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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.

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


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


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.

Three men and one woman standing in front of a large wall hanging for COP25 Chile Madrid 2019.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2020

Climate Change Conference

Fall Semester

Climate change is one of the greatest threats and challenges of the 21st century. Learn about the high-level policy process involved in climate change negotiations and then attend the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in a different international location each year.

Application Deadline:

Costa Rica


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: 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:

Dubai / Nepal / Bhutan


Learn about sustainable nature-based business development in three very different countries. Experience the context of each country by visiting eco-tourism, handmade paper, and medicinal plant businesses, as well as historic sites and mountain cultures.

Application Deadline: Expired


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


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:



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.