Environmental Sustainability Student
Program in Denmark @ Aarhus University

  • Apply today for a student fellowship through this program application portal
    Fellowship Application Deadline: September 1st, 2024


OverviewFaculty Program – 2023 Student CommentsPioneering Reciprocal Exchange ProgramClasses and Academic CreditsResearch ProjectsProfessional DevelopmentCultural ProgramBroader ImpactsStudent Eligibility RequirementsApplication DocumentsTimelineQuestions



The overarching objective of this program is to strengthen the international education and research collaboration between the United States and Denmark in the broad field of Environmental Sustainability. With this focus, this WSU program also aims to contribute to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this context, universities advance the Agenda by educating students with the preparation that will help them to contribute to supporting the Agenda’s goals. Indeed, at WSU and Danish universities, students and professors are dynamically engaged in Agenda related education and research programs.

WSU’s core belief is that the university should engage globally for the future of the planet. This program, accordingly, will support undergraduate students to participate in a pioneering research-&-exchange program in Denmark, at Aarhus University, to become globally educated students for international leadership in Environmental Sustainability. Faculty members will be supported in visits at Aarhus University to collaborate with Danish counterparts; their research collaboration will also be fostered by the joint supervision of the students’ research projects. Participating in this project are WSU’s College of Arts & Sciences and College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resources Sciences, through the School of the Environment, Honors College, and Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.

Students will complete an entire semester in Denmark, but will not have to pay any extra tuition at Aarhus University. As they will reside in Denmark for one semester, these students will have ample opportunities to experience the Danish educational system and understand the Danish culture, thereby fostering the Scan Design Foundation’s mission to deepen relations between the U.S. and Denmark.  In this program students will take classes in Denmark, transfer credits to WSU, and graduate on time. Students will also:

  • perform a well-defined research program at internationally ranked Aarhus University
  • conduct their research some of the most advanced laboratories in Europe
  • receive $6,310 fellowships to complete this program in Denmark.

Sponsored by the Scan Design Foundation, this education and research program in Denmark will involve a total of 6 diverse WSU students, who may apply from any WSU campus. Beginning in the 2024 fall semester, the program will be available during each fall and spring semester for the next two years.

During each fall and spring semester, 3 WSU undergraduate students will study in Denmark and complete environmental sustainability research projects over an entire semester. Continuing to fulfill their tuition plan with WSU for the semester in Denmark, the students will not have to pay any extra tuition at Aarhus. Additionally, each participating student will receive a Scan Design Foundation fellowship totaling $6,310.

The students will be hosted by Aarhus University with English as the working language. The WSU PI of this program is Dr. Joseph Iannelli (VCEA).


2023 Student Comment About a Parallel Scandinavian Program

“This program has literally changed my life. I made amazing friends and have made memories that will last a lifetime. Additionally, the project has given me exposure to a whole new research area. Thank you once again for an amazing semester.”


Pioneering Reciprocal Exchange Program

This program integrates a study-abroad semester with a research initiative. Each year, 3 WSU students will complete a study-abroad semester in Denmark and collaborate on research with 3 Danish students who will then reciprocate an exchange semester at WSU and continue to work with the WSU students met at Aarhus.

As a community of scholars, the integrated cohorts of WSU and Danish students will thus work together for one entire academic year. In Denmark, the Aarhus students will also assist the WSU students with navigating the Danish culture and vice-versa in the U.S. where the WSU students will assist the Danish students with the American culture.  As a result, the students will deepen their acquaintance with one another and thus become their own future professional network at the international level. They will achieve greater understanding of one another’s U.S. and Danish cultures, which will directly support the Scan Design Foundation’s overarching mission of expanding international relations between the U.S. and Denmark.


Classes and Academic Credits

This program incorporates a study-abroad semester. All the participating students will receive academic advisement on the selection of courses to take during the semester overseas. The WSU students will be advised by WSU and Aarhus advisors as well as the PI to ensure that the recommended classes at Aarhus will provide academic credits that not only transfer to WSU, but also apply to the students’ degree requirements for a timely graduation; these Aarhus classes will be taught in English. Before completing their applications, students should meet with their academic advisors and international advisors over in International Programs. Aarhus will issue official transcripts of academic records, which will then allow WSU to apply the Aarhus credits to each student’s academic records in myWSU.


Research Projects

Environmental sustainability research is a field of considerable interest and importance for any sustainable development initiative, including those encompassed by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the two-years of this Scan Design Foundation sponsored program the specific research projects will vary, but the focus will remain on environmental sustainability.


