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Cornwall Area, London, England

Program Description

Virtual Information Session:
Date: October 2nd
Time: 10:20 am 
Log on to Zoom meeting Here! 

Cornwall is a county on England’s rugged southwestern tip. It forms a peninsula encompassing cliffs and crashing waves, fishing villages and prehistoric structures, wild moorland and hundreds of sandy beaches, culminating at the promontory Land’s End. It’s hard not to fall in love with Cornwall. Over the last 50 years or so the National Trust has worked with local communities to protect the natural beauty Cornwall. The National Trust now manage over 40 percent of the Cornish coast and have invested in the preservation of Cornwall’s industrial heritage with purchases of tin mining sites and fishing coves. During our time in Cornwall, we will work with the National Trust to understand how they collaborate with local communities to blend sense of place, story and heritage with environmental and cultural preservation. We will work with The Eden Project, an educational charity, whose mission each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future. Eden, known as the 8th wonder of the world, hosts the largest rain forest biome on Earth, and has risen from remains of a retired clay mining pit. Her dedication to "promoting the understanding and responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources, leading towards a sustainable future for all.”

We will learn about social-environmental partnerships such as social prescribing, gardening programs for grandparents raising grandchildren and for people with disabilities, and for community contributions to the National Wildflower Center. We will learn the story of a family who adopted an Owl Sanctuary and a community that shaped the story of mining through the generations. We will also learn how local organizers are trying to marry the history and heritage of Cornwall with global and local environmental changes. And we’ll discover how they’ve navigated the changes from a heritage of farming, mining and fishing powerhouse to tourist, retail and health centre industries in a sustainable way whilst still retaining Cornish culture, identity, and sense of place.

Program objectives include:

1. Learn about sense of place, nature connectedness, and the historical and cultural influences of people and places have an impact on environmental advocacy and environmental movements.

2. Interact with a variety of NGOs, government organizations, and private organizations in order to learn how they address environmental protection, restoration or reclamation issues and try to influence change.

3. Learn about the message design, psychology of change, and elements of cooperation and collaboration that strengthen efforts to protect the environment and engage citizens in their natural world.

Location Description

Located in the far west of Great Britain on a peninsula tumbling into the vast Atlantic ocean, almost completely surrounded by the sea, a magnificent coastline wraps around Cornwall for almost 300 miles. This incredible natural environment, known as the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is accessed by the spectacular South West Coast Path providing walkers with hundreds of miles of gentle strolls and challenging hikes. We will base ourselves in three primary locations in Cornwall: St. Austell and The Eden Project, Land's End, and Lizard's Point.

While in St. Austell, we will spend several days with the team at Eden Project learning about the history of the transformation from retired clay mining pit to extraordinary tribute to the natural world. Eden's rainforest biome is considered the 8th wonder of the world and will certainly remain in your heart long after we leave. The expansive woodlands and seaside villages tell the story of place. And the nearby Lost Gardens of Heligan and Owl Sanctuary tell the story of how just one person (or one family) can make a huge difference.

After Eden, we'll move to Land's End and experience coastal hikes, the village of Penzance, and the work of the National Trust on the Tin Coast, specifically Levant and Botallack Mines. On a wild Atlantic coast transformed by tin and copper mining, the famed engine houses of Levant and Botallack cling to the foot of the cliffs. Once a busy industrial landscape, it's now part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and the Tin Coast.

Finally, we'll end with several days at Lizard's Point, Britian’s most southerly point, framed for shipwreck’s and the return of the Cornish Chough.


Debbie Sturm | | Graduate Psychology


With beautiful beaches, legendary castles, pretty harbor towns and world heritage sites, there's nowhere quite like Cornwall. We are planning to stay at a series of youth hostels that are unlike any youth hostel you may have in your mind. Picture beautiful cliff side trails, the sight of the ocean, easy access to classic villages, and plenty of nature. That's what you'll find at YHA at the Eden Project, YHA at Land's End, and the YHA at Lizard Point, as well as 1-2 nights near Heathrow Airport outside London at the end of the trip. All have internet access, snack bars, rooms for 2-4 people with their own bathrooms, and access to public transportation and hiking trails.

Students will be allocated a weekly meal stipend and will have access to several small villages nearby. In addition, the YHA locations will have kitchens so you can prepare small meals and snacks if desired. We will have several outings in which the program will pay for meals or snacks for students. These will all be identified in the program calendar so students have an idea when they will need to purchase their own meals. Many affordable places to eat exist and students are encouraged to seek them out and enjoy!

Additional Items to Consider

We will have several opportunities for free time to hike along the coastal path, explore fishing villages, or enjoy time on your own flying across the Eden Project on their zip line. We are hoping to carve out a day in London at the end as well. You'll want to have spending money for these free days and/or for public transportation on those days. We will provide information on cell phone plans and internet availability during our required spring pre-departure meetings.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Application Process

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

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Essay
  • 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


ENVT 225: Environmental Advocacy (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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