- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.6 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
Step beyond the tourist experience in Australia and New Zealand. Students can participate in one or both sessions and will earn 4 credits per session.
Summer Session I: Rainforests of New Zealand and Australia
Rainforests are shrinking, but hope is not lost. In this two-country program, you’ll learn how environmental and social factors have contributed to forest fragmentation in the spectacular, once-vast rainforests of Australia and New Zealand. Travel between the two countries to compare endangered species management practices, natural resource use in indigenous communities, and approaches to ecosystem restoration. Learn about the Maori people’s connection with nature as you explore the ancient podocarp and Kauri forests of northern New Zealand which contain trees estimated to be more than 2,000 years olds
Major academic themes include:
- Two-country comparison
- Forest ecosystems
- Natural resource management
- Threatened species conservation
- Human development impacts
- Indigenous knowledge and histories
Summer Session II: Watersheds of the Wet Tropics
Discover the diverse ecosystems of Australia’s Wet Tropics. The Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforests of northern Australia form a complex, interconnected system. Spend your summer learning about rainforest and watershed management in this verdant region while considering the policies and actions needed to maintain healthy waterways in the face of climate change. Go snorkeling off a Great Barrier Reef island and learn about the links between rainforest restoration and water quality on the reef
Major academic themes include:
- Watershed ecology
- Rainforest, coastal, and marine management
- Ecosystem connections between the rainforest and reef
- Biodiversity assessments
- Impacts of human development
This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Australia.
Summer Session I: early June - late July
Summer Session II: early July - early August
Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.
The SFS Center for Rainforest Studies lies on the edge of the Atherton Tablelands and is a 20-minute drive from the small town of Yungaburra. Protected World Heritage forests and farmland surround the 153-acre property.
The village of Yungaburra has an old world charm and contains a small supermarket, cafes, pharmacy, and other small shops. It is famed for its monthly market and students will have the chance to visit Yungaburra throughout the program.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.
The cost of a program is based on Penn State tuition rates and partner institution fees. Due to the variety of locations and partner institutions, costs will vary depending on the program. Education Abroad works closely with our partners to ensure the most accurate cost estimates, however, fees can change quickly and without prior notice. Consult the cost sheets for your chosen program often and if you have any questions please contact your Education Abroad Adviser.
The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.
Program Specific Scholarships and Funding Opportunities
All students are welcome to apply for SFS need-based financial aid. Students who exhibit financial need for their program will be offered SFS financial aid. SFS aid is offered through a combination of scholarships, grants and loans. Visit the Financial Aid section of SFS website for more information.
Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.
Withdrawal & Refund Policy
Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.
Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.
Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. Additional fees from the partner institution will be assessed according to their withdrawal and refund policies at the date of the withdrawal notice.
After the Start of the Program
If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.
For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.