The Turing Scheme is the UK government’s programme to provide funding for international opportunities in education and training across the world. It supports Global Britain by providing an opportunity for UK organisations from the higher education, further education, vocational education and training and schools sectors to offer their students, learners and pupils life-changing experiences to study or work abroad.The opportunities the Turing Scheme supports to study and work in countries all over the world offer many and varied undoubted benefits to students, pupils and learners – however, as we all know, international travel also has a big impact on the global environment.
Climate change and rising pollution levels are often at the top of the news agenda, and it is the responsibility of us all to look at ways in which we can personally and collectively minimise the impact of our activities on the planet.
Air travel is a major contributor to pollution in the atmosphere and should be kept to a minimum wherever possible.
Obviously, there is no option to get on a plan of your heading for a long-haul destination. If your placements are in nearby countries in Europe, though, consider whether it is feasible to travel there and back by sea, rail and road transport, such as ferry services and the Eurotunnel.
If flying is unavoidable because you trip is a long-haul one, research your possible carriers before booking your tickets. Many airlines have pledged to reduce emissions and eventually become carbon neutral. Look for those who use the more environmentally friendly aviation biofuel on a regular basis.
You should also be conscious of the routes airlines offer to your destination and look for the shortest flight path, taking direct flights whenever possible, as it is the take-offs and landings which cause most carbon emissions.
Although, there is often debate about whether they are effective or not, you could also investigate contributing towards a carbon offsetting initiative – but make sure you do your research and choose a reputable programme. Numerous online carbon calculators are available to help you work out your emissions for offsetting.
And finally, just because you’re abroad, don’t forget the basics. Turn off lights and electrical appliances; use energy efficient light bulbs; only run washing machines when full; take short showers rather than baths; separate your rubbish and recycle as much as possible where local recycling options are available; and avoid single use plastics by using reusable drinks bottles, cups, etc.