Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs

Yungaberra, Queensland, Australia, School for Field Studies - Tropical Rainforest Studies



Program Overview:

Students from many disciplines are offered the opportunity to join field research projects. The School for Field Studies welcomes a diverse group of students that will promote an atmosphere open to different cultures and perspectives. The interdisciplinary, experiential approach to education is designed to train students to learn by doing. Engaging in high-quality field research, students learn the value of experiencing another culture, collaborating with fellow students, and developing workable solutions with the local community. Students are given the opportunity to work side-by-side with an international research team and learn state-of-the-art research skills.

SFS semesters are designed to train students to become competent field researchers. Directed Research projects will be identified for each student, who will then be trained to carry out the projects through four courses delivered in a case study format.

  • Australia - Center for Rainforest Studies
  • Costa Rica - Center for Sustainable, Development Studies
  • Turks & Caicos Islands - Center for Marine, Resource Studies
  • Panama - Tropical Island Biodiversity and Conservation Studies

SFS Program Locations

  • Australia - Students share eight-person cabins at the end of the Atherton Tablelands. The site includes a computer lab, science library, student common room, shower and bathroom, and kitchen.
  • Costa Rica - A dormitory overlooking the Rio Grande River is where students stay. All amenities are included, in addition to an organic garden, patio, and pool.
  • Turks & Caicos - Located adjacent to Cockburn Harbour, living quarters occupy two residence wings. It is fully equipped for marine operations.
  • Panama - Located on Isla Solarte, students reside in a two-story building which houses 6 dorm rooms with ceiling fans, airconditioning and a private bath; a dining room; classrooms; and porch.

Clark Credit:

Participating students receive four Clark units per semester, provided all coursework is completed, all required exams are taken, and final papers are submitted. All courses receive letter grades, which show on the Clark transcript and are factored into the overall GPA. Faculty provide the core lectures needed to understand the content areas pertinent to the case study and research questions. These may include: ecology, natural resource management, socioeconomics and policy, and directed research. Students are enrolled in four courses of four credits each, including the Directed Research project. This translates into one full Clark semester, or four Clark units. Please check with the Study Abroad Office to ensure transferability of credit.


Clark requires, that prior to your study abroad program, you have been in residence at Clark for at least one year. You must be in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of a 3.0, and good standing in the Clark community (not on academic or social probation at the time of application or thereafter). Before participating in a study abroad program, you have to declare a major, and as a rule, have junior-class standing. In order to be considered, you must complete/submit the full application by the appropriate deadline. Your application will be reviewed by the Study Abroad Advisory committee, and if approved, will be sent to SFS for final admission. Applications may be rejected for any number of reasons by the overseas program.

Program Costs

Your student account will be billed for Clark tuition each semester that you are abroad, and Clark will pay your tuition/academic fees to SFS. There is a one-time $1000 study abroad fee that will appear on your Clark tuition bill. You will be billed by SFS directly for your room and board/Fees. Books, non-academic fees, visa (if necessary), and travel expenses are your responsibility. You are also responsible for all of your personal expenses and for your pocket money while abroad. Remember that here might be a whole array of fees at the site for using the gym, clubs, computers, laundry, transportation, books, cell phones, etc. These fees vary from year to year and we recommend that you check the website of your host institution to see if further information is available. Any additional expenses related to individual courses, such as travel, are also your responsibility.

Studying off-campus always generates additional and unexpected expenses. If you are a financial aid recipient, you should continue to receive financial aid. However, be sure to check with the Office of Financial Assistance to see if there will be any changes in your financial aid package. You will not be able to receive Work-Study money while you are abroad. International Scholarships are granted to enrich the Clark campus with international students and cannot be applied to off-campus programs.

You will receive an invoice from Clark's Student Accounts Department, indicating that the tuition payment will be due by mid-July for the fall and mid-December for the spring. The exact due date will appear on your bill. Failure to satisfy your financial obligation to Clark University by the due date may result in your withdrawal from the program. Failure to satisfy your financial obligations to your host institution may result in no transcript being issued for your participation in their program.

Under NO circumstances will Clark University be responsible for independent travel you choose to participate in, which is not an official part of the Clark program. Clark will not assist in any personal travel arrangements.

Approximate Additional Costs 2016-17

  • Room and Board/Fees - $5280 Australia; $5000 Costa Rica; $5000 Panama; $5580 Turks and Caicos
  • Deposit for Housing and Meals - $1000 (This deposit is due no later than 10 days after acceptance to reserve your place in the program. It will be deducted from your final bill.)
  • Personal Expenses - $1600; (Turks and Caicos - required equipment charge $400/optional scuba certification and equipment $1700)
  • Airfare - $2000 (Australia); $550 (Costa Rica); $600 (Panama); $600 (Turks and Caicos)
  • Books and Supplies - $200
  • Local Transportation - $175

NOTE: These costs are estimates based on exchange rates at time of publication, and are subject to change

Application Deadlines

Study abroad applicants must schedule an appoint with a study abroad advisor the semester before the application deadline, or two semesters/one year before planning to be abroad. Application information will be provided at this meeting. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted, and retrospective credit will not be granted.

  • Fall semester application deadline - February 15
  • Spring semester application deadline - September 15

Important Information

School for Field Studies


Costa Rica

Turks & Caicos


For more information about this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office at 508.793.7363 or



Any information on this page is subject to change.