Study Sustainable Development Abroad

Back to Programs

A Guide to Studying Sustainable Development Abroad

Sustainable development is one of the most important academic disciplines offered today. As our human population expands and progresses rapidly, it is a necessity that cities and villages around the world continue to develop in a manner which ensures the well-being of future generations. Studying sustainable development abroad will open your eyes to the pressing need for a global effort toward sustainability in our modern age.

Why Study Sustainable Development Abroad

Sustainable development study abroad programs are opportunities to take your theoretical knowledge out of the classroom and witness firsthand the type of work that is required to develop the world sustainably. Whether you study abroad in a highly industrialized city or an economically advanced country, or in a remote area of a developing country, the need for planning efficient and sustainable development is a universal one. Beyond coursework, studying abroad is one of the most fun and exciting things you can do in academic career!


Sustainable development is a universal goal, and most every country you look to will grant the opportunity to study this emerging discipline abroad. What location you choose, however, will greatly determine the type of experience you have and the focus of courses you may take within the field. As sustainable development is intricately tied to the level of economic advancement a country has undergone, it is easiest to break the selection process down between the so-called first and third worlds.

Studying sustainable development in the developed world will expose you to the cutting edge of sustainability efforts being made in post-industrial societies. In highly developed countries, ranging from the U.S. to France to Japan, growing populations and the steadily increasing need for clean energy require innovative new methods, areas such as urban planning, environmental protection, and waste management. This group of economically developed countries (mostly in North America, Europe, and Oceania) also includes many of the world’s most prestigious universities.

In the developing world you will face a different manifestation of sustainability efforts. Most countries have yet to undergo mass industrialization and so environmental issues often take a backseat to considerations of economic progress. All the more need for international students to take their efforts to study sustainable development abroad to these places! Pollution, sanitation, and potable drinking water are all problems that need to be solved in many countries located in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America, such as Costa Rica, Uganda, Thailand, and Belize. While culture shock will certainly be a challenge in many of these locations, so will the personal and societal payoff for helping underdeveloped countries create sustainable solutions to preventable issues.

Sustainable Development Study Abroad

Sustainable development is a comprehensive discipline, which merges the study of environmental science, economic planning, and infrastructural development. While it is possible to study sustainable development abroad in most countries, specific courses offered will depend on the location and type of program you choose.

Studying sustainable development abroad at a local university will likely grant you access to the entire course catalogue of that school, this is an enticing option for obvious reasons. Interacting with the local student body will also prove an invaluable cross cultural experience for any student. However, in many countries the language barrier can prove to be a significant challenge for students not adept in the local dialect, in which case there are other options for sustainable development study abroad.

Many sustainable development study abroad programs offer courses taught by their own faculty in a classroom setting designed specifically for international students. These programs will often combine academic work with the opportunity for hands on volunteering and research in local communities, making this route a fantastic opportunity to learn about sustainable development efforts in the field.

Make sure to consult your home school’s international office to find out what academic credits will transfer back, so you are sure your sustainable development study abroad courses will count toward your degree track. There are literally hundreds of different opportunities to study sustainable development abroad, so take your time looking into a variety of options!

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Sustainable development is a field that requires the unified effort of all countries around the world. The human population is expanding and consuming resources at an exponential rate, and if we are to ensure a brighter future then we must work together. Studying sustainable development abroad will not only give you insight into the nature of this greater global need, but also train you to adapt to cultural differences and work closely with people from other countries. The world is ours for the shaping, and it is never too early to get out there and start making your own footprint, or washing away the footprints of others!

Read More

A Guide To
Studying Sustainable Development Abroad


 Find Sustainable Development Study Abroad Programs Now


This listing has been saved 2 times

Development Studies in Latin America

Would you like to build your own semester program? The International Center for Development Studies offers students the opportunity to select the courses they want to take according to their interests. You will acquire in-depth knowledge on sustainable development through a variety of courses on sustainability, the environment, human rights, gender, and democracy while living and exploring beau...


This listing has been saved 5 times

Summer in South Africa

Grab a camera and a journal—you’ll want to capture every moment of your Summer in South Africa. You’ll study at the top-rated Stellenbosch University, located in the city by the same name. Ideally situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands, the University is nestled in a valley flanked by mountains on all sides. Climb up for a panoramic view of the oak-lined streets, the chic bars and cafés, a...


This listing has been saved 9 times

AIFS Study Abroad in South Africa: Semester or Year

Spend a semester or academic year in captivating Stellenbosch with AIFS. Earn up to 15 credits studying at the University of Stellenbosch. Courses are taught in English. Choose your course of study on the Full Curriculum Program. Volunteer opportunities and a Learning for Sustainable Community Engagement Program are also options. Limited opportunities exist for students with an interest i...


