Guyana | Exploring the Art and Science of Biodiversity

This immersive interdisciplinary Summer Studies course offered by RISD Global is for art and design students interested in exploring the extraordinary biodiversity of Guyana while also considering the role of ecotourism as a conservation strategy.


Global Summer Studies
  • Georgetown, Guyana
  • Iwokrama, Guyana
  • Surama, Guyana
  • Yupukari, Guyana
Summer 2024

Course Dates: Jun 15, 2024 — Jul 5, 2024

Open to RISD students, Brown University students, non-RISD students

2.5 GPA required. Non-RISD participants see eligibility requirements below.

Academic Credits
  • Liberal Arts Elective

Included tuition, round trip airfare from John F. Kennedy International Airport (Queens, NY), accommodation, in-country transportation, field trips, entrance fees, all meals and international travel health insurance.

Guyana: Exploring Art and Science of Bio Diversity
Surama, Guyana
Guyana: Exploring Art and Science of Bio Diversity
Surama, Guyana
Exploring the Art & Science of Biodiversity
Surama, Guyana

About this Travel Course

Course Description

On location for three weeks in Guyana, this course will be taught by longtime RISD faculty member, scientist Dr. Lucy Spelman (Senior Lecturer/HPSS), and a fine arts graduate student TA - to be determined. The class travels by road and stays at a variety of eco-lodges in different ecoregions. Students will explore the local culture and study the local ecology, flora, fauna, geology, and night sky. They will learn from local guides and researchers; visit Amerindian villages and local shops; and document the experience by keeping both a written and visual journal, annotated with relevant scientific references. Once back in the capital city of Georgetown, the class will organize a pop-up exhibition in collaboration with a community arts group, Moving Circle, that asks: what is “eco” about ecotourism? The curriculum emphasizes the importance of cross-cultural learning, connecting ideas, information, and methodologies across the arts and biological sciences. Teaching modalities include lectures, walks in nature, drawing in nature, independent study time for reading, writing, and making and group discussion.

Important Information Regarding Airfare

Round trip airfare departing from and returning to John F. Kennedy International Airport (Queens, NY) is included in the course cost.


RISD Students

If your current cumulative GPA is 2.5 or above, you are eligible for registration. If your current cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, you must first contact the Registrar at to seek exception to this academic policy.

Non-RISD Participants

If you are a college student currently enrolled in another art/design college or institution around the world, or a professional practicing in the field, you are eligible for registration. We will collect a recommendation/support form from your institution/workplace.

In order to register for RISD Global summer studies, you are expected to have a high level of English (speech, writing, and comprehension) as all coursework and critique is delivered in English.

Attendance Policy

Global Summer Studies are three weeks long and take place in June/July, and you are required to attend all program activities scheduled during the travel course. RISD Global Summer Studies comply with RISD class attendance policy. In case of unexcused or multiple absences, you may be removed from the course, given a grade of “W" (withdrawal) or a grade of “F” (fail).

Withdrawal Policy

Requesting to withdraw from a RISD off-campus global learning program, including RISD Global Summer Studies, prior to the start of the course is highly discouraged and requires a formal process outlined in the RISD course withdrawal policy. It is not possible for a student to drop a RISD Global Summer Studies travel course via the standard Add/Drop process after it has commenced. In the case of unforeseen and extenuating circumstances (and only after students have spoken with the faculty lead and RISD Global for approval to withdraw from the program), students should be aware that no refund will be issued.

More Info

In order to reserve a seat, a non-refundable deposit of $500 is required at the time of application submittal. Students who apply between February 1, 2024, and March 1, 2024, will have until March 1, 2024, to submit full payment. Student who apply between March 2, 2024, and the application deadline, March 15, 2024, will make full payment within 24 hours of the application being submitted. Students that fail to make full payment by their deadline will forfeit their $500 deposit and their seat in the course.

All RISD students enrolled in RISD and other full degree schools/universities are required to remain in good academic standing in order to participate in Global Summer Studies. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for all RISD students. Failure to remain in good academic standing can lead to removal from the course, either before or during the course.

In cases where summer travel courses and studios do not reach full capacity, the course may be canceled after the last day of registration. As such, all students are advised not to purchase flights for participation in Global Summer Studies courses until the course is confirmed.

Apply to Global Summer Studies

The deadline for Global Summer Studies 2024 has now passed.

View details
Office bw resized

1:1 Advising Session

Have questions? The RISD Global team is available to meet for a 1:1 advising session. We can give you more information about your study options, help you figure out which program makes sense for you, and assist you with the application process.

Schedule an Appointment


No upcoming events for this program at this time.


No announcements for this program.