Global Bachelor's Program

Global Bachelor's Program students sitting atop a mountain in China.


The GW Global Bachelor's Program is an exciting opportunity to make study abroad a central part of your undergraduate experience. The Global Bachelor's Program is designed for motivated students in the Columbian College, Elliott School and the School of Business to spend multiple semesters abroad as part of their GW studies.

The Global Bachelor’s Program begins with a first semester abroad cohort experience during sophomore year in one of two fascinating cities: Belfast, Northern Ireland or Shanghai, China. The Belfast cohort will spend the fall semester at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) and the Shanghai cohort will spend the spring semester at Fudan University. All students must take a core course in their first destination and will select additional courses based on their individual academic needs.

After the first semester abroad, Global Bachelor's students will complete two additional international experiences: 

  • One experience must be a full semester of study abroad at a GW-approved study abroad location somewhere in the world (that is, not China for Shanghai students or not in Europe for Belfast students).
  • The other experience may be an additional semester abroad at any GW-approved location or a full-time international internship. The full-time internship must be at least 8 weeks long during the summer term or a semester of leave.

Additionally, students must also complete a series of three one-credit courses (IAFF 2040) offered over three years. These are designed to engage students academically and to help them prepare, engage and reflect upon their global experiences. Successful completion of the program will earn students a Global Bachelors designation on their GW transcript.


Apply for the Global Bachelor's Program in GW Passport

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Benefits of the Global Bachelor's Program

An EasyJet airplane wing is visible from high above a mountain range.

Financial support with an airfare stipend for students' Shanghai or Belfast semester and a FWS replacement

Professor Steve Suranovic with Global Bachelor's students in Shanghai.

Individualized GW support from dedicated staff and faculty

GBP student Ojani Walthrust smiles for a photograph while sitting at a table with a man and woman in Peru.

Establish a network of colleagues around the world

A Global Bachelor's student poses for a nighttime photograph at the waterfront in Shanghai.

Encounter a broad international perspective & learn how to communicate with others from different cultural backgrounds

GW students pose for a photograph at the IntoEU event hosted by the European Commission.

The opportunity to study their own major from leading scholars at GW and abroad, culminating in an international capstone project

Students with henna artwork on their hands.

Significant international experience having explored and learned to adapt to diverse social, cultural and academic situations in at least two countries outside of the U.S.

Global Bachelor's Program graduate, Raman Mama

Raman Mama

B.A. International Affairs, '19

"I entered the Global Bachelor’s Program in 2017 and it was one of the best things I did for myself. I attended Fudan University in Shanghai, then King’s College London, and ended with an internship in Amsterdam at an AI marketing firm. My major was international economics with a certificate in French. Today, I work in advertising in New York. I exercise the passion and creativity that the GBP helped me cultivate every day, and I have truly become a global citizen. Along the way, I had countless adventures, and made lifelong friends, but most importantly, I met my true self. I implore you to do the same. It is worth it."

The Lanyon Building at Queen's University Belfast.

Semester in Belfast

  Belfast, Northern Ireland

Students in Belfast will study at Queen’s University, a top urban research institution, with Northern Irish and international students. The required core class, PSTD 3191: the Northern Ireland Conflict and Paths to Peace, uses the Northern Irish Troubles as a case history to examine principles of peace and reconciliation across the world. Students will live in dorms on the QUB campus in Belfast, a vibrant and growing city in close proximity to many top European destinations.

The Belfast Semester is a core experience within the GW Global Bachelor's Program. Global Bachelor's students will find themselves in an exciting and challenging program, studying alongside Northern Irish and international students. All program participants will study at Queen’s University in Belfast (QUB), Northern Ireland, for the fall semester of their sophomore year. QUB is the top rated university in Northern Ireland and is ranked in the top 30 UK universities. It is a world-class institution which prepares students for leadership and citizenship in a global society. The university campus is located in the heart of Belfast in close proximity to the city’s sites and activities.

