We have outlined here TEAN’s six easy steps to studying abroad. Your TEAN Program Manager guides you through the entire process, reminding you when and what we need from you as you traverse along the journey to studying abroad. These six steps also include all the vital information you need to know as you prepare for your time abroad. If you can’t find the answers to your questions here, then don’t hesitate to call or email us.

Get Started



Congratulations! You have applied to a TEAN Summer program in Australia, so you are already one step towards the best summer of your college life. This section walks you through how to complete your application; paying your deposit; how to obtain a passport and check that yours will be valid for the duration you need; the best ways to contact TEAN; and all those important dates to mark down on your calendar now. If your questions are not answered here, don’t hesitate to contact us.

TEAN Application


  1. If you haven’t already started your application with TEAN, you will need to visit the apply now page to start the process. Our team will review your application and get back to you shortly so you can work on the next steps.
  1. We have special partnerships with various U.S. Institutions for our Summer Down Under programs, so please make an appointment with your home university’s study abroad office to ensure that you are approved for the program.
  1. Once your application has been approved by TEAN you will receive an email from us with information on how to login to your account and access your application.
  1. Now you can start to work on the checklist items listed for your application. You will see a list of things that need worked on including the following:
  • Copy of your Passport
  • TEAN Applicant Profile
  • Personal Statement
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Send the Recommendation and Statement electronically to faculty and staff at your home institution for completion

As we move through the application process more forms and items will be added to your checklist by your Program Manager. So continue to check back for updates.

  1. Submit your most recent transcripts

In order for us to fully accept you into the program, we will need to review your official transcripts.  For students studying in the Spring semester, we will need transcripts including grades from the previous Spring semester. For Fall students, we require transcripts including grades from the previous Fall semester.

Please request an official copy of your transcripts, from all universities attended, be sent to our offices at:

505 N. LaSalle Street,  Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654

Program Deposit

Pay your Deposit

Your $1,500 deposit secures your place in the program.  Due to the popularity of the program, we recommend that you pay your deposit as soon as you are accepted on the program as places are allocated on a first come first serve basis.  The program deposit is credited to your overall program fee.

You may submit online credit card payments for your $1,500 program deposit via our online credit card link, please select Other Program Deposit or Payment and then type in the amount. 

Withdrawing from the Program

In the event of a withdraw from the program the deposit is refundable, less a $150 administrative fee, should the student withdraw 3 – 4 months prior to the start of the program.  After this date, the deposit is non refundable.  Please refer to the deposit invoice for the specific refund date.


Apply / Renew your Passport

Obtaining a passport for international travel may take a considerable period of time as the State Department can often have a backlog of applications to work through.  Therefore, it is crucial that you apply for your passport as early as possible to avoid any last minute complications.  You can apply for your passport at your local U.S. Post Office, for more information see:

Obtain necessary information regarding passports from the U.S. Department of State: Passport Services Department.  Download passport applications, nationwide list of passport agencies, etc. at:

Expedited Services

You can also check out an alternative passport express service:

Verify Validity of your Passport

As a condition of your student visa, your passport must be valid a minimum of six months post your anticipated return home. If your current passport is set to expire before then, you will need to apply for a renewal.


  1. Scan a copy of your passport page with your photo and information on it.
  2. Upload the scanned image to your TEAN application where it states, “Please upload a copy/photo of your passport (signature and picture page only).” Alternatively, email the scanned copy of your passport to your TEAN Program Manager.
  3. Enter your passport information under the section titled, “TEAN Applicant Profile.

Contacting TEAN

Contacting TEAN

Email is the primary form of communication during the application and enrollment period. Please provide us with an email address you use regularly, as important program announcements and instructions will be sent via email. Also, please check your email on a regular basis and make sure to update your online application if you change your email address.  Please also periodically check your Junk mail to ensure that messages from The Education Abroad Network are not being filtered into “spam”.

In addition, please be sure to include your full name on all correspondence (including emails). We work with many students so providing your name will ensure timely responses to questions and inquiries.

Physical Address

The Education Abroad Network
505 N. LaSalle, Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654-7093

Telephone and Fax

Toll Free: 1-800-585-9658 (from within U.S.)
Local Number: 1-312-239-3710 (from outside of U.S.)
Fax: 1-312-239-3713

Office Hours

The Education Abroad Network is open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Standard Time, Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Standard Time and observes all major holidays.  If these hours are not convenient, you may schedule a time outside of our normal business hours to speak with us. If you are currently international, it is possible to set up a Skype time to chat and get to know your program managers.

