Program overview

Note: 2018 program details will be posted here by mid-December.

Program Dates: Friday, June 17 to Friday, July 22, 2016 (5 weeks)

This will be the fourth year of the University of Toronto’s Summer Program in Australia. The program provides a unique opportunity to consider human impacts on the natural environment, and measures to address these impacts, focusing particularly on protected conservation areas.


The University of Toronto will offer one course in Australia. The course is worth one full-year credit and is contingent on adequate enrolment.  Students will be in classes and on field activities most days except travel days. Class times in Australia will vary. Students will be joined by other international students who are partaking in the program through TEAN and UNSW.

ENV396Y0 Special Topics: Australian Environment, Wildlife and Conservation

The course is contextualized within the global ecological crisis and considers the development of environmental values and awareness and describes environmental controversies and how they are addressed.  In consideration of these issues, Australia’s unique flora and fauna are examined and the various climatically varied regions visited are highlighted throughout the course. There is a strong emphasis on Aboriginal perspectives of the Australian landscape and its importance to this ancient culture. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Prerequisites: None.
Recommended Preparation:  ENV200H1/ENV200Y1 or equivalent or BIO120H1/BIO150Y1 or equivalent
This may be counted as a Social Science or Science course. BR=3+4.

ENV396Y0 Preliminary Course Outline

Instructors: UNSW has an international reputation for quality education and research in many fields of biological, geographical and geological sciences. This course will be taught by a team of academics from the UNSW’s School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. There will also be guest lectures from staff of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.


Information session

A detailed information session for the summer program in Australia will be held on the UofT St. George campus in February. This session provides an excellent opportunity to hear from previous participants, see photos, and ask any questions that you may have.

Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm

Location: Woodsworth College Residence, in Waters Lounge, 321 Bloor Street West (SE corner of St. George and Bloor)


See information session listings for all UofT programs and campuses.


Program Details

Friday, June 17 to Friday, July 22, 2016 (5 weeks)

This will be the fourth year of the University of Toronto’s Summer Program in Australia. The program provides a unique opportunity to consider human impacts on the natural environment, and measures to address these impacts, focusing particularly on protected conservation areas.

From its rainforests, coastlines and coral reefs to its arid interior, Australia offers a diverse range of natural and cultural landscapes and ecosystems to explore. Evolving from origins in ancient Gondwana and millions of years of geographic isolation, Australia boasts geographical and natural features found nowhere else in the world.

Our program partner is The Education Abroad Network (TEAN), in conjunction with the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

The program includes visits to:

  • Byron Bay located at the northeast tip of New South Wales, is world renown for its stunning beaches and marine wildlife such as whales and dolphins.
  • Darwin sits at the ‘Top End’ of Australia, and is the largest city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory. The city sits on a low bluff overlooking Darwin Harbour and is surrounded by large coastal areas and extensive beaches. Kakadu National Park, a protected area of the Northern Territory, covers an area of 19,800 square kilometres, and contains a wide variety of animals specifically adapted to its diverse habitats, many of which are rare or endangered. The park’s fauna is equally varied, including an incredible 1700 unique plant species.
  • Sydney is the most populous city in Australia, and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Established on one of the world’s largest natural harbours in the 1780s, it was the first European settlement in Australia. Sydney’s architecture, cultural attractions and natural environment make it a popular tourism and study destination. Bordering on Sydney’s metropolitan area, the Blue Mountains National Park is Australia’s most visited World Heritage National Park, thanks to its ancient and spectacular geological landforms.
  • Cairns acts as a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and other natural wonders. This small city includes several shopping markets and unique cafés and restaurants. North of Cairns, is the Daintree Rainforest, which comprises of 12,000 square kilometres tropical rainforest, the largest on the Australian continent. Its ecosystem is one of the most complex on earth, making it ideal for plant and animal study.

Program activities

The program begins in Byron Bay before moving to Darwin for a three-day camping expedition at Kakadu National Park. Students will also visit the Blue Mountains National Park for three days before settling in Sydney, at UNSW’s main campus, for two full weeks of classroom study and local excursions. The program then moves to the Daintree Rainforest for several days and concludes in Cairns.

In addition to the planned program activities, there will be a range of cultural and social activities organized by TEAN, in which students can participate in their free time.  These activities are optional and are available at an additional cost.  Students have an opportunity to sign up for these activities upon arrival in Darwin and again in Cairns.  Activities may include a day on the Great Barrier Reef, surfing lessons, attending an event at the Sydney Opera house and a wine tasting trip to the Hunter Valley.  Students should budget between CAD$30 to $350 per trip.

Accommodation and meals

Students will be housed in a variety of accommodation styles when travelling, including shared, budget-style accommodation, camping, single dorm rooms, and shared hotel rooms.  While in Sydney, students will be housed in UNSW dormitories. The cost for accommodation is $1,660, paid to U of T. Internet access is included in the program fees and will be available even in remote locations. Some meals are included in the programs fee. Students should budget approximately CAD$800 – $1000 for a combination of self-prepared and purchased meals.

Group flight

Students enrolled in the program must purchase the group flights, organized through STA Travel for all internal flights within Australia.  Students departing from North America should also book return travel to Australia (via Los Angeles) through STA Travel. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure from the course is not permitted.

The cost for the flight sequence from Los Angeles is approximate CAD$3850. Students should also budget approximately CAD$565 for return transportation to Los Angeles from Toronto.

Additional details on the designated flights will be provided to students after they have been admitted to the program.

Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)

All students admitted to the Summer Abroad program are required to successfully complete an online PDO, which will provide information and advice on international health and safety issues.

Students are also strongly encouraged to attend the in-person Australia Pre-departure Orientation on April 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Entry Requirements

All students are responsible for making sure that their necessary travel documents are in order. Information on entry requirements is available from:

At of the time of publication (December 2015), Canadian citizens require a Visitor Visa OR an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) in order to enter Australia as a visitor, as well as a passport valid for six months beyond their return date. The visa can be obtained from the Australian Consulate, and the ETA is available by applying online at the website above. Citizens of other countries may have additional requirements.

Student Testimonials & Videos


The deadlines for fees payable to the University of Toronto are as follows:

  • Application fee: due February 15, 2016
  • Deposit of $1,000 due two weeks after admission notification
  • All remaining fee: due March 23, 2016

Cost of Studying in Australia

Amount Details
Application Fee $200 Paid at time of application
Course Fee
Domestic Students $1,590 Includes $1,000 deposit
International Students $2,745 Includes $1,000 deposit
U of T Incidental Fees $163 Estimate based on 2015 part-time summer fees
Field Trip Fees $1,788 Cost for entrance fees, guided tours, program activities and some meals
Accommodation $1,660 Includes shared accommodation in Byron Bay, Darwin, Blue Mountains, Sydney, Daintree and Cairns
Airfare $4,415 Estimate for all international and domestic Australian flights
Meals $800 Estimated cost for meals not included
ETA Visa for Australia $20 Estimate
Medical Travel Insurance variable Students must provide proof of medical travel insurance
Miscellaneous Expenses variable All students should budget for miscellaneous expense (e.g. travel, gifts, etc.)
Approximate TOTAL Program Cost INCLUDING field trips
Domestic Students $10,636 This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance
International Students $11,791 This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance

Financial Assistance

The following assistance is available for eligible students in this program. For additional awards and further details please see the Financial Aid section of the Summer Abroad website.

  • Summer Abroad Bursary (3 awards at $4000 each)