Sustainable Study Abroad

Attention Study Abroad Students!

Did you know:

·Traveling 2,000 miles in an airplane emits ONE TON of C02 per passenger

·During the academic year each Middlebury student is responsible for nearly THREE TONS of CO2 emission for energy use

As you may know, Middlebury College has made a commitment to becoming carbon neutral to help address global warming. This page outlines several important steps you can take to Green your study abroad experience:

· Resources for Sustainable Travel Information - Review our Resource list to learn about steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption and live a sustainable life.

· Sustainable Study Abroad Grants of up to $500 will be made available to students studying abroad through Middlebury College. Undergraduates studying at the C.V. Starr Middlebury Schools Abroad, as well as Middlebury students studying abroad on approved non-Middlebury programs, are eligible for these grants.

Grants may be used for research projects or participation in events or projects related to sustainability issues; this may include projects or research that look at ways of reducing the human impact on the environment, enhancing social well-being, or economic development that addresses the environment and/or social well-being.

More information, application, and a list of current grant recipients.

· Green Passport Program - Green Passport was created to help students take into account the social and environmental consequences of studying abroad.  Green Passport helps students improve these aspects of their study abroad experience by minimizing impact on the environment, acting in culturally appropriate ways, and engaging with and giving back to host communities. Email Stacey Thebodo for more information on how to participate in the Green Passport Program.

· Purchase carbon offsets
When you study abroad your air travel produces a tremendous quantity of greenhouse gases, contributing greatly to climate warming. In 2006-07, Middlebury led the way in the field of education abroad by creating one of the first organized study abroad carbon offset programs. Through this program, Middlebury worked with Native Energy, a Vermont carbon offsets company, to facilitate the purchase of carbon offsets for study abroad travel. These offsets supported many of Native Energy’s projects, such as renewable energy at schools, methane digesters on family farms, household water filters in rural Kenya and even the first large scale Native American-owned wind turbine in the U.S. Though Middlebury no longer facilitates the purchase of carbon offsets for study abroad travel, students are encouraged to purchase carbon offsets independently through Native Energy or another carbon offset provider (more information and research on carbon offset providers can be found here). 

· Project 350 - is a new global initiative launched by Middlebury graduates to spread a particular idea: 350 -- the safe parts per million level of CO2 in the atmosphere. We believe 350, a benchmark for where we need to move as a planet, may just be the most important number in the world. Our goal is to bring people all across the globe together and with our collective voice move this number 350 to the very heart of public consciousness. Through art, music, education, rallies, and actions of all kind, we're inviting people to help spread this number and make 350 the benchmark for international action to address the climate crisis.

You can help build this movement while you study abroad. Climate change is already harming communities all over the world, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Meanwhile, the media and politicians often overlook the voices of ordinary citizens. will provide a megaphone for individuals everywhere. We need your help to weave their voices, their innovative ideas, their commitment and our collective drive to save our planet into something more powerful than the sum of its parts.

There are many ways you can help in the country you study in: networking with organizations, organizing actions, talking with people you meet during your travels, documenting stories, and more. There is also potential for more formal involvement and internship opportunities for students that are interested in working closely with this initiative. No matter what degree you feel you can help we encourage you to email us,, to discuss this project more.

Please click here for more information and a guide to working with 350 while you are abroad.

You CAN make a difference!