Cairns / Townsville

James Cook University - Note - there are two campuses, one in Cairns, one in Townsville

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Academic Program

Instruction consists of lectures, seminars, labs, tutorials, and hands-on fieldwork. On-site orientation and some field trips included.

  • Fields of study: Full curriculum in arts and sciences including marine science, engineering and the study of indigenous cultures (not all departments are at both campuses)
  • Eligibility: 7.5 cumulative GPA (by petition if below 9.0 GPA required by Scripps); 3-5 courses in major required to take third year courses.
  • Size of the student body: 17,000

Living Arrangements

Students on the Cairns campus live in the Student Lodge with one to two meals per day offered. Students receive a stipend from Scripps for the remaining meals. The Townsville campus has housing in one of five residential colleges with three meals per day provided.

Term Dates

  • Fall: Early July to late November
  • Spring: Early February to late June


  • Advising Tips: Students may apply through IFSA Butler ( or through Arcadia University (link above). Students have access to the same university classes and service with either Butler or Arcadia. Housing arrangements, orientation experience and field trips vary depending on which sponsor chosen. Students should consider both options when making their choice. Most IFSA Butler/Arcadia programs require a faculty reference but not all, depending on the university partner. Contact a program adviser for specific program requirements.
  • Visa Information: The Australian student visa fee is approximately $625 but the application process is relatively hassle-free. After acceptance, your program will provide you with specifics about the visa required. The embassy site will have information on visa requirements for planning purposes.
  • Budget Planning: For budget planning purposes, click here to view the current cost of living comparison between Cairns and Los Angeles.