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See what sustainability means in a world without boundaries

Overseas study trips are more than a chance to see the world. You’ll have the opportunity to experience what you’ve learned in the classroom or conduct research. You’ll meet people from other cultures who are also passionate about sustainability and the environment. You’ll even learn more about yourself and maybe discover your dream career.

You can go on a CNRE adventure or check out university offerings. Travel for a semester or a few weeks. The possibilities are as boundless as the world that’s waiting for you.

News and updates related to overseas study

The university remains committed to providing global learning opportunities. However, due to health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, winter study abroad programs have been canceled. The university’s Global Travel Oversight Committee will continue to monitor the situation before making any determinations about future overseas study trips. When available, updates will be provided on the Global Education Office website.

The Dean’s International Study Scholarship provides assistance for students who plan to study overseas. There is one application period for winter/spring programs (October 1 to November 1) and one for summer/fall programs (February 1 to March 1). Global Education Scholarships are also available.

A young man walking along the top of a sand dune barefoot in Oman.

Overseas study leads to a career in intelligence

Geography major and Corps of Cadets member Neil Schubel wanted to gain cultural awareness and experience different worldviews and physical environments firsthand. He was able to do both at Virginia Tech, participating in an Arabic language immersion program as an ROTC Project Global Officer in Oman and traveling to Sri Lanka through the Army ROTC’s Cultural Understanding and Leadership Program. He’s now pursuing a career with the Army’s Military Intelligence Branch.

Overhead shot of a group of people surrounding the open bed of a pickup truck. The bed contains an array of equipment and medical supplies. Two banded mongoose in the truck bed are being tended to by two of the people.

Tackling the challenges of field work in Botswana

Students enrolled in Professor Kathy Alexander’s field course Wildlife Health Immersion Africa: Capture, Rehabilitation, and Forensics spent eight weeks on location at the Centre for African Resources, Animals, Communities, and Land Use (CARACAL). They learned about the many facets of wildlife work in sub-Saharan Africa. Students also participated in a rotation of tasks designed to mirror the center’s range of work, including animal husbandry and care for raptors and mammals, introduction to laboratory techniques, public health and data handling, and wildlife capture and rescue.

Upcoming international opportunities

Check out the upcoming short-term options below that are led by CNRE faculty. You can search for additional options by location, major, and other criteria through the Global Education Office.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2020

Antarctica

Fall Semester/Wintermester

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the coldest, windiest, driest, highest, quietest, most remote, and least understood continent on Earth. You’ll attend weekly lectures during the fall (available anywhere via webcast), prepare a research essay in your area of primary interest, and then participate in a two-week field study in Antarctica and Ushuaia, Argentina, during winter break.


Elephants drinking and splashing water.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2020

Botswana

Summer Session I

Journey to Kansane, Botswana, the northern gateway to Chobe National Park, home to rich ecosystems, diverse landscapes, and an abundance of wildlife, including Africa’s largest elephant population. Spend the summer at a nonprofit research station where you will gain hands-on experience working with mammals, reptiles, and birds, and conduct field research on topics ranging from wildlife capture and telemetry, to pathology and forensics, to water quality in complex landscapes.


Application Deadline: February 15, 2020

Dominican Republic

Summer Session II

This program uses the Dominican Republic — a country considered as highly vulnerable to climate change — as a case study for introducing the impacts of climate change on key ecosystems and natural resources with an emphasis on the development and implementation of climate change policies. You’ll circle the country, exploring the direct and indirect effects of a changing climate, and meet with climate change government officials, environmental nonprofits, and community leaders.


Application Deadline:

Costa Rica

Wintermester

With its beautiful beaches, volcanos, biodiversity, and a unique culture and political system devoted to the protection of the environment, Costa Rica offers a perfect setting for studying social, economic, and cultural interactions with natural resources. This course will take you to a variety of rural and urban settings to learn about water management, ecotourism, agribusiness, biology, forestry, and renewable materials.


Application Deadline: Expired

Ireland

Spring Break

Enjoy spring break learning how environment and history have shaped Irish culture and helped define what it means to be Irish. Experience Celtic art as well as Irish language and music. Visit historically, culturally, and environmentally meaningful locations in Northern Ireland and along Ireland’s wild Atlantic coast, including the walled city of Derry, the Giant Causeway, and Sliabh Liag Cliffs. Each day will include hiking or other outdoor activities, such as horseback riding or surfing.


Application Deadline:

New Zealand

Wintermester

Examine resource conservation and the natural and social history of New Zealand’s South Island. You’ll use New Zealand as a case study to examine different cultural perspectives on the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, and economical. You’ll also travel to many of the stunning national parks, forests, wildlife reserves, and coastlines of New Zealand to learn from local experts and practitioners.


Application Deadline:

Panama

Wintermester

This program explores the global issues related to natural resource conservation. You’ll learn about natural resource management and conservation issues, unique ecosystems and biodiversity, indigenous culture in the autonomous San Blas Region, and the impact of climate change on tropical environments, as well as Latin American history and culture, agricultural practices and related issues in developing countries, and much more.


Application Deadline:

South India

Wintermester

Travel halfway around the world to learn about and experience issues surrounding water, agriculture, and culture in a dynamic and diverse physical, climatic, and sociological region. Visit leading research institutes, ongoing projects in the field, and — most importantly — farmers, livestock operations, fishers, and aquaculturalists in the region to examine various aspects of the hydro-social cycle.