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Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies students study off-campus to gain new perspectives on their field, to learn about environmental issues in a new setting, and to develop cross-cultural understanding by becoming immersed in another culture.

As an Environmental Studies major, visiting the Amazon and learning about the conflict that exists [between petroleum extraction and protecting the environment] was equally inspiring and concerning for me. By physically being in Ecuador and the Amazon, the conflict became more real and more personal. The extraction of petroleum in the Amazon and the fate of the Yasuni are issues that I will follow for a long time.

Maren Schermer ‘17, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, Spring 2016  

While I valued “nature” before, and learned numerous theories about how to think about the ways we interact with it, this experience gave me such a visceral, direct and personal connection to the natural world – and also how people fit into that. Rather than relying on second-hand accounts of the importance of mountains and glaciers and rivers and lakes and so on, I could also be there. I know I will continue to think about how this influences my or other people's environmentalism, which of course involves much more than nice panoramas.

Amelia Diehl, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, Spring 2016

NEW:  Sustainability in Asia:  Interdisciplinary studies at Beloit College with 3-week field studies in China (2017, 2019) and Japan (2018, 2020).

Australia - James Cook University, Townsville (D)                                  

Fall, spring (southern hemisphere calendar)  Language: English.  Prereqs: 2.8 GPA, one college year of study; previous coursework in field to qualify for advanced courses.  Housing: Dormitory or off-campus apartments. Students in campus housing have the option to purchase a meal plan or cook their own meals. Details: Study with local students; courses in marine and tropical biology, conservation biology, environmental science; many courses have a field-trip component for hands-on experience; university research facilities include island, rainforest and outback field stations. Courses available in Environmental Science are here. Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Significantly higher

Australia – SIT: Sustainability and Environmental Action (New South Wales)* (P)               

Fall, spring  Language: English.  Prereqs: Background courses in Environment/Philosophy/Economics/Anthropology useful; previous independent research.  Housing: Homestays (2 weeks), hostels, apartments, camp sites.  Details: Study with Americans on the program; limited curriculum designed for non-specialists; student plans 5-week research project selected with director; urban and rural stays; excursions to Fraser Island, Tasmania and Aboriginal communities.  Scholarships: SIT scholarships for specified programs, diversity, need. Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Significantly higher

Costa Rica – ACM: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences & Humanities (P)               

Spring  Language: Spanish.  Prereqs: Junior or senior with coursework in the proposed research discipline; equivalent of 2 years of college Spanish preferred, enrollment in a Spanish course the semester or summer before departure; background in field methods recommended.  Housing: Host family, other housing possible during field-work.  Details: Study with Americans in Spanish; limited curriculum, student plan a month-long research project in discipline of choice during the semester, present a project paper; open to all majors.  Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Lower

Ecuador - Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) (Ex)

Fall, spring Language: Spanish, partly in English. Prereqs: 3.0 GPA and 3.0 in Spanish; 2 years of college Spanish; enrollment in a Spanish course the semester or summer before; previous course work for studio art courses; courses with a Latin American focus strongly recommended.  Housing: Host family.  Details: Orientation in Quito; Quito in Transition course; full range of science and social science courses, some with field study trips; study with local students; excursions; volunteer opportunities. Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Lower

Ecuador  -  USFQ Galápagos Islands (Ex)                                                                         

Fall, spring  Language: English, Spanish required for host family and volunteering.  Prereqs: The equivalent of 2 years of college Spanish, enrollment in a Spanish course the semester or summer before; 3.0 cumulative gpa and gpa in Spanish; at least one course in biology and ecology or evolution for the “Evolution” and “Marine” study options; courses with a Latin American focus strongly recommended.  Housing: host families in Quito and in San Cristobal.  Details: Orientation in Quito; excursions; study with program students only; choice of three options of study: 1) Evolution, Ecology and Conservation in the Galápagos, 2) People, Politics and the Environment in the Galapágos, 3) Marine Ecology; limited curriculum: 5 three-week modular courses, optional course in digital photography (GI); few options for volunteering.  Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Lower

Norway – From Mountain to Fjord, Sogn og Fjordane University College, Sogndal (Ex)

Fall  Language: English.  Prereqs: Junior or senior standing, previous study of earth, environmental or life sciences, recommendation from department.  (See Geology department and Laura Parmentier, Chemistry)  Housing: Shared rooms.  Details: Study geology and ecology of western Norway with local and international students; three module courses:  Geological processes (bedrock geology), Ecological & surface processes (glacial geology, vegetation ecology, limnology) and Fjord processes (fjord hydrography, biology, sedimentology); work in environments from alpine to marine. Norwegian language course possible in fall. Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Higher

Tanzania – ACM: Ecology & Human Origins  (P)                                                           

Fall  Language:  English, 1 month intensive Kiswahili.  Prereqs: Junior or senior standing with coursework in natural or social sciences, background in field methods recommended.  Housing: Dormitory, tent camps in the field, 1 month with host family in Dar es Salaam.  Details: Study with Americans; limited curriculum; methods course and student designed field project in Tarangire National Park or the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Endulen village, Laetoli) students provide some camping gear, required inoculations. Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Lower

The Netherlands - ACM: Amsterdam. Sciences, Global Health, and Interdisciplinary Studies at VU Amsterdam (P)

Fall Language:  English.  Prereqs: Junior or senior standing with course work related to the VU minor in which the applicant will take courses. Housing:  Dormitories on the student campus.   Details:  Required 3-credit course on Discover the Dutch:  Dutch language and culture. Four 3-credit, 7 week courses selected from a VU (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) minor taught in English. Optional 3-credit Independent Study Project supervised by the ACM faculty director.  Non-tuition educational expenses:  TBD

United Kingdom – University of East Anglia, Norwich (D)

Fall, Spring  Language: English.  Prereqs: 3.0 GPA.  Housing: single-occupancy dorm rooms with shared kitchens.  Students prepare meals themselves.  Details: One of the oldest Environmental Science programs in Europe, integrating physical, chemical, biological, social and geotechnical sciences into the study of natural and human environments. Sample courses available here. Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Higher

United Kingdom - University of York (D or Ex)

Fall, Spring, Academic Year Language: English. Prereqs: Junior or Senior standing preferred, 3.0 GPA. Housing: Shared dormitory. More information here. Deatils: Study with local students, wide array of courses. Information on the Environmental Science department with courses hereNon-tuition Educational Expenses: Higher

United States - Semester in Environmental Science, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole,MA* (P)

Fall  Prereqs: 1 year college chemistry, biology, calculus.  Housing: Dormitory.  Details: Study of ecological systems in the laboratory and in the field; 2 core courses covering aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, 1 elective, independent research project; students report findings at a symposium; distinguished scientist seminar; science writing seminar. Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Higher

United States - Sea Education Association (SEA) Semester, Woods Hole MA* (P)

Fall, spring  Prereqs: Open to all disciplines.  Housing: On campus houses during first half, students provide own meals; on ship students assist in preparing meals.  Details: 12-week interdisciplinary curriculum combining the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and public policy; scientific exploration both on shore and aboard a sailing ship at sea; Atlantic and Pacific cruises. Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Higher

United States - Washington Semester- American University, Washington DC   (P)                                 

Fall, spring  Prereqs: Nomination from home school, strong academic record; introduction to world politics or similar coursework.  Housing: Dormitories on the AU Tenley Campus.  Details: Enroll in topic of study (e.g. Foreign Policy, Peace and Conflict Resolution, International Law and Organizations, Sustainable Development); study with U.S. and international students, set of courses related to the topic: Seminar (some include overseas study travel), Internship, Research Project; expert guest speakers; meetings with policy makers; topics vary from year to year.  More information on Sustainable Development here. Non-tuition Educational Expenses: Higher


Other opportunities available for students with research experience and a recommendation from their advisor.  

* Exceeds the cap on tuition transfer off campus



D:  Direct enrollment in a university as a visiting student

Ex: Enrollment in a university as an exchange student

P:  Provider program.  Program organized for students attending U.S. colleges and universities.

Non-tuition educational expenses:  Cost of room and board compared to Beloit College. Other expenses to consider:  airfare, local transportation, visas, health insurance, immunizations, books, student activity fees, recreational travel and other activities. Higher:  Up to $2,000 more than Beloit College room and board for one semester. Significantly Higher:  $2,001 or more above Beloit College room and board.

Last Updated: 9/2016