Along with the 5-credit core course, PSTD 3191, students will register for two additional 5-credit courses during on-site orientation.

Students will live on-campus in dorms, centrally located in Belfast. Living accommodations include a single room and shared kitchen and common areas. On-site QUB staff will provide housing, academic, and health support. 

Throughout the semester, students will visit museums, markets, and public spaces to learn about peace and reconciliation from a Northern Irish perspective. These are often QUB-arranged excursions and previously included a visit to Derry/Londonderry. Accompanied by a GW staff or faculty member, students will also visit Dublin and several surrounding historical sites.

All students on the Global Bachelor’s Belfast program will take the core course PSTD 3191: the Northern Ireland Conflict and Paths to Peace. This course is taught by QUB faculty. In addition, students will choose 2 courses from hundreds of module offerings. Students are encouraged to explore the pre-approved course list for QUB available on GW CATS. The total course load for the semester will be 15 GW credits.

All courses taken at QUB will come back to GW as transfer credit, as long as students receive a passing grade of C or above.

During the on-site orientation in Belfast, students will receive detailed information about the local academic culture, course registration instructions, and tips for academic success.

Queen's University Belfast Course Testimonials

PAI 2011: The Politics of Deeply Divided Societies

"A good supplement to the Northern Ireland module, as the Troubles are analyzed in the class with comparison to other deeply divided societies. The module really brought the Northern Ireland conflict together for me and helped me look at it from a global perspective of deeply divided societies and conflict resolution."

PAI 1007: Perspectives on Politics

"A really fascinating look at a lot of political mindsets and theories which is really practical for any Political Science/International Affairs major. The professor has a great reputation and the class was really well-run."

LIB 1001: Understanding Now

"A really interesting and engaging class. The small class size helped me understand the succession of political happenings in the UK and US."

The six counties of Northern Ireland constitute the smallest and least populous country of the United Kingdom. Created with the Partition of Ireland in 1921, Northern Ireland experienced a difficult and violent latter half of the 20th century with the protestant and catholic populations in a conflict called the Troubles. Following the Good Friday agreement of 1998, peace has returned and the economy has grown steadily. Students will have the opportunity to study this period of tumult and transformation during their coursework at QUB.  

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and prospered greatly during the industrial revolution. The city is filled with brick Victorian architecture from this period and was a major center of shipbuilding which includes the building of the Titanic in 1912. A study in contrasts, the center of Belfast is a blend of urban architecture, but in many parts of the city it is possible to look out on the green hills of the surrounding countryside. While Belfast was deeply affected by the Troubles in the late 20th century, it is now one of the safest cities in the UK and a top visitor destination.


Shanghai Harbor

Semester in Shanghai

  Shanghai, China

Students in Shanghai will study in English at Fudan University, ranked one of the top 5 universities in China, with Chinese and international students. The core class, ECON 2180: Survey of International Economics, is taught by GW Professor Steve Suranovic. It examines current international trade conflicts and explores China’s role in the international economy. Students will live in shared apartments in central Shanghai with close proximity to some of the city’s most exciting neighborhoods and sites.

The Shanghai Semester is a core experience within the GW Global Bachelor's Program. Prior to arrival in Shanghai, students must have taken a minimum of one introductory economics course, such as ECON 1011 or ECON 1012. Additionally, students are encouraged (but not required) to take Chinese language courses before and/or during the Shanghai semester. At GW, students can take language courses for credit. 

Global Bachelors students will study at Fudan University during the spring semester of their sophomore year. Fudan University is one of the top universities in China and all of Asia and is recognized internationally, ranking among the top 200 universities in the world  Along with the 3-credit core course, ECON 2180, students will register for additional courses taught in English during on-site orientation.

Students will live in shared apartments in the center of Shanghai and commute to Fudan University in the Yangpu district via the Shanghai metro. On-site staff includes a dedicated Resident Advisor who lives along with the students. The RA provides advice for adjusting to life in China, assistance with registration, health and medical issues, and will make announcements of relevant campus events.

