Semester in Tropical North Queensland

Semester in Tropical North Queensland has it all: world-class academics, breathtaking scenery, vibrant city life, a beautiful oceanfront, and plenty of great cuisine and entertainment. Just an hour from the Great Barrier Reef, James Cook University is located in one of the most bustling and beautiful places in Australia.

Live life in the Australian tropics! Study abroad at James Cook University (JCU) for a semester - a world-class university located near the Great Barrier Reef, tropical islands, rainforests, and parks. Dive into your academics during the week and choose from more than 170 undergraduate subjects. As a study abroad student you will have access to a strong student and academic support system. Choose courses with included field trips and see more of Australia's islands, JCU outback research stations and some of Australia's best kept secrets.

CISaborad Adventure Orientation - Your semester will begin with orientation at JCU, but you will also join other CISabroad students on a 4 day/3 night orientation exploring the Great Barrier Reef! This orientation will provide you with a unique look into Australian culture and its iconic wildlife. You will have the opportunity to explore the rain forest, indigenous communities, and the largest tropical coral reef system in the world! You'll also be able to cross holding koalas, snorkeling, and feeding kangaroos off your bucket list!


Studying abroad in North Queensland Australia allows easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, Magnetic Island, abundant parks, and so much more:

  • Live and study only eight, easy miles from the city center and ocean beaches
  • Large student body with over 1,500 international students
  • Week long orientation including four days in Sydney
  • Join a wide range of student clubs and organizations
  • AACSB accredited Business School
  • Study at a traditional liberal arts school with a close-knit campus community

CISabroad starts your semester in tropical North Queensland off with a CISabroad orientation welcome. Spring semester students arrive in Sydney with fellow CISabroad Australia students and your site director will guide you as you explore local culture and customs. Fall students will arrive on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia where you will explore a beautiful coastal area of Australia!

When you arrive in Australia your site director will provide you with a detailed schedule of events for your orientation. CISabroad orientation is a chance for you to explore Australia, meet your on-site staff and fellow CISabroad Austrlia students. It's a a great start to your semester and a quick way to integrate into the culture! 

Semester in Tropical North Queensland offers two 14-week semesters, starting in July and February.  James Cook University is a top university for studying sustainability and environmental research.

GPA Required: 2.8 If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses
As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses. You can choose courses in the following areas: Humanities and Social Sciences, Education, Business, Law, and Management, Health Sciences, Science and Computing, and Engineering.

Course load: 4 classes (12–16 US credits). 

Course approval: Choose 7–8 classes to be approved by your home university before you go abroad. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Course descriptions and catalog:
You can find a list of courses you can take at James Cook University, click here

Need help choosing course? Contact or chat with a CISabroad advisor.

Courses offering experiential field trips:

  • Australia Vertebrate Fauna
  • Biodiveristy of Tropical Australia
  • Ecology and Conversation
  • Plant Survival in a Lnad of Fire, Flood, and Drought
  • Populations and Community Ecology
  • Rainforest Ecosystems
  • Wildlife Ecology and Management
  • Australian Landscape Processes and Evolution
  • Coral Reef Geomorphology
  • Managing Coastal and Marine Environments
  • Linking Indigenousness
  • Functional Biology of Marine Organisms
  • Marine Ecology and Environmental Assessment
  • Coral Reef Ecology
  • Coral Reef Ecosystems
  • Evolution and Ecology of Reef Fishes
  • Life History and Evolution of Reef Corals
  • Descriptive Physical Oceanography


Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 

 For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

James Cook University is located in Northeastern Australia, Townsville has a population of 180,000. Located close to the Great Barrier Reef, and Australia's Wet tropics region, James Cook University is a stellar location for environmental enthusiasts. Several courses include field trips, so you will gain hands-on experience!

Townsville in North Queensland is located near the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef! Guess how many days of sunshine? 300 days! Townsville, a popular Aussie vacation spot and there are plenty of entertainment, shops, food, and fashion.

Our Semester in Tropical North Queensland program is located at James Cook University. Founded in 1970, James Cook is accredited by the Department of Education and the Employment and Workplace Relations of Australia. James Cook University is ranked in the top 4% of universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. The university is a leader in teaching and research addressing critical challenges facing both the Tropics and rest of the world.

James Cook Univeristy has two campuses in Townsville and Cairns, Queensland. When you choose CISabroad you will be enrolled a the Townsville campus, with 14,185 undergraduates. James Cook Univeristy is one of the Top 4% universitities in the world and offers study abroad students a variety of courese from STEM to Liberal Arts.

Cricos Code: 00117J

As a student James Cook Univeristy you will enjoy Townsville,  a thriving coastal city and port with a population of over 180,000. You’ll enjoy daytime temperatures between 77 - 86 degrees year-round.

Students of JCU enjoy the following:

  • On-campus bike paths at JCU
  • Entertainment and athletic facilities
  • Student clubs include: Ice Hockey,Rugby, Squash Club, Cricket, Water Polo, Climbing, and Sustainability Advocacy Club (to name a few!)

While a student at James Cook University you will live on campus in one of the residential colleges with Australian and international students. The study abroad housing package includes the following:

  • All meals are included (that's right full room and board!)
  • Fully furnished double rooms in residential colleges 
  • On-site laundry facilities
  • Student lounges

CISabroad’s Site Director in Australia:

Queensland Area Site Director/Country Director

Jackie was born on the Central Coast, NSW (on the coast half way between Newcastle and Sydney) and now lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Jackie holds a Masters in Communication (Corporate Communication) from Bond University, QLD and a Bachelor of Social Science (Recreation and Tourism) from Newcastle University, NSW. Jackie has a passion for travel and education having worked, lived and studied overseas.

As an undergraduate student Jackie studied abroad at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, upon her return from the US, Jackie kicked off her career in international education working in student support and admissions at the International Office at University of Newcastle. Later relocating to Denver, CO for two years she lived and worked in the international education sector, enjoying weekends snowboarding and hiking in the Rockies – simply incomparable to the ‘mountains’ in Australia! Upon returning home she took on a support role for US students studying in Australia and New Zealand before moving into various marketing and management roles focused primarily on project management, business analysis, large scale events and strategic planning.

Favorite destinations: Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, USA, Finland and Malaysia.

Interests: Yoga, jogging, the beach, hiking, family adventures, thinking she can still snowboard and of course – travel.

Jackie will welcome you to Australia and will be available to students for activities, emergencies, issues or simply to discuss any concerns around your program. You will be introduced to her prior to the start of your program – so you will know who you are meeting when you land down under!

Regional Site Director coming soon!

Term: Fall 2016
Arrival July 15
CISabroad Orientation July 15 - 18
James Cook University Orientation
July 18 - 22
Classes Start July 25
Classes End October 30
Departure November 19
Application Deadline May 1
Term: Spring 2017
Arrival February 9
Classes Start February 20
Classes End June 16
Departure June 17
Application Deadline November 1
Term: Fall 2016 Price: $16,790
Term: Spring 2017 Price: $17,990

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • CISabroad 4 day/3 night Adventure Orientation on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Full-time tuition and fees 
  • Housing (residence halls) and full meal plan
  • Medical and accident insurance 
  • CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program 
  • Academic advising 
  • Financial aid counseling 
  • Assistance with travel arrangements 
  • Predeparture orientation 
  • Airport pickup 
  • James Cook University orientation 
  • On-site support 
  • James Cook University official transcript 
  • Carbon offset of travel & Green Travel Guide

CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.