Sustainable Global Experience™

An innovative, inclusive, environmentally sustainable global experience.

Over 200 students in 2022 were funded by their universities to develop key skills relevant to their future careers, gain a global perspective and become Carbon Literate.

pieoneer awards 2022 sustainability international impact award finalist

Programme Overview


In 2019 we spoke to our university partners and conducted an anonymous survey. The results showed that we needed to provide more opportunities that are:

  • Closer to home
  • Short in duration
  • Lower cost per student
  • With a lower carbon footprint

For 2 years we’ve been developing a programme in response to these demands and the result is Sustainable Global Experience™. This innovative programme gives students from all backgrounds an in-person global experience whilst making a positive impact on the environment.

The programme is carbon negative with all carbon emissions kept as low as possible and those that are emitted are offset by 150%.

Participants will develop skills to use in their graduate career, grow their global mindset and become carbon literate.

Phase 1 – 5-day Sustainable Field Trip

  • Group travel between campus & Mainland Europe
  • Carbon emissions offset by 150%
  • Tours, masterclasses & networking in either Amsterdam, Brussels and new destinations for 2023!
  • Engage with public & private sector organisations
  • Sector-specific focus, with sustainability embedded throughout
  • Hostel accommodation included
  • Full on-site support from Pagoda

Phase 2 - Digital Components

  • Join a global community through the Pagoda App
  • Carbon Literacy Training
  • Access to 4 Pagoda Online Skills Courses
  • Access to a library of specialised online events
  • Join Pagoda’s Alumni Community
  • Pagoda Completion Certificate & Digital Badges


  • Build new, meaningful relationships by working alongside students from the UK & Mainland Europe
  • Provide all students with a hands-on experience in a genuine professional context
  • Deepen understanding of carbon emissions, sustainable living and sustainable industry
  • On average, 92% of participants on our digital programmes see an increase in their cultural fluency
  • Enhance professional networks by joining the Pagoda global community and connecting with sector experts from around the globe
  • Develop a range of transferable skills through enquiry-based Learning (EBL) including comprehension, analysis, research,
    evaluation & presentation
  • Reflect on skills development linked to Pagoda’s 8 competencies and successfully articulate these to future employers


5-night field trip to Amsterdam or Brussels, giving participants hand-on industry experience in a global context.
Careful planning to minimize the carbon impact of the trip.
Any carbon generated will be offset >150% through local gold standard offsetting projects.
Sustainability themes weaved throughout each component of the trip.


SUNDAYArrival & welcome dinner
MONDAYOrientation & project setupSustainable city tour. Talk and Q&A with key private and public sector figures
TUESDAYTours & Masterclasses at sector-aligned businesses in the city/regionGroup project work
WEDNESDAYGroup project work and free time to exploreNetworking event
THURSDAYTours & Masterclasses at sector-aligned businesses in the city/regionFarewell dinner
FRIDAYGroup project presentations, feedback & reflectionDeparture

Accredited by the Manchester-based Carbon Literacy Project, participants will receive Carbon Literacy Training and an official certificate on completion.

Carbon Literacy is defined as “an awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.”

More than 1700 organisations across the UK and internationally have empowered their teams with the award-winning Carbon Literacy training, including the NHS, the BBC, and Manchester City Council.

By incorporating Carbon Literacy Training in this programme, we aim to equip participants with a solid educational foundation and understanding of the importance of cultivating a low carbon culture, and how to action this in their day-to-day lives.


Cultural Mentor

We feel that some of the most important benefits from an international programme relate to the interpersonal connections and cultural fluency developed during the programme.

We didn’t want our global sustainability experience to be any different. As a result, we offer every participant a cultural mentor specifically and exclusively to ensure they receive a valuable, rich cultural exchange.

Pagoda Skills Courses

Pagoda Projects have developed a series of skills courses set to encourage the development of the learner’s current skillset and improve their ‘work readiness’ for a post-pandemic career.

These courses prepare the learner with the knowledge required to communicate effectively within an international working-group or team, tackle the job market with confidence and have a strong understanding of ‘digital’ implications of work. As qualifications remain a vital measure of achievement, a certificate is provided following each completed Pagoda skills course.

Pagoda Portal

Pagoda’s Portal is built for communities and allows users to engage, share and communicate with each other whilst maintaining a high level of privacy.


We aim to take students from any background to the world through an innovative education programme. We achieve this through our 14-years experience in international higher education and through collaborations with other Manchester success stories, such as the Carbon Literacy Project.

This innovative and environmentally sustainable programme includes a 5-night sustainable field trip to either Amsterdam or Brussels.

The programme will provide students from UK universities with the opportunity to collaborate, and to complete an Enquiry-based Learning (EBL) group project.

Participants will finish with a comprehensive skill set and network to better prepare themselves as sustainably-minded future global graduates entering the post-pandemic world of work.

SGE Brussels Programme Review

SGE Amsterdam Programme Review


A new study by British Business Energy has ranked Amsterdam as the fifth most eco-friendly city in the world for workers. In addition to the prominence of cycling and meat-free dining, Amsterdam aims to  reduce its CO2 emissions by 55% in 2030, and by 95% in 2050.
This makes the city an ideal destination to conduct our
sustainable studies as part of the programme.

Brussels, is a vibrant and multicultural city located in North-West Europe and is the political, economic and culture centre of Belgium.

Even if you haven’t visited Brussels before, you no doubt know a few things about the city already: it’s the centre of European decision-making, produces world-class beer, mouth-watering chocolate and waffles. Now what you may not realise is that the city offers a unique blend of culture, international business and leisure all combined with its own distinct national flavour. Evolving from a combination of Flemish, Walloon, European and global influences, Brussels is a true melting pot.

Brussels boasts the title of the greenest capital in Europe. Just over 50% of the city is classified as green space, this is achieved by a succession of parks which wind their way through the urban landscape.



2022 Results based on post-program survey of 149 participants.

I would recommend this programme

I am more motivated to live sustainably

Program impact on overall university experience

The programme has made me reflect on how my discipline could contribute to sustainability

The programme taught me new ways to reduce my carbon footprint.

The programme inspired me to work for/with sustainable organisations in the future.



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