"Eastern Diamondback Coming from the Surf." "Eastern Diamondback Coming from the Surf."

Academic and Real-World Benefits

Why study away? Taking advantage of these unique opportunities will give you more benefits than we can list here, but they include:
  • broadening your real-life experience
  • giving you hands-on classes in some of the world’s most interesting and important ecosystems
  • teaching you about other countries through shared experiences

Research shows employers and graduate schools highly value these experiences and skills — put simply, study-away can improve your future professional and financial potential.

Department Study Away Opportunities

  • Every other year, the department offers Tropical Ecology (BY 267/567) on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. This course focuses on the coral reef ecosystem and the ecology of tropical islands. By snorkeling shallow coral reefs, we observe the myriad of brightly-colored reef fish, spectacular marine invertebrates, and sea turtles as they glide by us.
  • On alternate years, other ecosystems are explored. Rainforest Ecology (BY 269/569) has been offered several times in Costa Rica. By traveling through the country, we study and observe the fauna and flora of the lowland rainforest and the cloud forest, which is one of the world’s most bio-diverse ecosystems. You'll see beautiful birds, tropical frogs, spectacular lizards, and playful monkeys in the lush green forests. You might even see sea turtles hatching on the coastal beaches.
  • We have offered The Ecology of the Galapagos Islands (BY 268/568) on two occasions. These islands are famous in the biological world as the location where Charles Darwin made observations crucial to the development of the concept of natural selection. The animals on these islands show no fear of humans. We see up close and personal the Galapagos tortoise, marine iguanas, land iguanas, and blue-footed boobies. We snorkel with playful sea lions and large sea turtles. Additional courses exploring other ecosystems may also be offered in the future.

Other Opportunities

There are many other organizations that offer valuable study-away experiences. Some of these include:


For more information on study away opportunities, visit UAB Education Abroad or contact the Department of Biology.

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Why major in biology?

Faculty Research.