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Your sustainable exchange stay abroad

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Are you preparing for a period of studying or working abroad and aiming to travel in an eco-friendly manner? Do you have plans to make your stay more sustainable? This website offers a range of tips to assist you in making environmentally conscious decisions.

Choice of destination

Here you see a student with his backpack standing in front of some bushes.

Are you considering different partner universities, International Short Programs, or internships abroad? Opt for a closer location! Choosing proximity reduces both your travel time and that of potential visitors. Additionally, it facilitates the use of environmentally friendly travel options, such as buses or trains

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 such cases, flights with no or as few stopovers as possible are preferable. A compromise could involve flying to the first stopover and then choosing another means of transportation from there onward. However, also pay attention to the safety of available travel options at your destination.

Green Travel Support (Erasmus+ funding)

For exchange semesters and internships abroad: As a general rule, students travelling less than 500 km should use environmentally friendly means of transport (Green Travel). These include: bus, train, and bike. Find more info on financial support for travel costs:

    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 immerse yourself more fully Get to know local people, culture and nature, and see more of the destination than a few tourist sights.

    • Choose accommodation committed to sustainability. Eco-friendly options include energy-efficient buildings, recycling practices, and offering seasonal and local food. Consider buying second-hand items for your stay, such as furniture and kitchen utensils, instead of new ones. Connecting with former exchange students leaving the country can be an easy way to do this and may also make your stay more cost-effective. 

    • 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/eurail websites to compare train routes, prices and ticket bookings within Europe. Note: Booking fees may apply.

    • Eurail has partnered with the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), offering outgoing Erasmus+ students the opportunity to purchase train tickets at an attractive rate. It's noteworthy that recipients of the Erasmus+ grant are eligible for Green Travel Support on these tickets as well. For further details, please visit this website.

    • 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.