Wollongong Australia Study Group - Autumn Skip Navigation

Australia Study Group – University of Wollongong

Director Fall 2019: Christopher Henke, Departments of Sociology & Anthropology 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 of 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.

Students participating in this study group take one course with the group director (Henke’s course on Food---more details below) and three courses at the University of Wollongong. Through these courses and a series of excursions, students will examine a wide range of current environmental issues that threaten Australian ecosystems and the efforts being taken to address these environmental concerns. This experience will immerse students in a strikingly multicultural society that will expose them to contrasting ways of thinking about and configuring the world, which will deepen their understanding of their own beliefs and identity.

Students on the Australia Study Group surf some waves Students on Australia study group take in a rugby game


Wollongong course approval form

ENST 319: Food (Professor Chris Henke) Food is fundamental---it sustains us and is essential for our survival---but food is more than just what we eat. Food is also a commodity with complex global markets and ecological impacts; it is highly regulated through our political processes and institutions; and it forms a key part of our culture and the social rhythms of everyday life. Food production and consumption is among the largest sectors in Australia’s economy, and ecological, cultural, and political dimensions of Australian and Oceanic food systems provides a unique opportunity to explore the interdisciplinary study of food.

In addition to our class lectures and discussions, students will also travel on a series of field excursions in order to explore the food systems of Australia and how these systems interact with and impact the unique and vulnerable ecosystems and cultural heritage of this island continent. Trips within New South Wales include: a weekend trip to Sydney and day trips to regional vineyards, ranches, fisheries, and markets. An additional 4-day trip takes the group to Queensland to visit the Atherton Tablelands, tropical rainforests, and the Great Barrier Reef.

This course satisfies the Global Engagements requirement for Colgate’s Core Curriculum.

Students will select the remaining three courses as electives in consultation with the program director and the student's academic advisor at Colgate University. At least one of the three courses must be selected from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Students are urged whenever practical to select electives that resonate with Henke’s course on Food and the interdisciplinary focus of the Environmental Studies Program and this study group.

Cultural Orientation

Coastal scenicAustralian History Seminar (University of Wollongong)

This mini-course takes place on the Thursday of orientation week and includes lecture and discussion of the history, politics, and culture of Australia.


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, GEOG 111, 121, 131), in Environmental Studies (ENST 202 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. Limited 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 listed information sessions. The study group application will open on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, and will close on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.   Applications are on the Colgate University Off-Campus Study website and are submitted online at offcampusstudy.colgate.edu. Admission decisions will be sent out in late December 2018.

Passports and Visas

Sydney Opera HouseYou must confirm that your passport is valid through June 2018. 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 McGregory, 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: mid-July to November 21, 2019

Informational Sessions

  • Thursday, October 18 at 4:15 p.m.
    101A McGregory Hall

  • Friday, October 19 at 2:30 p.m.
    101A McGregory Hall
All students interested in applying should plan on attending one of these sessions.

More Information

Professor speaking with local instructorsFor more information, contact Prof. Christopher Henke  in 419 Alumni Hall or chenke@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.