CFANS Germany: Leading the Renewables Revolution

CFAN 3520

Estimated Program Dates:

January 7 - 19, 2020 

Application Deadline:
October 1, 2019

Course Dates:


Application link coming soon.*

*In order to be accepted to CFAN 3520, please complete both the learning abroad application that is linked above as well as this brief form about your experience and interest in the program. Your answers are used in evaluating your application to the program and, if you are accepted, to provide information to our German colleagues. 

Germany: Leading the Renewables Revolution


Students will explore Germany, a world leader in the transformation to sustainable energy systems and the inventor of the vision of cities and regions powered 100% by renewable energy. Germany’s renewable energy system emerged through collaboration across political, business and nonprofit sectors based in science. Students will spend time in three cities known for sustainability, Dusseldorf, Saerbeck, and Munster.

Students will have the unique opportunity to experience the political, social and technological drivers behind renewable energy development. Students meet with Germany's top politicians, government officials, researchers, and educators, and learn how they advocate for and manage change.


CFAN 3520 - 3.0 credits

Fulfills Global Perspectives and Environment Liberal Education Theme Requirements.

This is an embedded course with on-campus class time during fall semester prior to departure. Students must both register for this course, and complete the study abroad application. 

Students will learn about the broad context and specific approaches to the renewables revolutions in MN and German, learn about culture, and prepare for your study abroad experience. 

Course Dates: TBD

All UMTC classes will be held at the Institute on the Environment, room LES-R370

*For students participating from Morris, Crookston, or Duluth, we will strive to provide a meeting location on your campus. Please make every effort to attend class meeting #3 on the UMTC St. Paul campus. If this is not possible, please contact your program leaders.

*For more detailed information, see the program syllabus.


Students majoring and/or interested in sustainability and renewable energy.


First Step Sessions give basic information about programs, services, and resources available through the Learning Abroad Center. You do not have to reserve your spot, just show up to 230 Heller Hall, West Bank. You can also complete the First Step Session online

Please note: Because we cover so much information in a short period of time, if you are more than 5 minutes late you will have to attend a different First Step Session.



$4,500. The final 2020 program cost will be posted in fall 2019.

The program fee includes program excursions, lodging, airfare and transportation, international health insurance, administration, orientation, and most meals. In the event that you are not a full time student, or are a non-University of Minnesota student, you will also be charged for tuition. The cost of this program will be considered as part of your fall semester cost of attendance for financial aid calculations. You are eligible to apply for Winter Break scholarships and grants for this program.

Grants and scholarships at CFANS


Class #1, Saturday, Nov. 9, 9:00am-4:30pm: 
Minnesota’s Energy Transition—Politics, Economics, Regulatory Framework, Best Practice Examples
Seminar sessions with expert speakers comprising of faculty, policy makers, and industry leaders. 

Class #2, Saturday, Nov. 23, 9:00am-4:30pm: 
Germany’s Energy Transition—History, Context, Players
Seminar sessions with expert speakers, group activities, and a cultural awareness workshop.

Class #3, Saturday, Dec. 7, 9:00am-4:30pm: 
The Politics and Business of Changing Energy Systems- Two Conversations and Travel/Logistics for January Delegation ExperienceInteractive sessions that practice the learning format to be encountered with political, administration, and business leaders in Germany, plus a review of travel logistics.

Please contact the program leaders Beth Mercer-Taylor (bethmt@umn.eduor Sabine Engel ( if you have questions or concerns about the workshops.


Beth Mercer-Taylor is the sustainability education coordinator at the University of Minnesota, where she administers the Sustainability Studies Minor. Beth has helped to implement the GreenStep Cities program in Minnesota and many campus sustainability programs.

Sabine Engel is a program director in the Institute on the Environment, and leads the Climate-Smart exchange program with Germany. Sabine has led 13 delegations to germany of MN elected officials, business and community leaders and is connected to a large network of influential German partners.