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Global Sustainability Studies Program

An opportunity to study and help solve sustainability problems in a global context.

Become a global citizen

Implementing sustainability in Africa or Europe can be a different type of challenge than it is in the U.S. As a sustainability student, you know that on the path to impactful solutions, understanding global context is critical.

Study abroad with the Global Sustainability Studies Program to witness and learn sustainability principles and solutions in international community, urban and political settings. Through these condensed, rigorous courses set within a different culture, you will gain skills like:

  • Problem-solving
  • Networking
  • Intercultural collaboration
  • Cross-disciplinary application

Global Immersive Experiences

The Walton Global Sustainability Studies Program is excited to present two new Spring Global Immersive Experience course for 2017.

CUBA: Unlocked and On the Edge of Rapid Transitions
March 5-12, 2017
1 credit hours, $2,900 program fee*
Led by Brigitte Bavousett and Glenda Whetten

Understand the complex interactions between the environmental, economic and socio-political outcomes of an expected burst of tourism for the newly-opened borders of Cuba. Through on-site collaboration with Cuban citizens, ASU students will work to develop strategies to build a Circular Economy for sustainable tourism. Students will have the ability to enhance their understanding of their chosen major while enriching their perspective by researching a complex transdisciplinary set of regional challenges.

COSTA RICA: Coffee and Climate Change
March 5-12, 2017
1 credit hours, $1,800 program fee*
Led by Dr. Hallie Eakin and Stratis Giannakouros

Using the global coffee commodity chain as a lens, students will view and assess the sustainability of market-based social change initiatives. Over the past two decades social forces have endeavored to foster alternative, marketbased models for the coffee commodity chain to ensure a more equitable distribution of the profits between coffee growers and retailers. Explore the fundamental question of whether or not markets can be reoriented to reflect a higher social and environmental purpose.

Make the world your classroom

Destinations and course topics change every summer, adapting to current global sustainability developments. Past programs include:

  • Sustainable energy solutions in Spain and Morocco
  • Environmental tourism in Dubai
  • Human rights in Brazil
  • Mobility and transportation in the Netherlands
  • Urban development in Hong Kong
  • Environmental challenges in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Sustainability policy in London and Washington, D.C.
Rebecca McCarthy, Spain/Morocco
“We can only learn so much from reading literature, hearing testimonials, and watching documentaries about the rest of the world. Studying abroad gave me the opportunity to step into a new scenario in order to gain a better understanding of what unique sustainability problems are affecting parts of the world and how we can begin to take steps towards solving them.”
Rebecca McCarthy, Spain/Morocco, 2015

Get your passport ready

“In Guatemala I learned that human relationships, family and happiness (wellbeing) are inextricably linked with sustainable living. Those lessons were learned, not only from the Guatemalans we met but, from the family we formed as a result of the trip.”
Paul Prosser, Guatemala, 2015
Paul Prosser, Guatemala

Each study abroad program is led by faculty members from the School of Sustainability and local expert partners, and program cohorts are limited to small groups of 15-20 students, creating a close-knit learning community. Learn more about past Global Studies student experiences on the Scholars Abroad for Sustainability Solutions Blog.

Summer 2017 programs


Human Development, Diversity and Sustainability
June 3 – July 2, 2017*
3 credit hours
Dr. Mary Jane Parmentier

This program takes you to all of the main regions of Ecuador – Andes mountains, Amazon region, and the Pacific Coast, in order to experience the diversity and complexity of sustainable development. We will have an opportunity to visit a wide variety of ecosystems with an unparalleled level of biodiversity and physical and human geography; in one day we can travel from the central Andes to the Amazon region. Ecuador is a culturally, socially, politically and economically diverse country. While Ecuador is unique, it can also reflect what can be found in other regions of Latin America, and offers a window into how to couple human development with some of the Earth’s most precious resources.

Mandatory pre-departure course Spring Session B

* All course dates are subject to change.

Nepal I

Re-imagining Environmental Sustainability in Urban and Rural Nepal
May 23 – June 12, 2017*
3 credit hours
Dr. Nalini Chhetri

This program will lead you through understanding the challenges of risks and resilience in Nepal’s urban and rural environment as affected by the two massive earthquakes in 2015 for ASU with Nepal’s Tribhuvan University’s (TU) students. In particular the project will focus on the sustainable livelihood systems and buffer zones of Nepal to allow you to understand rural-urban transition in South Asia and provide a sense of sustainable development in urban systems, rural area, and wildlife conservation.

Mandatory pre-departure course Spring Session B

* All course dates are subject to change.

South Africa

Sustainability Challenges of the Wildlife Economy in South Africa
June 8 – June 21, 2017*
3 credit hours
Dr. Daniel L Childers and Dr. Sharon Hall

This unique Global Sustainability Study Abroad class will immerse students in the social/cultural, environmental, and economic challenges facing South Africa with its legacies of colonialism and Apartheid, and with the 1994 ratification of one of the world’s most progressive constitutions. We will focus on the social/cultural, environmental, and economic conflicts and opportunities in and around Kruger National Park, associated with the government’s Wildlife Economy policies, from both sustainability and conservation biology perspectives.

* All course dates are subject to change.


Sustainable Food Systems, Community Development, & Happiness in Denmark
June 16 – July 15, 2017*
6 credit hours
Dr. Scott Cloutier

Urban planning that includes sustainable food systems and urban agriculture provides opportunities for happiness through increased accessibility and affordability of healthy foods and access to green space within urban settings. This summer course is a research-oriented project exploring how multi-scale (individual, neighborhood, and city) resilience and happiness are affected by urban agriculture programs and how interconnected community development subsystems (e.g. water, waste, transportation) support both urban agriculture and happiness in Denmark. By partnering with local organizations, researchers, and universities, students and residents are engaged and empowered to co-develop local solutions to urban sustainability challenges.

Mandatory pre-departure course Spring Session B

* All course dates are subject to change.

Hong Kong

Urban Sustainability in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China
3 credit hours
Dr. Rob Melnick

Global Citizenship Program (GCP) promotes global collaboration in Sustainable Development education, to enrich students academically and culturally, and to prepare them for the future challenges and opportunities in this field. Through a combination of lectures and field trips, students will learn about sustainability challenges in three locations: Hong Kong (urban density), Taipei (climate impacts and urban systems) and Guangzhou (low carbon city design). Students will work in small teams with fellow students from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and National Taipei University (NTPU). Lectures for the course will be by distinguished faculty from the three universities and experts including executive-level government officials and NGO and business leaders.

* All course dates are subject to change.

Nepal II

GlobalResolve: Grassroots Innovation for Sustainable Development
May 18 – June 8, 2017*
6 credit hours
Dr. Mark Henderson and Dr. Netra Chhetri

This GlobalResolve program brings a solutions approach to provide sustainable economic development to underserved communities. Students will work in multidisciplinary teams and apply the theory into practice. Additionally they will work with the users to design and implement use-inspired approach to solving problems. Once the study abroad is completed, we expect students to have a skill set that will prepare them for a career in global innovation and development.

Mandatory pre-departure course Spring Session B

* All course dates are subject to change.

Walton Scholarship

The scholarship award amount covers 40 to 50 percent of the total cost of the program, not to exceed $5,000. Awards are based on a competitive process that includes an essay application, academic merit and relevance to the student’s field of study. If you are not a sustainability major or minor, you are still eligible to apply for the scholarship (please contact Stratis Giannakouros).

Learn more and apply today for a Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives Global Studies scholarship.

For more information, contact:

Stratis Giannakouros
Program Manager, Global Sustainability Studies Program, Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives
Project Manager, Global Sustainability Solutions Services, Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives