Learning Abroad with a Sustainability Studies Minor

Learning Abroad with a Sustainability Studies Minor

“Spending meaningful time in another country and culture offers a personal experience of cultural, economic, and natural systems that may be more—or less—sustainable than the equivalent in the US. Many sustainability study abroad programs offer experiential education options like internships, community-based class projects, and field studies that allow students to experience, personally, the complexity of furthering sustainability goals and to gain new perspectives on sustainability challenges at the global scale.”
—Beth Mercer-Taylor
Sustainability Education Coordinator

Study Abroad Process

This is the basic Learning Abroad Process you'll complete. The order in which you do things is somewhat flexible.

Academic Planning

Review the following suggestions from the Sustainability Studies program before beginning your study abroad research.

The Sustainability Studies Minor accepts study abroad courses for up to 6 of your 9 elective credits. Contact sustainu@umn.edu regarding which elective categories your potential study abroad courses will fulfill. It is best to do this prior to departure, however, you may also request that credits count for the Minor upon your return. Below are just a few of the many programs that are great options for Sustainability Studies Minor students. If you find another program that you think could count towards the minor that is not listed on this page, contact Beth Mercer-Taylor.

Because Sustainability Studies is so interdisciplinary, we recommend reviewing the Major Advising Pages for additional study abroad options.

Liberal Education requirements

Consult the Learning Abroad Center's U Credit Abroad Search for courses that have been approved for Liberal Education.

Programs

Africa and the Middle East

Kenya

MSID—International Development in Kenya

  • Program terms: academic year, fall or spring semester, August language program
  • Courses on country analysis and development, followed by an internship or research project with a local development organization. Homestays enrich cultural immersion.
  • Development course tailored to develop field-specific knowledge in education, public health, micro-business, cultural studies, environment or social services.
  • Past internships locations include health clinics, schools, orphanages, agricultural cooperatives, HIV/AIDS outreach organizations, small businesses, and local arts cooperatives, among others.
  • Interns observe and participate in daily activities and engage in discussions about the organizational goals and development in that country.
  • Research topics are based on current projects at local organizations with a focus on understanding in-country development needs and dynamics.
  • Instruction is in English.

Senegal

MSID—International Development in Senegal

  • Program terms: academic year, fall or spring semester, August language program
  • Courses on country analysis and development, followed by an internship or research project with a local development organization. Homestays enrich cultural immersion.
  • Development course tailored to develop field-specific knowledge in education, public health, micro-business, cultural studies, environment or social services.
  • Past internships locations include health clinics, schools, orphanages, agricultural cooperatives, HIV/AIDS outreach organizations, small businesses, and local arts cooperatives, among others.
  • Interns observe and participate in daily activities and engage in discussions about the organizational goals and development in that country.
  • Research topics are based on current projects at local organizations with a focus on understanding in-country development needs and dynamics.
  • Instruction is in French.

South Africa

University Study in South Africa: University of Cape Town 

  • Spend an academic year or semester studying at a large, diverse and urban university on the coast
  • Choose from coursework in fields related to Sustainability Studies, including: Biology, Architecture, Environmental Studies, Political Science, and Engineering

Explore these and many more opportunities using the Learning Abroad Center program search.

Americas

Costa Rica

CIEE Costa Rica—Sustainability and the Environment

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of sustainability and tropical conservation issues in the context of Costa Rica
  • Spanish courses and living with a local family offer you the chance to learn language and culture

SFS Costa Rica

  • Examine the effects of globalization on classic development issues such as agriculture, biodiversity protection, economic development, urban sprawl, population growth, waste management and water resources
  • Learn field research skills and work with local park rangers, farmers and top environmental officials to understand the challenges of maintaining Costa Rica's biodiversity
  • Semester and summer options available

Ecuador

MSID—International Development in Ecuador

  • Program terms: academic year, fall or spring semester, August language program
  • Courses on country analysis and development, followed by an internship or research project with a local development organization. Homestays enrich cultural immersion.
  • Development course tailored to develop field-specific knowledge in education, public health, micro-business, cultural studies, environment or social services.
  • Past internships locations include health clinics, schools, orphanages, agricultural cooperatives, HIV/AIDS outreach organizations, small businesses, and local arts cooperatives, among others.
  • Interns observe and participate in daily activities and engage in discussions about the organizational goals and development in that country.
  • Research topics are based on current projects at local organizations with a focus on understanding in-country development needs and dynamics.
  • Instruction is in Spanish.

