The James Cook University (JCU) Townsville campus is situated amongst the Northern Queensland rainforests and provides the perfect entry point to exploring the stunning Great Barrier Reef. With strong biological and environmental science curricula, the university offers students plenty of hands-on experience while being surrounded by a diverse array of natural flora and fauna on campus. Non-science majors will also find a comprehensive range of courses to meet their academic needs and students are housed in on-campus accommodations where a strong sense of community abounds.


Select from James Cook University’s comprehensive array of courses and enjoy the natural beauty of this Australian campus

Live with Aussies and international students in on-campus housing

Enjoy Townsville, a coastal country town with a relaxed pace

Be surrounded by the World Heritage listed areas of the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforests – this is a truly unique environment

Explore the Great Barrier Reef and tropical far north Australia during your comprehensive five-day Orientation Program, with a week of adventure and learning

Appreciate access to TEAN’s in-country Resident Director for continued support throughout the semester

Program Details


TEAN’s exclusive “Welcome Abroad” Orientation Program takes place in Cairns in the north of Australia famous for its tropical setting and access to the Great Barrier Reef – what better way to start the semester than a week full of adventure, including scuba diving and snorkeling on the largest coral reef system in the world? Your Australia Orientation is designed to set you up for a successful semester by introducing you to the local culture and academics while also getting to know your soon to be friends and having an exciting journey in the process. On the final day of Orientation, students travel to their host city where they are met by their local TEAN Resident Director and introduced to their housing and local area.

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Students live in JCU on-campus housing with other local and international students. A range of self-catered or catered accommodation options are available. All rooms are singles and internet is included in the housing.

TEAN Staff

Throughout your semester you will meet with the Townsville Resident Director for informal discussions and excursions. Our staff is readily available and able to assist you with any academic, social or cultural issues that you may face during your time abroad.


About James Cook University

  • JCU is one of the leading universities focused on the tropics, surrounded by the incredible ecosystems of the rainforests, dry savannahs and the Great Barrier Reef.
  • James Cook University is ranked in the top 50 universities in the world for environmental science and in the top 100 for earth and marine sciences (QS World University subject rankings 2015).
  • Ideally located as the closest university to the Great Barrier Reef, and with the Australian Research Council’s Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies based at JCU, this campus hosts the largest concentration of coral reef scientists in the world.
  • The university offers a range of courses with built-in field trip components that get you out into this incredible surrounding environment.
  • Located eight miles from Townsville’s city center in a natural bush and parkland setting, the campus is full of native Australian flora and fauna. The smaller student population allows for a friendly campus, intimate class sizes and accessible teaching staff.
  • More than 1,400 students live on campus, giving the university a true community atmosphere.



Courses are available in the below disciplines. For detailed instructions on how to find and select courses, and a list of popular courses see our course selection instructions. Students enroll in 3 – 4 subjects per semester (between 9 and 15 JCU credits), which usually transfers as 12 – 16 U.S. semester credits.

Find Courses 

Academic Departments and Schools at James Cook University are divided into eight academic divisions: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies; College of Arts, Society and Education; College of Business, Law and Governance; College of Healthcare Sciences; College of Marine and Environmental Sciences; College of Medicine and Dentistry; College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Sciences and College of Science, Technology and Engineering.

Subject Areas
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration/Management
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Event Management
  • Finance
  • Human Resources Management
  • International Business
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Sports Management
  • Tourism
Communications & Media
  • Cinematography
  • Communication Studies
  • Creative Writing / Professional Writing
  • Film / TV Studies (Theory)
  • Journalism (Broadcast)
  • Journalism (General)
  • Journalism (Print)
  • Mass Communication
  • Media Studies
  • Media/Multimedia
  • Public Relations
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Education
  • Music Education
  • Construction Engineering
  • Engineering, Chemical
  • Engineering, Civil
  • Engineering, Computer Engineering
  • Engineering, Electrical
  • Engineering, Environmental
  • Engineering, Mechanical
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Science
  • Marine Biology
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Sustainable Resource Management
  • Health Science (General)
  • Kinesiology / Exercise Science / Athletic Training / Human Movement
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy / Physiotherapy
  • Pre-Medicine
  • Speech Pathology
Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Anthropology
  • Archeology
  • Criminology/Criminal Justice
  • Family/Human Studies (Humanities)
  • Gender Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
International Studies
  • Aboriginal Studies
  • Australian Studies
  • French Language / Studies
  • German Language / Studies
  • International Relations
  • Japanese Language / Studies
  • Pacific Languages / Studies
  • Anatomy
  • Animal Science
  • Aquaculture
  • Astronomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Botany/Plant Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer and Information Science
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Geology
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oceanography
  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • Vet Science
  • Zoology
Visual, Performing Arts & Design
  • Art History
  • Drawing
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Music
  • Music Theory
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Theatre Performance
  • Video Game Design
  • Web Design



  • 2.5 GPA. Students below a 2.5 are encouraged to apply and may be admitted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Minimum sophomore standing at a four-year institution at the time of participation.
  • Freshmen and/or students attending a two-year institution may be considered on a case by case basis.

Events & Excursions

Activities / Immersion

Our local staff arrange various activities during the semester designed to help immerse you in the local culture. These activities are included in your semester program. In addition, if you have a specific interest or hobby, your Townsville-based TEAN Resident Director will be able to point you in the right direction. Below are examples of previous activities arranged for students. Note that activities change each semester.

