CIS Abroad Blog

CIS Abroad’s Top 6 Green Campuses

One of the first goals of CIS Abroad's Sustainability Committee (read more here), internally and fondly known as Green Flags, was to highlight our international partners’ commitments to sustainability and climate action. We wanted to showcase the amazing work being done around the world to help build and advocate for a sustainable future. 

Our site directors and international partners enthusiastically shared with us information about their campuses’ initiatives. From this information, we have created a NEW feature on our website to find our top six Green Campuses around the world. Below you can find some tidbits on each!

Edinburgh Napier University

What makes it a Green Campus:

Edinburgh Napier has strong commitments to environmental sustainability and has committed to Net Zero Carbon by 2030. Their new Environmental Sustainability Strategy is made up of three pillars, Academic and Research commitments, Net Zero Carbon 2030, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Students and staff are actively involved in bringing about change at the university, facilitating discussions and progressing the initiatives. Some specific initiatives include cycling programs, a waste audit and reusing and refurbishing initiatives, a permaculture project, and utilizing 100% renewable energy for electricity. 

Want to learn more about Edinburgh Napier?

Edinburgh Napier University is one of the largest universities in Scotland and was recently rated one of the top two “new” universities in the UK. This modern university is grounded in tradition, as evidenced by the grand 16th-century architecture that merges with cutting-edge facilities, which is fitting for a university that is committed to innovation and takes an enterprising approach to education. The university’s origins as a technical college have given it a foundation in applied learning, deep relationships with industry, and responsiveness to the job market. It offers a diverse range of courses in business, computing and creative industries, engineering, health, and life and social sciences. All of these courses will be available to you. The community is as diverse as the course offerings; over 30 percent of the University’s more than 15,000 students are international. You’ll meet people from all over the globe as well as local Scottish students. Enjoy the vibrant campus life with numerous sports, clubs, and volunteer opportunities.

Programs at Edinburgh Napier:

Semester in Edinburgh - Edinburgh Napier University

Mahidol University International College

What makes it a Green Campus:

Mahidol University is using the UN Sustainable Development Goals to guide their initiatives in research, outreach, and stewardship. In 2015 the university adopted a Resource Conservation policy in an effort to continually improve sustainable practices and has won multiple awards in the last few years. These include the Green Office Award in 2016 and 2020, the Thailand Energy Award in Energy Conservation in Building Control in 2016, and the ASEAN Energy Award in 2019. Primary initiatives are in low-carbon usage and efficient use of natural resources in infrastructure and management, waste management and reduction, and sustainable procurement practices. 

Want to learn more about Mahidol University International College?

Studying in Bangkok will give you an authentic and insightful perspective into the culture, history, and politics of Thailand and Southeast Asia. Mahidol University was founded by former king Chulalongkorn in 1888 as the country’s first medical school. Since then, it has evolved into one of the most prestigious universities in Thailand. Mahidol ranks as the #1 university in all of Thailand and as one of the top 50 universities in Asia. Mahidol is recognized for the caliber of its students’ research, the quality of its faculty, and its outstanding achievements in both teaching and international academic collaboration. You won’t be the only study abroad student at Mahidol; in fact, you’ll be studying at Mahidol University International College (MUIC), which hosts international students from 50 countries around the world and holds AACSB accreditation. You can study a wide range of courses in business, health science, science and technology, and social science and humanities. There are 16,500 students in total at Mahidol.

Programs at Mahidol University International College:

Semester in Thailand - Mahidol University
Summer in Asia - Thailand & Cambodia

The University of Limerick

What makes it a Green Campus:

The University of Limerick has a number of reports and documents relating to the complex commitment to sustainability and climate action which is being guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Their systems-wide approach has four pillars: Governance, Economy, Society, and Planet, all working together to create a “sustainable university”.  A few specific initiatives are rewilding campus grounds, measuring energy usage and retrofitting buildings, designing a sustainability-led governance model, and many other commitments to achieve by 2030. 

Want to learn more about the University of Limerick?

Founded in 1972, the Sunday Times named the University of Limerick the University of the Year in 2015. The University of Limerick’s (UL) reputation has skyrocketed as a top university. In Ireland and around the world, students are impressed by UL’s innovative courses and high academic standards. Although a young university, the energetic, enterprising UL has a proud record of excellence in research and scholarship. It’s also one of the most diverse universities in Ireland, attracting students from more than 95 countries. Over 13,000 students enjoy the 600-acre park that runs through campus, which is situated on a 600-acre park. The University of Limerick is home to collections of fine Irish art, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. Students will also enjoy  outstanding fitness facilities, with weight rooms, an indoor track and basketball arena, and an Olympic-size swimming pool. With over 70 clubs, societies, and volunteer opportunities, students will have no shortage of things to do and explore. UL is also AACSB accredited for business. 

