What is Experiential Learning?

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is an engaged learning process whereby students "learn by doing" and by reflecting on the experience. Experiential learning activities can include, but are not limited to, hands-on laboratory experiments, internships, practicums, field exercises, study abroad, undergraduate research and studio performances.

Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

Many Environmental Sciences students take advantage of classes offered each summer by the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory in the northwestern part of Iowa. Students take 2- or 4-week classes in a variety of subjects ranging from field biology to taxonomy to GIS to archaeology. Registration for classes begins in the early part of the spring semester, so interested students should plan ahead for this valuable and sometimes life-changing experience.

Study Abroad

Environmental Sciences students are strongly encouraged to seek a Study Abroad experience because of the value gained in understanding and addressing global environmental issues. Study Abroad programs are most valuable when taken in the junior or senior year of study. Courses taken during a Study Abroad program can been used to satisfy degree requirements when approved by the Academic Coordinator.

To start planning a Study Abroad program, first visit the University of Iowa's Discover Study Abroad page to find out more about how study abroad programs at the UI work. The University's Studies Abroad Program - Environmental Sciences website has specific information about programs relevant to the Environmental Sciences program. The most successful experiences are typically planned 6-10 months in advance.

Ashton Prairie Living Laboratory

Students interested in prairie ecosystems have access to the University of Iowa's Ashton Prairie Living Laboratory. This prairie restoration, made possible through the efforts of UI students, the Office of Sustainability and Environment, and UI Athletics, is a fantastic site for experiential study. Students can sign up for courses that spend time at the prairie, or can contact the Office of Sustainability and Environment to inquire about opportunities for independent research on site.

University Resources

The University of Iowa provides general information concerning research, internships, studying abroad and experiential learning. For more information about these learning opportunities, please visit the following links:

Undergraduate Researchhttps://research.uiowa.edu/researchers/student-research/undergraduate-student-research
Internships: https://careers.uiowa.edu/students/finding-internship 
Study Abroad: https://international.uiowa.edu/study-abroad 
Experiential Learning: https://careers.uiowa.edu/students/career-communities
Engaged Learning: https://engagement.uiowa.edu/students