Study Abroad as an Environmental Science Major

As an Environmental Science major you are encouraged to consider incorporating an off-campus program as part of your academic program.

Summer field study group at Stenness

Working with your academic advisor and the Office of International Education (OIE) you can plan an experience that fits your academic and personal goals.

Why study abroad?

Students of all majors benefit from studying abroad. As an Environmental Science major, you can:

  • examine current environmental and policy issues in an international context
  • gain a comparative and cross-cultural perspective on the interaction of people and the environment
  • explain major local, regional and global environmental issues and engage in the world as effective and literate citizens
  • continue to develop a firm grounding in the fundamental physical and biological principles governing natural processes and the reciprocal relationships among the political, social, economic, and ethical principles and structures governing human processes to examine environmental issues
  • enhance your intercultural communication and improve world language skills
  • broaden your worldview and deepen your understanding of yourself
  • examine your values and beliefs in new ways
  • prepare for life after college by becoming a globally engaged citizen

How will study abroad count toward my major? Will it take me longer to graduate?

With planning, you can study abroad and graduate on time. Your academic advisor will help you to plan for study abroad and determine how many credits you may apply toward the major. Note that in most circumstances, no more than one credit may be applied towards the major requirements. Many students take general education and general interest classes in addition to the one credit in the major. 

An OIE advisor can help you to find a program that matches your academic needs and helps you to meet your personal goals and interests as well.

When should I study abroad?

Programs are offered during the fall or spring semesters, the full academic year or during a summer session.  There are many options to meet your goals and course requirements.

Environmental Science majors who study abroad for a semester or longer typically do so in their junior year. 

Summer programs are open to students at all levels, unless otherwise noted. Note that semester and year-long programs are not available for seniors as the major’s required senior capstone course is offered in the fall semester and students must be on campus during their last semester of enrollment.

Can I afford to study abroad?

Yes! Willamette-sponsored semester programs are comparable in cost to being on campus for a semester and most forms of financial aid can be applied. See the OIE website for more details about program costs and additional expenses to consider.

Scholarships for study abroad are available and can be found on the OIE website. It is critical to begin to research scholarships early, even before you apply for study abroad.

Some programs, such as the Luce Foundation-supported Sustainability in Japan summer course are subsidized, making the experience even more affordable.

How should I choose a program?

Explore! Just as you spent time researching colleges before deciding on Willamette, you will want to spend time investigating programs abroad to ensure a good fit.

  • Research class offerings to know whether there are classes that meet your academic needs.
  • Consider your personal goals for the experience and seek out programs that will help you to meet them.
  • Investigate which programs offer support services you may need during your time there.
  • Meet with an OIE advisor!

Study abroad programs recommended for Environmental Science majors:

The Environmental Science faculty are open for students to attend almost any accredited relevant program that meets our students’ academic goals and interests. To aid you in finding a suitable program, the faculty recommends the programs below:

(*indicates Willamette-sponsored programs)

Students may also choose from a variety of other programs offering courses within the major in addition to other electives.  Most programs are open to all majors.

Galapagos giant tortoise

My study abroad experience began with a trip to the Galapagos Islands and seeing the iconic tortoises in person was stunning.

--Daniel Allen, '18


Resources for study abroad:

Office of International Education

Visit the Office of International Education’s website to learn more about program options, scholarships how to apply and more.

Credit considerations

Environmental and Earth Science majors should consult their academic advisor about the courses they take abroad.

Willamette University

Environmental Science

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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