Learning Abroad Center
addressing a group of students in Germany

Germany: Leading the Renewables Revolution


Meet leaders from Germany and Minnesota who are involved in solving the social, technical, and political challenges of transforming industrial economies.

This program is administered by the Institute on the Environment. Applications are processed by the Institute on the Environment and the Learning Abroad Center. For more specific information about this program, visit the Institute on the Environment website.

Program Details

Düsseldorf, Saerbeck, and Münster, Germany
Winter Break (Spring semester on campus)
Institute on the Environment

Program Eligibility

Student Type
Student Type
UofM Students
Student Year
Student Year
Graduate Students
Language Prerequisite
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prerequisite


Explore Germany, a world leader in the transformation to sustainable energy systems and the inventor of the vision of cities and regions powered 100% by renewable energy. Germany’s renewable energy system emerged through collaboration across political, business, and nonprofit sectors based in science. Recent changes in national and state government political leadership and the effects of the war in Ukraine are accelerating the energy transformation. Spend time in 3 cities known for sustainability: Dusseldorf, Saerbeck, and Münster. These cities have excelled in advancing renewable energy storage, combined heat and power, solar and wind power, and the electrification of transportation in truly revolutionary ways.

Relish the unique opportunity to experience the political, social, and technological drivers behind renewable energy development. You will meet with Germany's top politicians, government officials, researchers, and educators, along with German university students, and learn how they advocate for and manage change.

Program Model


Housing & Meals

Stay in hostels in Dusseldorf and Münster. Quite a few dinners will be provided, but you should plan to purchase most lunches. In total, plan to purchase 13 meals on your own.

Application Deadline

Priority Deadline: October 1, 2024
Deadline: October 8, 2024

You must complete 2 applications:

  1. The Learning Abroad Center application
  2. This supplemental application

Applications are not considered fully submitted, complete, and ready for consideration until you have completed both.

Program Dates

Travel Abroad: January 7–19, 2025


Earn 3 credits for CFAN 3532 (undergraduate students) or CFAN 5532 (graduate students).

Learn about renewable energy through pre-departure sessions, speakers, and excursions. If you are majoring and/or interested in sustainability and renewable energy, you will benefit from this experience. However, the program is open to learners from all disciplines. This is an embedded spring course with a study abroad immersive experience during winter break.

Liberal Education Requirements: Earn credit for Global Perspectives and Environment.

Course Schedule

Session 1: Orientation and Introduction to Energy Issues

Saturday, November 9, 2024, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m., on campus and in person at UofM-TC

This in-person orientation and introduction to energy issues segment features get-to-know-you activities, special guest speakers, and a provided group lunch (optional but strongly recommended)

Session 2: Energy Policy, Technology, and Projects in Minnesota and Germany

Friday, December 20, 2024, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., virtual

We will unpack the Inflation Reduction Act (President Biden's groundbreaking 2022 US climate bill) and similar legislation in Germany. We will also understand the crucial role of states in moving forward faster on clean energy. You will learn why Minnesota matters more than you may think.

Travel Abroad: January 7–19, 2025

Paper Due: February 28, 2025

Session 3: Formal Student Presentations

Friday, February 7, 2025, 2:00–5:00 p.m., virtual

Virtual presentations of you and your classmates solutions with an audience of invited energy leaders.

Program Celebration Dinner Discussion: Renewable Energy and Climate Insights for Minnesota

Monday, March 31, 2025, 6:00–9:00 p.m., on campus and in person at UofM-TC, McNamara Alumni Center

Share your insights and visions for Minnesota with family and political leaders. All family members will be formally invited to attend this special dinner discussion.

Program Leader

Beth Mercer-Taylor, JD, is the sustainability education coordinator at the University of Minnesota, where she administers the Sustainability Studies Minor. Beth has helped to implement the GreenStep Cities program in Minnesota and many campus sustainability programs.

Sabine Engel is a program director in the Institute on the Environment and leads the Climate-Smart exchange program with Germany. Sabine has led 19 delegations to Germany of Minnesota elected officials, business, and community leaders, and is connected to a large network of influential German partners.


  • daily visits to renewable energy organizations in Dusseldorf, Münster, and Saerbeck Germany
  • walking tours
  • bike tours 
  • museum visits
  • opportunity to speak with state policy leaders

More Information

For more information, email the Institute on the Environment at [email protected].

Program Fee

Winter 2025 Cost of Participation forthcoming (anticipated $5,000–$5,500)

The cost of participation includes group flight airfare, in-country program related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, simultaneous interpreting, and international health insurance.

Note: If you are registered for less than 13 credits or a UofM graduate student, you will be charged tuition for this course in addition to the program fee. Notify the Learning Abroad Center if this applies to you.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Fill out the Institute on the Environment's (IonE's) required form, which includes additional evaluation questions, to apply for a $2,500 scholarship.

Cancellation Policy

The regular Learning Abroad Center cancellation and refund policy does not apply to this course. Connect with your program contact for details on the cancellation and refund policy for this program.

Winter Break 2024

Germany: Leading the Renewables Revolution

Winter Break 2024 (Spring on campus course)

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costs $2,488
International health insurance $32
Housing and/or meals $787
Transportation (if required and included in program fee) $1,111
Total Program Fee $4,818
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $0
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $4,818

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.
Transportation to and from program site $0
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documents $0
Travel clinic/immunizations* $0
Housing deposit $0
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $150
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $0
Housing and/or meals not included in program fee $0
Essential daily living expenses $150
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $150

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $5,118
Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation $0
Additional Notes & Information
* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.


Complete pre-application advising.

Non-US Passport holders will need a Schengen visa. No visa is needed for US Passport holders. You will need a passport. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad (this is a strict requirement), apply for a new passport now, and pay for expedited processing to make sure it arrives in time.


The COVID-19 vaccine series is strongly recommended, pursuant to CDC guidelines, but not required for participation in this program.

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now


You must complete 2 applications:

  1. The Learning Abroad Center application
  2. This supplemental application

Applications are not considered fully submitted, complete, and ready for consideration until you have completed both.

When you submit your online application, you will be assigned an application checklist that includes:

  • First Step session

Fill out the Institute on the Environment's (IonE's) required form, which includes additional evaluation questions, to apply for a $2,500 scholarship.

Next Steps

  1. After you complete all required application checklist items, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application is ready to be reviewed.
  2. Your completed application will be reviewed by the program leader in the sponsoring college/department.
  3. If admitted, the Confirmation & Payment Agreement form will be added to your checklist. Complete this form to secure your spot on the program. By submitting the form, you also give your approval for the program deposit to be billed to your UofM student account.
  4. Complete the confirmation checklist, which include the following items in additional to program-specific forms:
    • Passport Information
    • Emergency Contacts
    • Health Information Form
    • Online Health & Safety Orientation
    • Release & Waiver
  5. You will receive information about additional steps from the sponsoring college/department.