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James Cook University offers quality academics in a unique tropical setting. JCU is located in north Queensland, which is on the northeast corner of Australia. Queensland contains a wide diversity of landscapes, including beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, rainforests and it even stretches into the Outback. If you’re looking for tropical Australia, this is the university for you.

James Cook University | Australia

More photos from this program can be found here.

More photos from this program can be found here.

IE3 Global facilitates an academic study abroad program wherein students from IE3 Global’s partner institutions in Oregon can visit James Cook University, and vice versa. This program allows for students to direct enroll in undergraduate courses in several subject fields and is suitable for students from most majors.

James Cook University offers quality academics in a unique tropical setting. JCU is located in north Queensland, which is on the northeast corner of Australia. Queensland contains a wide diversity of landscapes, including beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, rainforests and it even stretches into the Outback. If you’re looking for tropical Australia, this is the university for you.

The main campuses of JCU are located in the coastal cities of Cairns and Townsville. Cairns is about 200 miles north of Townsville, and has a population of around 130,000. Because of its proximity to several important natural attractions, Cairns has become one of Australia’s busiest tourist areas. Described as the rainforest campus, Cairns is located below rainforest-covered mountains.

Townsville is a bit larger in comparison, with a population of 160,000. Townsville is a stepping off point for visiting the Great Barrier Reef and is only one hour from the Wet Tropics rainforests of Paluma. It is a 20 minute ferry ride from Magnetic Island. The Townsville campus is well known for marine biology.

Quick Facts:

  • Established in 1961, James Cook University has earned global respect as a leader in the teaching and research of disciplines relevant to the tropics.
  • Due to the unique tropical location, the environmental science and marine biology programs are hands-on and among the best in the world.
  • The JCU Study Abroad Program offers an opportunity to study subjects which contain a field trip component in some of Australia’s most beautiful regions.
  • JCU is Australia’s leading tropical research university doing work in areas such as biodiversity, sustainable management of tropical ecosystems, global warming, tropical agriculture, and tropical health care in remote communities and cultural diversity.
  • Students will enjoy a spectacular natural environment while taking classes.

James Cook University is on a semester system, which they also refer to as Teaching Periods. Students are eligible to study for a semester or an academic year on this program. It is important to remember that because Australia is below the equator the seasons in Australia are reversed from the seasons in the Unites States. Australian students also start their academic year in the fall, but fall for Australia begins in February.

Program Duration:

  • Summer/Fall: mid July – late November
  • Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring: mid July – mid June
  • Winter/Spring: mid February – mid June
  • Winter/Spring/Fall: mid February – late November

Each semester is comprised of 13 weeks of teaching, with a one-week break in the middle of the semester and a one-week study period before exams.

Summer/Fall: February 15
Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring: February 15
Winter/Spring: October 15
Winter/Spring/Fall: October 15

- Sophomore or higher

- English proficiency

- GPA of 2.80 or higher

James Cook University offers quality academics in a unique tropical setting and is especially suited for students interested in marine biology and environmentally related fields. The program is also open to students in diverse majors as JCU offers a wide variety of subjects, such as liberal arts, education, indigenous Australian studies, sciences, exercise and sport science, health related fields, engineering, agriculture, and rainforest science.

Orientations

To prepare adequately for the study program in Australia, students are required to participate in an all-day pre-departure orientation in Oregon (in November or in May). Upon arrival in Australia, James Cook University provides a week long on-site orientation, including workshops on various topics such as writing skills. James Cook requires that students attend their Orientation, called ‘O’ week. During orientation students will complete the enrolment verification process by meeting with JCU academic advisors to work to finalize their subject choices.

Courses in Australia

Participants are enrolled as regular James Cook students, taking classes with Australian students and other international students. Classes are structured in a similar way to those found in Oregon. In Australia more emphasis is placed on independent study outside of class contact hours compared to what students may experience in Oregon.

Courses or classes are called ‘subjects’ at James Cook University and are generally intended to be taken in specific years of a degree. You can tell if a JCU subject is a first, second or third year subject by the first number in the subject code – i.e.: BT2400:03 Flowering Plant Diversity is a second year subject. Generally, James Cook University will approve study abroad students to take 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year subjects.

At JCU, most individual subjects have a value of 3 credit points. A normal full-time study load for a semester is four subjects or 12 credit points in the JCU system. Students who take more than 12 JCU credits points will be assessed additional fees. The number of credits earned in Oregon for these subjects will be determined by the student’s home campus.

