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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Australia Regional Area Study

Semester: Spring
Offered: Annually
Program Focus: Country Study


Minimum of 2.75 GPA is highly recommended.                                                                        
Spring 2016
Program Leader:

Oren Kosansky
Associate Professor of Sociology & Anthropology
ext. 7661

Spring 2017
Program Leader:

Dan Kelley
Faculty Outreach Librarian
ext. 7287


Program Design:
The history of Australia, the world’s smallest continent and largest island, has been molded by its aboriginal population and diverse geography as well as by emigration from Europe (especially the British Isles) and Asia.  Over the last two hundred years it has grown into a multicultural society with ninety percent of its population living in urban areas.

This physically and intellectually rigorous program pays particular attention to the role of the environment, immigration, and settlement in shaping Australia’s history and society.

Students participating in the program will become acquainted with the diversity of Australian cultures, Australia’s place in the British Empire from the early penal colonies through its participation in the two World Wars, its relations with the rest of the Pacific Rim, and the historical and contemporary dynamics of Australian ecosystems.

Based in Brisbane, study focuses on the history, literature, culture, natural history, marine biology, and contemporary issues of Australia’s urban coasts. Includes excursions to Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, rainforests, and other locations of ecological and ethnic importance. Students live in hostels, tents, and with host families.

Requirements Fulfilled:
IS 240 and 241 fulfill the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement.  BIO 115 fulfills the Math & Natural Sciences Category A laboratory requirement (except for Mathematics & Computer Science majors).

4 courses per semester/16 credits


IS 240: Area Study: Australia (4 credits):
Traces the major developments in Australia’s history from its initial settlement by the aboriginal people through European colonization and into the present.  Emphasis is on the events that played a major role in shaping contemporary Australian society and Australia’s current relationships with East Asia, the United States, and the British Commonwealth.  Topics include Australian literature, non-indigenous art, exploration and settlement, military history, and political and social institutions.

IS 241: Contemporary Australia (4 credits):
Provides insight into important contemporary social issues, including population demographics, multiculturalism, gender issues, treatment of indigenous peoples, family and youth issues, crime and violence.

IS 242: Aboriginal Studies (4 credits):
Investigations of the evolution of human society in Australia, cultural diversity among indigenous peoples, social organization, ceremonies and art, spiritual life, material culture, gender roles, and relationship to the land. 

BIO 115: Explorations in Regional Biology: Australia:
Field and marine biology and flora of eastern Australia.  Includes study of rainforests, eucalyptus forests, fire ecology, coral reef ecology, and animal behavior field studies.

Relationship to On-Campus Curriculum:
The Australia program provides unique opportunities for students who are interested in ecology, in environmental, cross-cultural and imperial history, and in ethnic studies; it also offers a comparative perspective on democratic political institutions, Pacific Rim international relations, and socialized health care. As such, the program is attractive to students majoring in Biology, Environmental Studies, Sociology/Anthropology, History, Political Science, International Affairs, Economics, Communications, and Psychology.

Recommended courses:

     BIO 100: Perspectives in Biology

     ENVS 160: Intro to Environmental Studies

     HIST 328: The British Empire

     SOAN 110: Intro to Cultural Anthropology

     SOAN 306: Social Permaculture

     SOAN 260: Colonialism & Post-Colonialism 

  • General Information

    Passport Details:
    You will be required to email a high-resolution, color scan of your passport to the Overseas Office within 30 days of being accepted into a program. We recommend that you apply for a passport as early as possible. For more info, visit our Passport Resources page.

    Visa fees and requirements: A visa is required for this program.  You will be notified when it is time to apply and our office has received all of the necessary supporting documents. 

    Please make an appointment with Student Health Service to get an updated list of immunizations that are recommended or mandatory for this program. You may also be required to submit various test results (HIV, chest x-rays, etc.) as a part of your visa application.

    Students will be required to show proof of health insurance with coverage for international travel, as per the Affordable Care Act. Lewis & Clark College will provide supplemental travel insurance coverage through iNext.

    Fees To Plan For:
    Fees for the following items are not included in the comprehensive program fee:
    Passport fees
    Required photographs
    Visa fees
    Immunizations and health exams
    Transportation to city of departure
    Post-program travel


Blog Feed: Australia

  • May 12, 2015 at 8:43pm
    One backpack, one T-shirt, one swimsuit, two bro-tanks, a couple pieces of underwear, a wallet, a tube of sunscreen, a broken phone and a determined and adventurous attitude are essentially the components that have driven my Australian semester abroad thus far. The concept of being a ‘light-packer’ has truly been employed in many excursions throughout […]
  • May 7, 2015 at 11:09am
    As dusk fell in the rainforest and the sun burned a dying orange band across the eucaplypts, our field biology instructor told us his worst nightmare: letting a baited mammal trap go unrecovered through the night, with a furry bush rat or antichinus starving inside. For the next two hours, our group of seven students […]
  • May 6, 2015 at 4:15pm
    For my week off in Australia, I worked at a bed and breakfast farm in Cow Bay, located within the isolated Daintree rainforest. Travelers are welcome to work there in exchange for housing and food, an arrangement similar to the “wwoofing” experience. The B&B and farm where I worked, The Epiphyte, is about three hours […]


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