Innovation in Society, BS, BA

Why YOU Should Participate in a Global Education Program

Global Education programs provide an opportunity for you to develop a valuable skill set that can give you an advantage over the competition and in life in general by:

  • Expanding your knowledge of different places, cultures, and people
  • Broadening your horizons not just so that you can learn about new places, but gain important perspectives on where you are from as well
  • Challenging you to adapt and persevere under sometimes difficult and harsh social and cultural circumstances
  • Improving your language and cross cultural skills for effective communication across populations
  • Enhancing your portfolio of experience through the kinds of hands-on research and community-based opportunities that will help prepare you for the workplace in Arizona, the United States, and abroad
  • Networking with other students, members of the community and faculty

A Message from the School for the Future of Innovation in Society

“I learned more during the semester I spent in London on a study abroad in my junior year than any other time in my life. My horizons expanded and I began to realize that I was connected to the outside world in ways I had never imagined.  My love of travel continues to this day, but studying abroad opens doors that aren’t available to normal travelers. My number one piece of advice to students is to take advantage of study abroad programs.”

Jamey Wetmore, Chair of Undergraduate Programs, SFIS

Planning Your Program

When to Participate in a Global Education Program

When to Participate in a Global Education Program

ASU students have the opportunity to study abroad through three major formats:  

  • Semester or year long programs with a partner institution or at an international university

  • 2-9 week summer programs led by ASU faculty

  • Global Intensive Experience (GIE) programs, which are 1-2 week programs held during semester breaks

Each of these programs have their own unique benefits.  The semester-long programs give you in-depth immersion in a foreign culture and sometimes in a foreign language.  Faculty-led summer programs are reasonably short and can be good for students juggling jobs and family with their education. GIE programs officially count as either Fall or Spring courses, which can save full-time students significant money that would otherwise need to be spent on academic credits. SFIS faculty lead programs in the second two categories and tailor them specifically for our majors.

When to participate in a Global Education program

With advance planning, and working closely with your academic advisor, you should be able to fit study abroad within your four years at ASU. As a Innovation in Society major, there are a number of terms available for you to study abroad. Check out our recommended options below:

Year Term Recommended Student Action
Year 1 Fall -Spring Begin researching Global Education programs
Year 2

Optimal year to participate in a Global Education program
Fall- Spring Ready to participate in a Global Education program? Apply to Global Education programs

Option 1: Complete a fall, winter break, spring semester, spring break or post-spring Global Education program
Summer Option 2: Complete a summer Global Education program
Year 3

Optimal year to participate in a Global Education program
Fall - Spring Option 3: Complete a semester, winter break, spring break, or post-spring Global Education program
Summer Option 4: Complete a summer Global Education program
Year 4

Fall - Spring Option 5: Complete a fall or winter break Global Education program

General Advice

General Advice

Advice from the Global Education Office

  • Be sure to view the list of recommended steps for getting started on your study abroad journey.

  • Attend a Study Abroad 101 info session to get all the basic information from a Global Education Student Recruiter on program types, eligibility, housing, finances, searching for and choosing a program and the application process. Discover times and locations.

  • Attend a Financing Your Global Education Program workshop to get information on program fees and deadlines, how financial aid can apply to Global Education programs, how to utilize community-based funding and tips on finding and applying for Global Education scholarships. Discover times and locations.

Meet With Your Academic Advisor

Meet With Your Academic Advisor

How to make an appointment

Key questions to ask

  • What are my remaining degree requirements?

  • How many upper-division credits do I still need to complete for my degree?

  • How many elective credits (lower vs. upper division) do I have left to complete my major?

  • What remaining prerequisites must I fulfill, and how will a Global Education program impact my progress?

  • Which of my remaining degree requirements could I complete abroad?  Are there any that I cannot take abroad?

  • Can I receive academic credit for an internship abroad?

  • Are there any in-residence requirements I need to be aware of before I go abroad?

Meet With the Global Education Office

Meet With the Global Education Office

Meeting with a Peer Advisor

Peer Advisors are ASU students who have studied abroad on various types of programs and who are here to help you get started on a journey of your own!  They are prepared to help you understand the different types of programs offered, narrow down your program options, guide you on the application process, discuss program costs, and speak about student life abroad.

No appointments are necessary to meet with a Peer Advisor.

  • Stop by the Global Education Office anytime Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Contact a Peer Advisor by email  or Live Chat with them on the Global Education Office website.
  • Call a Peer Advisor at (480) 965-5965.

Meeting with an International Coordinator

Your International Coordinator can answer your questions about specific programs, can talk you through the application process, and can help you find funding resources for your particular program on the Global Education Office website. Your International Coordinator is happy to meet with you multiple times to answer your questions, and he/she would be glad to schedule meetings in person, by phone, or via Skype.

  • Find the name of your International Coordinator listed on the Global Education Office webpage for your program of interest.
  • Schedule an appointment online. Click on the International Coordinator name for your program of interest and follow the prompts to schedule your appointment.
  • Visit an International Coordinator during walk-in hours in Student Services Building, Room 278.

Key questions to ask the Global Education Office

  • What are the eligibility requirements for my program(s) or interest?
  • What is involved in the application for my program(s) of interest? Is admission to the program competitive?
  • How will I get ASU credit and grades for the courses I take abroad?
  • What courses are available on my program? How can I get courses approved for my program(s) of interest?
  • What is the cost of participating in my program(s) of interest? What do I need to consider in preparing an estimated budget for my program(s) of interest, and what expenses do I need to plan for upfront?
  • Where can I find more information about scholarships for Global Education programs?

