Why Sustainable Summer

Choosing a summer program is a big decision. Here are five reasons to choose us!
Our Students

Our Amazing Students

Sustainable Summer students are far from typical
A diverse, motivated, and intellectually curious group of students is at the heart of every Sustainable Summer program. Our participants are overwhelmingly active and engaged with issues of sustainability in their communities and schools, or at the very least, curious to explore the subject in a hands-on way during the summer. They are on their school’s “green team” or in the environmental club; they have started recycling and composting programs at their school; they are taking (or have taken) AP Environmental Science; they are gardening at home or involved in a community organic farm; they are hikers and bikers and backpackers; they are interested in studying environmental engineering or food policy or conservation biology in college; they are the voice of their generation on the most important issue of the day; they are future environmental leaders.
Our Approach

Our Unique Curriculum & Approach

Sustainable Summer programs are designed according to four guiding principles: Sustainability Immersion, Leadership Development, Active Learning, and Environmental Study
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 Value

Our Incredible Value

How do your tuition dollars get spent?

We offer exceptional value in the pre-college and study abroad fields, with 85% of tuition going to fund program expenses (2014 figures).

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. How do we do it? We spend more of your tuition dollars on programming and less on marketing and administrative costs. Here are three ways we deliver value to our families:

First, we primarily work directly with our in-country partners rather than going through tour aggregators 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 owner profit.

Third, we invest in technology and operational efficiency that keep our overhead costs down while working hard to run a top quality program so that most of your tuition dollars are spent where they matter most: on your summer experience!

Our Safety & Expertise

Our Safety & Expertise

All Sustainable Summer programs feature experienced staff using established risk management best practices to guide every decision
We expect that every trip will run smoothly and without incident, but we train and prepare for the unexpected. 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

Our Students First Approach

As a non-profit, our mission and by-laws put students first – always!
There are 2 trip leaders and 10-14 students on each Sustainable Summer program. Small group size and personalized attention from committed, professional educators results in the best learning outcomes for students. We offer a scholarship program to support motivated students requiring financial assistance.