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Pacific Island Environmental & Community Health–Australia & Solomon Islands

Study Abroad Program Overview

Engage firsthand with current development questions in two incredible centers of education: The University of Queensland and Solomon Islands National University. After 6 weeks at the University of Queensland in Australia, the program moves to the Solomon Islands for 5 weeks. 
You will gain valuable field research methodologies and skills across diverse and fragile ecosystems, explore urban and rural development approaches, and see firsthand the impact on public health as you engage with local students and remote communities. In the last phase of the program, you will develop and propose plans to address the challenges you are observing. 
Field and service-oriented work in remote regions of the Solomon Islands will provide opportunities to educate and assist the local population and to prepare for service careers. For this reason, the program is especially well-suited for:
  • Students with a focus on service who ultimately hope to serve with a non-profit such as the Peace Corps,
  • Developmental Studies majors,
  • Environmental Science majors wishing to research and minimize the impact of climate change on island environments,
  • Pre-med students with an emphasis on rural health,
  • Pre-med students who plan to work for medical non-profits such as Doctors Without Borders,
  • Marine biology students with a special interest in learning about and teaching sustainability practices to local populations.

Students attend classes with UC and host country students.

Language of Instruction


Language Study



Spring :  
​11 weeks
Late March to Early June








Students will be travelling in remote areas with few modern facilities. Students must be physically fit and able to swim. Snorkeling will be encouraged, and training is available if a student has no prior snorkeling experience.


​Students will be assigned to homestays, both in Brisbane while at the University of Queensland, as well as in the Solomon Islands.

Extracurricular Activities

While at the University of Queensland, students can take advantage of a wide range of cultural activities, as Brisbane offers a thriving arts and entertainment scene. Students can also take part in day trips around Brisbane, including the Gold Coast and Moreton Islands.

On-site Support

On-site support for the program will be provided by faculty and staff of the University of Queensland.

Course Opportunities

The course structure for this unique program is more fluid than you experience during a traditional semester. Some of the courses run consecutively, some concurrently, and the Capstone Research Project is delivered throughout the program. Course activities are primarily determined by location and knowledge progression. For example, the first course From Global to Environmental Health helps you make a connection between health and the environment on a global scale, and the second course Methods in Environmental Health and Science teaches you essential practical skills in environmental health and science assessment. You then apply the newly acquired global vision and practical training to the third and fourth course.
You enroll in four upper-division courses (see syllabi for more details):
1. From Global to Community Environmental Health (6.0 quarter/4 semester UC units)
Subject Areas: Environmental Studies, Health Sciences
  • introduces the challenges facing environments globally such as warming seas, climate change, ocean acidification and rising sea levels
  • examines the health consequences such as threats to crops, forest, field and marine resources as well as emerging disease
  • teaches students connections between local and global contexts with regard to combating or adapting to health consequences in developed nations
2. Methods in Environmental Health and Science (4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units)
Subject Area: Environmental Studies, Sociology
  • provides essential practical knowledge and skills for assessing ecosystem health, environmental health and human community functionality
  • develops laboratory and field skills
  • identifies linkages between lecture courses and provides training that underpins research project development 
3. Culture and History of Oceania (4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units)
Subject Area: Anthropology, History, Geography
  • develops understanding of the history of the Solomon Islands and the diverse cultures of the South Pacific
  • in order to address ecosystem and environmental health issues, the course studies the complexity and importance of family relationships; the relative power of chiefs and the church; as well as the interaction of these forces with governance at a national level
  • examines threats to Solomon Island cultural heritage and diversity that stem from tourism, mining and climate change
4. Capstone Research Project (4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units)
Subject Area: Environmental Studies or others, depending on topic
  • focuses on a topic chosen from a list of approved topics
  • topic can come from any of the themes delivered throughout the program and is developed based on factors such as faculty and local expertise, equipment availability, and ethical considerations
  • data collection and research activities are carried out as a group throughout the program, with the final research report completed independently
  • presents an outstanding opportunity to develop real-world research skills and practical solutions for challenging problems

MyEAP Course Catalog lists courses previously taken by UC students. Additional courses may be available and not all courses may still be offered. Courses that have not yet been taken for credit will not appear in the MyEAP Course Catalog.

Not sure if this program is right for you? Compare the academic offerings at other Australian universities to help you decide.


​You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad: 19.5 quarter/13 semester UC units per semester; 4 courses. (The P/NP grading option is not available on this program.)

Internships, Research, and Independent Study

​See the Capstone Research Project above for details. Internship or additional independent study is not possible.

The University of Queensland, Brisbane
The University of Queensland, Brisbane 
The University of Queensland, one of Australia’s premier research institutions, was founded in 1910 as the first university in Queensland and the fifth in Australia. More than 38,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs, including approximately 7,500 international students from 124 countries. The university, which is located in St. Lucia, a near suburb of Brisbane, is known for high-quality course work; excellent museums and research facilities including an anthropology museum, an antiquities museum, and an art museum with the largest known university collection of Australian art; and marine research stations at the Great Barrier Reef, Heron Island, Pinjarra Hills and Moreton Bay.  
Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.

Estimated EAP Costs *

OptionWeeksUnits (Qtr)Units (Sem)UCEAP Fees 1Additional Costs 2
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.

1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.

2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.

All fees are subject to change without notice.



UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.​

Important Eligibility Requirements

At least one lower division class in statistics and one lower division class from the following: biology, ecology, environmental studies, or environmental science.
As field activities are a major component of the program and are very physically demanding, participants must be physically fit, able to swim, and free of serious medical conditions that would require on-going medical supervision. There is little development of infrastructure in the Solomon Islands and access to many of the field sites is via hiking/climbing. Students must be prepared to participate in long-distance walks over extremely rough, remote terrain and bush land. Students must be prepared to swim* and snorkel and will be using boats to gain access to field sites. Students must be willing to abide by the water safety regulations presented and enforced by the program supervisors. In addition, students must be flexible, open to the local culture, and tolerant of local religious practices.
*Swimming Pre-requisite:  Participants must successfully demonstrate basic swimming ability and reasonable confidence in the water.
Basic Swimming Skills include:
1.     Ability to time breaths while swimming
2.     Back motionless floating
3.     Gliding through water
4.     Coordination
5.     Breaststroke
6.     Diving
In the first week of the program students will be tested on swimming proficiency. Participants must be able to complete a swimming test consisting of, at minimum:
   10 minutes of continuous swimming, demonstrating at least two strokes
   1 minute of treading water
   1 minute of motionless floating
While program staff will be present during in-water activities to supervise snorkeling and demonstrate data collection techniques, they are neither able nor qualified to devote time to teaching individual students to swim. The  program cannot accommodate any changes in the curriculum and/or credit-bearing activities for students who cannot swim.



Class Level:

Junior, Senior

Language Prerequisites:



2.85 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.

All applicants must also have:

  • Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
  • Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
  • A willingness to abide by program regulations.
  • Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements and be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Application Information and Deadlines

Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.

Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.

For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.

These are minimum requirements. After selection by your UC Campus EAP Office, final admission is determined by the University of Queensland.

Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: