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  • Locations: Cologne, Germany; Hyderabad, India
  • Program Terms: Fall, J-Term, Summer, Winter
  • Program Sponsor: JASS 
Program Description:
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Climate Change and the Arctic
  Study climate models, carbon management, and the impact of climate change on Arctic ecosystems and societies. Visit renewable energy centers and glaciers amidst Iceland's and Greenland's unique landscapes.

No ecosystem is changing faster than the Arctic. In Iceland—dependent on the sea since the first Vikings settled over 1,000 years ago, and where whaling is still a part of the country’s fisheries tradition—you will study changes to sea ice and snow cover. Scientists warn that Arctic amplifications may lead to feedback effects that will cause further warming. On this program, you’ll visit subarctic communities, cross the Arctic Circle on the Icelandic island Grimsey, and learn about the Arctic Council in Akureyri.

Major Topics of Study:

  • An overview of Arctic climate, landforms, and ecosystems and how humans interact with them
  • The impact of climate change on animal, plant, and human communities in the Arctic and how these communities adjust
  • Climate modeling and trends, including a chance to develop your own climate models
  • Renewable energy systems
  • Carbon management
  • Indigenous knowledge of changes in climate
  • Communicating climate change and science
  • How changes—from potential sea level rise to accessibility to resources previously under ice— will affect the globe
  • The consequences of climate change and ideas to solve the problems it creates
  • Scientific methods, data collection, and ethics of climate research?
Eligibility: Minimum 3.0 GPA.  Major or minor in WU department that approves program. Additionally, students should have previous coursework or other preparation in content areas related to program focus.

Program Dates:
Term Application Deadline
Fall February 1
Spring May 1
Please See SIT website for program dates
  Approved Departments:

Earth and Planetary Sciences
Environmental Earth Science

Coursework: Students typically earn 16 WU credits (6 for the core seminar, 4 for the independent study project, 2 for the field study seminar and 4 for language study. Language study on SIT programs is awarded general WU credit or, with the language department's approval, elective credit for the major or minor).
  Ísafjörður, Iceland and Nuuk, Greenland
  Housing: In the subarctic fishing town Ísafjörður, surrounded by steep fjords and glacial valleys, you’ll stay with an Icelandic family and study at the University Centre of the Westfjords. Here, in Northwestern Iceland, you’ll experience an environment and community affected by climate change. Ísafjörður is rarely visited by tourists and is well off the beaten path.

Explore the historical old town of Nuuk, meet experts at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, and visit Kobbefjord climate monitoring station.

  Estimated Program Price: When you study abroad for a semester or a year for academic credit, you will be charged tuition by Washington University at a rate equivalent to tuition on campus for the corresponding time period. WU tuition covers only the educational and administrative costs of the study abroad program. WU tuition does not cover any study abroad program costs for room, board, transportation, personal expenses, passport or visa fees. Such costs are charged separately either by WU, the program sponsor, or a third party.

Scholarships: SIT Scholarships
Email the appropriate Overseas Programs Coordinator, visit us during our walk-in hours, join us for an information session, or call (314) 935-5958 to schedule an appointment.