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.


I initially was only interested in the environmental aspects of development and globalization but I learned about (and began to appreciate) the human side.

Taryn Orona '13, CIEE: Development and Globalization in Khon Kaen, Thailand, Spring 2012


Domestic Programs


Study Abroad Programs

Australia - James Cook University, Townsville                                           

Fall or spring (southern hemisphere calendar)

Language: English. 

Prereqs: One college year of study, 2.8 gpa; previous coursework in field to qualify for advanced courses.

Housing: On-campus residence halls/off-campus apartments; students provide 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.   


Australia – SIT: Sustainability and the Environment (New South Wales)*                       

Fall or 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.  


Brazil – ACM: Environmental Studies, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora or Universidade de Brazília

Fall and Spring

Language: Portuguese

Prereqs: Advanced level of Spanish

Housing: Host family or shared apartment

Details: Students take intensive Portuguese plus two elective courses. UFJF program focuses on human impact on the mountainous ecosystems north of Rio de Janeiro. UdB program focuses on the vast biodiversity of the Carrado savannah and the impact of agriculture in the region.


Canada - ISEP: Brock University, St. Catherine's, Ontario

Fall, spring

Language: English

Prereqs: 2.75 gpa

Housing: on campus housing in double-occupancy rooms; meals on campus

Details:  Courses focus on sustainability and tourism. The university is a member of the UNESCO Biosphere project, studying sustainable relationships between cities, parks, farmland and natural areas.

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


Language: Spanish.

Prereqs: Jr. or Sr with coursework in the proposed research discipline. The 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. 


Ecuador - Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)

Exchange, fall or spring

Language: Courses in Spanish or partly in English

Prereqs: 2 years of college Spanish; enrollment in a Spanish course the semester or summer before; 3.0 cumulative gpa and 3.0 in Spanish; 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.


Ecuador  -  USFQ Galápagos Islands                                                                          

Exchange, fall or spring

Language: Courses in 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. 


Iceland - ISEP: University of Iceland, Reykjavik           


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


Language: English, Norwegian language course possible in fall

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, students provide own meals

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.   


Tanzania – ACM: Ecology & Human Origins                                                                      


Language: Courses taught in English, 1 month intensive Kiswahili.

Prereqs: Junior or senior standing with coursework in natural or social sciences, background in field methods recommended.

Housing: University dormitories, 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.    

United Kingdom - University of Dundee


United Kingdom – University of East Anglia, Norwich

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.

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

United Kingdom - University of York

Domestic Programs

Semester in Environmental Science, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole MA*


Prereqs: 1 yr. college chemistry, biology, calculus

Housing: Dormitory, 20-meal plan

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.  


Sea Education Association (SEA) Semester, Woods Hole MA*

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.


Washington Semester- American University, Washington DC                                          

Fall, spring

Prereqs: Nomination from home school, strong academic record; introduction to world politics or similar coursework.

Housing: Dormitories on the AU Tenley Campus; choose meal plan.

Details: Enroll in topic of study (e.g. Foreign Policy, Peace and Conflict Resolution, International Law and Organizations, International Environment and 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.  


* Exceeds the cap on tuition transfer off campus


Last Updated: 9/2013