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Australia Study Abroad Program at Griffith University

About Griffith University in Brisbane & Gold Coast, Australia

  • Minimum GPA: 2.5 (4.0 scale)
  • Application deadlines: November 15 for semester 1 (Feb-June)
    November 15 for calendar year (Feb-Oct)
    March 1 for semester 2 (June-Oct)
    March 1 for academic year (June-June)
  • Program advisor: Emma Diebold
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Program Snapshot


We're so excited that you're considering IFSA-Butler's program at Griffith University for your semester or year abroad. Griffith University boasts being in one of Australia's most beautiful areas—the Sunshine State! From Brisbane (Nathan campus) to Surfer's Paradise (Gold Coast campus) we're sure you're going to love studying there!

What Griffith has to offer

  • One of the Asia-Pacific region's most progressive and dynamic universities
  • A wide range of studies and many interdisciplinary offerings
  • AACSB accredited business school
  • Top ranked subjects include business, criminal justice, tourism, physics and creative arts
  • Study abroad students eligible for Griffith's prestigious Honours College
  • Three campuses: Nathan in Toohey National Park, 15 minutes from central Brisbane; the art and music schools, across the river from the central business district; and Gold Coast, a modern campus in a native bushland setting, one hour from Brisbane
  • The Queensland College of Art on the Gold Coast campus and the prestigious Queensland Conservatorium of Music
  • Campus amenities include a general store, restaurants, cafe bar, bookshop, bank, post office, travel agency and sports facilities


  • Housing at the Nathan Campus is in residence halls
  • Housing at the Gold Coast Campus is in furnished apartments, one option within walking distance of classes and another near Surfers Paradise
  • All Gold Coast students purchase or prepare their own meals
  • Students in the art and music schools live in Nathan residences
  • The IFSA-Butler program fee includes three meals per day for Nathan residents


  • Cross-registration is possible for the Nathan Campus and the art and music schools
  • Students usually take four courses per semester
  • AACSB International accredited business school

We look forward to working with you!



Where can I find a list of pre-approved courses at Griffith?
Click on either link below for a list of pre-approved courses:

Semester 1 Pre-Approved Course List
Semester 2 Pre-Approved Course List

Selecting courses from this list means that your enrollment will be approved without requiring the faculty at Griffith to assess your qualifications. However, courses are subject to space restrictions and can change before the start or during the first two weeks of the trimester. Selecting one or more of these courses does not guarantee you a place in the course(s).

Where can I find a full list of courses that the university offers?

  1. Open the Griffith University online course catalog.
  2. On the "Keyword Search" tab, you can type in a keyword to search for courses that may be related.
  3. Click the "Search" button. Make sure each course is offered during the correct semester and on the campus which you are interested in attending.  Click on the "Catalog Number" to get a brief description of the course.

What courses am I eligible to take?
As an IFSA-Butler student, you are entitled to enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and in which space is available. Course descriptions in the online course catalog (see above) include prerequisites you must fulfill in order to enroll in each course.

When determining which courses to take, please bear in mind that the Australian academic system is an intensive, three-year program. 

  • First-year (1000) courses are appropriate for departments in which you'll have little or no prior experience.
  • Second-year (2000) level courses are equivalent to advanced sophomore or junior-level U.S. courses.
  • Third-year (3000) courses are equivalent to senior-level U.S. courses.
  • Fourth-year (4000) courses are electives.
  • 5000 courses are electives for some study areas only (e.g. Law)
  • 6000 courses are undergraduate Honours courses. These are available only to students who are currently an Honours student at their home university.
  • 7000 courses and higher are part of a postgraduate degree (Masters or Ph.D.). You are not eligible to take these courses as an undergraduate study abroad student.

