Australia Study Abroad Program at James Cook University
About James Cook University in Cairns & Townsville, Australia
- Required GPA: 2.8 (4.0 scale)
- Application deadlines: November 15 for semester 1 (Feb-June)
November 15 for calendar year (Feb-Nov)
March 15 for semester 2 (July-Nov)
March 15 for academic year (July-June)
- Program advisor: Chris Haynes
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We're so excited that you're considering IFSA-Butler's program at James Cook University in Townsville or Cairns for your semester or year abroad. James Cook is a comprehensive university and leader in teaching and research and also offers easy access to beautiful tropical beaches. We're sure you're going to love studying there!
There are a few specific forms for this program that you will need to complete along with your IFSA-Butler application. You can find the forms under the Forms tab.
What James Cook has to offer
- A strong commitment to the study of the region's indigenous cultures
- Smaller class sizes and accessible teaching staff
- Two friendly campuses: at Townsville, in natural bushland that is home to wildlife such as cockatoos, kookaburras, scrub turkeys and kangaroos; and at Cairns, surrounded by rainforest-covered hills and 30 minutes from the beach
- Each campus is a relaxing environment with extensive bike paths and local bus services to the central business districts of both cities
- On-campus entertainment, athletic facilities and membership in a range of student clubs and organizations available
- Learn more by visiting JCU's YouTube channel
- Housing at Townsville is in on-campus residence halls
- Housing at Cairns is in the Student Lodge, approximately a 10-minute walk from campus
- The IFSA-Butler program fee includes three meals per day
- More than 170 undergraduate subjects across a wide range of disciplines
- Students may enroll in subjects at one of the campuses for a semester and switch to the other campus for the second semester
- Four faculties: law, business and the creative arts, science, engineering and information technology, arts, education and social sciences, and medicine, health and the molecular sciences
- Students take four courses per semester
- Additional information available from the JCU study abroad booklet online.
We look forward to working with you!
CoursesWhere can I find a list of courses that the university offers?
Open the James Cook University online course catalog
.What courses am I eligible to take?
As an IFSA-Butler student, you are entitled to enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and in which space is available. Course descriptions in the online course catalog (see above) include prerequisites you must fulfill in order to enroll in each course.
For each course that you list on your preference form, be sure to check the following:
- When determining which courses to take, please bear in mind that the Australian academic system is an intensive, three-year program.
- First-year (1000-level) courses are appropriate for departments in which you have little or no prior experience.
- Second-year (2000-level) courses will be equivalent to advanced sophomore or junior-level U.S. courses.
- Third-year (3000-level) courses will be equivalent to senior-level U.S. courses.
- Fourth-year (4000-level) courses and higher are part of a postgraduate degree (Masters or Ph.D.). You are not eligible to take these courses as an undergraduate student.
- IFSA students are eligible to take only courses listed as "Internal" in the description. You will not be permitted to take classes listed as "Block Mode," "Limited," or "External."
- Remember in Australia, U.S. fall semester = semester 2 and U.S. spring semester = semester 1. Be sure to select courses for the correct semester you are studying abroad.
What if I need to take a required course?
Please be aware that IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee that your host university will offer a particular course, or that you will be allowed to take that particular course. However, if you need to take a required course, you may indicate that it is required on your course preference form. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor will communicate your needs to your host university.
Fourth-year (4000-level) courses and higher are part of a postgraduate degree (Masters or Ph.D.). You are not eligible to take these courses as an undergraduate student.
IFSA students are eligible to take only courses listed as "Internal" in the description. You will not be permitted to take classes listed as "Block Mode," "Limited," or "External."
How many courses am I able to take, and how do I determine U.S. semester credit hours?
IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution, 12 JCU credits per semester or 24 credits per year. This is the equivalent of 16 U.S. credit hours per semester.
3 JCU credits = 4 U.S. semester credit hours
What are the registration conditions?
You must take a full James Cook University course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.
You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.
The course preference form is not a registration form; it is a guideline to let your host university know which courses you are interested in taking abroad. You should discuss your course selections with your academic advisor at your home institution and have several backup choices in mind. Neither you nor the university is bound by your selections, and you will not officially register for courses until you arrive on campus.
What do I need to know about exams?
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Please refer to your program calendar to review the exam period for your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting a grade query or academic follow-up for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.
How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned at James Cook University. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.
Housing OptionsWhat are my housing options?
The following housing options are available during your semester or year abroad.
The Cairns Student Lodge is located a short 10 minute walk away from the James Cook University campus. A resort-style swimming pool, beach volleyball court, pool table, licensed bar, and cable TV in the lounge area are all popular facilities used by students at the lodge.
Each student will have their own bedroom that comes supplied with bedding, linens, towels and also a telephone. Students will share a fully furnished unit (called a "cluster") which is made up of 3 bedrooms with common lounge and bathroom areas. Each bedroom has its own key which only opens that one bedroom door. The bathroom and fully air-conditioned living areas are shared with two other students per cluster. Clusters do not have kitchen facilities; however they have a microwave, kettle and fridge. Clusters are usually gender exclusive.
Students live in residential colleges on the Townsville campus.
