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Environmental Studies and Sciences

Study Abroad Picnic
ESS students who studied abroad are invited to a welcome-back picnic at the start of each school year to share their experiences.

Domestic and Abroad Programs

Studying away from Skidmore is a major facet of an ESS education at Skidmore. Although not required, 80% to 90% of ESS majors study abroad or participate in an off-campus domestic program. This far surpasses the 60% of all Skidmore students who study abroad.

Over the past several years, ESS majors have studied in the 26 different countries listed below, through various programs. Spring is the more popular semester to study off campus, with over half of ESS students going abroad then. About a third go abroad during the fall, and a smaller number study abroad either for a full academic year or during summer break.

The highlighted programs below are ESS-approved programs, and have links to the OCSE (Off-Campus Study and Exchanges) webpage for each.  Note that ESS students are not required to choose an ESS-approved program. Many students choose to study abroad on programs that have been approved by other Skidmore departments and programs, and others choose outside programs.

Australia GlobalLinks Learning Abroad
  SFS: Tropical Rainforest Studies
  SIT Australia: Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology
  SIT Australia: Sustainability and Environmental Action
Austria IES Vienna
Costa Rica SFS: Sustainable Development Studies
  OTS Costa Rica: Tropical Biology
Denmark Danish Institute for Study Abroad
Ecuador IPSL
  SIT Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation
France Skidmore in Paris
Germany IES Freiberg
Iceland CELL Iceland: Sustainability through Community
India SIT India: Social Change and Sustainable Development
Ireland Arcadia University program
Italy IES Milan
Madagascar SIT Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management
Mongolia SIT Mongolia: Geopolitics and the Environment
New Zealand Frontiers Abroad: Earth Systems
Panama SIT Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation
South Africa OTS South Africa
Spain Skidmore in Spain
Tanzania SIT Tanzania: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management
  SIT Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology
Thailand International Sustainable Development Studies Institute
Turks and Caicos SFS: Marine Resource Management Studies
U.S., Woods Hole Mass. Marine Biology Laboratory: Semester in Environmental Science


India, Brazil, and South Africa SIT IHP: Cities of the 21st Century
Tanzania, India, New Zealand, and Mexico SIT IHP: Beyond Globalization
Vietnam, Morocco, and Bolivia SIT IHP: Climate Change

Click here to view all approved programs through OCSE’s webpage.
(Select “Advanced Search” to narrow your list (by country, language, etc.), including “Departmental Approval” which will show you which programs are approved by various departments and programs.

Process for studying in an off-campus program

Students studying abroad or in an off-campus domestic program work through Skidmore’s Office of Off-Campus Study and Exchanges. They also work with their academic advisor to choose a program and courses that will enhance their education and interests.

ESS students on the Social and Cultural Perspectives Track should complete two of the three required core courses before studying abroad. ESS students on the Science Track should complete at least one of the two core courses. Only two courses taken abroad can count toward the major, but all courses can usually transfer back for general credits. Courses taken abroad cannot substitute for any core course.

Travel seminars

Each year, Skidmore sponsors a number of faculty-led travel seminars to locations around the world. Travel seminars that complement the ESS curriculum allow students to learn about environmental issues in another part of the world. Travel seminar courses meet weekly over the course of a semester, plus involve a trip where students accompany one or two faculty members as they explore a focused topic that uses the destination as a classroom. During Spring 2016, students have the opportunity to take Tropical Field Ecology, and travel to the Monteverde Research Station in Costa Rica. For more information, view the brochure.


Click here to view the ESS Study-Abroad Photo Album.