Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Beijing, China
  • Program Terms: Autumn Quarter
  • Budget Sheets: Autumn Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

Location Beijing, China
Academic Term Autumn Quarter
December 9- December 19, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $1,650
Credits 2 UW credits
Prerequisites View in “Academics” tab
Program Directors Kristi Straus |
Wei Zuo |
Program Manager Katherine Kroeger |
Priority Application Deadline May 15, 2018
Information Sessions TBD. Contact Kristi Straus for more information.
General Study sustainability in the U.S. and China! Collaborate with Chinese students from Tsinghua University on sustainability discussions and writing during Fall quarter, and then spend ten days learning with them in Beijing.

Program Description

This is a unique opportunity to study abroad for ten days in Beijing, China to culminate a course exploring sustainability and personal choices (ENVIR 239. Sustainability: Personal Choices, Broad Impacts). ENVIR 239 is a broad introduction to sustainability, including foci on consumption, waste, food, water, and energy. An exciting component of this course is that students engage in experiential activities, monitoring or changing their sustainability behavior and then reflecting on that change through the dual lenses of academic material and personal experience.

During Fall quarter, we will explore sustainability through lecture, reading, discussion, writing, experiential activities, and collaborative work with Tsinghua University students in Beijing. Sustainability is a vital and timely topic and an interactive sustainability class lends itself well to discussion among students at partner universities on two continents. Students on both continents will examine the role of personal choices in affecting broader change towards social, economic, and environmental sustainability, and then learn from each other through international, online writing and video assignments Our goal is that these online connections will increase global engagement in a deep and meaningful way, as students learn the course material not only through reading, lecture, and discussion with other UW students, but also through dialogue and collaboration with students in a very different part of the world. The culminating trip to Beijing is designed to promote connection and conversation between the Chinese and U.S. students while we experience Beijing through the lens of sustainability. How does this city feed itself, take care of its waste, and provide energy and water to its citizens? How does this compare to Seattle and what does this suggest about the ability of each city, each country, and the globe to continue to meet its needs in future generations? As China and the U.S. are key contributors to planetary unsustainability, understanding the sustainability challenges in these two countries is particularly necessary. If we want our students to understand the global nature of environmental challenges and the way that culture affects our perspectives on those challenges and the array of possible solutions considered, collaborating with Chinese students in a quarter-long sustainability class and then visiting those students in their city seems an ideal approach.

Of course, while in Bejing, we will also learn about Chinese culture and history and take field trips to The Great Wall and The Forbidden City.




Beijing, China


Students and faculty will stay at the Jinchunyuan Hotel on the Tsinghua University Campus



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

We hope to recruit a broad range of undergraduate students interested in exploring personal choices, sustainability, and the differences in sustainability challenges and solutions in the U.S. and China. Undergraduate students from all class years and all majors are invited to join us and a diversity of majors will make this a stronger cohort of students. We are excited about the opportunity to recruit students into this shorter study abroad experience who would otherwise be unable to participate in a study abroad opportunity, potentially increasing access to the incredible learning that can come through study abroad and equity at our University.

There are no language requirements for this course, however, students must have taken ENVIR 239 before or during Autumn 2018.We will select students based on their interest and background in sustainability and their desire and curiosity to study sustainability in China.


2 UW Credits


ENVIR 495: Sustainability Study Abroad (2 Credits)

This course introduces students to the implications of and approaches to sustainability, defined by the World commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) in 1987 as “meeting the needs of society of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” In this course, we will examine environmental challenges and the broader social, cultural and economic systems that gave rise to those problems, and how both the challenges and the potential solutions differ in the U.S. and China. Finally, we will explore how our personal choices can affect broader change towards sustainability by experimenting with and reflecting upon the possibilities for sustainable living in our everyday lives.

Learning goals include:
1) Define and explain the term sustainability and several models of sustainability.
2) Deepen content knowledge around environmental challenges facing our planet and the economic, social, and cultural systems at their root.
3) Articulate the importance, challenges and limits of sustainable consumption and citizenship.
4) Gain insight into the possibilities for sustainable living in our everyday lives and for being a sustainable citizen.
5) Communicate the ways that sustainability challenges differ between the U.S. and China and how personal choices towards sustainability might look very different in these two nations.



Kristi Straus, Program on the Environment, Program Director

Dr. Kristi Straus is a lecturer in the Program on the Environment. She is passionate about the excitement and energy of teaching large classes but really values opportunities to get to know students as individuals, and is excited about this study abroad program for that reason! Kristi is deeply invested in sustainability education and is excited about using technology to increase international collaboration and communication around sustainability issues. She wants her students to understand both current environmental challenges and how to make changes that matter in their own lives and the world around them. In addition to teaching Environmental Studies, Kristi researches science education, aiming to understand how to make middle school science more accessible and engaging. Kristi became deeply motivated by sustainability during her two years serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco.

Wei Zuo, Center for Teaching and Learning, Co-Director

Dr. Wei Zuo is from China, after graduating from Fudan University, she taught English at New Oriental School for two years. She later earned advanced degrees in economics, education, & English at UW. In her current role as an instructional consultant at CTL, she consults with departments, programs, staff, faculty, and TAs across campus. Wei has also taught Chinese at Seattle Pacific University and Fudan University, in her spare time, she is a DJ in Seattle Chinese and runs her own blog about Studying in the US.



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $1,650

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $650)
  • Food (about $5/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: October 13, 2018

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory  pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.