For each course that you list on your preference form, be sure to check the following:

  • The semester(s) in which the course is offered: Select "Semester 1" for spring and "Semester 2" for the fall.
  • Prerequisites: Please note that you will have to fulfill any prerequisites listed in the course description. For a brief description of the course, click on the "Catalog Number." Generally, you must have some background in the subjects you wish to study at your host institution. List only those courses for which you are academically prepared.
  • Location: You must choose whether you want to study at the Nathan campus or the Gold Coast campus. Students studying at Nathan campus may take courses at the Mt. Gravatt campus simultaneously. QCA (Queensland College of Art) and QCM (Queensland Conservatorium of Music) students may supplement their schedule with general courses on the Nathan campus.

Queensland College of Art portfolio requirements:

  • Applicants should submit 25-30 photographs or original works such as drawings, designs, painting, prints or collages. This work should demonstrate drawing skills, imagination, innovation, or experimentation with process most appropriate to the field of study.
  • For studies in animation you may submit an original animated film, video or CD in addition to your portfolio.
  • For studies in Film & Television the portfolio may include original scripts (or other creative writing, photographs, videotapes of theatre performances worked in, drawing or other evidence of artistic ability).

Queensland Conservatorium of Music audition requirements:

  • Applicants should submit a good quality audition recording (CD and/or videotape) of at least 15 minutes duration. The audition recording should be signed by the person in charge of the recording, as being an unedited recording.
    • Classical Vocal and Instrumental applicants must complete a performance audition based on three contrasting pieces of their choice. Vocal selections must be within vocal capabilities, but showing potential. Pieces will not necessarily be heard in their entirety.
    • Jazz/Contemporary applicants must complete a performance audition based on three contrasting pieces. At least one of these should demonstrate an ability to improvise over a common jazz form, such as blues or a 32-bar standard tune. At least one of the repertoire selections should be a blues or jazz standard in the style of such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Diana Krall, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett or Kurt Elling. A jazz standard is virtually any song by Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Rodgers, Arlen, Schwartz, Ellington. Use of pre-recorded or live accompaniment is acceptable.
    • Suggested Jazz/Contemporary repertoire:
      • Blues: Now's the Time, C-Jam Blues, Centrepiece, Sonny, Moon for Two
      • Bossa nova: Black Orpheus, Blue Bossa, Gentle Rain, Recordame, Perdido, any song by Antonio Carlos Jobim
      • Standards: Autumn Leaves, Summertime, Beautiful Love, God Bless the Child, Stormy Weather, Misty, Take the ‘A' Train, any standard by Porter, Gershwin, Berlin, Schwartz, Rodgers, Ellington, Arlen, Cahn.
      • Jazz Drummers may include a snare drum study as one of the pieces.
      • Saxophonists may include a technical etude (Niehaus, Snidero) as one of the pieces.
      • Pianists may include a transcription (Brubeck, Evans, Powell) as one of the pieces.

What if I need to take a required course?
Please be aware that IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee that your host university will offer a particular course, or that you will be allowed to take that particular course. However, if you need to take a required course, you may indicate that it is required on your course preference form. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor will communicate your needs to your host university.

Course Restrictions

  • Fourth-year (4000) courses are electives.
  • 5000 courses are electives for some study areas only (e.g. Law)
  • 6000 courses are undergraduate Honours courses. These are available only to students who are currently an Honours student at their home university.
  • 7000 courses and higher are part of a postgraduate degree (Masters or Ph.D.). You are not eligible to take these courses as an undergraduate study abroad student.


How many courses am I able to take, and how do I determine U.S. semester credit hours?
IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution. At Griffith University, a full course load consists of 40 Griffith University points per semester or 80 Griffith University points per year. The number of courses you take depends on the credit value of the courses you select.

Most students enroll in four classes each worth 10 Griffith University Credit Points for a total of 16 U.S. semester credit hours.

10 GU credit points = 4 U.S. semester credit hours
15 GU credit points = 6 U.S. semester credit hours


What are the registration conditions?
You must take a full Griffith University course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.