Important Dates

Important Dates

We finalize our program calendar in the fall before each summer program.  We will send you an email notification once the updated calendar information has been posted on the website so you can plan accordingly.

Once the program calendar has been finalized, we will post this information on our website. Once the calendar has been released, all dates are still subject to change.  While we do not anticipate any date changes once the calendar has been finalized, we reserve the right to make changes.  All program participants will be contacted in the event of a date change.


In order to participate on the Summer Down Under programs you will be required to purchase a round trip ticket to Australia and several domestic tickets within Australia before your departure.  TEAN partners with a student focused travel agency to help make sure the booking process is easy and priced competitively.  It will be highly recommended that you book your flights through the agency.  If you book your flights independently, you will be responsible to make sure they are the exact same internal flights within Australia to be with the rest of the students so you can join in on the transfers to the academic components of the program. We will not be able to assist you with airport transfers if you are not on the correct flights.  Details flight booking instructions will be sent out to the group.

Program Start Dates

The program officially begins on the arrival day in Brisbane, Australia.  Students arriving in advance of the designated arrival day will be responsible for their own transportation to/from the airport and any necessary accommodations prior to the orientation start date.

Dates by Program

Australian Environment, Wildlife, and Conservation

Get Schooled



Congratulations again! If you’ve gotten this far you are well and truly on your way to an incredible summer in Australia! This section contains information on the course you are taking, and how you can ensure you get credit for it; financial aid and how to navigate the system to ensure your aid transfers; and details of the TEAN and other scholarships you may want to apply for.

Australian Wildlife Course


Australian Environment, Wildlife and Conservation (BIO 252) 

The Education Abroad Network, in conjunction with the University of New South Wales, presents a practical and theoretical introduction to ‘Australian Environment, Wildlife, and Conservation’. From its rainforests, coastlines and coral reefs to its arid interior, Australia offers a diverse range of natural and cultural landscapes and ecosystems to explore. Evolving from origins in ancient Gondwana and millions of years of geographic isolation, Australia boasts geographical and natural features found nowhere else in the world.

This program offers an unparalleled opportunity for students to receive a first-hand introduction to Australia’s environment and wildlife through the eyes of local experts. This course is contextualized within the global ecological crisis and considers the development of environmental values and awareness and describes environmental controversies and how they are addressed. In consideration of these issues, Australia’s unique flora and fauna are examined and the various climatically varied regions visited are highlighted throughout the course.

The program outlines and exposes students to the challenges in managing natural and cultural heritage in the 21st century. Aboriginal perspectives of the Australian landscape and their cultural ties to the environment are explored, along with how these considerations are incorporated into management of natural parks.

This course is an introductory level science course, which is also relevant for broader environmental and cultural studies programs. It assumes no, or very little previous tertiary-level biological science, however, biology students would have the opportunity to expand their knowledge, particularly in practical application of biological science, and in environmental management. Care has been taken to secure experienced guides and speakers for the delivery of this course to ensure a first-class educational and cultural experience.

Financial Aid

Schedule Meeting with Financial Aid Advisor

While we strive to keep our programs affordable, we recognize that many students need financial help.  The good news is that most financial aid you are currently receiving is applicable toward study abroad.  Generally, you can transfer federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, that do not need to be repaid until after graduation.

See the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Public Law 102-325, 106 Stat.448):  The act was reauthorized in the summer of 1992 to include a number of provisions to facilitate the use of federal financial aid for study abroad.  (NAFSA:  Association of International Educators Newsletter, Volume 44, No 3/Dec-Jan 1993).

The U.S. Department of Education advised that the Perkins Loans, SSIG Grant Program, Pell Grants, FSEOG Grants, Stafford Loans, SLS loans, PLUS Loans and Consolidation loans can now be used for study abroad.  Your study abroad experience does not have to be compulsory for your degree program in order to apply your aid.  Please contact your home institution financial aid office to discuss your financial aid options for study abroad.

Consortium Agreements

If you are currently receiving financial aid (federal loans, grants, scholarships, etc.) from your home institution please follow these steps.  The financial aid you currently receive may not be processed in the same manner and the same amounts may not be awarded to you.

