Sustainable Tourism



Come with us to West Java, where we will stay in a small Indonesian fishing village now famous for its perfect right hand point break.  Here we where we will talk with the local community to learn how different forms of tourism and growth have affected their livelihoods and the environment.  We will also get involved with the community through activities including a beach cleanup and English lessons with the local youth.  Of course, we will be out in the surf break every day too!  No worries if you don’t know how to surf – this wave has been described as the best place to learn to surf in Indonesia due to its consistency and sand bottom.  Between lectures and surfing, we will explore Green Canyon by body raft, ride bikes through serene rice fields, and eat delicious locally prepared food.


  • In Country Transportation
  • Breakfast and most dinners
  • Course related materials
  • All course related activities
  • All accommodations

Not Included

  • Flight to Java
  • Surfboard rental
  • Lunches and snacks
  • Unit registration
  • Travel Insurance

Dr. Leon Mach

Academic Advisor

Leon’s passion for surfing has not only led him around the world, but has also guided him through graduate school. He has completed his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy with focuses in environmental justice and international tourism and also earned a Higher Education Certification. Leon has led numerous accredited study abroad programs throughout Central and South America and Southeast Asia and is an energetic advocate for encouraging students to apply what they are passionate about into their studies as he has with surfing and sustainability.

Carolyn Kovacs

Trip Leader

After completing her M.S. in Marine Science focusing on dolphin-fisheries interactions, Carolyn spent four years teaching marine biology and acting as the program manager for a study abroad program on a sailboat.  During this time she had the opportunity to visit over 40 countries, but one place stole her heart – West Java, Indonesia.  She returned for the next four years to surf and spent time with friends, but deepened her connection in 2017 when she volunteered with the local environmentally-focused organization CLEAR for two months.  She now lives in Panama, teaching tropical coastal ecology for a residential study abroad program and conducting research on the effects of tourism and other anthropogenic impacts on the coastal ecosystem.  Carolyn is passionate about teaching, immersive education, travel, understanding other cultures, and surfing, and is excited to work with SeaState to combine all of these and share them with equally passionate students.

Course Objectives:

  • Outline important historical events related to international tourism and understand the origins of the theoretical shift towards sustainable tourism.
  • Build and appreciation for Indonesian history and culture through reading and immersion.
  • Determine how cultural differences influence tourist perceptions and satisfaction in the context of surf tourism.
  • Strategize collaborations among diverse tourism stakeholders representing government, business, the local environment, and local communities.
  • Demonstrate interest in living and traveling in ways that promote cultural understanding and environmental sustainability.
  • Evaluate hotel performance based on sustainability criteria and implement their own analysis of tourism providers.
  • Gain skills and become familiar with techniques for using theoretical frameworks to evaluate sustainability at the community level in the field.