Australian Culture and Wildlife Conservation

Woman on boat with Sydney Opera House behind her

Australia is home to over 750 indigenous species, among them 200 mammals, 200 lizards and 350 birds. Mammal species include marsupials (bandicoots, kangaroos, koalas, Tasmanian devils, and wallabies) and others such as the dingo, echidna, platypus, and wombat.

Over the course of the program, participants will learn about these Australian animal species and how they interact with their environments. In addition, students will have the opportunity to explore the unique culture of Australia.

Although the program schedule varies slightly from year to year, participants typically visit Sydney, Stradbroke Island, the Great Barrier Reef and Brisbane. Many of these locations are jumping off points for day trips including the Australia Zoo and various Wildlife Restoration Programs.

Quick Information

Application DeadlineMarch 1, 2024
Academic DateMay 12-26, 2024
Credit Hours3
Requirements2.5 MU GPA at time of application, good academic standing, open to all MU students
Estimated cost$4,750* (doesn’t include airfare)
ContactShanon Dickerson, Director of Study Abroad


Australia, the world’s smallest continent, is situated southeast of Asia between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The landmass is slightly smaller than the United States. Known for its beaches, beautiful countryside, fascinating wildlife and exquisite reefs, students will enjoy all of the natural wonders the country has to offer!

Accommodation and Meals

Students will be housed in a combination of independent hotels, hostels and/or research centers. Included breakfasts typically consist of cereal and/or toast. Rooms will be shared, and the number of participants in a room will vary from a single roommate in one location, to four or more in another. All housing costs are included in the program fee. Some meals necessary for the duration of the program are included in the program fee. Students will be responsible for most meal costs. Though the individual spending habits of each student will vary, please see the budget information below for an estimate of the average out-of-pocket meal expenses.

Program Travel

International round-trip air travel will be arranged for the Australia study abroad program. This arranged flight generally departs from and returns to Lambert International Airport in St. Louis. The faculty program leaders, Bryon Wiegand, Ph.D. and Harley Naumann, Ph.D., travel with the group flight to facilitate airport check-in and transfers. Because of the fluctuation in airline prices, the airfare estimate is listed separately below; however, once group reservations are made and the flight is finalized, the ticket cost will be added to the program fee and billed to participant’s MU accounts.

All in-country program travel is included in the program fee. Some individual local transportation costs may be accrued by students wishing to explore Brisbane, Sydney, and the other program locations independently during their free time.


Students earn three credits of AFNR 2191: International Agriculture and Natural Resources (humanities; graded A/F) for the spring semester and should work with their advisors to determine how these credits will count toward their individual graduation plans.

Please be aware that there will be at least four mandatory orientation meetings prior to departure. These meetings will occur in April and May. Exact dates for the meetings will be available shortly after the confirmed program participant list is finalized. Participants will be notified of the meeting details via email.

Estimated Cost

Missouri Resident Tuition (3 credits, spring semester): varies per student. See website for details.

Non-refundable deposit:$350
Intl Center Fees:$245
Program Fees:$4,155
Total cost estimate without airfare: (includes accommodation and some meals)$4,750
Airfare estimate: (does not include baggage fees)$3,000-$3,300
Additional meals estimate:$800-$1,000
Additional misc. estimate:$750-$950