James Cook University



The James Cook University (JCU) Townsville campus is situated amongst the Northern Queensland rainforests and provides the perfect entry point to explore the stunning Great Barrier Reef. With strong biological and environmental science curricula, the university offers students plenty of hands-on experience while being surrounded by a diverse array of natural flora and fauna on campus. Non-science majors will also find a comprehensive range of courses to meet their academic needs, and students are housed in on-campus accommodations where a strong sense of community abounds.

Quick Facts

Partner Program Type – The Education Abroad Network (TEAN)

This program is facilitated by UCSC in collaboration with TEAN. Therefore, program information indicated on the TEAN website may differ from the program details indicated here.

TEAN (The Education Abroad Network) by WorldStrides is an international educational organization that UCSC has partnered with to provide you with a life-changing educational adventure. TEAN specializes in immersive study abroad programs throughout Asia and the Pacific that not only meet high academic standards, but are culturally engaging, tailored to individual students’ interests, and provide unforgettable experiences and unbeatable value. With more than 25 years of experience in facilitating outstanding international experiences and dedicated on-the-ground staff, they are experts in the region and will expertly manage your experience abroad from beginning to end.

Minimum GPA – 2.85

Eligibility – Good academic and disciplinary standing, Min Age: 18, Open to All Majors, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior Standing by the time of departure

Term Options

Fall Semester (Teaching Period 2): mid-July – late November 

Spring Semester (Teaching Period 1):  early February – late June  

  • students must miss both winter and spring quarters at UCSC to participate in this session

Partner Program deadlines



City & University

Swim in crystal clear water with the vibrant colors of the Great Barrier Reef below, relax on a sparkling beach fringed by palm trees and fly through the rainforest canopy in a thrilling bungee jump, all while studying in the Northern Queensland’s Townsville, home to a thriving student population. This region is famous for its rainforest, reef and remote outback landscapes, along with a rich history and Aboriginal heritage. While this pedestrian-friendly city is certainly an ideal location for students interested in studying biology and environmental sciences – James Cook University is ranked in the top 50 schools in the world for environmental science and top 100 for earth and marine sciences – anyone can appreciate the pristine beauty of this region!

Students live in JCU on-campus housing with other local and international students. All rooms are singles and internet is included in the housing. Your housing is organized for you by TEAN. You will receive more information about this after you are accepted into the program.


Included excursions for this program are: 

  • Great Barrier Reef as part of the Australia Orientation 

If you would like more detailed information about the excursions, please reach out to globallearning@ucsc.edu.

Student Support

The TEAN team will work with you from start to finish through the study abroad process. After you have been nominated by UCSC, TEAN’s expert staff will help guide you through the final phases of the application process and will meet you at the airport upon arrival in Australia. From there, they will whisk you away for your TEAN Orientation program, and these are no ordinary study abroad orientation programs. You’ll get all the necessary information about your new locale, but you’ll also begin creating lifetime memories and developing new friendships with other students going abroad on the same program as you!

During the Orientation, their team will help you get your phones set up if you’re using a local SIM card, and make sure they have a reliable method of contacting you after the orientation program whether it be via a local phone number, WhatsApp, etc.

After the orientation, TEAN will get you settled into your housing, and ensure that you have all you need to be successful for your program. Throughout your program in Townsville, there will be regular check-ins and fun cultural events, but you do not need to wait to speak with your TEAN contacts. TEAN staff is readily available and able to assist you with any academic, social, or cultural questions or issues that you may face during your time abroad, and if there is an emergency situation, TEAN’s resident staff are available 24/7 and will react quickly.

Country Information Resources

Students with Disabilities

If you need support services abroad, notify your UCSC Disability Resource Center (DRC) Coordinator

Students can work with their TEAN program manager or directly contact accessibilityteam@worldstrides.org once they have narrowed down where they’d like to go.

Identities Abroad and Away

UC Santa Cruz Global Learning is committed to inclusion and equity in our various program options as well as striving to make everyone’s experiences abroad enriching, positive, and safe.

Learn more on our Identities Abroad and Away webpage.


Host University Courses

As a James Cook University exchange student, enroll full-time in courses alongside other local and international students.

  • You will enroll in 3 – 4 courses

Course Search

  • Visit the James Cook University online course catalog here.
  • Select Townsville campus and Undergraduate level. Under Study Period or Trimester, select Teaching Period 1 or 2 (TP1 is Feb-June; TP2 is July-Nov).
  • Search by subject code or you can search by keyword based on the course title.
  • Check how the course is taught (internal, external, block, etc.). Internal means a traditional course that meets on-campus, external is mostly online, and limited is a combination of in-person and online. 
  • Block courses are typically not recommended for study abroad students as the subjects are taught for an intensive period of time (for example over mid-semester break), so they might not fit in with your schedule.
  • Students are only allowed to take one external course.
  • If you have any questions or need to request syllabi please contact us at globallearning@ucsc.edu.

Satisfying Requirements
It may be possible to satisfy major, minor, GE, and/or electives on this program.

Learn more about:

Course Load Requirements

You are required to enroll in a full-time course load while abroad as defined by your host institution:

  • Can earn up to 24 quarter credits
  • You will enroll in 3 – 4 courses
  • Students need to take 4 courses (each at least 3 semester credits) in spring semester

As a UCSC student, you must also continue to meet UCSC Satisfactory Academic Progress, which requires students to enroll in a minimum of 12 UCSC quarter credits per quarter. At James Cook, you are required to ensure you meet this requirement by enrolling in the equivalent of at least 12 UCSC quarter credits in fall semester and at least 24 UCSC quarter credits in spring semester after conversion (see below).

If you are not enrolled in the minimum number of quarter credits required, then you will fall out of Satisfactory Academic Progress. This could lead to financial aid and academic repercussions

If you are unable to enroll in the minimum number of quarter credits through courses at your host university, you may be able to fill in the gap by enrolling in one remote course through UCSC or UC online.

Credit Conversion

James Cook uses local semester credits. These will be converted to UCSC quarter credits when added to your UC transcript.

  • 3 semester credits = 6 UCSC quarter credits
  • 6 semester credits = 12 UCSC quarter credits
  • 12 semester credits = 24 UCSC quarter credits

Academic Restrictions

Note that some courses may require prerequisites. In rare cases, some courses abroad may have enrollment limitations and/or restrictions, and there may also be courses that are not available for study abroad students. Your TEAN program advisor will be able to help you determine whether any such restrictions apply.

If you are unsure about your eligibility to enroll, please contact UCSC Global Learning at globallearning@ucsc.edu before applying to this program.

Academic Differences

Please note that the academic system, such as assignments, exams, course structure, grading system, etc., at your host institution may be different from what you are used to at UCSC. We highly recommend researching the academic system at your host university in advance to best prepare for your experience abroad.

Academic Calendar

We recommend comparing the host university academic calendar to the UCSC academic calendar to see how the academic calendars, holidays, and breaks differ.

Last modified: Feb 27, 2024