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Australian Environment, Wildlife and Conservation
Travel across Australia during a unique five-week program that takes students to some of the most naturally stunning and ecologically important destinations in the country. In conjunction with the University of New South Wales, the 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 contextualized within the global ecological crisis. Discover the country’s most incredible sites while gaining hands-on experience in practical application of biological science and environmental management.
Learn from leading Australian faculty as well as environmentally-minded guest speakers
Traverse the country staying in some of Australia’s top destinations including Byron Bay, Kakadu National Park, Sydney and Cairns by the Great Barrier Reef
Develop an appreciation of Aboriginal cultural links to the Australian landscape and frameworks for Aboriginal involvement in protected area management
Hike your way through the stunning landscape of the Blue Mountains
Get up close and personal with animals at the Native Mammal Breeding Centre
Spend a night under the stars at a campsite in one of the country’s most sacred Aboriginal sites, Kakadu National Park an opportunity few Australians have experienced
Make the most of traveling not only with TEAN support staff, but also university faculty from both the U.S. and Australia for continued guidance and expert instruction throughout the program
About the course
From its rainforests to coastlines, coral reefs to arid interior landscapes, Australia offers a diverse range of physical, as well as cultural, landscapes and ecosystems to explore. This traveling summer program gives students the opportunity to spot rock wallabies in the Northern Territory, hike past rushing waterfalls in the Blue Mountains and engage in field research in rural New South Wales. Led by instructors who are experts in the field of conservation management, participants benefit from experiencing the continent under their careful and enthusiastic guidance. The course is an introductory-level science course and assumes no (or very little) previous university-level biological science experience, however students studying biology will certainly have the opportunity to expand on their knowledge by participating in the program.
Dr Rosalie Chapple
The fastest walker in the Southern Hemisphere, Dr. Rosalie Chapple is a lecturer within the Institute of Environmental Studies (Faculty of Science, UNSW) and has been involved in wildlife and biodiversity conservation for more than twenty-five years. Her current research interests reflect her lifelong passion for animals including conservation of quolls and dingoes, and management of introduced fauna such as wild horses. Her excitement for wildlife and nature are apparent as you witness her in her part-time home and favorite stomping grounds, the Blue Mountains, where she also cofounded the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute. During your program, you’ll enjoy bush walks with Rosalie where you’ll be able to quietly observe nature at its finest and perhaps engage in a little yoga or meditation in conjunction with fantastic experiential learning.
Mr. Brad Nesbitt has worked in conservation and natural resource management for more than 25 years with extensive experience in national park and wildlife management, ecological research and survey, and cross-cultural land management with indigenous communities. The owner of two dingoes (dingoes that work with him on some research and control programs!), Brad has a great interest in retaining native top order predators in ecological systems. He currently resides in Coffs Harbour and works as a natural and cultural resource management consultant with the New South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service on invasive animal control including wild horse control, European fox control, dingo and threatened shorebird conservation and management. Take some time to get to know Brad and learn more about his adventures in off-road motorbike riding. When he’s not riding 8500km around Australia on an epic ride, you may find him taking a gander at blacksmithing, bushwalking or out scuba diving.
With a boundless enthusiasm for wildlife, Mr. Geoffrey Ross is ready to take students to some of his favorite spots in Australia for viewing local flora and fauna. Geoff is the Coordinator of Marine Fauna Program for the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service and has more than thirty years of experience in the field of Wildlife Conservation and Management. Geoff’s passion is wildlife conservation and loves spending time bird watching in national parks, kayaking in Australia’s beautiful rivers, fishing or whale watching along the coast.
Transcript & Credits
Upon completion of the course you will be issued with a University of New South Wales academic transcript. The course is worth 6 UNSW credits which usually translates as 4 – 8 U.S. credits. The course consists of 75 hours of class contact time over five weeks comprising field trips, lectures and presentations.
Moving from the popular beaches of Byron Bay to the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef and everything in between, TEAN’s Australian Environment, Wildlife and Conservation program is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.
The program commences in laidback Byron Bay where water, sand and sun collide. Here you’ll become familiar with your course material, instructors and fellow students while enjoying an included kayak trip with dolphins, a visit to the volcanic remnant Mt. Warning, and optional activities like snorkeling or horseback riding.
Darwin – Kakadu National Park
Next, it’s on to Darwin for a four-day camping expedition to the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park to experience its spectacular scenery and distinctive flora and fauna. Home to some of the country’s most sacred Aboriginal sites, not many Australians can say that they have visited Darwin or Kakadu National Park as they are truly off-the-beaten path.
Sydney – Blue Mountains
From Darwin, the program journeys to the Blue Mountains, Australia’s most visited World Heritage-listed national park. Here, we’ll spend three days exploring the ancient and dramatic landforms of the region before being based at UNSW, located 20 minutes from downtown Sydney, for two weeks. Of course, during this time, students will have the opportunity to participate in a number of unique field trips.
