Study Abroad

Are you interested in studying abroad? There are many opportunities for Environmental Science and Management and Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning students to study abroad. The best place to start looking for information about studying abroad is the Study Abroad website. Students in the ESM and EPAP majors have gone all over the world including countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, the Netherlands, Sweden, and South Africa, to name just a few! Some of the more popular ecology-based programs are Marine Biology & Terrestrial Ecology at the University of Queensland, Australia, Socio-Ecological Sustainability in Southern Chile at the Villarrica campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC-Chile), and Tropical Biology and Conservation at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica. 

There are several different summer abroad options in addition to regular year opportunities. Some of the more popular programs are GIS in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, Housing and Urbanism in Barcelona, Sustainable Cities of Northern Europe, and Environmental Justice in Indigenous Ecuador. You can also take some of your regular major requirements abroad over summer! Options include BIS 2A, BIS 2B, BIS 2C, STA 100, STA 103, or UWP 101.

If you are planning to study abroad your major and/or minor department will need to evaluate the courses you will potentially take to see if they can be used for your major and/or minor. For both the ESM and EPAP majors we ask that students provide us with a list of the courses that you will potentially take along with their course descriptions and your best guess at how they could fit into your major program. It is ok to be wrong about where it might fit into the major, so don't worry about that. Once that information has been compiled you will send it to your major adviser so that they can look it over and let you know which courses are most appropriate and how they can be used for the major.

Testimonials from ESM and EPAP students


Anna Remstedt, Environmental Science and Management, class of 2021 - Monteverde Institute, Costa Rica, Fall 2019

Studying abroad in Costa Rica has been the highlight of my college experience so far! The tropical ecology program is really unique because we travelled to so many different places. We stayed at several different field stations in the rainforest, camped on an uninhabited island, and stayed with a host family while we worked on an independent research project. It was amazing to learn about tropical ecology from professors who are experts in their fields, all while actually hiking through tropical rainforest. I also learned so much from conducting my own research project and presenting my results at a symposium. It’s a really small program (about 25 students and 4 professors), so our group quickly became really close! I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to study abroad— it was such an important part of my college experience and the best way to travel!


Meghan Garfink, Environmental Science and Management, class of 2020 - Monteverde Institute, Costa Rica, Spring 2019

Going abroad was the best decision I could have made for my studies and my personal growth. My program (Tropical Conservation and Biodiversity, Monteverde, Costa Rica) was unique because it combines camping, fieldwork, independent research, cultural immersion, and lectures all in just one quarter. On the field trips, you see all of the ecological and environmental theories that you've learned about in previous college lectures, but you see them in the biodiversity hotspot of the world! The professors are all so educated and have long backgrounds in environmental science. I lived with 22 other UC students and we all felt like family by the end. At the end of the program, everyone presents their research at a research symposium and writes a final paper that has the opportunity to be published. It was the most rewarding thing in my academic career to see my research presented to the Monteverde community.
One of my favorite memories of abroad was watching the sunrise on a hammock in the Bosque Eterno de los Ninos with my friends after a five-day field trip backpacking in the rainforest. My experience abroad made me a stronger person and opened up a world of opportunities as an ecologist! I'd recommend it to anyone.

Maaike Wielenga, Environmental Science and Management, class of 2020 - Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina, Fall 2018

I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Mendoza, Argentina for Fall Quarter 2018. While taking cinema, literature, and culture classes at Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, I was able to learn more about the natural wonders of Argentina by going on excursions in Argentina's beautiful landscapes. I loved hiking in the snowy peaks of the Andes, rock climbing and hiking in the local mountains above Mendoza, and exploring the gorgeous lake region of Patagonia through hikes, kayaking, biking, and boat rides. Through the homestay living arrangement I was able to really get to know Argentine culture and form close bonds with my host family. Being in another country, learning a different language, and forming international relationships has challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone, contributing to my self-growth and understanding. Studying abroad in Argentina has been the highlight of my college experience, developing my world perspective and self-identity.

Casey Walker, Environmental Science and Management, class of 2019 - University of Queensland, Brisbane, Fall 2018

My semester abroad conducting research and taking international classes was the highlight of my college experience. Not only was I pursuing my passion of field research on the Great Barrier Reef and studying the similarities between the Australian Bush and California’s chaparral environment, I was also collaborating with motivated UC students and world-renowned professors. I really appreciated studying abroad with a cohort of students from all the UCs and I can say I made life long friends all over the world. Regardless of the academics, the intangible benefits of traveling abroad and experiencing new cultures are priceless. While UC Davis is a highly regarded institution, taking classes with different teachers and students adds to one's holistic learning experience. I would highly recommend the UCEAP Marine Biology and Terrestrial Ecology program and traveling the world as you do it.

