Offering a great variety of courses, landscapes, cultural experiences and endless expanses to explore; Australia is a perfect study abroad destination choice for many CSB/SJU students. Fremantle, Western Australia, is home to the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA), CSB/SJU's partner institution since 2000. With more than 50,000 years of aboriginal history, Australia is impossible to sum up in a few short sentences. Students who have studied abroad at UNDA agree that one semester is just not enough to explore this continent and country which is home to more than 24 million people.

Program Highlights

  • Choose 3 courses from a wide variety of subjects. This option may allow you to earn credit towards your Common Curriculum or possibly Major or Minor.
  • Study in Fremantle, one of Australia's oldest port cities. Located just south of Perth, Fremantle's renovated downtown warehouses now serve as campus buildings for UNDA.
  • Dive into all that UNDA has to offer: you can join clubs & organizations, volunteer or even find a part-time job.
  • Explore the history and culture of Western Australia during your program's main excursion. Part of this experience includes exposure to the rich Australian Aboriginal culture.


Because CSB/SJU students directly enroll at UNDA, the Australia study abroad programs offers a large variety of courses. You will have the opportunity to earn credits towards your major, minor and Common Curriculum requirements at CSB/SJU. UNDA offers courses in:

  • Arts & Sciences - Aboriginal Studies, Communication, History, English, Environmental Sciences,  Political Science, Psychology and Theater.. just to name a few!
  • Business - Accounting, Economics, Global Business, Marketing and Public Relations
  • Education - Primary and Secondary Education
  • Health Sciences - Biomedical Science and Physical Education
  • Philosophy & Theology

CSB/SJU students take one course (Study Abroad Seminar) from their CSB/SJU faculty director. The second course required for all students is the Australian History and Culture course, taught by a UNDA faculty member. Finally, students choose three courses from the Academic Course Catalog at UNDA. This combination of courses makes UNDA a great selection for most CSB/SJU students. Exact course offerings at UNDA are available only a few months before the semester begins, however courses tend to be repeated from year to year. Students can consult past Academic Course Catalogs for more information about potential course offerings.

Please note that not every course is offered every semester, but you can get a good idea of what courses are typcially offered by exploring the course catalogs above. All UNDA courses are preapproved to fulfill the various requirements of the CSB/SJU Common Curriculum to the left side of the UNDA course name and number. Students wishing to earn credit towards their major or minor will need to seek approval from their department chair during the pre-departure process. The CSB/SJU Psychology, Communication, & Environmental Studies Depatments has already vetted all UNDA courses and determined how these will count towards your degree found in the above Course Catalog.

Students have full access to all university academic resources and supports including the library, computer labs, academic resource center, writing lab, tutoring office and more.

Experiential Learning and Activities

The Australia programs offer CSB/SJU students the opportunity to live with and study alongside Australian and other international students. UNDA is a comprehensive university with many of the same student clubs, organizations, sports and recreation opportunities as are offered at CSB/SJU, plus some which are uniquely Australian. The Student Life Office can help students connect with activities that are a good fit for them. In addition, students can pursue other areas of interest or volunteer in Fremantle and Perth.

Exploring Australian's unique landscape, culture and animal life is one of the many extraordinary parts of this program. Students will visit a local animal rehabilitation and educational center, the Fremantle Prison and the Maritime Museum as a part of the program.

Also included with the program is a multi-day excursion in Western Australia which is linked to the topics covered in the the Australian History and Society course. Visits are made to many of the important historical and geographically significant areas of Western Australia. It is also a goal of this excursion to introduce students more directly to the Aboriginal culture.

Other UNDA courses offer academic excurions as a part of their curriculum. Many students have taken advantage of the archealogical digs which accompany the Introduction to Archaeology course.


Students live in a residence hall called the P&O Hotel with other CSB/SJU students, other American students and a few local Australians. This is located in the heart of downtown Fremantle, close to the academic buildings of UNDA. The P&O Hotel is a refurbished hotel which now includes student rooms (double occupancy), shared bathrooms, living areas, and cooking facilities. Students will have access to wireless internet in the residence hall.

Program Dates

Australia runs on the southern hemisphere's academic calendar which begins in mid-February. The approximate program dates for the CSB/SJU are mid-February to late June for spring semester.

Financial Considerations

For more information on the Program Fees for this program, please refer to the Australia program brochure. Another great resource is the Financing your Experience brochure. This brochure includes estimates of what past participants spent on this program, along with information regarding scholarships and financial aid for study abroad.

Australia's economy and cost of living remain relatively high compared to the US and other study abroad sites. Students are encouraged to seek scholarship opportunities and to consider a part-time job while in Australia.

The student visa granted by Australia allows students to work up to 20 hours per week. CSB/SJU students have found jobs on UNDA's campus as a Resident Assistant or Ground's Crew member, around Fremantle in the local movie theater or retail shops, or in one of the many Fremantle cafes and restaurants. With minimum wage of $15.96 AUD per hour, it may be a good way to subsidize your semester abroad. And many students have commented that it was a great way to interact with more Australians. However, students need to balance their desire to explore and travel with the requirements of working.

Explore Further

Spring 2020 Program Director: Mani Campos, Biology
Program Advisor: Jessica Dickau, Center for Global Education