Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 63.21
Liaison Mark Klapatch-Mathias
Submission Date June 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Heidi Soneson
Assistant Vice Chancellor for International Education
Office of International Education
"---" 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:

Costa Rica
The Costa Rica J Term program is built around the theme of Sustainability and Eco-Tourism. Costa Rica is the premier international model of a country focused on the preservation of natural resources for the sake of environmentally-based tourism, both for the study and intimate experience of tropical biodiversity, but also adventure recreation.

This study program is a broad mix of activities and travels. Students experience everything from snorkeling and diving (scuba certification necessary) on both the Caribbean and Pacific, as well as zipping along cables in the canopy of tropical forests, white water rafting, and hiking in preserves and national parks. Also included are tours to coffee plantations and visits to world-class birding sites, shopping in traditional arts and crafts markets, visits with traditional families and indigenous representatives and one-day excursions.

The Belize study adventure is unique, for nowhere else this close to home can students immerse themselves in such astonishing biological and cultural diversity. Hike the rainforest, canoe wild rivers, explore caves, climb Mayan temples, sail, snorkel, and scuba. Students will also explore the jungle and sea while experiencing wildlife, environmental, and cultural diversity. The group will be based at a jungle lodge for six days, venturing out to climb classic Mayan temples, float rivers, explore caves, hike jungle trails, and observe tropical wildlife unparalleled in the northern hemisphere. A day trip is planned to Guatemala to witness fabulous Tikal. All activities are led by experienced guides, educators, or researchers who teach students about Belize history, geology, flora and fauna, cultural traditions, and the remarkable conservation-first posture that guides Belize's approach to sustainable development.

Bahamas Tropical Restoration Experience
This two-credit course will cover the ecological and fundamental principles of tropical restoration. Much of the Bahaman forests on Andros Island were historically mismanaged (clear-cut in some areas while overgrown in others), which has resulted in across-the-board degradation on the island. While on-island, students will be helping the Bahaman Forestry Unit with their tropical restoration initiatives in forests that include but are not limited to Bahaman pine forests, mangrove, and scrub forests. Students will also visit a coral reef undergoing restoration. Students will learn about the ecological, cultural, economic, and personal values of restoration, learn about the restoration process, and work through strategies for a successful restoration. Students will be hosted by the International Field Studies program while staying at the Forfar Field station.

Discover the Netherlands: Water, Wheels, and Windmills
Explore beautiful windmills, blooming tulip fields and 17th century water canals in the Netherlands this spring. In this 9-day program, students will have a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the Dutch culture. After arriving in Amsterdam, students will travel by train to Leeuwarden, the largest city in Friesland. Students will spend three nights in the largest city of the northwest province studying agriculture and food with Dutch students at Van Hall Larenstein University, while also taking in the rich history of the 13th century city. The final three nights of the study abroad program will be in Amsterdam where students can explore museums, such as the Ann Frank Museum or Van Gogh Museum or explore monuments and other historical points of interest. On the last day, students will travel by train to the historic village of Zaanse Schans, where they will learn the process of Dutch wooden shoe making and tour historic windmills.

India J-term
Students will tour research farms, bird sanctuary, dairy, silk production facility, temples, schools, women's small business initiatives, a major food research institute, as well as other places of social and cultural interest.

Ireland: Sustainable Animal Production
This class is a 3-credit Animal Science course titled ANSC 389:Ireland Sustainable Animal Production. This course will explore various livestock farms and facilities and compare European practices to those in the United States. Tours of farms (ranging from cattle to horses), guest lectures, and visits to cultural sites will be included.

Uganda: Globalization and Africa's Experiences
The objective of this J-Term education abroad program is to provide students an opportunity to acquire new knowledge, awareness, and experience of global issues focusing on an African country. The program will directly expose students to different cultures, business and economic environments, political systems, educational systems and agriculture and environmental issues relating to Africa, in general, and Uganda, in particular.

The theme is "Globalization and Africa's Experiences." The study program will include lecture presentations by African/Uganda professionals, professors from various universities (including the U.S.), business executives, and government officials.

Students will visit several Ugandan cities, various institutions and places of historical, geographical, cultural and political significance. These sites will include the cities of Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja and Mbarara, the Uganda Museum, Entebbe Wildlife Reserve, Mpanga Forest Reserve, Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bujjagali Falls, the Source of the River Nile, the Equator line, Tea Estates, Local Farms, and selected local/international businesses.

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.