Step 1:  Visit your home university’s financial aid office and inform them you will be studying abroad through The Education Abroad Network. Ask them how much of your current aid will transfer for a study abroad experience. You will also need to check if there is additional paperwork specific to your home university.

Step 2:  Ask your financial aid office if they have a “consortium agreement” (do not worry if this is a foreign term to you, they will know what it is!) which essentially means they will complete all paperwork regarding your existing financial aid while you are studying abroad. This is the ideal arrangement as it makes the whole process easier for everyone. You will also need to have a TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form filled out that will be provided to you by your Program Manager.

Step 3:  If they have a consortium agreement, most likely they will have an existing agreement that is university specific. TEAN will likely have to sign this for you and send it back to them. It will not go to your overseas institution. The TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form should then be faxed or emailed to us.

Unfortunately, not all universities will sign a consortium agreement.  If this applies to your school please consult us immediately for further guidance.

Please note: The financial aid process is very complex and adequate planning is necessary. You should contact your home institution’s financial aid office if you will, or think you may need to, apply loans or aid to your study abroad program. TEAN is not a lending institution so unfortunately, all financial aid and loan discussions will need to be made within your home university’s financial aid office.



In addition to the current financial aid you receive, you may want to consider applying for a Summer Down Under scholarship. Each year, TEAN awards thousands of scholarship dollars to qualified program participants. There is one $1,000 awards available for each of the Summer Down Under programs and one $2,500 award for the top applicant across both programs. In addition, there are are scholarship opportunities through external organizations. Review details of the available study abroad scholarships.

Get a Room



Housing will be provided throughout the program and the type of accommodation will vary depending on each location. If you are arriving early or staying past the program end date you will be responsible for your own accommodation. Students should expect to be in a shared room throughout the program.

Types of Accommodation

Types of Accommodation

Youth Hostel 
Students will be roomed with 3-7 other students on the program in rooms separated by gender. There will be shared bathrooms with showers located on each floor. There will be a kitchen that students can use as well as a community living room and pay-per-use laundry facilities.

In the hotel accommodation students can be roomed with 1-3 students on the program of the same gender. Students will have their own bed and a bathroom attached to the room. Students will have access to pay-per-use laundry facilities.

Accommodation by Location

Accommodation by Location

When visiting destinations other than Sydney, the standard of accommodation will vary from shared, budget-style hotel and hostel (bunks) accommodation to twin share hotel rooms.

In Byron Bay, students will be staying in a centrally located hostel. It has on-site facilities, including a barbeque area, swimming pool, and game room. This may be your first experience with a hostel and we assure you that although you may have to share a bathroom, facilities are clean (if simple) and are very social experiences. You may meet individuals from around the world that could end up being lifelong friends.

In Sydney, students will be accommodated in a hotel and a youth hostel when we travel to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

The program finishes in Cairns, where students will be accommodated at a hotel in shared rooms. Students will be in triple or quad share hotel rooms with breakfast provided. Students will be able to enjoy the hotel facilities including a pool.

Bedding will be supplied at all locations. Students will have access to laundry facilities at most of the locations (at your own expense).



WiFi will be included throughout the program through your accommodation. It is important to note that the internet speed in Australia is much slower than you are used to at home, so please manage your expectations. You will also usually get one username and password that will work on one device at a time. When you are in the Daintree you will have no access to internet as there is none available.

Get Booked



It’s time to book your flights. It’s really happening – get excited! This section details information regarding how you will go about booking your flights for the summer program as well as information on your visa.


Booking Flights

The Education Abroad Network teams up with a travel agent to organize group flights for students participating the Summer Down Under programs. They are able to reserve seats and provide competitive pricing to students on our programs. You are under no obligation to use this service and may book your travel in any manner you wish. However, if booking your own flights, you must book the exact same internal flights in Australia to be with the rest of the students throughout the program.

Important Tips Before Booking

  • We recommend booking any domestic flights from your home city on the same ticket as your international flight in order to get international baggage allowances as well as to ensure that you will be booked on the next available flight in the event that a connection is missed.
  • Keep in mind that you need to allow at least a 3 hour window of time in between domestic and international connections.
  • If you need to re-check your bags in Los Angeles, San Francisco or Dallas you should allow 4 to 6 hours between flights. This may seem like a very long time but with any potential flight delays it is better to be waiting at the airport for your international flight versus missing your flight overseas.
  • If you miss this scheduled time and arrive late, then you will need to take the shuttle to the Byron Bay. Further information on this will be provided closer to your departure.
  • If you want to arrive early before the start of the program, please keep in mind you will be responsible for extra costs for taxis or accommodations.
  • There are several benefits to booking your flight through our partner travel agency STA Travel, which include: personal attention from our partners who are organizing the flights; competitive booking options; convenience of assistance with booking domestic connecting flights; ease of not having to organize it on your own (STA has the exact itinerary you need to be booked on); comfort of knowing there is the proper amount of time scheduled in between connecting flights and comfort of knowing that we will arrange your airport pickup if you arrive on the group flight.

