Zebra Migration, photo by Madeline Jackson, Tanzania
Zebra Migration, photo by Madeline Jackson, Tanzania (Study Abroad Photo Contest)

If you’re interested in a study abroad program that focuses on sustainability, consider these suggestions.


Middlebury Schools Abroad

Environmental studies courses are available at many of the Middlebury Schools Abroad in the language of the host country.

Middlebury School in Chile Sustainability and Society Track

  • The Sustainability and Society Track is designed for students who are curious about the multiple relationships between society, environment, and sustainability and their implications for the future.
  • Students will develop practical skills in education and scientific research to solve critical problems related to the preservation of biodiversity and directly benefit local communities. 
  • Current programs are located in Temuco, Valdivia, and Villarrica.

Also check out the Global Partnerships for Sustainability projects at several Middlebury Schools Abroad:

  • GPS creates opportunities for successive cohorts of students to advance the work of in-country organizations and their sustainability agendas.
  • Through GPS, students gain significantly greater understanding and proficiency in the language and culture while contributing to a more sustainable future for their host country.
  • GPS programs are in progress or in development in Chile, China, France, Japan, Jordan, Russia, and Uruguay. 

Middlebury School of the Environment

  • 3 credit-bearing courses in a 6-week summer program.
  • Interdisciplinary coursework in sustainability, marine biology, food justice, and more.
  • Skill-building workshops with environmental leaders and NGOs.

Externally Sponsored Field-Based Programs*

Frontiers Abroad: New Zealand Earth and Environment Study Abroad Programs

  • The Geology of New Zealand Program combines a traditional five week geology field camp with a campus semester at the University of Canterbury.
  • The New Zealand Earth Systems Program at the University of Canterbury is an environmental science program that combines environmental science, geoscience, hydrology, and ecology to analyze current environmental issues. 
  • The New Zealand Earth Systems Program at the University of Auckland analyses current environmental issues arising from the interface between nature and society through Māori and western scientific world views.

Organization for Tropical Studies in South Africa: African Ecology & Conservation

  • Learn how to perform quality field research in South Africa’s varied biomes traveling through national parks and reserves as well as historical sites across the country. 
  • Students interact with OTS South Africa faculty and learn from visiting international academics, local South African conservation managers, and other expert practitioners.

Round River Conservation Studies Botswana

  • This program centers on understanding the wildlife population decline in Botswana and assisting local communities in monitoring these populations.
  • Working closely with local instructors and guides to accomplish important wildlife and habitat studies, students also assist with training, capacity building, and community outreach activities.

Round River Conservation Studies Mongolia

  • Since 2018 Round River has assisted the Ulaan Taiga Protected Areas Administration (UTPAA) in creating a center of ecological monitoring and research within this remote, protected region of Mongolia with the help of study abroad students. 
  • Within this program students get hands-on research experience with wildlife while exploring ways to incorporate local communities and community needs into park management. 

Sea Education Association - SEA Semester

  • Nine different semester-long programs are offered with foci on science, environmental issues, culture, and history, all dedicated to the exploration, understanding, and stewardship of marine and maritime environments. 
  • SEA programs feature an interdisciplinary curriculum and dynamic leadership-development experience - at sea and on shore. 

SIT Study Abroad:

The School for Field Studies:

Externally Sponsored English-Speaking Programs and Universities*


DIS Copenhagen Sustainability

  • Experience new approaches to sustainability from a European perspective and hear from the stakeholders shaping today’s agendas inside a city renowned for its leadership in climate change adaptation. 
  • The two core courses offered through this program, Sustainable Development in Northern Europe and Sustainable Food: Production and Consumption, fit perfectly into the disciplines of environmental studies, public policy, and sustainability. 

DIS Copenhagen Environmental Science of the Arctic

  • Explore climate change theory through the lens of scientific climate history in the Arctic.
  • Each of the three core courses offers a field study component in the Arctic alongside expert scientists centered around the subject areas of biology, chemistry, environmental science, and geology. 

Australia/New Zealand:

Australian National University (Australia)

  • ANU is highly regarded internationally for connecting science and policy and seeks to support the sustainable use of Australia’s and the world’s resources. The Fenner School of Environment and Society is a world-leading center for interdisciplinary research on conservation and management of Australia’s distinctive biodiversity and has a strong track record researching long-term environmental and sustainability issues and challenges. 

