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Australia II Study Group, University of Wollongong

Director Spring 2015: Professor Martin Wong, Department of Geology
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 major 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 biological 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 modem state of Australia while providing them the opportunity to continue their major 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.


All participants are required to enroll in and complete four courses during the spring term at the University of Wollongong. Students elect three courses and must enroll in the one required course described below:

GEOL 210: Hydrology and Surficial Geology (Martin Wong)
The geology and hydrology at and near the Earth’s surface has a direct and significant impact on society. We rely on geologic resources such as surface and ground water, oil and natural gas, soil and mineral resources. The movement of pollutants through the environment is controlled by the surficial geology. Geologic activity at the surface, such as erosion and flooding, has major economic and societal consequences. This course explores the nature of surficial geologic materials and processes. Major topics will emphasize those relevant to Australian geology and include water and mineral resources, petroleum geology, pollution, erosion and flooding, coastal processes, and the geologic impact of regional and global climate change. The course will explore aspects of environmental law and justice related to surficial geology where appropriate. Several required field trips will be used to illuminate a number of surficial geologic processes. A previous earth science or geology course would be helpful but is not required.

Three Course Electives (University of Wollongong Faculty)
The remaining three courses are electives that will be chosen by the student in consultation with the program director and the student’s academic advisor at Colgate. One elective must be chosen from a group of courses that explore the cultural and social history of Australia. These courses vary from one semester to the next but in the past have included ABST150 (Introduction to Aboriginal Australia) and HIST203 (Australia and the Great War). Of the other electives, one must be in the Natural Sciences or Mathematics.

Australian History Seminar (John McQuilton, University of Wollongong)
This mini-course is a four-day seminar held during Thursday-Friday of orientation week and Saturday-Sunday during a subsequent weekend. The first two days includes lecture and discussion of the history, politics, and culture of Australia. A later two-day session includes an overnight trip to Canberra to visit the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery, and Parliament House.


Although students from any department or program are eligible to participate in the Australia Study Group; preference will be given to individuals with a concentration or minor in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division. Preference will also 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 deadline for applications to the Spring 2015 Australia II Study Group is Friday, November 8, 2013. Applications are on the Colgate University Off-Campus Study/International Programs website and are submitted online. Only finalists in the selection process will be interviewed. Interviews will take place in mid-November and will be arranged by the director. Student notification of selections will be completed in early January 2014. Written confirmation of participation is expected by January 20, 2014. The application process to the University of Wollongong will commence in earnest in September 2014 and course selections in late October and early November 2014.

The Study Group will depart for Australia around February 15, 2015. 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. 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 2015. All students participating on the Australia 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. If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study/International Programs, 101 Lathrop, and International Student Services, 103C Lathrop, to learn as much as you can about the regulations. For all students there are significant visa requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.

Program Dates

Australia II Study Group program approximate dates: mid-January – late-May, 2015

Informational Sessions

Wednesday, October 9 at 4 p.m.

Thursday, October 10 at 4 p.m.

Both informational sessions will be held in Ho 243.

More Information

For more information, contact Martin Wong, 428 Ho Science Center or mswong@colgate.edu

Sponsoring Departments

Natural Sciences and Mathematics