If 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.
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. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.
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.
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
Penn 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 theFunding Study Abroadsection 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 GeoBlogs 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
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.