Field Trips & Independent Travel
During the semester, students will participate as a group in field travel. Together with their instructor, they will travel several hundred kilometres to a range of national parks as part of the Encountering Nature in Australia and Bali course. There will be two of these four-‐day experiences, each to a distinct region where students will camp overnight and are expected to hike, climb and swim in the parks and other places they are visiting. In addition, students will also go on an extended 3-‐4 day field trip to Sydney. A major component of the semester is a 2.5-‐week trip to Bali where students will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from a range of Balinese people and organisations engaged in activism, advocacy, and social and ecological entrepreneurship. Students will also participate in a one-‐week Aboriginal bush camp in the wider Byron region. While camping on Aboriginal land with local custodians, students will be able to learn directly from respected Elders, experience the beautiful local environment and gain a finer appreciation of Indigenous values, perspectives and knowledge. As part of other course requirements, students will also participate in a variety of shorter field trips that involve one-‐day excursions within the local area. These vary, but generally include snorkelling at Julian Rocks, a trip to a self-‐sustaining community and local walks at Cape Byron and Broken Head. As the experiential basis of the Program, all of these trips form an essential component of the curriculum and are tightly integrated with the theories, concepts and themes students learn about in seminars.
As part of the program, students have the opportunity to travel on their own for one week in the middle of the semester. The individual travel experience is considered by many students to be one of the highlights of the program. In addition to the Great Barrier Reef in northern Queensland, popular trips have included sailing off the Queensland coast among the Whitsunday Islands, camping at Fraser Island, hiking through Tasmania, visiting Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, staying in Sydney and/or Melbourne, hiking in the Blue Mountains area of New South Wales and visiting the Red Centre/Outback region. When possible, students will receive a subsidy to help cover some of the costs of transport and accommodation; they also will continue to receive a food allowance during this time. The cost of travel will vary, and for many, the travel subsidy and food allowance will not cover the total cost. Staying at youth hostels and/or campsites with cooking facilities will help keep expenses down and students are advised to research and book travel arrangements in advance in order to keep costs to a minimum.