Frequently asked questions:
Q I’m out of state. Do I have to attend the orientation?
A Out of town participants are not required to come to NC for our orientation meeting. I would recommend that you attend an orientation at your own university if one is offered. This is what the NC State students participating on programs run by other universities do.
Q Can I arrive in Australia
earlier, or leave later than the program dates? I’d like to take
the opportunity to see the rest of Australia while I’m here.
A Absolutely, I’d encourage you to do that. You may never come back again; this is your opportunity.
Q Can current freshmen
attend this summer program?
A Yes, freshmen can attend.
Q What majors is this
A The program is designed to interest students interested in Australian wildlife, companion and domestic farm animals.
Q I don’t think
I can go this year but don’t want to miss out. Will the trip
be offered next year?
A I will offer the trip every year but if we don’t get enough students applying to cover the costs then we can’t go that year. Every trip has to at least break even financially.
Q Do I need any particular
immunizations for Australia?
A No. There are no required immunizations for people visiting Australia for fewer than 3 months.
Q Do we book our own
tickets to Australia?
A Yes, you are responsible for booking you own tickets. However, I will arrange for a block booking through an agency with the dates, times, and destinations all confirmed. I will notify students when that is organized and at that time students will contact the agency and pay for their ticket.
A Yes, you can leave the USA earlier if you wish. Just be sure that you can join us in Brisbane when we arrive and, in that case, you are totally responsible for all your travel arrangements.
Q I have paid for my ticket but I haven't received a paper ticket yet.
Am I booked for these flights?
A Don't worry, most likely you have an electronic ticket. Check with the ticketing agency.
Q Will we have access
to a gym in Gatton or St. Lucia?
A Yes, there is a gym at St. Lucia campus, however it is not free. Gatton campus does not have a gym.
Q What meals are/are
not included in the program price?
A Check the itinerary on our web site.
Q. How much extra money
we should bring? We will have meals and souvenirs to buy and other
A It is hard for me to answer that question because students have different tastes and buying habits. Your US experience is your best guide. Count on food costing about 5-10% more. Visit my website to see the side trip options and what they cost.
Q Should we get Australian
currency before we go?
A Yes, you can but it shouldn’t be necessary. One of the first things we do when we arrive in Gatton is to go into town where you can get your Australian money. There you getter a better exchange rate than the airports we go through. You can usually use your U.S. ATM and credit cards. However, you should first check with your bank and credit card company and get their transaction charges. Last time I heard, Capital One does not charge a fee on international transactions; it’s worth investigating. Previous students have found that US credit cards have worked well for them.
Q I’m vegetarian,
will that be a problem?
A No, all the places where we have pre-paid meals cater for vegetarians.
Q Will I need to bring
any special clothing?
A Well, we will be visiting farms and so you will need at least a pair of solid shoes. You will have the opportunity to swim too. It is winter when we will be there so bring some warm clothes. In the Bunya Mountains the temperature can drop to freezing overnight so be prepared for that. Check out the weather for our main sites and pack accordingly:
Brisbane weather Gatton weather
Q Should I bring my
A You can but you don’t have to. Computer labs are available at both Gatton and St. Lucia campuses. However, I recommend you bring a zip or flash drive for your final essay and other files you may wish to save.
Q Will I need to bring
linens (sheets, blankets, pillows) for the dorms?
A No, linen is provided everywhere we visit. However, wash cloths are not provided and you will need to bring your own if you want one.
Q Where will we meet
at RDU on the departure date?
A For those flying from RDU we will all meet in the foyer/ticketing area for American Airlines. Do not clear security by yourself. If you do, I don’t know if you have arrived at the airport or not and I start to worry about what I need to do!
Q What is GST?
A Goods and Services Tax. It's a sales tax everyone pays on purchases.
Q What is the best way
to call back to the US?
A Previous students have told me that the ISIC card that came from STA, works well for them. Try it and if you don't like it then get another.
Q Can I pick up any ticks when we are out bushwalking?
A Yes, previous students have found the six-legged larvae (seed, grass or bush ticks) of the paralysis tick, Ixodes holocyclus, on their bodies, especially their legs, after visiting the Bunyas. The larval stages are less than 1mm long and hard to see. The unengorged adult female is around 4mm long, the nymph around 2mm. For most people ticks are a minor annoyance and easy to avoid. Light colored clothing should be worn, as ticks will be much easier to detect. Trousers should be tucked into socks and shirts into pants. An insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin should be applied, with a cream repellent applied to the skin and a spray repellent to footwear and clothing (note that DEET can damage some synthetic clothing). The repellent should be reapplied every few hours. All clothing should be removed on returning home and placed into a hot dryer for 20 minutes, which will kill any ticks that may still be on the clothing. Note that ticks can wander on the body for some two hours before attaching. This is how they become attached to the head. The body should thereafter be searched well for ticks, especially behind the ears and on the back of the head.For people who develop severe allergic reactions, it is imperative that they must always avoid contact with ticks and avoid potential tick infested areas.
For more information: there are fact sheets, photos, and information on all important insects and insect borne diseases in Australia.
Q I understand Australian electricity is different to the US. How will that affect me?
A The electrical current in Australia is 220/240 volts, AC is 50 Hz. Power outlets in Australia use a 3 prong adapter (the third prong is used as an earth). If you plug in a US appliance (e.g., a hairdryer) that can’t be switched to 240Volts you will destroy that appliance. Stores in the US specializing in travel goods have adapters which will enable some electrical goods purchased in the US to operate within Australia although not all of them will. Radio Shack is a good place to shop. You could purchase appliances (e.g., hairdryers) in Australia and I’ll offer to sell them to next year’s students as I do with Berra’s book.
Hereunder is a photo of a typical Australian power point showing the sockets for the 3 blades on the plug and the switches you need to turn on the power.