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  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Language(s) in which classes are available: English Max credits offered: 6
Minimum VT Class Status required for admission: 2 Sophomore Program Type: VT faculty-led
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5 Areas of Study: Biology, Ecology, Environmental Studies, Geography, History, Marine Ecosystems, Sciences, Sustainability, Wildlife Science
College Sponsor: COS
Program Description:

Antarctica header photo

Field of Study

All Majors


Additional Information

Virginia Tech course, VT faculty led, VT credit (6 cr.)


Antarctica map

Antarctica & Argentina
Antarctica Peninsula & Ushuaia
Fall 2018 Course
with winter international field component
(December 14 - 30)


Hokies Abroad: Antarctica

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the coldest, windiest, driest, highest, quietest, most remote, and least understood continent on Earth. Students attend weekly lectures during the fall (available anywhere via webcast), prepare a research essay in their area of primary interest, and then participate in a 2-week field study in Antarctica and Ushuaia, Argentina during winter break. The field expedition consists of 9 days aboard an expedition cruise ship to the Antarctic Peninsula, with the chance to see penguins, whales, and icebergs. Also spend 3 days in Ushuaia, Argentina.

This program explores contemporary issues in Antarctica. We will learn about topics such as:

♦ Antarctica's history, exploration and exploitation of natural resources
♦ The continent's geology, climate, and marine and terrestrial biology
♦ Legal, psychological, and anthropological aspects of human activity in the region
♦ Conservation of fragile polar ecosystems and sustainable use of natural resources
♦ Current issues in the Antarctic region, including the impact of cruise ship tourism to Antarctica on the surrounding region
♦ Independent research on one specific area of Antarctic inquiry related to your major

AUIP Antarctica

Program Highlights

  • Be one of the few people who have ever visited this spectacularly mountainous and icy continent.
  • Experience a rare travel adventure to what is perhaps the last true wilderness on earth, and see some of the world’s greatest concentrations of wildlife including vast penguin colonies, seals, and whales.
  • Immerse yourself in the history, politics, and natural science of Antarctica. Understand how this awesome place is profoundly affected by the rest of the world as well how this unique continent will influence critical global environmental issues in the near future.
  • Our expedition ship has a fleet of Zodiac landing crafts, which allow us to take daily excursions ashore onto the continent for spectacular scenery and close encounters with wildlife. You might even get a chance to camp onshore one night.
  • Experience near-24 hours of daylight – take stunning photos at midnight and spot wildlife at all hours of day and night!


Open to all VT majors and minors. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.  No course prerequisites.


GEOG 3954 (6 credits). Ask your advisor about applying these credits towards CLE areas 4 or 7. Biological Science majors can earn 6 upper-level BIOL credits with 1 lecture-lab link.

Fall semester course: weekly webcast lectures; field course dates Dec 14-30, 2018 (estimated, final dates TBD).


Program Fee is estimated at $10,750. Does not include VT tuition, airline ticket, and discretionary spending. See budget sheet for full details.

University Tuition & Fees

Tuition and university fees are billed separately from the program fee according to University Bursar policy. See here for credit hour rates for the appropriate term: Participants are required to enroll in 6 credit hours for Fall 2018.


1) Use the "Apply Now" button at the bottom of this page to initiate an application.  

 2) Submit a statement of purpose as a "questionnaire" within your online application.

 3) Complete all online materials and questionnaires within your application, including two (2) letters of reference.  Letters of reference can come from university professors, academic advisors, high school teachers, employers, coaches, and supervisors (but not a friend or family member). Reference letters should touch on things such as your academic work, personal maturity, time management, and your ability to handle stress and social conflict.

* If accepted into the course, you will receive an email notification requesting permission to charge a non-refundable $1800 deposit to your account. This deposit is required to secure your spot in the course. Your spot in the course will not be reserved until the deposit payment is received.

Antarctica group02   Antarctica group01


Contact Information

Selma Haghamed
Global Education Office  
(540) 231-5888

Dates / Deadlines:

The above program is not currently accepting applications. It is likely that the application cycle has yet to launch for the upcoming year. Please inquire with the Global Education Office about the program offering.

This program is currently not accepting applications.