group of U of M Students in front of a windmill in Spain

Learning Abroad in Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management

    “Participating in study abroad helps you develop a global perspective on environmental issues, prepares you to envision scientific solutions to environmental problems throughout the world, and provides opportunities for future international work. It will help you become globally competent.”

    Len Ferrington—Professor, Department of Entomology; Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management

    “The ESPM program has a goal of at least 50% participation in abroad programs, and we work to find ways to have abroad courses count as major requirements instead of free electives.”  

    Joe Knight—Associate Professor; Department of Forest Resources, ESPM Major Coordinator

    Important Considerations

    • As some ESPM upper-division courses must be taken at the University of Minnesota, seniors who wish to study abroad for a semester must plan carefully.
    • Some ESPM tracks have more flexibility than others. The major recommends that students start planning early to accommodate courses only taught during the fall or spring semester.
    • Sophomore and Junior year tend to be a good time to fulfill liberal education requirements, take beginning courses in your general track, and complete contract courses.
    • Many basic science and policy courses, ESPM core courses, and ESPM track and contract courses can be taken at approved universities. There are also opportunities to fulfill the internship requirement abroad. 

    Programs

    Africa and the Middle East

    Kenya

    MSID—International Development in Kenya

    • Study international development in Kenya, a country of immense geographic and cultural diversity. Contribute through an internship or research project with a nonprofit organization. Based in Nairobi, with internship options outside the city.
    • Investigate the relationship between environmental and natural resource challenges and the local community. Critical issues being faced may include sustainable food and water sources, natural resource utilization and management, climate change, wildlife management, and sustainable development.
    • Choose the Environment & Sustainability track to intern or participate in research at a wildlife reserve or a local NGO that works with water and waste management in arid lands.
    • Instruction is in English; no language prerequisite. Fall or Spring semester. 

    Senegal

    MSID—International Development in Senegal

    • Study international development in Senegal, a fascinating French-speaking country seen as a bridge between Africa and the West. Contribute through an internship or research project with a nonprofit organization. Based in Dakar with internship options outside the city.
    • Internships in the Sustainability & the Environment track could place students with local seed banks and agriculture groups to develop sustainable practices amongst local communities.  
    • Minimum 4-semesters of college-level French required. Fall or Spring semester. 

    South Africa

    University Study in South Africa: Cape Town

    • Experience South African culture firsthand while learning alongside South African students. Study in an urban setting at the University of Cape Town. The University of Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest university and is one of Africa’s leading teaching and research institutions. The main campus occupies a beautiful site on the slopes of Table Mountain.
    • Courses available in English in environmental science, climate change, and sustainable development.
    • Semester, academic year, and calendar year options available.

    Tanzania

    The School for Field Studies Tanzania—Wildlife Management Studies (Semester) and Techniques for Wildlife Field Research (Summer)

    • Examine how land-use practices within Maasai group ranches can be sustainably managed to promote both local economic livelihoods and wildlife conservation.
    • This program examines the dynamic and complex real-world environmental issues on the ground in Tanzania. Concepts in wildlife management, behavioral ecology, impacts and adaptation to climate change, human-wildlife conflict, and community-based conservation.
    • All courses are taught in English.

    Americas

    Costa Rica

    The School for Field Studies—Costa Rica

    • Study tropical ecology, economics, and develop a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges related to natural resource management. Deepen and develop solid investigative research skills in this field-based program. 
    • Work with Costa Rican park rangers, farmers, and top environmental officials to better understand the challenges of maintaining the biodiversity of the country.
    • No language prerequisite. Semester and summer options available.

    Ecuador

    MSID—International Development in Ecuador

    • Live, study, and intern among the Andes mountains in the colonial city of Quito, Ecuador. Few countries as small as Ecuador contain such remarkable geographic and biological diversity.
    • Through homestays, classes, field trips, and an extended internship or research placement, MSID strives to establish a continual dialogue linking experience with theory and critical analysis. Based in Quito with internship options outside the city.
    • Pursue an internship or research at an ecological reserve working on rainforest restoration, at a sustainable eco-tourism collective, or at a flower-producing farm focusing on agricultural production methods.  
    • Minimum 4-semesters of college-level Spanish required. Fall or Spring semester. 

    Peru

    The School for Field Studies— Peru

    • Take advantage of Peru's many microclimates to learn about biodiversity and development. From the tropical rainforest to the Andes Mountains, Peru's complex topography and an array of habitats yield an incredible diversity of species and make it a coveted destination for scientists, students, and anyone with an interest in biodiversity.
    • Conduct research with local NGOs, local farmers, and top environmental officials to understand the challenges of maintaining protected areas and biodiversity of the Andes.
    • No language prerequisite; semester program only.