Research Your Funding Options

Research Your Funding Options

Pursuing a global experience is an investment in your future. Like any other type of investment, it requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets, and financing when selecting and preparing for your global experience.

Review Cost Sheet

You can find a Cost Sheet for your program on the Cost Info tab of the Global Education Office webpage for your program. The Cost Sheet will highlight the costs that are billed to your student account as well as additional estimated costs that are not billed to your student account but that you might expect to spend while participating. Be sure to note what expenses are included in the fees charged by the Global Education Office, and remember to budget additional money for airfare, passport and visa fees and personal expenses as needed since these are not included in any Program Fee.

Research Funding

Once you have reviewed the Cost Sheet for your program and are aware of the costs you might expect to spend on your program, you can begin to make a plan for financing your global education program. You can receive funding for your program through financial aid, scholarships and grants, and community-based fundraising efforts. We encourage you to:

  1. Speak to Financial Aid and Scholarship Services (FASS) about financial aid;
  2. Use our Scholarships and Grants page to search for general global education scholarships and scholarships that are unique to your program;
  3. Read the Community-Based Funding Guide for creative ways that past ASU students have funded their programs.

Financial Aid

We encourage you to speak to a Financial Aid Counselor, who can help you figure out how your financial aid might be applied to your global education program. Be sure to seek answers to the following questions from a Financial Aid Counselor:

  • How do loans work for my global education program? What kinds of aid/loans do I currently receive, and are there any restrictions on this aid if I participate on a GEO program?
  • Have I reached the maximum of (insert name of) loan allowed per academic year?
  • When will funds be released for my semester of participation?
  • How will additional scholarships impact my ASU financial aid?

Major-Specific Scholarships

SFIS occasionally offers scholarships for SFIS directed Global Education programs. Please contact Elisha Thompson at for details.

Community-Based Funding

Check out the Global Education Office website to learn more about community-based funding, including tips and tricks for crowd-source funding. There is funding out there… you just have to ask!

Attend Financing Workshop

Would you like help learning about your financing options? We offer Financing Your Global Education Program Workshops through fall and spring semesters. Join us to learn how to finance your global education program through financial aid, scholarships and grants, and community-based funding.

Helpful Links

SFIS Student Testimonial

“Studying abroad in Cuba was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn in such a fascinating iconic country and island. This opportunity gave me the chance to completely immerse myself in another culture where I learned invaluable lessons from the Cuban people on how to persevere in the midst of changing political, social, and economic climates.

Studying abroad in Costa Rica granted me an intimate look into the rainforest where I was able to directly apply my conservation biology studies. It was a distinct opportunity to study in an incredibly rare and beautiful part of the world. I also experienced the kind and humble nature of the Costa Rican people and learned from their "planet over profit" mindset and culture.

Studying abroad is truly such a unique opportunity that everyone should take advantage of. It gives you a "behind-the-scenes" look of another country and culture coupled with an incredible amount of learning, risk taking, and growth. Studying abroad helps students make connections to what they learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world, all the while making new friendships and having life changing experiences. We should all let the world become our classroom!”

- Monique H., participant of Cuba: Past, Present, and Future and Learning from Nature: Environment, Sustainability, and Culture

Recommended Programs

Although students in any major in the School of Social Transformation can participate in any ASU study abroad program, the School Social Transformation recommends the following programs.

Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Portugal
Unique Features: Learn what it takes to become a global entrepreneur and take part in a life-changing experience! The goal of this program is to go from an idea to a tech start-up in 15 days. The program is designed to offer students an experiential learning opportunity that affords deep insight into the real startup life. Porto, located along the Douro River estuary in northern Portugal, has public art is everywhere, from azulejos decorating metro stations to street art decorating medieval walls.
Program Type: Global Intensive Experience
Available Terms: Post-Spring
Country: Dominican Republic
Unique Features: Join us in the Dominican Republic! Students on this program will connect with the Peace Corps community to get a "taste of the Peace Corps." They will help to implement ecologically sustainable projects in rural areas, engage with leaders working on community development projects, and participate in a site visit to a current Peace Corps Volunteer. Visit a Haitian batey and snorkel in blue waters. Students will write a project proposal based on their experience during Session B online.
Program Type: Global Intensive Experience
Available Terms: Post-Spring
Country: United States
Unique Features: This program is intended to give students an in-depth look at building a functional sustainable energy system on the Big Island of Hawaii. The state of Hawaii has recently set a goal of developing a 100% renewable energy grid by 2045. This goal will make Hawaii a real-world laboratory for developing a sustainable energy system in an island setting. Students will visit and engage with energy stakeholders in Hawaii and evaluate Hawaii’s energy resources and energy policy options.
Program Type: Global Intensive Experience
Available Terms: Spring Break
Country: Mexico
Unique Features: Examine emerging topics in marine conservation, using Baja California, Mexico (BCS) as a case study. We will focus on the integration of science, practice, socioeconomics, and culture in the context of fisheries, ocean conservation, and coastal livelihoods at BCS, which is known for its rich diversity of fisheries, flora and fauna, and deep cultural connections with marine resources. Topics will include fisheries and aquaculture, responsible ecotourism, marine megafauna ecology and conservation, and the development of innovative fisheries conservation technologies.