During the semester, students will meet GW alumni, go on company site visits, and develop connections with the Chinese community. Students will also travel with Professor Steven Suranovic to the Chinese capital, Beijing, to visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and other notable sites. Another weekend trip is taken to the ancient capital city of Hangzhou to visit the much-beloved West Lake and a historic Buddhist temple. Expenses for both trips are covered by the program.

All students on the Global Bachelor’s Shanghai program will take the core course ECON 2180: Survey of International Economics taught by Professor Steven Suranovic. In addition to this course, students will choose four to five additional English-taught courses from the dozens of English course offerings at Fudan. The total course load for the semester will be 12-18 GW credits. Students are strongly encouraged to take Chinese Language as well. 

Students will receive a GW letter grade for ECON 2180 and this course will factor into students' GW GPAs. Other courses taught by Fudan University faculty will come back to GW as transfer credit, as long as students receive a passing grade of C or above.

Students are encouraged to explore the pre-approved course list for Fudan in GW CATS.

Shanghai Course Testimonials

Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict

"As a business student, I don't often get to take International Affairs classes so I enjoyed this class. She is a great professor and has almost no language barrier. You learn so much, and because the student body as Fudan is so diverse, usually get to work in a group with an interesting mix of people around the world."

Political Culture and Public Opinion in Contemporary China

"A class with very interesting discussions. You learn a lot about Chinese culture in an engaging way."

Religion in Chinese Society

"I learned so much in this class, and the professor is a very curious person who will engage with her students."

One of the world’s oldest cultures and at the forefront of today’s economy, China is a study in sometimes shocking contrasts. China has experienced almost inconceivable economic growth and change over the last three decades, which is reflected in its largest city, Shanghai.

In Shanghai, towering new skyscrapers in Pudong face the Art Deco European buildings on the Bund. While this is the most famous view in the city, there is so much more to explore. Shanghai is incredibly modern and busy, with 24 million people efficiently moving through the city on the metro system. At the same time it can be relaxed and calm on the tree-lined streets of the French Concession, where students can spend the afternoon studying in a coffee shop and watching the world go by. Shanghai is a window into today’s China and an exciting destination for GW students.


The cost of GW study abroad is comparable to the costs incurred when taking classes on campus. Each semester a student is abroad, they will pay the appropriate study abroad tier fee and full-time GW tuition fee. Please visit our Funding page for general information on financing and budgeting for study abroad.

As part of the Global Bachelor’s Program, participants are eligible for the following financial benefits: 

  • For the Global Bachelors cohort semesters in Shanghai or Belfast, a flight stipend will be issued. This is meant to help cover the cost of round trip economy airfare to China or Northern Ireland. For the Shanghai cohort, this stipend will also include additional funds to help with the cost of the student visa. Student visas to Northern Ireland are free for US citizens upon arrival in the UK.
  • Students who are eligible for Federal Work Study (FWS) funds will receive a stipend each time they study abroad. This stipend is meant to help cover some of the lost income, since a student must be on campus to hold a FWS position.
  • Students completing an international internship or third semester abroad may be eligible for additional funding. Contact the GBP team for further details.


Global Bachelor's Program graduate, Nadia Mathis

Nadia Mathis

B.A. International Affairs and Asian Studies, '20
Minor in Political Science

"I am a recent graduate of the Elliott School and the Global Bachelor’s Program (GBP). Through GBP, I studied abroad in Shanghai, China, and Sydney, Australia, and interned full-time at the U.S. Embassy in Quito, Ecuador. After graduation, I am pursuing a career in trade policy at the Association of American Publishers and a graduate degree in International Business from GWU. GBP helped me to stand out as an applicant with extensive international experience and connected me with a network of people around the world who continue to support me on a personal and professional level."