    Turks & Caicos

    The School for Field Studies—Turks & Caicos

    • Participate in field research techniques that will impact South Caicos' resource management and habitat conservation.
    • Take a hands-on approach to learning about marine ecology and coastal ecosystems.
    • No language prerequisite; Semester and summer options available.

    Asia and Oceania

    Australia

    Arcadia Australia & New Zealand: Environmental Studies: Ethics, Culture, & Sustainability

    • Explore environment, ethics, culture, and sustainability through field study in Australia and New Zealand.
    • Five-week summer program; students will take the course “The Spirit of the Landscape: Environment, Ethics, Culture, and Sustainability” (4 credits).

    The School for Field Studies— Australia

    • Study rainforest management, restoration, and policy in tropical Queensland.
    • Learn field research techniques that focus on climate change, land use, restoration and more.
    • Semester and summer options available.

    Study & Intern in Sydney

    • Live in Sydney among dazzling harbors, beaches, a multicultural population, and a host of restaurants and attractions.
    • Take courses in a variety of subjects while gaining professional work experience through an internship experience. Sample environmental internship placements include Lane Cove National Park and The Wilderness Society.
    • Semester and summer options available.  

    University Study in Australia: James Cook University

    • James Cook University provides an ideal location to study environmental science because of its tropical location near the Great Barrier Reef, rainforest, and outback.
    • JCU is a respected world leader in tropical environmental study. Coursework available in areas such as tropical rainforest ecology, hydrology, marine ecology, and environmental assessment.
    • Semester, academic year, and calendar year options available. 

    University Study in Australia: University of Melbourne

    • Study at the University of Melbourne, one of Australia’s leading universities.
    • Classes are available focusing on Australian flora and fauna, ecology, sustainable environmental development, parks and recreation management, environmental management systems, and environmental economics.
    • Semester, academic year, and calendar year options available. 

    University Study in Australia: University of Sydney

    • Study at the University of Sydney—one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious universities.  
    • Modern laboratories and internship opportunities available.  
    • Enroll in environmental studies classes focused on Australia’s environment and climate. Additional coursework in resource management, biology, and sustainability available.
    • Semester, academic year, calendar year, and summer options available.  

    University of Western Australia (available through IFSA Australia)

    • Located in Perth, the University of Western Australia is one of the country’s leading universities with an international reputation for excellence.
    • Enroll in classes throughout the university including those in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. A wide variety of subjects in environmental science such as hydrology, environmental geoscience, and land and water management.
    • Semester, academic year, and calendar year options available.

    Bhutan

    The School for Field Studies— Bhutan

    • Conduct research while trekking through the eastern Himalayas while learning about Bhutanese culture, Buddhism, and the diverse Himalayan ecosystem.
    • Take a hands-on approach to forest biodiversity, conservation, and sustainable development.
    • No language prerequisite; Semester and summer options available.  

    Cambodia

    The School for Field Studies—Cambodia

    • Study the environmental dynamics of the Mekong River, which provides habitats to myriad species and sustains life for millions of people.
    • Examine the interaction between human life and the ecology of the river and region.
    • In addition, students explore a variety of regional development and conservation challenges and community-based solutions during travel across rural and urban Cambodia and Vietnam.

    Japan

    Exchange in Japan—Nagoya University

    • Nagoya University is located in the Chubu Industrial Zone, a region where traditional and modern industries meet.
    • Sample course taught in English include agricultural sciences, chemistry, economics, environmental studies, and international development. Research opportunities available.
    • No language prerequisite; Spring semester and academic year options available.

    New Zealand

    HECUA New Zealand: Culture and the Environment: A Shared Future

    • The program examines how social and environmental factors are shaping political and ecological dimensions of identity and culture in New Zealand.
    • In this cohort-based model, students participate in fieldwork and an independent study program.  
    • Semester program only.  

    University Study in New Zealand: University of Auckland

    • Study at a diverse, urban university with a reputation for excellence in the sciences, engineering and research in Auckland—New Zealand's largest city.
    • Students take courses in environmental science and environmental management, additional options in the sciences and humanities available.
    • Semester, academic year, and calendar year options available.  

