Georgian Footways: Human Geography of the Caucasus

Study Abroad

In the northwest corner of Georgia lies the fascinating region of Svaneti, where the surrounding mountains have helped to protect and preserve the region’s distinct language and culture over the centuries.

Under the Soviet Union, Svaneti faced many environmental, economic, and demographic pressures that had lasting effects, as did the chaos of the post-Soviet period. More recently, Svaneti has been the focus of government efforts to develop tourism and large-scale hydropower projects.

This course examines questions surrounding economic development, the current environmental and social issues facing the region, and efforts to preserve Svaneti’s unique natural and cultural heritage.

You will spend half the course working with the Transcaucasian Trail project, an effort to build trail infrastructure that benefits local communities and trail users through the development of sustainable tourism. While with the project, you will live and work in the mountains, designing and building the trail and engaging with local communities, learning first-hand what it takes to implement a sustainable development project and gaining insight into the practical implications the project has for the people who live along the trail.

The Caucasus mountains are a spectacular setting and our living laboratory as we use the lenses of political ecology, human geography, and critical development studies to engage with some of the most pressing issues facing our planet.


Foodways and Footways


Host Institution

About the Location


Environmental Studies, Geography, Hospitality/Tourism


  • GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • 18 years of age at time of application

Program Inclusions

Tuition, accommodation, nearly all meals, all transportation within Georgia, tickets, guides, and other experiences as per itinerary, health and emergency insurance, airport transfers, 24/7 emergency support.