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Australia: Townsville

Townsville Quick Facts

Language of Instruction

Fields of Study
Aquaculture, biological sciences, botany, (including tropical ecology & tropical plant sciences,) chemistry, earth sciences, environmental science, geography, marine biology, microbiology, physics, zoology.

Host Institution
James Cook University

Residence hall with Australian students.

Program Dates
Fall semester (Semeser II): early July to late November
Spring semester (Semester I): early February to late-June

Faculty Liaison
Fran Hanzawa

With a population of approximately 160,000, Townsville is the second-largest city in the state of Queensland. Advantageously situated on Cleveland Bay at the mouth of the Ross River, it has long been one of Australia’s most important ports and a major center of trade with the Pacific Islands. Moreover, resting in the tropical northeastern corner of the country, known locally as North Queensland, Townsville proudly serves as a gateway to some of the country’s most prized natural treasures: from the Great Barrier Reef to lush tropical rain forests (protected by World Heritage destination), from the savanna woodlands and the vast grazing lands to the northern reaches of the Great Dividing Range. And off beyond the mountains lies the rich volcanic plateau of the Atherton Tablelands, home to prolific plant and animal life.

The program in Townsville is administered by Arcadia University and hosted at James Cook University (JCU).  The program is designed for students majoring in the sciences, especially biology. Students take the majority of their courses in the School of Marine and Tropical Biology. Given its close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and also the tropical rainforest, it is not surprising that Townsville is an important center for research in these areas. Students should note only whole-letter grades are available.

Academic Program

Students may choose from a rich array of courses in the Faculty of Science,  Engineering and Information Technology, specifically within the School of Marine and Tropical Biology or the School of Earth and Environment Sciences.  Students may take courses from more than one department within a School, and should pay careful attention to prerequisites when selecting courses. Pomona also requires students to take one course focusing on Australian culture in an area such as literature, history, sociology or anthropology.

Courses at James Cook University generally carry 3.0 or 4.0 credits per course. Typically, students enroll in four courses in order to maintain a full load and receive 1.0 Pomona credit per course.  Students should work closely with the JCU adviser to plan an academic program that will total 4.0 Pomona course credits.  "Linking Indigenousness" may be taken as a non-credit course only.  A maximum of 4.0 Pomona course credits will be granted for the semester.  JCU students should note that only whole letter grades are available.

Living Arrangements

Normally, students live and take their meals on campus in one of the university residence halls.

Number of Students

Approximately 2–4. Total university enrollment at the Townsville Campus is approximately 112,000.


Pomona Biology 41E or Joint Sciences Biology 44. 9.0 GPA required.

Internet Link

Study Abroad