Experience all the historic treasures of England. From the bustling pomp and pageantry of
London, to the blue-collar city of Birmingham and the breathtaking scenery of Wales, the
Summer Campus Sustainability in England and Wales program gives participants a diverse
cultural experience and the opportunity to leave a lasting mark on the University of Northern
From London to Wales, large cities to small towns and associated university campuses will serve
as the backdrop for a unique cultural and hands on learning experience. Blended with trips to
breathtaking castles, historic landmarks, unparalleled scenery, and a trip to the home farm and
gardens of the Royal Family, participants will have the opportunity to learn how British society
has changed throughout the centuries. From their existence before America was founded
through the industrial revolution and with a vision toward tomorrow, the evolution of England’s
landscape and campuses can provide a roadmap for how UNI students can impact their own
campus. The Summer Campus Sustainability in England and Wales program aims to teach
students a systems thinking approach to decision making and an understanding of their
surroundings that can be used in their daily lives and impact the lives of future students at UNI.
Though this is a UNI program, students will connect with faculty and students at the University of Birhimingham and the University of Hull. The University of Birhimingham offers great strength in areas of campus sustainability that UNI lacks. They are also a convenient distance from many other local institutions that will be visited, as well as a being located near a central hub for public transportation to all of the cultural activities that are offered in this program. Similarily, the University of Hull (a UNI Partnership/Exchange Institution) will offer UNI students the opportunity to participate in their campus sustainability efforts.
Eric O’Brien, an Iowa native, received both his BA and MS degrees from UNI. He completed his BA in Biology with an Environmental Emphasis in 2001 and continued into the Environmental Science graduate program, which he completed in 2003. After graduating, he worked several years with the Iowa DNR and is now the first University Sustainability Coordinator at UNI.
Campus Sustainability is the main theme for this summer course.
The University of Northern Iowa lists campus sustainability as a core value in its most recent strategic plan and dedicates specific objectives to ensuring our continued pursuit of a more sustainable campus. Additionally, UNI was recently recognized as a Gold Star Sustainability campus by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. While this is a great honor, what does it really
There were a number of components that went into UNI earning this distinction and an even greater effort will be required to maintain and improve upon this ranking. Beyond highlighting areas that UNI does tremendously well, the Gold Star distinction also pointed out a number of areas that we can improve as a campus. In order to offer a unique cultural experience, geared toward making the UNI campus
more sustainable, this course will investigate, firsthand, campuses and organizationsin the United Kingdom that have strength in the areas that we must improve.
Over the course of the short term program, you and your classmates will interact with peers as well as faculty, staff and professionals from institutions in the United Kingdom. You will get to see and experience firsthand the efforts that have gone into making the campuses overseas so successful in their sustainability efforts. Finally you will outline options to incorporate some of these success stories on the UNI campus.
The objective is that from this course you will
1) gain a systems thinking approach in decision making for your own lives;
2) develop a basic understanding of individual and campus impacts on the environment;
3) gain a unique cultural experience and begin to see the similarities and differences in the troubles being faced by institutions of higher learning throughout the world;
4) learn to examine and articulate your own vision in order to leave a lasting impact on not only the UNI campus, but many parts of the world.
At least four sessions (1-2 hours each) will be arranged during the spring semester to prepare students for study in the United Kingdom. These sessions will include basic information on campus sustainability, highlights and lowlights on UNI’s sustainability report card, things to look for on the campuses we are attending, and the difference between a pound and a euro! These sessions are required and if missed must be made up. They do not count for credit.
You will be expected to keep a journal of your reaction
to the innovations on the campuses that we visit and the cultural experiences that they have had. For your final journal entry, you should reflect on cultural differences that you have experienced during you time in England and Wales. You will also be asked to make a short presentation during our last day on campus in the UK to our host offices and programs. The presentations will highlight some of the ideas that the trip has generated for you to bring back with you to the UNI campus.
Within two weeks from our return to the US, you will be expected to turn in your final paper for the course and attend a Post Program Reflection Meeting.
Accommodation & Meals
Students will stay in hostels and dormitories while in the UK. Most meals will be considered on the student's own.
1. Apply online at www.uni.edu/studyabroad
2. Pay the $65 Application Fee to secure your spot
3. Wait to be contacted by the UNI Study Abroad Center and/or the Course Leader
The cost of this trip will be between $3500-$4500. This includes round-trip airfare, in-program expenses, personal expenses and tuition and fees. More specific costs will be detailed to student participants in the Spring 2012.
Tales From Abroad