Airport Arrival & Pickup

All students arriving on the group Qantas flight, a flight prior to the Qantas group flight, or within 30 minutes of the group flight landing are eligible for an arrival pickup at Brisbane International Airport. Students booked on other flights must let TEAN know their details for further advising.


Tourist Visa

You will be in Australia for under three months so you will not be required to get a student visa.  However, you will have to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (or ETA) which is a name given to the most commonly used Australian Tourist Visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to 3 months on each arrival within 12 months from the date the visa was granted.

  • The ETA differs from traditional visas in that there are no application forms to fill in and no visa label or stamp in the passport.
  • The ETA is available to passport holders from Australian Government specified countries and regions. To apply for an ETA (Visitor), you must be outside Australia and hold a passport issued by an ETA-eligible country or region.
  • You must apply for your ETA with the passport and passport number you will be travelling to Australia with; the visa is linked to this number. If your passport is lost/stolen or replaced before you travel to Australia, you will be required to re-apply for an ETA visa.

You can click here to apply for your ETA Tourist Visa or if you are booking your flights through our booking agent, they will be able to book your visa at no additional cost to you.  The cost in applying for your ETA directly is approximately $20AUD.    



Medical insurance is included in your program fee.  However, fully comprehensive travel insurance is recommended and can be purchased at the same time as your flight package. The cost of policies differ so please ask your STA Travel advisor to assist you. TEAN highly recommends that you take out travel insurance, relating to any baggage or trip cancellation claims.

Additional Travel

Additional Travel

Whether you are extending your stay in Australia or if you are deciding to travel outside of Australia before the program, please keep in mind that additional medical insurance is required. This additional insurance is mandatory because the medical insurance that is included in the program will only cover you in Australia for the program duration.

We will enroll all TEAN participants in a comprehensive health plan through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)

Get Documents



This section is very important! It also tends to be a little boring, so please stick with us. Before you jet off for the time of your life, there is a contract you need to sign, forms you need to complete; an Australian visitor visa you need to apply for and be granted; and a final payment you need to make. Please read this section carefully, and when the time comes, your Program Manager will guide you through it all – step by step.

Program Contracts

Program Contracts

You will receive an electronic contract from TEAN covering your program, housing, and a privacy consent release. This contract will cover important notices and policies for you to keep in mind during your time abroad. The Privacy Consent Release will also allow us to introduce you to other participants prior to departure. Both you and a parent/guardian will need to electronically sign the documents to confirm your understanding of the terms and conditions of your program. This is required prior to your departure in order for you to participate on the program.


ETA Visa

If you didn’t already arrange your tourist visa through STA Travel when booking your flight, you will need to do so now. Please revisit the Visa section of Step 4: Get Booked.

Non-US Citizens

You need to notify us if you are not a U.S. citizen as your visa application procedures may be slightly more complex and/or different to the instructions provided above. Please contact your program manager for further instructions.

Final Payment

Final Payment

Final invoices will be sent out approximately 60 days prior to your departure. Financial Aid Agreements must be submitted by this time as well to account for any delay in payment. If you are relying heavily on Financial Aid funds, please note that we will require a minimum of $4,000 to be applied to your account prior to your departure.   

Program Deposit

A $1,500 program deposit is due approximately two weeks after acceptance into the program and will be credited to the student’s overall program fee. The deposit is refundable (except for a $150 administrative fee) if the student withdraws 3 – 4 months prior to the start of the program. After this date, the deposit is non-refundable. Please refer to the deposit invoice for the specific refund details.  

Please note: We have special billing agreements with certain U.S. Institutions and some students will not be billed directly from TEAN for their study abroad program.  Please contact your Program Manager if you have any questions.   