Professional Development

The desired overarching outcomes of this program are substantial contributions to the students’ understanding of the Danish culture and formation as globally engaged Environmental Sustainability professionals for leadership in globalized societies.  Students will be encouraged to serve as coauthors on journal articles, present their research in Denmark and the U.S., and participate in WSU’s Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities. Through this program, accordingly, the students will develop not only novel research abilities, but also additional professional skills and networks that will differentiate them in a competitive employment market both in industry and at universities. These abilities and skills include:

  • Communication, presentation, and organization skills
  • Mediation of additional faculty-to-faculty collaborations between WSU and Aarhus
  • Management of research collaborations in eminently international multicultural environments
  • Networking-building skills to foster a community of international scholars and sustain long-term relationships
  • Initiation, establishment, and management of international scientific collaborations
  • Appreciation of culturally different mindsets and research approaches in international research collaborations

Cultural Program

Beyond expanding their research skills and widening their professional network, the program scholars will also participate in arranged beneficial cultural activities, so that they may also learn about the cultural, economic, historical, and social aspects of Denmark and its people. The second largest city in the country, Aarhus is situated on the eastern shores in the middle of the Jutland peninsula. Aarhus was founded in the late 8th century at the mouth of the Aarhus River and swiftly became a trade hub. Historically, Aarhus is famed for its early diocese, built in 1060, making it the oldest stone building in Scandinavia. In 1928, the first university in Jutland was founded in Aarhus and today it is a university city and the largest center for trade, services, industry, and tourism in Jutland.

At Aarhus, students will take classes and participate in research activities that are conducted in English. They will also be encouraged to take the available Danish culture and language courses developed for visiting international students. Through these courses, the students will be able to deepen their interactions with people outside the university, make many friends more easily, and appreciate another Germanic language related to English.

A further exciting cultural aspect of this program is that the scholars will be collaborating not only with Danish students, but also with students from other countries through the active exchange programs that Aarhus holds with other peer international universities, as these programs welcome around one thousand foreign students every year, attending classes, and creating a stimulating, cosmopolitan campus life. The scholars will thus experience the trans-national nature of scientific research in a rich multicultural setting.


Broader Impacts

The participating diverse students will take part in potentially transformative research that aims to contribute to the expansion of international education and research collaboration opportunities between the U.S. and Denmark in Environmental Sustainability.

The direct cooperation between the Danish and U.S. scientists who will supervise the students’ research will rapidly disseminate the knowledge developed by the collaborating teams of WSU and Aarhus students. Students will internalize the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to operate effectively in an interconnected changing world of diverse ethnicities, religions, languages, institutions, and cultures.

Through these experiences, the students will develop skills and international attitudes to adapt their behavior to interact effectively with those who are culturally different from them, interpret issues and situations from more than one cultural perspective, accept cultural differences as well as manage cultural ambiguity, seek out international or intercultural opportunities, and use diverse cultural frames of reference and alternative perspectives to think critically and solve environmental sustainability problems that transcend national boundaries.

By living in a different country and culture, the participants will also sharpen their interaction, resilience, and resourcefulness skills in navigating distinct cultures, expectations, and processes. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers and multinational corporations. In order to continue to deliver services and products to their markets and sustain local economies, these corporations need to engage globally educated and multi-culturally oriented professionals, who have had personal direct experiences with the cultures of these corporations’ home and host countries. These benefits to local economies are realistic not only for the U.S., but also for Denmark in view of the multitude of U.S. and Danish corporations that successfully operate in both countries.


Student Eligibility Requirements

For a successful completion of the research projects in this program, the needed background is the knowledge that is normally acquired by students in any engineering and science degree program that encompasses classes on the environment and environmental sustainability, broadly defined.

Independently of a major, the eligibility requirements for all applicants are:

  • WSU undergraduate standing
  • enrollment in a STEM field related to environmental sustainability
  • an overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in any courses related to environmental sustainability
  • one or preferably two semesters remaining prior to graduation at the time of application

Application Documents (Combined in one single PDF file)

  1. Resume and WSU transcript
  2. List of remaining courses prior to graduation, endorsed by the applicant’s academic advisor
  3. Name and contact information of a professor who taught the applicant a course related to environmental sustainability and who is willing to provide a recommendation letter discussing the applicant’s technical skills and potential for research success
  4. Two-page max single-spaced motivation letter to describe:
    • career goals
    • rationale to conduct environmental sustainability research in Denmark
    • any prior experience with research, internships, international education
    • any prior experience with any kind of environmental sustainability research
    • any prior experience with languages and cultures other than American


  • Student recruitment during spring and fall ’24 semesters
  • Submit 2 related applications in parallel as follows:
  • 2 to 3 Scan Design Foundation scholars selected by the middle of September 2024
  • First Zoom meeting by the end of September ’24 between scholars and WSU program director to discuss overall program organization and travel
  • Second Zoom meeting by end of second week of October ’24 between scholars and program director to discuss research preparation and expectations
  • Potential third Zoom meeting by end of October ’24 between IRES scholars, program director and program managers at Aarhus to discuss research projects and logistics of stay in Aarhus
  • Departure to Denmark by the first week of January ’25
  • Residence in Denmark during the ’25 spring semester
  • Submittal of technical report and completion of survey by end of spring ’25
  • Return to the U.S. at end of spring semester


For questions or further information, please communicate with Dr. Joseph Iannelli (VCEA).  You may also submit your questions or comments in the following question/comment field. Thank you.