Cairns – Great Barrier Reef
After Sydney, the course will move to the tropical far north of Australia with a stay in the Daintree Rainforest, the only place in the world where reef meets rainforest. Finally, the program concludes in Cairns where students have the opportunity to explore the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef.
- 2.8 GPA
- Currently enrolled at an approved degree-granting institution of higher education.
Students will be housed in a variety of accommodation styles when travelling, including shared budget-style accommodation, serviced apartments and a few nights camping.
International air travel and flights within Australia is organized through Qantas via our partner, STA Travel. Packages have been designed to allow students to spend time in the tropical north of Australia on the Great Barrier Reef at the completion of each program, or in New Zealand at little or no extra cost. Upon application participants will be provided complete airfare and booking details.
Throughout the program, students are joined by local TEAN staff along with U.S.-based TEAN staff who oversee the course and provide 24/7 support. Feel free to come to them with any questions or concerns you may have and make sure to ask them about what to do or where to go during your travels – they have plenty of insider recommendations!
Dates, Fees & Inclusions
This program is suspended and will not run for Summer 2017. It is expected to return for Summer 2018. If you are looking for a summer program in Australia, please contact our team so we can help advise on your options.
- Tuition (6 UNSW credits; 4 – 8 US credits)
- All accommodation
- Airport transfers and all course-related ground transport
- TEAN Orientation upon arrival
- Cultural events throughout the program, which have previously included sea kayaking in Byron Bay, an introduction to Australia’s outback by local indigenous guides and a walking tour of Sydney
- UNSW student card allowing access to library facilities
- Some meals
- Program-specific excursions. For example, Wildlife students will spend time sketching their favorite animals, birds and reptiles in a variety of national parks and reserves
- Staff and resources available 24/7 to provide assistance and recommendations during emergencies
- Pre-departure planning sessions and assistance from U.S.-based TEAN staff including pre-departure guidance for students
What’s Not Included
- Airfares (Budget approx $3,000)
- Some meals
In addition to the current financial aid you receive, you may want to consider applying for one of the TEAN Summer Down Under scholarships. There will be a $1,000 scholarship available to the top applicant of the Wildlife program. Additionally, there will be one $2,500 scholarship awarded to the top applicant across both Summer Down Under programs. Refer to our Scholarships information for details.
"The field work in this course allowed for analysis of the natural landscapes and habitats in Australia."
“My time in Australia helped me to better understand the world, Australian environments, and myself."
We Love Australia
Be sure you step off of the crowded Mitchell Street to check out Darwin’s waterfront. You’ll be there during the dry season, so check out the Darwin Deckchair Cinema to watch a movie under the stars! Get your tickets early as they usually sell out!
What inspired you to teach abroad in Thailand?
As I was about to graduate from school I knew that I wanted to work in International Education. I spoke with the study abroad office at my school to ask them for advice and they encouraged me to pursue more international experience. I knew I wanted to be challenged everyday and to go someplace very different from my current environment.
What did you learn about yourself living abroad?
Everyday I experienced something new. At first, I found that by not speaking the language I struggled to make new friends, but it pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It was hard for me to feel like myself, but through that I learned that it is okay to feel uncomfortable. I continued to work at making my new city home and eventually, I made some really great friends, developed my own community, and was able to enjoy my new city. When I left Bangkok it was as difficult (if not more difficult then when I left Chicago). Even years later I miss my neighborhood, my friends, and the food almost on a daily basis. I was able to make a home for myself in a completely different place than where I grew up and I learned I am lot more confident than I had given myself credit for.
What advice would you give to someone looking to break into the field of International Education?
I have found that there are so many people in International Education who are willing to sit down and have a talk with you and give advice. When I decided in college that I wanted to go into the field I met with the Provost of International Programs. Then when I came back from Thailand I met with some people at the University of Minnesota to ask them about their work on a daily basis and they sent me to go and meet with someone who worked at AFS-USA to gather a different perspective. Pretty much everyone that I asked to meet with me not only made the time to talk with me they also introduced me to someone else to speak with. It is from talking with people that I learned about SIT Graduate Institute and decided to apply for their Master’s program in International Education. It was a great environment to meet others who were passionate about the field of International Education and we all came from very different backgrounds which surprised me. So in general my advice is to talk to as many people as you can! While the industry can seem very small, I have found it to be a very friendly and welcoming place – so just do your research and ask someone to coffee.
What destination is next on your travel bucket list?
After working at TEAN, I want to see New Zealand next. I have learned so much about this country from working at TEAN. I am not sure if I would ever have enough courage to do the Nevis Bungee in Queenstown, but I am looking forward to the hikes, views, food, sheep, and wine tasting.