Paying by Check or Money Order

You can make checks payable to: The Education Abroad Network and mail to us at:

The Education Abroad Network
505 N. LaSalle St., Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654

Paying by Credit Card

For your convenience we accept credit card payments for the $500 program deposit and excursion deposits. We are unable to accept credit card payments on final program balances due to the high cost of credit card processing fees incurred on those transactions.

Past Due Accounts

All past-due amounts will accrue simple interest at 12% per annum.

Get Going



It’s almost time! Please review some last minute information before you depart; follow our packing tips; start planning how you will manage your money while abroad; and read up on details regarding your arrival. Our Australia-based staff are looking forward to meeting you when you arrive in Brisbane.


Health Insurance

TEAN requires that all program participants possess health insurance coverage through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) for the duration of their studies in Australia. The cost of this insurance will be included in your program fee and enrollment is automatic so there is no action you need to take.  Your medical insurance policy includes the following:

  • Prescription medications
  • Medical Evaluation
  • Hospitalization
  • X-rays
  • Emergency Medical Assistance
  • Medical transportation and evacuation
  • Repatriation of Remains

There are some limitations to this medical insurance, including dental and optical services. If you have any existing health concerns, contact your current insurance provider before you leave for Australia. Medical insurance for higher levels of need is your own responsibility.

Personal Articles Insurance

We recommend students put anything of value i.e., digital camera, iPods, jewelry, musical instruments, cell phone, laptops, etc. on a Personal Articles Policy (many homeowners already have this policy so students most likely can add their items onto their parents’ Personal Article Policy). This insurance often covers the full value of the items world-wide, with no deductible. Typically, items valued up to $3000 can be covered for an approximately $30 premium. We encourage students to take pictures of item(s) and note their model, make and serial number, as well as saving receipts when possible. Purchase of this insurance is left to the discretion of the student and his/her parents. Personal items can sometimes be covered by Travel Insurance too – see below. Check with your policy holder.

Travel Insurance

TEAN recommends that you take out travel insurance, particularly relating to any baggage or trip cancellation claims. You can do so with STA travel if you have not already.

Packing List

Packing List

The packing list provided is a suggested list. Triple-check to ensure you have everything necessary! TEAN is not responsible for forgotten items.

Personal Items
  • Beach/Bath Towel
  • A photocopy of your passport stored separately in your luggage
  • Any prescribed medication you require (and copies of the prescriptions)
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen (can be expensive if purchased in Australia)
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellent (can be purchased in Australia)
  • Day pack
  • Rainwear/umbrella
  • Insurance card or policy Information
  • T-Shirts, Shorts, Jeans (clothing that can be layered)
  • Sweatshirts/Sweaters
  • Swimsuit
  • Underwear, Socks
  • Jacket (warm), raincoat
  • One or two nice outfits e.g. for a night out at the final program dinner in Cairns
  • One pair of dress shoes to wear out in the evening (sandals are not allowed to be worn in pubs and clubs)
  • Sandals/flip flops
  • Sneakers
  • Hiking Shoes/Walking Boots with good traction (Optional, but highly recommended)
  • Laptop computer (Highly Recommended)
  • Adaptor Plug
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-Operated alarm Clock
  • Camera
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Underwater Camera (optional)
  • A small padlock
  • Pens/Notebook

Luggage Advice

Remember, you will be travelling extensively during the course of this program, so be warned that whatever you bring YOU WILL HAVE TO CARRY!

Students are notorious for bringing far too much luggage – remember you will accumulate items during your stay as well. It is best that students limit themselves to one large backpack or rolling suitcase – plus an extra, smaller bag (3-day pack/backpack/duffel) would also be very useful. A 3-day pack will be useful for your time in the Daintree rainforest.

Electricity and Adaptors

We recommend that you do NOT bring electrical appliances – hair-dryers, hair straighteners, electric shavers, etc., as the standard voltage in Australia is 240V. You would need a voltage converter to operate 110V appliances ($80 AUD).

Computers, Cameras, and phones automatically convert voltage for you so no adaptor is required for those items.

The electrical plugs used in Australia are typically 3 at pins (one earth pin). You will need to bring an adaptor plug with this pin configuration for your laptop and phone charger.

Arrival in Australia

Arrival in Australia

Most of you will be arriving on the group flight in Brisbane on Sunday, June 24th where our TEAN staff will be waiting for you. Otherwise you have contacted us to let us know you are either getting yourself to Byron Bay or arriving on an earlier flight and will be waiting for us in the arrivals area on Sunday, June 24th at 7am.


