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Faculty-directed summer study abroad programs: Flexibility for any Sun Devil to study abroad

ASU students on a faculty-directed program to Nepal

ASU students on a faculty-directed study abroad program to Nepal. Photo by Heather Otten

August 03, 2020

For some students, going abroad for a full semester may not be realistic, with balancing a packed course load in the fall and spring semesters, working through the semester and other academic year commitments. But faculty-directed study abroad programs give students the flexibility they need to study abroad during the summer, no matter what their semester schedule may look like. 

Faculty-directed programs are created and taught primarily by Arizona State University faculty. Participants enroll directly in one or more ASU courses offered on the program and are in class with other ASU students. Since faculty-directed programs are offered over the summer, students get a chance to experience a different culture for an extended period of time, without interfering with their in-semester life. Program lengths typically range from two to eight weeks, and students can get ahead on their degree plan by earning between three and nine ASU credit hours over the summer.

These programs focus on a certain academic discipline, allowing students to receive an extensive look at a subject in an international context. Balancing classroom time with hands-on experience, excursions and field trips, students are sure to get a 360-degree view of the area of study. 

Daniela Ledesma, a global health major who studied abroad on a faculty-directed program to Peru emphasizing health care and nutrition, gained a deeper look at one of her passions due to the focused structure of the program. 

“Studying abroad taught me so much about an area of health that I was already passionate about but had the chance to learn even more about: nutrition,” said Ledesma. “Moreover, it was very insightful to actually witness health problems in a real-life context, and not simply study the theories of disease in abstract terms. My study abroad program taught me real approaches to contextualized health care dilemmas Peruvian children face, particularly parasites and anemia.”

Some faculty-directed summer programs also give students a chance to explore multiple destinations, allowing students to experience various locations on one study abroad program. So whether that be examining the nutrition and health of a Mediterranean diet while making stops throughout Italy and Spain, or gaining a new perspective on the resiliency of Vietnam and Cambodia, students are sure to return home with the intercultural competencies that employers seek in candidates

Think a faculty-directed summer program may be right for you? Take a look at the extensive options to study abroad on one of these programs. Meet with your academic adviser to chat about your study abroad plans, and check out the next steps you should take to start your study abroad journey. 

Do you teach a class that you think would be perfect as a study abroad program? The Study Abroad Office is always looking for new faculty-directed programs. Work with the Study Abroad Office to plan, create and teach on your own study abroad program. Don’t stress over the orchestration of it all; the Study Abroad Office has your back with administrative and logistical support the whole way through.

Where will you go?

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