AT A GLANCE
Dates (2023): Jan 1-21 | May 28-Jun 17 | Jun 18-Jul 8 | Jul 9-29 | Jul 30-Aug 19 | Custom dates
Credit: 4 US credits (~ 8 ECTS credits) for eligible university students
Eligibility: Undergrad/grad – any field and level of study
Program fees: US $2,370
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Select one of three fascinating destinations in Africa or Asia and embark on a transformative journey to develop your personal leadership story – and the core competencies that you’ll need as a future global change leader for sustainable development.
This 3-week adventure not only enables you to acquire the skills, knowledge, and understanding to address the planet’s most pressing challenges in a holistic way. Far beyond, it’s one of the best ways to dive deep into the life and culture of a community in a very different part of the world. As a member of a small multicultural cohort and hand-in-hand with local peers, you explore six systemic entry point for successful transformations towards sustainable development.
The course builds on the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) methodology coined by UNESCO. We use an action-oriented and transformational real-life learning approach that is supplemented by engaging virtual instruction. You’ll also plan and implement a community-engage learning project where the student becomes the teacher in a host community classroom.
- Develop core competencies of global change leaders for sustainable development.
- Adopt a systemic approach to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Plan, implement, and evaluate a community-engaged sustainable development project.
- Explore transformations towards sustainable development in a leading African or Asian success story.
- Broaden your personal and professional network and build lasting international friendships.
The political and economic leader of East Africa, Kenya might still be most well-known internationally for the immense diversity and beauty of its landscapes and wildlife. But that’s only part of the story. In recent years, its capital Nairobi has become an epicenter for innovation. This is best seen by exploring the incredible tech startup scene with its dozens of accelerators, incubators, and innovation hubs.
One of today’s greatest development success stories, Rwanda is Africa’s prime study abroad jewel. The country underwent a breathtaking transformation since the 1994 genocide. A model for poverty reduction and economic growth, it accounts for the highest percentage of women in parliament anywhere in the world. And the streets of its modern green capital Kigali are clean, safe, and free of corruption.
The Asian Dragon is undergoing some of the fastest socio-economic changes any country in the world has seen. It is a major development success story with remarkable rates of economic growth since the start of massive political and economic reforms in 1986. But the lure of modern living has a deep impact on the traditional networks of family and community that continue to play a pivotal role in society.
The purpose of this interdisciplinary hybrid course is to develop core competencies for future global change leaders for sustainable development. It introduces basic concepts, global trends, and local responses to the most pressing challenges of our time under the notion of sustainability and sustainable development, taking into consideration key ethical and cultural dimensions. Students are based at one of our course locations in Kenya, Rwanda, or Vietnam.
The majority of the introductory content, materials, and assignments are provided via virtual instruction. Students then deepen their understanding through guided action-oriented and transformational real-life learning experiences in their host community as well as through a community-engaged learning project.
At its core, the course consists of six thematic modules that each focus on a systemic entry point for successful transformations towards sustainable development. These entry points have the potential to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They harness important synergies, multiplier effects, and trade-offs across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The course starts at a gateway city (Nairobi, Kigali, Ho Chi Minh City, or Hue, respectively). After thematic and cultural orientations, students travel in cohorts of no more than 20 to a host site, typically consisting of a smaller town, where they spend the next 15 days to study the six thematic modules and to design and implement their community-engaged learning project. The course ends back at the gateway city with a unique workshop to help students build their personal leadership story.
- Systems thinking competence
- Futures thinking (anticipatory) competence
- Values thinking (normative) competence
- Strategic thinking competence
- Implementation competence
- Interpersonal (collaboration) competence
- Intrapersonal competence
- Integrated problem-solving competence
- Human well-being and capabilities
- Sustainable and just economies
- Food systems and nutrition
- Energy decarbonization and universal access
- Urban and peri-urban development
- Global environmental commons
Dates, fees, and scholarships
The program dates are generally identical across our three program locations – Kenya, Rwanda, and Vietnam.
|Program||Application due||Start date||End date||Fees*|
|J-Term||November 1, 2022||January 1, 2023||January 21, 2023||US $2,370|
|Summer 1||April 1, 2023||May 28, 2023||June 17, 2023||US $2,370|
|Summer 2||April 1, 2023||June 18, 2023||July 8, 2023||US $2,370|
|Summer 3||May 1, 2023||July 9, 2023||July 29, 2023||US $2,370|
|Summer 4||May 1, 2023||July 30, 2023||August 19, 2023||US $2,370|
|* Early bird discount (10%) available until March 1, 2023 for all summer program dates.|
We value full transparency and no hidden costs. As a result, you won’t have any disappointing surprises when you arrive.
Included in your program fees are airport transfers; housing, meals, activities, excursions, and local transportation during the on-site orientation and the final wrap-up days at the gateway city; transfers to and from the host community site; housing with breakfast at the host community site; full-time leadership and support; pre-departure advising; and health insurance.
It is important that you take note of what is explicitly not included in the program fees. This helps you budget. Not included are the transportation to/from the program location airport (including international airfare and taxes), visas, immunizations, meals at and local transportation at the host community, excursions that you may want to do in your own time during weekends, general items and services of a personal nature, medical expenses not covered by the insurance provided, and other discretionary expenses. Also not included are potential expenses relating to any Covid-19-related measures, including testing, quarantine, or isolation requirements. Should such requirements exist, we will gladly provide on-site assistance, but you will have to cover all related expenses.
In addition, if you are an undergraduate student and want to seek academic credit, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via GEI’s academic school of record, The College of New Jersey, which carries an additional fee of US $500.
GEI offers a variety of merit scholarships, trailblazer scholarships, and opportunity scholarships and grants. You can find further information as well as additional resources for external funding opportunities in the following blog post: Scholarships & Grants.
Our program staff
Our in-country program staff consists of experienced local education, sustainability, and program operations experts.
Cailin Human, MBA
Thuy Phan, MA
Francoise Uzamukunda, MA
Eric Kingoina, DCS
Adeline Imanirakiza, DIS
Amy Lin, MA
Application & credits
Healthy & safety