A Fantastic Experience in the Australian Rainforest Past Review

By (Denison University) - abroad from 08/08/2012 to 12/13/2012 with

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Australia & New Zealand - Rainforest Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a much more wholistic knowledge of ecology because it was a place that was in no way similar to where I have studied before. It was 100% worthwhile!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Overall, I thought that there was a very reasonable balance between rigorous material and time for exploration in the spectacular setting of the Wet Tropics of Australia.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Director, Student Affairs Manager, and all other interns and staff were unbelievably nice and helpful!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The cabin setup was ideal for the experience.

* Food:

We were constantly amazed at Iris, the cook, who seemed to have an endless list of recipes and ability to make delicious food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had weekend homestays and several encounters with locals for our research but I wish that more of a community program would be established with Yungaburra. Potentially the Lawn Bowling Club and weekly visits to the farmers market.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Very little besides weekends in Cairns.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It really wasn't an issue but plan ahead as much as you can and stay at hostels while traveling.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? There wasn't a language component but as a side note there are a lot of people that travel Australia from Germany, Denmark, and France.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The type of person it attracts
  • The knowledge I gained while there
  • The incredible sceneray of all locations visited
* What could be improved?
  • Casual interactions with local community
  • Transportation availability
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing really. There was a fun aspect of arriving at the center that I knew very little about the routine or other people on the program. It allowed the whole experience to develop there rather than having an impression before I even started.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Rainforest Ecology

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: Dr. Sigrid Heise-Pavlov
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class solidified my time at the Australia center. It not only taught allowed me to visit a bunch of locations around us but provided a solid background of the geology, cultural, historical and ecological status of the Wet Tropics and Australia as a whole. The trips that we went on were consistent with the subject matter and used time effectively. I felt that I got fair and very helpful critique on my assignments, papers, and presentations by Dr. Heise-Pavlov and her intern.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Principles of Forest Management

Course Department: Biology
Instructor: Dr. Catherine Pohlman
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was great for quickly gaining a vast knowledge of the forest tree and shrub species that constantly surround you. Dr. Pohlman was very knowledgeable and provided very useful and fair feedback on assignments. The course was challenging and well structured. Some of the trips could have been closer and more time could have been spent at the location.
Credit Transfer Issues: None