Study Abroad Programs

Almost 80 percent of undergraduate students take advantage of DU’s amazing study abroad opportunities. Studying abroad is a great way to gain global perspectives and develop professional skills. The Center for Sustainability encourages students to consider how their time abroad impacts the environment.

10% of DU's carbon footprint comes from Study Abroad

600% Flights create 600% more carbon emissions than driving

$30 is enough to offset most study abroad trips' carbon emissions

Tips for Sustainable Travel

Consider some ways to make your time abroad more sustainable:

  • Take the Green Passport Pledge, which will encourage you to think about your daily actions and how they will affect the environment around you. Even though you are in a completely new place, many of the good, sustainable habits you have built here in Denver will still make great choices abroad.
  • Take some time to learn about the local food systems of your host country and what it means to keep a more sustainable diet there. In some countries that might mean reducing your meat intake and replacing it with locally grown vegetables, while in other countries that might mean taking advantage of sustainably raised meat from nearby ranches.
  • Learn about alternative ways to get around! Transit options will vary widely depending on where you are studying abroad, but getting to know what your options are will open up a huge number of opportunities to explore while keeping your carbon footprint lower. In some cities, a bike will be a fantastic way to get around, while trains and buses will help you get further afield. Avoiding cars and planes will be the best way to keep your personal emissions lower, but if you do have to use these, consider offsetting these emissions as well!
  • Embrace that minimalist lifestyle! Going abroad means that you often have to be really picky about the few items that will come with you in your backpack or suitcase. You may have to buy some items that wouldn’t fit in your luggage when you arrive, but try to get those items used, and try to find a home for those items before you head home. Try to avoid buying new items that you know you will not be bringing home with you! Better yet, see what it feels like to get by with just the items you brought with you in the first place.

Study Abroad Opportunities

With so many programs and locations to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your interests, goals, and needs! The Office of International Education offers numerous programs for undergraduates to study and practice sustainability. University Academic Programs and departments across campus also have short-term and DU faculty-led options.

Each opportunity touches on different aspects of sustainability, from classroom learning to research and extracurricular activities. Past sustainability students have loved the programs below. Program availability and structure can change. Search programs in DU Passport for current details.

  • SIT Programs (School for International Training)
    A study abroad student sitting with an elderly woman from Ecuador

    For my Independent Study Project, I studied forest recovery based on different reforestation practices in a high montane cloud forest. I also kept a blog while abroad with plenty of stories and pictures to provide a better idea of all I did! Check it out.

    Halle Brown, SIT: Ecuador - Comparative Ecology & Conservation (Fall 2019)

  • MSID Programs (Minnesota Studies in International Development)
    A study abroad student petting a goat in a green field

    MSID: Ecuador offered me a look into the intersection of international development and sustainability. I was able to create relationships with people in a completely different part of the world where I was able to practice Spanish, learn a new culture, and develop a global perspective on how everything is connected in the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability.

    Grace Houser, MSID: International Development in Ecuador (Fall 2018)

  • Arcadia: The Umbra Institute
    A study abroad student standing in front of a lush greenery

    My time in Perugia was incredible! The Food Studies program allowed me to focus on my Sustainability minor and connect it to a passion of mine: food and cooking. In my classes, I learned basic Italian, food history, politics and immigration, sustainable agriculture, what makes a restaurant experience truly authentically Italian, and so much more."

    Sophia Anner, Food & Sustainability Studies (Fall 2018)