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Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Enschede, Hamburg, The Netherlands, Germany

Program Description

On this six-credit, four-week study abroad experience, you will learn deeply about the topic of “circular economy,” which refers to the redesign of economic, policy, and technological systems to create a sustainable future for all of us. With local experts in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Hamburg, you will practice and use proven and marketable innovation methods to develop circular economy projects that reduce solid waste, decrease litter, and mitigate climate impacts. No prior experience needed: just your creativity and willingness to think and make outside the box. 


  • PPA 483: Special Topics in Public Management (Alexander)
  • WRTC 328: Innovation Methods for Responsible Futures (McCarthy)
  • Crosslisted courses in IDLS, COB, and ISAT.


Week 1: Starting on Monday, May 15, we will gather online from home to learn about circular economy and our many collaborators. Arrive in Amsterdam on Monday, May 22.

Week 2: Amsterdam & Rotterdam. Get to know these world-famous cities and collaborate with scholars and designers from prestigious universities who specialize in circular economy projects.

Week 3: University of Twente and Hamburg. Working in the U of Twente’s world-famous Design Lab, where you will learn how to design responsible futures. Then we will travel to Hamburg, Germany via train to visit with our collaborators there and learn about their circular economy work

Week 4: Design sprint at the Design Lab at U of Twente. Use the research, knowledge and skills you have built over the previous three weeks to design compelling circular economy projects. Present your work to our collaborators from all the cities we visited. Return to Amsterdam for our homeward journey on June 11.

Location Description

Four locations, two courses, one amazing experience.

Immerse yourself in some of Europe’s most famous cities. Collaborate with designers, scientists, students, and government officials to address climate change. Learn and apply the systems thinking and creative design skills prized by public, private, and nonprofit sector employers. Be the change you know you can be.

Locations: Amsterdam – Rotterdam – University of Twente, Enschede - Hamburg


Seán McCarthy | | WRTC

Rob Alexander || Political Science, Environmental Studies


Accommodations will be provided for students through furnished apartments and houses with internet access and laundry facilities.

Students will be allocated a weekly meal stipend that will cover approximately 5-7 meals per week.

Additional Items to Consider

Students will require cell phones with International plans or unlocked phones that can accommodate SIM cards in-country.

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Covid vacinations and proof are required. 

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

All academic levels and majors welcome

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Resume
  • Academic References
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


WRTC 328 : Innovation Methods for Responsible Futures(3 credits)

PPA 483: Special Topics in Public Management (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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