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Gustavus J-Term 2022: Astronomy of the Southern Skies
Cairns, Australia; Christchurch, New Zealand; Nelson, New Zealand; Queenstown, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia; Wollongong, Australia (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: January Interim
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Dates / Deadlines: - unrelated header
Dates / Deadlines:
Tabular data for Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
January Interim 2022 05/01/2021 05/01/2021 TBA TBA
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Program Partner:
Gustavus Adolphus College
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Program Term(s):
January Interim
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Minimum GPA:
2.50 Program Design: Faculty led
Program Description:
Program Description:
**This course fulfills the Natural Science (NTSCI) area requirement.
Telescope observatory
Visit the Great Barrier Reef, Queenstown, and glaciers of the South Island of New Zealand. Study astronomy where the skies are dark and people are passionate about it!

  • View the stars of the southern skies from world class observatories
  • Learn about the geology of New Zealand and Australia first hand on trips to see mountains, glaciers and waterfalls
  • Experience the aboriginal cultures of both countries
  • Enjoy the tropical beaches and rain forests
  • Gain an international perspective on science and nature
  • Led by professor of physics, Chuck Niederriter. 
  • This course is approved for the NATSCI requirement in the Challenge Curriculum and for NASP in the Liberal Arts Perspective Curriculum. It also fulfills one of the two IEX requirements in the Liberal Arts Perspective Curriculum.
This course is intended to lead students to an understanding and appreciation of the universe. Astronomy and astrophysics are observationally driven sciences. The ever changing relationship between observations and their interpretation is stressed throughout the course. There have been clear periods when observational astronomy has driven theoretical astronomy and others where the roles have been reversed. This course is designed to illustrate the methods used by scientists (particularly astronomers) and to describe how these methods have changed over the course of history. Participants will learn about the relationships between observations and theories by studying examples from astronomy and physics. In this course we will also discuss the relationships between science and mathematics, science and religion, and science and society.

The student beginning this course will be expected to understand basic mathematical principles such as those taught in high school algebra and geometry. During the course of the semester, algebra and geometry will be used extensively to discuss physical processes. The student will also be introduced to some concepts in trigonometry to illustrate the connection between mathematics and science, but the student is not expected to use trigonometry to solve any problems. It is hoped that over the course of the semester the math skills of most students will improve as a result of the assignments in this course.

  • Christchurch, NZ
  • Akoroa, NZ
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Queenstown, NZ
  • Milford Sound fiord
  • Te Anau, NZ
  • Fox Glacier
  • Westport, NZ
  • Nelson, NZ
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Wollongong, AUS
  • Wollongong area rainforest, waterfalls, and blow holes
  • Sydney, AUS
Coral reef
Academic Calendar 
Approximate dates for 2021 are as follows:
  • Two to three pre-departure meetings: TBA during fall semester 2021 (students who will be away this semester should contact Professor Niederriter)   
  • On-site program: January 1-31, 2022
Faculty Leader
Charles Niederriter, Professor of Physics and Environmental Studies

Double- or multiple-occupancy rooms in residence halls, hotels, and hostels. Varies throughout the program, as this program travels to several sites.

Program Costs
The expected program fee is $8,200 to $8,600 depending on enrollment and final arrangements. The fee includes includes round-trip airfare, all lodging, all excursions, all local transportation, most meals, and travel medical insurance coverage. Students should budget $200-$300 in additional expenses for some meals and personal expenses (souvenirs, toiletries, etc.).

All Gustavus Adolphus College students who meet the general study away requirements are welcome to apply. 

Application Deadline
The application deadline is May 1, 2021. 

Entry visas
CICE will work with students on necessary electronic entry visas. All students must have a passport that is valid until at least July 31, 2022. International students should contact Bryan Messerly in CICE as soon as possible to talk about different visa procedures. 

The information in this online brochure is subject to change. Please contact CICE with questions.

Sydney Harbor and Opera House

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