Study Abroad Programs for ATOC Majors

Studying abroad is often one of the most beneficial student experiences in college. The opportunity to freely study and learn about a new culture may be a unique opportunity in a student's life before they embark on a career after graduation. When immersed in a new culture and education system for an extended period, students gain insights into different ways of living and into their own ways of thinking. Employers and graduate school admissions boards look highly on students with these experiences since they have demonstrated independence, diversity, and intellectual curiosity. Education is the focal point of any study abroad trip, thus choosing the right school or program for you should be the most important factor in your decision process. 


Photo credit: Michelle Maclennan, ATOC/MATH major 2019. Program: SIT Iceland

Study Abroad Links 

Recommended Programs for ATOC Majors

Please note that program costs listed here have been taken from the specific program websites and may differ from CU’s program costs. Students studying abroad pay their program costs through CU, and may receive financial aid and scholarships. Organized programs such as the School for International Training (SIT) and the School for Field Studies (SFS) often have higher costs than those associated with enrollment in a foreign university.

SIT Iceland & Greenland: Climate Change & the Arctic

  • Program website
  • Term: Spring or Fall
  • Credits: 16
    • 3 credits- Climate Modeling and Carbon Management
    • 3 credits- The Arctic: Changing Ecosystems and Resilience
    • 4 credits- Research Methods and Ethics in the Arctic
    • 6 credits- Research Project in Arctic Climate Protection
  • Approximate cost: $25,000
  • Areas of Study
    • Arctic climate, landforms, and ecosystems
    • Climate change impacts and adaptations for animal, plant, and human Arctic communities 
    • Climate modeling and trends
    • Renewable energy systems
    • Carbon management
    • Indigenous knowledge of changes in climate
    • Communicating climate change and science
    • Scientific methods, data collection, and ethics of climate research
  • Regional and Educational Highlights
    • Explore glaciers, volcanoes, fjords, geothermal fields, and waterfalls
    • Destinations in Iceland: Isafjordur, Reykjavik, Akureyri, and the Highlands
    • Homestay with an Icelandic family in Isafjordur
    • The chance to develop your own climate model
    • See the aurora borealis, hike in the fjords, or ride Icelandic horses

Arcadia Scotland: University of Edinburgh

  • Program website
  • Term: Spring, Fall, or Academic Year
    • Semester start and end dates match up well with CU
  • Credits: 15
    • Typically three 5-credit courses of your choice
  • Approximate cost: See program cost calculator to adjust for your specific terms and CU residency status
    • Generally affordable compared to other study abroad options
  • Areas of Study
  • Regional and Education Highlights
    • Edinburgh is an energetic and diverse city, with lots of events and historical buildings to explore
    • The university is highly-ranked and offers excellent classes
    • The campus is large and has many facilities to support student learning and involvement (an enormous library on the main campus, a student union)
    • Most courses are taught in English, and the locals speak English as well (which may make the cultural adjustment easier for some students)
    • Edinburgh is well-connected to the rest of the UK through bus, train, and plane transportation

EAE Free University of Berlin

  • Program website
  • Term: Spring (mid-April to mid-July) or Academic Year (mid-October to mid-July with March/April break)
    • Fall only (mid-October to mid-February) is not currently an option for CU students
  • A 6-week intensive German language course may be required for some students prior to the start of the program
    • Offered September to mid-October (fall) or March to mid-April (spring)
  • Credits: Scales with number of courses you take
    • 1 credit at FUB corresponds with 0.5 upper-division credits at CU
  • Cost: See program cost calculator to adjust for your specific terms and CU residency status
    • Generally affordable compared to other study abroad options
  • Areas of Study
    • The Free University of Berlin offers a large and diverse set of course options for students 
  • Regional and Educational Highlights
    • Berlin has a great arts and music scene, nightlife, history
    • Many international students
    • Numerous course and CU transfer credit options

SIT Panama: Panama City Marine Ecology & Blue Carbon Conservation in Pacific & Caribbean

  • Program website
  • Term: Summer
    • May 25-July 4 (6 weeks)
  • Credits: 6
    • Two 3-credit courses
  • Approximate cost: $ 8,800
  • Areas of Study
    • Marine organism diversity across marine and coastal ecosystems
    • Wetland, mangrove, seagrass, and coral reef interdependence and diversity
    • The emerging field of blue carbon and its role in the context of climate change
    • Role of wetland, mangrove, coral reef, and seagrass ecosystems in the carbon process

SFS Turks & Caicos: South Caicos Applied Marine Research Techniques

  • Program website
  • Term: Summer
    • June 3-July 3 (1 month)
  • Credits: 4 total
    • 1 course worth 4 credits (taught 6 days/week)
  • Approximate cost: $6,350
  • Areas of study
    • Marine ecology and conservation
    • Marine protected areas assessment
    • Natural resource management strategies
    • Sustainable tourism and fisheries practices
  • Highlights
    • Classes and field lectures on coastal ecosystem biology and ecology, visits to local sites
    • Lectures on Marine Protected Areas
    • Stock-assessment field exercise
    • Site visits
    • Optional diving certification

SFS Australia: Yungaburra Watersheds of the Wet Tropics

  • Program website
  • Term: Summer
    • July 8-August 7 (2019)
  • Credits: 4
    • One 4-credit course, taught 6 days/week
    • See for details
  • Total cost: $5,975
    • (According to program website)
  • Areas of study
    • Watershed ecology
    • Rainforest, coastal, and marine management
    • Ecosystem connections between the rainforest and reef
  • Highlights
    • Excursions to Great Barrier Reef and Daintree National Park
    • Field exercises to assess impacts of rainforest water runoff

Financial Aid Links