Sustainability Summer Program (Open Enrollment)

5-Week Summer Program - Approaches for the 21st Century


A Key Concept for Germany & the City of Bonn

For almost a decade, sustainability has been a key aspect in German politics and policies, making Germany one of the world-wide leaders in implementing strategies in this field. In 2002, the German government released its national sustainability strategy “Prospects for Germany”, in which it defined sustainable development as a key objective for the country’s future policies. To refine the strategy, monitor its development and ensure its implementation, committees such as “The State Secretary Committee for Sustainable Development”, the “German Council for Sustainable Development” and an international review system were put in place, underlining the significance the topic has on the national level.
Sustainability is an important public issue in Bonn as well. Bonn supports sustainability targets both within its own boundaries, in international networks of cities and in city-to-city partnerships, such as ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, Climate Alliance, World Alliance of Cities against Poverty. Bonn has joined the international network Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB). Together with other cities such as Johannesburg (South Africa), Liverpool (United Kingdom), Bonn is particularly committed to the preservation and protection of biodiversity, nature and the environment. Bonn serves as a center for various sustainability-related conferences on topics from climate to early warning to biological diversity, as well as major international conferences of the United Nations, such as the International Conference for Renewable Energies in 2004, or the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in May 2008.


Germany is one of the leading nations in the field of sustainable approaches to energy use, natural resource management, landscape and architectural design, waste management and environmental protection/conservation.
This program investigates these successful initiatives and how they can be applied in the global context. Topics include studies of the approaches to sustainable design, sustainability as part of national and European policy-making, the roles of various stakeholders (industries, parties etc) in promoting sustainability.
Aside from classroom instruction, students engage in a variety of field trips that illustrate sustainabilty in various contexts, and have the opportunity for discussion and reflection in meetings with local NGO representatives, policy makers and experts from the field.


Who is eligible?

Undergraduate Students from US colleges and universities in junior or senior standing from all majors, and in particular a major related to environmental studies, landscape architecture, architecture, urban planning.

What are the prerequisites?

  • GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • good academic standing at the home institution

What courses are offered?

Field Studies in Sustainable Design (3 credits)
Approaches to sustainable design in international environments; emphasis on the tools, methods and techniques for sustainable designs.
Sustainable Communities (3 credits)
Focuses on sustainable approaches to energy production and conservation, environmental protection, waste and natural resources management with applications in public policy/design.
Course descriptions available upon request.

Are there course-integrated study tours and field trips?

  • 6-day Berlin Study Tour
  • Berlin-Adlershof: sustainable architecture & energy management; green roof; landscape park
  • Self-sustaining community “UFA Fabrik”
  • Urban Walking Tour “Sustainable Development”
  • Potsdamer Platz & Storm Water Management
  • Sanssouci Palace and gardens
  • City tour; various museums; Sachsenhausen Memorial

Course-Integrated regional Tours:

  • Visit of energy-efficient buildings in Bonn (DHL/ Post Tower)
  • Trips to mining region; Emscher Park
  • composting/recycling facilities
  • Tours of local rail yard; alotment gardens; green roof tour
  • Solar power plant /Solar production site
  • Meetings with NGOs working in the field of sustainability

Who is teaching the courses?

AIB Faculty: Professionals from the field of Sustainability with academic teaching experience in an international context.

How are students housed?

Students stay in a furnished room in one of the carefully selected and screened AIB host families
Option A: Traditional Homestay, incl. 2 meals/day
Option B: Independent Homestay with Food Stipend
2. AIB Dormitory
Common kitchen. Food stipend, Not catered

How are credits transferred?

After completion of the program, AIB issues a final grade report for each student as the official record of the student’s results obtained in the courses, which the US home univesity accepts for direct credit transfer.
AIB applies the US-American system of letter grades (A-F) on a 4.0 scale.

How do students apply?

By submitting an application and the required supporting paperwork to the AIB:

  • AIB application form, including personal essay
  • AIB accommodation form
  • Two letters of recommendation by instructors
  • College/university transcript (student copy accepted)
  • $500,- non-refundable deposit (through pay pal or by check)

What is the application deadline?

March 15

What is included in the Program?

  • Tuition fee for 6 credits
  • Pre-departure information materials
  • Housing in host family/dormitory
  • Two meals per day in host family; food stipend in independent homestay/dormitory
  • City of Bonn public transportation pass
  • Course-integrated study tours
  • Use of AIB facilities
  • AIB grade report
  • Cultural and social events organized by AIB
  • Program administration and services
  • 24-hour emergency support

What is not included in the Program?

  • Airfare
  • Passport Fees
  • Personal expenses


For any other program-related questions please feel free to contact your AIB program coordinator:

VCard Ture Petersenn Program Director, M.A.

Main Line Main Line: +49 (0) 228 - 33 88 39 - 10
Direct Line Direct Line: +49 (0) 228 - 33 88 39 - 12
Fax Fax: +49 (0) 228 - 242 02 37




aib-logo Copyright 2014 AIB gGmbH
Disclaimer / Legal Notice