A more sustainable stay abroad

Green Guide for AU students going on exchange 

Here you will find information on how to achieve a more sustainable - a greener - stay abroad.

Preparing to go abroad

  • If you are taking the opportunity to tidy up and get rid of things, do not throw away items that could be useful to others
  • Donate them to AU's secondhand bazar 
  • Give them away or sell them - e.g. via Facebook Marketplace

Getting there

Travel green and begin your adventure abroad from your very own door doorstep by traveling with train, bus or carpool while exploring the world and meeting new people.


  • Reduce your transport-related carbon footprint
  • Visit more cities while traveling to your new city
  • Experience the changing nature and landscape
  • Travel with non-aircraft-friendly luggage


  • Green travel can be more expensive 
  • Green travel is often more time consuming


  • Traveling internationally by train can be expensive - perhaps you can save money and get more value by getting a Interrail Pass
  • Seat61 has many tips on train rides all over Europe and the rest of the world - the timetables, prices and links to websites where you can book your trip
  • Other relevant websites could be Bahn.deHappyrailNS International and Raileurop


  • Flixbus is Europe's largest intercity bus network
  • If you want to weigh different travel options ComparabusBlaBlaBus and Omio could be relevant websites


  • Carpool is a great way to travel green and meet people - perhaps you will meet your very first friend in your new city by getting here?
  • You can find carpool rides via Facebook or relevant website such as BlaBlaCar or Carpool

If taking the plane is inevitable, you can still lower your emission:

  • Bring as little luggage as you can
  • Do some research on the airline – are they doing what they can to lower their emission?

CO2, time, cost? See calculated examples of journeys to universities

Circle U is an alliance between nine European universities who have a strong collaboration on mobility, inclusion and sustainability. Below are calculated examples of how to travel most cheaply, quickly and sustainably to Circle U universities. Find out more about exchange opportunities to Circle U universities here.

*Flights are calculated with departure from Billund airport, with baggage included in the ticket price (15-23 kg).
** CO2 emission has been calculated on www.carbonfootprint.com

Flights have been found via momondo.com.
Bus and rail journeys have been found via DSBOmio and Flixbus.

Belgrade University

(copy 13)

TRAIN 102 EURO 25 hours 50 kg
BUS 69 EURO 34 hours 200 kg
PLANE* 188 EURO 6 hours 270 kg

Humboldt University Berlin

(copy 15)

TRAIN 39 EURO 7 hours 20 kg
BUS 20 EURO 9 hours 70 kg
PLANE* 92 EURO 5 hours 140 kg

King's College London

(copy 17)

(copy 18)

TRAIN 96 EURO 14 hours 10 kg
BUS 59 EURO 33 hours 180 kg
PLANE* 26 EURO 2 hours 230 kg

Louvain University

(copy 19)

TRAIN 46 EURO 13 hours 10 kg
BUS 64 EURO 24 hours 100 kg
PLANE* 58 EURO 2 hours 180 kg

Oslo University

(copy 21)

TRAIN 90 EURO 11 hours 40 kg
BUS 47 EURO 13 hours 90 kg
PLANE* 60 EURO 1 hour 130 kg

Université de Paris

(copy 23)

TRAIN 82 EURO 13 hours 10 kg
BUS 53 EURO 17 hours 140 kg
PLANE* 88 EURO 2 hours 250 kg

Università di Pisa

(copy 25)

TRAIN 78 EURO 28 hours 10 kg
BUS 76 EURO 35 hours 180 kg
PLANE* 90 EURO 5 hours 400 kg

Vienna University

(copy 27)

TRAIN 90 EURO 15 hours 10 kg
BUS 43 EURO 19 hours 130 kg
PLANE* 94 EURO 2 hours 270 kg

Arriving and settling in


  • Take a night train to avoid accommodation costs while exploring the world
  • Find greener accommodation options on websites such as EcoBnb and Green Pearls

Obtain necessary things

  • Use a secondhand bazar for students if your host institution has one
  • Buy clothes, furnitures and kitching supplies second hand - try Facebook Marketplace or ask a local student 

Waste and recycling

  • Allocate some time to figure out how the recycling system works
  • Ask your host university or peers if they have any advice about waste and recycling

Living abroad

Getting around

  • When possible, get around by walking, biking or using public transport
  • Ask your host university or peers if they have any advice about getting around
  • Renting a bike (e.g. through Swapfiets) is a great alternative if you do not wish to purchase one - you often get free repairs and when you leave, you simply return it
  • If public transport is not an option, your can use carpool as a green alternative - BlaBlaCar is used in many European countries


  • Minimize your purchases and buy second hand when possible
  • Borrow or share clothes with your dorm mates or fellow students - e.g. if you are going to a specific event
  • Bring your own resuable bag and bring down the consumption of plastic carrier bags


  • Eat plant based and locally harvested food
  • Minimize your service waste e.g. by bringing your own coffee mug to campus and using reusable boxes and bags to store your food
  • Ask your peers if they have any advice about minimizing food and service waste

Books and papers

  • Buy your books secondhand - ask your peers if they have any advice about buying second books
  • If possible, avoid printing - use digital notes and e-books as alternatives
  • If printing is inevitable, print on both sides and in black/white to minimize the use of paper and ink

Preparing to go home

Get rid of your stuff

  • Do not throw away items that could be useful to others
  • Give them away or sell them - e.g. via Facebook Marketplace
  • Donate them to a secondhand store or a secondhand bazar for students 

Sustainable souvenirs

  • Think twice before buying souvenirs - make sure the items will be used and appreciated
  • Buy sustainable souvenirs such as food, spices, tea and locally produced things
  • Buy light-weighted souvenirs in order to travel with as little luggage as possible