Wollongong Australia Study Group - Autumn Skip Navigation

Australia Study Group – University of Wollongong

Director Fall 2017: Randy Fuller, Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Biology
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 geologic and geographic history of the Australian continent and how environmental processes over evolutionary time scales have shaped the unique flora and fauna of this large continental island.  We also will examine current environmental issues that further threaten endemic species and Australian efforts to address these environmental concerns. This experience will immerse students in a strikingly multicultural society which will expose them to contrasting ways of thinking about and configuring the world, which will deepen their understanding of their own beliefs and identity.

This study group has not been designated to satisfy the Core Global Engagements requirement.  Students will need to meet the Global Engagement requirement by enrolling in a designated course.
Students on the Australia Study Group surf some waves Students on Australia study group take in a rugby game


Wollongong course approval form

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 Environment (Professor Randy Fuller) This course covers key geographic and environmental issues in Australia with a particular focus on environmental diversity.  Through class lectures and discussion, critical reading, independent research papers, and field trips, the course considers how the geologic and environmental history of Australia shaped biodiversity, and how humans have affected these natural communities.  Field excursions will introduce you to Australia’s rich

and diverse flora and fauna, its environmental and cultural heritage, and illustrate current challenges in environmental protection and management.  Trips within New South Wales include: Sydney, Canberra, Jervis Bay, Royal National Park, Budderoo National Park and Port Kembla.  An additional 5 day trip takes the group to Queensland to visit the Atherton Tablelands, tropical rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef. 

The remaining three courses are electives that will be chosen by the student 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 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 (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 2017 Australia Study Group is Friday, November 4. Applications are on the Colgate University Off-Campus Study/International Programs website and are submitted online. Student notification of selections will take place late December 2016.

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, 2017

Informational Sessions

Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 4:15 p.m.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 4:15 p.m.

Both meetings will be held in 101 McGregory Hall (Center for International Programs).  All students interested in applying should plan on attending one of these sessions.

More Information

Professor speaking with local instructorsFor more information, contact Prof. Catherine Cardelus  in 227 Ho Science Center or rfuller@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.