Australia is a great study abroad destination for many students because it has both that "exotic" factor while still having the "comfort" or "familiarity" factor. Australia offers exciting natural wonders, like the Great Barrier Reef and the Outback, along with alluring cultural attractions, including its mystic, indigenous Aboriginal people. Australia’s past and contemporary histories have helped build a degree of familiarity for American students.


The last half-century has been heavily influenced by American popular culture and, since English has long served as the lingua franca in Australia, there is no language barrier for most American students. Australia still maintains its cultural identity, a mixture of Anglo-Celtic and an increasing indigenous influence, but that identity is also dynamic, with an influx of immigrants from the Asia-Pacific region and other non-English speaking areas.


While there are a number of programs in different subjects offered through Australian universities, there are a number of independent study abroad companies that often operate in conjunction with Australian universities that offer a wide variety of programs in various fields. Ecology, sustainability, and the environment are three very popular topics for Australia study abroad students studying in eastern coastal cities. Australia is a great backdrop for the study of these topics because of the strong effect that the environment has had on both its indigenous and contemporary societies.


Ecologically, Australia is rich, with rainforests, coral reefs, and even opportunities to study cultural ecology. In fact, Australia is the only developed country that boasts both these natural and cultural resources, and it is widely considered the world-wide forerunner in coral reef conservation. Academics are a top priority for Australians, and the country's universities are consistently at the top of the international rankings. Australian universities offer English language classes and degrees, extensive vocational training, and many universities for higher education. The country has 41 universities and a wide selection of top programs that can match any student's career and study interests. Australia ranks third in terms of receiving English speaking international study abroad students, and its excellent universities produce bright independent thinkers. Students will be able to play an active role in guiding their education and will have many opportunities to perform research.