Arkansas State University
fax (870) 972-3069
Links to News Releases
Public activities at ASU
Faculty and Staff
ASU to offer field biology,
psychology courses in Australia
Jan. 8, 2008 --
you have dreamed of experiencing the real and amazing Australians and
their fascinating country, this may be your year.
University has partnered with the non-profit organization AustraLearn
to offer participants a summer semester abroad that combines
high-quality educational and travel experiences.
Australia, called the “Southern Star," is the only country that is also
a continent. This ancient and once isolated land is host to a diverse
range of habitats, from hostile arid deserts to lush tropical
rainforests with equally varied plants and animals. Cuddly koalas munch
on odorous eucalyptus leaves, warm-blooded and furry platypuses lay eggs
instead of bearing live young, and huge flightless emus strut across the
Then there are the other curious mammals—Australians themselves.
Australians have created a global image of grilling on the barbie,
saying “G’day,” and keeping a good sense of humor. The historical and
cultural interplay between aboriginal people and European settlers adds
another unique aspect to this fascinating place.
ASU assistant professor Amy R. Pearce will lead the trip. Pearce
graduated from ASU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in
biology, then lived in
Australia for more 4 years and earned her PhD from the Australian
National University in Canberra.
On June 2, the group will depart from Memphis for a 21-day summer
semester in the Land Down Under. The trip begins in Sydney with a
three-day city tour that includes a visit to Sydney Tower. Students will
also have time to see the beaches and the famously layered Opera House
overlooking Sydney Harbor. They will begin learning about Australia’s
flora and fauna through visits and lectures at the Royal Botanic Gardens
and the Taronga Park Zoo. The group will move on to the scenic Blue
Mountains, taking an ecologically friendly tour of this region named for
the color of the oil that escapes from the eucalyptus leaves and
glimmers in the sun’s rays.
Later that week, the group will travel inland to the nation’s inland
capital, Canberra. Here they will settle into their accommodations in
the heart of the city near Parliament House in preparation for the
classroom portion of the program.
Pearce will teach two courses, each for three undergraduate credit
hours: Cultural Psychology and a course in Australian Flora and Fauna.
Cultural Psychology will focus on issues of how human culture impacts
the individual’s behavior, attitudes, and mental health. Classroom study
will be supplemented with interactions with local experts and visits to
historic sites such as the National Gallery.
For the biology course in Australian Flora and Fauna, students will
complete standard coursework but will also conduct field research and
participate in a volunteer program with Conservation Volunteers
While in Canberra, classes will meet Monday through Thursday afternoons
for two consecutive weeks. Three-day weekends will be open so students
can explore Australia’s wonders on their own. Recommended excursions
include a visit to Melbourne, a drive along the Great Ocean Road, or a
trip to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory to visit the famous red
monolith Ayers Rock, known by the aborigines as Uluru. The nearby Snowy
Mountains also provide visitors excellent opportunities for downhill
skiing and snowboarding.
In the final week of the ASU-sponsored trip, participants have the
option to fly north to Cairns, Queensland to snorkel along the Great
Barrier Reef, a natural wonder that is home to abundant and exotic
marine life. The group will return to Memphis on June 24, 2008.
The three-week program will cost an estimated $4,861 per student, based
on 15 participants. Included in the price are round-trip airfare, all
accommodations, some meals, pre-arranged domestic and international
travel, entry fees to most sites, and 3 hours of undergraduate tuition.
Graduate students can also arrange to earn class credit through this
program. This program is also open to non-ASU students and community
members. A limited number of scholarships are available.
This program will provide participants with an unforgettable
international experience. By combining Sydney and its iconic opera
house, the nation’s capital, and the Great Barrier Reef, participants
will gain an incredible perspective on a diverse nation.
Applications are being accepted now through February 15. Please contact
ASU Study Abroad advisor Carl Lindquist at 870-972-3168 or
for more information.
Amy R. Pearce is an assistant professor of Psychology at ASU. Carl
Lindquist is a Study Abroad advisor in the ASU Office of International
# # #