4 eco-friendly cities where you can study abroad

April 22, 2019

Today is Earth Day! The annual holiday is marked with events around the world aimed at supporting environmental protection. Today, with the help of the University Impact Rankings for 2019, we’re breaking down the greenest study abroad program locations. In addition, we’re telling you more about what API programs offer courses for students interested in sustainability, conservation and the environment!

What do we mean by “green” study abroad locations? We’re looking at “eco-cities,” aka a city spending time, money and effort into eliminating their overall carbon footprint while embracing nature and new technology to fight climate change. Here’s the list!

Two API students smiling in Reykjavik, Iceland

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is Iceland’s largest city and also the country’s best “green city”. Officials use geothermal wells to help power the city and also plan to be completely free of fossil fuels by 2050. Overall the city is seen as a very technologically advanced and socially progressive place, with incredibly friendly people to boot!

Our Business, Computer Science & Engineering program at Reykjavik University is a fantastic option for STEM students. However the campus also offers coursework in law, marketing, and more; making it a great choice for a variety of majors.

If sustainability and the outdoors are “your thing,” Reykjavik is also a great place because of its amazing nature. API’s on-site staff take you to tour the island’s South Coast, as well as to Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where you’ll see volcanoes, geothermal areas, glaciers and more. API is one of very few program providers with a program in Iceland, so this unique option is one you won’t find anywhere else. Explore a 7,000 year old cave, see the Northern Lights, and visit one of the world’s most sustainable places. Iceland certainly deserves to be at the top of this list!

Student surfs in Auckland New Zealand; one of the greenest study abroad program locations
API student surfing in Auckland, New Zealand

2. Auckland, New Zealand

AUT University has just been ranked the second best campus in the WORLD for sustainability! In addition, the University of Auckland came in at 11th. API offers programs at both places. Our program at AUT begins with a unique weekend orientation in Noho Marae. Students learn about and experience New Zealand’s amazing Maori culture and heritage. Students can choose from a wide variety of courses; the campus offers everything from Graphic Design & Digital Arts to Accounting.

Our program at the University of Auckland also includes a lot of choices for students. Alumni have taken Art History, Sustainability, and even classes on the Samoan language! Both programs include fun API excursions, including an island hike and a tour of “The Shire” from Lord of the Rings.

3. Berlin, Germany

According to the website Open Access Government, residents in Berlin became extremely self-sufficient after World War I. The practice of growing their own food and appreciating the city’s green spaces has stuck around in the decades since that time.

Berlin has a large population of electric vehicles, with more than 400 charging points installed across the city. Many residents have ditched the car altogether and choose instead to take advantage of the city’s walkability!

API offers several programs in Berlin, including a European Studies Program and a German Language option. In addition to German classes, FU-BEST also offers courses on Integration & Conflict in Europe, Exploring Classical Music, The Human Condition & The Totalitarian Experience and more. Clearly, these courses are some of the most unique you’ll find in a study abroad program. Berlin is also a fantastic location for students who want to sustainably travel to see more of Europe.

API students smiling on boat in Costa Rica

4. San Jose, Costa Rica

Our Multidisciplinary & Environmental Studies Program arms students with valuable skills and knowledge necessary to preserve our environment for future generations. As a bonus, you also learn a lot of Spanish; a highly versatile language used around the world!

Some examples of courses offered through this program include Tropical Architecture & Design, Ecological Photography, Environmental Impact & Social Development, & more. There are even classes on Tropical Birds & the Biology of Edible Insects!

Explore the outdoors with API as our Resident Directors take you to see the highest volcano in Costa Rica as well as rainforests, beaches and more. This is a truly rewarding program for anyone interested in “studying green”.

Happy Earth Day from all of us at API!


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