Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo

Travel & Field Trips

Douglas College geographers believe in experiential learning and getting out into the field. This is why the department of Geography and the Environment participates in so many international field schools and runs regular, local field trips from its New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses.

We've been involved in numerous study abroad experiences. Students in these programs have travelled to Belize, China, Scotland, and Wales as part of their Douglas College degrees.

We also offer field-based learning in the form of field trips in many of our courses, where classrooms shift outdoors to local natural and cultural features such as rivers, forests, First Nations communities, museums, and urban spaces, among others. We investigate issues ranging from climate change and natural disaster risk to urban sprawl and globalization. Students benefit from instructors who are passionate about geography, and from more one-on-one time thanks to our small class sizes.

Study Abroad

Geographers at Douglas College have taken students to China, Belize, Wales, and Scotland as part of our international field school program. Students typically take three Douglas College University Transfer courses in a condensed fashion over six to seven weeks. A portion of the courses are completed on campus while the remainder is completed in experiential format overseas.

For example the Belize Field School has combined  Regional Geography of Latin 

Mayan temple, Belize

America (GEOG 1190) with Sociology and Archaeology courses, with three weeks of classes at our New West Campus followed by five weeks of field studies in the tropical paradise of Belize. Students have participated in archaeological digs, visited community conservation programs, and snorkeled in the pristine waters of the Caribbean barrier reef.

Photo: Mayan Temple, Belize 


The Scotland Field School has combined Earth Sciences (GEOG 1110) with Creative Writing Performing Arts to investigate the interplay between Scottish physical landscapes and cultural identities. After four weeks of course work at our New West campus, students spent three weeks exploring museums, castles, city squares and streets, and of course, a green hill or two to examine the local geomorphology.    

Photo: Scotland, 2014  

Douglas College is always designing different field school and overseas opportunities, involving different courses and countries. Keep an eye out for upcoming information sessions and talk with your instructors.

Local field trips

Geographers study both natural and human-built environments and as such we like to get out and see what’s happening on the ground. Many of our classes take students on field trips to visit local sites of relevance or participate in walking tours. Some of our past trips include the following

  • Lynn Canyon 
  • Shopping malls
  • Britannia Shipyards
  • Cemetery tours 
  • Chung Collection (UBC)
  • The Longhouse at UBC 
  • Museum of Anthropology
  • Coquitlam River Watershed
  • Delta Nature Reserve
  • Historical Chinatown
  • Local creeks
  • World Refugee Day
  • Refugee Camp in the City
  • Stó:lō First Nation (Chilliwack)
  • Historical New Westminster
  • Musqueam First Nation
  • New Westminster urban planning
  • Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre
  • Glacial history of the Fraser Valley
  • Seymour Demonstration Forest 
  • Fraser River Discovery Centre 
  • Gulf of Georgia Cannery
  • Tsawwassen First Nation
  • Lower Seymour Conservation Area
  • and many more...

Ask your instructors for course specific details.