Mid-February to late June
Program Adviser: Mary Carlsen (Holland 213C x3136) Karen Wilson (Speech-Theatre 44 x3370)
Curtin University is located in Perth, the capital of Western Australia. A city of over one million people, Perth is adjacent to the Indian Ocean and has a climate similar to that of San Diego. Curtin was the 20th university to be established in Australia and the main campus is located on 275 acres, close to the Perth city center. With a total student population of over 30,000, Curtin offers a wide range of course and program choices and is suitable for students from a variety of majors, with careful planning.
Students on the Curtin University program are fully recognized students of the university and participate in all of its programs just as the Australian students do. The Curtin international student adviser aids students with any particular concerns while on campus. This program is appropriate for a large variety of majors at St. Olaf. Curtin has a 2.75 GPA requirement for study abroad applicants.
Accommodations in 6-8 person flats are available on-campus.
Environmental Science in Australia
Not Offered in Spring 2011
Note: This program is offered in alternate years. It will be offered next in spring 2014. The field supervisors will be Dave and Pat Van Wylen.
Depart around February 5; return around May 25
Campus Program Advisers: Paul Jackson (Regents Hall NS 422 x3404)
The flora, fauna, ecological habitats and human history of Australia offer opportunities for study that are unique in diversity. This program will start in Melbourne during Australia’s late summer and move northward into the warmer latitudes during the semester as their fall season progresses. All travel will be in the eastern third of the country where the greatest diversity of natural habitats and human activity occur. A combination of lectures, extensive field experiences and brief research projects will enable students to learn about and appreciate this fascinating continent.
Students considering this program should be aware that it has a demanding physical schedule and moves frequently to new locations.
General education requirements filled by this program are studies in natural science, scientific exploration and discovery (SED), studies in human behavior and society (HBS), multicultural studies course (MCG) and oral communication requirement (ORC). All courses count toward the major in their respective departments and toward the natural science and social science requirements of the environmental studies concentration and major.
Group size is limited to a maximum of 24. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible (NOTE: those in the class of 2016 are encouraged to apply during their first year so that study travel occurs during the spring of their sophomore year.). Selection is made on the basis of each applicant’s scholastic standing, aptitude for foreign study, class in college, faculty recommendations and an interview.
Biology 126, Environmental Studies 137 or Biology/Environmental Studies 226
Except during two short breaks in March and April, participants are required to remain with the group at all times, take part in all curricular and co-curricular activities and travel internationally with the group in accordance with group rate regulation.
In 2012, the program cost was $13,540 over and above St. Olaf tuition. The program covers all academic expenses, round-trip transportation from the West Coast of the United States, accommodations, breakfast and one main meal throughout, participation in scheduled sightseeing programs and excursions. The program cost does not cover meals, accommodations or transportation during the break periods.
Courses of Study
Four courses are offered. Courses may vary somewhat from year to year. The following were the courses offered in spring 2012.
Biology 224: Marine Biology
Field trips will explore many habitats from mud flats to coral reefs. Studies will occur at several marine research facilities located throughout the Southern Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Eight days will be spent out on the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the time on the reef will be spent studying at the Heron Island Research Station.
Biology 226: Terrestrial Ecology
Course will examine habitats from coastal sand dunes to subtropical rain forests as well as the dry outback and alpine mountains. Field trips will include two five-day camping trips in remote areas. Studies will occur at many national parks and involve hands-on project planning, data collection and scientific presentations.
Sociology/Anthropology 222: Cultural Anthropology:
Course broadly investigates elements of historic and contemporary Australian culture ranging from the role of women and religion in society to the rights of indigenous people. Course will visit both rural and urban aboriginal communities as well as aboriginal archaeological sites. Students will explore the juxtaposition of museum holdings with historic and contemporary aboriginal cultures. Caucasian influence and settlement will be examined.
Political Science 221:
Course will study the Australian political system with emphasis on environmental policy and how environmental legislation is developed and implemented. One focal point for this class will be visits to state and/or federal capitols, including Parliament. Topics will range from the roles of local, regional and national governments to the activities of NGOs to mineral resources to the Great Barrier Reef.
Letter grades are recorded on the student’s transcript. Grades for the courses in sociology/anthropology, political science and one of the biology courses will not be computed in the student’s grade point average. The grade for one of the courses in biology will be computed in the student’s GPA unless the student has opted to take the course S/U. If the S/U option is chosen, no course credit is given where the grade earned is below C-.
University of Otago, New Zealand
Mid-February to mid-June (semester one)
Early July to mid-November (semester two)
Campus Program Adviser: Mary Carlsen (Holland 213C, x3370), Karen Wilson (Speech-Theatre 44, x3370)
The University of Otago, the oldest university in New Zealand, was established in 1869. Located in Dunedin, Otago has an enrollment of 20,000 students. The University offers undergraduate courses in many discipline areas including the liberal arts, social sciences, language, literature and performing arts, business, and applied, biological, natural and physical sciences. Otago is New Zealand’s top ranked research university and is recognized worldwide for its research excellence.
Studying at the University of Otago also presents St. Olaf students the opportunity to engage in New Zealand studies, covering a number of disciplines. Courses in Maori and New Zealand studies fulfill the indigenous component of the humanities. Classes focused on this are offered in history, art history, politics, sociology and anthropology. Further, the university’s southern location enables students to participate in a broad range of fieldwork areas, including geography, geology, botany, marine science and other environmental science related courses. Otago also boasts the best psychology department in New Zealand. It offers courses in the major areas of psychology, including clinical, applied, and social psychology, language, cognition, neuroscience, perception, behavior analysis and child development.
Not only does Otago offer the St. Olaf student a chance to study a wide range of subjects, its location in New Zealand has benefits of its own. Beyond its natural beauty and eco-friendly image, the reputation of New Zealanders as welcoming to overseas visitors is an immense benefit for students.
Otago’s location allows students to live in flats and apartments in close proximity to campus. This living situation not only provides a convenient location to central city services, but also the important opportunity to interact with the New Zealand students. Also, the relatively small size of Dunedin (population of 120,000) allows international students to take part in community based initiatives while also taking advantage of recreational and tourism activities.