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Sustainability Abroad: Going Green in Galway

by AIFS Abroad
AIFS Abroad internship program participants in Galway, Ireland doing a beach-clean up for a sustainability project abroad

Did you know? Sustainability is a key priority for AIFS Abroad in all facets of our organization. Whether we’re considering organizational, operational, or programming decisions, mitigating climate change and reducing our environmental impact is always top of mind.

One of the major elements of our efforts is ensuring our participants worldwide are taking part in educational opportunities that focus on best practices in their host countries. We provide incentives and tools to help reduce each participant’s carbon footprint.

Take, for example, AIFS Abroad’s Summer 2023 internship program cohort in Galway, Ireland, who recently participated in a local beach clean-up effort for sustainability education.

AIFS Abroad internship program participants in Galway, Ireland doing a beach-clean up for a sustainability project abroad

Hear from Jake Graff, an AIFS Abroad team member who was on-site for the experience.

“AIFS Abroad welcomed 18 interns to Galway, Ireland for the Summer 2023 program this June. Still a relatively new location for our internships program, 18 is a great number, and interestingly 4 of the interns are studying or expressed interest in Environmental Studies/Sustainability for their internship placement areas. As I spent time planning out my summer travel to assist with our internship programs in Berlin, Dublin, and Galway, it seemed like a great opportunity to incorporate sustainability work with this group on-the-ground.

Outside of my role at AIFS Abroad, I’m a volunteer Wild Keeper Ambassador with Keep Nature Wild, an apparel company with a purpose: we pick up 1 pound of trash for every apparel product sold. Having hosted and co-hosted a number of KNW cleanups back home in Colorado, I thought about how great it would be to collaborate for a summer cleanup abroad with one of the summer programs.

Cohosted by Keep Nature Wild and Galway Tidy Towns/Serve the City Galway, our group got together on June 18 to dodge the rain (until the very end…) and pick up 89 pounds of trash off the beach—most notably the countless ‘flushable’ wipes that wash up on Galway’s beaches every day. This event was a great opportunity to get our interns involved in their host community while highlighting the importance of environmental action and climate education, which are central to AIFS Abroad’s Green Initiative and a key component of the work we are doing implementing our CANIE Accord commitments into our programs, partnerships, and operations.

A huge thank you to our Galway Location Coordinator Karen Lyons and Tim at Serve the City for your help in getting this organized and for our amazing interns for coming out to make a difference!”

We are so inspired by our on-site communities around the world who are actively involved in sustainability efforts abroad, like this one in Galway! We all have a responsibility to do everything we can to limit the impact of our activity on our planet. AIFS Abroad is committed through its Green Initiative to work towards a carbon neutral future. 

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