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Sustainable Chemistry Along the Rhine River

Fast Facts

Session Offered:



Germany, Switzerland, & France




2.75 GPA

Application Deadline:

February 1, 2024

Sustainable Chemistry along the Rhine River: Germany and Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

The Rhine River Valley is at the heart of industrial and urban sustainability efforts in Europe and provides an ideal opportunity to collaborate with industry and academic leaders in sustainable chemistry.

This faculty-led course will explore urbanization, biodiversity, conservation, climate change adaptation, and mitigation, in a region at the forefront of advancement in these areas.

Faculty Directors

Adam Brummett, Chemistry Faculty

Stratis Giannakouros, Office of Sustainability and Environment

Program Dates

This course will be offered Summer 2024:
Travel dates are June 4-June 19, 2024

Program Activities

2023 Cohort

Students will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of academic and cultural activities focused around course topics. These may include:

  • Welcome Dinner in Zurich
  • Visit with a pharmaceutical company such as Novartis
  • Guided walking tour of Basel focusing on sustainability and urban planning
  • View the Great Aletsch Glacier
  • Cruise of Lake Zurich
  • Guided tour of the World Nature Forum
  • Visit to Carbonfuture
  • Guided tour of the Vauban district in Freiamt
  • Guided tour of Strasbourg's Ecoquartier
  • Free time to explore the cities included in the itinerary
  • Farewell Dinner

For More Information

Information Sessions

Meet the course leaders and learn more about the itinerary, academics, cost, and application process. Bring your questions!

Thursday, October 26, 2023
Chemistry Building, W323

Wednesday, November 8, 2023
International Programs, UCC 1117

For more details about this program please contact Faculty Director Adam Brummett, Faculty Director Stratis Giannakouros, or Program Coordinator Lindsay Budde .


Germany is the most populous member of the EU, has the world’s 4th largest economy, and boasts a high standard of living. It is famous for its contributions to the arts and sciences throughout history. You can learn more about Germany at


2023 cohot in Zürich
Switzerland is situated in Western and Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy, France Germany, Austria & Liechtenstein. Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult. It ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness, & human development.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

Students will share hotel rooms (double occupancy) with another program participant, including private bathrooms and wifi access. Most of the hotels offer breakfast.


If you do not have a passport, apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins.

The UI Passport Office processes new U.S. passport applications and child/minor renewal applications.

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website. Most adult renewals must be done by mail.

Important notice:
Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If yours is not, you must renew your passport.

Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-US Citizens

Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

Travel Arrangements

Students will receive instructions for booking flights after the Confirmation Deadline (in late February). A suggested group flight will be shared with the group and students will make their own arrangements.

Those who do not have extensive travel experience are encouraged to book the suggested group flight.

Local Transportation

Transportation for most course activities is provided, including a group airport pickup and drop-off at the beginning and end of the course.


Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • GPA 2.75

  • Open to undergraduates in all majors (sophmore standing and above)

  • Completion of CHEM:1120 with a minimum grade of C-

  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa

  • There is some significant walking and hiking scheduled for this program. To learn more about the specifics, and what accommodations can be made, please contact the faculty leaders

  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity: Students must meet entry requirements for the countries and venues visited by the program, including entry requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel and demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.

*Please note: applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis from the end of January onward. There are a limited number of spots on the course, so later applicants will be placed on a waitlist. If an accepted student declines their spot, it will be offered to the next student on the waitlist.


The course fee for 2024 will be $4,120. The total billed program cost for UI students includes the course fee, application fee, study abroad fee, and CISI fee.

Included in the billed program cost:

  • Application fee ($50)
  • Academic instruction and guided tours
  • 3 semester hours of UI credit
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transport from and to Zurich airport
  • Transportation for all course activities
  • Welcome + Farewell dinners
  • Breakfasts at accommodation
  • 24/7 staff support
  • CISI International Travel insurance

Not included in the billed program cost (out of pocket expenses):

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Meals not included in the program fee
  • Personal expenses and personal travel
  • Any medical appointments needed prior to departure
  • Passport fees

Key points to note are:

  • The $50 application fee is charged to students' U-bills after submitting the online application.
  • The Course Fee, Study Abroad Fee, and CISI Insurance fee are billed to confirmed students' U-bills after Summer Registration.  
  • All other amounts are estimated out-of-pocket expenses and will vary for each participant.

The total estimated costs (both U-bill charges and out-of-pockets expenses) for the 2024 program are available on the PDFCost Sheet Financial Aid uses this document to determine participating students' funding awards for the course.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students are encouraged to apply for Need-based, Merit, and Global Access Ambassador scholarships awarded by Study Abroad. You can apply for these scholarships before being accepted to the course. More information is available on the Scholarships page.

Students who receive a Federal Pell Grant are eligible to apply for the Gilman International Scholarship, an external scholarship awarded by the Department of State. Learn more here.

Financial aid received to attend the University of Iowa (scholarships, grants, and loans) may be applied toward the program cost. Students are encouraged to speak with someone in Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

How to Apply

UI Study Abroad Application

Applications open January 1

The application process requires:

  • A completed online application, including a statement of interest in this program
  • A copy of your completed grades from MyUI
  • A photo of the information page of your passport (or check the box indicating you are applying for or renewing your passport)
  • A $50 application fee, which will be charged to your u-bill after submitting your application

Application Deadline

February 1, 2024

Confirmation Materials

After receiving an Acceptance email for the course, students will have a window of time to review all details and costs before confirming their spot. This involves submitting a Confirmation of Participation Form to the Study Abroad Portal (provided at acceptance) and confirms both their spot on the course and their committment to the course costs.

2023 Confirmation Deadline: February 22, 2024

Health & Safety Planning

All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


To prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have questions, you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

A mandatory, in-person orientation will be facilitated by the Faculty Leader and Study Abroad Coordinator before departure and will cover content specific to your program and host country.