Refugee Law and the Australian Legal System

Classes: June 1 – June 20, 2014 (4 units)

Internships: June 23 ~ August 1, 2014 (5 units)

Application Information

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Classes | Internships | Fees & Financial Aid | Housing | Exploring The Area | Travel Information | Testimonials | Contact Us

Internship Application Deadline Extended to March 24, 2014

Already Enrolled? See Information For Enrolled Students

Mix & Match: Attend classes, and then opt for an internship in Sydney or Melbourne

Classes: Refugee Law and the Australian Legal Systems (4 units)

Sydney buildingThe class in Sydney focuses on global protection for individuals fleeing persecution and other forms of harm. We explore the relief provided under international, U.S., and Australian law for refugees, victims of trafficking in persons, crime, civil unrest, and natural disasters. We engage in a practical approach through work on simulated cases, which complements our discussion of materials on the avenues of relief for victims. In addition, we will hear presentations from and visit institutions in Australia providing services and representation to refugees and victims of human trafficking. A final written exam is given at the end of the program and students will be given 24 hours to complete the exam. Application deadline for classes only is March 24, 2014.

Internships: Sydney or Melbourne (5 units)

Sydney Internships: We are fortunate to have a number of excellent internship placements in Sydney. Some placements are with non-governmental organizations representing refugees and victims of human trafficking. These provide an ideal opportunity for students to put into practical effect what they have learned during the International Refugee and Protection Law course. For students who would rather work in Australian civil or criminal law, we also have a number of placements available in those areas, giving students the opportunity to observe first-hand and assist in the practice of law in Australia.

Fiji Internships *new*: Students may undertake an internship in Fiji after taking classes in Sydney, or may undertake a standalone internship. The placement is with the largest law firm in Fiji and students will undertake work in the field of international business law.

Students gain practical experience by doing legal work under the supervision of a legal professional in the host country, while receiving invaluable integration into the legal culture of the country and make invaluable professional contacts. The expectation of an intern is full-time work from the period of the internship (e.g., 40 hours or more a week of supervised legal work). Santa Clara Law requires a minimum of 50 hours of supervised legal work for each internship unit of credit. Application deadline for classes with an internship is extended to March 24, 2014.

Fees & Financial Aid

Deposit: A non-refundable deposit of $300 for the class and an additional deposit of $700 for an internship (if applicable) is required to secure your spot and it is applied to the tuition charge

Tuition: The tuition charge is $1000/unit

Financial Aid: US law students are typically eligible for  financial aid to cover tuition, airfare, housing, food, local travel costs and school supplies (click here for more information)


Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements during the classes and internship period. We’ve received the following recommendations from former students and/or UTS:
Furnished Apartments (recommended by 2013 students)
Wake Up! (a few blocks from UTS; many 2011 students stayed here)
Breakfree on George (10 minutes walking distance from UTS)
Ibis World Square
Gum Tree
Furnished Apartments (Corporate)
Accommodation Sydney City Centre
Student Universe
Sydney Craigslist
Apartments Plus
YHA Australia
Sydney Gardenview Holiday Apartments
Oaks Hotels & Resorts (see Oaks Harmony location)
Meriton World Tower

Exploring The Area

Sydney The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) is similar to MIT in the United States, but also has a law school, with law faculty who are leaders in law and technology issues.  The University is located in central Sydney, between Darling Harbor and the Central Station.  The law school buildings are new and modern with excellent classrooms.  Sydney has numerous means of public transportation, including buses, ferries, water taxis, trains, light rail and monorail.  There are also a number of passes which are available to visitors who will be using public transportation frequently that are cheaper than buying individual tickets. Sydney Transport Maps are available at any bus, ferry or rail office.

Travel Information

ACE Insurance/Europ Assistance Information (all students enrolled in the program are covered)
US State Department Tips for Traveling Abroad
US State Department Travel Safety Information
US Department of State Country Specific Information
US Embassies/Consulates
US Department of State: Passport Services
US Department of State Worldwide Caution
Centers for Disease Control Health Information
Traveling with Disabilities in Australia


Summer 2013 Student Evaluation: Overall Experience 4.3 (Scale of 1-5, 1=poor, 5=excellent)

“What an amazing program.  The cases we studied in the Refugee Law course were BY FAR the most interesting cases I have ever read in law school.  I could not help but feel moved by the stories of those seeking a life free of constant fear.  There could be no better place to study this material than in Sydney – not only is it an absolutely beautiful city that provides a vibrant retreat from the heart-wrenching stories we study in class, but it is at the epicenter of the refugee law debate.  My internship could not have been better.  The staff were passionate, intelligent, helpful, and fun to work with.  I learned the ins and outs of immigration law, and I saw how the legal concepts we studied in the classroom were turned into action, all in an effort to save lives.” Andrew Michaels, Richardson School of Law (2013)

“Amazing experience. I was not expecting to get to do as much as I did [during the internship]. It was absolutely amazing.” Whitney L., UC Hastings (2012)

“I LOVED studying abroad in Sydney. It gave me the opportunity to live in a different country while taking classes and getting practical experience. The best part of this specific program was that it allowed me to learn laws and skills that have been transferable to my legal career here in the United States. I was able to intern at the Fragomen office and got hands on experience in representing clients. Sydney is a beautiful city with great food and great people–also great accents! I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.” VyHanh Nguyen (2012)

“Participating in the Summer Abroad Program in Sydney, Australia was one of the best decisions I ever made. Not only did I gain hands on experience working with clients, I was able to build strong professional relationships and gain indepth knowledge about International Refugee and Aslyum law that continues to help me today. In addtion to the program, we had ample time to travel – we went skydiving in Cairns, scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, shark diving at Manly, and shopped in Melbourne. While I was sad when the program ended, it was wonderful knowing I was coming home with a new extended family of friends who had shared in this once in a lifetime experience with me.” Isabella Shin (2011)

“Professor Abriel is the best and I really enjoyed this program. UTS was great to us and made us feel so welcome.” Anonymous, SCU (2011)

“Prof. Abriel went out of her way to make sure we were comfortable with Sydney and organized events to help us connect with the legal community in sydney (as well as w/ our peers).” Anonymous, SCU (2011)

Overall, the courses were great and the experience was also everything I expected.” Trenton Powell, South Texas College of Law (2009)

“There are not enough great things I can say about the Sydney abroad program. The professors were great: welcoming and warm, not to mention the foremost experts in their respective fields. The course load was a perfect amount — enough to keep us interested in learning, but not overwhelming. Taking classes in the morning meant having afternoons free to take in the beautiful sights of the city. I met amazing people whom I’m sure I will keep in touch with, and had a chance to travel to the Great Barrier Reef and Fiji on weekends. I participated in the internship portion, working at Amnesty International for four weeks where I got practical, hands on experience. There is no better way I could have spent my summer!” Serinna Jenab, SCU (2007)

Contact Us

Sydney Program Director: Prof. Evangeline Abriel
Director of Summer Programs: Vinita Bali
Program Manager: Monica Davis

Enrollment Limit: 35