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International Virtual Course 2023

"If we are to stay below the targets set in the 2015 Paris agreement – and thereby minimise the risks of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control – we need immediate, drastic, annual emission reductions unlike anything the world has ever seen."


You agree with this statement by Greta Thunberg, but feel helpless in the face of the complexity of international climate negotiations? You feel the need to offer innovative solution strategies but don’t know where to start? Would you like to exchange ideas with international colleagues who are facing the same dilemma?

Then join our International Virtual Course!

Tackling climate change requires international cooperation at eye level and innovative solution strategies. You will learn about the impacts and challenges of climate change with a focus on agro-food systems in different geographical settings and develop possible solutions in international teams. With this course you literally bring the world into your living room! In addition to preparing from a local perspective, you will closely work with our partners from the Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados in Brazil, the University of Agricultural Sciences Bangalore in India and the University of Nairobi in Kenya to develop innovative ideas. The virtual classroom and teamwork are interspersed with national field trips.


The International Virtual Course consists of a preparatory task and a 3-weeks study phase from the 3rd to the 21st of July 2023 (part-time):

  • For the preparatory task, together with your national colleagues, you will create a short video about the impacts of climate change in Switzerland in order for your international colleagues to get a first idea and complete a selected part of an FAO e-learning course.
  • The first two weeks (3.-15.7.2023) of the study phase consist of virtual classroom sessions and two field excursions. You will learn from experts about international cooperation, follow panel discussions during which Brazilian, Indian, Kenyan and Swiss professionals discuss about how to tackle climate change, participate in a simulated climate change negotiation and exchange with your colleagues about the most pressing challenges in their respective countries. During the field trips you will get practical impressions of the challenges Swiss farmers are facing and the mitigation and adaptation measures being implemented.
  • The study phase ends with one week of international teamwork (17.-21.7.2023) in small Climate Action Groups (one member from each country).

Note: Only the two field excursions (one day each) are fulltime and require your physical presence. The rest of the course-days are parttime with a flexible schedule (except for the compulsory online-sessions).

ZHAW students will receive 4 ECTS after successful completion of the course (creditable for BSc in Environmental Engineering & MSc in Environment and Natural Resources as module «Summer School»).


"During the International Virtual Course I was able to learn more about the current challenges of other countries, discuss possible solution strategies and to make new friends. Not only was I able to deepen my intercultural skills, but I also learned how to master virtual cooperation with people across three continents. In my eyes, this is an important skill because climate change is a global issue affecting all people and countries. Today, I feel empowered because the course made me realise that there are people all over the world who share my ideas and goals for a better future." 

Nathalie Pfister, Bsc UI, BLH




Fill the form below, to let us know you are interested and we will inform you, as soon as applications for the year 2023 are open.

We also offer another Summer School on agrobiodiversity and the agroecological transition of food systems. Find more information about it here

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