Summer 2014 Programs
Spain & Morocco | Brazil | Netherlands | Hong Kong | Trinidad & Tobago


2013 Global Sustainability Studies students in Dubai.

The Global Sustainability Studies Program enables students to apply classroom learning in a global context and build problem-solving skills that are critical in an ever-evolving field. These summer study abroad programs are led by School of Sustainability faculty members, and program cohorts are limited to small groups of 15-20 students to maximize the intercultural learning experience.

Scholarship funding is available to enable all motivated and eligible Sustainability students to have this crucial experience.

Last summer, 85 students, including graduates and undergraduates, participated in our four summer programs: Dubai, Spain/Morocco, Ecuador and Washington DC/London. Over $350,000 in scholarships were awarded to these students for their summer studies.

Information Sessions:

Spain and Morocco
Sustainable Development across the Mediterranean
May 17 to June 10*
3 credit hours (SOS 494 or SOS 598)
Dr. Mary Jane Parmentier
Energy problems are global in nature, but solutions are not always easy or equitable. Spain and Morocco share the only current power line link between Europe and North Africa; one is a reasonably wealthy EU country, while the other has a population that, on average, makes one tenth of the other. Yet the two countries share a rich and interconnected past, with similarities in culture, architecture and religion. They also have close economic and political relations, though often fraught with disagreement. This region provides an excellent context for us to learn about issues of socio-economic disparity, politics and sustainable energy challenges in varying environments.

Human Rights and Sustainability
May 19 to June 9*
3 credit hours (SOS 494 or SOS 598 or SOS 456)
Dr. LaDawn Haglund
Explore the connections between human rights and environmental sustainability in the Brazilian context. The right to food, housing, resource control and a healthy environment are all areas where human rights and sustainability overlap. Conservation efforts can create obstacles for access to housing, land and livelihoods. At the same time, the world’s poor and indigenous populations often bear the costs of environmental degradation, pollution and climate change resulting from patterns of production and consumption from which they do not personally gain. This program explores these complex issues through site visits in São Paulo, Curitiba, Brasilia and the Amazon.

The Netherlands
Sustainable Solutions for Mobility and Accessibility in the Netherlands
May 24 to June 8*
3 credit hours (SOS 494 or SOS 498 Capstone or SOS 598)
Dr. Arnim Wiek & Dr. Aaron Golub
Examine transformational solutions to urban mobility issues in Haarlemmermeer, Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands. Solutions include bike- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, solar-powered cars and public transit, car- and bike-sharing programs and transit-oriented development. Learn how to analyze solutions by taking into account their history, evaluating their transformational potential and impacts, considering unintended consequences and exploring their transferability to the U.S. and the Phoenix metro area.
Participants are expected to participate in a 1-credit pre-departure course offered in Spring (Session B).

Hong Kong
Urban Sustainability in Hong Kong
June 14 to June 30*
3 credit hours (SOS 494 or SOS 598)
Dr. Rob Melnick
In the absence of successful global and federal leadership on sustainability, cities are increasingly taking the initiative for sustainability policymaking in GHG emissions, renewable energy, alternative transportation, water management and community resilience. This summer course will use Hong Kong as the setting to provide students with knowledge, insights and an experience to understand how cities formulate and apply public policy to the challenges of local sustainability.

Trinidad and Tobago
GlobalResolve: Connecting with Communities in the Developing World
May 18 to June 7*
3 credit hours (SOS 494 or SOS 598)
Dr. Mark Henderson and Dr. Odesma Dalrymple
Trinidad and Tobago is a twin island republic each with very different lifestyles. Trinidad is the larger island with 1.2 million people and a vibrant lifestyle. Tobago is more of a tourist destination with lazy beaches and a population of 60,000. Environmental problems, however, are global in nature, and solutions are not always easy or equitable. This trip will explore some of the indigenous culture such as the steelpan (also known as steel drum), as well as the mix of people who have immigrated over the years when the islands were a slave destination to today when they have one of the largest natural gas reserves in the western hemisphere. This will be an immersive study-abroad experience where you will get to practice sustainability by contributing to two projects: 1) working in partnership with the faculty from the University of the West Indies on a project to harvest energy from ocean waves, and 2) partnering with the Tobago House of Assembly, Division of Agriculture to learn about the harvesting of cassava and the production of farina. This faculty-led program takes place in a beautiful location that provides an excellent context for us to learn about issues of socio-economic contrasts, politics and sustainable energy challenges in the Caribbean.

*All dates are subject to change.

Financial Support and Scholarship Application
Award amounts up to $5,000 are available to qualified sustainability majors, with up to $2,500 available to sustainability minors and concentration students. The scholarship application is now posted and will close on February 3. Awards will be based on essay application, academic merit, financial need and total cost of the program chosen. Funding is made possible by the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives.


  • Sustainability majors, minors or concentration area students, applying to one of the programs listed
  • Minimum 2.75 gpa
  • 56 credit hours completed by the time of participation
  • Two of the following courses, completed by the time of participation: SOS 100, SOS 110, SOS 111, SOS 300, or equivalent

Program Application
2014Global Sustainability Studies program applications will open in December 2013 after scholarships have been awarded. Scholarship awardees will have priority placement in their preferred program(s).

If you have any questions or would like to be added to a specific program’s interest list, please contact:

Caroline Savalle

  • Internship and Experiential Education Specialist, School of Sustainability