UW Study Abroad: Exploring Environmental and Social Resilience


Dr. Yen-chu Weng

Program Description

As societies around the world are facing daunting challenges of global environmental change in the 21st century, Taiwan stands out as an exemplary country in East Asia that adapts quickly to changing environments. As a densely populated island nation, Taiwan is full of diversity, both in terms of natural landscapes as well as culture and history, and continues to demonstrate its resilience and adaptive capacity to a changing world. This program aims to explore environmental and social resilience in Taiwan on the following themes: (1) eco-city, (2) food and society, (3) renewable energy and community revitalization, and (4) tourism and aboriginal communities.

Through lessons from local experts, site visits, field trips, and project-based learning, students will gain both content knowledge and a deeper understanding of how local communities work together to address these challenges. One highlight of this program is that students will travel around Taiwan with three main home bases: Taipei (northern Taiwan, the capital city), Changhua (central Taiwan), and Kaohsiung (southern Taiwan) to experience Taiwan’s diverse culture and natural beauty. Students will explore one of the main themes listed above in each location through immersive learning.

Another highlight is that students will collaborate with students from National Taiwan University (NTU), the top-ranked university in Asia. While in Taiwan, students from both campuses will take classes, go on field trips, and collaborate on projects together. The intended final project deliverables are comparative case studies of resilience and adaptation challenges and strategies between Taiwan and Washington State. By the end of this interdisciplinary program, students will learn how science, technology, economy, culture, history, policy, and other factors are intertwined and manifested through the lens of environmental and social resilience.

Academic Content

This program offers two courses with 12 credits:

  • ENVIR 496/JSIS 391 Study Abroad (6 credits) SSc & NSc
  • ENVIR 495 Special Topics: Food and Society (6 credits )SSc & NSc

Find the application page from UW Study Abroad here.

Application deadline: January 31, 2023

Click here for a recording of the November 14, 2022 information session.

Past program website: