SPEA in Australia

Spend six weeks studying public finance and economics while traveling throughout Australia

Australia provides an ideal setting for an enriching, cultural experience you are bound to treasure. Throughout the course you will meet with public finance and policy professionals in three locations: Canberra, Sydney, and Cairns. Australia's capital, Canberra, is the location of many institutions of national significance. Sydney is the world’s largest natural harbor and Cairns is known for rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef, considered one of the seven natural world wonders. You will spend approximately two weeks in each location.

Learn more about the SPEA in Australia program

This program will not occur during summer 2019.

V482/V582- “Public Economies in the 21st Century” (6cr.)

Program Director: Bradley Heim

Students in this six-week, six-credit course will have their time split evenly between Canberra, Sydney and Cairns. The course places an emphasis on the myriad of economic, social, and environmental problems that public finance policy professionals at all levels of government are expected to address. The 20th century was notable for its capitalism versus communism political conflicts that occasionally turned violent. By the 21st century it would appear that the developed world has moved beyond this divide by gravitating towards a mixed economy that is largely market oriented with a significant role for government interventions. The current century offers new challenges presented by rapid technological progress, global integration of the economies, climate change, and the protection of socially marginalized groups. Australia is an ideal setting for this intellectual exploration. The Commonwealth of Australia is a federation of six states and several territories whose government evolved from its origins as a British settlement. Today, it is the world’s 12th largest economy and is heavily interdependent with countries in the Asia-Pacific Region.

This program will be a blend of daily classroom instruction with several accomplished and fascinating guest lectures by Faculty from Australian Universities, as well as cultural excursions where you can experience the vibrant heritage of Australia’s indigenous people and environment.

    • Parliament House In-Depth Tour in Canberra
    • Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra
    • Sydney Educational Walking Tour
    • Sydney Town Hall
    • Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns
    • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority & Tour of Great Barrier Reef Green Island in Cairns

The program will be open to IU students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students from across IU will be considered, however preference for acceptance will be given to SPEA students at IUB and IUPUI.

In all three cities, students will stay in a hostel that specializes in international educational groups and is a member of the Youth Hostel Association.

    • Canberra Central City YHA: Ideally located right in the heart of the capital of Australia, Canberra City YHA property is situated only minutes from Parliament House, National Museum of Australia, the museum quarter and the Australian Institute of Sport. It includes a café, lounge area and first class security, with CCTV cameras and security card swipe access area.
    • Sydney Railway Square YHA: Gold winner of NSW Tourism Awards – Backpacker Accommodation 2015! Railway Square YHA provides a one of a kind atmosphere with the hostel located on Platform Zero of Central Railway Station. This hostel features a spa pool, free wifi, 24-hour access, tour desk, indoor and outdoor communal areas and self-catering kitchen.
    • Cairns Central YHA: Winner for best hostel and Hall of Fame entrant in the 2015 Queensland Tourism Awards, Cairns YHA is opposite Cairns Central Shopping Centre and is a short walk from the Cairns Esplanade. All are air-conditioned with free wifi access. 

Note: You will pay two amounts – the tuition, which is what Indiana University credits cost, and you will also pay the SPEA Abroad Program fee.

2018 SPEA in Australia Program Fee: $3,500

The program fee includes lodging, medical insurance, some meals, and cultural excursions.

* Program fee is subject to change due to unforeseeable circumstances

IUB Tuition – 6 credits

The tuition cost for SPEA in Australia is based on IU Bloomington tuition. The amount of tuition you pay will vary based on your student status.

Additional Costs

You will need to pay for multi-destination flight to Australia, transportation to and from the airport, food that is not included in the program and other incidentals.


The SPEA Abroad Summer Scholarship/Fellowship is available to help SPEA students from IUB and IUPUI study abroad. Please visit our scholarship page for eligibility requirements and application deadlines. 

Other scholarships are available on a competitive basis.

2017 Course Syllabus