Travel the world with us

As a student in the Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions, there are multiple study abroad programs available to you. Each program specializes on a focus area, and those who are interested in participating in these programs are encouraged to visit the ASU Study Abroad website for more information.

GIE: Community Development and Sustainability in Guatemala

Sponsored by the School of Community Resources and Development

Location: Antigua & San Martin Jilotepeque, Guatemala

Guatemala is a Spanish speaking country located just south of Mexico in Central America. The core of Mayan civilization, Guatemala is rich in biodiversity and culture, with spectacular landscapes dotted by volcanoes, ruins, and the resplendent quetzal. We will spend the first part of our trip visiting rural villages around Chimaltenango with San Martin Jilopeteque being our home base, before spending a few days in beautiful Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site where you can hike an active volcano and roast marshmallows at the top. With some free time, why not consider visiting the Mayan Ruins of Tikal a short flight north?


This program is open to all majors, but students must be enrolled in a corresponding 1 credit special topics course.  

Students will meet local residents each day while in San Martin Jilopeteque and engage in discussions via our local NGO workers and translator. Faculty will be present to help connect the issues that students are introduced to theories on community development from an environmental, social and economic viewpoint. Constant personal engagement with farmers, weavers, and other residents ensures a deeper understanding to how development occurs and allows for a meaningful connection to the many strong and resilient people of the areas we visit. 

Multicultural Perspective on Community Development: Case of Nepal

Sponsored by the School of Social Work

Location: Dhapakhel & Pokhara, Nepal

The program is based on already established collaboration between the ASU School of Social Work, University-Community Partnership for Social Action Research  (UCP-SARnet) with Dr. Barbara Klimek being on the Leadership Team the network, and Global Network for Sustainable Development, coordinated by Dr. Wosinski who already visited Nepal twice, met with organizations that will host the program and visited places where students will be accommodated.

Nepal is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-cultural nation. Different languages and cultures exist in Nepal, which have created a rich and unique national culture. National identity also depends upon this cultural and ethnic diversity. This ethnic and cultural diversity, which is also known as unity in diversity, is an important national heritage.

The Nepali government has been sensitive to ensure ethnic and gender balance in all sectors. Similarly, efforts are equally underway to preserve and promote all languages and cultures so that Nepal could be developed as a genuine mosaic of all cultures and languages. These are positive efforts that would certainly have a far-reaching impact for the equal development of all ethnic, lingual and cultural communities that exist in the country.


It is important to prepare students and future community leaders how to facilitate community involvement of citizens and consumers of human services in community decision-making systems. Community participation of diverse population groups is viewed as a valued means to empower under-represented groups in a pluralistic society and to help make services more responsive to cultural differences. The course further reviews theories and strategies of community organization, community development, and community planning with an emphasis on working for constructive change to promote social and economic justice. Finally, the course will provide hands-on experience illustrating theoretical issues as described above.     

  • SWU 498/SWG 591 Multicultural Perspective on Community Development (3) 

Sustainability, Park Management and Tourism in Australia and Fiji

Sponsored by the School of Community Resources and Development

Location: Cairns, Australia; Gold Coast, Australia; Nadi, Fiji

Our program starts in Fiji where we will spend 6 days visiting national parks, volunteering, and getting to know all that this beautiful island has to offer. After getting to know the culture and spirit of Fiji, and learning about their sustainability issues and how they approach tourism and park management, we fly to Brisbane to go kayaking and spend the night before we head off to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast, with its good weather, beautiful beaches and breathtaking skyline is a major draw for millions of international and domestic visitors each year. Surfers Paradise along with the other pristine and easily accessible beaches on the Gold Coast is a thriving hub with its diverse outdoor cafes, restaurants, fashion scene and nightlife. The village atmosphere offers an almost European feel as you walk the streets and choose from one of the many multi-award winning restaurants or chic coffee houses along Surf Parade, or perhaps spoil yourself at one of the trendy eateries in Broadbeach Mall. We will spend 12 days exploring this part of Australia before heading to Lamington National Park with its lush rainforests, ancient trees, spectacular views, extensive walking tracks, exceptional ecological importance and natural beauty. The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area are an outstanding place to research and visit. Binna Burra Mountain Lodge and Campsite where we will be spending two nights, has been named one of the world's top 10 eco-lodges and green hotels. It is the only resort in the Asia-Pacific region to be honored by The Independent Traveler, an international travel advisory company. The Lodge was chosen from thousands of properties around the world for their location, outstanding amenities and commitment to conservation. For the final portion of our trip we will fly to Queensland's Far North. The tropical, wild and rugged location is a stunning destination and tourist mecca. Though geographically small, the region contains the richest pocket of bio-diversity in Australia, if not the world. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park offers spectacular reefs, and the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area contains ancient rainforest and pristine white-sand beaches. Cairns, distinguished as an international and domestic player in both tourism and business, is the center of tourism for the region and is packed with hotels, restaurants and shops catering to the tourism industry. Additionally, this region is renowned for its myriad of day tours and adventure activities - white water rafting, bungee jumping, scuba diving, bushwalking, trail riding and much more. Inland from Cairns is the picturesque Atherton Tableland, teeming with waterfalls.


Students will sign up for 6 credits. Traditional lectures will be supplemented with guest lectures and field visits that will provide real-world examples for additional discussion-based seminars. Students will be assessed on a combination of papers, exams and projects depending on the courses they are enrolled in.

Students will sign up for 2 of the following courses for a total of 6 credit hours:

  • PRM 370 Land Use Management (3)
  • PRM/TDM/SOS 494 Park Management in Australia and Fiji (3)
  • TDM 458 International Tourism (G) (3)
  • TDM 480 Sustainable Tourism (3)