Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 58.19
Liaison Emma Blandford
Submission Date March 2, 2021

STARS v2.2

Georgia Institute of Technology
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Anne Rogers
Sustainability Program & Portfolio Manager
Office of Campus Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:
The “Design Develop Build” program in South Africa is offered to students through the College of Architecture. During this twelve-week study abroad program students design and build an extensions to existing buildings in South Africa. Their designs focus on sustainability in the environment and in the community along with low-cost housing and education.

The Leadership for Social Good Study Abroad program offered through the Scheller College of Business is a 12-week program in Eastern Europe that takes students to Prague, Krakow, and Budapest where they look at the role of the nonprofit/social sector, civil society, and corporate sector in creating sustainable solutions to society's most pressing problems. From urban farms that address the need for a locally grown and economically accessible food source while creating employment for refugees, to system level solutions to solving chronic homelessness in Atlanta, to creating meaningful employment for people with disabilities in the Czech Republic, to affecting policy at the EU level to preserve biodiversity while increasing the competitiveness of businesses in Hungary - this program addresses the importance of triple bottom line solutions, as well as the importance of identifying the unintended consequences when assessing the impact of these solutions. The unique component of this program is the opportunity to learn hands-on about how these organizations operate during the project component of the course. Students work with a Budapest-based nonprofit to help them create sustainable solutions to the environmental and social problems they are addressing. Beyond solving their tasks, students immerse themselves in important topics like social justice, the link between economic development and biodiversity, what type of leadership is effective in the nonprofit sector, how can corporations model sustainability and be profitable at the same time, and what is the role of governments in supporting sustainable solutions.

Sustainable Development and Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Program in Italy enriches the standard content of the courses with many curricular and co-curricular activities in one of the richest cultural environments in the world. Students will be based in Venice, the prototype of all cities that struggle for sustainable economic and environmental development and the poster child of cities menaced by sea-level rise. During the program, students will learn and understand the key ingredients of a sustainable development pathway: economic growth, environmental sustainability, social development, and technological innovation. Experts from the Venice-based Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change - the center with the largest number of IPCC contributors in Italy - will give guest lectures on environmental economics, climate science, and sustainable development. During these lectures, students will learn how models are used to formulate future scenarios on poverty, and food, energy, and water challenges, and how social scientists use models to test policy solutions.

Students will explore how and why climate change is going to affect people, the economy, and the environment all over the world, and experience first-hand the challenges for vulnerable cities like Venice and vulnerable mountain ecosystems in the Italian Alps. They will travel and learn how development challenges are addressed in the real world. They will discover the MOSE, a state-of-the-art system of mobile water barriers to protect Venice from flooding. Meet experts on food, water, and forestry at the international Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) during a two-day trip to Rome. Give a last glimpse to the disappearing glaciers from the top of the Italian Alps and learn at the same time how climate change affects ecosystems, tourism, and water management.

Offered by the School of International Affairs, the Japan Program in Sustainable Development is a ten-week program home-based in the lovely, historic port city of Kobe. Japan – with superb mass transportation, low crime, progressive environmental policies, and endless things to do and see – is the perfect setting in which to study sustainable development. And Kobe presents a unique blending of traditional and modern as reflected in gleaming skyscrapers and bustling department stores alongside zen gardens, stately temples and shrines, and ancient arts. One week of the program is devoted to exploring the beautiful Japanese countryside, including planned visits to Fukushima, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Himeji. Through field trips, lectures, and multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural problem-based learning, this program aims to equip students with the tools needed to understand and respond to the broad issues of sustainable development.

Offered through the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Sustainable Transportation Abroad program focuses on the planning, design, and operations of transportation systems in countries abroad that are known for a sustainable multimodal approach to transportation. This course is a study abroad course tied to the Global Engineering Leadership Minor administered in Civil and Environmental Engineering. The leadership competencies this course will focus on include cultural awareness/global competency, informal mentoring, and feedback. The initial offering will focus on the Netherlands, a country where substantial efforts have been made to encourage cycling and transit usage by residents of all ages and cycling levels of comfort. The Dutch consider cycling more sustainable because of the reduction in space required, low emissions and noise, and health impacts. Dutch infrastructure provides good examples of protected bicycle infrastructure, traffic calming, transit network design, and transit and bicycle integration.

Nature, Governance, and Sustainability in Costa Rica is a study abroad program offered by the School of Biological Sciences. The program provides a unique opportunity for students to learn and live in the tropics of Central America and introduces students to biological, governmental, and societal interactions that help communities protect natural resources, preserve biological diversity, support local innovation, strengthen societal ties, and bolster human capital. Students will travel through Costa Rica and visit a variety of spectacular locations where they will learn about the biological systems and societal practices that make Costa Rica one of the most successful countries in Central America.

Alternative Service Break (ASB) trips provide a meaningful way for students and staff to engage in a group oriented, immersion community service experience and to learn about service issues such as affordable housing, early childhood education, disaster relief, hunger and homelessness, and sustainable development. Key tenants of an ASB trip include meaningful community service, intentional group reflection, and personal leadership development. Trips are managed predominately by ASB, our student-run organization in partnership with Civic Engagement that seeks to provide affordable and meaningful service trips to Tech students during school breaks. Each break, we send groups of 12-18 students, with two student leaders, and two faculty/staff advisors to cities over the globe.

http://oie.gatech.edu/

https://serve-learn-sustain.gatech.edu/study-abroad-programs

https://civic-engagement.gatech.edu/content/alternative-service-breaks-asb

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
---

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.