Are you a student athlete? Simply love sports? The University of Arizona’s Bear Down Under: Sport and Recreation program in Australia combines the concept of globalization with the opportunity to train and expand one’s athletic ability in the vibrant cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns, Australia. Earn 6 credits of University of Arizona credit while trying new activities, such as surfing or rugby, working with trainers three times per week, and visiting high-level coaching facilities and Olympic sites.


Attend classes, study, train and compete with similar profile young Australian student athletes, fostering international cooperation and cross cultural understanding.

Enroll in a 6-credit course taught by an accompanying University of Arizona faculty member.

Spend a day at one of Australia’s Olympic Training Institutes to see first hand how elite athletes prepare and train.

Participate in a service learning opportunity while abroad as part of the program.

Program Details


In cooperation with the NCAA guidelines, student-athletes no longer have to sacrifice study abroad to keep pace with their athletic pursuits regardless of the level of their competition or commitment. This program is organized in conjunction with the University of Arizona’s Office of Global Engagement and offers a unique educational opportunity for college students who have sports commitments or who are sports enthusiasts. The program defines “college athlete” as anyone who currently participates in any sanctioned university intramural sports team, any varsity student-athlete (scholarship or non-scholarship) or any ‘sports enthusiast’ who competed in sports at the high school level.


In Sydney, students will share a room in student-style accommodations located close to downtown Sydney. The accommodations have kitchens and laundry facilities and extensive shopping and city attractions are within easy travel distance from the front door. During the last week of the program in Cairns, students will be housed in a downtown hostel. Many stores, restaurants and nightlife are within walking distance.

TEAN Staff

During the program you will meet with your Australian based TEAN staff. Our staff is readily available and able to assist you with any academic, social, or cultural questions or issues that you may face during your time abroad.



Students are required to enroll in the following course for a minimum of 6 credits and complete a range of assessment tasks and a final examination in the class. Field trips related to each course will also be included.

Transcripts will be issued by the University of Arizona and the class will be taught by Dr. Derek Martin, a professor from the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona.

SOC 496: Special Topics – Sport in Australia 

This course examines the history and development of sport in Australia and its unique contribution to the global sports community. The class consists of traditional classroom learning environment in addition to sport participation alongside instruction/training and a component of service learning related to athletics and fitness.


Dr. Derek Martin, School of Sociology

Sports Component

Sports Component

During the two weeks in Sydney, students will have the opportunity to work with local coaches and trainers a number of times a week and design their own personal training schedule or facilitate prescribed training from their home institution.

In the first week of the program, students will spend a day at the high-performance Victorian Institute of Sport Olympic Training faculty, visit a professional Australian Rules Football team and a leading sports science program at an Australian University to observe the training and preparation of Australian athletes. Students will also attend a professional Australian Rules Football Game.


The coaching staff may change from year to year, but each coach selected to participate in the program is experienced, knowledgeable and able to meet your needs as a student-athlete regardless of the level at which you compete.

Each sport offered in the program has a Head Coach/Sports Coordinator position. These professionals provide individualized attention and coaching, cultural insights into the sport and are at the core of the sports experience for the student. They are connected at the highest levels of their sport and have a multitude of various international and Olympic experiences to share.



The program is based in the east coast of Australia utilizing three main locations – Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns – with additional excursions to other areas of the country.

Week One

Students will experience the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) in Melbourne partaking in a series of lectures and visits to facilities. Beyond exploring the athletic side of the program, students can also explore the intelligent, creative and multi-cultural city of Melbourne by discovering its hidden laneways, catching trams to beach and artsy St. Kilda, or taking in the city’s art, music, food and design. The city is also the sporting capital of Australia, so grab some seats to a local event!

Weeks Two-Three

Skills and physical training will take place in the afternoons two or three times per week after the students’ academic classes. These sessions will be under the guidance of a head coach and may involve local Australian student-athletes. Students will also have ample time to undertake their own individual training or relax and explore the city. Students will be housed in Sydney within close proximity of all the city’s attractions at their doorstep.

With a population of over 4.5 million people, Sydney is conveniently situated along the ocean and boasts some of the world’s most famous beaches as well as the beautiful Sydney Harbour. Backed by the great open plains and sparsely populated mountainous terrain of the bush, Sydney is also close to much of Australia’s unique wildlife. The city itself is a modern metropolis of skyscrapers, expansive parks and iconic architectures such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Week Four

The final week of the program will be in the tropical north in Cairns, a bustling city made famous by its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and ancient rainforests.



  • 2.5 GPA
  • Currently enrolled at an approved degree-granting institution of higher education.
  • Students must be college athletes (e.g., varsity athletes or club sport athletes) or be sports enthusiasts with a background in one of the sports being offered.

Dates, Fees & Inclusions

2018 Program Dates

June 25 – July 22

2017 Program Fees


What’s Included

  • University of Arizona tuition (6 credits)
  • Transcript
  • Accommodation
  • Training program
  • Some meals
  • Field trips
  • Insurance

What’s Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Visa
  • Spending money



To apply for this program please visit the The University of Arizona website. This program is run in partnership with TEAN and the The University of Arizona and open to all students who meet the listed eligibility requirements.

Apply Now

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