Sustainability Field School

Now taking applications for Urban-Europe 2019!

May 06 - June 13, 2019


View a tentative itinerary here.

Application deadline: November 30, 2018, 4pm 

The Sustainability Field School takes two forms: the Cascadia Sustainability Field School, and the Urban Europe Field School. The 2019 field school will take place in Urban Europe.

The Urban Europe Sustainability Field School, running from May 6 to June 13, 2019, provides a unique experiential education opportunity for UVic students. The travel-study program focuses on innovation in urban sustainability and, more generally, cultural geography following an exciting itinerary through Western Europe. The field school is open to UVic students who have completed their first year of studies and are able to take 300-level Geography courses or have requested special permission from the field school instructor, Cam Owens ( Non-Geography students are invited to apply. Priority will be given to students with interest in the subject matter – sustainable community development.  

Further questions surrounding the itinerary and academic components should be addressed to Cam ( Questions about the application and administrative details should be addressed to

Sustainability Field School 2018
Sustainability Field School, urban Europe, 2018

Check out the 2018 Urban Europe student video blog to see the types of places and spaces we explore, and what students learned along the way: #UrbanEurope2018 VLOG 



Students must register in all three of the classes below. Each course is worth 1.5 credits for a total of 4.5 credits. Successful applicants will be registered in these courses through special registration by the Department of Geography (students will not register themselves). Applications for individual courses will not be accepted.

Geog 388: Regional Studies: Europe / Regional Studies: Pacific Northwest

Geog 391: Sustainable Communities

Geog 391: Cultural Geography

Application Requirements 

Application deadline: 4:00 pm on November 30th, 2018

Applications must include the following:

  1. Completed application and waiver package (please check that you have signed the waiver)
  2. Current resumé highlighting your various experiences (2 pages maximum)
  3. Statement of travel experience (see information on the following page)
  4. Statement of goals and rationale (see information on the following page)
  5. $500 deposit fee (see the following information)

A $500 deposit fee is due at the time of application. Those not accepted to the field school will have their deposit refunded. The deposit fee can be paid by cheque, money order, counter cheque, or cash ONLY. Cheques can be made payable to the University of Victoria. Payment can be dropped off at the Geography main office, David Turpin Building room B203 (or mailed if it is in cheque form). See the Fees and Financial Support section for information about paying the remainder of the field school fees.To be considered, please submit your application along with the deposit by the deadline, 4:00 pm on November 30th, 2018, using one of the following methods:

  • In person to the Geography main office, room B203 in the David Turpin building,
  • OR by mail to Urban Europe Field School, Department of Geography, PO Box 3060 Stn CSC, Victoria, BC V8W 3R4.

We will continue to accept applications after the deadline only if space is available.

Fees and Financial Support

For field schools, students pay regular UVic tuition (approximately $1900 for 3 courses – this differs for international students) plus field school fees (see below).

Field school fees can be paid by cheque, money order, counter cheque, or cash ONLY. Cheques can be made payable to the University of Victoria. Payment can be dropped off at the Geography main office, David Turpin Building room B203 (or mailed if it is in cheque form).

Field School Fees

  • $500 deposit paid at time of application
  • $3000 paid by March 1st, 2019

 Field school fees include:                           

  • Accommodation for nights between May 13 and June 13, 2019 (NOTE: Itinerary may change)
  • Most breakfasts
  • Activity costs (entry admissions, guide and workshop fees, presenters’ fees, some meals)
  • Ground transportation
  • Local transit
  • Emergency contingency fund

Field school fees do not include:

  • UVic tuition
  • Airfare
  • Most meals
  • Travel insurance (check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered)
  • Other expenses such as entertainment or any personal gear (e.g., hiking shoes) required for the course

Financial Support

There are opportunities for financial support, for example through the Social Sciences Field Course Support Fund. These funds are distributed according to demonstrated financial need and the fit of the field course(s) to your career development. These funds can help pay for the field course fees (but not tuition). Email for more details. You may find other funding opportunities through UVic International.


In 2018, the 7th annual Sustainability Field School took place in urban Europe. Students travelled through Europe from the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution – Manchester, UK - to cities trying to reimagine a new sustainable industrial revolution – Edinburgh, Newcastle, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Copenhagen. En route students met with activists, urban planners, scholars, and other engaged individuals, learning about Europe’s cultural geography and particularly the challenges and opportunities for building economically, socially, and ecologically sustainable and resilient cities. Travel took place by train, bus, ferry, bike, and local transit to various sites of interest. Most days involved structured activities (e.g., guided field trips, hands-on workshops, discussions) with time available for individual exploration and group reflection.

The Cascadia Sustainability Field School traverses the Pacific Northwest region. In 2016, students visited destinations in BC, Washington, and Oregon. En route they met with community activists, urban planners, First Nations, academics, and others, learning about their efforts to promote economic, social, and ecological sustainability or resilience in our region. Travel was by train, bus, bike, and local transit to various sites. Most days involved structured activities (e.g., guided field trips, hands-on activities, workshops, discussions) with some time available for individual exploration and group reflection.