Top 6 Study Abroad Locations if You Love Wildlife

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Open Campus Block

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College Study Abroad

There are endless reasons to study abroad. Learning a new language, developing lifelong friendships, immersing yourself in a new culture, and experiencing new foods are just a few of the top reasons why our students love living and learning abroad. 

Another great reason? To see wildlife up close in their natural habitats! If you’re someone who is passionate about animals and the environment, follow along as we list our top environmental and wildlife study abroad locations and programs!  

Wildlife Spot #1: Australia  

Known as the “Land Down Under,” a study abroad program in Australia is an experience like no other. In this fascinating country, you’ll have the opportunity to do just about anything – from exploring Australia’s cosmopolitan cities (like Sydney!) to venturing out into the wild, you’ll never run out of things to do here.  

Australia’s topography is diverse. From arid deserts and lush rainforests to stunning coasts and incredible mountain ranges, you’ll be able to surf the gold coast, snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef (one of the seven natural wonders of the world), and hike to snowcapped peaks in this adventurous country.  

Another fun fact: Most of Australia’s nature and wildlife remain untouched! A few of this beautiful country’s top animals? Kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, echidnas, and platypuses. How neat?! 

sydney surfing abroad

Featured Program: Open Campus Block  

One of our most popular Australian study abroad programs is the Open Campus Block in stunning Sydney.  

With this uniquely flexible program, you’ll be able to tailor your study abroad experience by choosing one, two, or up to three consecutive six-week blocks. You’ll get to pick from a wide range of wildlife and environmental courses and learn from experts in the field. We’ve outlined a few other details about this exciting program:  

  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA  
  • Credit: 6-7 per block semester hours/9-10.5 per Block quarter hours 
  • Course Highlight: Climate Change Science and Policy  
  • Destination Fun Fact: Sydney is considered the business hub of Australia 
  • Featured CIEE Excursion: Hike the beautiful Blue Mountains with experienced and informed guides who will share the environmental and cultural history of the landscape.  

Wildlife Spot #2: Costa Rica 

A small country nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, mountains, and rainforests in the world. There are more than 500,000 species of wildlife throughout the country – during your Costa Rican adventure, look out for sloths, toucans, monkeys, and tree frogs (among many other animals.)  

You might even make some unique acquaintances during your stay. You’ll truly be living in a natural environment along with the country’s native inhabitants – the animals!   

costa rica waterfall

One of our favorite environmental study abroad programs takes place in Monteverde, one of Costa Rica’s major ecotourism destinations. Learn all about the country’s most pressing environmental issues and the many efforts Costa Rica has taken to preserve this natural gem, including the establishment of national parks, ecotourism, organic farming, and more.   

  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Credit: 17 semester hours/25.5 quarter hours 
  • Course Highlight: Tropical Conservation Biology and Policy  
  • Destination Fun Fact: There are more than 200 volcanic formations throughout Costa Rica 
  • Featured CIEE Excursion: Visit the country’s legendary Lowland Rainforest  

Wildlife Spot #3: Botswana  

Located in the southern hemisphere of Africa, Botswana is a unique country home to some of the world’s most incredible national parks, reserves, and wildlife management areas. It also serves as one of Africa’s most popular and exclusive safari destinations.  

Another incredible fact: Botswana has the largest population of elephants in the continent. But you’ll also get to observe firsthand other impressive wildlife like wildebeest, impala, meerkats, migratory birds, and much more.  

gaborone botswana study abroad elephant

In Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, you’ll have the enviable opportunity to delve into wildlife ecology and conservation and really learn about animal behavior and biology from experienced professionals.  

  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Credit: 10 semester hours/15 quarter hours 
  • Destination Fun Fact: More than 70% of Botswana is desert  
  • Featured CIEE Excursion: Travel to Okavango Delta

Wildlife Spot #4: South Africa 

A study abroad trip to South Africa guarantees an adventure! This country is rich in history and culture and places a strong emphasis on the arts and preserving its beautiful natural landscapes. 

