ECON 492d – The Economics of Sustainable Development (International)

Communities, Markets and Technology

Program Overview

Applications are closed for this session, however if you are currently enrolled in January-April 492d with Dr. Catherine Douglas you may still submit an application until February 25th, 2018.

Eligibility Criteria

Students who have completed their second year (54 credits) by January 1, 2018 and who have completed a minimum of nine credits in Economics.

*Please note that you must enroll in ECON 492d which runs in Winter term II in order to be able to register for the Econ summer course + ISL placement. 

ECON 492d has multiple components

  • Pre-departure learning program from January – April 2018
  • ECON classes run on campus from January to end of May 2018
  • 12 weeks of fieldwork in an International Service Learning placement from May 31st – August 24th, 2018
  • Return seminar and final course-work on campus in September 2018
  • Re-entry debrief and public engagement presentation on campus in September – October 2018

Course Description

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 poor 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.

Example Syllabus draftEcon-492d-Course-Outline-2018

Placement Description

As a part of the ECON 492d course, you will be enrolled in an International Service Learning placement. Specific placements will be announced in Feb/March 2018. ECON 492d 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 492d.


Income Generation and Community Development (Market Assessment)

Past students worked with an international NGO in Swaziland that supports children and families by supporting income generation projects being undertaken by small entrepreneurs in an effort to contribute to economic empowerment efforts. Their work included collaborating closely with staff to conduct a market assessment identifying income generation opportunities, in addition to this they also be supported the development of an entrepreneurial forum to share best practices and facilitate networking among young and experienced small businesses.


Sustainable Livelihoods and Community Development (Feasibility Study)

Past students worked with an NGO in Mexico which 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.


Microfinance Support (Program Development)

Past students worked alongside staff at an international NGO in western Uganda which undertakes microcredit activities to advance the role of women in their communities. Their work supported the continued implementation of an in-house database which supports accurate tracking and reporting on the microcredit program to set the organization up for more robust data analysis and research in the future.

Placements for 2018 are currently being determined by host partners and program staff.

Living Environment

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.

Program Dates

Date Activity
July 01, 2017 Program application open. Applications are currently being reviewed in the order received. Program will close when full, OR at 11:59 pm on January 7th, 2018, whichever comes first.
January – April 2018 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (all successful applicants will be expected to be in attendance at all sessions)
January – April + May, 2018 ECON 492d course
Late May – August 2018 12 week International placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through (exact dates TBA)
September 2018 ECON 492d Course – Post Placement seminar and assignments due (exact times TBA)
September – October 2018 ISL Post-placement reflection sessions and Public Engagement Presentation

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

Program Costs

Please see the Awards & Eligibility section below for more information. The finalized cost per student is yet to be confirmed, but will be within the ranges in the table below.

Location Full Program Fee 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.  

Students applying for the ARA award through ECON 492d must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those listed under the Arts Research Abroad section.

  • Have completed a minimum of 9 credits in Economics
  • Be enrolled in a qualifying major for the course (Economics, International Relations, Political Science) or be enrolled in an Economics minor with a major in the Faculty of Arts.