Dive deep into the unique marine ecology of Australia with this experiential summer study abroad program that travels throughout the country’s lush landscapes. Best suited for students with interests in biology and ecology, the 3-week summer study abroad program includes stays on islands located on the Great Barrier Reef – looking at how the various landscapes, including coastal and mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and corals reefs survive, thrive and interact with various populations and wildlife. Along with environmental issues and conservation efforts, students will also learn and experience aspects of traditional Aboriginal and modern Australian culture.


Learn from leading Australian faculty in this experiential, traveling program

Make your way 1,700 kilometers up the Queensland coast staying in some of the region’s most ecologically diverse destinations such as North Stradbroke Island, Lady Queens Island and Lizard Island

Explore unique ecosystems first hand including coastal forests, mangroves, seagrass meadows and corals reefs

Learn how marine organisms interact with the environment and how humans impact ecosystems particularly along the subtropical coast of eastern Australia and the iconic Great Barrier Reef

Head out on a whale watching adventure to see what you can spot

Discover the incredible Great Barrier Reef through boat trips, snorkeling and even staying on an island within the reef

Appreciate continued guidance and expert instruction throughout the program from TEAN support staff and also university faculty


About the Course

Tropical Marine Ecology (BSC3312)
This course focuses on contrasting Australian environments in the state of Queensland – from the southern coastal areas to the tropical north – traveling to diverse locations while meeting the unique people, plants and animals of these environments. Throughout the course, lectures, documentaries, hands-on experiences with Australian flora and fauna, and independent research projects give students a deep understanding of Australian ecology. The course will also focus on marine ecology management case studies, examining the history of environmental issues and best management practices. This is an entry-level course but a general biology background is suggested.

To request syllabus complete this form and indicate the name of the course (Tropical Marine Ecology) you need the syllabus for.


Dr. William Loh
Dr. Loh’s love of nature began in Malaysia, where he was born, and was nurtured in Australia where he grew up from the age of 13. Since graduating from the University of Sydney, he has worked as a national park officer, research station officer, marine biologist, geneticist, marine microbiologist and educator. He has a passion for being an experiential, hands-on, knee-deep-in-mud teacher and has led field programs in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji for students from Australia, the U.S., Germany and Japan. He has traveled extensively around Australia, engaging in his passion for getting close to marine fauna and swimming with humpback whales, minke whales, Australian humpback dolphins, turtles, mantas, bull sharks, penguins and more.

Transcript & Credits

Upon completion of the course you will be issued an academic transcript from University of South Florida. The course is worth 3 U.S. credits.  The course consists of 69 hours of class contact time over three weeks comprising field trips, lectures and presentations.



Visit a variety of pristine destinations to glimpse what Australia was like before European settlement, as well as spend significant time at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to enjoy its unique, fragile beauty and cultivate an appreciation of threats to the world’s coral reefs.


Spend a day in Brisbane, meeting your fellow students and touring the city getting acclimated to your new host country.

Moreton Bay Research Station (MBRS) and North Stradbroke Island (NSI)

Stay on North Stradbroke Island for six days exploring the sandy mudflats and rocky shores of the region. Study the biodiversity of fish inhabiting seagrass beds and compare/contrast the daytime/nocturnal activities, lifestyle, and diversity differences of the marine fishes at NSI. Time spent here culminates in a whale watching day trip in Moreton Bay on the last day.

Lady Elliot Island

Next, it’s on to Lady Elliot Island, part of the Great Barrier Reef. Formed entirely by coral reefs that support high biodiversity in contrast to the biodiversity found on NSI, you’ll snorkel here to learn more about the geology and formation of the coral reef ecosystems and ecology.

Lizard Island

From there, travel through Cairns to Lizard Island, a continental island which is terrestrial in origin, unlike the other islands visited. Spend five days participating in special walks through the forests, mangroves and reefs, as well as snorkeling on the reef.


Finally, spend your last few days in Cairns where you’ll experience more of Australia’s history, culture and ecology, by visiting tropical rainforests, meeting koalas, wallabies and kangaroos, and being introduced to different aspects of Aboriginal culture at the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience. End the trip on a beautiful note with a 7-hour cruise through the Great Barrier Reef and farewell dinner.



  • 2.5 GPA
  • Currently enrolled at an approved degree-granting institution of higher education.

Program Details


Students will be housed in a variety of accommodation styles when travelling, including shared budget-style accommodation and apartments.

Group Flight

International air travel and flights within Australia are organized through Qantas via our partner, STA Travel. Upon application, participants will be provided complete airfare and booking details.

TEAN Staff

Throughout the program, students are joined by local TEAN staff while U.S.-based TEAN staff also help oversee the course and provide 24/7 support. Feel free to come to them with any questions or concerns you may have and make sure to ask them about what to do or where to go during your travels – they have plenty of insider recommendations!

Dates, Fees & Inclusions

Application Deadline

TEAN has a rolling admissions process. We recommend submitting your application anytime from January for Summer applications. Earlier applications will be accepted. Late applications may be considered. Contact TEAN if the application deadline has passed.

Summer 2022

This program is not running for Summer 2022.

What’s included

  • Tuition (3-credits)
  • All accommodation
  • Airport transfers and all course-related ground transport
  • Overseas health insurance, plus evacuation and repatriation insurance
  • TEAN Orientation upon arrival
  • Cultural events, excursions and field trips throughout the program
  • Some meals
  • Staff and resources available 24/7 to provide assistance and recommendations during emergencies
  • Pre-departure planning sessions and assistance from U.S.-based TEAN staff including pre-departure guidance for students

What’s not included

  • Airfares (approx. $1,850 – $2,200)
  • Visa ($20 AUD)
  • Meals not mentioned above (approx. $250 – $400)


TEAN Scholarships

Apply for TEAN scholarships – starting at $1,000 – for the chance to receive money specifically for studying abroad. Each year we award thousands of dollars in need- and merit-based scholarships, diversity scholarships, a full ride scholarship and more. Visit our scholarships page for details!

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