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ASU welcomes international students for inaugural summer sustainability program


A group of International Students from the ASU-Cintana Sustainability and Innovation Summer Immersion Program pose in front of Old Main.

International students from the ASU-Cintana Sustainability and Innovation Summer Immersion Program pose by Old Main on the ASU Tempe campus in July.

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July 29, 2022

This July, Arizona State University welcomed 28 international university students to the Tempe campus to take classes, attend lectures, live on campus and experience student life in America as part of the inaugural two-week ASU-Cintana Sustainability and Summer Immersion program.

By the end of the program, students were inspired to return home with the confidence to fuel their academic and future careers and were equipped to tackle sustainable solutions in their own communities.

The students came from schools around the world, including: CEIPA Business School in ColombiaUniversidad Latina de Costa RicaUniversidad International del EcuadorThe Northcap University in IndiaUniversitas Esa Unggul in IndonesiaUniversidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in MexicoMapua University in the Philippines and the University of Economics and Finance in Vietnam. Participants were selected from various Cintana Alliance universities, a network of international universities partnered with ASU and Cintana Education to provide educational innovations for students worldwide.  

Some of the students' favorite highlights from the visit included: a Dreamscape Learn demonstration, a tour of the Thunderbird School of Global Management at the Downtown Phoenix campus, a lecture with ASU sustainability Professor Ryan Johnson and a visit to the Grand Canyon.

The program culminated with students developing sustainable, real-world community solutions inspired by one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and presenting their findings to a group of representatives from ASU and Cintana Education.

“What made their ideas intriguing was how they contextualized them for a specific location and target population, recognizing that small changes can lead to significant impact,” said Christina Ngo, director of social embeddedness at the ASU Office of University Affairs. “(The students) added spice and flair, leveraging interesting and captivating presentation styles and approaches. My favorite presentations came from interdisciplinary teams of students who had subject-matter expertise in different fields.” 

During the closing ceremony, many expressed the affection they had for their new friends, remembered the memories they created and touched on how life-changing it was to learn alongside people from diverse cultures. They promised to remain in touch with one another and hoped to meet again soon through other programs. 

“I have met so many people from different parts of the world, and that is what made this experience the best,” said Daniela Hernandez from Universidad Internacional del Ecuador. “At the end of the day, what makes a place unforgettable is who surrounds you.” 

“In two weeks we became so united and such a close-knit group that I don’t know how I will return to Mexico now that the program is over," said Salvador Rodriguez from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara. "This full experience made us a huge family, and now I know I don’t only have a home in Mexico, but I also have a home in Vietnam, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Philippines — everywhere.” 

Students said they were thankful to ASU for organizing such an enriching program, and to their universities and Cintana Education for giving them the opportunity to be part of such an incredible educational experience.

“Thank you, ASU, for giving me a lot of motivation to keep moving forward on my career path,” said Thu Dang from the University of Economics and Finance in Vietnam. 

“What a great inaugural program,” said Lois Malone, assistant director of special projects in the Office of Global Academic Initiatives. “The participants were so enthusiastic about the program, and they were a highlight of the summer. The quality, motivation, enthusiasm and diligence of the students was amazing and commented on by many ASU stakeholders that got to meet them.

"We're excited for future opportunities to inspire students and strengthen our partnerships with international universities through this program.”

The program was hosted by ASU Global Launch, with support from the ASU School of Sustainability, the School for the Future of Innovation in SocietyThunderbird School of Global Management, the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and Food for the Hungry. For more information about the ASU-Cintana Alliance, please visit the ASU Global website.

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