Wollongong Australia Study Group - Autumn Skip Navigation

Australia Study Group – University of Wollongong

Director Fall 2014: Associate Professor Jason Kawall, Departments of Philosophy and Environmental Studies
The University of Wollongong, located on the coast of New South Wales, approximately 50 miles south of Sydney, is the study site for the Australia Study Group. This study-abroad program is designed for students who have demonstrated a strong affinity for broad-based, interdisciplinary exploration of environmental studies. The academic offerings and extensive resources of the University of Wollongong, as well as the opportunity to live and study with Australian as well as other international students, allow study-group participants a unique means to broaden and deepen their understanding of the historical, cultural, and biological diversity of Australia and the environmental issues in which Australians, including indigenous Australians are engaged.

The overall goal of this study group experience is to acquaint students with the historical, geographic, and environmental processes that have shaped the modern state of Australia. This experience will immerse students in a strikingly multicultural society which both reaches to the West and also to the East - Asia, and also to the oldest continuous civilization in the world, Australia Aborigines, exposing Colgate student to contrasting ways of thinking about and configuring the world. This study group experience will encourage students to reconsider the relationships between society and environment, the role of diversity in these relationships, challenges for the future and the ways in which individuals, communities and the state can and should meet these challenges in Australia and elsewhere.


Course appproval form
University of Wollongong course/credit information sheet

All participants are required to enroll in and complete four courses during the fall term at the University of Wollongong. Students elect two courses, and enroll in one course in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and in the course described below.

ENST 309 Australian Environmental Issues: Population and Environment Interactions
Professor Jason Kawall
The 2014 Director’s seminar covers key environmental issues in Australia with a particular focus on land use, aboriginal rights, and environmental policy, all in the broader context of imagining long-term sustainability in light of the nation’s past.  How might we imagine Australia in 100 years? 1000 years? Or even longer?  These speculative questions will guide us in examining concrete issues concerning invasive species, the preservation of Australia’s unique species, coping with changing landscapes and ecosystems, the status of aboriginal peoples, the long-term viability of ecotourism, and related matters.

Three Course Electives (University of Wollongong Faculty)
The remaining three courses are electives that will be chosen by the student in consultation with the program director and the student's academic adviser at Colgate University. At least one of the three courses must be selected from a list of approved courses in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Students are urged whenever practical to select electives that resonate with one or both of the required courses (ENST 309). This procedure underscores the environmental emphasis of the Australia Study Group, including its fundamental interdisciplinary nature.

Cultural Orientation

Coastal scenicAustralian History Seminar (John McQuilton, University of Wollongong)
This mini-course takes place on the Thursday of orientation week and a Saturday during a subsequent weekend. The first day includes lecture and discussion of the history, politics, and culture of Australia. On the subsequent Saturday we will take a field trip to Canberra to visit the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery, and Parliament House.


Students from any department or program are eligible to participate in the Australia Study Group, but preference will be given to individuals with a major or minor in ENST or GEOG. Relevant coursework includes introductory courses in either geography (for example, GEOG111, 121, 131), in Environmental Studies (ENST202 or 232), or in the Environmental Studies affiliated programs (Biology, Economics, and Geology). In addition, the University of Wollongong requires a grade point average of 3.0 or better for matriculation in the international student Study Abroad Program.

Living Arrangements

Students may live in one of several residence halls of the University of Wollongong (e.g. Campus East, Weerona College, International House, Keiraville Accommodation). Amenities vary with housing selection. Dining facilities, computers, and internet access are available. Colgate students have access to the social, athletic, recreational, computer, and library facilities of the University of Wollongong. Some of these require payment of a separate fee.

Calendar and Deadlines

All students interested in applying should plan on attending one of the informational sessions. The deadline for applications to the fall 2014 Australia Study Group is Friday, November 8, 2013.  Applications are on the Colgate University Off-Campus Study/International Programs website and are submitted online.

The Study Group will depart for Australia around July 19, 2014. Orientation activities begin on July 21. The academic calendar for the spring session at the University of Wollongong runs for 14 weeks (classes start on July 28) with a scheduled one-week recess between Sept. 27 and Oct. 5. The group will be traveling together in the Central Desert of the Northern Territories during the beginning of the recess (Sept. 27-Oct 1). Final examinations are scheduled for November 8-20.

Passports and Visas

Sydney Opera HouseYou must confirm that your passport is valid through June 2015. With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with the Australian government’s visa requirements. If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study/International Programs, 101 Lathrop, and International Student Services, 103C Lathrop, to learn as much as you can about the visa requirements. For all students there are significant requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.

Program Dates

Australia Study Group program approximate dates: July 19 - November 21, 2014

Informational Sessions

Wednesday, October 9 at 5 p.m.

Thursday, October 17 at 7 p.m.

Both meetings will be held in Room 326 in the Ho Science Center.  All students interested in applying should plan on attending one of these sessions.

More Information

Professor speaking with local instructorsFor more information, contact Jason Kawall in 14 Hascall Hall or jkawall@colgate.edu; or check the University of Wollongong's website for international students at www.uow.edu.au.


For details of student expenses on this study group, please see Student Cost Estimate Sheets.