Sustainability Study Abroad:

Shaping a Sustainable Future through UN SDGs

Imagine donning a snorkel and diving into the clear blue waters off the Australian coast, coming face-to-face with vibrant coral reefs. This isn’t just any other study abroad program; it’s a profound lesson in environmental science and sustainability. As you witness the effects of climate change and other social impacts on our planet, the significance of sustainability study abroad programs becomes strikingly clear. Integrating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into such real-world study abroad programs transforms them into powerful tools for understanding and addressing global social and environmental challenges.

The Urgent Need for Sustainability

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a lifeline for our planet. It means meeting our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. From climate change and biodiversity loss to social inequality and economic challenges, the signs are clear: WE MUST ACT NOW. But action isn’t just for policymakers or businesses; it involves each one of us, including the world of international education.

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations introduced the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global initiative to eradicate poverty, safeguard our planet, and enhance the quality of life for all, both now and in the future. These goals, aimed at being achieved by 2030, are founded on the principle of leaving no one behind. They offer a holistic framework for sustainable growth, tackling a wide array of issues spanning the economic, social, and environmental spheres.

The UN SDGs can only be achieved by 2030 if all sectors—governments, businesses, NGOs, educational institutions, and the public—come together, get involved, and build partnerships to create a better future for everyone.

Why Aligning Study Abroad Programs with the UN SDGs Matters

Study abroad programs have a unique role to play in this global endeavor. They are not just about cultural exchange; they are platforms for learning and implementing sustainability in real-time. When students travel to different parts of the world, they witness firsthand the challenges and solutions around sustainability. They learn that sustainability is not a one-size-fits-all concept but a diverse and dynamic field that requires local understanding and global collaboration.

Programs that align with the UN SDGs offer students the chance to be at the forefront of sustainable change. They aren’t just passive observers; they become active participants. Through these programs, students can work on projects related to clean water, responsible consumption, community development that promote gender equality and reduced inequalities.

Sustainability Study Abroad: How Our Programs Aligned With The UN SDGs Impact the World for the Better

We imagine a world sustained by responsible citizens. That’s why our academic programs offer students the chance to explore and engage with one or more UN SDGs, encouraging them to make a meaningful global impact. In the process of designing and delivering our programs, we ensure the integration of these crucial elements:

1. Engagement in Real-World Projects and Collaborations

Our programs involve real-world projects that provide tangible contributions to local communities. Students collaborate with local organizations, NGOs, and businesses, getting hands-on experience in implementing sustainable practices. For instance, our academic program, Water Poverty in Rural India, enables engineering students to explore the water scarcity challenges in the country. The students get an opportunity to participate in water conservation initiatives like measuring chemicals and total dissolved solids with water test kits, that indicate levels of organic matter in the water. They are exposed to various ancient and present-day structures like wells, tanks, dams to store water for usage. They also learn about the advantages that local NGOs’ water conservation initiatives are having on rural communities in Rajasthan and Haryana.

2. Application of Academic Knowledge for a Broader Impact

Our study abroad programs enable a shift from merely acquiring knowledge to utilizing it for meaningful and far-reaching change. Students are encouraged to apply their classroom learning in real-world contexts, bridging the gap between theory and practice. One of our internships, Humanitarian Engineering Internship in Singapore, is designed for engineering students who work on projects with engaging enterprises, solving critical challenges related to sustainability and inclusivity. In addition to the academic growth provided by the projects, students also experience local life and culture through guided cultural immersions that sets the stage for their own personal exploration of the city and country during their internship.

3. Fostering Global Sustainability Awareness

Our programs are meticulously designed to expose students to the varied approaches and strategies different countries employ to promote sustainability. By traveling and studying abroad, students gain first-hand insight into innovative and culturally unique sustainable practices. For example, our program, Sustainability in South Korea, provides students with exposure to the sustainability and social enterprise landscape in South Korea through interactions with leaders in social enterprises, policymakers, and experts in the field of sustainability. 

This global perspective enables students to draw parallels and contrasts with their own country’s practices and challenges. Importantly, it inspires them to think creatively about how these international strategies can be adapted and applied within their own domains. 

Explore Our Sustainability Study Abroad Programs Aligned with The UN SDGs

All our featured and custom programs address one or more UN SDGs and aim to create a sustainable world. By doing so, we ensure that each student’s experience is not only academically enriching but also contributes positively to global efforts in achieving these critical objectives for a healthier, more equitable planet.

A Step Towards a Sustainable Future

Sustainability study abroad is more than a program; it’s a journey towards a sustainable future. It’s about empowering students to take the lead in addressing global challenges and making a difference. As we continue to align these programs with the UN SDGs, we are not just educating students; we are shaping the future custodians of our planet. The journey is long, the challenges many, but the possibilities are endless. Let’s embark on this transformative journey together.

If you’d like more information about our study-abroad programs or have any questions, we welcome you to connect with us.