New 2022 Course Announced

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to explore planning and policy-making in contemporary Europe. We will meet policy-makers and other stakeholders, examine some of Europe’s most pressing challenges and innovative solutions, and see a variety of cities through the eyes of locals. This three or six credit study abroad program has three components:

  1. Fundamentals of sustainability and environmental policy-making in modern Europe (online prior to trip and at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France);
  2. Addressing Europe’s wicked sustainability challenges and the roles for civil society (Italy, Hungary and the Czech Republic); and
  3. Making urban transport sustainable, with a focus on how European cities promote walking, cycling, and public transport (Germany and Switzerland).

The trip will afford multiple opportunities to explore how the unique histories, urban forms, and contemporary nature of European cities shape human behavior​ and advance and challenge long-term sustainability.

Cities and sites visited include:

  • Prague, Czech Republic – Meet and short tour
  • Ostrava, Czech Republic – Steel mill, regional environmental authority, former mine and mill complex that is now a cultural complex, Roma empowerment organization, tour of urban forms
  • Budapest & Szentendre, Hungary – Tours (including famous baths), politics of the region, refugee support organization, environmental issues in the region
  • Vienna, Austria – Free day/tour
  • Venice, Italy – Explore the city, visit the Biennale, lectures on flood protection infrastructure and managing the ‘flood’ of tourism, boat tour of the lagoon
  • Riva San Vitale – Stay at Virginia Tech’s Steger Center facility in the beautiful Ticino region
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Freiburg, Germany – Get to know this beautiful city’s state-of-the-art cycling, walking and public transport infrastructure with local experts
  • Strasbourg, France – Visit the European parliament


The program fee, which we estimate will be $4,300, covers accommodations; most meals; transportation costs within Europe; tours and site visits that are officially part of the program; CISI travel insurance; and administrative costs.

In addition, students will be charged summer tuition, and are expected to cover their travel to and from Europe and other (individual) expenses. A very rough estimate is:

  • Tuition fees ~ $1,150 to $7,200*
  • Round trip airline ticket ~ $800 to $1,500
  • Passport and visa fees ~ $0 to $110**
  • Books and supplies ~ $50
  • Virginia Tech application and study abroad fees: $50 each ($100 total)
  • Personal expenses ~ $400***

* Depending on registration for 3 or 6 credits, grad or undergrad and whether or not a VA resident. Subject to Registrar’s Office policies, and updated tuition rates (not yet posted).
** Depending on citizenship and whether or not you already have a valid passport.
*** Depending on individual travel (ourside course), souvenirs, and other items.

Applications will be accepted via the Global Education Office’s system (not yet open): 

The application deadline is expected to be December 1, 2021 if you wish to apply for financial aid and 31 January 2022 otherwise, but these dates are tentative.

Education abroad financial aid may be available for Virginia Tech students. Contact Virginia Tech’s Global Education Office for more information: The Global Education Office is also a great resource for advice.

For more information, please review this program​ info sheet (PDF). Please also feel free to contact the faculty leads:

  • Dr. Todd Schenk, Assistant Professor in VT’S School of Public and International Affairs –
  • Dr. Ralph Bueler, Associate Professor in VT’s School of Public and International Affairs –

Please also see the FAQ/Q&A and Faculty pages. NOTE that this program is pending depending on how the situation evolves with the Coronavirus.