ISA Study Abroad in Cairns, Australia
95% Rating
(8 Reviews)

ISA Study Abroad in Cairns, Australia

Study in Cairns, Australia at James Cook University with ISA!

JCU is one of the leading Australian universities, known for its research initiatives, and teaching excellence. Over 1,600 international students from 100+ countries study abroad at JCU every year; students will have a truly international experience while studying abroad in Australia. The academically diverse environment, a vibrant community, and scenic locations are why hundreds of students study at James Cook University each year.

Visit the ISA website to learn more about how you can study abroad in Australia.

In 2014, GlobaLinks Learning Abroad merged with International Studies Abroad (ISA), therefore, the GlobaLinks program reviews may not accurately reflect the new program structure, which has been greatly improved through the integration with ISA.
Program Type
Subject Areas
Australian Studies
Earth Sciences
International Business
Marine Biology
Natural Sciences
Social Sciences
Visual Arts
Degree Level
Academic Year
Online Application
Official Transcripts
GPA Requirement
Other Locations
Townsville, Cairns

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 8 reviews
  • Academics 7.4
  • Support 8.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Life Changing Experience!

I had never been out of the U.S. before in my life and knew no one else going on this study abroad journey, so needless to say I was extremely nervous to be taking such a leap of faith. In no time, however, my anxious feelings turned to pure excitement. I can confidently say that studying abroad through ISA was the best decision I have ever made and those five months I spent in Australia were the best five months of my life. I greatly admired ISA's service-oriented attitude and always felt that I had personal attention from the organization throughout my journey.

The group flight to Australia from L.A. presented the opportunity to meet other Americans in the program prior to even setting foot in Australia. ISA's cultural immersion program further boosted my comfort level in living abroad, which made my academic orientation at JCU even more rewarding. ISA's on-site staff was always willing to help with any questions I had and my on-site coordinator became a close friend as well. I absolutely loved the close community atmosphere of living in the international student lodge because it presented the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world on a daily basis. Many of the students I met while studying abroad remain my best friends to this day. I loved my classes and definitely encourage taking unique courses that would not be an option at your average University in the U.S. There are so many ways to get involved in University and community activities outside of the classroom. Furthermore, excursions and travel opportunities occur on a weekly basis.

I grew so much through my cross-cultural abroad experience and cannot speak highly enough about ISA's abroad programs. Aside from the amazing people that I met and amazing times I had throughout my travels, I also developed strong interpersonal, organizational, and independent working skills. Highlighting my personal and professional growth through studying abroad is extremely helpful in job interviews and can allow anyone studying abroad to excel in reaching their career goals. Even after returning home from being abroad, ISA remains close with its strong alumni network and always seeks to help its alumni reach reach their career goals.

How can this program be improved?

I would have ISA staff check in on midterm grades to make sure its students are doing alright academically.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Best decision of my life. Nothing will ever compare.

My first piece of advice for studying abroad is DO IT! It will end up being the best experience of your life. It seems so easy to stay home where you are comfortable but trust me, that's not living. Studying abroad is when I first felt like I was actually living my life. I loved not doing the same day to day routine. You will learn and grow so much as a person. It is so worthwhile to do it. If you're a bit nervous about being away from home picking a country that speaks English may be a good idea. Other than that I would say just jump in feet first and don't hold back. Take every experience you can. Go out and explore and try new things, meet new people and be daring and adventurous! Life is too short to waste it not doing that. There were SO many exciting adventures I got to experience! I lived on a small sail boat with 20 other people for 3 days at the Whitsunday Islands. I traveled to Sydney and New Zealand over my mid-semester break. I tried surfing. I went to the famous Full Moon Parties on Magnetic Island. I went ATVing through the rainforest and horseback riding in New Zealand. I scuba dived the famous S.S. Yongala Shipwreck and saw a bull ray. I went cliff jumping and luging. When you visit another country everyday is an adventure and that was my favorite part of my time abroad.

How can this program be improved?

The only thing I didn't enjoy about my time abroad was STA. That is the travel company GlobaLinks uses. I chose to use them thinking it would be easier but it really wasn't. My advice would be to book your own flights and just make sure you get on the same group flight in LA that everyone else will be on.

Yes, I recommend
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..but really, what are you waiting for. If I had to re-do my study abroad experience, I would have gone earlier, and more than one semester. James Cook University in Townsville, was the perfect location for studying abroad. Townsville has something for every type of student. A quick bus ride to the center of town where there are great restaurants, clubs and shopping. The bus also brings you to the beach and the airport for weekend excursions.

