Approaching Australia


  • You must arrive in Australia on the arrival date indicated on the Key Dates page.
  • An onsite orientation meeting and the first few days of academic instruction will be held at The University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane campus.
  • During orientation, you will meet faculty and staff from the Centre for Marine Studies and UQ, while getting a thorough introduction to the program.

NOTE: If you choose to arrive early or stay on after the end of the program, you are responsible for arranging your own temporary housing. You will be provided with suggestions for affordable temporary accommodation during orientation on the Stanford campus.


Housing is provided for the duration of the program from the arrival date through the last day of residence, as indicated in the program calendar. Since students will be spending time in a number of different locations, the particular type of accommodation will vary throughout the quarter, including:

All program participants will be provided with 19 meals per week. Vegetarian and other special dietary needs can be accommodated.


Since this program is organized in collaboration with The University of Queensland, Stanford students will have ample opportunity to participate in the student life and culture of the St. Lucia-Brisbane campus. The University of Queensland (est. 1909) is the largest and oldest university in Queensland with a student population of about 38,000; this contributes to the city’s rich resources, progressive style and youthful personality. Students will also meet University of Queensland post-graduate students and faculty through their Targeted Research Projects.


  • Brisbane, Queensland - The Australia program will commence in the city of Brisbane, situated in the state of Queensland, otherwise known as the “Sunshine State” of Australia. Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia with approximately 1.5 million residents. This progressive and upbeat college town is home to the University of Queensland St. Lucia campus and offers up an assortment of cultural and social activities, including the Queensland Cultural Centre, the New Farm Park, and the lively South Bank Parklands, site of the 1988 World Expo. Just 7 miles outside the city, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a great place to find koalas, as well as kangaroos and other native animals.
  • Great Barrier Reef, Queensland - During the course of the program, the group will spend the majority of time on both northern and southern portions of the Great Barrier Reef. This wonder of the world runs almost the entire coastline of Queensland, and the hundreds of islands offer breathtaking sites for camping, wildlife viewing, surfing, and beach hiking.
  • Sydney, New South Wales - One of the highlights of the quarter will be a visit to Sydney – the oldest settlement and with a population of approximately 4 million, the largest city on the continent. After being selected to host the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, city officials pushed ahead to renovate much of the downtown area. The city is known for its friendly, dynamic atmosphere, its spectacular views of Sydney Harbour, and its innovative architectural design, most famously demonstrated by the Sydney Opera House.

Students will also participate in a multitude of field trips throughout the quarter:

  • As part of the Coral Reef Ecosystems course, students will have the opportunity to interact with researchers from around the globe while staying at the Heron Island Research Station on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Some of the world’s best snorkeling and scuba diving can be found at this location.
  • As part of the Coastal Resource Management course, field trips to Stradbroke Island Field Station and to Port Douglas and the Daintree region will offer the opportunity to conduct case studies involving the effects of human activity on the coastal and tropical ecosystems of the region.
  • The Australian Studies course, which includes a visit to the Australia Museum in Sydney to learn about indigenous cultures, will provide historical and cultural context to the locations visited.