Sustainability, BA, BS

Why YOU Should Participate in a Global Education Program

Global Education programs provide students the opportunity to experience sustainability challenges in a global context. Sustainability majors understand that on the path to impactful solutions, understanding global and cultural contexts are critical.

A Message from the School of Sustainability

“Sustainability is simultaneously a local and a global challenge. Learning how to address local sustainability issues is a good start for ASU students who want to positively affect change in the world. But it’s not enough.

A healthy, prosperous future for people and planet requires understanding the global interconnectedness of sustainability issues. The best way to do that is to see sustainability issues through the lens of another culture. Sustainability problems are more or less universal, but they play out and are solved in different ways in different countries. Studying abroad is an absolutely essential component of an education in sustainability and for developing the knowledge and skills necessary to be a good, global citizen.”

- Rob Melnick, Director of International Programs, School of Sustainability

Planning Your Program

When to Participate in a Global Education Program

When to Participate in a Global Education Program

With advance planning, and working closely with your academic advisor, you should be able to fit a Global Education program within your four years at ASU. As a Sustainability major, there is flexibility on timing, but most students will participate in a Global Education program between the summer of freshman year and fall of junior year.

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
  • Ready to participate in a Global Education program? Apply to Global Education programs
  • Option 1: Complete a winter break, spring break or post-spring, or semester 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

Non-optimal year to participate in a Global Education program
Fall - Spring
  • Option 5: Complete a fall or winter break Global Education program

General Advice

General Advice

Advice from the School of Sustainability

Sustainability students can earn upper division SOS elective credit through summer, faculty-directed programs.

Every student’s situation is different; talk with your advisor to find out if any other requirements could be satisfied through a particular Global Education program.

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

  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor through your MyASU homepage. Click on “schedule an appointment” under the Academic Advising tab.
  • Visit the Undergraduate Academic Advising page for more information, including walk-in advising hours, location and contact information.

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 participated in 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

The School of Sustainability offers study abroad scholarships for which you may apply.  Check out their scholarship website for more information!  

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

Recommended Programs

Although Sustainability majors can participate in any ASU study abroad program, the School of Sustainability recommends the following programs:

Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Post-Spring
Country: Jordan
Unique Features: This course and program provides a global immersion experience into one of the most socially-, culturally-, and historically-complex regions in the world – Jordan and the Middle East. Students will complement their prior knowledge in social entrepreneurship and sustainability with a hands-on learning experiences from NGOs, non-profits, and emerging entrepreneurs in Jordan.
Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Ecuador
Unique Features: Connect with and learn from one of the most emblematic indigenous groups in the Americas to explore challenges and possible solutions for sustaining the Amazon. Based in the heart of the rainforest, learn experientially and experimentally about sustainability, bioculture, rivers and ecological management within the context of highly biodiverse ecosystems and their indigenous stewards. Upon completion of this program, you will be able to combine indigenous and scientific knowledge towards water management, biomonitoring, wildlife restoration, eco-tourism and other sustainability solutions.
Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Ireland
Unique Features: This seven week program is designed for ASU students of any major interested in participating in a powerful, individualized international internship in Dublin. One of the premier capital cities of Europe, Dublin is a historic and contemporary cultural center and Ireland’s hub for education, the arts, government, economy and industry. In addition to working four days per week, students will either enroll in a seminar-style course that focuses on Ireland's role in the global workplace or complete an independent research project.
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: Post-Spring
Country: Malaysia
Unique Features: Malaysia is known for innovation and modern urbanization, contrasting with its rich biodiversity of beaches and rainforests. There is a crucial need for interface between business enterprises and the conservation of Malaysian tropical forests. You will learn the value of local knowledge with how to apply critical-thinking skills towards innovative solutions.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Summer
Country: United Kingdom
Unique Features: Study and intern in London with CAPA internships available in businesses of every kind as well as nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. Students who participate receive an unlimited Tube pass and work experience that provides strong professional and cultural foundations for the future.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Australia
Unique Features: CAPA Sydney offers courses and internships in many different areas. All CAPA students receive full credit and grades for courses and internships completed. Participants will complete a total of six credits during the Summer. Students will either complete two three-credit classes, or the three-credit internship and one additional three-credit course. During the Summer term, the program includes internships, business courses and Australian-focused courses, including CAPA’s Global City Sydney course. Students who participate receive an unlimited Tube pass.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: Costa Rica
Unique Features: Participate in specially-designed CIEE courses on sustainability and tropical conservation, and explore the sustainability of alternative energy, food systems, agriculture, nature reserves, and tourism in Costa Rica. Take excursions to protected areas of endangered biological and cultural diversity to learn about their threats and what can be done to save them. Live with Costa Rican families and take advantage of the opportunity to intern with local organizations, businesses, or farms dedicated to sustainable development.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: Costa Rica
Unique Features: Spend a semester in the vibrant and historic city of San Jose while completing up to three courses of college-level Spanish as well as additional electives in areas such as environmental studies and sustainability! Participate in the Bridging Cultures Program to help ease the transition into your study abroad experience, and consider adding an optional Service Learning placement to work in the local community. Enjoy excursions to locations such as Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio National Park, and Playa Tamarindo!
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: Costa Rica
Unique Features: Join SFS in Costa Rica, known worldwide for its conservation efforts which have attracted millions of tourists to the country’s parks and reserves. Gain experience in natural and social science field research by assisting faculty in the SFS Center for Sustainable Development Studies' five-year research plan. Examine the effects of globalization on development issues in Costa Rica, and get involved with the community by engaging in long-term community projects, joining in festivals, participating in short homestay visits, and more!
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Country: Italy
Unique Features: The Umbra Institute is the only American study abroad program in Perugia, the city known as Italy’s “University City.” Perugia has a thriving international student scene and is a great location for students looking to immerse themselves in Italian culture. Students can choose from a variety of courses offered on the Food, Sustainability & Environmental Studies track. Many of the courses offer hand-on learning experiences and emphasize community engagement. All courses, except for Italian language courses, are taught in English.