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

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 the Environment (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 and 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. Environmental Science 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 Susatainable 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