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Australian Student Teaching

USC student teaching pics

SUNY Cortland's student teaching program on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia is a 13 week program consisting of the following elements:

1) A 2 week summer program in which you will take a specialized course designed to introduce you to the Australian education system and prepare you for your student teaching experience.

2) An optional 2 week tour of Australian tropical east coast and outback. During this trip, you will travel by bus with the other students on the program as you are led by your Australian Program Director. You will have the chance to swim in the Great Barrier Reef, be charmed by a small town population of 45 people in the Outback as you spend the night in the town's main building which serves as the local post office/pub/hotel, as well as enjoy many beaches, animal and nature preserves, geographic wonders, and other scenic and highly authentic destinations along the way. This trip is highly recommended! Past participants have described this incredible trip as one of the highlights of the program.

3) A 9 week student teaching placement. This student teaching placement meets the requirements by the New York State Education Department as well as by the State University of New York.Join our group on facebook


City, Country 

Queensland, Australia
Sunshine Coast


All applicants will participate in the Australia Student Teaching program from mid-June through mid-September.

Teacher candidates will have the choice to be registered for:

Spring: U.S./N.Y. student teaching placement will take place Jan-Mar before Australia student teaching.
Fall: U.S./N.Y. student teaching placement will take place Oct-Dec after Australia student teaching.

Please refer to  AST/U.S. Student Teaching Schedule for clarification.


2014 Dates

Depart the United States no later than: June 11, 2014 (note: it takes two days to fly from the United States to Australia, so you must leave by June 11 to arrive by June 13, 2014). 

Arrive in Brisbane, Australia no later than: June 13, 2014. Overnight in Brisbane. Be prepared to meet the program director and group bus at 9:30 AM Australian time on Saturday, June 14th at designated pick-up.

Orientation for Student Teaching in Australia: Tuesday, June 17th- Friday, June 27th, 2014 

Vacation: Saturday, June 28 - Sunday, July 13, 2014 (two weeks). Students may participate in the optional Tropical Coast and Outback trip during this period. 

Student Teaching: Monday, July 14 - Friday, September 12, 2014 (nine weeks)

Program finishes: Saturday, September 13, 2014. After the program concludes, you may fly home or you may travel around Australia for a maximum of 1 additional month (your visa will expire mid- October).


A minimum GPA of 2.8 is required for Childhood/Early Childhood majors.
A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for all others unless higher GPA is required by department for student teaching.
A higher GPA is recommended for all.

Application Forms and Requirements:  

All components of the Australia Student Teaching Application which include:

  • Application - pages 2 & 3
  • Two Confidential References - pages 4 & 5
  • Official Transcript  
  • Professional Experience Resume - page 6
  • Supplemental Teacher Education Application - page 6
  • Approval Signature Page - page 7
    Signature Page for Cortland Students

Non-Cortland students must also return completed Judicial Review and Code of Conduct

Submission Instructions:

All applicants are encouraged to use the Australia Student Teaching Application Planner to be sure all materials are submitted by deadline.

  • SUNY Cortland students submit all of the above application materials to the SUNY Cortland International Programs Office.
  • Non-Cortland students submit all of the application materials to the home campus office indicated on approval signature page (page 7).

Special Note:

Copy of passport- Needed by January 8th, 2013.
If you do not hold a passport, you are advised to apply for one at least 8 weeks prior to January 8th to avoid additional fees to expedite.
If you already hold a passport, it must be valid until March 2014.

Application Deadline

Spring registrants: October 1, 2013
Fall registrants & Potsdam students: December 1, 2013

Are you a spring or fall registrant? Please refer to "Session" section above.

ALL components of the program application must be submitted by published deadlines.

Non-Cortland applicants MUST first discuss intent to apply to the program with their home school study abroad and/or field placement offices and submit all application materials to the same by appropriate deadline. The applicable home campus office will then forward the completed applications to SUNY Cortland.

Travel Information Flight information will be available at the first orientation meeting.
Program Costs

2014 Fall Tentative Budget
2014 Spring Tentative Budget
2014 Summer Tentative Budget (Potsdam students only)  

Program Course Information

Number of credits awarded varies by student major and/or home campus.

Australian Student Teaching Flyer

Interested? Read More


Off campus apartment style shared housing with other program participants (2-3 bedrooms) with full kitchens in beautiful Newport Mooloolaba Holiday Apartments on the Sunshine Coast.

Student Mentors

Email our program alumni to learn more about Australia Student Teaching from a student's perspective!

Jillian Walsh '11

Nate Thomas '12

Program Advisor

Contact Gonda Gebhardt, SUNY Cortland study abroad advisor, with any questions you may have.


Get Excited!

2012 Australia Student Teaching Video

2011 Australia Student Teaching Video


This story was featured on ABC WEstern Queensland, Australia on 11 July, 2014 For full story with audio, go to:

New York teachers get outback education

Dozens of student teachers from New York have learnt the delicate art of tea making while on a whirlwind tour of the outback. They're seeing the sights of Queensland before they begin work placements on the Sunshine Coast next week.

New York student teachers at Longway Station near Longreach

New York student teachers at Longway Station near Longreach. (ABC:Blythe Moore)

Thirty student teachers are crowded around a dining table at Longway Station near Longreach in western Queensland.

In front of them is a tea pot, a tea strainer and dozens of cups.

"I think I need some help here," one student teacher says, gesturing to the tea.

Dozens of confused faces look back at him. Many of them have never made a cup of tea before.

Luckily, there's an Australian on hand to help.

Colin Balfour from the State University of New York, who's leading the group, jumps in to explain.

"Put the strainer on top of the cup, then pour the tea, then add milk if you like," he said.

It's just one of many educational experiences for this group of teachers, as part of a two-week tour of Queensland.

Next week the real work starts as they begin two-month work placements at schools on the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Balfour says the program is offered to final year undergraduate students in the State University of New York's education department.

He says the program is appealing to many students because it gives them an edge when it comes to job applications.

"It makes them much more competitive," he said.

"In Long Island, for example, in New York, for one job vacancy there may be 1,000 applicants.

"So if you've got international experience you might be able to differentiate yourself and be the preferred candidate for employment."

The student teachers will be based at a variety of schools on the Sunshine Coast, including Mooloolaba State School, Chevallum State School and Currimundi Special School.

Student teacher Kyle Shea says he thinks the experience in Australia will help him adapt to situations that may arise in an American classroom.

"I think one of the most important things about being a teacher is being able to adapt, being able to adapt to any situation," he said.

"Being in a completely different cultural climate and school climate is going to be very different for me.

"This is just preparing me for what it's going to be like in a classroom in America and adapting to different situations constantly."