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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, conduct research, or help a community through service learning. 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 the offerings from other colleges at Virginia Tech. Travel for a semester, a few weeks, or during spring break. 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: Ecology, 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 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


Hokies Abroad Antarctica — Humans and the Environment

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, prepare a research essay in your area of primary interest, and then participate in a nine-day expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula during winter break.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2020


Hokies Abroad Australia – Tasmania and Queensland

Travel down under to the world where kangaroos, koalas, and Tasmanian devils roam the wild. This course offers students the opportunity to learn about sustainability, restoration, and conservation efforts in Tasmania and Queensland, Australia. Highlights include snorkeling and conducting research on the Great Barrier Reef, visiting the world’s oldest rainforest, and learning about the history and traditions of Aboriginal peoples.

Elephants drinking and splashing water.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2020

Botswana and Mozambique

Global One Health and Social Justice in Southern Africa

Through active learning opportunities, discussions, group work, and readings, you’ll be immersed in wildlife health in Africa. You’ll take part in activities like research, wildlife capture, care, and rehabilitation, wildlife forensics, and wildlife ecology, as well as supporting community-based education programs/efforts dedicated to empowering vulnerable populations.

Biodiversity is Africa’s richest resource and its conservation is of critical importance for future generations and the world at large. This program provides a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in savanna and marine system health, exploring the connections between the natural environment and the rural livelihoods of human of communities in Botswana and Mozambique.

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

Climate Change and the International Policy Framework

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: February 15, 2020

Dominican Republic

Climate Change Impacts and Policy in the Dominican Republic

This course uses the Dominican Republic as a case study on the impacts of climate change on key natural resources (e.g., forests, water, and biodiversity) and ecosystems (e.g., coastal areas). You’ll learn about the impacts of climate change on agricultural production and people’s livelihoods, as well as the development and implementation of climate change policies.

A bird perched on a rock next to a couple of cacti.

Application Deadline:

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Darwin's Galapagos - Evolution in the Anthropocene

Travel in Darwin’s wake in the Galápagos Islands, and see firsthand what inspired the unifying concept of life on earth: evolution by natural selection. Gain historical and on-the-spot perspectives on how Darwin's big idea took shape, and learn how current evolutionary processes are influenced by rapid environmental changes caused by human pressures such as introduced species, over-fishing, pollution, climate change, and ecotourism.

Application Deadline: Expired


Culture, History, and Environment in Ireland

This course explores how environment and history have shaped Irish culture and helped define what it means to be Irish (and Irish/American). You’ll learn through first-hand experience and visit some of the most beautiful and culturally meaningful locations in Ireland such as Dublin, Derry, ancient Celtic sites, the Sliabh Liag cliffs, and Marble Arch caves.

Application Deadline:

New Zealand

Sustaining Human Societies and the Environment in New Zealand

This course examines resource conservation and the context of 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: environment, social equity, and economics, traveling to Christchurch, Queenstown, Mount Cook, and coastal areas.

Application Deadline:


Issues in Natural Resource Conservation in Panama

Do you enjoy spending time outside, exploring new environments, and roughing it? This experience will take you to Panama City, the Panama Canal, and off-grid in the rainforests in the Cocobolo Conservation Area. You’ll immerse yourself in the autonomous indigenous region of Guna Yala in the Caribbean in order to explore local and global issues related to natural resource conservation.