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World Food System Summer School:
Food Systems in Transition

Stellenbosch, South Africa, June 25 - July 8, 2017

The call for applications is now closed. Download flyer (PDF, 304 KB).

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To apply, you must complete an online application form and submit (upload via the form) the following:   

  • your curriculum vitae
  • letter of recommendation. This letter should be from a professor if you are currently a student or a letter from your employer if you have graduated.
  • motivation letter. The motivation letter should communicate your answers to the following three questions: why do you want to come to this course? What can you contribute? What do you hope to do after this course? 

Your complete application must be submitted by February 10, 2017, 8 AM CET


The question of how to feed the world while considering human health, the environment and social wellbeing is one of the defining challenges of our time. From changes in land use to dietary shifts, contemporary transitions in the food system have profound implications around the globe.

Join the World Food System Summer School and connect with a community of motivated and like-minded students, researchers and practitioners from around the world who are all committed to building sustainable food systems.

The 2017 summer school is hosted at the Sustainability Institute in Lynedoch Ecovillage, near Stellenbosch, South Africa. The SI is an international living and learning center dedicated to finding ways to sustain the ecosystem and foster a more equitable society.

  • Discuss challenges, opportunities, and innovations in food systems across disciplines, sectors and scales. Collaborate with producers, leading research institutes, industry players, policy makers, and civil society representatives.
  • Learn how to apply a food systems perspective. The program will take an integrated approach that considers interactions across the food system and with its environmental, social, political, and economic boundary conditions.
  • Be creative and innovative. Exchange ideas and work on case studies to address contemporary challenges of the world food system as part of a diverse, interdisciplinary team.
  • Examine how transitions in land use and diets affect global food and nutrition security while engaging with experts in the field and building an international network.
  • Experience first-hand the realities of sustainable production systems.

This immersion learning experience integrates lectures, group work, case studies, workshops, excursions, art, and includes guest speakers and evening social and cultural activities. You will also have the chance to do hands-on work on the farm


Applicants must be currently enrolled in a university graduate education program (Master’s or PhD) or have recently graduated from one of these programs (up to 5 years since graduation).

Successful applicants will have a strong interest in food system challenges and solutions, interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration, and inter-cultural exchange, and bring relevant experience.

The course will be conducted in English.

We are running a competitive application process. This also applies to applicants from ETH Zurich and DEVIL partner universities.

Course Dates

The course will run for two weeks, between June 25 and July 8, 2017 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Participants are expected to attend for the entire course period.


The ETH Zurich accredits successful completion of the course with 4 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) points. Acknowledgment of the points in your study programs at your home institution is your own responsibility.


The course fee of 750 Swiss Francs (CHF) per student covers:

  • board
  • lodging
  • local travel
  • all activities during the program

All of the above is organized by the course organizers.

Participants are responsible for paying and organizing:

  • their own visa (if required)
  • health insurance
  • transportation to and from Stellenbosch, South Africa


The course is organized by the World Food System Center at ETH Zurich, in partnership with the DEVIL research consortium. The Center works toward a vision of a healthy world through sustainable food systems. Our 39 professorial members from different departments engage in interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach together with partners from a variety of sectors.

ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is one of the leading international universities for technology and the natural sciences. It has more than 18,000 students from over 110 countries and 500 professors.


project logo

This course is a being offered as part of the research project, Delivering Food Security on Limited Land (DEVIL). This project is led by an international and multidisciplinary consortium of researchers from eight countries. The project is generously supported by national funding bodies, coordinated through the Belmont Forum and the FACCE-JPI Initiative

A very limited number of scholarships are available and will be awarded to accepted students on an as-needed basis.

Page URL: http://www.worldfoodsystem.ethz.ch/education/summer-schools/upcoming.html
Sun Apr 23 22:47:23 CEST 2017
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich