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Sustainable study abroad ...and at home

Food City, sponsored by the Children's Museum in Pittsburgh
Food city permaculture garden in Pittsburgh, one of the types of sustainable options Study Away Pittsburgh students visit. IMAGE: Emily Paskewicz.
October 22, 2018

Interested in studying away from campus while learning about sustainability? Students seeking such opportunities found that the place to be this week was the Education Abroad Fair on Oct. 17 at the HUB-Robeson Center on the University Park campus. Among the dozens of programs showcased, several stood out as offering opportunities to learn about aspects of sustainability while traveling the world and employing different research methods.

Global Sustainability – New Zealand and Australia

In this 3-week program, students learn, through hands-on experience, about major theories of sustainability in the globalized world. The program extends from the middle of May to the beginning of June 2019, while visiting multiple classrooms and locations. It is open to all majors and will count as three Penn State credits through the class MGMT 397: Sustainability Management. For more information regarding the program, contact Instructor in Management at Penn State Altoona Kaitlin Farnan at

Comparing U.S./French Agricultural and Food Systems – Paris

In this 3-credit program, students explore key differences and similarities in the food and agricultural systems of the Unites States and France. AGBM/INTAG 470 is broken into two classes taken during the spring 2019 semester and over the summer 2019 term, when students travel to Paris from May 11-26 to speak to French researchers. For more information regarding the course and study abroad program, contact Professor of Agricultural and Regional Economics Stephan Goetz or Professor of Agribusiness C. Daniel Azzara at and respectively.

Sustainable Energy – New Zealand

Students in this 3-credit course use a spring break trip to New Zealand to research the political, economic, scientific and technological factors driving the recovery and utilization of energy. The curriculum allows students to examine methods of energy recovery and conversion from multiple sources, from conventional fossil fuels through renewables. EGEE 497: Sustainable Energy in New Zealand uses lectures, discussions, presentations and research throughout the spring semester to prepare for the visit to New Zealand. The course, open to all juniors and seniors, is capped at 16 students. For more information about the course and study abroad program, contact Professor in Energy, Mineral Engineering and Geosciences Derek Elsworth at elsworth@psu.edu

Agricultural Production and Farming Systems in the Tropics – Ghana

In this 3-credit class—INTAG 300—students will learn about current issues in agricultural production in the tropics, including differences between dry and humid climates, and its environmental impacts. The course will be offered in Fall 2019, with an optional study abroad component in Ghana taking place over the subsequent winter break. This class counts as an international cultures (IL) class and as elective credits towards the International Agriculture minor. For more information regarding the course and study abroad program, contact Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics Sjoerd Duiker or Research Associate Abder Ouarghidi and, respectively.

Sustainable Cities and Urban Social Justice – Pittsburgh and Philadelphia

Think you need a passport to study away from campus? Think again. Penn State now offers two programs—Study Away Pittsburgh and Study Away Philadelphia—that allow students to explore major world cities right in our own backyard. Students in Pittsburgh take a core class in urban sustainability while interning in community and government sustainability programs. Students in Philadelphia take a core course on “Drugs, Behavior and Health” while interning in collaborative community programs addressing social justice disparities. Students in both programs are eligible for PepsiCo scholarships of $2,500. For more information about Study Away Pittsburgh contact Tom Bartnik. For more information about Study Away Philadelphia contact Shivaani Selvaraj. Information sessions will also take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, and 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, in HUB 112 on the University Park campus.

Information about student aid and financials can be found through Penn State’s Office of Student Aid using the link below.

For more information regarding global education abroad opportunities generally, contact Penn State’s Education Abroad Office at

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