The GREEN Program

The GREEN Program


The GREEN Program is an award-winning, experiential education program focused on our world’s most pressing issues in sustainable development. We provide 10-day, accredited programs in Iceland, Peru, Nepal and Japan. By using the world as our classroom, our model expertly balances sustainability-focused course work, exclusive industry exposure, and bucket-list adventures. We specialize in providing access to leading industry facilities, from Iceland’s largest Geothermal Facility to Fukushima’s Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Our programs provide hands-on, global experiences at the fraction of the time and cost of traditional study abroad. We challenge our cohorts to solve real-world sustainability challenges in the form of innovative business solutions. Beyond our program experience, we are one of the only program providers to offer leadership development and resume-boosting opportunities after students return home.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I was so grateful I was able to visit a new country with the GREEN program. We not only witnessed the culture and lifestyle, we were also involved. You get to build, fix, etc. with civilians. You learn so much. You see amazing views and learn the stories about them. You learn how different society is over there, and the dynamic of wealth in one city. It's an amazing trip, very educational, and so much fun. When I went, we learned about the water system in Cusco, and how it's struggling. We witnessed various waste flow directly into the river, the Rio Huatanay. We learned how there were ways to help filter the waste, but still not up to par. I got to think about how I was going to help the water filter generators, specifically. Your mentors are quick to launch counter questions to the argument, and in the end you learn so much more.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Honestly it wasn't a huge deal, but I realized I brought too small of a backpack with me on the trip (it was just a sling bag). We were going to places where we'd only bring our camping backpacks, not our entire luggage. I was fortunate to have a friend who happened to bring an extra camping bag and let me borrow it.
Response from The GREEN Program

Thank you so much for this wonderful review Sarah! We are so glad that you found the community engaging aspects of the program valuable, and that you enjoyed all of the adventure/educational components as well!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Travelling to Peru with The GREEN Program exceeded many expectations. In the period of only 10 days, I was able to be immersed in Peruvian culture, try many delicious dishes, be more aware of sustainable practices, gain insight on the environmental and social issues, access exclusive water facilities, adventure through unique landscapes (eg. hike Machu Picchu and Tipon, zip-line through the mountains of Santa Teresa, canoe in amazing scenery) and make true friendships ... the list could go on.
I feel extremely fortunate to be part of TGP and believe it has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I highly recommend taking the opportunity to go abroad with TGP as I will definitely apply the various skills and sustainable mindset I've developed to future jobs and projects.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
At the beginning of my trip I was extremely nervous as I didn't know what to expect. If I did this all over again, I would be more relaxed and confident because TGP takes great care of you.
Response from The GREEN Program

Thank you so much for this review Annette! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed both the adventurous components of the trip, as well as the career accelerating benefits of it! Thanks for being such a great ambassador of our program!

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Yes, I recommend this program

First I would like to say that this trip was an incredible experience and the Green Program is a great way to travel and learn how to make our world a better and greener place. I went Iceland this summer with the green program and I wish I could go back. My favorite moments were we hike on a glacier, swam in a hot river, and went in hydro and geothermal energy energy plants. The trip taught me so much about renewable energy and sustainability and inspired continue on in that field. The trip also allowed me to become great friends with a lot people my age that had the same interests and really want to make a difference. It was a wonderful experience to be able to work with them. If you have the chance to go on a green program trip should should take it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
It goes by quick try as many new things as you can and walk around outside as much as you can it is a beautiful place all around.
Response from The GREEN Program

Hi Owen - thank you so much for taking the time to write this review! You've been an amazing support for us, thank you for representing us on the UNCW Campus!! We would love to have you on another trip some day. Cheers to you!

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Yes, I recommend this program

The ten days that I spent in Iceland were completely incredible! I gained a wealth of knowledge surrounding renewable energy and how we can use renewable energy across the world to create a more sustainable environment. I met the most incredible people who challenged me to think globally. The program coordinators challenged us to have meaningful conversations which really helped to broaden my understanding and knowledge of the way that sustainable energy works. I also loved working on the syndicate programs. They are a group project where you create a sustainable alternative to an existing problem in our world. It was so much fun and I loved feeling that as an individual we can make a difference. I absolutely loved the way that this program integrated learning about sustainable energy resources and having fun stuff to do like hiking and swimming. I cannot recommend this program highly enough, and honestly I am desperate to go back!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate fermented shark, which tasted horrible!! As well as eating sheep cheek which was a very strange mix of jelly and meat (also do not recommend trying).
Response from The GREEN Program

Hi Alice! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review! It's awesome to hear that you enjoyed your capstone project and felt that the guides helped structure a meaningful experience for you! Thank you for being a wonderful GREEN Ambassador. We hope you travel with us again soon!!

