SFS-Australia: Rainforest to Reef

Program Details

Program Location Yungaburra, Australia
Sponsor School for Field Studies
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 35002
Duration Semester
Upcoming Program Dates
Fall 2024 08/30/24 to 12/04/24
Current Program Dates
Spring 2024 01/28/24 to 05/03/24
Page Links
Click here to apply for this program!
Please Note: Programs may be altered or adapted with little notice


SFS-Australia: Rainforest to Reef
While representing only a small percentage of the world's rainforest, the astonishing biodiversity of Australia's rainforest and the country's dynamic conservation efforts make Queensland an extraordinary laboratory for studying rainforest management and restoration. Recent cyclones have further damaged the remaining rainforest fragments, raising questions on how to manage these hyper-disturbed areas. Conservation challenges and cutting-edge management strategies developed here will likely serve as a model for conserving the rest of the world's tropical rainforests.  The ecological and economic benefits of rainforests are increasingly well-understood, but much less is known about rainforest ecosystem dynamics and the ability to restore a rainforest once it has been cleared. The goals are to help understand the dynamics of rainforest ecosystems, including potential impacts of global climate change, and in turn develop rainforest restoration strategies that benefit both ecosystems and human communities. 

Student research work addresses a critical local and regional environmental problem — loss and fragmentation of once extensive rainforests, and the environmental policies that are currently under consideration by the local and Commonwealth governments. SFS staff and students, in collaboration with local landholders and stakeholder organizations, focus on enhancing the condition of tropical rainforests, as well as determining how we should regenerate and restore the rainforest on the Atherton Tablelands.

Students learn professional field research techniques as they collect data on potential responses to global climate change, habitat use and animal behaviors, resilience to cyclonic events, land-use, local resident involvement in restoration projects, and cost effective and ecologically beneficial methods of restoration. Student work represents a vital contribution toward larger studies on global climate change, biological integrity of rainforest fragments, and developing restoration practices to maximize rates of plant growth and colonization by fauna. Students are actively involved in either rainforest replanting or site maintenance with local landcare groups.

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


SFS-Australia: Rainforest to Reef

One semester of college-level ecology or biology is required. The program is otherwise 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: 2.8 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

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

Semester students are registered in four academic courses through Boston University:
  • Rainforest Ecology (4 credits)
  • Principles of Forest Management (4 credits)
  • Environmental Policy and Socioeconomic Values (4 credits)
  • Directed Research (4 credits)


Students share comfortably furnished eight person cabins with adjacent shower and bathroom facilities. The main building has a fully-equipped computer laboratory, 24-hour internet access, up-to-date scientific library, and a student common room. Nutritious, healthy meals to suit all tastes are provided.

Estimated Program Costs

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss. 

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 fee includes: tuition, all meals, local travel, and class-related excursions.

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Fall 2024

Costs per semester to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee $21,000.00
Study Abroad Fee $914.10
Housing $5,500.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month) $32.00

Approximate additional costs per semester
To be paid by the student.
Program Specific Insurance $100.00
Round-trip Airfare $3,000.00
Visa $100.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 - $1,400.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos) $175.00

Financial Aid

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 (typically an essay, transcripts, 1-2 recommendations, and copy of passport) before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline. To ensure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an online 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 Fall Semester Programs Mar 1
Most Spring Semester Programs Sep 15

Returnees Information

SFS-Australia: Rainforest to Reef

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 studyabroad@purdue.edu.