Appreciating Parasites Kioloa Trip

This information is based on how the trip ran in 2019 and there may be some changes for 2020. Please check back closer to the time.
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Interested in participating? Read on.

Participating in trips can be a highlight of your university experience; however, it is also important to think carefully about whether it is the right decision for you at this point in time. This page is to help you understand what the trip involves, so that you can make an informed decision. The information is accurate to the best of our ability; however, please be aware that trip plans can change at the last minute. If this may cause issues for you or you need additional information, please talk to the course convenor.

How we can help you participate

For most of our trips, there are lots of options for flexibility that may make it easier for you to take part. This page will tell you about some of them.  Keep in mind, it is not possible for us to anticipate every individual circumstance, so please contact the course convenor if you have other ideas for how we could help you participate. If you would like support discussing your needs with the course convenor or if your discussion didn't go as you expected, please contact the school accessibility contact.

How to participate?

Students who meet the prerequisites can submit an application to one of the relevant courses and participate in the trip. Please contact the course convenor for more information on how to apply.

If you can't participate

This trip is an essential part of the course. If you can't participate, please consider one of the other biology courses.


Activity sites: the beach and bush

We will visit numerous field sites in the region around Kiola including locations in the bush and on the beach. Students will also have the opportunity to go wading or swimming on the beach during free time, however this is not part of the academic activities. [Temperature, toilet info]

Over a typical day, students will walk 3-4 km at a moderate pace over uneven ground, which will sometimes include sand or through vegetation. If you can't safely traverse these distances, you may still be able to participate in the field trips in a more limited way. You would be given other tasks and assignments while the group is in the field and would contribute to analysing the data collected by other students - please discuss this with the course convenor before submitting an application. Students who have difficulty with mobility in the field should discuss this with the course convener prior to the trip, even if they can cover the distance described above. The convener will take the students' needs into account if the trip plans change (e.g. due to weather) and in emergency situations. Students with sensory impairments that impact their ability to identify hazards or follow emergency instructions must discuss this with the course convenor at the beginning of semester so we can investigate possible ways for you to safely participate.

Accommodation: dormatories

Accommodation will be in dormitory rooms of 3 – 5 of the same gender (bunk beds). There are shared toilets and showers associated with the buildings. The accommodation does not have any aircon and only basic heating. 

Travel: bus

We will organise a bus to transport students from the ANU campus to Kioloa and back at the end of the trip. The journey takes approximately 3 hours. If you require accessible transport, please discuss this with the convenor prior to submitting an application and we will investigate the options available.

Food: prepared by the group

We will prepare our own meals on site and everyone is expected to help with the preparation and clean-up.  Food will be basic, but plentiful.  We can cater for most food requirements, but we will have to know beforehand. Please talk to the convenor at least 4 weeks before the trip.  


Students are required to make a co-contribution to the trip. In 2019 this was $880 and the costs for 2020 are anticipated to be similar. This will cover the transport to and from Kioloa, your accommodation and food. 

Health & wellbeing

Look after yourself: Laboratory work and two weeks with limited mobile reception

Two weeks is a significant time to be away from support networks and students are strongly encouraged to think about how they will manage their physical and mental health while on the trip.  We can help by transporting and storing medication and equipment.  We can also arrange transport if you need to access medical facilities.  However, keep in mind that the Kioloa field station is in a remote location. 

During the course we will be working in laboratories containing hazardous materials and with animal material.  We strongly encourage students with a medical condition or disability that may impact their safety (e.g. epilepsy, allergies) to discuss this with the course convener.

You will be living and working in close quarters with other students throughout the trip.  For safety reasons, there are limited opportunities for you to spend time on your own. Please also be aware that Kioloa is situated in a remote location and has limited mobile phone services; there is good coverage on the Telstra network, but other providers don’t work (e.g. Telstra and Aldi SIM cards will work, but Optus and Vodaphone SIM cards are less likely to work). There is Wifi access (also via Eduroam). If you need a bit of time alone or to make calls in private, please talk to the course convener and we will try to work something out.

Look out for each other: A long time with a small group

You will be working and living alongside a small group of people for a considerable length of time. It is essential that you understand and respect the needs of the other members of the group. If this might be an issue for you, please talk to the course convener. We can talk through the issues, suggest strategies to improve the situation and facilitate discussions with other group members.

Students must act in a professional, respectful and responsible way at all times during the activity. Students who do not meet these expectations will be asked to leave.

Workload: full days with some evening activities

To fully participate, students must have the mental and physical endurance to manage long days working including outdoors in changing conditions (e.g. hot, cold, windy, rainy conditions). As an indication, on a typical day, we have breakfast at 8am and begin activities at 9am.  Formal activities finish around 5pm, leaving you with some free time before dinner at 6pm. There are some formal activities in the evening.  

There are limited options for students to sit out particular activities and complete alternative assignments instead.  If you think you may need to rest during a significant proportion of the trip activities, please discuss the options with the course convener prior to submitting an application.

Clothes: prepare for insects and all types of weather

We will be working in the field throughout the trip and may experience a range of weather conditions. You will therefore need sensible shoes and clothes that can get dirty and are suitable for a range of conditions. This includes hat and sunscreen; jumper or windbreaker; and umbrella or raincoat. If you wish to go swimming during free time, you will need bathing clothes and a beach towel. There are also plenty of mosquitos, ticks and leaches around, so you will need insect repellent.

Tasks & activities

Manipulate objects

During the field and laboratory work, students typically work in groups to ... If you aren't able to do these things, you can contribute to the group's planning and analysis.  Other members of the group can perform the practical data collection tasks. Please discuss this with the course convenor prior to the trip.

Student presentations

During the trip you will give informal presentations to the other students and work in groups to prepare and deliver a conference style presentation to external stakeholders. **Options for students who find presenting in front of an audience difficult.

Flexible field notes

During the trip, you will need to keep written field notes to submit as part of the assessment.  This can be done by hand or electronically.  You can also verbally record your observations to write up later - if you think this will be useful for you, please discuss it with the course convener.

Laptops required for reports and presentation slides

Students will need a laptop during the trip to work on assessment tasks including preparing reports, blog style posts and slides for the presentation. This requires use of standard office software such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint. If you don't have your own laptop, please talk to the biology teaching and learning centre and we can help find you one to loan for the trip.

Examining parasites and their hosts

This course deals with parasites and their hosts. The activity will include the examination and analysis of live and dead animals. Some of the activities might be confronting for some people. Not all activities are compulsory, but it is highly recommended to engage in these activities in order to gain the most benefit from the course. Please talk to the convenor before the course, if you think this might be an issue for you. 

Field and classroom presentations and discussions

During the trip students will hear presentations from teaching staff and guests and be expected to contribute to discussions. Some of these discussions will take place in field conditions, while others will take place in a classroom like setting at the Kioloa coastal campus. None of the presentations will be recorded. If you think you will find learning in this environment difficult, please discuss this with the course convenor prior to submitting an application and we will investigate the options available.