Frequently Asked Questions

Applications for the 2019/20 edition of Street Life Studies will open mid June 2019. You will apply with an expression of interest via UNSW Built Environment.

See details and FAQs below.

The upcoming edition of Street Life Studies will be running in December/January 2019/20.

Street Life Studies: Cambodia places students in the streets of Phnom Penh and Sydney to observe and tackle real-world city challenges in collaboration with local Cambodian design students. Phnom Penh streets are clear examples of diverse urban dwellers appropriating the public domain. In many Sydney streets, this kind of informal activity is less apparent. What knowledge can be exchanged in comparing these contexts? How can we draw from both the formal and informal dynamics of street space? How might we as designers use observational ‘evidence’ to create more vital city streets?

You might choose this course if you are interested in urbanism, developed and developing cities, public space, streets, place-making, human centered design, small scale design, interdisciplinary collaboration. Articles and course publications can be found here: SLS2018SLS2017 Course publicationSLS 2015 Course publication, UNSW article, City of Sydney article

The course outline and schedule are in development and will be posted here in the coming months. The previous years course outline can be found here.

For questions check FAQ below or use this contact form.

Course coordinator: Eva Lloyd
Locations and dates:
Sydney: Dec 2-10, 2019
Phnom Penh: Jan 4-18, 2020
Exact dates TBC
APPLICATION DATES: Open mid- June 2019.




When can I apply?
Applications open mid-June 2019.


How do I apply?
You will apply by sending an expression of interest through UNSW Built Environment .Applications are on a first come, first served basis, per discipline. After the application period closes, you will be notified of your acceptance. If you are selected, you will have several weeks to confirm your participation by sending your flight booking receipt to the course coordinator. Following this you will be formally enrolled on the MyUNSW portal.

Who is the course open to?
Attendance is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate Faculty of the Built Environment students, who have completed their second year of undergraduate studies. Any student who is COMPLETING second year at the end of 2019 can apply. The course promotes interdisciplinary learning as a core theme.

How many students will be accepted?
The course is open to 25 students.

What are the prerequisites?
Completion of second year of studies in the Built Environment. Otherwise, there are no specific prerequisites but a basic understanding of hand drawing, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Indesign is helpful. This is a design elective where image-based, visual communication is the primary mode of presentation. Drawing workshops will be provided.

How are students selected?
Students will be selected on a “first come, first served basis”, per discipline. That is, there will be limited spaces for students from each discipline, the aim being to create a multi-disciplinary environment. If students from a certain discipline do not fill all the positions the remaining ones will be distributed to other students who have applied.

What type of elective is it?
This is a Built Environment Interdisciplinary Elective. It is not a general education subject or an open elective. The course is titled ‘Street Life Studies: Cambodia’. The code is BEIL 6011.

Is the elective covered by HECS
Yes, this elective is covered by HECS for Commonwealth supported students. Travel costs are NOT covered by HECS but financial assistance is available (see below).


What is the cost of travel?
It is estimated the two week trip will cost $2500-3000AUD, all inclusive (flights, accommodation, daily expenses, weekend trip). This is fully paid for by the student unless financial support is applied for (see options below). Less can be spent dependent on accommodation and food choices. These are estimates only.

What is the cost of the course?
Tuition fees for 2018/2019 summer courses have not been released yet. The 2016 rates for a 6 unit of credit course (as in this case) is $1114  for  a local Commonwealth Supported student and $4260 for an international student. There will be a small increase to these fees for 2019/20.

Does UNSW offer financial support for travel?
HECS/HELP covers course fees only.
UNSW offers:
1. Overseas travel loans
The Built Environment is actively working to make global student experiences more accessible. You may apply for ONE of the following.
1. $1000 travel grants. Apply once enrolled in course. Selection based on WAM. Open to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
We will updated you on all financial support possible, as they eventuate.

What if I apply then can no longer go?
We encourage you to apply for the course if you are interested. We understand that circumstances can change. If this does occur please notify the course convenor so we can give your place to another student. If you have already been formally enrolled via the Student Center or have booked flights you will need to check cancellation procedures.

Who arranges the trip to Cambodia?
All flights, accommodation, food, visa, vaccinations, insurance etc will be arranged and paid for by the students. Dates and meeting points will be advised. The course coordinator and tutors have spent extensive time living in Phnom Penh so are available to give advice as needed both pre trip and during the trip. See below for accommodation.

What type of accommodation will there be in Phnom Penh?
For logistical reasons, all students are asked to stay in the same inner city hotel, which provides a discounted rate. Being in one location makes group meetings, communication and general logistics much easier. Last year this was the 4star Frangipani Royal Palace. The hotel is walking distance to the Phnom Penh university campus, the riverside, markets, supermarkets, tourist attractions. Students are free to share rooms up to three people. If costs are prohibitive students can stay elsewhere, but alternate accommodation must be within walking distance and should be discussed with the course coordinator.

Is a Visa required?
Yes, a Visa is required for Cambodia. It is available online or at the airport for approx $35USD.

How do you move around in Phnom Penh?
Travel in the city is largely on foot, Tuk Tuk or PassApp (basic local motorcar fitting 4-5people). The course coordinator will assist in arranging tuk tuks/passapps for group travel trips. Frangipani Hotel offer an airport transfer. Traffic accidents are common so motodup is not recommended. Travel around the country is via taxi, private coach, or flight.

Are any vaccinations required?
Yes there are vaccinations suggested. Please talk your travel doctor for advice.

What will I eat and drink?
There is a wide variety of local and western food available, at varying prices. Please talk to your travel doctor for advice on water and food consumption from a health perspective.

What language is spoken?
Khmer is the national language however English is quite widely spoken.
The students of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, with whom we will partner, are all fluent in English. We encourage all UNSW students to learn basic Khmer phrases and some primary language training is provided throughout the course.

Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, travel insurance including emergency airlift cover is strongly advised. Please check your UNSW travel insurance coverage.


What is the work load during the course?
This is 6 UOC elective expecting approximately 150 hours of work (in and out of class) over the duration of the course.

What is the required attendance?
Attendance is expected at all scheduled classes and lectures in both Sydney and Phnom Penh. Special Consideration can be applied for in case of misadventure.

What is the day to day schedule?
The final schedule is in development. Classes in Sydney and Phnom Penh will run from the morning until early afternoon. In Phnom Penh, there will be a long weekend off in the middle of the trip for free travel.

What will we be doing?
During the course you will be on the streets, observing the urban environments of Sydney and Phnom Penh. Using a diverse range of exercises you will examine the dynamics that are behind daily behaviours. In the second phase you will be asked to transform what you have learned into a small urban design proposal. There will be a number of field trips and guest talks to support learning.

Will we work with local students?
Yes. The course focuses on collaboration with local design students. The course is generously hosted by The Royal University of Fine Arts, Faculty of Architecture and Urbansim, Phnom Penh. UNSW and RUFA students are paired for the duration of the course as a means of fostering learning exchange.

Will I have any free time?
You are expected to be working on a daily basis. However, some of this time will be self managed so there will be opportunity (and encouragement) for exploration of Phnom Penh so long as your work is rigorously completed. You will also have one long weekend (Fri-Mon) off for traveling. In the evenings, several social outings will be organised. Angkor Wat is a 6hr bus ride north, and the seaside towns of Kaep and Kampot are 3hrs south.