Programs at University of Limerick:

Semester in Limerick - University of Limerick
Summer in Limerick

The University of Stirling

What makes it a Green Campus:

The University of Stirling has committed to achieving net-zero by 2040 and has a current Sustainability Plan for 2022 - 2028. The university has signed onto or committed to multiple regional, national, and local initiatives including Race to Zero, Sustainable Growth Agreement with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the UN Sustainable Development Goals Accord, and Forth Valley for Net Zero which commits the university to share best practices to achieve regional net zero status. The primary themes in the Sustainability Plan are Carbon (Energy) Management, Sustainable Waste and Recycling, Finance and Sustainable Procurement, People, Green Travel, and Partnerships, Sustainability in Teaching, Learning, and Research, Climate Adaptation and Biodiversity. There is much more to read about here!

Want to learn more about the University of Stirling?

Founded in 1967, the University of Stirling ranks 1st in Scotland for good teachers, quality lecturers, performance feedback, and sports facilities. Located just outside the town of Stirling, the University of Stirling  is often described as one of the most beautiful campuses in Europe. In fact, it was recently ranked 1st in Scotland and the UK for best campus environment. Students will quickly understand why Stirling has received this rank as they explore the 360-acre estate of the 18th-century Airthrey Castle. The original castle and a large, man-made loch are at the center of campus, which is surrounded by the Ochil Hills. While studying at Stirling, students will choose from a wide array of courses to fit their academic goals. It’s also easy to get involved on campus by joining some of the many social activities, clubs, and sports teams. More than 11,000 students from 80 different countries study on this innovative, technologically advanced campus. Students will notice quality teaching in an outstanding academic environment. The University is renowned for their research, and it aspires to remain one of the top institutions in the UK.

Programs at University of Stirling:

Semester in Stirling - University of Stirling
Summer in Scotland

University of Newcastle

What makes it a Green Campus:

The University of Newcastle’s Environmental Sustainability Plan 2019-2025 is guided by the UN Sustainability Goals and lays out scalable initiatives that affect multiple areas of the university. Their website shows a comprehensive look at the universit’s sustainable goals and ongoing initiatives include 100% renewable energy as of 2020, an ongoing and extensive solar installation project, electric vehicle charging stations, multiple water usage efficiency projects, composting between 40-60% of general waste, and committing to being plastic free by 2025. 

Want to learn more about the University of Newcastle?

Since its founding, the University of Newcastle has established itself as a highly-ranked,  world-class institution. The University combines academic prestige with a stunning campus on the central coast of Australia. The main campus, Callaghan, is set on 345 acres of beautiful, natural bushland. The University has gained international recognition for practicing ecologically sustainable principles. Australians regard the University as one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. The University of Newcastle offers a selection of courses in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math), business, social sciences, architecture and design, natural sciences, and indigenous studies. The business school holds AACSB accreditation. The campus at the University of Newcastle includes state-of-the-art buildings and other facilities. Students will enjoy a full gym, an indoor heated pool, aerobic studios, and the second highest climbing wall in Australia. Newcastle’s student population is just under 27,000 and includes some 6,000 international students from 80-plus countries. Students will be able to easily integrate into campus life by joining any of the 100 campus-based sport or social clubs.

Programs at University of Newcastle:

Semester in Newcastle - University of Newcastle
Summer in Australia - University of Newcastle

Universidad Veritas

What makes it a Green Campus:

Universidad Veritas has sustainability embedded in both their mission and vision, which also highlights climate action, conservation, and a circular economy. To amplify and continue this commitment Veritas signed the CANIE Accord in August of 2023. Veritas is well known for the BIOMOL (Molecular Biology Laboratory) where they are committed to conservation and environmental research projects. Since 2016, they have made huge strides in connecting all of their curricular offerings to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Veritas has also hosted the Blue Flags awards in the past, as well as several other conferences centered around sustainable development. Students on this program will have many opportunities to participate in green initiatives and research projects as part of the coursework and extracurricular activities. 

Want to learn more about the Universidad Veritas?

Located minutes from the heart of San José, Universidad Veritas is considered one of the best private universities in all of Central America. With 1,500 Costa Rican students and over 500 students from around the world, you'll benefit from a close-knit but cosmopolitan campus. Universidad Veritas is well known for its art, design, and architecture programs, but the university offers so much more. You can take courses in a range of topics, such as Costa Rican culture, environmental studies, or political science. If you're looking to improve your Spanish language skills, Veritas' Spanish language program is for you. Enjoy small class sizes that give you one-on-one attention, whether you're a beginner or an advanced Spanish speaker. Veritas also offers many cultural, artistic, and athletic activities for students to learn about Costa Rican culture.

Programs at Universidad Veritas:

Semester in Costa Rica - Universidad Veritas
Summer in Costa Rica 
Summer in Costa Rica - Spanish for Health Professionals

Sustainability Studies

Consider participating in one of these programs to continue (or maybe start?!) learning about sustainability. “Sustainability” encompasses a very broad range of topics such as climate change policy, sustainable tourism, ecology and environmental studies, and social and community development. Check out these programs and their course offerings to discover the nuances of “sustainability”!

Programs with Coursework in Sustainability