Now about the STUDY, in 'study abroad'. The facilities were great and the course schedule and work was very easy to adjust to. I went abroad my junior year of college and had to take higher level courses to ensure I graduated on time. Though they were higher level courses, the effort put into the courses, was equal to if I was still in the U.S. (A question many people ask me as an alumna).

I loved my dorm (or college as the locals call it). I lived in George Roberts Hall, a motel style dorm. I had my own room, two suitemates, a shared bathroom and a common living space.

How can this program be improved?

The only hiccup would be the meals. I lived off of sandwiches and cereal. It seemed as if curry was served for dinner every other night. Luckily, all my friends were locals so we would drive and eat on curry night!

Yes, I recommend
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Fantastic Experience

Townsville is sunny almost everyday. The walk to class is beautiful, but long from GR. The people are incredibly friendly and the staff of JCU is somewhat helpful. To be completely honest the social scene was amazing. I loved living on college. Town is about 20 min away and the bus systems are pretty good, but dirty. It takes about 45 min on a bus to get anywhere. On campus their was a club, which was a lot of fun to go to. Overall, I had the best time of my life and would suggest studying abroad here. If you do, put yourself out there and make friends with the Aussies. They appreciate that because so many other people that come through seem to group with the other internationals.

How can this program be improved?

If I had to change on thing it would have been to have a better study abroad advisor. Our advisor in Townsville was terrible. Because I was there for one year and not a semester I went through two and neither made a big difference after the bridging cultures program.

Yes, I recommend
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Study Abroad in Townsville

This experience was a once in a life time. Through this experience I was able to truly gain a better appreciation for my own culture while learning about the Australian culture. The classes were challenging but fun. Most of my classes were in the morning therefore I was free most afternoons. The one aspect I like about the classes was that after you were taught the material you were able to use what you learned in the class. The housing was also wonderful. I was not use to having a single room but in Australia that is the only types of rooms that they had. The college was like a community in it self. One of the difficulties was that many of the upperclassman were not accepting of the internationals because we left in six months. One of my highlights was that I played on a sport team while I was there. It was rewarding to see how sports differ from one culture to the next.

How can this program be improved?

One negative thought I had was that once you were at the college and had been there for a while, there were no program activities. All of the program participants started together and became close but then there were no group gatherings throughout the semester. This would have been nice to have to see how all the participants' experiences were going.

Yes, I recommend
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Take me back!

This school was remarkable! I'd love to be back! It has everything I could ever want. My biggest concern was being far away from Sydney, but a week was more than enough time for there. The tropics have so much more to experience. The Great Barrier Reef was my number one reason for going to JCU, but the people, the phenomenal weather and the great classes helped make it the best experience I could ever ask for. Make lots of friends with the local students as well as people in your program! Pack lightly and enjoy every single day. It goes far too fast!

How can this program be improved?

The worst thing about JCU is the food. In retrospect it wasn't that bad, but for a picky eater I ate a lot of cereal. This was included in room and board though so I was not required to go grocery shopping!

Yes, I recommend
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Everything about my study abroad was WONDERFUL! The school and location perfectly fit my needs. If I ever needed help, someone was always there to guide me. Orientation was amazing and it helped me find comfort in my surroundings. The people you meet at orientation are your support system! Make sure to take advantage of them because they are there to help you make the best of your study abroad opportunity! If you start to feel homesick, don't worry! Keep in touch with your family back home and make a new family abroad! Everyone is extremely friendly and would love to talk to you. I would not have done anything different (except maybe stay another semester)! I enjoyed every moment of my time in Australia. Make sure to take advantage of EVERY opportunity that is presented to you! Even if you are afraid, remember that the things you are most scared of are usually the ones that are most worth while!

If I could give a piece of advice, it would be to PACK LIGHT and ENJOY!

Yes, I recommend
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Great Program

Despite initial hesitation to study abroad through Australearn, I decided that it was the best option for me. The greatest obstacle Australearn presented was primarily financial, as it would have been much cheaper to study abroad through my home university. However, I was allowed to use financial aid, which made the payments much more manageable; and, in the end it was totally worth it! The amenities Australearn provided upon arrival in AU made up for the extra costs of the program. The staff were fantastic, the information sessions were funny and helpful, the activities were fun and even gave us some common ground with native ozzies. If I could go back and do it again (for the first time) I would definitely make the same decision. Go with Australearn, its fantastic.

Yes, I recommend

About ISA (International Studies Abroad)

As a leader in international education for thirty years, ISA is dedicated to providing university and college level students the opportunity to discover, learn, and enjoy a way of life other than their own. ISA offers a diverse portfolio of education...