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Australia II Study Group, University of Wollongong

Director Spring 2020: Michael Hay, Department of Computer Science
Students at a scenic overlook in AustraliaThe University of Wollongong, located on the coast of New South Wales, approximately 50 miles south of Sydney, is the study site for the Australia Study Group.  This study-abroad program is designed for students who are intending to concentrate in one of the Natural Sciences or Mathematics and are interested in experiencing the rich diversity of environments and cultures that are a part of Australia.  The academic offerings and extensive resources of the University of Wollongong, as well as the living and studying opportunities with Australian students, allow study group participants a unique means to broaden and deepen their understanding of the cultural and ecological diversity of Australia.

The overall goal of this study group experience is to acquaint students with the historical, geographic and cultural processes that have shaped the modern state of Australia while providing them the opportunity to continue their concentration at a foreign institution.  This experience will immerse students in a foreign culture, exposing them to contrasting ways of thinking about and configuring the world, which will deepen their understanding of their own beliefs and identity. Students participating in this study group will be eligible to satisfy the Core Global Engagements requirement (pending approval).


Wollongong course approval form

All participants are required to enroll in and complete four courses during the spring term at the University of Wollongong.  Participation in this study group satisfies the Core Global Engagements requirement. Students elect three courses and must enroll in the one required course described below:

169: Dive Into Data (Michael Hay). Data mining is the science of discovering patterns, and making predictions in large-scale data sets. This course provides an introduction to this field, and focuses on real life applications. In this course, we will study data mining methods for a wide range of tasks including visualization of data, classification and clustering. The students will be exposed to numerous industrial and scientific applications drawn from a wide range of topics including disease classification through whole-genome expression data sets, and personality prediction from social media interactions. No background in programming is presumed. Computer software that is designed for data mining will be introduced throughout the course.

Three Courses at the University of Wollongong (University of Wollongong Faculty) Study group students will select three additional courses as electives:

  • One course that explores the cultural and social history of Australia.
  • One elective from natural Sciences or Mathematics.
  • One elective approved by the program director and academic advisor.


Although students from any department or program are eligible to participate in the Australia II Study Group, preference will be given to individuals with a concentration or minor in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division.  Preference also will be granted to those students who will have completed their distribution requirements in the humanities, the natural sciences and mathematics, and the social sciences at Colgate.  Additionally, the University of Wollongong requires a GPA of 3.0 for matriculation in their international student Study Abroad Program.

You may gather additional information from the University of Wollongong's website for international students at www.uow.edu.au.

Living Arrangements

Students live in one of several residence halls of the University of Wollongong (e.g., Campus East, Weerona College). Amenities vary with housing selection. Dining facilities, computers, and internet access are available. Colgate students have access to the social, athletic, recreational, computer, and library facilities of the University of Wollongong. Some of these require payment of a separate fee.


For details of student expenses on this study group, please see Student Cost Estimate Sheets.

Calendar and Deadlines

The study group application will open  on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, and will close on  Wednesday, November 7, 2018.   Applications are on the Colgate University Off-Campus Study study groups’ websites and are submitted online at offcampusstudy.colgate.edu.  The faculty director will announce their admissions decisions in late December 2018.

The Study Group will depart for Australia around February 15, 2020. There is a week-long orientation in late February and classes for the autumn session (our spring) begin in early March. The academic calendar for the autumn session at the University of Wollongong runs fourteen weeks with a scheduled one-week-long recess in late April (part of which will be used for a group excursion to Cairns). The 2-week final exam period is in mid- to late June and students must stay for exams.

Passports and Visas

You must confirm that your passport is valid through December 2020.  All students participating on the Australia II Study Group will be required to obtain Australian non-award student visas.  With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with Australian visa requirements. Non-U.S. passport holders must contact the Australia program manager in Off-Campus Study, 101 McGregory Hall, by early October. For all students there are significant visa requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.

Program Dates

Mid-February – Late June, 2020

Information Sessions will be held on the following dates:​
  • Tuesday, October 16 at 7 p.m.
    101A McGregory Hall

  • Wednesday, October 17 at 4:15 p.m.
    319 McGregory Hall