The Forum Partners with Prairie View A&M University on the IDEAS Workshop: Fighting Climate Change Through Connection Between Study Abroad and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Forum on Education Abroad was pleased to collaborate with Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), which hosted an in-person workshop sponsored by the IDEAS Program on Friday, April 14, at PVAMU. The focus of this workshop was integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the creation of faculty-led education abroad programs. The IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by World Learning.

During the full-day event, a diverse group of facilitators shared their knowledge on how to teach students about climate change and mitigate the negative impact of it on the planet. The 34 attendees also enjoyed hands-on activities that allowed them to better understand and explore incorporating key sustainability issues, like conservation and environmental awareness, in their education abroad programs.

“As USA Study Abroad and the IDEAS Program work to support U.S. institutions’ capacity to expand and diversify U.S. student mobility, it is important to consider the environmental, social, and economic impact of study abroad on students, as well as on societies and the planet,” said Department of State Outreach Officer for USA Study Abroad Cybèle Cochran. “We are grateful to our colleagues at Prairie View A&M University and The Forum on Education Abroad for providing an engaging workshop to support ongoing conversations on the critical topic of sustainability in study abroad.”

Highlights from the day included:

  • Dr. Ram L. Ray of Prairie View A&M University shared an overview on how participants’ work is impacted by climate change in his plenary session, “The Interdisciplinary Nature of Climate Change and Our Role in Adaptation and Mitigation.”
  • The Forum’s Elizabeth Frohlich, Ph.D., and Penn State’s Dr. Peter Buck facilitated a two-part workshop on the UN SDGs and how to use the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and Guidelines on Advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals through Education Abroad to influence decision making about sustainable education abroad practices.
  • PVAMU’s Dr. Godlove T. Fonjweng, Dr. Kwaku W. Addo, and Dr. Noel M. Estwick presented participants with examples of their study abroad courses and programs that address climate change issues.

“It was a pleasure to speak with participants at PVAMU about integrating the United Nations SDGs into education abroad,” said Frohlich. “This work directly ties to The Forum’s mission of cultivating educators who champion high quality education abroad experiences that ignite curiosity, impact lives, and contribute to a better world. We believe that aligning with the UN SDGs, education abroad can benefit those who participate and enrich the planet.”