Green study abroad: Learning and applying lessons about sustainabilityROUNDTABLE # 8
Facilitator: Pablo Toral
Participants: Jennifer Astwood, David Block, Celeste Delgado-Librero, Marion Fass, Walter Zurko
- How do we define green study abroad? What does it encompass?
- Green study abroad is making students aware of their carbon footprint abroad and bringing that knowledge home.
- As educators and students, we believe we should think about the study abroad footprint because of the following reasons: global warming; cost; living with your host family in a more responsible way.
- Cities in transition, host program, offices of international education, faculty and fellow students.
- readings in the study abroad handbook,
- practices by personnel in the Office of International Education,
- host family behavior,
- teaching a course that ties local economy of host country to the environment,
- encourage the use of public transportation abroad -reflection papers/journals,
- exposure to environmental data,
- and student questionnaires for each specific program: examples of questions are:
- why is it that people do not drive as much in Scandinavia?;
- what allows Spain to generate 50% of its electricity needs from wind power?
- how much concern for the environment is there in the host culture (do they take longer showers? do they switch off the lights?)? -do you think about your own carbon footprint?;
- intentional living;
- try walking more before you go abroad;
- learn to use public transportation before you go abroad.
- the ultimate test of environmental activism: can you live like a local? Can you adjust your carbon footprint to the average of your host society?
- The students can apply at home the lessons they learned about sustainability abroad by working in groups on projects. This way they would bring ideas home from their host countries. For instance:
- Compare your carbon footprint in the US to your carbon footprint abroad
- Where is it higher? Why?
- What lessons can you draw?