Key information

  • Locations: Timor Leste
  • Eligible students: Undergraduate
  • Cost: A$3,500 approx.
  • Unit code: ENG31005


University graduates are faced with complex global challenges such as climate change, increasing population and sustainability. Engineering and Business Enterprise in a Complex Environment is a six-week academic unit including a two-week field intensive in Timor Leste that will prepare you to tackle these global challenges.

Known for its impressive beauty, unspoiled reefs, warm-hearted people and unique culture, Timor Leste is one of the most distinctive and least explored countries in Asia. While in-country you will work in teams alongside Engineers Without Borders Australia on a project to support their work with development organisations while also exploring what role engineering, innovation and entrepreneurship plays in a development context.

Timor Leste


  • Explore the role of engineering, innovation and enterprise in a development context while working on real-world projects in collaboration with our in-country partner Engineers Without Borders

  • Gain experience working cross-culturally by meeting with engineering firms, local and international development agencies and social enterprises

  • Challenge and improve your cross-cultural communication skills and problem solving abilities

  • Build an understanding of effective development principles including two-way knowledge sharing, strength-based approaches and capacity building

  • Experience the dynamic nature of Timorese culture through homestays and cultural activities

  • Build strong friendships with your fellow students and Timorese people

Highlights/tentative itinerary

High level unit schedule:

  • Week 1 – Classes on campus in Hawthorn to prepare for the field intensive
  • Weeks 2 and 3 – Field intensive in Timor Leste (exact dates of travel to be confirmed)

  • Weeks 4, 5 and 6 – Classes on campus in Hawthorn to wrap up project work, assessment and present the project outcomes to Engineers Without Borders.

Highlights of the intensive field trip to Timor Leste include:

  • Hands-on workshops to build your skills and confidence for working in a development context

  • Seminars and workshops with engineering firms, local and international development agencies and social enterprises

  • Time to work on your group projects in collaboration with Engineers Without Borders

  • Networking events with Timorese engineers and entrepreneurs

  • Language lessons to learn basic Tetum

  • Visiting local industries such as coffee plantations and fisheries

  • Visits to cultural sights like the Resistance Museum, Santa Cruz Cemetery and local markets

  • Free time to explore the region and recharge 

  • Accommodation will be a mix of hotels in Dili and homestays in rural areas.

Unit assessment

The unit assessment will include group project work and individual portfolio work. There is no exam associated with this unit.

Program cost includes:

  • All project costs 

  • Accommodation 

  • In-country transport 

  • Most meals 

  • Cultural activities 

  • Insurance (eligibility criteria applies) 

  • Safety and security monitoring and planning

Additional expenses to consider (not included in program cost):
  • Academic unit fee
  • International airfares
  • Passport and visa costs
  • Personal expenses

* Program cost is approximate at the time of being listed online and is subject to change.

The following types of  fee help and funding are available to help eligible students with the costs towards this program:

  • OS Help Loan of up to $8,295 (as at 2020)

  • New Colombo Plan Short-Term Mobility Grants

Information sessions

Register your interest to learn more about this study tour and to be kept updated on upcoming information sessions.

More information

For further details on this program please contact:

Jenny Turner
Director of Community Partnership, STEM Practice Academy
+61 3 9214 5691

Register your interest

Register your interest to join us on the Engineering in Complex Environments study tour in Timor Leste.