Program Overview

Are you ready to experience an Australia that few visitors—and few Australians—really know? On our Summer Photography in Australia program, you’ll study photography while exploring a truly rich and diverse area of the country. Our three-week program begins with your arrival in Melbourne. After landing you’ll move on to one of La Trobe’s regional campuses in the small city of Mildura where you will begin to learn fundamental photographic techniques. From there, your eight-day excursion into Australia’s wild Outback begins so you can photograph the region’s ancient landscapes. During the excursion, you will have a local Aboriginal guide from the Barkindji Nation to assist in the interpretation of indigenous culture. Travel, cultural immersion and photography all rolled into this amazing program – you will have the time of your life!


GPA Requirement
Application Deadlines
Summer: April 15
Avg Course Load
1 course (3 U.S. credits)
Language(s) of Instruction

Key Program Highlights

  • Chance to develop your photography skills in a unique landscape
  • Various skill levels, from novice to expert
  • Inclusive program package with some meals included
  • Small program size and personal instruction
  • Built in excursions to cool locations that even most Australian's have never seen.

Your Journey Begins Here

  • Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.

  • Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.

  • Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.

Life in the Outback

Welcome and Orientation

Upon arrival you’ll take part in both the university and CISabroad orientation program. You’ll learn the “do’s and don’ts” of life in Australia, like how to get around by public transportation, how to stay safe, what to do in case of an emergency and who to contact if you have any questions. We’ll also tell you all about our favorite places in town (restaurants, museums, markets etc). Oh, and you’ll join in on a welcome meal, something traditional and yummy (ever tried Aussie Pavlova?) so that you can start to taste the local flavor.

Farewell and Re-entry Program

Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, rehash your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights and, yep, we’ll feed you again as part of our farewell to Australia.

Housing Options

Because the Summer Photography in Australia program is a traveling program, your accommodation with vary with the location. While in Mildura, you will stay in a local dormitory-style hostel.

Once you head into the Outback, you’ll spend two nights at Mario’s Palace Hotel in Broken Hill (featured in the movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), two nights at Shearers Quarter Accommodation at Mutawintji (dormitory style), and three nights will be spent in dormitory style accommodation on a farm stay in Willow Springs, Flinders Ranges.All housing is modest, but comfortable and clean.

During the field trip (five to six days), food is provided only when there’s no access to stores. Where there are local supermarkets, you’ll be responsible for shopping and preparing your food. Often the group eats communally prepared meal.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program wildlife australia

Local Life

  • Broken Hill: After a day of adventuring the twists and turns of the Broken Hill historic mine shaft, you'll spend a night "sleeping in a haunted work of art!". Mario's Palace Hotel is a 1800s coffee palace turned "spiritual home of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", a Tony Award winning cabaret.
  • Mungo National Park: While lead by a local Aboriginal guide from the Barkindji Nation, trek across an aboriginal settlement dating back nearly 50,000 years. Considered to be the soul of Australia, you'll find yourself in the company of wombats, kangaroos, emus, and sandy dunes.
  • Mutawintji & Kinchega National Parks: Rich in aboriginal history, explore the National Park's bush walks, traditional rock art and engraving, breathtaking landscapes, and camp under the outback night sky.

More About the Outback


GPA Requirement

If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.

How to Choose Your Courses

Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.

Course Approval

Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. 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.

Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.

Course Information

Summer Photography in Australia is a 3-week travel program covering a variety of topics, including concepts in photography, black and white printing with alternate photographic practices, as well as discussion of SLR camera operation and maintenance. No previous photography experience is required.

All photographic equipment will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own if you’d like. Workshops and excursions will be the platform for exploring imagery based on the region’s ancient landscape and the sociological layering created by pre- and post-colonial influences.

A local Aboriginal guide from the Barkindji Nation will join you on the excursions to assist in the interpretation of indigenous culture. At the end of the program you will have the opportunity to exhibit your work in a local gallery.

How to choose your courses
The course for this program is Visual Arts Media Workshop A – VPA1MWA. For a detailed course description, please click here.

Course description and catalog
The program introduction includes concepts in photography, black and white printing with alternative photographic practices, and keeping a journal. Discussions include SLR camera operation and maintenance, aperture and depth of field, shutter speed and movement, exposure control, film speed, and tripods. You’ll have the opportunity to talk with professional photographers as well as ample time in the darkroom and computer labs. Your excursion consists of a 5-day field trip to Broken Hill, with walks through Mungo National Park and other local environments as well as time within indigenous communities.

The University

The Summer Photography in Australia program takes place in academic partnership with La Trobe University. Founded in 1964, La Trobe is a highly ranked and recognized institution and is a member of IRUA (Innovative Research Universities of Australia). La Trobe has it's main campus in Bundoora, a suburb of Melbourne (and home to CISabroad's Semester at La Trobe University program) and also has regional campuses: Albury/Wodonga, Bendigo, and Mildura.

Edge of the Outback takes place, in part, on the Mildura campus. This campus embodies the idea of a small, regional environment with modern facilities. While it’s compact, you’ll still find plenty of open spaces for studying, practicing your photography, or hanging out with new friends. The city of Mildura is the major center in north-western Victoria. It is a wonderful place to live, study, work and play, with breathtaking natural beauty, Mediterranean-like climate, and lower costs of living.

The academic nature of this program is such that about one third of it takes place outside of the typical classroom environment. You will spend part of your time around the campus and city, part of your time in the classroom or photography laboratory and part of your time (approximately 8 days) on a field trip, traveling and photographing the Australian landscape.

student in the australian outback, red clay cliffs

Student Feedback

CISabroad student study abroad semester on gold coast australia sociology
This program made me realize how much I want travel, culture and adventure to be a part of my life forever.

Alexis Jelm - Springfield College

Program Support

Meet Our Staff

Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.

Robust Advising Center

Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.

Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators

Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.

Experienced On-site Staff

From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.

Ongoing Support

Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.

Your Support Staff

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Summer 2018
    Application Deadline
    March 1
    June 16 (Estimated)
    Classes Start
    June 17 (Estimated)
    Classes End
    July 7 (Estimated)
    July 8 (Estimated)

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

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • All in-country travel
  • A visual journal, digital prints, and exhibition presentation materials
  • Tuition and fees
  • Housing
  • Some meals
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • CISabroad support services before, during and after the program
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Predeparture orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • On-site orientation
  • A visual journal, digital prints, and exhibition presentation materials
  • La Trobe University official transcript
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program