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Studying at university inevitably involves being in a classroom.

But what if we told you your classroom could look like this?

Or this?

This is the classroom of students studying the subject Environmental Field Analysis of Rainforest and Coastal Regions – affectionately known as ‘Island Class’.

It’s a one-of-a-kind class held on North Stradbroke Island, one of Queensland’s most diverse and picturesque environmental regions.

The subject is conducted in intensive mode, which means instead of having weekly classes, the hours are concentrated into an action-packed week on the island.

“Students are going to develop a deep understanding of the Indigenous culture, Indigenous practice on North Stradbroke Island, they’re going to learn about the unique fauna, habitats and how humans can better manage those animals from koalas to dolphins and kangaroos,” explained Associate Professor Daryl McPhee.

See what it's like to study on North Stradbroke Island

University of Rhode Island student Ashley Midon chose to study abroad at Bond for a semester, electing to take Island Class.

“I feel like I have learned so much more just these past few days than I’ve learned in a classroom my whole life, honestly,” she said.

“It’s been incredible. Everything I’ve seen I never thought I would see outside of a picture, it’s just breathtaking. I can’t even describe it with words.”

It’s an incredible location, but student learning is enhanced by being immersed in the subject matter – literally.

For students like Sydney Mare Knodl from Texas A&M University, the unique class was the reason she chose to study at Bond.

“I chose to study at Bond and take this subject because in graduate school I want to do a lot of field work and field analysis and this class is exactly that,” she said.

“We’re doing a lot of field analysis here out on the beaches and in some of the more forested areas and it’s the reason I came to Bond. It’s a very interactive class.”

The intensive class mode and interactive environment sets the scene for an engaging learning experience, said Associate Professor McPhee.

“The advantage of learning in an environment like this is that you develop deep learning, you’re engaged with the environment, you’re seeing, touching and smelling it out in the real world,” he said.

Study abroad at Bond University

It could be the best four months of your life!

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