Australearn Study Abroad Program Adopts Baby Koala To Raise Awareness Of Threats To Australia’s Favorite Marsupial

Share Article

Colorado-based AustraLearn has adopted a baby koala from Rainforestation Nature Park in Cairns, Australia, and named it Tim Tam. AustraLearn, which each year sends thousands of North American college students to study abroad in Australia through summer, semester, year and degree programs, made a donation to support the koala while also bringing attention to the dangers facing the species.

Meet Tim Tam the AustraLearn koala.

AustraLearn’s adoption of Tim Tam allows us to raise awareness and educate visitors on the diminishing habitat and difficulties faced by our favorite Australian marsupial.

AustraLearn, a study abroad program of Colorado-based GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, today announces its adoption of a baby koala in an Australian nature park to raise awareness of threats to the iconic Australian marsupial in danger of becoming extinct in the next 30 years.

AustraLearn, which annually sends several thousand students from the United States and Canada to study abroad in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, made a donation to support the koala, who is part of a colony at Rainforestation Nature Park in Cairns, Australia. AustraLearn named its koala “Tim Tam” after an online poll last month of students, employees and members of the education abroad field.

“The majority of AustraLearn participants attending Australian programs begin their time abroad in Cairns as part of our six-day Bridging Cultures Program and actually visit Rainforestation to learn about the amazing koala species,” said Shelia Houston, director of the AustraLearn’s South Pacific Educational Support Centre in Queensland, Australia. “All of these students get the opportunity to hold a koala as part of Rainforestation’s ‘Cuddle a Koala’ program to build awareness of the dangers faced by these animals.”

Born June 4, 2009, Tim Tam only last week emerged from her mother’s pouch, giving wildlife officials a chance for photographs. Representatives from AustraLearn and Rainforestation also gathered last week to dedicate a plaque to Tim Tam.
When she was born, Tim Tam was “completely furless, blind and weighing less than one gram," said Kate Coughlan, head wildlife keeper at Rainforestation. “She spent the last six months safely in her mother’s pouch. Today we are lucky enough to see Tim Tam riding around on her mum’s back.”
Tim Tam will stay with her mom, Cybil, until she’s a year old and then moves to a nearby nursery. At 18 months, Rainforestation keepers will handle her for short sessions regulated by the Australian Koala Foundation to ensure her health and safety. The sessions will prepare her for the “Cuddle A Koala” program.
“AustraLearn’s adoption of Tim Tam allows us to raise awareness and educate visitors on the diminishing habitat and difficulties faced by our favorite Australian marsupial,” Coughlan said. “Funds generated by this initiative contribute to the ongoing research of the Australian Koala Foundation.”
For more on Tim Tam the AustraLearn koala, visit

About GlobaLinks Learning Abroad:
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, based outside Denver in Westminster, Colo., is a leading provider of education abroad programs for college-level students in destinations across the globe. Students from more than 600 universities and colleges across North America choose to study with GlobaLinks Learning Abroad each semester via its educational programs:

  • AustraLearn, with semester and year abroad, internship, and summer programs in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji via 35 partner universities, and degree programs in Australia and New Zealand at more than 30 institutions:
  • AsiaLearn, with semester, year, and summer programs in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand via seven partner universities.
  • EuroLearn, with semester, year, and summer programs, including research abroad, in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Italy and The Netherlands via nine partner universities.

Since it was founded in 1990, GlobaLinks Learning Abroad has sent more than 20,000 students on educational programs worldwide. Check out the latest news on our programs and partners at


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Deborah Morrison
Email >
Visit website