Global Bachelor's Program

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

The GW Global Bachelor's Program (GBP) is an exciting opportunity to make study abroad a central part of your undergraduate experience with multiple semesters abroad as part of your time at GW. Students selected for GBP from the eligible schools -  Columbian College, Elliott School and the School of Business - take part in three experiences abroad and directly examine a pressing international challenge across these experiences. Participants will learn from faculty and peers in these different locations and be exposed to various perspectives on the global challenges that interest them. Exploring these issues will help students understand the interconnected nature of global problems and how to think creatively across traditional disciplinary and national boundaries to solve these challenges. They will also improve their ability to adapt to diverse social and cultural situations, and expand their personal, academic, and professional networks throughout this journey.

In addition to their three terms overseas, students will attend three required one-credit courses throughout the program that help them prepare for, engage in, and reflect upon their global experiences. Through these courses, students will develop intentionality that will guide their experiences abroad as well as the tools to analyze and build on their experiences upon their return.

Structure of the Program

After Admission

The program begins with a Global Inquiries (GI1) course where students design their global challenge projects and prepare for their first semester abroad traveling to one of two fascinating cities: Belfast, Northern Ireland or Singapore. This course either takes place directly after admission in the Spring semester of students' first years for Belfast admits or in the Fall semester of students' sophomore years for Asia Pacific admits. The Asia Pacific version of Global Inquiries (GI1) will be a larger course designed to provide more thematic information on the region. 

First Semester Abroad

Students will spend one of the semesters of their sophomore year on the cohort program in either Belfast, Northern Ireland or within the Asia-Pacific. The Belfast cohort will spend the fall semester at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) and the Asia-Pacific cohort is currently based at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for students' spring semester. QUB students must take a core course in their first destination and will select additional courses based on their individual academic needs.

Subsequent Experiences Abroad

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

  • One experience must be a full semester of study abroad at a GW-approved study abroad location. Please note that some programs can be more competitive than others and admission is not guaranteed in a student's top choice program. Students are encouraged to apply to programs in which they meet or exceed all application and eligibility requirements and to submit a strong application to be a competitive applicant and increase their chances for success.
  • The other experience is ideally an additional semester abroad at any GW-approved location or may be a full-time international internship. The full-time internship must be at least 8 weeks long during the summer term and must be students' final experience if choosing to participate. Students interested in internships must submit an application for review by the Center for Career Services and the Office for Study Abroad within GW Passport as not all internships will be approved to fulfill a Global Bachelor's international experience requirement. 
  • All three experiences cannot be completed in the same country and for the Belfast-cohort, at least one experience must be in a non-European country.
During the Second Semester Abroad

During their second experience abroad, students will take the Global Investigations (GI2) course, where they will study how their global challenge manifests in this second locale. Students are able to choose when to partake in their second experience but the Office for Study Abroad strongly encourages doing so during the first semester (fall) of their junior year. It is worth noting that additional scholarship opportunities may be available during this semester as well. 

After the Third Experience

After their third experience abroad and in their senior year, students will participate in the Global Insights (GI3) course, where they will synthesize their global challenge projects, present them to the GW community and reflect on what they learned personally, professionally, and academically through their experiences abroad. Successful completion of the program will earn students a Global Bachelor's designation on their GW transcript.

Important Structural Requirements
  • An international internship, if a student chooses to participate in one and if approved to fulfill an international experience, can only be completed during the summer and as the third experience
  • Belfast cohort students must have at least one international experience outside of Europe 
  • Global Investigations (GI2) must be taken during students' second semester abroad - Students should notify the Office for Study Abroad of their need for GI2 in the subsequent semester as soon as begin applying for programs 

 

 

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' Asia-Pacific 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

"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."

Raman Mama
B.A. International Affairs


 

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.

Program Details

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.

 

 

Academics

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."

Program Location

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.

 

Nanyang Technological University

 

Semester within the Asia-Pacific

  Singapore, Singapore

Students who choose the Singapore option for Spring of 2024 will study in English at Nanyang Technological University, one of the top universities in East Asia, with local and international students. Students will live on campus at NTU, upon successful and timely completion of NTU’s housing application, in. order to experience more of the local student experience.

In the fall of 2023, before departure, students will take their core class for this cohort at GW: Geography 2000: Migrants and the City, taught by GW Professor Elizabeth Chacko. In this course students will investigate and analyze key conceptual and theoretical ways of examining the relationships between migration (flows of human beings across internal administrative borders as well as international borders) and the city, through readings on migration theories and processes, the evolution of immigrant enclaves and neighborhoods, immigrant identity as it relates to place, immigrant entrepreneurship, the gendered nature of some migrant flows and the mutual influence of immigrants and urban landscapes. Students will also conduct research on immigration and its effects in cities, gathering and analyzing data from archival sources, the Census and information gathered during field work by students. Special attention will be paid to Singapore in this course.

Program Details

The cohort semester is a core experience within the GW Global Bachelor's Program. As a result of the pandemic, this spring cohort has had the exciting opportunity to explore more of this region due to some of the travel and entry disruptions in previous locations. As such, recent cohorts have been hosted by Fudan University in Shanghai, China, Victoria University of Wellington in Wellington, New Zealand, and Universidad de Chile in Santiago de Chile. Currently, the host university is Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Additionally, students are encouraged (but not required) to take Chinese language courses before arriving, as a 51% of the population of Singapore speaks the language. At GW, students can take language courses for credit. 

Global Bachelors students will study at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) during the spring semester of their sophomore year. NTU is one of the top universities in East Asia and is recognized internationally.  Students will register for courses taught in English prior to the start of the semester.

Students will live on campus at NTU. However, it will be essential for students to complete a housing application in a timely manner with NTU following admission to secure this housing

During the semester, students will meet GW alumni, go on company site visits, and develop connections with the Singaporean community. Students will also travel to notable sites within the area. Expenses for trips are covered by the program.

Academics

Students will choose English-taught courses from the course offerings at NTU. The total course load for the semester will be 12-18 GW credits. 

Courses taught by Nanyang Technological 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 NTU in GW CATS. It's important to be mindful that there are a variety of restricted courses at NTU - check out examples from past years to get an idea of what to expect. 

Program Location

Check back soon.

Finances

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. The cohort semester of the program falls within our GW Signature Programs tier 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 within the Asia-Pacific or in Belfast, a flight credit will be issued. This is meant to help support students in their independent purchase of a round trip economy airfare to cohort semester destination. It is not meant to fully cover costs. Stipends are currently set at: 
    • Belfast semester: $800 
    • Asia-Pacific semester: $1,000
  • 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.

"I began the Global Bachelor's Program in Fall 2021, starting in Belfast at Queen's University, continuing in Vienna, Austria at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), and creating a stray semester in London prior to starting the program due to COVID. GBP has created incredible career and academic pursuits that I would have never known about had I not been immersed in local communities outside the United States. Especially experiencing this program in conjunction with COVID, it allowed me to learn how to be adaptable to changes and overcome challenges that may arise. On another note, other than traveling to so many beautiful corners of the world, I also connected and learned from so many interesting people and now get to return to some of these places because of them. "

Samantha Goldberg
B.S. Business 
Concentration in International Business

Global Bachelor's Program student, Sam Goldberg