Byron Bay Tip
When staying at Cape Byron YHA the best Cafe around is located steps from your accommodation. Cafe D.O.C. has outdoor seating under some beautiful trees – the perfect place to ease into your morning with some Chai and brekkie.
Tell us a little about what you do at TEAN?
I currently work on our New Zealand programs. My role as team lead and Program Manager is to make sure everything on these programs is running smoothly working with our team. It includes everything from making sure students have pre-departure information on time to making sure they submit all of the items they need to study abroad (i.e. transcripts, courses, contracts, arrival details, payments, visa confirmations).
Where did you study abroad?
I studied with TEAN in Melbourne, Australia at Deakin University. It’s a more traditional campus, just outside the city but being able to live in the city and commute gave me the best of both worlds. Honestly, Melbourne has something for everyone – think sporting events, art, music, theatre, comedy, laneway cafes/restaurants/bars, shopping, the list goes on. Melbourne is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities, so why wouldn’t you choose to study there? If you’re looking for a Melbourne equivalent in New Zealand, check out Wellington known as the coolest little capital in the world. It’s a smaller city, but that makes it an easy city to get around by foot. It’s a very accessible city for study abroad students.
What brought you back to Melbourne to live and work after graduation?
When I graduated, I knew I wanted to return to Australia. My time studying abroad had given me that exposure to living abroad and I wanted to spend more time there as a professional. For my career, It was great to gain work experience at a university abroad. I’m so glad I went down this path or I might not have ended up at TEAN today!
Packing for study abroad is always a challenge and popular topic, as a frequent flyer – what insider tips do you have for someone packing for the semester?
I’ve become pretty good at packing light over the years since there have been so many times earlier on where I’ve overpacked. I took half of my closet and never touched the majority of it. You will hear the advice – pack everything you think you’ll need then take half of it – and it’s so true. My other advice is to pack articles of clothing you can mix and match to create different outfits to help reduce items. Also try to keep the shoe situation under control, they take up a lot of room. Bring a couple pairs that are super versatile (and comfortable).
If you were going to study abroad tomorrow on a TEAN program where would you go?
I’m biased, but I would study on one of our New Zealand programs. Since working with our TEAN New Zealand students, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand a few times and have visited all program locations. I’ve also done some traveling in the South Island. I would love the idea of going for a full semester, joining a tramping club on campus and getting out into the beauty of New Zealand in my free time!
Byron Bay Tip
Byron Bay is super laid back, with a motto of “Cheer up, slow down, chill out” you won’t have trouble relaxing here. Apex Park off Bay St. is my favorite spot for an afternoon picnic or early evening snack. If you’re lucky you’ll catch some local musicians playing guitar or symphony of birds overheard singing in the trees. Don’t be afraid to get up and dance – you surely won’t be alone! The beach below is the best spot in town to catch the sunset, and also see the coolest sand art drawing.
Where have you traveled through Asia Pacific?
I have traveled to Australia multiple times on work trips with TEAN. Outside of Australia I’ve had the incredible opportunity to visit Thailand and Singapore. We have a TEAN employee travel incentive program that encourages our team to spend holiday time in the countries where we work.
What has been a favorite memory from your travels?
During a free day while traveling with one of our summer programs in Australia, I swam in the Pacific ocean with sea turtles and tiger sharks. It was the first time I had scuba dived and it was so incredibly beautiful under the water. Our new Australian Orientation Excursion in Cairns includes an introductory dive on the Great Barrier Reef, so I hope all of our students get to share in the kind of experience I had.
What is your favorite travel or study abroad quote and why?
It’s some variation on “Everything you learned while you were abroad doesn’t stay where you studied. You will always have it with you and must apply it to your life back home.” I heard it during an Lessons From Abroad conference re-entry session and it truly was a turning point in getting over my post-program reverse culture shock.
What is your advice for a student who is on the fence about studying abroad?
Get off the fence and get onto a plane! Jokes aside, my advice would be to absolutely do it, against all odds. Traveling in general, but specifically studying abroad, shakes up your world in a way that only leaving your home country can. Your entire foundation of who you think you are and what the world is like is tilted, and you’re able to rebuild it all within completely new parameters. Studying abroad is still the most productive and transformative thing I’ve done.
What one song belongs on your ‘study abroad soundtrack’ and why?
If I have to give a shout out to only one; I’ll say Ribs by Lorde (who is from Auckland, New Zealand by the way). The song is hauntingly nostalgic and contemplative around youth and hanging onto precious memories, particularly from childhood. It’s a nod towards the days of being innocent. Studying abroad is akin to that same sentiment because it is a chance to be innocent, and new again, in your adult life. The experiences you have while studying abroad are invaluable and in the shock of it ending all you want is to get them all back to relive on repeat. The lesson is that you’ll never lose them; like childhood memories, they’ll always be with you.