Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. For GECS students, a study abroad program focused on environmental issues and sustainability provides the chance to witness problems firsthand and, in many cases, become part of the solution. Participants report a broadening of their perspectives on the issues and an increased appreciation for other cultures and their varied approaches to problem solving. The on-the-ground challenges of dealing with global environmental change and related social and economic issues become real in a way that can never be captured in a traditional classroom at home.
When to Go
Study abroad experiences range from short travel courses through JHU, such as Intersession Abroad, to summer programs, to semester- or year-long programs through JHU or other institutions. Most students study abroad during their junior year, but it may be more appropriate in the summer after the sophomore or junior year, especially if a student is pursuing a credit-intensive double-major or has changed majors in the middle of their academic career. More information about setting up a study abroad experience can be found at the JHU Study Abroad Office website.
Where to Go
Environmental and sustainability-related program locations range from developed countries in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand to developing countries in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. Some programs are very science-oriented with a focus on issues such as tropical reef or rain forest conservation, and others focus more on policy issues, such as cutting-edge sustainability strategies in northern European countries. The best environmental study abroad programs usually involve students in ongoing research projects or have students engage in independent research on site. Links to a number of these programs can be found in the right sidebar. A number of these specialized programs have been vetted by the JHU Study Abroad Office.