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Yes, I recommend this program

I have been speaking Japanese for 10 years now and when I decided to study nuclear engineering, my life's goal has been to work for TEPCO to help clean up the 2011 disaster. So for the past 8 years, I have been dreaming of visiting Fukushima, especially the Daiichi/Daini power plants. This trip fell into my lap about 5/6 weeks before it was supposed to happen and I applied. I was immediately accepted and started crying because my dreams were about to become a reality.

Fast forward to the trip: it was so much better than I had imagined. The cultural activities were almost like participating in a homestay, for most of the trip we stayed in traditional hotels and inns (my second favorite part of the trip). The sustainable events were incredible, especially seeing all of the amazing work being done on improving renewable energies, the testing facility for the clean up robots in Daiichi (JAEA), and the radiation coursework at Fukushima Tech. There are so many awesome things to do on this program and the minute I came back to UMich, I told everyone in my class about it.

What would you improve about this program?
I love how this program fit perfectly into my spring break, but I honestly would have loved to make it longer!
Response from The GREEN Program

Yes Mackenzie - this review is awesome! We are so glad that you chose TGP and that you've become such an influential GREEN Ambassador. It's amazing to hear that you enjoyed all the accommodations, excursions, facility tours, and our model of education. We definitely would love to have you back on another program soon!


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I saw an opportunity to travel to Iceland and thought it would be a great idea. I had never been out of the country and had to deal with numerous friends ranting and raving about their own Study Abroad trips. I decided that if everyone’s doing it, why don’t I jump off the bridge with them and take my shot at Iceland? I had heard it was a gorgeous destination, and this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My program provider (The GREEN Program) provided me with countless amounts of information – emails upon emails of testimonials, links to learn, packing advice, and many other things. The reps I was in contact with were amazing. They replied within five hours to an email I sent answering whatever questions I needed answered (which were a lot because this was my first Study Abroad experience). The only thing that was not provided in the program was the flight. Fortunately, they gave me the information I needed to contact Student Universe and book a flight at ease.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

This might not answer the question necessarily, but be yourself. Thinking back on my experience, I threw caution to the wind and did whatever my heart was telling me to do. You fall into the monotony of everyday studies and conform to a friend group without even realizing it (and this isn’t a bad thing! It is natural!)

Upon starting my first of 10 days in Iceland, I decided to buy and start a blog to document my trip. I had never written before but had always wanted to. To this day, I am still blogging because I enjoy writing, and it was all because I made this decision. Along with this, never try and impress someone or act differently on a trip of this duration. I was able to create over 20 really good friends who actually enjoy me for me because I stayed true to myself throughout the trip.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The average day starts with a pretty good breakfast. After which, you jump on a bus and head 45 minutes to either the University or a power plant. After a little instruction and some knowledge bombs, you either eat a packed lunch you made at breakfast or head to a local food establishment and enjoy some Icelandic cuisine. After that, it’s some adventuring in the mountains, lakes, rivers, etc., and you truly get to experience the beauty that is the land of Fire and Ice. Wrap it up with some dinner and working on your capstone project, and hit the hay to get ready to do it all over again!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear about traveling abroad was the fear of the unknown. Was I going to enjoy it? Was there going to be people there I would get along with? Was I going to get lost at the airport? (Also my Mom’s biggest fear). I think I finally got over all of these when the plane took off from Chicago. It was that feeling you get when you’re in mid-jump into a pool. The ‘welp, nothing I can do now except hold my breath’ feeling.

To be honest, it was the biggest relief. I immediately met some of the people from the program when I landed, and we hit it off instantly. The airport was very easy to navigate; by Day Two, I was angry at myself for ever questioning if I would enjoy my trip to freeking ICELAND!

How have you changed since your trip?

For starters, I was four years into an Electrical Engineering degree, and I was debating changing my major to Renewable Energy. I was so foreign to the concept coming into the program that I never saw a future with myself involved in it. So, I didn’t end up changing my major, but since returning, I have dived into books, speeches, Ted talks, and lectures on renewable energy and have also been accepted into a sustainability project in the city of Chicago. This experience has changed me forever and has changed the way I interact with people as well as with the world.

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