Please see the student Field Preparation Guide for more detailed information about the Center.
Passport and Visa
Students must have a passport to enter all of the countries where our programs take place. Students must make certain that their passports are valid until six months after the program ends. If necessary, please renew it as soon as possible.
Australia semester program participants will need a visa; SFS Admissions Counselors send detailed information on the visa process to students about three months before the program begins. Students must not apply for a visa before receiving this information!
Letters sent to Australia from the U.S. should be marked "AIRMAIL." The average one-way travel time for airmail to Australia from the U.S. is 10 to 14 days; 14 to 16 weeks for surface. Do not send any mail to students during the last three weeks of the program; SFS will not return or forward packages or letters that arrive after students have departed.
Mail should be sent to:
SFS Center for Rainforest Studies
P.O. Box 141 Yungaburra
Queensland, 4884 Australia
For information about items prohibited from shipping please see the website for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service http://www.affa.gov.au. Please share this information with anyone who may want to send packages to the Center.
The Center has a student telephone to which students will have access for outgoing calls. This phone does not accept incoming calls, and all outgoing calls must either be made collect or with a calling card. Pre-paid calling cards offer reasonable rates of AUS$0.05 to $0.10/minute (plus AUS$.025 connection fee); past students have found them to be the easiest and most reliable way to place a call. Students can purchase them on their first day in Australia. Most students do not buy or use cell phones while in Australia due to the limited service available at our Center in the rainforest.
Internet access is available for students 24-hours-a-day at the Center to support research and educational work. There is no guarantee of 100% uptime, but we do our best to maintain the connections. Often conditions outside of the control of SFS are the cause for Internet outages, and will be resolved as quickly as possible. Please be patient if you do not hear back from your son or daughter right away!
Also, in Australia Internet payment is per usage, not unlimited general access (as in the U.S.). This makes video, music, images, and Skyping extremely costly for the Center and are therefore, not allowed.
New Zealand (Summer 1 only): Students will spend two weeks in New Zealand and two weeks in Australia. There is no internet access in New Zealand, but there is access to internet in Australia.
Mail, Telephone, and Internet in New Zealand
Students will not be able to receive mail while in New Zealand. They will not be able to make or receive calls or use Internet at our accommodations in New Zealand. Students can send mail, make phone calls, or use Internet cafes during stops in towns about one to two times per week during the New Zealand portion of the program.