Sustainability Immersion Abroad

Below are study abroad programs related to or focused in sustainable education:



Field Studies and Collaborative International Service-Learning!

Spend six weeks in Kenya learning from local experts and WWU faculty about the culture, politics and issues facing rural Kenya, while engaging in meaningful service projects. Apply your learning to your own major through the development of an individualized study or research project. Service-learning projects will include collaborating with local community partners and may involve developing and sustaining income generating projects, high-school level service-learning projects, and energy, health and water projects. The Maasai are a semi-nomadic tribe steeped in long held traditions. The village is addressing the pressures of modernization through community development projects that aim to minimize permanent migration of young men and women from the community.

Religion and Postcolonial Literature


Examine the cultural and economic impact of European colonialism upon African peoples, from folklore and politics of language, to revolutionary or resistance literatures. Explore the role of religious belief in shaping the concerns of post-colonial and third world literatures. Find out how religion influences nearly every aspect of daily life, including marriage, family, women's issues, politics, and even wrestling matches.

  • Understand the differences between Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  • Find out how Sufi brotherhoods affect politics, culture, life and literature
  • Learn about the impact of Arab imperialism in the region
  • Take an excursion to Touba, a holy city in central Senegal and St. Louis in Northern Senegal
  • Visit Goree Island, where African slaves were reputedly held before being shipped to America
  • Attend lectures by prominent Senegalese authors and literary scholars
  • Interact with leaders and members of two major Sufi orders in West Africa
  • Participate in discussions of race, racism, ethnicity, and slavery

Study Canada: Summer Institute for K-12 Educators


Earn 3 university quarter credits (C/AM 410 - WWU) or 40 clock hours as you learn about Canada, its capital, and the distinct cultures that have formed the second largest nation in the world — all within comfortable and unique classroom settings and sessions offered by university faculty, government officials, and tribal leaders. Banish stereotypes and meet real Canadians while exploring Ottawa and Montréal, two of Canada's most historically important cities. Witness parliamentary democracy with special sessions in the Parliament Buildings and learn about the importance of Canada-US relations at the US Embassy. Canada's history will come alive with customized tours of Ottawa, Old Montréal and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Immerse in Acadian French Culture


Discover the uniqueness of the Acadia and the Acadians, a vibrant French-speaking culture of Eastern Canada. Students will complete a two-week intensive course at Université de Moncton, world renowned for its commitment to Acadian Studies. The next ten days will allow students to broaden their knowledge by participating in Acadian activities, field research, interviewing the public, and studying various sites.

  • Develop your French language skills
  • Study Acadian history, literature, and fine arts
  • Attend lectures on language and identity
  • Visit historical and tourist sites, local museums, theatres and libraries
  • Participate in a 10-day field trip to historically and traditionally significant locations
  • Experience the Acadian National Holiday on August 15th

Pure life, or "Pura Vida" as they say in Costa Rica


Come experience this approach to life and the environment. Costa Rica is internationally known for its leadership in ecological conservation, its commitment to the environment, its beautiful beaches and its rich, high diversity forests. WWU's Huxley College of the Environment invites you to study abroad in Costa Rica during a six-week "Rainforest Immersion & Conservation Action" program. Students earn ten credits for the three-course program, which includes field research experience, community service work, ecotourism excursions and more. This program, limited to 25 participants, is open to students, faculty, alumni and other interested community members and professionals. Contact Dr. Troy Abel to learn more about this exciting opportunity.

Athens Myth or History!


Immerse yourself in a hands-on study of Athens from the Bronze Age (second millennium BC) through to the present day. Visit archaeological sites, then trace the historical development of the city from the Acropolis through to the modern metropolis. This study abroad program offers a full immersion in Athenian prehistory and history, and explores Athens relation to the Mediterranean World and the Balkans as a whole.

  • Explore archaeological and historical sites within the state of Attika
  • Visit Museums: Archaeological, War, Historical, Art, Cultural
  • View monuments, temples, churches, and more
  • Enjoy activities in the Acropolis area including, Roman Forum, Library of Hadrian, Temple of Olympian Zeus

A Summer of Art in Italy!


Art in Italy offers an intense, on-site study of both classical and contemporary Art amidst the beauty of Central and Northern Italy. This four-week program begins in Florence then travels to Siena, Sant' Anna, Venice and ends in Padua. You will:

  • Explore Italian art and culture with an international perspective on contemporary art
  • Study both classical and contemporary art in Italy with lectures, museum and gallery visits
  • Work on studio-focused projects
  • Study various types of visual responses to creative problem solving. through a variety of media, tools, and techniques
  • Experience the use of mixed media on paper and other portable methods of art making while traveling

Study in Italy


Learn the language and cultural traditions that make Siena and the Tuscan region one of the most fascinating places in the world.

