Cairns, Australia

James Cook University Partnership, Cairns

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Program Overview


Surrounded by a hilly rainforest yet also near the beach, this North Queensland location suits students who prefer smaller classes and balancing a manageable workload with plenty of outdoor adventure. Like other James Cook University locations, this campus embraces indigenous culture. Activities and excursions add more opportunities experience indigenous traditions and natural wonders. Plus, enjoy easy access to Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Wet Tropics of Queensland rainforests. 

Details at a Glance

Application deadline

Fall: April 1
Spring: Oct. 15

Minimum GPA


Credit load



Apartment/Flat, Single Room Option

Instruction language


Language prerequisites


Visa required?

Yes. Learn More.

Apply Now


Open the James Cook University online course catalog and use the following filters to search for available courses:

  • Campus: Cairns or Townsville
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Study Period: Trimester 3 is U.S. Fall Term; Trimester 1 is U.S. Spring Term
  • Attendance Mode: Internal

IFSA requires students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution, 9 JCU credits per semester. This is the equivalent of 12 U.S. semester credit hours per semester.

Credit Conversion
3 JCU credits = 4 U.S. semester credit hours

CHART Your Course
Find the classes you need fast with CHART. Our easy-to-use tool shows you classes recently taken by IFSA students

Lab & Field Trip Fees
Please review syllabi and course materials when registering for direct-enroll classes. Certain classes may have a one-off lab or field trip fee disclosed in the syllabus or during the first meeting of the class. These fees are not included in your IFSA program fee. You will be responsible for these fees, whether they are billed and paid by IFSA or billed to you.


Australian Government | Department of Education | CRICOS: 00117J
Australian Government | Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency | TEQSA: PRV12077

  • Fourth-year (4000-level) courses and higher are part of a postgraduate degree (Masters or Ph.D.). You are not eligible to take these courses as an undergraduate student.
  • IFSA students are eligible to take only courses listed as “Internal” in the description.
  • Marine biology classes are not available at the Cairns campus. You may select from a broad range of other biology, zoology, and environmental studies classes at Cairns, or consider the Townsville campus for a specific marine biology focus.



  • You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university.
  • You must have completed at least one (1) full-time year of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.

Recommendation Letter
Not required.


Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects classes taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.


Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.

Below are examples from previous terms; outings may be different for your program. We’ll make every effort to run them all, but sometimes things we can’t control, such as local regulations and health protocols, get in the way. As result, we cannot guarantee activities and excursions.


  • Indigenous Australians Dance Performance: Watch a company of professional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary dancers tell powerful stories through movement, dynamic design, poetry, and music.
  • NACE Competencies Workshop: Mastering the eight U.S. National Association of Colleges and Employers competencies is essential preparation for college graduates. This IFSA staff workshop helps you make meaningful links between your study abroad experience and career readiness.
  • Cairns Aquarium Visit: While at the Cairns Aquarium, visit the turtle rehabilitation center and learn how the aquarium works to protect the six species of endangered sea turtles in its care. The aquarium’s wildlife educators also give daily presentations on aquatic and rainforest animals including river monsters, the life of sharks and rays, and the coral sea.
  • Celebration Dinner: Savor the memories and experiences of your time in Australia during a final delicious dining experience with your IFSA family.
  • Paronella Park Trip: Explore the Cassowary Coast where the rich history of the banana and sugar cane industries is very visible. View Queensland’s highest mountain, Mount Bartle Frere. Enjoy a nature walk and swim at beautiful Babinda Boulders before venturing to Etty Bay, a unique environment where the rainforest meets the beach. Learn the history of Jose Paronella’s Spanish Castle and explore the property’s abundant tropical plants and trees. Interact with nature whilst viewing the cascading waterfalls and anticipate wildlife encounters. Discover North Queensland’s first hydroelectric power plant. Listen to dreamtime stories and learn of one man’s dream that became a reality.

Housing and Meals


Apartment/Flat, Single Room Option




Students will live in on-campus housing in an apartment shared by six students. Each student will have their own bedroom and share two bathrooms, kitchen, and living room within the apartment.

Sample housing 

Take a look at John Grey Hall to see what your Cairns home might be like:

  • Location: On campus
  • Living space: Six-bedroom apartments, lockable individual bedrooms with shared bathroom facilities.
  • Meals: Self-catering, apartments are equipped with modern cooking facilities including cooktop, microwave, and refrigerator.
  • Other details: Air conditioning, Wi-Fi, BBQ facilities, media room/music room, recreation room with pool table, gymnasium, laundry, study rooms with a computer lab, pastoral care 24 hours/day.
  • Nearby: Campus Shopping Village. Smithfield Shopping Centre. Northern beaches. Central Cairns.

Dates and Fees

Term begins
Term ends
Program costs
Application deadline
Fall 2024
July 11, 2024
November 16, 2024
Spring 2025
Mid-Jan. 2025
Late April 2025
$22,975 (estimated)
Oct. 15, 2024

Get Started

Emma Lynch

Emma Lynch

Student Engagement Manager