The Australian Rainforest: Challenging Yet Rewarding Past Review

By (Biology, General., Clark University) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that the world is far more intricate than I originally thought. I learned to live in close quarters with my fellow students, professors and staff. Patience was definitely needed as well as team spirit. The experience also confirmed my passion and interest in conservation biology.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

At SFS our classes were very hands-on. In fact, we never used a textbook. The world was our textbook! Course work was challenging, mostly due to the time crunch. I prefer the educational approach SFS takes over the traditional approach taken by most American Universities.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Strengths were that staff were very understanding and did everything they could to make us more comfortable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Lived in cabins.

* Food:

Food was wonderful! Iris is the greatest. There were always vegetarian options.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Weekend outings to Cairns

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safety was a concern because of the venomous animals and poisonous plants. The program did a great job instilling fear in us so we were never in a vulnerable position!

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The hands-on learning experience
  • Living in such a beautiful and intricate place
  • The passion and excitement of professors and staff
* What could be improved?
  • Possibly more free time
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't let fear be a weakness, make it a challenge. Take advantage of every aspect, and even when you're tired push yourself to explore. Time goes by far too quickly in the Southern Hemisphere. A student who is ready for adventure will LOVE this program.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Rainforest Ecology

Course Department:
Instructor: Dr. Sigrid Heiss-Pavlov
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Yes, this course was challenging. Siggy opened our eyes to the vast ecosystem surrounding us. Field trips and excursions were relevant and plentiful. What I love most about Siggy is her passion and endless knowledge.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Environmental Policy and Socio-economic Values

Course Department:
Instructor: Dr. Rohan Willson
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Rohan did a great job recounting the history of Queensland, outlining the major important political and environmental initiatives and progress.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Natural Resource Management

Course Department:
Instructor: Dr. Tim Curran
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course helped me to develop an ecologist's mindset. I will always be grateful to Tim for helping me to see the world from a resource management perspective
Credit Transfer Issues: No