Study Abroad

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Expanding the Borders of your Education

As part of the college experience in Forestry and Environmental Resources, many students pursue study, intern or work abroad opportunities that put them on the frontline of worldwide sustainable and environmental resources management. Between the opportunities offered within the department and those offered by other areas at NC State, students can choose from a variety of programs that fit different interest, scheduling and budget needs, including Spring Break, summer, semester or year-long programs.

The department leads a variety of trips, including one-time and recurring opportunities, including

  • The Tropical Wildlife Ecology in Nicaragua (FW 405) program is a 3-credit spring semester course offered in even years.  The 11-day trip to Nicaragua during spring break focuses on tropical wildlife ecology, with an emphasis on wildlife conservation in shade-grown coffee systems. During the trip, the group sees more than 200 bird species, numerous snakes and lizards, and more than a dozen bat species and learns about Nicaraguan history, the country’s culture, and the importance of nature-based tourism. The group also practices techniques used to survey wildlife, including mist nets for birds and bats, camera traps for meso-mammals, and live traps for small mammals. They stay overnight in 3 different eco-lodges, spanning dry tropical forest to high elevation cloud forest, and a night in Granada, the oldest colonial city in the western hemisphere. Other notable activities include a boat ride on Lake Nicaragua to view wetland wildlife, searches for nocturnal animals and climbing to the rim of a dormant volcano.
  • The annual Bahamas Conservation Biology (FW 445) trip explores the biodiversity of the Andros, the largest island of the Bahamas, while learning the science and policy of conservation biology through hands-on research projects. Participants learn to apply tropical field methods in ecology, evolution and conservation biology, as well as interacting with local scientists on the island, which is home to spectacular and remote Caribbean ecosystems. 
  • The annual  Natural Resources International Sustainable Resource Use  trip, held in conjunction with Purdue University and a Swedish University, provides further understanding of natural resources in a global economy. The trip alternates locations; visiting Sweden in odd years and North America in even years. 
  • The annual Namibia African Ecology and Conservation (FW 465) trip takes participants to African savanna landscapes with herds of antelope, elephants, and lions. This program is designed for students to experience and study a unique natural world while elevating their understanding of ecology, wildlife management, park management and conservation.

Think studying abroad is right for you? Visit the NC State Study Abroad website to explore opportunities and complete an application. Before you travel, be sure to visit the NC State Travel Clinic for comprehensive and personalized recommendations, medications and vaccinations for your trip. Questions about the application process? Email Elena Beckman or Dr. Erin Sills.

Funding Study Abroad Opportunities

Our department has a strong tradition of helping fund students’ participation in Study Abroad opportunities, including semester-long, summer and spring break programs. The College of Natural Resources and our department offers travel grants ranging from $500-1,000 to students participating in study abroad. To be eligible for funding for study abroad, students must apply to a program through the Study Abroad Office. The deadline for summer and fall programs is November 15.

Other Student Abroad Support includes:

  • The College of Natural Resources Student Assistance and Enrichment Fund is open to all undergraduate students enrolled in a College of Natural Resources major. The fund supports extra or co-curricular enrichment experiences like study abroad, high-impact internships and academic research, through scholarships and stipends.
  • The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides scholarships to U.S. undergraduates with financial need for study abroad, including students from diverse backgrounds and students traveling to non-traditional study abroad destinations. Established under the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, Gilman Scholarships provide up to $5,000 for American students to pursue overseas study for college credit.
  • Confucius Institute Scholarships are available to non-Chinese undergraduate students who want to learn Chinese, Chinese culture or study toward a university degree in a Chinese University.  
  • Boren Scholarships support U.S. undergraduate students who are interested in national security and want to study abroad in countries outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for more than one semester.
  • The Bruce and Barbara Zobel Endowment for International Forestry Studies offers mini-grants to undergraduate students who want to study silviculture and production forestry abroad. Email Dr. Steve McKeand for more information and to apply.