Griffith University (Australia)

  • Since the founding, the University has been a leader in sustainability through their ongoing commitment to the environment and social justice and in climate research and action. 
  • Griffith leads several key environmental and conservation research centers (Center for Coastal Management, Australian Rivers Institute and Center for Planetary Health and Food Safety), is a key partner in the Bushfire Recovery Project and investigates opportunities for innovation in sustainable tourism. 

James Cook University (Australia)

  • TropEco is JCU´s sustainability program, celebrating Sustainability in Action by supporting students and staff to create a culture of sustainability at JCU. JCU´s War on Waste and community gardens are tied to TropEco along with their TropEco Interns Program. 
  • JCU is first in the world for Marine and Freshwater Biology, second for Biodiversity Conservation and 25th for Ecology while also containing over eight research centers for subjects related to sustainability. 

La Trobe University (Australia)

  • Sustainability is central to everything they do across all campus operations and is embedded into campus culture and practices through the Sustainability Quiz, Pledge, Thinking, and Plan. 
  • Study environment and sustainability at La Trobe for its dedicated wildlife sanctuary, leading environmental research centers, and field courses in uniquely Australian locations. 

Lincoln University (New Zealand)

  • This universities mission is to enhance lives through the natural ecosystems that spring from a healthy relationship with the land.
  • They offer a wide selection of environment-focused study programmes, from a highly practical Diploma in Natural Resources to Bachelor’s degrees that cover environmental management, planning and policy, conservation and ecology combined with an emphasis on field trips for practical experience.

Macquarie University (Australia)

  • They have developed a vibrant and sustainable campus by understanding the impact of their actions and making informed decisions around sustainable practices. This commitment includes undertaking sustainable research, ensuring students contribute to an environmentally healthy and equitable society, reducing  negative impact on our society and environment, responsible consumption of energy, water, food, products and transport, and actively supporting the local community and region. 
  • Their research specializes in the geomorphic analysis of rivers and wetlands, coastal and ocean sciences (including flows of water, sediment and carbon) and how these systems intersect with people. They emphasize cross-cultural approaches to science and conservation that include Indigenous and Western ways of knowing and doing. 

Monash University (Australia)

  • Monash has Study Abroad Specializations, which are groups of courses organized into engaging interdisciplinary themes specifically for study abroad students, include Sustainable Development and Australian Environments and Biodiversity, perfect for those interested in sustainability. Examples of courses include Environmental Cycles on our Living Planet, Future Climates: Projections, Impacts and Adaptation, Environmental Policy and Management, The Geography of Global Challenges, Poverty, Climate Change and International Justice, and more. 

Murdoch University (Australia)

  • Various research centers of the Harry Butler Institute focus on sustainability in the areas of Sustainable Farming Systems, Biosecurity and One Health, Sustainable Aquatic Systems, Terrestrial Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, and Water, Energy and Waste.

University of Adelaide (Australia)

  • The University is internationally renowned for its capability in all scales of spatial imaging and environmental management and widely recognized for its multidisciplinary expertise in water systems management. They offer over seven degrees in the field of environment and sustainability including a Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Management and a Bachelor of Science (Wildlife Conservation Biology). 
  • Ecoversity is the University’s sustainability engagement program and part of their broader Sustainability Strategy. Ecoversity activities, campaigns and events are geared towards developing a campus community that values and applies sustainable practices.

University of Auckland (New Zealand)

  • University of Auckland students’ sustainability projects, from the three SUSTAIN courses, were shared with more than 300 educators around the world at a United Nations workshop, showcasing the strength of the University in regard to sustainability. 

University of Canterbury (New Zealand)

  • The Center for Antarctic Studies and Research plays a leading role in national and international Antarctic research projects and in policy advice and advocacy, participating in international forums. 
  • With over 12 majors and 5 minors dedicated to the field of sustainability, students will be able to contribute to practical solutions that will lead to a sustainable future for all. 

University of Melbourne (Australia)

  • Melbourne Climate Futures connects and amplifies the depth and breadth of University of Melbourne research, creates a portal to share ideas and collaborate on real action, and empowers the next generation of climate activists. They are committed to leading our national, regional and global communities to a sustainable, safe, fair and equitable climate future.

