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Your sustainable exchange stay abroad

You are planning to study or work abroad for a while and would like to travel in an eco-friendly way? You plan to make your stay more sustainable? On this website, you will find a few tips that can support you decisions.

Choice of destination

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Are you wavering between different partner universities, International Short Programs, or internships abroad? Choose the closer location! Your travel time, as well as the one of the people who may come to visit you, will be shorter. It is also easier to find environment friendly travel options, such as bus or train.

How to get there eco-friendly

Traveling by train or bus connections is more eco-friendly than using air travel. Car sharing or carpooling can also be a good option. Some routes are not manageable without air transport. In these cases, flights with no or as few stopovers as possible are preferable. A compromise could be to fly to the first stopover and to choose another means of transportation from there on. However, also pay attention to which travel options are safe at your destination.

Top Up Green Travel (Erasmus+ funding)

For exchange semesters and internships abroad: If you travel in an eco-friendly way and receive Erasmus+ funding, you can apply for the Top Up Green Travel. If your entire outward and return journey is made by bus, train, or carpooling, you can extend your Erasmus+ funding period by two travel days and receive an additional €50.

    Things to consider on site

    Here you see a student standing in front of a flower. She is looking for tips on how to act envirnomental-friendly while abroad.

    Below, you will find practical tips for your environment friendly stay abroad:

    • Use public transport. Alternatively, there might also be car-sharing or a bike rental service on site.

    • If you want to explore the country, spend longer time in one place. It is also a way to live more committed: Get to know local people, culture and nature, and see more of the destination than a few tourist sights.

    • Book types of accommodation, that are committed to sustainability. Eco-friendly accommodations have energy-efficient buildings, they recycle, and offer seasonal and local food options, just to name a few examples. For your accommodation, you could buy second-hand items, such as furniture and kitchen utensils, instead of buying new ones. This way, your stay will also be cheaper. An easy way to do so is via connecting with former exchange students who are about to leave the country. 

    • Save water when possible: When showering, remember that even on vacation, you do not need a one-hour shower, and even towels in an accommodation can be used for more than one day.

    • Find out about waste separation locally. Respect nature and dispose of your trash in designated bins.

    • Avoid plastic waste while you are abroad. You can do so by bringing acotton bag or two, a reusable water bottle, and a lunch box from home. Consequently, you do not have to use plastic bags to take your groceries home and you do not have to buy expensive small water bottles. In places where the tap water is drinkable, you don't have to rely on supermarkets if you have a reusable water bottle.

    • Respect the wildlife around you. Do not support people or organizations that offer photos or physical contact with wild animals in captivity for money. For tips on animal-friendly vacations, click here.

    Good to know

    A student is looking at her phone and searching for ways to travel more sustainable.
    • Use the Trainline and Interrail websites to compare train routes, prices and ticket bookings within Europe. Note: Booking fees may apply.

    • With EcoPassenger, you can compare your emissions and other environmental impacts by mode of transport (for travel within Europe).

    • You can find more suggestions on sustainable behavior via the Green Erasmus website.