Sydney, Australia

Australian Marine Ecosystems & Sustainability

Summer '23 applications open!
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Information for term Australian Marine Ecosystems & Sustainability

Application deadline, and cost information.

Extended Deadline

March 1, 2023

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: March 1, 2023
  • Dates: Jun 18 – Jul 8, 2023 (3 weeks)

Extended Deadline

March 1, 2023

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: March 1, 2023
  • Dates: Jul 9 – 29, 2023 (3 weeks)


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Immerse yourself in the rich biodiversity of Australia’s eastern coastline and be a part of its conservation efforts. 

If you’re passionate about the environment, love the ocean and the outdoors, and want to create positive change in the world, come down under to Sydney. This beautiful waterfront city boasts more than 3,000 marine species and an expansive network of coastal walking tracks, making it the perfect living laboratory for marine biology and sustainability studies. Through field work in aquatic reserves and national parks, observe key species, collect and analyze data, and discover threats from human activity and climate change. Lend a hand in bush regeneration and see firsthand the measurable effects of ecological restoration. 

When you are not learning alongside biologists and ecologists, you’ll spend time exploring Australia’s multicultural environment. Learn the stories of Aboriginal Australians, the world’s oldest living civilization, and their unique link with the land. Experience surf culture, play cricket with local teens, meet kangaroos and koalas, shop at the bustling Paddy’s Market, try all kinds of Asian cuisines at Spice Alley, and much more. 

The Take-Aways


    Develop a deeper understanding of marine life and ecology. Explore measures to protect biodiversity and come home ready to apply your sustainability insights to future studies and environmental initiatives.


    Topics for your college essays, experience to inform your future career, a portfolio to showcase your learning, and service-learning hours documenting your engagement with the community.


    Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and improved communication skills. Enjoy a broader worldview and friends of different backgrounds from across the U.S.





Location & Culture

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Welcome to Sydney, with its breathtaking coastline, world-famous attractions, and multicultural heritage. 

Located on the east coast of New South Wales, Australia, the city of Sydney is surrounded by several World Heritage wilderness areas and rugged, pristine coastlines. It is bordered by the sparkling Pacific Ocean on the east and the spectacular forested Blue Mountains on the west. Beautiful sandy beaches, including the world-famous Bondi Beach, are easily accessible from the city’s center. In this coastal city you can participate in countless outdoor activities—surfing, hiking, biking, or simply walking around Paddy’s Market, Darling Harbour, Taronga Zoo, the Opera House, and other renowned attractions. 

Australia’s most populated city and one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Sydney bustles with activity. Boredom is not an option. From the International Music Festival to Australian Football games, to art shows, there is always an event. Sydney also offers every international food you can imagine, which you can sample in Chinatown, the Spanish Quarter, Haymarket, Newton.  

Friendly and welcoming, diverse and vibrant, spectacular and surprising, Sydney is ready to be explored! 


CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Sydney. 

Daily Life

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Daily Life


Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction and cultural activities with time on your own, too. Morning classes and afternoon activities may swap places. 

  • Breakfast at the dorms 
  • Hands-on classes with expert instructors, ecologists, and marine biologists 
  • Lunch in the community or in the field with your fellow Global Navigators 
  • Outdoor activities, community service, or cultural workshops 
  • Dinner in the community with your fellow Global Navigators 


  • Overnight or day excursions to top sites 
  • Quality time with friends 


  • Housing

    Dorms, shared rooms with other Global Navigators

  • 24/7 SUPPORT

    1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff

Weekly Learning Goals

Week 1

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Settle into your new community. Go into the field to identify marine and coastal ecosystems as well as iconic marine species. Collect and analyze data to discover the importance of biodiversity. through visits of Sydney Harbour, the aquarium, and a coastal walk.

Week 2

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Investigate the effectiveness of conservation strategies implemented across Australia’s east coast. Observe the effects of climate and human interaction on the environment. Explore ocean life by snorkeling in the Cabbage Tree Aquatic Reserve.

Week 3

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Participate in bush regeneration with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Develop and present a report to give U.S. audiences insight into Australia’s coastal ecosystems and sustainability initiatives. Present it to the group.


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Sample Activites

Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

  • Ride some waves in Cronulla where surfing is not just a sport but a way of life. 
  • Journey to Jervis Bay and surround yourself with the cutest kangaroos, be entertained by frolicking bottlenose dolphins on a bay cruise, and spot migrating whales from the ruins of an old lighthouse. 
  • Experience Aboriginal culture in Kamay. Hear about the “Dreaming” and take part in a traditional ochre ceremony. 
  • Go on a Sydney Harbour ferry ride and feel the cool breeze as you glide past the iconic Opera House and gaze in awe at both the beautiful architecture and striking cliffs and coves.  
  • Meet local teens and get a glimpse into Aussie lifestyle—play cricket, watch an AFL match, eat Australian BBQ at Blackwattle Bay, go on epic coastal walks. 

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience. 

What Students Are Saying

  • "I had such a great time on my trip! I loved learning about the local sustainability efforts and doing hands-on work in the field." 

    Emma H., Global Navigator Alum
  • "It's a great opportunity to see new places and it teaches you a new form of responsibility. Outside the classroom, we saw so much and it really opened my eyes to what Australian life is like."  

    Madeline B., Global Navigator Alum
  • "I loved learning more about Australia and its environment. It was such a good experience and I made so many new friends."  

    Ella L., Global Navigator Alum
  • "It was an amazing experience where I made new friends and went on an adventure I will remember forever."  

    Jaime W., Global Navigator Alum

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.  
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.
  • This program involves engaging in moderate- to high-intensity physical activities such as hiking, boating and snorkeling. Ability to swim is not required but strongly encouraged to enjoy the program and location at its fullest. 



Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.     

More Questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations or contact us


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2023 3 weeks Mar 1, 2023 Jun 18, 2023 Jul 8, 2023


Summer Session II 2023 3 weeks Mar 1, 2023 Jul 9, 2023 Jul 29, 2023


Looking for funding?

What's Included

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What's Included

Interactive Classes
3 Meals/Day
(Dietary Needs Accommodated)
All Ground Transportation
(Once In-country)
Optional Flight Chaperone
(Flight Cost Not Included)
Pre-departure Advice and Orientation
Access to Local Phone and WIFI
All Cultural Activities and Excursions
Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection
24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Ready to change your life?