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There is great international interest in addressing local, regional and global environmental problems, and there are a number of abroad programs that are compatible with an Environmental Studies major or minor. One thing to consider when choosing a program is to find experiences and courses that are not readily available to you at the University of Richmond. Of particular interest would be coursework that emphasizes policy approaches to or problems in environmental protection from unique cultural perspectives, and hands-on practical fieldwork while researching environmental problems in another culture.

It can be useful to classify environmentally-focused abroad programs as either predominantly field-based or classroom-based programs. Field-based programs will involve a significant amount of time gathering data and planning experiments that will take place outside of the classroom. Such programs may be predominantly focused on the social sciences (e.g., the economic viability of sustainable agriculture) or the natural sciences (e.g., the impact of tourism on coral reef ecology) or some mixture of the two. They also differ in the amount of guidance or independence they grant students in the program. Field-based programs are often based on research and independent study and can be richly rewarding; however, science-focused projects in particular can sometimes limit your immersion in local culture and language.

Students are encouraged to take at least one (and ideally both) of the following two introductory-level courses at UR before embarking abroad:

  • Envr 201, Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • Envr 269, Topics in Environmental Ethics, is recommended before embarking on a study-abroad.

If your chosen program has a significant research focus, then a course in statistics such as Math 119 would be valuable; many science-focused field programs also require a semester of college biology or ecology, such as Biol 109, 111 or 207.

Courses from study abroad programs most often transfer as elective credit towards the Environmental Studies degree. Programs with a significant research component can also satisfy the Experiential Learning requirement of the major, or sometimes the Research Methods requirement.

Recommended Programs

Below is a list of programs that the environmental studies department recommends for receiving environmental studies major credit. The programs are listed as either University-based programs or programs that offer field work. Of course, it is possible to receive environmental studies credit for courses taken on other programs, decided on a case-by-case basis. To explore these and other programs, including summer programs, internships and semester programs in other locations, as well as information on financial aid, scholarships and application procedures, visit the Office of International Education.

University-Based Programs

Field Study Programs

Environmental Studies Study Abroad Advisor

Contact Dr. Samuel Abrash for advising relating to study abroad.

Contact Us

Office of International Education
Carole Weinstein International Center, suite 103
Phone: (804) 289-8836