The Global Education Office: Expanding opportunities for students beyond study abroad

With an ever-globalizing world, the realm of study abroad has shifted. Students can gain a global perspective beyond a typical semester in the classroom of a foreign country. In order to better reflect these expanding opportunities for students, the former ASU Study Abroad Office changed its name to the Global Education Office, or ASU GEO, on July 1. This new name reflects the variety of program options — internships, service learning, online global learning and domestic programs as well as traditional study abroad programs — students can participate in through the Global Education Office.

Noah Rost, the director of the Global Education Office, explained the difference between a global education and study abroad. 

“Study abroad is a narrower term that suggests a traditional kind of experience where students are traveling overseas and taking courses with students from another university,” Rost said. “Global education encompasses a much broader and richer array of educational opportunities for students than study abroad does, including internships, completing research, service learning and online global learning. ” 

The new online global learning programs were developed and first offered in summer 2020. These types of programs provide students an opportunity to see different perspectives, learn new skill sets and expand their career potential without leaving home. With developing technology and an increase in global identity, international travel is no longer essential for students to gain a global outlook. 

“We face a common set of challenges and opportunities worldwide — environmental, economic, educational and technological. Addressing a global issue doesn’t have to be done overseas. You can do that domestically,” Rost said. “I always like to make the distinction between international and global. International is what happens past the borders of your country. Global is what happens in your own backyard.”

At the Global Education Office, students can expect more intentional expansion of nontraditional programs in addition to study abroad experiences. 

“We have over 120,000 learners at ASU and it's not a one-size-fits-all type of scenario. We need to have lots of different opportunities and ways for students to learn,” Rost said. “All students are not going to be able to study abroad for a semester or a summer. As the Global Education Office, it’s incumbent upon us to have programs that meet all the needs of students.” 

Have questions? Contact the Global Education Office.

Lindsay Lohr