With eleven official languages, three country capitals, many national parks, and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a journey to South Africa is one of the most exciting wildlife and environmental study abroad experiences in our portfolio of programs. Here, you may have the chance to see an incredible number of native animals, including lions, leopards, elephants, cheetahs, African penguins, African buffalo, African wild dogs, and giraffes. 

cape town study abroad student group sunset

Featured Program: Arts + Sciences 

Taking place in Cape Town, one of South Africa’s most important ports and capitals, our semester-long Arts + Sciences program covers an array of disciplines in some of Africa’s top-ranked universities that are globally recognized for their development studies, environmental science, engineering, and oceanography studies.  

  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA 
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours/22.5-27 quarter hours 
  • Course Highlight: Directed Independent Research (you’ll get to dive into subject matter you’re passionate about and produce a scholarly research paper) 
  • Destination Fun Fact: South Africa is home to one of the world’s highest bungee jumps, off the Bloukrans Bridge 
  • Featured CIEE Excursion: Explore Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned  

Wildlife Spot #5: Denmark 

Studying abroad in Denmark promises to be an exceptional adventure. Here, you’ll get to experience one of the world’s happiest countries and its unique history, modern culture, and art scene.  

Another interesting aspect of Denmark: They’re incredibly eco-friendly and a global pioneer in sustainability. Once made up of small fishing villages, the country has made strides in wind technologies, large cuts in CO2 emissions, and encouraged biking culture. You’ll learn a lot from Denmark’s green efforts while sightseeing and enjoying the wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for Denmark’s top animals, like gray wolves, deer, European bison, harbor porpoises, brown bears, Eurasian otters, red foxes, and 160 different species of birds. 

denmark study abroad orientation

Featured Program: Open Campus Block  

With our flexible Open Campus Block program in the country’s capital, Copenhagen, you’ll get to dive into Denmark’s sustainability policies and have a ton of fun doing it.   

  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Credit: 6-7 per block semester hours/9-10.5 per block quarter hours 
  • Course Highlight: Climate Change Science and Policy 
  • Destination Fun Fact: Denmark is the birthplace of LEGO® 
  • Featured CIEE Excursion: Explore Malmø, a Danish city where half the population is under 35 

Wildlife Spot #6: Ireland  

Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland’s luscious green landscapes, rich history, and tradition, make this country one of the top study abroad destinations for wildlife and environment lovers. From grey seals to badgers, deer, Irish hares, otters, European pine martens, viviparous lizards, and more than 450 species of birds, Ireland boasts many animals around the country.  

While this may come as a surprise to some, this small but mighty country is proud of its natural wonders and is home to some fascinating sites including Giant’s Causeway, The Burren (a world-famous archaeological site), Gap of Dunloe, Cliffs of Moher, and much more. Ireland is a great location to study the environment abroad.  

cliffs of ireland study abroad students walk

Featured Program: Arts + Sciences  

Ireland is also home to some of the world’s oldest and brightest universities. We partner with many of these institutions and offer incredible Arts + Sciences programs that delve into many disciplines including the country’s sustainability efforts.  

Located in the heart of Ireland, Dublin City University is known for its research and innovation.  

  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA 
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours/22.5-27 quarter hours 
  • Course Highlight: History and Culture of Modern Ireland  
  • Destination Fun Fact: Dublin is home to Ireland’s oldest and first public library  
  • Featured CIEE Excursion: Take a day trip to the Wicklow Mountains of Glendalough 

Study at one of the oldest universities in Europe! Trinity College Dublin was founded in 1592 and is a leader in many studies including arts and humanities, science, and health sciences.  

  • Eligibility: 3.1 Overall GPA 
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours/22.5-27 quarter hours 
  • Course Highlight: Intercultural Communication and Leadership  
  • Destination Fun Fact: Dublin was founded by Vikings centuries ago 
  • Featured CIEE Excursion: Visit the medieval town of Kilkenny  

Study alongside and learn from thousands of international students at University College Dublin.  

  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA 
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours/22.5-27 quarter hours 
  • Course Highlight: Energy Engineering 
  • Destination Fun Fact: You can see the natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights from Ireland 
  • Featured CIEE Excursion: Go on a walking tour in Dublin to discover the city’s many museums, cathedrals, galleries, and historic sites 

Get on Your Way 

There are plenty of study abroad options for those who love wildlife and the environment, and we offer them all over the world. Pursue your passions with CIEE!