Balancing the Learning Abroad Environmental Impact— A Pledge For A Greener Tomorrow

Posted May 4, 2021

Balancing the Learning Abroad Environmental Impact

A Pledge for a Greener Tomorrow

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Learning abroad offers transformational opportunities that build on students’ global competencies creating cultural capital and influence beyond the individual. It also offers unprecedented ways for students to learn about climate change and investigate firsthand how to counter its effects, but international educators must evaluate the expense these valuable programs are to our environment. As the climate crisis continues to build, the sector will grapple to strike a balance between the benefits and the environmental consequences.

This session will explore the value of international education and climate change and then analyze how institutions can re-shape the traditional learning abroad models by making more sustainable choices in policy development, program delivery, and overall operations. In the first hour, speakers will share their insights and provide practical take-aways that can be enabled at both the individual and institutional level with the opportunity for Q&A. Following the formal session, attendees are invited to stay and join deep dive break out room discussions with the wider group for an additional 30 minutes.

This webinar is part of the “Internationalization of Higher Education in the COVID-19 Era” series jointly organized by the Department of State’s USA Study Abroad branch, the Fulbright Finland Foundation, and the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). These activities support U.S. study abroad and are funded by the U.S. Government through a Study Abroad Engagement Grant from USA Study Abroad within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.


  • Ailsa Lamont, Director and Founder, Pomegranate Global and Senior Fellow, NAFSA
  • Gil Latz, Vice Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs, Ohio State

Moderator & Speaker bios:

John Lucas Ph.D.

John came to ISEP with two decades of experience in higher education and student mobility. He has served as provost of the School for International Training and associate vice president of IES Abroad. John also spent 12 years working in Spain, directing international programs for IES, CIEE and the Institute for Social and International Studies at Portland State University. He has extensive experience working with partner universities and sees partnership as the path to increased student mobility. John has published on language and intercultural communication and is an active member of several international education associations and cultural societies.

He currently serves on the board of the Forum on Education Abroad. John holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in Spanish from Penn State University and a master’s degree in international education from SIT. When not on the road for ISEP, John enjoys hiking and biking. He considers himself an avid foodie and enjoys trying new international cuisines. He speaks Spanish, French, Catalan fluently, and he has studied German and Italian as well. John also serves as ISEP’s Council of Advisor’s Ex-Officio Member.

Ailsa Lamont

After 25 years of professional experience—spanning capacity building, social innovation, and international education—as well as roles as international director and pro vice-chancellor international at three Australian universities, Ailsa Lamont founded Pomegranate Global in 2016 to guide the education sector to take action on climate change.

She has since trained with The Climate Reality Project, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s foundation to catalyse a global solution to the climate crisis. In 2019, Lamont cofounded Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE), a grassroots initiative by international education practitioners who see the need and the opportunity to step up and take greater action on climate.

Gil Latz

Gil Latz is vice provost for global strategies and international affairs and professor of geography, The Ohio State University. This appointment includes serving as President, Ohio State University Global Gateway Network overseeing offices in Shanghai, Mumbai and Sao Paulo.

Latz is broadly interested in the internationalization of higher education in the United States and Asia. His research career has focused on comparative study of regional development and resource management policy in East Asia, North America and Europe. He currently researches the role played by philanthropy and civic leadership in Japan’s modernization process.

Latz holds a BA (1974) from Occidental College, majoring in Religious Studies and English Literature. He earned graduate degrees (MA (1978); PhD (1985) in geography from the University of Chicago. He was a graduate research student at the University of Tokyo as part of his dissertation field work on 20th century agricultural development policy (1980-84). In 2001-02, he was a Fulbright research affiliated scholar at the University of Florence studying the conservation of cultural landscapes.

Latz’s national leadership includes service as: president, Association of International Education Administrators (2015-2017); senior associate for internationalization, American Council on Education (2016- ); and advisory board member, US-Japan Higher Education Engagement Study (2019-21).

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