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Why Sustainable Summer

  • Why Us

    Choosing a summer program for your teenager is a big decision. Here are five reasons to choose us!

    Sustainable Summer in Banos Ecuador Image

  • Our Amazing Students

    Sustainable Summer is a unique learning experience, unlike any other offered to teenagers today. Our programs combine field-based environmental study with leadership development and sustainability immersion. We are not an adventure travel, community service or foreign language immersion program, although we think students looking for these kinds of experiences could be a good fit for Sustainable Summer, provided they also have a strong interest in environmental sustainability. A diverse, motivated, and intellectually curious group of students is at the heart of every Sustainable Summer program.

    Learn about Sustainable Summer’s Class of 2013.

  • Our Unique Curriculum & Approach

    Sustainability frames our understanding of the travel experience and our expert instructors facilitate workshops and discussions on specific, interconnected issues related to ecology, economics, policy, and culture. We adhere to a structured academic curriculum designed to cultivate the next generation of environmental leaders from our group of remarkable students. See our curriculum page or our individual program pages to learn more about our curricula, which we develop through close cooperation between our directors, local experts, and curriculum advisors.

  • Our Incredible Value

    We offer tuition rates that are among the lowest in the educational travel field, without compromising the quality of the experience. There are a few primary reasons we can do this:

    First, we work directly with our in-country partners rather than going through tour operators and other “middle men” that drive up the cost of services.

    Second, we’re a non-profit, so we manage our expenses to a break-even budget, instead of generating a profit.

    Third, we work hard to run a top quality program so that almost all of your tuition dollars are spent where they matter most: on your summer experience!

    Travel is expensive. There’s no getting around that fact, and we certainly don’t cut any corners. You’ll find that our accommodations, transportation, activities, staff, and other details are of commensurate or higher quality than other educational travel programs for high school students operating in our host countries. We’re committed to a “students first” approach that delivers unparalleled value in the education travel field.

  • Our Safety & Expertise

    We expect that every trip will run smoothly and without incident, but we train and prepare for the unexpected. All Sustainable Summer programs feature experienced staff using established risk management best practices to guide every decision. All trip leaders have CPR and Wilderness First Aid training, and at least one leader possesses advanced medical training. We conduct rigorous training with all trip leaders and establish clear protocols to mitigate risk and effectively mobilize resources in the event of an emergency. Please visit our safety page for a more detailed explanation of our safety protocols.

  • Our Students First Approach

    There are 2-3 trip leaders and 12-18 students on each Sustainable Summer program. Small group size and personalized attention from committed, professional educators results in the best learning outcomes for students. As a non-profit, our mission and by-laws put students first – always! Our mission is to cultivate the next generation of environmental leaders and we offer a scholarship program to support motivated students requiring financial assistance.