Ecuador: Sustainability of its Peoples, Lands, and Waters

  • Winter break
  • Sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences

Brazil

SIT Brazil—Amazon Resource Management & Human Ecology

  • Consider the conflict between finite ecological resources and seemingly infinite human development demands on the Amazon River Basin
  • Gain firsthand insights into resource management and human ecology through excursions to rainforest villages, research laboratories, extractive industry sites, and archaeological sites

Panama

SIT Panama—Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation

  • Examine the impact of human activity on the environment and the ways in which development and conservation practices can serve both human and environmental interests
  • Learn from researchers, professionals, practitioners, and other development and conservation specialists
  • Use your field study experience and research skills to conduct an Independent Study Project

Explore these and many more opportunities using the Learning Abroad Center program search.

Asia and Oceania

Australia

SFS Australia

  • Contribute to research on the loss and fragmentation of rainforest and take courses examining environmental policies related to the issue on local and national levels
  • Semester and summer options available
  • In collaboration with local landholders, stakeholder organizations, and on-site staff, determine how to enhance the condition of tropical rainforest on the Atherton Tablelands

SIT Australia—Sustainability and Environmental Action

  • Examine the impact of human activity on the environment; efforts to protect and conserve natural resources, as well as the psychological and philosophical dimensions of these issues
  • Interact with professionals, academics, conservationists, community members, and host families
  • Use your field study experience and research skills to complete an Independent Study Project

CIEE Australia—Sustainability & the Environment

  • Take integrated coursework in the environmental, sustainability, and biological sciences
  • Learn about the impact that industries such as agriculture, mining, forestry, fishing, and tourism have on the environment
  • Gain an understanding of the Australian environment and society, while pursuing a range of academic and recreational experiences

University Study in Australia: University of Melbourne

  • The University of Melbourne is one of the world’s top research and teaching institutions
  • Classes are available in Australian flora and fauna, ecology, sustainable environmental development, biogeography, GIS, parts and recreation management, hydrology, environmental management systems, environmental economics, environmental site engineering, agroforestry, zoology, botany, and global environmental politics
  • Field study is an integral part of environmental subjects, allowing students the opportunity to practice techniques and learn more about the Australian environment

University of Queensland, Brisbane (available through Arcadia)

  • The University of Queensland has a highly regarded reputation in environmental science with a particular emphasis on field studies
  • Study topics such as arid zone ecology, marine botany, and coral reef ecology

Japan

Exchange in Japan—Nagoya University
  • Sample course offering areas, taught in English include:  agricultural science, chemistry, economics, environmental studies, international development, information science, law, math, and medicine 
  • Japanese language courses available - beginning to advanced
  • Independent research in the student's major field of study is available during the second semester 
  • No previous Japanese language study required 
  • Academic year program

New Zealand

Arcadia New Zealand—Environmental Studies: Ethics, Culture and Sustainability

  • This five-week summer program focuses on the environment, environmental ethics, culture and sustainability
  • Understand Australia and New Zealand’s unique wilderness environments and their significance to indigenous and contemporary societies
  • Explore the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics, the Australian Outback and the Volcanic and Geothermal areas of the North Island of New Zealand.

Explore these and many more opportunities using the Learning Abroad Center program search.

