Sustainable Education Abroad: Striving for Change

edited by: Karen McBride & Pii-Tuulia Nikula


About this Volume:

Scholars and practitioners from around the globe come together in this volume to identify the role global student mobility plays in climate impact and identify promising practices that can be implemented to make change.

Conveying both urgency, as well as a sense of hope and opportunity, this volume will help the field of education abroad familiarize stakeholders with the sustainability challenges we face as a field and take the necessary steps forward to do better.


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Table of Contents

Foreword Jennifer Jones

Foreword Scott Blair

1. The Age of Sustainable Education Abroad: Key Questions and Trends Pii-Tuulia Nikula & Karen McBride

Sustainability in the Curriculum

2. Fifteen years in Costa Rica: Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Practices Tammy Shannon, Ketja Lingenfelter, & Robert Shannon

3. Promoting Responsible Tourism through Sustainable Education Abroad: A Travel Course to Tanzania’s Northern Circuit Linda Beck & Mark Pires

4. GO Sustainably: Integration of UN Sustainable Development Goals into Interdisciplinary Faculty-led Study Away Programs Derek Martin & Molly Roe

Sustainability and the Student Perspective

5. Providing Transformative Virtual Learning Experiences Which Promote Global Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Across the Northern and Southern Hemispheres Shayle Havemann & Cynthia Arochi-Zendejas

6. Sustainability on Trial: Critiquing Environmental Justice in International Education Rebecca L Farnum, Kahsenniiostha Jacobs, Courtney Jiggetts, Annabel Lassally, & Elias Mittelstadt

Sustainability in Administration

7. Amplifying Sustainability Initiatives Across Campus and Beyond: A New Zealand Case Study Ainslie Moore & Brett Berquist

8. Climate Action and Aspirations for International Education Professionals Anne C. Campbell & Thi Nguyen

9. Decolonizing Education Abroad While Advancing Sustainability: Lessons from Costa Rica & Morocco Julie Ficarra & Melissa Topacio Long

Sustainability and Program Design

10. Making Progress Toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals Through Intentionality in Education Abroad: A Case Study from Michigan State University Jim Lucas, Amy Butler Kennaugh, & Opal Leeman Bartzis

11. Transformative Learning in Sustainable Global Stewardship Miguel Karian

Travel and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

12. Carbon Footprints and Carbon Offsetting of U.S. Education Abroad Air Travel Stephen Robinson, Christina Erickson, & Tony Langan

13. Accounting for Study Abroad Travel Emissions and the Myth of Climate Neutrality Daniel Greenberg

14. Looking Ahead: Sustainable Education Abroad’s Future Karen McBride & Pii-Tuulia Nikula


Praise for Sustainable Education Abroad

“The interrelated problems of climate change, environmental degradation, and social injustices are a defining challenge for humanity in the twenty-first century. International education is uniquely poised to contribute to the global cooperation, solidarity and understanding that could address this problem, but it is also implicated in the causes of these problems. At this important juncture in the field’s development, this volume substantially significantly advances conversation on sustainability in study abroad. Its chapters deliver a series of insightful, evidence-based and conceptually rich analyses with clear implications practice in educational practice and leadership. Editors Karen McBride and Pii-Tuulia Nikula frame these contributions in a future-facing analysis of both the “footprint” and the “handprint” of education abroad. This volume is highly recommended reading for anyone working in or researching study abroad and other forms of international education.”
– Robin Shields, Professor of Education, University of Bristol

“So we know that it’s not enough for us to simply encourage more people to study abroad. We also need to make sure that they can actually afford it.” To this inspirational call for equity and access to study abroad by former First Lady Michelle Obama, I’d add that we also need to make sure the Earth can actually afford it. Sustainable Education Abroad is an urgently needed and vital tool to ensure just that. Whether your interest is the intersection of climate and education abroad curriculum, program design and administration, the UN SDGs, climate justice, or travel and greenhouse gas emissions, this volume is for you. Brimming with practical lessons and know-how from a variety of different perspectives, [this book] should be required reading for newcomers to our field and experienced professionals alike.”
– Eddie West, Assistant Dean, International Strategy and Programs, San Diego State University

“In the face of ecological breakdown, the system of education abroad and the global community of practitioners, educators, administrators, and leaders must coalesce around one simple truth: it is now essential that sustainability and climate justice be the foundation upon which international education experiences are built if we are to avoid a climate catastrophe. Lucky for them, this book exists.  The passionate contributions from this collection of authors are deeply effective at communicating the responsibility of, and the opportunity for, the field of education abroad to lead in the practice of sustainability. The thematic compilation of chapters takes the reader through shared challenges, growth experiences, and outcomes that strengthens understanding, inspires action, and builds towards models for accountability. Each contribution provides tangible data or practical ideas to leverage the opportunity provided by education abroad to face big truths, take big swings, solve big problems, and they leave the reader hopeful that education abroad can be a positive actor on a global scale.  The field of education abroad has spent decades advancing the dialogue around sustainability in higher education, and Sustainable Education Abroad: Striving For Change is essential reading as we gather the critical mass of sustainability actors required for change that just might ensure the continued viability and relevance of the study abroad experience.”
– CJ Tremblay, Founder & Managing Director, Alethea Global Cooperative 


About the Editors:

Dr. Karen McBride is President and Founder of Bound International.

Dr. Pii-Tuulia Nikula is a Principal Academic at Eastern Institute of Technology (Te Pūkenga) in New Zealand and a co-founder and board member of Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE).

This book is a part of the Standards in Action book series.