A unique feature of the JCU study abroad program is the opportunity to study subjects which contain a field trip component, enabling students to learn from a hands-on experience in your field of study. Students are responsible for the associated field trip costs.

JCU Campus at Townsville

The city of Townsville is a thriving coastal city of 160,000 people, making it Australia’s largest tropical city. Townsville is a stepping off point for visiting the Great Barrier Reef and is conveniently located to an array of natural environments. The campus has around 11,500 students, including over 1,500 international students. It is located in the suburb of Douglas close to the Ross River and is on a setting of natural bush and parkland about 8 miles from the city center. The campus is home to Australian native birds and animals, including kookaburras, cockatoos, bush turkeys and wallabies.

The Townsville campus offers a wide variety of subjects and is well known for its marine biology studies.

JCU Campus at Cairns

Cairns is about 200 miles north of Townsville and has a population of 130,000. It is one of Australia’s top tourist destinations for its easy access to areas such as the nearby World Heritage Wet Tropics rainforest. The campus has around 4,000 students, including about 380 international students. The campus is often described as the rainforest campus because it is located close to rainforest-covered mountains. The beach is about a 10 minute walk from the campus.

The Cairns campus offers also offers a wide variety of subjects and is strong in rainforest science.

Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress throughout the application process and during their study abroad program, and otherwise comply with policies and procedures of the host university, IE3 Global, and their home university International Programs Office.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements, please consult with your home campus contact person before applying.

The minimum requirements for this program are as follows:

  • Sophomore or higher
  • English proficiency
  • GPA of 2.80 or higher

A range of housing options is available. You can either live in an on-campus residence hall or find off-campus housing. James Cook University has an accommodation service office to assist students in finding housing. IE3 Global does not pay for or organize housing.

Townsville:

JCU’s Accommodation office helps students with finding housing, whether they are interested in on-campus accommodation or private rental/shared accommodation (off campus). For students who prefer off-campus accommodation, the office maintains a registry of houses, units, apartments, shared accommodation, home and caretaker arrangements. 

On-campus accommodation is available at the Townsville campus for international students. There are residence halls that are managed by JCU, many of which include meal plans. There are also resident Colleges which provide catered accommodation. Students do not need to belong to any particular faith in order to stay at the JCU residential colleges.

Cairns:

Although there is no on-campus accommodation available at the Cairns campus, there are privately operated student residences close to the campus. There are also rental options available in nearby suburbs.

Cairns Student Lodge is very close to the JCU campus and provides fully catered (includes meals) and some self-catered accommodation for students. Facilities include internet access, swimming pool, barbecue area, dining room, and an on-site manager. The Student Lodge is linked to the JCU campus by a pedestrian walkway/bicycle path.  

James Cook University offers a range of services and student support programs from arrival service, accommodation and orientation services to advising and social activities. The International Student Centre (ISC) assists every international student at JCU to ensure their stay in Australia is a pleasant and productive one. 

The International Student Centre provides an arrival service for new international students arriving in Townsville or Cairns. This service is available in the two weeks prior to Orientation at JCU. You will be met on arrival in Townsville and Cairns, whether it is at the airport, bus or train station, and taken to your pre-booked accommodation. Students accepted to the program will have an opportunity to sign up for this service.

IE3 Global seeks to make its exchange programs affordable and accessible.  For detailed information regarding the program budget (both the program fee and an estimate of personal expenses), please click on the following:

The program fee includes academic and administrative fees, orientation expenses, and health and accident insurance. Non-exchange students pay a higher program fee than exchange students because James Cook University tuition is included.  The program fee does not include airfare, room and board,  visa fees, campus-based fees and personal expenses such as local transportation, textbooks, laundry, recreation (including travel), personal supplies and incidental expenses.  

Blog Post:

Student Testimonials:

"I wish I would have had room in my schedule to take classes less pertinent to my major and more focused on Australia as to learn more about the people and environment there. I appreciate most from my experience was getting to learn a new culture and making lifelong friends." 

–Travis DeLong, 2012-2013, EOU

Terms

Winter/Spring | Winter/Spring/Fall | Summer/Fall | Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring

Application Deadline

Summer/Fall: February 15
Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring: February 15
Winter/Spring: October 15
Winter/Spring/Fall: October 15

Basic Requirements

- Sophomore or higher

- English proficiency

- GPA of 2.80 or higher