Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Design

Global Competencies for Sustainable Living

World hunger, overpopulation and limited resources continue to be some of our most pressing issues. As global citizens, understanding sustainable design and agriculture is critical to building a better world. This four-week program is designed to help international undergraduates and graduates increase their understanding of global issues and learn sustainable farming and environmental design solutions to help address them.

Program Benefits 

Create a Custom Group Program

All of our Short-Term Content-Based Programs can be customized to fit your needs. For more information on how to set up a custom, content-based program, contact Xin Chen at

In this intensive learning experience, international students have a unique opportunity to learn sustainable agriculture and design practices at one of the best schools in the world for agriculture. Ranked number one in the U.S. and number two in the world by QS World University Rankings, UC Davis is internationally renowned for its faculty and research in the field of ag. This rigorous and engaging program is designed to help international students develop global competencies, academic learning strategies and improved English language skills to help them succeed academically and professionally. Program benefits include:

  • Improved English language proficiency to navigate global communication, including opportunities to engage with UC Davis experts to extend classroom learning while practicing English
  • Content-based and experiential learning
  • Increased understanding of critical areas of sustainability, including diverse agricultural systems and practices, and the local and global connection between agriculture and food justice
  • Exploration of basic methods used by design professionals to evaluate, design, plan and manage landscapes and the built environment
  • Hands-on activities such as sketch exercises, student projects and tours of university agricultural facilities
  • Opportunities to observe campus agricultural work and pick vegetables on the Student Farm (depending on the quarter)  

Program Details

This four-week program consists of four classes with 16 hours of instruction per week. Classes are held Monday through Thursday at our state-of-the-art International Center. A guest lecture or site visit will be offered on Fridays. The program features:

  • Highly qualified teachers
  • Small classes (about 15-20 students) 
  • Technology-driven classrooms, including a multimedia learning center
  • UC Davis students as conversation partners both in and out of class
  • Daily recreational, cultural and social activities 
  • Optional weekend trips 
  • No F-1 Visa required

Program Courses

Farming and Sustainable Agriculture

Learn about pressing global issues, including food security, food policy and farming alternatives to increase food production in a sustainable way using technology and innovation.

Sustainable Environmental Design

Students will look at how communities and cities can be thoughtfully designed to be more environmentally sustainable, healthier and equal by learning about urban farming and greening.

International Agricultural Development 

Students explore how to improve food production, nutrition, marketing and health in less technically advanced countries.

Intercultural Research Project 

This course takes students into the campus community where they will conduct research on an aspect of sustainable agriculture and environmental design that interests them. Students will gather and analyze data through interviews, create a poster to illustrate their findings and make a presentation.

Participants must have a high-school diploma or be at least 18 years old to enroll in this program.