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SIT Study Abroad Portugal: Sustainability and Environmental Justice
Lisbon, Portugal (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Fall,
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
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Fact Sheet:
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Minimum GPA: 2.5 Fields of Studies: Economics, Environmental Studies, International Studies, Law
Language of Instruction: English Experiential Learning: ITR Field Study, URI Affiliated Program
Class Standing: 2. Sophomore, 3. Junior, 4. Senior
Program Description:
Program Description:

SIT Study Abroad Portugal: Sustainability and Environmental Justice

Study abroad program with SIT

Examine sustainable economic growth in Portugal and Spain and analyze implications of environmental injustice on health and resource distribution in Southern Europe.

Program Highlights

  • Live in Lisbon, the European Green Capital for 2020.
  • Travel to Porto, Coimbra, and Azores in Portugal and the Extremadura region in Spain.
  • Study Portuguese, the sixth most widely spoken language in the world.
  • Discover how Portugal’s approach to sustainability and social equity challenges the core principles of economic orthodoxy.
  • Learn how power, race, class, or location impact environmental in/justice and people's access to resources including green spaces, forests, clean air, water, health, education, or other resources.
  • Conduct field research for your Independent Study Project in Portugal and/or southern Spain.
  • Learn about Portugal’s national fire plan (Plano Nacional de Defesa da Floresta Contra Incêndios) for forest fire management and wildfire prevention.

Major Topics of Study

  • Comparative approaches to sustainability and bioeconomy in southern Europe
  • Blue ocean and Mediterranean bioeconomy
  • Sustainability and renewable energy
  • Environmental governance and sustainability
  • Sustainable tourism and agribusiness
  • “The right to nature” and neoliberalism
  • Environmental conflicts and advocacy in southern Europe
  • Urban regeneration in southern European cities
  • Environmental justice, sustainability, and migration
  • Environmental in/justice and health equity

Program Structure

There is no "typical day" on an SIT program. Activities may take place on any day of the week and at any time of day to be in accordance with according to local norms and to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities. Thus, the schedule and structure of the program are likely very different from what students are used to on their home campuses. The semester progresses in phases:

  • The program begins with a thorough orientation.
  • During the first two and a half months of the program, students are engaged in foundational coursework, including:
    • thematic seminars, including education excursions,
    • language instruction focused on improving practical communication skills, and
    • a field research methods and ethics course that prepares students to conduct independent research.
  • For the last month of the program, students conduct an Independent Study Project (ISP) or complete an internship in an approved area of their choosing. 
  • Finally, students present their project, participate in program evaluations, and prepare to return home.

What Makes SIT Unique

  • SIT Study Abroad offers a field-based, experiential approach to learning.
  • Each program has a small group of students (typically 10–35). 
  • On an SIT program, students gain high levels of access to many different stakeholders and experts relevant to the issues the program is examining. 
  • While some learning will be conducted at the SIT program center, extensive learning is done outside the classroom — in host communities, field stations, NGO headquarters, ecological sites, health clinics, and art studios.
  • Many students go on to use their Independent Study Projects as a basis for senior theses on their home campuses. Others use their undergraduate research and overall study abroad experience to successfully apply for fellowships such as Fulbrights and Watsons.

Money Matters

Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.  

SIT tuition and room and board fees include the following:

  • All educational costs, including educational excursions
  • All accommodations and meals for the full program duration
  • Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions
  • Health and accident insurance


  • SIT awards nearly $1.8 million in scholarships and grants annually.
  • All scholarships and grants are need-based.
  • Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.  
  • The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program. 
  • Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants and federal and state aid programs can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.

Contact SIT Study Abroad

Dates / Deadlines: - unrelated header
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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