Australia

The Center for Rainforest Studies
Programs
Housing
Research
Community

Study Abroad in Australia

Have you ever wanted to live in a cabin surrounded by lush tropical rainforests, fall asleep to the chirping of crickets, and awaken to the morning songs of birds?

Are you ready to walk beneath a canopy of giant tropical conifers and towering fig trees, sample exotic tropical fruits right off the tree, wade in upland waterfalls, and snorkel with sea turtles on the world-famous Great Barrier Reef?

Whether you’re an experienced traveler or looking for your first trip to another country, studying abroad is an important component of your college career. Living abroad gives you the opportunity to explore new places and learn about different cultures, gaining important global perspectives, discovering new things about yourself, and building lifelong friendships.

Our programs in Australia take place in the country’s ancient rainforests, with excursions to the edge of the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef. Courses and fieldwork focus on key environmental issues faced here such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, and land use change. Research at our Australia Center focuses on the environmental threats that have caused rainforest fragmentation, species loss, and reef die-off, and we work with the Mandingalbay Yidinji Indigenous people and Tablelands communities on restoration and management projects to help Australia thrive in a time of ecological uncertainty.

Australia


This is not the Australia you know. Towering strangler fig trees and rare animals like the southern cassowary and Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo can be found in these ancient rainforests. Far North Queensland is one of the most biodiverse places in the world, preserving more than 500 million years of evolutionary history. Just off the coast is Earth’s largest living structure – the Great Barrier Reef.

Programs

Semester

Rainforest to Reef

14 Weeks
16 Credits
Spring 2024
Jan 30 - May 3
In the Field
Fall 2024
Sep 6 - Dec 10
Filling Fast
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 2
Open

See Program Costs

Program Costs
  • Tuition$22,750
  • Room & Board$5,750
  • Total$28,500
Summer Session 1

Marsupials of Australia

4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2024
Jun 3 - Jul 2
Closed

See Program Costs

Program Costs
  • Tuition$5,670
  • Room & Board$2,580
  • Total$8,250
Summer Session 2

Farming for the Future – Australia & Bali

4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2024
Jul 8 - Aug 6
Open

See Program Costs

Program Costs
  • Tuition$5,670
  • Room & Board$2,580
  • Total$8,250

This landscape is alive, and you are a part of it. Not only for the moment that you’re imagining this, but for an entire semester. You have the opportunity and privilege to learn and experience all there is to learn about the Wet Tropics.

- Bo, Gonzaga University

SFS offered the unique opportunity to truly live in the rainforest! This is an incredibly intimate view of an ancient and endangered ecosystem which boasts incredible biodiversity. As a participant of this program, I was not a visitor to the rainforest, but actually living inside it.

- Guthrie, Brandeis University

If living in the middle of a rainforest, surrounded by constant beauty and wonder is your idea of a typical study abroad program, then SFS Australia is right for you. You will learn more than you could ever have imagined about the people you live with, the community around you, the natural flora and fauna of Australia, and so much more.

- Will, Gonzaga University

Where You'll be Living

At the end of a narrow, winding path, surrounded by lush rainforest, lies this remote field station. Our 153-acre property is surrounded by protected World Heritage forests, and you can observe incredible wildlife from the front steps of your cabin. The nearby towns of Yungaburra, Atherton, and Cairns are just a short drive away.

  • Group living in eight-person cabins
  • Main building with classroom, lab, and study spaces
  • Student lounge with scenic porch views and WiFi
  • Covered outdoor dining area, on-site cook, and garden
  • On-campus network of trails for rainforest hikes
  • Outdoor spaces for volleyball, yoga, and hammocks
Read Stories from Students, Staff and Faculty 

PRogram Costs

Study abroad is an investment in yourself – you’ll return home with new experiences, skills, knowledge, and friendships that will stay with you for the rest of your life. SFS program costs cover a variety of expenses, including:

  • Pre-program advising and on-site orientation
  • Tuition and research fees
  • Housing at the field station and on excursions
  • Daily meals and snacks
  • Airport transfers (for arrival/departure)
  • Field excursions and cultural activities
  • Student success and wellness team on site
  • 24/7 mental health and well-being support
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance
  • Official transcript processing
View Australia Program Costs

Financial Aid

We know cost can be one of the biggest barriers to studying abroad. At SFS, we’re committed to making our programs accessible to students which is why we award a generous amount in need-based financial aid each year. Our Admissions Team has worked with thousands of students and are here to answer your questions about the SFS aid process, aid available through your home school, and funding from external sources.

SFS Financial Aid: Need-based aid packages typically consist of a combination of scholarships, grants, and zero- and low-interest loans. SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for students applying to an SFS semester program.

Home School Aid: Be sure to ask your home school study abroad office or financial aid office what financial aid resources might be available to support your study abroad experience.

External Funding Opportunities: Organizations such as the Fund for Education Abroad or the Gilman International Scholarship Program award scholarships to students going abroad. These can be a great opportunity to reduce the cost of your program even more.

Learn More about FInancial Aid

Research

At the end of a narrow, winding path, surrounded by lush rainforest, lies this remote field station. Our 153-acre property is surrounded by protected World Heritage forests, and you can observe incredible wildlife from the front steps of your cabin. The nearby towns of Yungaburra, Atherton, and Cairns are just a short drive away.

  • Group living in eight-person cabins
  • Main building with classroom, lab, and study spaces
  • Student lounge with scenic porch views and WiFi
  • Covered outdoor dining area, on-site cook, and garden
  • On-campus network of trails for rainforest hikes
  • Outdoor spaces for volleyball, yoga, and hammocks

Community

Queensland, Australia

SFS is an active member of the Queensland community, where we have been based since the late 1980s.

We have built long-term, collaborative relationships in the communities around the Center, and developed our research plans based on the environmental issues they and the surrounding ecosystems face. Throughout the program, students assist in local restoration projects, host community dinners, attend festivals, and socialize with local conservation groups and at sporting competitions.

At the end of each semester program, we host a Community Research Night where select students will present their research findings to the community. SFS research data is shared with the community, local NGOs, and the Australian government.

Read Stories about OUr Community in Australia

Meet the Australia Team

Deborah Apgaua, PhD

Lecturer of Tropical Biome Ecology
Meet Deborah Apgaua, PhD

Sigrid Heise-Pavlov, PhD

Professor in Rainforest Ecology
Meet Sigrid Heise-Pavlov, PhD

Sophie M. Love

Health and Wellness Manager
Meet Sophie M. Love

Emily Bischoff

Health and Wellness Manager
Meet Emily Bischoff

Victoria Holman

Health and Wellness Manager
Meet Victoria Holman

David Tng, PhD

Center Director
Meet David Tng, PhD