Kemi Kakonge-Ruyondo, Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, class of 2019 - London School of Economics, Fall 2017

I studied abroad at the London School of Economics during my Junior year and I absolutely loved it! The hustle and bustle of London was a refreshing change from the beloved peacefulness of Davis. I took political sciences classes on British and European politics and we had a whole class that consisted of excursions-so there were a lot of opportunities to explore the city during the week. Transportation in Europe is more accessible and affordable than California and I was able to travel to several cities in the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe over the weekends. As an environmentalist, I believe that understanding politics is essential to effective environmental protection and conservation and that is why I picked up a political science minor. For me, studying abroad was an opportunity to scratch my political itch, travel, AND get academic credit for it. I highly encourage all those that are able to, to study abroad during college- you will not regret it!



Juliet Vaughn, Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, class of 2019 - London School of Economics, Fall 2017

Studying abroad at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science was definitely the highlight of my college experience. Living right in the heart of the city, we were immersed into British culture and learned about the politics of the United Kingdom and the European Union. Our class was able to tour landmarks such as the United Kingdom Supreme Court and the House of Parliament. The LSE campus was wonderful and the faculty were very helpful and accommodating. Being able to connect with other Davis students in class was especially fun, because we got to experience a new place together and I am still friends with many of my classmates today. We had many opportunities to travel and see more of Europe during our quarter, and being so close to many other countries made it easy to hop over to a new place for a weekend. I would highly recommend studying abroad if you are able to so! I loved every minute of it.


Alessandra Rigo de Righi, Environmental Science and Management, class of 2019 - University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Fall 2017

It is hard to sum up my experience at the University of Copenhagen, in the Faculty of Science in Denmark for the fall semester of 2017, but I would start by saying how incredible it was. I enjoyed learning about the Danes progressive policies and the everyday practices for the Environment. For example, upon landing in Copenhagen, I noticed the expansive offshore wind farms powering the city. While living in Copenhagen, you can expect to “live green” with the dorm-based recycling programs for compostable food waste that is converted to biofuels! The UCEAP team was incredibly helpful in this process and I enjoyed getting to know other UC students during the Danish Language pre-semester program. I was appreciative of how welcoming my professors were at the university. My political ecology class was something unique and not offered at Davis, however the advisors and coordinators helped me count it as a policy requirement for my track, Natural Resource Management. The thing I loved most about this experience is you had a lot of independence. I balanced academic work with learning and exploring the many cultures of Northern Europe. Living was easy in a very welcoming society with a rich Scandinavian history. I’ll never forget the truly unique experience I had studying in Denmark and making so many new International friends.

Morgan Cunneen, Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, class of 2018 - University of Auckland, New Zealand, Fall 2016

I was extremely fortunate to be able to study abroad in New Zealand at the University of Auckland for one semester. While there, I was able to complete two major required courses for my EPAP degree while also learning about the country and culture through New Zealand politics and Sociology courses. Because they are on a semester system there, I had plenty of time to travel and explore New Zealand on the weekends and mid semester break. The country is beautiful, and has much to offer other than Hobbiton! It was great to make friends with New Zealanders and other international students from around the world. I had an absolutely fantastic time when I was there, and I encourage anyone who is thinking about studying abroad to do so. If you don't, you will regret it later on!


Matthew Finkle, Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, class of 2018 - University of Queensland, Brisbane, Fall 2016

Studying abroad in the Marine Biology and Terrestrial Ecology Program at the University of Queensland was hands down the best educational experience of my undergraduate career. As a non-science major, I did not feel overwhelmed or behind in a curriculum emphasizing field science techniques, scientific paper writing skills, and biology. Although the classwork can be tough at times, it was always fascinating, practical, and hands on. The professors in the program are some of the most articulate and inspiring academic role models I’ve ever had the privilege of learning from. This program provides a unique opportunity to meet valuable connections in the scientific community, build great experience conducting scientific research in the field, explore much of classic Australian terrains on class camping and research trips, and study the Great Barrier Reef in a critical period of its existence. I made lasting friendships and had the opportunity to travel more of Australia and New Zealand afterwards, which is totally doable to incorporate without taking additional time off of Davis.