ECON 364B: The Economics of Sustainable Development

Program Overview

ECON364B is a 3 credit course on campus in May followed by a 3 month international service learning placement from June to August. This page describes the international service learning placement associated with ECON364B; find more information about the regional service learning placement associated with ECON364B here.

To take ECON364B, students must first complete its mandatory prerequisite course, ECON364A, during Winter Term 2 (Jan-Apr 2020). Students can register for the prerequisite course on the SSC here. Acceptance into ECON364B is by application. A link to the application can be found in the left sidebar.  Students who apply to ECON364B and are not registered in ECON364A will be force registered in the course when accepted into the program.

ECON364B is a part of the International Service Learning program, which includes pre-departure learning sessions, a mid-placement workshop, and post-placement coursework, discussion and public engagement (see below).

Course Description

ECON 364 A/B- The Economics of Sustainable Development: Communities, Markets and Technology is a six credit course integrating an international service learning approach with rigorous academic studies. The aim of the course is to both deepen and broaden students’ understanding of the process of economic development as it affects disadvantaged communities in East Africa, India and Latin America. In particular, students will explore the problems and concerns of developing communities in relation to ways that resilient, healthy communities are able to create sustainable livelihoods, to support rather than deplete the local or regional environment, and to build local economies that ensure the well-being of all community members.


International Service Learning Program 

Student enrollment in ECON 364B is part of the ISL program and requires full participation in:

    • ECON 364A classes on campus from January-April 2020
    • Pre-departure learning sessions from March-May 2020
    • ECON 364B classes on campus during May 2020
    • 12 week International Service Learning (ISL) placement from beginning of June to the end of August 2020
    • Mid-placement workshop
    • Return seminar and final course-work on campus in September 2020
    • Re-entry debrief and public engagement presentation on campus in September and October 2020


More information

Students who have completed their second year (54 credits) by January 1, 2020 and who have completed a minimum of nine credits in Economics.

As a part of the ECON 364B course, you will be enrolled in an International Service Learning placement. Specific placements will be announced in March 2019. ECON 364B placements may be located in Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Uganda, or other countries where ISL community partners are located. Below are examples of previous placements for ECON 364B.


Sustainable Livelihoods through Girls' Education and Empowerment

Econ 364B student interns have worked in southwestern Kenya with a community partner organization that is working to determine financial models that will facilitate the continued growth and operations of the education facilities aimed at the girl child. With fee-paying and scholarship students, the intern worked with the team to identify models that will allow for a sustainable balance of students in the years to come. In addition, interns explored income-generating opportunities and conduced feasibility research and cost-benefit analyses on potential income generation opportunities such as establishing a community health facility or water point in the community. Income generating activity aims to both serve community needs and establish a revenue stream that will continues to support girls’ education and empowerment.


Sustainable Livelihoods and Community Development (Feasibility Study)

Former Econ 364B students worked with a community partner organization in Mexico that works in solidarity with local communities to advance eco-agricultural practices and ensure that reliable forms of income are available for community members. Their work included collaborating closely with staff to comparatively analyze the market and production for current and proposed agricultural products. In addition, students created an assessment tool using a sustainable livelihoods lens to gage the efficacy of a home garden project implement with school age children.


Microfinance Support (Program Development)

Past students worked alongside staff at a social enterprise in Uganda that works towards ensuring that women and young girls have access to safe and dignified solutions to managing their periods. Their work supported the research of processes, equipment and efficiency models of manufacturing different products, while maintaining the social values of the enterprise at the core of the production.

Placements for 2019 are currently being determined by host partners and program staff.

In Uganda, Kenya and India, you will live with host families in modest conditions. In most cases, you will take public transport to and from your placement. In Mexico and Costa Rica you will live in hostel-style accommodations with modest living conditions on the placement site.

Date Activity
Now Program application open. Applications are currently being reviewed in the order received.
March - May 2020 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (all successful applicants will be expected to be in attendance at all sessions)
May – August 2020 ECON 364B course + 12 week International placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through (exact dates TBA)
September 2020 ECON 364B Course – Post Placement seminar and assignments due (exact times TBA)
September - October 2020 ISL Post-placement reflection sessions and Public Engagement Presentation

*Please note these dates may be adjusted but will be confirmed prior to offer.

Please see the Funding Opportunities section below for more information about the ARA award. The finalized cost per student is yet to be confirmed, but will be within the ranges in the table below.

Location Full Program Fee with 70% ARA Funding
Uganda $3,900 - $4,400 $1,170 - $1,320
Kenya $3,900 - $4,400 $1,170 - $1,320
Mexico $4,600 - $4,800 $1,380 - $1,440
Costa Rica $4,600 - $4,800 $1,380 - $1,440
India $3,900 - $4,400 $1,170 - $1,320

NOTE: The ISL Program fee is separate from UBC course tuition. Tuition dues will be appear on your Student Services Centre account at the beginning of the term(s) in which you receive course credit.

Program cost includes:

  • Pre-departure learning sessions at UBC
  • Room and board
  • Transportation from the airport to your placement site
  • Orientation in host country
  • In-session debrief and workshop part way through your placement
  • Reflection materials
  • Community partner management fee
  • Program management fee

*Fees may be adjusted before offer. Program costs vary primarily due to cost of living expenses per country and region. Placements may be in other countries where ISL community partners are located

Program cost does not include:

The following expenses are not covered in program costs and are the responsibility of the student.

    • Tuition
    • Airfare*
    • Visas
    • Vaccinations
    • Local transportation while in country
    • Transportation from the project site back to the airport at the end of the placement
    • Personal items, and daily incidentals. You will be required to bring your own laptop.

*Students who receive ARA funding will have 70-100% of the

cost of airfare funded.


This course is eligible for the Arts Research Abroad & ORICE Regional and International Service Learning Award.
More information about funding options can be found here.

  1. Review course and program details (please contact with any questions you may have).
  2. Apply online, using Gateway Application Portal, accessed by following the "Apply Now" link. (On right side of page)
  3. Submit your Application by the deadline. (October 27th)
  4. Successful applicants will be contacted by email to continue selection process (see below).
  5. Students who have been selected to participate in ECON 364B will be force registered in the course.

Selection Process

To apply please fill out and submit an online application. Successful applicants will be invited to an interview. After interviews, you will be notified of a decision; successful candidates will be sent an offer letter with further details on the program and detailed instructions on how to accept. You will have approximately one week after receiving the offer letter to accept and pay a program deposit. Your selection into the ISL program includes meeting eligibility requirements, as well as your initial application and your performance in the interview.

Don’t wait to apply, spaces are limited!

Pre-Departure Overview

The pre-departure learning program is designed to prepare you for an international service learning placement. This will include:

  • Pre-departure learning sessions taking place over the academic term leading up to departure led by staff and community development professionals.
  • Creation of a learning and development plan
  • Participant-led events/presentations
  • Facilitated meetings with your placement team to explore learning topics
  • Post-Placement Overview

Post-Departure Overview

You will participate in post-placement activities in September - October 2020, including:

  • A full day to debrief in September 2020
  • Return seminar and final coursework in September 2020
  • Presentation at an International Development Symposium in October 2020