From March 2-4, EARTH University held the first Conference on Sustainability and International education (CSIE), bringing together study abroad and sustainability professionals to explore the importance, relevance and impact of international study programs on strengthening student’s understanding of sustainability. The event was organized by the University’s International Academic Relations Office (RAI).
More than 25 professionals from different fields related to sustainability and international education attended CSIE 2016, which featured discussion, debate and sharing of best practices, in addition to exploring ways to create international learning experiences that influence and uphold values and practices of sustainability.
Among the participants was Abena Ojetayo, Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute at Florida A&M University, who mentioned her belief that, “Sustainability is the most important challenge facing mankind today. The young generations are inheriting all that the old generations are leaving them, and that is not necessarily a good thing.” She added that one of the main challenges we face is to educate young people who have the ability to do good things for the world and provide the tools to achieve them.
José Alfaro, Director of Global Engagement at the University of Michigan, asserted that this is a very advantageous moment to have this conference because of the rise in popularity of “voluntourism” (volunteerism and tourism), and that sustainability needs to become a part of this trend now. “I think EARTH is being a good example to other universities by showing that sustainability must be included as a pillar of international education.”
International short-term courses organized by EARTH’s International Academic Relations office are based on a partnership model that promotes collaboration between universities, educators, and students with the common goal of providing all with transformative experiences that broaden their horizons and increase their awareness of economic, ecological and social sustainability.
For more information about study abroad programs at EARTH, visit www.earth.ac.cr/rai
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