This listing has been saved 15 times

IES Internships - Barcelona Full-Time Semester Internship

As the economic and cultural hub of the Iberian Peninsula with internship placements in commerce, media, fashion and more, Barcelona is the perfect place for your semester-long internship abroad. With IES Internships, you are guaranteed an unpaid, for-credit, 12-week internship of at least 30 hours per week in a business or organization that suits your career goals. Build a global network of pr...


This listing has been saved 10 times

Boston University: Sydney Summer Internship Program

The vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Sydney, Australia, is the setting for the Boston University Sydney Internship Program, which offers eight weeks of coursework and participation in a professional internship. Courses explore Australia's political systems, contemporary culture and cinema, and its place in the modern world. Students will gain a critical understanding of the major political inst...


This listing has been saved 32 times

Athena Study and Intern Abroad in Florence, Italy

Athena's partner school in Florence, Italy, Lorenzo de' Medici (LdM), is a private institution located among several buildings in the center of this charming Renaissance city. The campus' main building dates back to the 13th century and, before being renovated, was originally a convent and church. Florence was the heart of the Renaissance, and its artistic flair is still tangible. With that ...


USAC NEW ZEALAND: Hawke's Bay/Wellington - NEI

The National Expedition and internship is ideal for students who want to experience both hands-on learning in the field while seeing the North and South Islands with real world applications in an internship setting. This program is currently available to students in one of three tracks of study in Wellington or one track of study in Hawke's Bay: Wellington: - The Communication & Marketing Pr...


This listing has been saved 1 time

API Gap Year - Programs in Argentina

Take a gap year in Buenos Aires, the "Paris of Latin America" or Mendoza, surrounded by nature. API's Gap Year offers three gap year programs - two in Buenos Aires and one in Mendoza. In both programs, students will have the opportunity to study the Spanish language and Argentine culture within an immersive environment. Buenos Aires offers three options - Intensive Language Semester and Arge...


This listing has been saved 6 times

ISA Study Abroad in Gold Coast, Australia

Located just one hour south of Queensland's capital city of Brisbane, Gold coast is a vibrant city constantly buzzing with international food and music festivals, sporting events, cultural activities and so much more. The city is defined by its spectacular beaches, hinterland ranges, forests, waterways, lively nightlife and over 300 days a year of sunshine per year.


This listing has been saved 2 times

CIEE Summer Sustainability/Environment  in Monteverde, CR

Some experts claim that Costa Rica is a best-case example for sustainable development. Others see its well-intentioned efforts in eco-tourism backfiring for lack of proper infrastructure. Join CIEE in Monteverde, a small, international community nestled along the edge of a cloud forest, to learn about tropical conservation, development, and sustainability. Nearly half of your time will be spent...


This listing has been saved 39 times

Forum Europe Summer: Travel Around 9 Cities in 1 Month

Multi-country summer program in Europe: Earn up to 8 credits in the summer while studying in 9 amazing European cities. Students from the U.S. and other countries travel together (with the professors) taking classes, visiting universities, companies and international organizations. Open to all majors. U.S.-accredited university. Acquire a solid understanding of European culture, economy and soc...


This listing has been saved 14 times

Study Abroad in Greece with CYA! (Semester/Academic Year)

CYA has offered study abroad programs in a wide range of academic disciplines for over 50 years. With supplemental activities varying from archaeological digs to onsite courses, study-travel, and volunteer opportunities, students are able to actively engage with their course material. Students live in apartments in downtown Athens and will be inspired to immerse themselves in the environment an...


This listing has been saved 1 time

MSID - International Development in Ecuador

Study international development in Ecuador—a blend of indigenous and Spanish colonial—while improving your Spanish language skills. You’ll also contribute to an internship or research project with a nonprofit organization while you are there. Explore the complexities created by issues such as the environment, globalization, public health, and social justice. Learning from experience is the c...


This listing has been saved 4 times

Study Abroad in Australia at Murdoch University

Murdoch Universitys Study Abroad Program attracts students from different parts of the world. With over 2,600 international students coming from over 90 countries and 26,000 local students, you are guaranteed to have a rich and unforgettable learning experience at the university. Beyond just experiencing a rewarding and interesting program of study, participants get the chance to form meaningf...


This listing has been saved 3 times

SAI Programs :: Florence University of the Arts Certificates

At Florence University of the Arts and the affiliated Apicius School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality, SAI offers Career Certificate Programs for students seeking to develop new skills and knowledge while building professional experience in an international learning environment. Career Certificate Programs may be taken for one session, one year or two years. Each year is comprised of two se...