Summer Study Abroad in Australia

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A Guide to Summer Study Abroad in Australia

Why not flip your summertime upside down? By filling your summer with study abroad in Australia, you can—it’s technically their winter (nothin’ like an excuse for a cuppa with your brekkie!). No worries, the sun is still strong and you’ll still be able to try your hands (and feet) at scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef and surfing on the shores of Byron Bay. Avoid another humdrum summer at home and get on top of your studies Down Under. Bask in the Australian summer; do a 180, mate, and travel south for an unforgettable summer-winter scholastic adventure!

Why Spend Summer Abroad in Australia

You love summertime, but you’re just not a big fan of the heat. Well, you’ll experience the weather here in reverse—cooler temperatures and maybe even some snow– depending on where you go! This time of year means fewer tourists and fewer pesky critters, which essentially means more time for fun with the laidback locals (and the relief of hiking their epic outdoors with less fear for your life). Plenty of summer study abroad programs in Australia offer you the choice of how long you want to stay, from a couple weeks to the whole season, with sweet as class excursions sprinkled in along the way. You’ll learn from top academic professors in classes ranging from theater to environmental studies and more!

Because Australia was once an English colony, you won’t experience much of a language barrier as classes are taught in English. You might have some difficulty with the Aussie dialect at first, but you’ll soon pick it up and want to take the lingo home with you—fair dinkum! Just make sure you really understand the slang to avoid awkward discussions about thongs and barbies. Beyond the inevitable lingual gaffes, the immense cultural diversity in Oz will keep things interesting, and you might even learn how to speak some phrases in different languages.


From rugged mountain ranges to endless coastlines, you’re sure to find a peaceful spot to work on your coursework. Free time activities in Australia in the summer range from gearing up for morning mountain snowboarding to putting on your togs for late arvo scuba diving!

Sydney is one of the world’s most livable cities with iconic landmarks. Your class excursions could include ocean kayaking, surf lessons, and cultural activities. Some programs even offer hands-on internships for you to gain some experience in your field of study. Here, you’ll feel like it’s Christmas in July thanks to the plentiful fireside spiced ciders and roast dinners. Go ice skating at one of Bondi Beach’s rinks, see the annual light festival, and explore Hunter Valley Village for some wine and chocolate.

Melbourne is a leader in education and a hub for culture and sports. Located in southeastern Australia on the bay of Port Phillip, you’ll love walking the city’s small neighborhoods and gothic laneways when you’re not hitting the books. You can easily explore Melbourne on its public transportation as well! Round up your classmates and watch the horse action at the Remington Racecourse, catch a flick at the Melbourne International Film Festival, or shake your tail feather at the Echuca Moama Winter Blues Festival.

If you’re looking for warmer weather and an adventurous summer, look no further than the adventure capital of Australia, Cairns. A popular joint in the Sunshine state, not only will you be learning indoors, but you’ll also be learning outdoors—the many nearby wildlife reserves, forests, national parks, coastlines, and islands are to blame for that! Summer in Cairns is also perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef to learn about the diverse marine wildlife.

Tips for Summer Study in Australia

The climate of an Australian summer range from chilly to warm depending on where you stay in Oz, so pack accordingly to travel lightly. A duffel bag with wheels and a backpack should do the trick. Pack clothes that you can layer, as layering will help you adjust to different kinds of weather. You’ll still need sunglasses and sunscreen, however, as most days are sunny, and the Ozone layer is thin here—even during their winters. Don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated (fill it in a public bubbler) for all of your experiential learning.

You’ll likely do a great deal of walking and hiking while studying in Australia to see the sights up close, so be sure to bring a good pair of boots or tennis shoes. During your short time here, you can even make a difference by volunteering for conservation efforts for animals and habitats, as Australia frequently experiences natural disasters (makes for an excellent addition to the ol’ resume, too!).

Australia in the summer bursts with more than 12,000 wildflowers; these little beauties, like bluebells, hibiscus, and and native fuchsia, spring into life in Western Australia. If you’re looking to see a wonderland of a diverse colors from mother nature’s floral decor, follow their trail all across this area from Perth to Kalbarri National Park to Cape Range National Park. Don’t forget to make a pit stop in Ningaloo Reef along this trail to go for a swim with the whale sharks! And quokkas. Always quokkas.

Summer Scholarships in Australia

Although June to August is Australia’s off-season, the price tag will cost big bikkies. Airfare and other costs will likely be higher than you’re used to seeing, so how can you cut down on the expenses? Summer study abroad scholarships in Australia! Here’s just a small sample of scholarships available:

  • ISA provides a Pacific Regions Scholarship of $500 for summer terms. To apply, applicants need to be accepted into an ISA program and have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA, submit an essay, resume, and college transcripts. 
  • IES Abroad offers a summer study abroad scholarship of $1000! Applicants will need to be attending one of the schools that is a member of the ISA Consortium and submit an application with a personal essay and a profile. 
  • API awards thousands of dollars every year to students from all backgrounds. The scope of API’s scholarships range from $200-$750.

With a couple of scholarships under your belt, you’ll be able to splurge on those delicious meat pies, so meet those deadlines! Don’t forget to reach out to the program coordinator for some juicy scholarship application tips. For a more comprehensive list of available summer study abroad scholarships in Australia, visit’s Scholarship Directory.

Benefits & Challenges

Besides beefing up your muscles from your outdoor excursions, your career prospects will benefit from your time in Oz. Once employers see your resume boasting a summer studying abroad in Australia, they’ll swoon with delight! They’ll appreciate all of the international skills you gained from meeting diverse groups of people, the knowledge you gained about native cultures, and the adventures you had learning about sustainability.

The etiquette and mannerisms of Australians might throw you for a loop, so expect some culture shock while you’re here. While Aussies are laid back, they have a strong sense of humor (they make fun of you if they like you—so they say). They’re also incredibly polite, so make sure you learn their customs before boarding your trans-Pacific flight. Embrace the differences during summer study abroad programs in Australia and you’ll feel like a true local in no time at all!

With everything you learned indoors and outdoors from your classes, you’ll soon be saying crinky, that was ripper, mate! Be like the late Steve Irwin and grab your summer by the fins by venturing to summer study abroad in Australia.

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A Guide To
Summer Study Abroad in Australia


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