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SFS-Australia: Rainforest Research

Program Location Yungaburra, Australia
Sponsor School for Field Studies
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 35002
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
To Be Announced
Current Program Dates
Summer 2018 07/07/18 to 08/08/18

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Overview Purdue Credit
Eligibility Academics
Housing Program Costs
Financial Aid Deadline
Returnee Info Resources

SFS-Australia: Rainforest Research
Tree Planting

Australia's spectacular tropical rainforests are home to primitive plant species, birds and marsupials found nowhere else in the world. Giant strangler figs standing 70 feet tall, green king parrots, sulfur crested cockatoos, rainbow lorikeets, bandicoots, musky rat kangaroos and tree kangaroos are just a few of the species filling these forests with color and sound.

The rainforests of northeastern Queensland preserve millions of years of evolutionary history. Parts of Queensland were once covered in rainforests, but agriculture, ranching, mining and logging have destroyed and disrupted rainforest habitat, with only a narrow belt remaining along the eastern coast. Australia moved to confront these threats faster than most tropical countries, and protected most of its remaining forests under World Heritage designation in 1989. 

Rainforest ecosystems are a “hot spot” for faunal and floral biodiversity and provide humans with clean air, water, food, and medicines, yet thousands of acres disappear each day. Large areas of northeastern Queensland were once covered in spectacular tropical rainforests, preserving millions of years of evolutionary history, but industrial development and possibly global climate change have destroyed and disrupted rainforest habitat, leaving only a fragmented belt.

Examining the effects of fragmentation in highly endangered rainforest systems, students explore Australia's tropical forests and develop effective rainforest research techniques while learning about rainforest conservation. Field expeditions and exercises include:

  • Sampling design; GPS and GIS techniques; measurement of plant-animal interactions; point sampling and area surveys for birds; spotlighting; stakeholder and cost benefit analysis; valuation methods, etc.
  • Visit Daintree National Park and experience lowland forest and contrast with the Tablelands rainforest.

Students earn four credits for this summer program. Students receiving financial aid should read the applicable section below for more information about how this might impact your summer aid.

SFS recommends that students also participate in its four-credit Rainforest Management Studies Program in New Zealand & Australia, though it’s not required. Students participating in both sessions will receive a discount from SFS.

For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:School for Field Studies.


SFS-Australia: Rainforest Research
Forest Dragon

The program is open to Purdue students who have completed at least two semesters of university study by the start of the program. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity and a desire to experience another culture.

GPA Requirement: 2.6 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit
Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Agriculture][College of Liberal Arts]
Specifically from: All (AG) and Liberal Arts majors fulfilling their science requirement

If students complete courses while abroad from Purdue colleges that have not approved the program, they might be able to earn transfer credit for those courses. Students interested in pursuing transfer credit should discuss this with both their academic advisor and their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

Attention liberal arts majors! Although credit is awarded by the College of Agriculture, the College of Liberal Arts will count this summer program as fulfilling your four-credit lab science requirement.  Please speak to your study abroad advisor for more information!

Non-liberal arts majors should check with their academic advisor to see if this might fulfill their science requirement.

Accommodations are eight person cabins at the Center for Rainforest Studies in the heart of the Australian Rainforest.

Estimated Program Costs

Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.

The program and housing fees cover: tuition, room and board, program-related ground transportation and park entrance fees, field equipment, supplies, orientation and pre- and post-program advisory services. Total Program Cost does not include transportation to and from the program location.

The fees below are for the one 4-week summer session with SFS. Students participating in both the Rainforest Management Studies and the Techniques for Rainforest Research programs will receive a $1000 discount from SFS. Please speak to your study abroad advisor for the program costs for participation in two summer sessions with SFS.

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Summer 2018

Costs per term to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee$4,550.00
Study Abroad Fee$609.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month)$32.00

Approximate additional costs per term
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare$2,300.00
Books and Supplies$60.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 -$600.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos)$175.00

Financial Aid

In order to qualify for financial aid (incl. loans), students need to register for at least six credits during the summer. Students needing to use Purdue financial aid in order to participate in this four-credit summer program will need to enroll in at least two more credits during the summer term at Purdue.

SFS offers many scholarships and/or 0% interest loans (no FAFSA form required). Please see the SFS website for more details.

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline.  To insure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an on-line application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

Program Application Deadline
Most Summer Programs Mar 1

Returnees Information
SFS-Australia: Rainforest Research

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email

Country map courtesy of The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin