Global Intensive Experiences: Immersive, short-term study abroad programs for any Sun Devil

August 3, 2020

Studying abroad may not seem like a feasible option for students trying to juggle graduating on time, extracurricular commitments and working through the semesters to pay for tuition, but that’s why the Study Abroad Office at Arizona State University created a program type that will fit perfectly into any student’s already-full schedule. Global Intensive Experiences (GIEs) are the perfect study abroad option for students with a lot on their plate. 

GIE programs allow students to go abroad during session breaks. Whether that is before a semester begins, after a semester ends, or during winter or spring break, students are able to keep taking the classes they need during the semester (and keep on good terms with their supervisor at work), while fulfilling their dreams of studying abroad. Participants are taught by ASU faculty and are in class with other ASU students. With programs lasting seven to 12 days, this intense, culturally immersive study abroad model connects students to experiences and cultures abroad that are integrated with for-credit ASU academic courses. ASU student on her study abroad to Cuba ASU student Delia Johnson on her GIE study abroad program to Cuba. Photo courtesy of Delia Johnson Download Full Image

Designed with affordability in mind, GIE programs allow for students’ funding, scholarships and financial aid to apply to their experience abroad, making them a very cost-effective option for any Sun Devil. 

GIE programs are especially popular among nontraditional students due to their flexibility and affordability. First-generation students, parenting students, online students, students working a full-time job or those with intense academic course loads, and many others find that this option for studying abroad works well with their busy schedules.

Kelli Barker, an ASU Online student working full time as a Starbucks store manager, studied abroad on a GIE program in Costa Rica, learning the history and process of coffee. “I never thought that I would be able to study abroad. I don’t have my summer space, and I can’t necessarily take a semester to do something more intensive. So it was really exciting,” said Barker. “And as an online student, being able to participate in all aspects of school is really amazing.”

On most Global Intensive Experience programs, students take a Session A, B or C course that accompanies their study abroad program, augmenting what students are already learning in the classroom. So rather than just hearing about the life of a sea turtle and learning about conservation from lectures and lessons, students can engage in marine conservation field work, participate in sea turtle monitoring, conduct hands-on research and experience what they are learning come to life. While most GIE programs are tied to a semester class, some GIE programs are stand-alone, where the study abroad experience is all you need to receive credit.

GIE programs take place all over the world, whether that be traveling to Thailand to study mindfulness and Thai culture, heading to Germany to learn about innovative STEM practices or even staying within the United States to encounter a new cultural experience without the need for international travel. 

Interested in embarking on a GIE program for your study abroad? Take a look at the GIE programs available and start your study abroad journey today!

Does this type of program seem fitting for your students? The Study Abroad Office is always looking for ASU faculty who are interested in applying their expertise to an international course context and creating new programs for students to embark on.

Where will you go?

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

August 3, 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. ASU students on a faculty-directed program to Nepal ASU students on a faculty-directed study abroad program to Nepal. Photo by Heather Otten Download Full Image

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?