In addition to the TEAN-organized events, to make sure you don’t miss out on any opportunities, our local staff send out frequent emails letting you know what is happening in Townsville. Ranging from community events to music festivals, we tap you into the local culture right from the start.

Tour of Townsville and Magnetic Island

Hit the ground running with this tour highlighting all the local haunts in Townsville, as well as providing historical background on the region. The afternoon is spent on Magnetic Island, exploring remote beaches and interacting with the local wildlife.

Rugby League Match

The locals love their football, and up north this means following the rugby league. Townsville is home to the North Queensland Cowboys who play in the National Rugby League. We join the vocal locals to cheer on your newly adopted team at a home game.

Coffee Breaks

While Northern Queensland is in the hot tropics, Australians still enjoy their fabulous coffee. At various times during the semester, we follow their lead and meet up for coffee and cake on The Strand in Townsville, a strip dotted with alfresco cafés and restaurants. This is a great opportunity to catch up with your Resident Advisor.


During the semester, you’ll be busy with class and exploring your local area on the weekends. With this in mind, TEAN encourages students to get to know Australia better or travel to even more exotic destinations with excursions organized during school breaks.


Don’t miss your chance to explore the hidden gems of Melbourne. On our weekend trip to this uber cool city you’ll explore hidden alleys and be introduced to the sporting culture of Aussie Rules Football. Led by our local Resident Director, this is one place you absolutely must visit.

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Program Dates


TEAN has a rolling admissions process. We recommend submitting your application anytime from June for Spring applications, and from January for Fall applications. Late applications may be considered. Contact TEAN if the application deadline has passed.

Spring Deadline Nov 18
Fall Deadline April 21

Spring 2018

Date of Departure Feb 2
TEAN Orientation Feb 4 Feb 8
University Orientation Feb 9
Classes Begin Feb 19
Semester Break Apr 16 Apr 20
Classes End  May 25
Study Period May 26 June 3
Exam Period June 4 June 15
Program Ends June 16

Fall 2017

Date of Departure July 10
TEAN Orientation July 12 July 16
Housing Move-In  July 16
University Orientation  July 17 July 21
Classes Begin  July 24
Semester Break  Sept 2 Sept 10
Classes End  Oct 27
Study Period  Oct 30  Nov 3
Exam Period Nov 4  Nov 17
Program Ends Nov 18

Fees & Inclusions

Fall 2017

  • Tuition and services: $12,980
  • Housing (on/off campus): $4,070 – $4,615

Spring 2017

  • Tuition and services: $12,980
  • Housing (on/off campus): $4,070 – $4,615

What’s Included

  • Full tuition
  • On-campus housing including wireless internet access
  • Overseas health insurance, plus evacuation and repatriation insurance
  • Services of local Resident Director
  • Five-day Orientation Program with some meals, excursions, accommodations, and transportation
  • Cultural events scheduled throughout the semester
  • Access to pre-arranged and affordable cell phone packages
  • Access to competitive airfares and pre-arranged flight itineraires
  • Extensive pre-departure counseling and information packets
  • University and course selection advice
  • Official academic transcripts from host institution
  • Credit approval and transfer assistance
  • Help with student visa preparation
  • Financial aid transfer planning
  • Airport pickup and reception in Townsville
  • Arrival Welcome packet containing important local contact details and information
  • Townsville Farewell Dinner at conclusion of program
  • Host university orientation

What’s Not Included

  • International airfare ($2,200)
  • Domestic airfare in US ($500)
  • Student visa ($475)
  • Books ($365)
  • Meals during the semester ($2,000)
  • Airport transfer at the end of the semester ($50)

*Numbers are estimated based on previous student experience and budget. Actual amounts will vary depending on student.


TEAN Scholarships

In addition to the current financial aid you receive, you may want to consider one of our many scholarships. Each year we award thousands of scholarship dollars to qualified program participants, including a full ride scholarship for a Fall or Summer program. Refer to our Scholarships information for details.


In addition to the above TEAN scholarships, James Cook University provides an additional AU$1,000 per semester in scholarship funding. Any TEAN JCU students that apply for a TEAN scholarship will automatically be considered for this university specific scholarship.

Explore Northern Queensland

Take advantage of JCU’s incredible unique location, surrounded by the rainforest of the wet tropics, dry savannahs and the Great Barrier Reef, with a wide range of courses offering academic field trips. Popular courses with intriguing field trips can be found in the following disciplines: Archaeology, Earth and Environment, Indigenous Australia, Marine Biology and Tropical Biology.

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Students Say
"I got to visit sea turtle researchers and learn how they capture and tag sea turtles. I was able to go and explore the bird and plant species in the rainforest. I also assessed snail populations on a protected coastal area."
Tricia Temple, Colby-Sawyer College

We Love Townsville

Bianca De Villiers

Resident Assistant - Townsville

Townsville Tip
Dive the SS Yongala
Just an hour south of Townsville, off the coast of Ayr, you can explore the historic SS Yongala wreck. The passenger ship sunk off the coast in 1911 during a cyclone and is now teaming with marine life, sitting at around 30m below. You are bound to see many giant trevally, olive sea snakes, coral trout, moray eels, beaked eagle rays, great barracuda, nudibranchs and much, much more. If you love diving, it’s not to be missed.

Shannon Diegel

Program Manager

Townsville Tip
Castle Hill Hike

Castle Hill is located in the heart of Townsville City and offers a number of breathtaking walking trails leading to a spectacular 360-degree view at the summit! A great way to orientate yourself in a new city and stay active throughout the semester.


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.

From the Blog