Emergency Response Plan

We have created an Emergency Response Plan for our study abroad locations that will be implemented by both our staff in Australia and our U.S.-based staff in Chicago. Our staff will work with students, parents, and study abroad staff at the student’s home university to provide the most up-to-date information regarding any situations that may arise while studying abroad. Our participants will be given Emergency Contact Information before they depart the U.S. and also briefed at orientation on specific instructions to follow in case of an emergency.

TEAN Protocols

In the event of a health emergency, serious accident, natural disaster, crime, or death each program location has a contingency plan that can be activated. The Education Abroad Network will contact participants, their emergency contacts, and home universities in the event of such a situation.

Disclaimer – Nothing in this plan is a guarantee that any specific action will be taken in any given situation, nor is anything in this document a contract or part of a contract between TEAN and any other party, nor is any statement in this document intended to sell a service to a prospective customer, nor to attempt to persuade any party to avail themselves of any program or service provided by TEAN. Health, safety, and recovery from emergency situations are the sole responsibilities of each individual participant.

After Hours Urgent Line

TEAN personnel are available to assist you with an emergency 24/7. In addition to having access to on-site TEAN staff as well as instructions on contacting Police/Fire/Ambulance in your host country, you and your family will be able to reach us after hours in the event of an emergency. Although we will not always be your best resource to resolve an issue directly, we work in conjunction with our partners on the ground to make sure students get a quick resolution in crisis situations.

Please call 1-800-585-9658 or 312-239-3710 during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm, CST. For urgent assistance after business hours, please call 574.239.6545. The Urgent After Hours number will connect you with U.S. based TEAN staff who likely do not work with this program directly, but will help connect you with the correct person.

Safety While Abroad

We are committed to the health and safety of every participant. It is very important that students make informed decisions about their study and travel destinations. We continually monitor the safety and security of our study abroad program locations as well as popular student travel destinations. We continue to advise students of the safety and health risks associated with studying and traveling abroad based on the information from the U.S. Department of State travel warnings, local law enforcement, the Australian government, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the World Health Organization.

Tips for Personal Safety

Emergency Contacts: Be sure to designate a parent or guardian as your Emergency Contact. This way, information regarding an emergency situation will automatically be passed on to your parents. Also make sure to provide us with your Emergency Contact’s most up-to-date contact information.

Communication Information: Provide TEAN with accurate and up-to-date contact information regarding your telephone, cell phone, address, and email address. Be sure to notify your parents and TEAN staff in Australia in case of an emergency.

Keep Others Informed: Tell others (your roommates, your parents, your on-site TEAN staff) your travel plans. Keeping others informed will make it easier to locate you in case of an emergency.

Stay Informed: Research the political, cultural, and social climate of your study and travel abroad destination before heading overseas. While abroad, read local newspapers and watch local news broadcasts for developments that may affect your health and safety. If you have questions, please contact us either in the U.S. or abroad.

Communicating While Abroad

Cell Phones

If students wish, they can bring their unlocked smartphones and purchase an Australian SIM card upon arrival in Byron Bay. Inexpensive phones with SIM cards can also be purchased if students do not have an unlocked smartphone. The cost will depend on availability and style/features and range from $60-80 AUD.

Students can also arrange for their own cell phones to have international roaming access while they are away. However, network coverage may not be available in remote locations and this can become expensive.


Calling computer to computer – Skype is a software program that is free to download and use. It allows users anywhere in the world to call each other for free, provided both parties have downloaded the software. TEAN currently uses Skype to communicate with staff around the globe. Visit the Skype website.

Internet & Computer Labs


TEAN has organized Internet access to be provided at the accommodations during the program. If students wish to use the Internet outside of the accommodations, they may purchase this at their own expense.

Australia does not have the same Internet infrastructure as that of the U.S. and simply put, it is not going to be as fast of an experience for you. There are times when you may need to walk away from everyone, grab a coffee and use the Internet at a separate location where you can get better connectivity. Please prepare yourself for this and adjust your expectations of Internet accessibility and speed accordingly.

There will be no Internet or mobile service in the Daintree rainforest.

Computer Labs

For students that do not bring a laptop, in Byron Bay, Katoomba and Cairns there are a number of Internet cafes around the city centre that can be accessed (at personal expense).

Printing at all locations will be at personal cost to the student.

