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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Erica Nikolaisen
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
3 - Junior
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 semesters
Internship Available:
Fields of Study:
Biology, Ecosystems, Environmental Studies, Geography, Sustainability
Program Description:
Perth - Cottesloe beach

Program Overview     

Sea turtle swimming in the coralIf you're interested in exploring an inimitable ecosystem subject to a host of vital ecological and sustainability issues, then consider the CIEE Ecology, Conservation, and Sustainability program in Fremantle, Australia. This program is designed to engage students in a variety of academic areas including biology, marine ecology, sustainability and environmental studies combining classroom-based studies with field-based experiential learning and community engagement.

The program consists of three distinct modules. During the first 11 weeks, students mainly live in Fremantle (10 miles outside of Perth) and take three of their four courses. Students then partake in a one-week volunteer experience, followed by a four-week field study based at the Ningaloo Marine Park where they participate in the final course titled Marine Biology and Ecology of Western Australia. The Ningaloo Marine Park is home to 200 species of hard coral, 50 of soft coral, and over 500 species of fish. Students on the spring term will likely also see whale sharks, which inhabit the reef area from April through June each year.

Through the program students will develop a sound understanding of the major environmental and sustainability issues facing Australia, the causes of the environmental problems, and what is being done about them. They will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the physical processes that characterize the Western Australia marine environment, explain the key physiological and ecological processes that occur on coral reefs, list the plants and animals that dominate the tropical marine environment of Western Australia, and outline the ecological roles of key groups of organisms in the marine environment.

Program Quicklinks     

Course Offerings
Housing and Meals
Program Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarships
More Information
How to Apply
Other Useful Links

Education Abroad Credits

You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.

You will take four courses on this program. Visit CIEE's website to learn about course offerings and obtain course descriptions and syllabi.

To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the CIEE Fremantle Equivalency List. Students will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.


Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program. Two semesters of college-level biology is required. Upper-level coursework in ecology and/or zoology is recommended.

Housing and Meals

CIEE will arrange the housing which will consist of a rented accommodation in close vicinity of Fremantle. During the field study portion of the program, students will stay in cabin-style accommodations on the beach near the Ningaloo Reef.

Meals are not included in the program fee and can be either prepared by students in the accommodations provided or eaten at local restaurants and cafes in Fremantle. During the field stay, students will be taken to a supermarket to purchase groceries.

Program Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the fall budget sheet and spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Australian lighthousePenn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

For More Information

For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative

To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.

How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. 

You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire
  •  One academic recommendation
  •  Signature Documents

Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Please note that you will also be instructed to complete an application with the host provider as a part of your Penn State application either at time of application or upon acceptance. 

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.

Other Useful Links

Steps to Study Abroad
Schedule an Appointment
Cost & Funding
Health & Safety
Parents & Family

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 09/15/2017
Rolling Admission 02/19/2018 06/01/2018
Fall 2018 03/01/2018
03/14/2018 07/21/2018 11/03/2018
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
Spring 2019 09/15/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed