It’s important to consider how to make your study abroad more environmentally friendly. Short-term relocation and long-distance travel contribute to our carbon footprint.

Choosing a Sustainable Destination

Factor sustainability into your destination research. For example, choose a country you can travel to without flying or taking multiple flights.

Consider how practical it will be to live sustainably in your chosen location. Some countries or cities are better equipped for sustainable living than others. Research whether there are good public transport networks, recycling systems and places you can buy or borrow second hand items.

Travelling Sustainably

Think about how you can travel to your host destination more sustainably, for example by train or boat. Sustainable options tend to be more expensive, so plan ahead to get cheaper fares and make the most of student discounts. For train travel, use GotoRail and Chronotrains to compare travel times and prices.

Once you’ve arrived at your host destination, you might be considering going travelling. Research how you can engage in sustainable tourism.

Green Initiatives at Your Host University

Your host university might already have green initiatives and offsetting projects that you can get involved in. Joining a sustainability group is a great way to make friends and make a difference to the city you’re living in. When exploring our partner university webpages, you can look at their websites to see whether they have green initiatives of their own!

Living Sustainably Abroad

When living abroad, it’s easy to accumulate possessions that you will no longer need or be able to transport when you return home. Consider donating them to charity or to a recycling system for food and household items. You might even be able to donate your unwanted items to the next cohort of incoming exchange students.

Living abroad doesn’t necessarily mean having to let go of the sustainable habits you have made back home. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, research whether it’s going to be easy and affordable to eat a plant-based diet by researching the cost of living, local supermarkets and Happy Cow. Make use of bikes, public transport and local student discounts. Make sure you’re aware of your city’s recycling systems and energy saving initiatives.

In Europe, the Green Erasmus Handbook and in Australia, the CIS Australia Green Book give advice on how to live more sustainably as an exchange student.