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Washington Semester Program - Sustainable Development

Students visiting the World Bank

The Sustainable Development program is a unique course of study that combines an engaging seminar, visits with numerous activists and leaders, study of strategies to achieve change, and valuable interactions among students. Together, we learn about key actors in the global community, study specific issues such as education, inequality, the Sustainable Development Goals, social entrepreneurship and public/private partnerships, conservation and climate change.

Students have a unique opportunity to meet and interact with experts, decision-makers, and others who work in the fields of development and environmental sustainability. Our time in Washington, D.C. includes visiting such well known organizations as the World Bank, USAID, and the Smithsonian, while we also regularly meet and interact personally with activists working on such topics as: community organizing, homelessness, DC urban change, education in the developing world, wildlife preservation, coral reefs, women's rights, energy policy, and climate change innovation. We utilize diverse D.C. resources to explore environment and development issues locally, in national politics, and globally.

This program will help you to expand your understanding of the wide range of sustainable development issues, to build your professional skills and experiences, and enable you to explore exciting new opportunities. We hope you will join us!

Sustainable Development students are encouraged to consider enrolling in a travel elective course. Global Human Rights, a three-credit class will travel to Geneva, the Hague, and Brussels in mid-March and will enable you to meet with practitioners with international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the European Union to learn about current human rights issues. Culture and Peacemaking in Eurasia and the Middle East will travel to Turkey and Jordan in mid-March where you can meet with experts involved in peacemaking in the region, as well as visit key cultural and historical sites. For more information visit the travel electives page.

Past Speakers Include...

  • Michael Curtin, DC Central Kitchen Manager
  • Angelica Silvero, Communications Director, World Bank
  • Chad Bissonnette, Founder, Roots of Development
  • Steve Culbertson, CEO of Youth Service America
  • Nicole Tanner, Deputy Global Coordinator, Water Round Table, World Wildlife Fund
  • Mike Henley, Coral Reef Scientist, Smithsonian Zoo

Previous Internship Sites

  • Amazon Conservation Association
  • Earth Aid
  • DC Central Kitchen
  • Save the Children
  • SOS Villages
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Friendship Place