ASU Global Education Office launches new hybrid study abroad program
ASU Global Flex Program allows students to mix and match online coursework with in-person experiences while abroad
When Ana Montoya arrived in Sydney, Australia, she had no idea she’d be leaving with a full-time job offer after she graduated. Montoya, an Arizona State University interdisciplinary studies major, completed an internship with an environmental consulting company in Sydney during her study abroad program. After proving herself through her in-person internship, Montoya was given an opportunity to extend her internship remotely when she returned to the U.S., which then turned into an opportunity to return to Sydney to work in person full time after graduation.
“Any field that you get into, it’s hard to get your foot in the door. This was my opportunity,” Montoya said. “Not only did I get my foot in the door with this internship, but having this opportunity to come back and work with (my boss) has been amazing.”
Montoya’s study abroad experience was made possible with the ASU Global Flex Program, a new, highly customizable study abroad program that embodies the Global Education Office’s “Your world. Your choice.” philosophy.
Students can choose to take ASU courses all online or mix and match their online coursework with up to six credits of in-person experiences while abroad. Students can take three to six credits of in-person courses or an international internship, like the one Montoya had, to boost their resume with global work experience.
The customization doesn’t stop there, though. Sun Devils are able to choose from one of 10 locations across five continents to spend six, 12 or 18 weeks of their semester or summer abroad.
“Taking ASU courses online while being abroad helped relax my anxiety towards the idea that studying abroad would slow my academic development,” said ASU Global Flex student Alex Saldana.
Saldana looked into studying abroad in the past, but due to the COVD-19 pandemic, he chose not to study abroad earlier in his academic career. The ASU Global Flex Program allowed him to complete the degree requirements he needed for his senior year online while pursuing his study abroad dreams.
During his study abroad in Madrid, Spain, Saldana completed an internship with a professional soccer team, Atletico de Madrid, which tied directly to his major in sports business.
”Being able to take on an internship at Atletico de Madrid was a dream come true. I always wanted to work for a professional soccer team, especially one of the biggest clubs in the world,” Saldana said. “Being part of the experiences department, who took care of the team's museum and tours, gave me good insight into how professional teams run their operations while reaching their customers' satisfaction levels and manage their business on a day-to-day basis.”
“(My internship proved to me) that I have the capabilities to work in a professional sports business environment and that one day I can also reach the goal of working for my dream team,” Saldana said.
Student housing, in-person courses, cultural excursions and in-country staff are provided to support students while they are abroad through the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), a nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization.
Students have the option to intern with a local organization to earn internship credit, filling another degree requirement for many students. Through the personalized placement process, students are able to grow professionally, build their resume and expand their network internationally.
Montoya grew in her self-confidence and learned the value of embarking on new experiences during her program, including her first professional experience, which led her to a full-time job offer internationally.
“Put yourself out there. You just have to start saying yes to opportunities. That’s honestly how I found my internship. I just started saying yes to a whole bunch of things that I probably wouldn’t do normally,” Montoya said. “I ended up not only making a bunch of friends, but I ended up with this amazing opportunity.”
Find out more about the ASU Global Flex Program.
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