The Environmental Sustainability Program in Bregenz, Austria, has been developed for teachers, educators and persons interested in comparing the environment in which they live with Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
The summer 2013 program marks the 14th year the Environmental program is offered to participants to live and study in Bregenz, the capital of the federal state of Vorarlberg, noted world-wide for its applications of sustainable practices. Participants learn and experience environmental education and sustainability for university credit, as well as professional and personal development.
Bregenz provides the ideal home base for the program because of its strategic location
between Germany and Switzerland. Lake Constance, the summits of the Swiss mountains, and the gentle rolling hills of Southern Germany provide the natural geographic borders for Bregenz. It is a medium-sized town and is small enough to allow students to get to know the town and its people. Bregenz contains shops, churches, the Old City and natural areas, all in an inviting environment that encourages one to learn and explore. Green space has been designed into the city plan, with walking paths through Bregenzer-wald, a wooded area that represents diversity in both plants and wildlife.
The program will last 10 days. While in Bregenz, the Institute will sponsor numerous opportunities to visit important natural, cultural and historical sites in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
The visits and excursions include the Biosphere Park (UNESCO) at Grosses Walsertal, and the core area as well as the production of hydro-power (KOPS II) and the natural areas developed for providing peak electricity for the European Union. In the Biosphere Park, participants can observe the Walser people and their commitment to investing in small communities. The two nights in Silvretta, on the highest peaks of the Austrian Alps, allows participants to see the source of water for the production of energy. Glaciers provide the backdrop to the dam that collects water that is recycled for the production of energy.
Participants are involved in observing and experiencing the values, ethics and responsible human actions it takes to practice sustainability. Interaction with people from all walks of life including government and business people provides an opportunity to learn about sustainable living in a hands-on, minds-on way. What is often said by participants is they lived sustainability and found ways of making this a part of their mindset. We have found many people return with an idea of how they can embrace this in their life, their business, and the education of people in their communities.
Course Offering: (3 credit hours)
ENVE 585 Special Topics in Environmental Education
Credit will be awarded by Western Kentucky University, the KIIS host institution, and will be transferred to a student’s home institution
The program is designed primarily for professionals and graduate student participants. Interested undergraduates should contact Dr. Joe Baust, the program director, before applying. Participants will be enrolled for academic credit or professionals may opt to take the course for professional development, but in both cases, all participants will be required to attend all program activities and events. An orientation for all participants will be held prior to program departure.
Excursions and in-class activities will be in English. However, it would be a good idea to seek out a basic German language book since it is a way of showing a willingness to connect to persons in the countries to be visited. Participants will attend classes at the Studienzentrum, located in the center of the city, which will also act as a place from which findings will be discussed at the conclusion of field trips. Classes will prepare participants for excursions.
July 7 - July 18, 2013 (10 days)
Program Fee: $1,695
Application Fee: $250
Program fee includes:
Group bus transfer from Zurich to Bregenz, Austria¹
Accommodation with breakfast
Most lunches and dinners
Organized excursions in Austria, Germany and Switzerland
Comprehensive medical insurance
Security evacuation protection
Three credit hours
Program fee does not include:
International flights to and from Zurich
Independent weekend travel expenses
A few meals
 For those meeting at the designated time in the Zurich airport.
 If a participant chooses to remain in Bregenz on the free weekend, both room and meals will be provided, however, the Institute does not cover personal expenses for food and lodging when the participant is away from Bregenz.
Participants will need to make necessary flight arrangements to arrive in Zurich during a designated time period, where they will be met at the airport.
KIIS Bregenz Environmental Mandatory Program Orientation - The program director, Dr. Joe Baust will conduct the program orientation. Date and time to be announced. All participants are required to attend the orientation meeting. If you are unable to attend the orientation, a non-attendance orientation fee ($200) will be assessed for an individual orientation.
Most participants will live in private homes, double occupancy, in and around Bregenz. Others may reside in small family-owned pensions. In all cases, breakfast will be provided at home.
Participants should be aware that they will walk a great deal. The classroom building; most places where participants will be living; restaurants and shopping are within walking distance of each other, but participants should expect to walk several miles per day.
Participants will be given the opportunity to travel independently on a free weekend. It is strongly recommended that participants purchase one of the popular guides to Europe (Fodor's is recommended) before departure.