and give students from developing countries the same opportunities that are enjoyed by students from advanced developed countries. The group also encourages international students to contribute back to the university and community which is hosting them.