Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.08
Liaison Katherine Straub
Submission Date Aug. 21, 2020

STARS v2.2

Susquehanna University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Derek Martin
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" 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?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

Our study abroad program is operated out of our Global Opportunities (GO) Office. Each program is listed a "GO" then the country name. All students are required to participate in a GO Program to graduate. Students can choose a short program led by faculty and staff, a long program coordinated with a foreign university, or a program they design themselves. Each program has a half semester preparation course which prepares students for a cross cultural experience. After the program runs, students take a half semester reflection course to reflect on what they experienced and make connections to their lives and culture. We have listed 10 GO Programs which incorporate sustainability in a meaningful way.

GO Puerto Rico mainly focuses on social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Students attend lectures which address biodiversity and students see the impact of nature on different villages; there is a waterway that floods during the rainy season and villages have to relocate so they will not be harmed during the flooding. Service learning, focusing on hurricane relief and hurricane effects on the people are included throughout the program, including planting mangrove forests to help protect the fragile ecosystem. Students also visited Casa Pueblo, a fully solar-powered compound.

GO Nepal is a sustainability-focused educational program that teaches students about climate change. Nepal showed more indicators of climate change compared to the United States, including glacier loss, flooding, differences in snowfall patterns, and invasive species. Students learn about the social aspects of the simplistic lifestyle in Nepal including poverty and what the student’s role was in sustainability.

GO Iceland focuses mainly on the different energy sources on the island; including geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind energy. Students are able to see and learn about the different energy sources and how they were used. Economic sustainability in Iceland is focused on the abundance of energy the country has. The government wants to sell the excess amounts of energy to European countries but citizens do not want that to happen. Students are exposed to the differing opinions between the government and its citizens while in Iceland.

GO New Orleans is focused on service learning projects with non-profits like Common Grounds and Love Action Food Bank. Students work on environmental sustainability by saving and replanting wetlands and working in community food deserts. This program immerses students into a diverse area, learning about local environmental issues, disaster management and social inequality.

GO Northern Ireland focuses on social sustainability working with a youth center in Belfast for those who were impacted during the country’s political conflicts. SU students work with the youth group so that they will develop social and life skills in a safe and secure environment, accept responsibility, and make good life choices with sound information and support. Students will also learn about the conflict of Ireland and be able to see the impact from it.

GO Philippines focuses on economic and social sustainability throughout the duration of their trip. Students are taken to Manila’s Smokey Mountain trash dump where they distribute different resources such as clothing, toiletries, and first-aid materials among the community. One year the group was awarded a scholarship of $750 and decided to invest the money in education. The group invested the initial $750 to help three Filipino students which eventually helped one student graduate from high school.

GO Hawaii focuses on environmental sustainability by going to the He’eia fishpond. While there students will learn that the pond is not used for social or economic purposes but they use it to sustain the fish population around the island. The purpose of the pond is to grow fish back and then release them back into the wild to create a sustainable ecosystem.

GO Morocco addresses sustainability through water and energy resources. Students met with a counselor to the minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment to discuss Mine Resources of Morocco. This program also includes a visit to the second largest solar array in the world, and discussion of hydro power. Additionally, water access is an important topic in Morocco and students attend lectures on water conservation and investigate the relationship between water and the expansion of agriculture.

GO New Zealand programming revolves around the relationship between the settlers, the Maori, and the environment. They contribute to a sustainable environment by planting native trees in wetland areas that are no longer used for farming and the maintenance of an eco-sanctuary for endangered birds (Zealandia). Students partake in hikes that have significant cultural importance to the Maori people and provide students with a glimpse of New Zealand’s rich geography and an entry into considering the impact of geography on culture.

FOCUS Australia intentionally looks at the land and people throughout the time in Australia. From water and land management to introduced species to salination and soil degradation. By learning about some of the problems that face the Australian ecosystem, students then are able to engage with sustainable practices that can help mitigate them. Students learn about the land from to traditional owners who discuss how they have cared for the land for thousands of years in a sustainable fashion. Additional tours focus on the importance of different plants to aboriginal people in the area, both historically and in modern times.

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

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