Finances While Abroad

Finances While Abroad

You must inform your US banks that you will be traveling so that your international transactions do not raise alarms. It’s also a good opportunity to check with them about their transaction fee policies so you are fully aware how much you will be charged to take money out of an Australian ATM. Although not required, it is sometimes nice to have some Australian dollars handy in the event that your card doesn’t work. You can exchange a small amount of money at the airport (but the service fee will lessen the value of the exchange) if you like the comfort of having money before you arrive. You will have time during Day 1 to seek some ATMs and get cash. Most places will also take cards for payment (grocery stores, cabs, etc.)

Accessing Funds

All major credit cards are accepted in Australia, Visa and MasterCard being more widely accepted than American Express. Depositing the funds you wish to access onto your credit cards before departing is a good way to avoid cash advance charges and give you easy access to money within Australia. Cirrus, Maestro and Plus systems exist in Australia. A pin number attached to your credit or debit card allows you to withdraw money at any ATM within Australia.

Money changing facilities and ATMs are located in airport terminals. On weekdays, banks are generally open between 9:30am and 4pm. Typically, banks are not open in Australia on weekends, but you will have 24-hour access to ATMs. While Travellers Checks are safe, it can be time consuming and inconvenient to change them. There are several ATMs located in the Brisbane airport.

Helpful Tips

Make sure you have at least TWO cards to draw money from, and keep these separate at all times. Carry your bank’s emergency contact numbers with you and keep photocopies of your bank cards and passport.

Check with your local bank to be sure you are aware of charges you may receive due to foreign transaction fees or for using a foreign ATM. You can avoid paying ATM fees by either joining a bank in the global ATM alliance, or open a bank account with a company that will refund all ATM domestic and foreign transaction fees worldwide.

Cost of Living


Some meals are included in the program fee, however, for other meals you will need to dine out or get food to go. All the accommodations have kitchens you can use.

The program fee includes:

  • Welcome pizza dinner in Byron Bay
  • Breakfasts in Byron Bay
  • Breakfasts, two packed lunches and two dinners in the Blue Mountains/Katoomba.
  • All meals in the Daintree
  • Breakfasts and end of program dinner in Cairns

In Byron Bay, breakfast is included. As a chill beachy town, you will find plenty of places to step out for a casual meal and the hostel is close a grocery store. A simple lunch (sandwich, wrap, salad) will be approx $15 AUD whereas you can eat a fancier meal along the beach and expect to pay upwards of $30 AUD for a main dish.

In Sydney/Katoomba it is possible to get a meal for less than $15 AUD at a number of cheap eating locations in the area. All types of cuisines are available so you will have the opportunity to try everything from Thai to Indian to Lebanese. Of course, dining out at the many up-market restaurants can cost $20-30 AUD for main courses. Several meals are included whilst in Katoomba and there is a grocery store and several cafes in walking distance.

In Cairns a daily breakfast is included in the program. Cairns caters to a tourist clientele all year round, therefore, though there are many takeaway outlets and cafes, these types of meals generally cost the same as in major cities. Similarly, a main course in one of the many seafood restaurants along the Esplanade can cost $35 AUD.

Budget around $650-800 toward food if you plan to utilize the stores or markets and prepare your own lunches and eat at cheap restaurants. Budget for $800-1050 AUD if you prefer to eat out for all meals.

Typical Prices in Australia

All prices are in Australian dollars and are subject to change. Please click here to see the current USD to AUD exchange rate.

Item Estimated Cost
Notebook  $3.00
Batteries (4x AA)  $10.00
Sunscreen (250ml)  $14.00
Disposable Razors (pkt 10)  $10.00
Newspaper $1.20
Movie Ticket $16.00
Big Mac $4.60
Cappuccino $4.50
Soft Drink  $3.00
Potato Chips $2.50
Chocolate Bar $2.00

Cost of Getting Around

You will be staying in Byron Bay for 8 nights and the city is not a large one. You will be able to navigate where you need to go via foot.

In Sydney, there is an extensive network of trains, buses and ferries to get you to everywhere you would like to visit. In Katoomba, you will mostly travel on foot.

Taxis/Ubers are numerous and reasonably inexpensive, especially if shared between a few people.

When you are in Cairns you will be staying in the small city center. It’s very easy to walk around and will travel by foot everywhere. Whilst out in the Daintree you will be staying in the one place and will walk as well.