The GREEN Program

The GREEN Program

About

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, 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.

Founded
2009
Headquarters

30 South 15th Street
Floor 15
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Owen
10/10
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.
Default avatar
Alice
10/10
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).
Default avatar
Mackenzie
10/10
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!
Default avatar
Jake
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My school offers many different study abroad programs. The problem is that the time they require me to take off was too much. When I was introduced to the GREEN program I was impressed with how much they did in such a small amount of time. It fit perfectly with my summer schedule so I could still take summer classes afterwards. Some may be nervous if the program rushes through everything because of how much is done in a small amount of time. I assure you this is not the case. The program wanted us to come home with a more profound understanding of renewable energy. The connections that are formed through this program is worth the price alone. If I were to start working on my own project the people I met on this trip would be my go to's for building a solid team. I could not have been more lucky to have come across this program.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Fermented shark (a.k.a Hákarl). Would not recommend.
Default avatar
Samantha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I honestly can't put into words how amazing this study abroad was. From learning about the 2011 disaster to being able to see the recovery efforts that the local communities have made first hand, this was an experience of a lifetime. Our group met so many amazing people working on all the different sides of Fukushima's recovery; including those at JAEA, the professors at the Fukushima College, and the locals working to improve the state of their communities. We were able to take a bus tour of the exclusion zone, see the clean-up efforts to collect contaminated top-soil, and we even got a tour of the Daini Nuclear Power-plant. I highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to go abroad, regardless of background or major. TGP truly offers a life-changing experience with their Japan program.

What would you improve about this program?
Absolutely nothing. This was the best experience I've ever had.

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Alumni Interviews

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

CJ Casey

CJ is a 5th year student at UIC currently completing an Electrical Engineering and Physics dual degree. He enjoys living life to the fullest and trying to make a difference in the world.

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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