University of New South Wales (Australia)

  • Sustainability is incorporated throughout the University through courses, research, resources such as a Campus Sustainability map, organizations such as the Science Sustainability Working Group, UNSW Urban Growers, and Arc Go Green, and a commitment to plastic free dining. 

University of Otago (New Zealand)

  • The Center for Sustainability is an interdisciplinary research center hosted by the School of Geography that draws from knowledge systems of social and physical sciences, mātauraka Māori, and local understandings, yet is only one part of Sustainability Research at Otago. 
  • Sustainability highlights for the college at large include the Sustainability Neighborhood, Sustainability Week, Student Lead recruitment, Disposable Cup Free, Sustainability Sussed podcast, and the Net Carbon Zero 2030. 

University of Queensland (Australia)

  • Sustainability Project areas at the University include renewable energy, energy efficiency, recycling and waste minimisation, campus grounds and buildings, water, sustainable food, transport, and environmental risk. Opportunities for involvement range from student organizations/clubs, the Green Ambassador Program, Green the Team, Sustainability Crew Volunteering, UQ’s Sustainability Week, courses/research, Green labs program and more. 
  • The University holds a variety of sustainable “units” as well such as the Australian Center for Water and Environmental Biotechnology, ARC Center for Integrative Legume Research, UQ Business School for Sustainable Business, Center for Marine Studies, Chemwaste, Cycling at UQ, Global Change Institute, Queensland Geothermal Energy Center of Excellence, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, and Sustainable Minerals Group. 

University of Sydney (Australia)

  • By placing sustainability at the heart of research and education activities and integrating sustainable practices into campus life, they aim to be a place that drives social and environmental change. A range of sustainable courses are offered combined with sustainability related projects through their Industry and Community project Units, opportunities to test new sustainability research in Living labs, intersectional environmental themes for research in the Sydney Environment Institute and more. 

University of Tasmania (Australia)

  • UTAS is ranked in the world’s top three most sustainable universities and excesl in the areas of Zoology, Geography and Environmental studies, Marine and Antarctic science, and Aboringinal studies.
  • Sustainability is incorporated into every aspect of the University through courses,the Green Impact Program, student organizations, a Student Sustainability Survey, a Sustainability Bulletin, Global Climate Change Week, research, and more. 

University of Western Australia (Australia)

  • Study at the University where Agricultural studies are ranked 17th in the world, Environmental Science and Engineering is ranked 21st, and Biological Sciences is ranked 34th to tackle local, regional and global issues from the environmental impacts of climate change and sustainably managing natural resources, to providing food and water security.
  • Through the Grand Challenges program, UWA will focus its efforts on solutions to Climate Change and A More Just and Equitable World Post COVID-19.

University of Wollongong (Australia)

  • UOW is actively working towards incorporating the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals into their educational offerings to ensure that students are well informed global citizens that can continue to contribute to realizing sustainable development throughout their studies and careers. Examples of such classes include Principles of Responsible Business, Planet Earth, Changing Global Environments, Engineering Design for Sustainability, Environmental Humanities, Indigenous Geographies: Questioning Country, Nutrition and Food Innovation, Environmental Sustainability, Risk and Governance, Climate Change Policy, Possible Futures, and more. 

Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)

  • They excel in the subject of Earth Sciences and are a global leader in Antarctic and climate change research. 


Aberystwyth University (Wales)

  • The Department of Geography and Earth Sciences along with the Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences contain a variety of degrees under these disciplines with world class research opportunities in both. 
  • Student and community groups geared towards sustainability are the Aberystwyth Conservation Volunteers, the Penglais Community Garden, and Tyfu Dyfi (a project demonstrating how communities can be involved in their local food systems and the benefits that arise). 

Bangor University (Wales)

  • With a research and innovation vision to be a global center of excellence in sustainability, the University takes a distinctive and holistic approach to sustainability that resonates with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) and includes energy and the environment as one of their key research themes. 
  • Sustainability is promoted in research, business and enterprise activities with multiple student organizations, an Education for Sustainable Development, and various environmental targets and engagements. 

Cardiff University (Wales)

  • Sustainable development research is a key strength across a wide range of subject areas with a Sustainable Places Research Institute, a Water Research Institute and an Energy Systems Research Institute. 
  • Sustainability is embedded throughout our campus with the Ecosystem Resilience and Biodiversity Action Plan (ERBAP), Changing Steps Cardiff, Green Impact, Cardiff OVObikes, 100% recycled paper, and so on.

Lancaster University (England)

  • Environmental Sustainability has been at the heart of Lancaster University since its foundation with a mission to tackle global environmental challenges both through our teaching and research and our own campus and operations.
  • Green Lancaster is one of many opportunities at the University which contain a focus on sustainability and is known as a partnership between Lancaster University and the Students’ Union devoted to engaging students, staff, and the local community in practical responses to the climate and ecological emergencies.

NUI Galway (Ireland)

  • Between the School of Natural Sciences and the School of Geography, Archaeology and Irish Studies, research is divided into clusters of Environmental Change, Geopolitics and Justice, Planning and Sustainability, Rural Studies, Biodiversity and Bioresources, Energy Research Center, Marine and BioGeosciences Research, Plant and AgriBiosciences Research, and more. 
  • Seven student organizations, various sustainability initiatives, a learn-live-lead model, a Sustainability Strategy and Policy, and more all combine to situate sustainability as a core value at the University. 

Royal Holloway University of London (England)

  • The School of Life Sciences and the Environment (specifically the geography programme focus on globalization and development), the Center for Research into Sustainability (leading research worldwide in areas of accounting for sustainability, responsible consumption and responsible business), and a general commitment to sustainability make this college an excellent choice for those interested in sustainability. 

Swansea University (Wales)

  • Our Sustainability and Climate Emergency Strategy, aligned with the University’s Strategic Vision and Purpose, sets out how we operationalise our Sustainability Policy and commits us to actions across four key themes: The Climate Emergency, Our Natural Environment, Our Working Environment, and Our Travel. 
  • To address the environmental crisis, we are finding ways to preserve and protect the world for future generations through research on the Antarctic Ice Shelf, the UK’s biggest Seagrass Restoration Project, Combating Climate Change using Mangroves, Using Algae to Clean Up Industry Emissions, and so much more.

Trinity College Dublin  (Ireland)

  • Sustainability is embedded within the college through Sustainability guides and organizations, the Trinity Center for Biodiversity Research, the Trinity Center for the Environment, as well as the Smart, Sustainable Planet Research themes which focus on earth and environmental sciences, evolutionary biology and ecology, and society, space and environment. 

University College Dublin (Ireland)

  • The University has several sustainability initiatives along with dedicated research available to study abroad students in the School of Biology and Environmental Science under the theme of Environmental Change and Sustainability: Performing Policy and Practice. 

University of Aberdeen (Scotland)

  • We are committed to adopting a whole University approach to sustainability and social responsibility. We will ensure that limited resources are used effectively and activity is conducted in a way that minimizes environmental impacts, while demonstrating an awareness of ethical and social responsibility.
  • Situated in the stunning historic neighborhood of Old Aberdeen, the University is known as a center of excellence in the field of Environmental Studies.

University of Birmingham (England)

  • The University contains both a College of Life and Environmental Science and a Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences school. 
  • Renowned globally for their research, the University spotlights sustainable environments, global health challenges, driving innovation, and fulfilling lives, fairer world in their work.  

University College London (England)

  • UCL offers majors in the fields of geography, earth sciences, population health sciences and more.
  •  The UCL Living Lab is the opportunity for students and staff to solve UCL’s sustainability challenges through research, teaching, dissertations and projects and lead the debate on everything from the climate emergency to plastic waste.

University of East Anglia (England)

  • The UEA has pioneered climate research for nearly 50 years with the Climatic Research Unit and the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research both breaking new ground in understanding the global climate system and its implications for society. 

University of Edinburgh (Scotland)

  • The University has a team dedicated to improving sustainability and climate action on campus in the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. We offer a range of training courses, events, paid internships, funding and advice for students to help you improve your sustainability skillset and make a difference, no matter what you study.
  • The Science for Sustainability Hub works to discover scientific and technological solutions to engender a sustainable future based on circular and green economies. 

