Duke University : Global Education for Undergraduates

Duke in Australia

Program Dates (in country):

July 5-August 3, 2017

The Duke University Global Education Office for Undergraduates and the Department of Biology will offer a 4-week, one course summer program focusing on the biogeography and culture of Australia. The program travels to Darwin in the Northern Territory, the Blue Mountains and Sydney in new South Wales, as well as the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rain forest of northern Queensland. 

Australia is an ancient world.  Its geological record goes back to the very dawn of time, harboring evidence of the oldest crust on Earth, the origin of life itself, and the very first animal communities.  Human memories also run deep in the Land Down Under.  The Australian Aboriginal Peoples arguably represent the longest continuous human society on planet Earth, going back at least 40,000 years.  Due to this unique geological and human history, Australia preserves perhaps the single-most unique ecosystem and diversity of plants and animals of any continent.  Australia is thus an ideal place to develop an understanding of why fauna and flora around the world are different from place to place and, on the other hand, why plants or animals separated by great distances may be closely related.  Australia has been both evolutionary forge and conservator.

Majestic landscapes from picturesque beaches, deserts, rainforest and coral reef form a spectacular backdrop for this immersive course experience. 

For more details on the program visit the official 2016 Biology 288A Biogeography in Australia course website at sites.duke.edu/dukeinaustralia2016

To learn more about the program from a student perspective, please see the 2015 Duke student blog:


Earlier student blogs are also available at:



    • Termite Mound
    • Termite Mound

    • Postcard from Abroad
    • Postcard from Abroad
    • Dear Global Education Office:

      The Australian culture taught me that there is no sense stressing over work and other life annoyances, but rather that you should concentrate on doing those things you love. Australians live life to the fullest, and hold family and friends in the highest regard.

      I have used these ideals to travel and experience as much of the world as I can, while at the same time realizing just how important those close to me are. Additionally, I feel as if my semester has acted to limit the overall stress I feel while at school, which for many students can be overwhelming.

      For those considering going abroad, I would highly recommmend doing a program that fully immerses you in the culture (i.e. living with a host family) and making plans to see as much of the country/surrounding countries as time permits.

      – Avery Harrison

  • Australian Sunset