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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.

Studying abroad with the Global Sustainability Studies Program will provide you the opportunity 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 efficacy 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 trip 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 2016 programs

Pinterest - England and France board England and France

London and Paris: Sustainability In Museums
May 22 – June 6, 2016 (16 days)*
3 credit hours
Stacey Freeman

You will visit London and Paris to gain a cross-cultural perspective on revered museums and other cultural venues in London and Paris, including: Natural History Museum and Science Museum of London, Louvre, and Chateau de Versailles. During the program, you will: conduct your own hands-on sustainability-related museum activities, compare and contrast communication methods, and identify general themes and effective strategies for engaging public audiences in sustainability.

Mandatory pre-departure course Spring Session B

* All course dates are subject to change.

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Sustainable Development across Morocco: National Polices to Local Solutions
May 14 – June 7, 2016 (24 days)*
3 credit hours
Dr. Mary Jane Parmentier

You will experience and witness an extremely wide range of human development throughout the program, by staying and working with Moroccans from a myriad of socioeconomic sectors in the regions of Marrakech, the Sahara, and the Atlas Mountains. The overall goal of the program is to provide a comprehensive introduction to the cultural, political, socioeconomic and historical context for sustainable development policies, discourse and projects in Morocco, in order to develop skills in assessing current issues and solutions in local and comparative contexts.

Mandatory pre-departure course Spring Session B

* All course dates are subject to change.

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Urban Sustainability in Hong Kong
June 3 – 18, 2016 (15 days)*
3 credit hours
Dr. Rob Melnick and Jennifer Carter

Cities are increasingly taking the initiative to address the big-picture sustainability challenges of renewable energy, transportation, water supply, biodiversity, waste management, GHG emissions, land use, food security and community resilience. This faculty-led summer course will use Hong Kong as the setting to provide students with lectures, field trips, direct interactions with Hong Kong’s leaders and an opportunity to actually develop and publicly present solutions-focused policies for one of the world’s most complex and densely-populated cities. Students will work in small teams with Chinese students enrolled in City University of Hong Kong to learn how cities formulate and apply public policy to help solve their challenges of local sustainability.

* All course dates are subject to change.

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Risk and Resiliency in Earthquake affected Urban and Rural Nepal
May 15 – June 4, 2016 (20 days)*
3 credit hours
Dr. Nalini Chhetri

You will observe and interact on urban challenges of earthquake affected infrastructure development, school buildings, and farming systems in the valley of Kathmandu and beyond. You will also experience buffer zones in the Chitwan National Park, home of the rare Bengal tiger and one-horned rhino, to understand how wildlife and humans exist in a densely populated regions. With student peers and experts from Nepal’s universities and organizations, you will deliberate on the challenges and complexities of ensuring the sustainability of these systems.

Mandatory pre-departure course Spring Session B

* All course dates are subject to change.

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Sustainability Challenges of the Wildlife Economy in South Africa
June 8 – June 21, 2016 (13 days)*
3 credit hours
Dr. Daniel Childers and Dr. Michael Schoon

This unique course will immerse you 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.

Mandatory pre-departure course Spring Session B

* All course dates are subject to change.

Pinterest - UK and Denmark board United Kingdom and Denmark

Building Community Resilience Through Sustainability Planning in the United Kingdom and Denmark
June 1 – July 13, 2016 (43 days)
6 credit hours
Dr. Jennifer Hodbod and Dr. Scott Cloutier

Building Community Resilience Through Sustainability Planning in the United Kingdom and Denmark is a project exploring how multi-scale (individual, neighborhood and city) resilience and happiness are affected by urban agriculture programs. By partnering with local organizations, researchers and universities, you and local residents will be 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.


To participate in the Global Sustainability Studies Program, you must meet the following requirements:

Undergraduate students:
  • be an Arizona State University student studying sustainability as a major, minor or concentration area
  • have a minimum 2.75 GPA
  • complete at least 56 credit hours at time of program participation
  • complete at least two SOS-prefix courses (SOS 100, SOS 110, SOS 111 and SOS 300)
Graduate students:
  • be in good standing in their program
  • have a minimum 2.75 GPA

Note: Graduate students will be selected based on merit of application. School of Sustainability graduate students will be given priority placement should a program be over-enrolled.

*Students that do not meet the listed qualifications may be considered on an individual basis, if space is available

Financial aid

Students will be notified of scholarship eligibility and process upon confirmation of acceptance into a Global Studies program. A limited number of scholarships are available to ASU sustainability students. The scholarship award amount may be up to 40 to 60 percent of the total cost of the program, not to exceed $5,000. Awards will be based on a competitive process including essay application, academic merit and relevance to the student’s field of study. All scholarships will be awarded by the beginning of February.

Scholarship eligibility:
  • Sustainability majors, minors or concentration area students, applying to one of the programs listed
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • 56 credit hours completed by the time of participation
  • Two of the following courses (or equivalent) completed by the time of participation: SOS 100, SOS110, SOS111, SOS 300

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