University of Leeds (England)

  • A major international powerhouse for environmental research that has wide-ranging and positive impacts on the world across five institutes with national and global collaborations. 
  • One of these five, located within the School of Earth and Environment, conducts interdisciplinary research on the different dimensions of sustainability and specializing in participatory, action-oriented research organized across 6 research groups (economics and policy for sustainability, environment and development, social and political dimensions of sustainability, business and organizations for sustainable societies, energy and climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation, vulnerability and services). 

University of Manchester (England)

  • Offers various opportunities to engage in sustainability initiatives whether that be in research, student environmental groups, courses, or more. 
  • The University is home to the UK’s largest single campus-based community of researchers with interests in sustainability and the environment, and various research groups committed to ongoing research in sustainability issues. 

University of Stirling (Scotland)

  • With a global reputation for environmental science and the Forth Valley´s established status as a hub for environmental and conservation activity in Scotland, Stirling is a good fit for sustainability students as environmental sustainability is incorporated into all areas of the University. 
  • Through a range of targeted, integrated, and high-profile projects, Scotland’s International Environmental Center (SIEC) will co-develop innovative and disruptive products and services with the help of academic researchers, talented students, and external partners, offering agile solutions that will help tackle and mitigate the inevitable impacts of climate change, support the transition to a net zero economy, and protect our natural environmental assets.

University of Sussex (England)

  • Study at a world-renowned university with an academic focus on global sustainability and innovation. 
  • Aimed at tackling new global challenges, the University is home to the Sussex Energy Group, Sustainability Research Program, Innovation Center, and Geography and Environmental Studies research. 

University of Warwick (England)

  • Warwick is one of the world’s leading centers of research and innovation and we’re determined to use all our insight, expertise and ingenuity to help chart the way to a sustainable future.
  • The University of Warwick is playing its part in tackling the climate emergency. Building on our existing research and education programmes and our connections to industry and society, we’re focusing on The Way to Sustainable – the real-life implications of creating a sustainable future and the practical challenges of getting there.

University of York (England)

  • The seven research themes that align our academic strengths to best meet the grand scientific, social and environmental challenges of our time include environmental sustainability and resilience. 
  • Sustainability is a key element of our responsibilities and values as we have no investments in the fossil industry, are committed to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, have an Environmental Sustainability Academy and One Planet Week, and contribute vital environmental research. 

Domestic Off-Campus Study*

Middlebury California Climate Semester: Resilience, Solutions, Justice 

  • Located at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, students will learn from climate leaders at the graduate level during the winter or spring term. 
  •  A core course provides an integrative approach to climate issues in California through a deep dive into the environmental, cultural, and literary history of the region.

Border Studies Program – Center for Global and Career Education, Academics | Earlham College 

  • This program consists of homestays, internships in grassroots and/or non-profit organizations and travel excursions as well as a rigorous academic curriculum. 
  • Based in the southern Arizona borderlands, students gain hands-on experience in contemporary justice struggles and are immersed in an expansive curriculum that valorizes grassroots knowledge and challenges students to understand and articulate the context and implications of their own positionalities. 
  • Students will have plenty of opportunities to strengthen their Spanish language knowledge, practice, and/or comprehension. 

Semester in Environmental Science (SES) | Marine Biological Laboratory 

  • The program provides an intensive field and laboratory-based introduction to ecosystem science and the biogeochemistry of coastal forests, freshwater ponds and estuaries.
  • For the last six weeks of the program, students pursue independent research which they will later report at a final symposium open to the entire Woods Hole scientific community. 

Williams-Mystic | The Coastal and Ocean Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport Museum

  • At Williams-Mystic, students study the nation’s oceans and coastlines firsthand. They work across disciplines, exploring the literature, science, history, and policy of the sea.
  • Students produce independent research in all four of their courses which are designed to reach outside the traditional classroom with three extended field seminars.

Contact an advisor in International Programs for more information on any study abroad program.

*Note that Middlebury financial aid does not transfer to externally sponsored programs (with a few exceptions, see our website for details)


Hereafter, photo by Joel Wilner, Svalbard
Hereafter, photo by Joel Wilner, Svalbard (Study Abroad Photo Contest)