  • Learn beginning Italian
  • Discover the rich art history and culture of central Italy
  • Visit Florence
  • Visit Pisa and Massa Carrara
  • Visit Pienza - Montalcino - Sant'Antimo - Monteoliveto
  • Explore the Tuscan countryside

Explore International Business in India this Summer


Discover how India has evolved from a third world economy a few years ago to one of the fastest growing economies in the world. India was under the domination of foreign powers for three centuries and achieved its freedom with non-violence, creating the largest democracy in the world with a mixed economy. Find out how a country with over a billion citizens with varying religions as Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikh, Jain, and several other variations of religions has created a kaleidoscope of cultural synergy providing the infrastructure for the economy.

  • Experience cultural, economic and political differences of the Indian economy.
  • Gain hands-on experience with the complex factors affecting global business.
  • Understand the impact of foreign direct investments and diverse monetary systems.
  • Investigate the possibilities of establishing new business ventures abroad.
  • Apply the business concepts learned at home in a foreign environment.

Travel to México


Study and learn Spanish abroad in our Center for Spanish Language and Culture. We are located in the beautiful, safe colonial city of Queretaro. As a small school, OLÉ's teachers and staff offer personalized attention in a friendly and relaxing environment.

  • Learn and study Spanish in one of our group and/or tutorial classes.
  • Small groups, no more than 5 students per class.
  • Take advantage of total immersion programs were you can combine Spanish language classes with cultural classes, extra activities, fieldtrips and living accommodations in a Mexican home.
  • Learn Spanish in a short period of time with our friendly Mexican teachers, they will make you feel right at home.
  • Your learning experience combined with our teaching methods will meet your expectations.
  • You'll have a fun and memorable cultural experience.

New Orleans: Nature, Culture and the City


Immerse yourself in the local ecology and culture of New Orleans during this hands-on investigation with an optional service learning opportunity. Study the consequences of human activities and their impacts on culture, including the use of nature as a resource and attempts to reduce threats to life and property. Find out about New Orleans' newly released 21st Century plan and its' vision for livability, opportunity, sustainability, and becoming a "green" city.

  • Examine New Orleans' historic development and contemporary situation
  • Understand the relationship between the physical city and its natural setting
  • Learn firsthand about plans for neighborhoods, historic preservation, transportation and resilience
  • Tour the Lower 9th Ward via Brad Pitt's 'Make It Right Foundation'
  • Participate in LUMCON research station's guided canoe tour of marsh ecology and boat trip to Barrier Islands
  • Discover the catastrophic impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf Coast wildlife
  • Provide assistance in an organized, service learning clean-up effort along the Louisiana coast

Exploration Seminar in Peru


The Potential and Pitfalls of Tourism in Peru: Ecotourism as a Cultural Survival and Conservation Strategy

Tourism is the fastest-growing industry in the world. As tourism increases around the world, the environmental and social impacts of tourism can also be expected to increase. As a distinct form of tourism differing from traditional nature tourism and adventure travel, ecotourism provides funds for preserving land and water resources and the biodiversity they support.

Join WWU faculty on this remarkable Exploration Seminar into Peru's Cordillera Blanca (White Mountains) and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Amazon Rainforest to investigate the issues of tourism and eco-tourism. Find out about the environmental and cultural impacts and how to help preserve the natural area.

  • Visit sustainable tourism projects.
  • Meet with non-governmental eco-tourism organizations.
  • Gain hands-on skills in tourism planning and resource management.
  • Explore archaeological, historical and natural areas.
  • Participate in an overnight visit to Machu Picchu.

Study Food this Summer in Europe


Immerse yourself in an in-depth study of two emerging areas of agroecology, biodynamic agriculture and agro-biodiversity conservation. Critically examine the Slow Food Movement. These two hands-on programs provide unique learning opportunities linking old and new traditions and ideas in agriculture.

  • Gain hands-on experience in holistic farm systems and traditional strategies for biodiversity at S & S Homestead on Lopez Island
  • Learn about applied research and recent studies in biodynamics at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland
  • Experience Italian farmhouse cooking in a hands-on culinary intensive (Ciao Thyme, Bellingham)
  • Study food aesthetics and sensory taste science in the home of Slow Food in northern and central Italy
  • Participate in carbon-offsetting at Inspiration Farm in Whatcom County

View in Document Form: Semester Abroad Criteria (doc)

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