The course preference form is not a registration form; it is a guideline to let your host university know which courses you are interested in taking abroad. You should discuss your course selections with your academic advisor at your home institution and have several backup choices in mind. Neither you nor the university is bound by your selections. You will have the opportunity to enroll online before the semester begins, but you will be able to make changes when you arrive on campus if necessary.


What do I need to know about exams?
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Please refer to your program dates to review the exam period for your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting a grade appeal or academic follow-up for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned at Griffith University. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.


Housing Options

What are my housing options?
The following housing options are available during your semester or year abroad.

Gold Coast campus

  • Griffith University Village (GUV) is located a five-minute walk from campus. Units at the large modern complex are composed of five-bedroom apartments. The GUV has a swimming pool, resource center, convenience store, café, BBQ area and on-site management who implement a social program of activities each semester.

    Each apartment has a kitchen with a refrigerator, oven, microwave, cooktops and cupboards. The shared lounge is equipped with a dining table/chairs, TV and coffee table.  Linen packs are available for purchase upon arrival. When you move in, you will meet with your flatmates to discuss what utensils you wish to purchase for the apartment.

    Each bedroom has a cable Internet connection and telephone access. On-site management arranges the connection; usage fees apply. All apartments and individual bedrooms are secure and fitted with key-lock doors and lockable windows. The apartment complex has security patrols and on-call security guards after hours. On-site management and RAs are available for after hours emergencies.

    * Program participants housed in Griffith University Village will receive an additional fee of $1,275 each semester.

  • Off-Campus Apartments
    Apartments are located a few blocks from the heart of Surfers Paradise and a 25-minute train or bus ride from the university. Students will be living in self-catered apartments with fellow IFSA-Butler and other study abroad students. Students will share a bedroom and bathroom with another student on the program, with four students living in a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment.

    The apartment comes furnished with all furniture, pots, pans, dishes, etc. There is also a dishwasher, laundry facilities and air conditioning/heating. 12 GB of Internet is included each month. The secure apartment complex has a mix of tenants living there, including professionals, retirees, students and travelers.

    The building has a gym, pool, tennis courts and building reception and maintenance. To get to class students can take the light rail (which is around a 25-minute journey and costs around $2 each way). This housing option is ideal for those seeking a more independent living experience.

Nathan campus, including the Queensland College of Art (QCA) and the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (QCM):

  • Urbanest These student apartments are located in South Bank, Brisbane's cultural suburb. Each student will have his/her own bedroom and share the apartment with other IFSA-Butler students or international and domestic students studying at the Griffith University or other surrounding universities. Each apartment is fully furnished and includes air conditioning and Internet service.

    Bedrooms are singles with a private bathroom attached. Urbanest is a self-catering residence, and there are no meal plans available. Each apartment has a fully furnished kitchen, so students have the opportunity to prepare their own meals. Nearby local restaurants, bars and cafes are also available. Bedding, cookware and utensils are provided.


Gold Coast Campus
Griffith University Village is self-catered, so students purchase and prepare their own meals. Meal plans are not available. Each apartment has a kitchen with a refrigerator, oven, microwave, cooktops and cupboards. The shared lounge is equipped with a dining table/chairs, TV and coffee table.

Nathan Campus
At Bellenden Ker residential college, a full, required meal plan is included (21 meals).

In the event students are placed in on-campus flats, they will be responsible for purchasing and preparing their own meals.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for any commuting costs you may incur. Australian university housing requires students to move out during breaks between semesters. If you are studying abroad for a year and wish to remain in residence during the vacation period(s), you must notify the university housing office upon arrival to make necessary arrangements. Staying in residence during these breaks may incur additional costs not covered by the IFSA-Butler program fee.

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in Australia for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail when it is released by the university.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.

Location Info


Living and Studying Abroad in Brisbane, Australia

About Brisbane
Population: 1.8 million
Location: State of Queensland

City features

  • The state capital of Queensland
  • A multicultural city of tropical charm with a laid-back outdoor lifestyle
  • Australia's greenest city
  • The region's unique plants and animals are a common sight throughout the city
  • A great nightlife with a casino, clubs and activities

Do more!