Europe

Denmark

Study Abroad in Denmark—Sustainability in Europe

  • The program’s core course and study tours will enhance your understanding of the divergent goals and processes connected with sustainable development
  • Interact with a range of Danish and European stakeholders currently shaping the sustainability agenda
  • Identify your own values and strategies for a sustainable future

Italy

Study & Intern in Rome

  • Take Italian language and choose from English-taught courses in leadership, design, cinema, sustainability, communication, and more
  • Enroll in the Italy: A Case Study of Sustainability course and gain an Italian perspective on population growth, food production, ecology, and more
  • Participate in study tours to Tuscany, Naples, and more  Sponsor: UMTC Learning Abroad Center

Norway

Norwegian U of Life Sciences

  • Study at the Norwegian U of Life Sciences, which focuses specifically on biology, food, environment, land use, and natural resource management
  • Over 200 English-taught courses are available

Spain

Arcadia Spain—Environmental Studies in Granada

  • Study in Granada, home to national parks and a number of UNESCO-declared biospheres
  • Gain a Spanish perspective on issues such as coastal preservation, water management, renewable energy technologies & production, and more
  • Enroll in courses such as Renewable Energy: Wind, Solar, Wave; Micrometeorology and Climatology; Ecosystems of Andalucia; and Sustainability in the Mediterranean

Germany

Arcadia Germany—Renewable Energy: Policy and Development

  • Learn how Germany is adapting to rapid climatic changes through renewable energy systems
  • Gain a European perspective on energy policies
  • Interact with politicians, practitioners, and researchers; benefit from guest lectures, and participate in course-related site visits

IES Germany—Environmental Studies & Sustainability

  • Organized in cooperation with the Forest Ecology and Management Program at the distinguished Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Frieburg, courses focus on the sustainable management of natural resources, with a special emphasis on the adaptive management of forests
  • Take German language courses at the beginning, intermediate, or advanced level
  • Post-program research assistantships and extensive field study trips to the Swiss Alps, the Rhine River Valley, and the Black Forest give you hands-on experience

Iceland

SIT Iceland—Renewable Energy, Technology, and Resource Economics

  • Study in Iceland, a world leader in developing the use of renewable energy
  • This summer program takes place in Akureyri, the largest city in the north of Iceland; the remote Westfjords region; and the capital, Reykjavik
  • Take Icelandic language and an interdisciplinary seminar on renewable energy, technology, and resource

Scholarship Exchange in Iceland

  • This full scholarship exchange offers you the chance to study in the Icelandic capital city of Reykjavik
  • Choose coursework from a host of options, including Biology, Engineering, Geography, Geology, Political Science, and more

France

Sustainable Food Chains

  • Summer Session
  • Sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences

Poland

A Lens into Sustainability: Farms and Forests

  • May Session
  • Sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences

United Kingdom—England

University Study in the UK: Queen Mary, University of London

  • Spend an academic year or semester living and studying on the only university campus in London
  • Choose from coursework in fields related to Sustainability Studies, including: Biological and Chemical Sciences, Engineering, Geography, and Politics

Explore these and many more opportunities using the Learning Abroad Center program search.

Additional Options to Consider

Intensive Language Programs

  • Begin your language study or work toward completing requirements for a language minor
  • Complete a semester of language on a short-term program or explore options to complete two or more semesters of language on semester long program

Global Seminars

  • 3-week, 3-credit programs at the 3000-level led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff over Winter Break or May Session.
  • Fulfill Liberal Education requirements, or earn major/minor credit.
  • Explore an exciting location and topic! Check out this year's offerings!

Freshman Seminars

  • Freshman Seminars Abroad combine on-campus instruction during spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break.
  • Seminars are 3 credits at the 19xx level and most fulfill a liberal education requirement.
  • Seminars are designed specifically for first year students as an introduction to study abroad.

HECUA

  • HECUA is dedicated to education for social justice
  • A variety of program locations available

National Student Exchange

  • Study at another college or university in the United States or Canada
  • Over 200 schools are members of NSE 

Work, Intern, and Volunteer (WIV) Abroad Programs (non-credit)

Student Experiences

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