Environmental Leadership Programs

Costa Rica, Ecuador & the Galapagos

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The Sustainable Summer Experience

What is an environmental leadership program? Sustainable Summer is a unique learning experience designed to prepare today’s high school students to become tomorrow’s environmental leaders. Our programs combine environmental education in remarkable places – such as an organic farm in Costa Rica or Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest — with leadership development and outdoor adventure. Our mission is to cultivate the next generation of environmental leaders though transformative study abroad experiences and field-based learning.


Our Students

Our programs are specifically designed for students  interested in sustainability. Some students are focused on ecology and science; others on humanitarian or policy issues, but all are future environmental leaders. A diverse, motivated, and intellectually curious group of students is at the heart of every Sustainable Summer program. Learn More

Our Approach

We use sustainability as a framework for understanding the experience of living and traveling in a developing country. Our programs feature expert-led workshops and discussions on environmental issues and a structured academic curriculum built around our five core principles of sustainability immersion, global perspective, leadership development, environmental study, and active learning. Learn More

Our Value

We work hard to run a top quality program as efficiently as possible so that your tuition dollars are spent where they matter most: on your summer experience. We keep our overhead costs low, and as a non-profit organization, we manage our expenses to a break-even budget, instead of generating a profit. Our “student’s first” approach delivers unparalleled value in the education travel field. Learn More


Our Programs

We run study abroad programs that teach high school students about environmental sustainability. We take an interdisciplinary approach that draws on academic concepts from the natural and social sciences to frame the study abroad experience, which enhances students’ understanding of sustainability while developing their capacity as future environmental leaders. For Summer 2014, we will be running programs in Costa Rica, the Amazon, Ecuador’s Coast & Highlands, and the Galapagos.


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April’s Featured Program

Bridge to the Future

An investigation of Costa Rica’s biodiversity and sustainability initiatives. Learn More

Sustainable Summer is an exciting alternative to a service learning or adventure travel program for any high school student interested in environmental issues, ecology, food and agriculture, renewable energy, natural resource management, biodiversity and wildlife conservation, development economics, social justice, and global issues.


Our Story

We founded Sustainable Summer because — after many years working with high school students at some of the most respected organizations in the summer education field — we realized teenagers needed an opportunity to engage the critical issue of sustainability in a direct and substantive way. We think that the experience of living and traveling in a developing country presents the perfect opportunity to do so. Sustainable Summer is not the right program for every student, but if you’re intrigued by what you’ve read so far, we invite you to contact us and hope you’ll consider joining us for a Sustainable Summer experience. Learn More.

- Jeff Sharpe & Anne Fenton, Co-Founders, Sustainable Summer