- George Roberts Hall
- 250 students
- Pillow and blanket provided
- All rooms air-conditioned; usage fees apply
- Single rooms with shared bathrooms
- St. Mark's College
- 150 students
- Pillow, sheets and towel provided
- Single-sex and coed halls, shared bathrooms
- Ceiling fans, but no air-conditioning
- St. Paul's College
- 150 students
- Pillow, sheets, blanket and bedspread provided
- Ceiling fans only, no air-conditioning
- Single-sex halls, shared bathrooms
- St. Raphael's College
- 78 students (women only)
- Sheets and pillowcase provided
- Ceiling fans only, no air conditioning
- Shared bathrooms
- University Hall
- 300 students
- Pillow and bedspread provided
- Air conditioning is not provided; students may be able to buy A/C units upon arrival
- Coed halls, shared bathroom facilities
All Townsville housing options are catered, and three meals per day are included in the program fee.
At the Cairns campus, students are automatically provided dinner seven days a week and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Students select whether they would prefer breakfast or lunch Monday through Friday.
Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for any commuting costs you may incur. Australian university housing requires students to move out during breaks between semesters. If you are studying abroad for a year and wish to remain in residence during the vacation period(s), you must notify the university housing office upon arrival to make necessary arrangements. Staying in residence during these breaks may incur additional costs not covered by the IFSA-Butler program fee.
When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in Australia for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail when it is released by the university.
Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.
Do I have to pay a housing deposit?
Yes. IFSA-Butler requires a refundable housing deposit of $300 before going abroad. We will return this deposit to you after March 1 for fall programs or September 1 for spring and year programs, less any fines, damages or outstanding debts in your name.
Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.
Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by December 1 for spring and semester 1 programs or by May 1 for fall and semester 2 programs. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after these dates.
CairnsLiving and Studying Abroad in Cairns, AustraliaAbout Cairns
Location: State of Queensland, in the far northeast corner of AustraliaCity features
- A young, cosmopolitan atmosphere with plenty of cafes, bars, restaurants and entertainment
- A tourist destination with access to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef (30 minutes by boat) and the tropical rainforests
- A unique environment close to the beautiful tropical beaches and resort regions of Port Douglas and Palm Cove
- Take the four-hour scenic coastal drive between Townsville and Cairns
- Visit the Great Barrier Reef and the nearby World Heritage Wet Tropics rainforest
- Try scuba diving, snorkeling and whitewater rafting
- Visit the Atherton Tablelands, Daintree Rainforest and SkyRail cableway to Kuranda rainforest village, all within easy reach of Cairns
City of Cairns
Great Barrier Reef
Raging Thunder(an adventure tour company)
TownsvilleLiving and Studying Abroad in Townsville, Australia
Location: State of Queensland, northeast AustraliaCity features
- The capital of North Queensland and a center for trade, government, health and education
- The Australian Army also has a large presence in Townsville because of a nearby base
- Located just 10 minutes from the coast and close to the hills of North Queensland
- Offers access to both land and sea attractions
- Take the four-hour scenic coastal drive between Townsville and Cairns
- Go bushwalking, skydiving, fishing, jet skiing or picnicking on the Strand, Australia's best urban beachfront
- Visit Magnetic Island with its national parks and wild koala population, just a 25-minute ferry ride from the center of town
- Explore Paluma, a village in the rainforest only an hour's drive north of Townsville
- Visit Castle Hill, offering superb views of Townsville
- Explore Billabong Sanctuary to cuddle a koala or feed kangaroo
- Try scuba diving, snorkeling and whitewater rafting
Great Barrier Reef
Dates & Fees
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Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.
All program support services end on the “Program Ends” date.
Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Australia exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals.
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What's included in our Australia program fees
Calendar Year and Semester 1 Payments Due: December 15
Academic Year and Semester 2 Payments Due: May 15
Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for the entire program fee, which includes tuition, services and housing. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.
The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.
The program fee for Townsville includes three meals per day. The program fee for Cairns includes dinner seven days per week, brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and choice of breakfast or lunch Monday through Friday.
† Housing Deposit
This program requires a housing deposit of $300. This payment is in addition to the program fee but is due on the same date. The deposit is held separately from the program fee and should be paid separately. The deposit is refunded to the student after the program, less any damages, fines or outstanding debts in the student’s name.
Personal Cost Estimates
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These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs.
The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.
**Meals: The program fee for the Townsville campus includes three meals per day. The program fee for the Cairns campus includes two meals per day.
Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.
Commuting: Estimates are for transportation between housing and university. Transportation for personal or recreational purposes is not included in the above estimates.
All costs are in U.S. dollars.
To apply to the James Cook University program, use our easy online application.
Applicants to the James Cook University program must complete additional forms as part of the application process:
We must receive these forms before we can send your application to James Cook University for an admissions decision. They can be sent to IFSA-Butler via email, fax or regular mail. Please submit these forms with the remainder of your program application.
If you have already started an application to the James Cook University program, you can check the status of your application using the student portal.
Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team
IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Australia:
Program Advisor Chris Haynes prepares students to study abroad by assisting them with the application process and answering any pre-departure questions. Chris can be reached at the email link provided above or at 800-858-0229 extn: 4251. Chris graduated from Butler University where he earned his undergraduate degree, studied abroad and even played four years of collegiate football for the Butler Bulldog football team. While abroad he taught English as a second language and traveled extensively throughout Europe. He currently advises students planning on studying abroad in England and Australia.
Student Accounts Coordinator Becki Niccum assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Becki can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-3077.
Student & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.
Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our student services coordinator Lalena Atwater.
Upon return from your study abroad program, Academic Affairs Coordinator Paige Ward processes your Butler University transcript and assists with any academic record queries. Paige graduated from Butler University, and she studied abroad for a semester in Paris, Belfast, London and the English Lake District. Studying abroad for Paige was an eye-opening and knowledge-gaining experience, and she is excited to work with students who are looking for the same. Paige can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4254.