    University Study in New Zealand: University of Otago

    • As New Zealand’s oldest University, the University of Otago, located in Dunedin, offers students exceptional academics against the backdrop of New Zealand’s South Island.  
    • Courses of interest available in environmental management and science as well as botany, wildlife management, and biology.
    • Semester, academic year, and calendar year options available.

    University Study in New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington

    • Live and study in Wellington—New Zealand’s vibrant capital city. Wellington's arts scene and diversity provide a unique environment to take advantage of the wide offerings of this well-known university.
    • Explore unique course offerings in environmental studies, biodiversity, conservation biology, and marine conservation.  
    • Semester, academic year, and calendar year options available.  

    South Korea

    University Study in South Korea: Korea University

    • Korea University offers the opportunity to study alongside Korean and international students in the rising metropolis of Seoul.
    • KU has several courses taught in English in the Division of Environmental Sciences.
    • No language prerequisite; Semester, academic year, calendar year

    Thailand

    MSID—International Development in Thailand

    • Live, study, and intern at the rolling foothills of the Himalayan mountains in Thailand. Experiential learning is the core of MSID programs where homestays and internships/research further enrich cultural immersion. Based in Chiang Mai, with internship options outside the city.
    • Internships in the Sustainability & the Environment track could place students with an environmental NGO that focuses on renewable energy or environmental policy projects that impact hill tribe villagers.  
    • Instruction is in English; no language prerequisite. Fall or Spring semester. 

    Europe

    Denmark

    Study Abroad in Denmark

    • Take courses in a wide variety of disciplines with Copenhagen as your classroom. Participate in coursework, field study, and study tours taught in English.
    • Students can pursue courses through the Environmental Science of the Arctic track and the Sustainability in Europe track.
    • No language prerequisite; semester, academic year, and summer options available.  

    France

    France: From Farm to Fork; Sustainable Food Systems

    • Learn about sustainable food systems in France while engaging with the local culinary and consumer culture.  
    • Students will earn 4-credits and can fulfill liberal education and CFANS requirements.  
    • May term; Students have the option to extend their stay through the summer with the Farm Practice Internship in the Loire Region of France.

    Germany

    IES Germany: Freiburg—Environmental Studies and Sustainability 

    • Based in Freiburg, the center of the modern environmental movement, this program allows students to explore topics in Environmental Studies and Forest Ecology.
    • Spring semester students have the option to apply for a research assistantship to work with a University faculty member on an environmental studies research topic. Assistantships are three to six weeks long and take place after the end of the term.
    • No language prerequisite; Semester and academic year options available.  

    Iceland

    Scholarship Exchange in Iceland

    • Study at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik on this partial scholarship exchange.
    • Relevant courses relate to the Arctic Circle and EU or International Environmental Law.
    • Academic year only.

    Ireland

    University Study in Ireland: University of Limerick

    • Located in western Ireland on the banks of the Shannon River, The University of Limerick is known for its innovation and excellence in the sciences.
    • The University has extensive course offerings in environmental science including environmental management, conservation ecology, and geoscience.
    • Semester, academic year, and summer options available.  

    Norway

    University Study in Norway: Norwegian University of Life Sciences

    • Located between fjords and forests in Ås, Norway, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences offers an intimate setting for students.  
    • The Norwegian University of Life Sciences focuses specifically on biology, food, environment, land use, and natural resource management.  
    • No language prerequisite; Semester and academic year options available.  

    University Study in Norway: University of Bergen

    • Study in Bergen—the gateway to the world-famous fjords of Norway. Established in 1946, the University of Bergen is known for its young and modern university.  
    • Students can take courses in a variety of disciplines. Courses in aquaculture, climatology, and biology may be of special interest to ESPM students.
    • No language prerequisite; Semester and academic year options available.  

    United Kingdom

    University Study in the UK: University of Glasgow

    • Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is one of the UK's most highly-rated schools.
    • Students can explore options through the biology and earth science departments—many of which focus on environmental studies, life science, and geoscience.  
    • Semester and academic year options available.  

    Additional Options to Consider

    Minor in International Agriculture

    CFANS recognizes the international nature of global food and agricultural systems as well as the interdependence of environmental systems. The International Agriculture minor provides students an opportunity to integrate coursework in agricultural sciences; area, cultural and language studies; plus an overseas experience. Students select coursework independently or through package programs available through the Learning Abroad Center. For more info contact the minor coordinator Jay Bell or the CFANS Student Services Office.

    Student Experiences

    Visit the Learning Abroad Center's Student Experiences web page for details on other students' experiences studying abroad.