Evolving over millions of years of geographic isolation, Australia has an array of geographical and natural features that can’t be found anywhere else. Travel across Australia during a unique three-week summer study abroad program that takes students to some of the most naturally stunning and ecologically important destinations in the country. 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, including Gondwana, the Blue Mountains, Great Barrier Reef and the ancient Daintree Rainforest, 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, Sydney and Cairns by the Great Barrier Reef

Visit five of Australia’s World Heritage Listed sites - Great Barrier Reef, Gondwana Rainforest, Wet Tropics of Queensland, Greater Blue Mountains and Sydney Opera House

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, Australia’s most visited World Heritage-listed national park

Get up close and personal with animals at the Native Mammal Breeding Centre in the Blue Mountains

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 experience and engage in field research in some of the country’s most unique and significant environments including the Gondwana and Blue Mountains World Heritage Areas, the Great Barrier Reef and more. 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.

Brad Nesbitt
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.

Dr. Rosalie Chapel and Brad Nesbitt join TEAN from the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute.

Transcript & Credits

Upon completion of the course you will be issued with an Elmhurst College academic transcript. The course is worth 3 U.S. credits.  The course consists of 69 hours of class contact time over three weeks comprising field trips, lectures and presentations.

Elmhurst College, located in suburban Chicago, is accredited by the Department of Education of the State of Illinois, and by: The Higher Learning Commission, A Member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.



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.

Byron Bay

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 Mt. Nardi in the Nightcap National Park, and optional activities like snorkeling or horseback riding.

Sydney – Blue Mountains

From Byron Bay, the program journeys to Sydney. Along with classes at the university, students will embark on three different field trips including an excursion to the Blue Mountains, Australia’s most visited World Heritage-listed national park.

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. After spending time studying in the field and on the Great Barrier Reef, the program concludes in Cairns with exams and a farewell dinner.



  • 2.5 GPA
  • Currently enrolled at an approved degree-granting institution of higher education.

Program Details


Students will be housed in a variety of accommodation styles when travelling, including shared budget-style accommodation, serviced apartments and a few nights camping.

Group Flight

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.

TEAN Staff

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

Application Deadline

TEAN has a rolling admissions process. We recommend submitting your application anytime from January for Summer applications. Earlier applications will be accepted. Late applications may be considered. Contact TEAN if the application deadline has passed.


Application Deadline Apr 1
Depart USA Jun 22
Arrive in Australia Jun 24
Byron Bay Jun 24 Jun 30
Sydney Jul 1 Jul 2
Blue Mountains Jul 3 Jul 5
Sydney Jul 6 Jul 8
Daintree Rainforest Jul 9 Jul 10
Cairns Jul 11 Jul 14
Program Ends Jul 15

program fees

2018 fees coming soon

What’s Included

  • Tuition (3-credits on an Elmhurst College transcript)
  • 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, and a walking tour of Sydney among others
  • Some meals
  • Program-specific excursions
  • 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 $2,500)
  • 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.

We Love Australia

Shannon Diegel

Program Manager

sydney Tip
Incredible Gelato

You must try Gelato Messina. They have a solid lineup of regular flavors, and then about five different specials that will rotate each week. Your life will never be the same after trying this gelato.


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.

Nick Falzone

Program Manager

Byron Bay Tip
Apex Park

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.

From the Blog