  • Travel west from Brisbane to national parks of subtropical rainforests and mountains
  • Head north to visit Sunshine Coast beaches, rainforests, tourist attractions and wildlife parks
  • Head south to the Gold Coast-"surfers' paradise"-and its miles of beaches, outdoor activities, theme parks, nightlife and shopping
  • Explore the largest sand dunes in the world at Stradbroke, Moreton and Fraser islands
  • Visit the Great Barrier Reef, the largest World Heritage area with 1,500 species of fish and 350 types of coral

Destination Queensland
Brisbane and Queensland News
Visit Brisbane

Gold Coast

Living and Studying Abroad in Gold Coast, Australia

About Gold Coast

Location: 500,000
Population: Southeast Queensland, in east central Australia

City features

  • A fast-growing metropolis and one of Australia's most popular tourist destinations
  • Famous for its sun, surf and sand
  • The city features 70 kilometers of beautiful beaches, vast rainforest and breathtaking scenery
  • More than 500 restaurants, major shopping centers, four major theme parks and nightlife galore

Do more!

  • Visit the surrounding area's rainforest, natural wetlands, sugar cane farms and outdoor recreation facilities
  • Attend the city's numerous international sporting events that range from surfing competitions to horse races to golf

Visit Gold Coast
Gold Coast City Council
Destination Queensland
Gold Coast News

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

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IFSA-Butler orientation begins at 11 a.m. on the orientation start date.

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

All program support services end on the “Program Ends” date.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Australia exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals.

Program Fees

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What's included in our Australia program fees
Expense calculator

Calendar Year and Semester 1 Payments Due: December 15
Academic Year and Semester 2 Payments Due:
May 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

** Students housed in Griffith University Village will receive an additional fee of $1,275 each semester.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs. Meals are estimated based on the cost of a weekly standard grocery shop with one meal out.  If you plan to eat out once a day or more, we recommend using a higher estimate.  If you have dietary restrictions or follow a specific diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc), you may also wish to budget more due to the higher cost of specialty food items.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

**Meals: The program fee for Nathan campus and Queensland College of Art includes three meals per day. Students on the Gold Coast campus purchase or cook their own meals.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Australia:

emmaProgram Advisor Emma Diebold assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Emma completed her undergraduate degree in Geography: Travel & Tourism at Ball State University. She went abroad with the BSU Geography Department to Eastern and Central Europe and has enjoyed personal travels to several destinations including Belgium, France, Ireland, Peru, Ecuador and The Bahamas. Emma joined the IFSA-Butler team to aid students who want to explore the world and advises students planning to study abroad in England. Emma can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4258.

beckiStudent Accounts Coordinator Becki Niccum assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Becki can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-3077.


altStudent & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

rebecca duellOnce abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our student services coordinator Rebecca Duell. Click here to read more about Rebecca.




abbyAcademic Records Coordinator Abby Miller graduated from Butler University where she worked as a guide for international students from all over the world. From that experience and combined with her own world travels, she knows the amazing experiences that studying abroad can provide. Abby is excited to work with IFSA-Butler students and to help answer any questions about their academic records. Abby can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4217.

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:
Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students

Specialized Certificates

The Specialized Semester Certificate is an opportunity for students to gain recognition and experience in a specialized area of study offered by Griffith University. The certificate is awarded to students who successfully complete at least 3 courses from one of the listed specializations. A typical full-time study load is four courses per semester, so you still have flexibility to include a course outside of the specialization to either complement or differentiate your semester abroad. Click here to learn more.


Internships are available through the university at placements in communications and marketing, nonprofit organizations and government offices. Internships are unpaid but are worth 4 U.S. semester credits and replace one class at Griffith.

The Griffith internships allows you to give back to the community by volunteering 50 hours during the semester in structured activities, projects or research. Some examples of past internships include environmental work, executive assistance, event planning, social media work, marketing assistance, research project assistance, human resources intern or community development work.

Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.