Global Studies Experiences for Your College Career

By Breanna Naegeli
Associate Dean, Honors College

Young female tourist studying map

Anthony Bourdain once said, “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” Your college years are a time for exploration, self-discovery and a time to dive deeply and learn about the world around you. Maximize your academic journey by integrating a global studies experience into your career. Grand Canyon University and the GCU Honors College offer the following opportunities:


Traditional Study Abroad

GCU partners with four diverse study abroad providers which links our students to universities in over 60 international cities. For the traditional study abroad experience, students can spend one semester, one academic year or a summer completing academic coursework at one of these accredited international institutions.

Alongside your academic experience, you can customize your study abroad experience with field studies, travel programs and local excursions, cultural experiences, internship or work experiences, language partners and more. Traditional study abroad allows you to fully immerse yourself in a different culture in a new environment and is great for those wanting an extended, full immersion experience.

International Internships

GCU partners with The Interns Group which links students to internship programs in more than 15 international cities around the world. Rather than completing academic coursework, students spend 20-40 hours a week working in their field of study.

The semester-long length of this internship program also allows for a deeper cultural immersion experience and the “study abroad” feel without the academic coursework. This is also a great resume building opportunity!

Short Term Global Studies Program

The Honors College offers several two-to-three week trips every summer. These short term trips allow you to very quickly experience different countries and cultures. These tours tend to be very fast-paced, includes sight-seeing and cultural experiences along the way and provides students high-level exposure to new places around the globe.

Because these programs are short and swift, students might not experience the deep culture or full immersion experience; however, students will have ample time to meet local residents, meet with local tour guides, see the sights, learn the history and more!

Short-Term Mission Trips

GCU’s Local and Global Outreach team support numerous mission trips each year. The Honors College fully supports and launches an annual mission trip just for honors students in collaboration with Students International.

We participate in a vocational mission experience, which allows students to work alongside local professionals and within the community. Students can explore and engage with local residents in fields like education, health care, business, marketing, sports and exercise and more while also experiencing the culture of the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua or Costa Rica.

Mission-Based Study Abroad

Students can participate in a mission-based study abroad program for a semester through Students International. If you are investing in mission work and serving, this is a great opportunity to combine an extended mission with the academic experience. Through SI, students can complete 15-18 credits of academic coursework, engage in full immersion within the local community, advance their Spanish language skills and gain industry and vocational training from a missional perspective.

Short-Term Vision Trips

The Honors College partners with Destiny Rescue on an annual vision trip to Cambodia and Thailand. Alongside Destiny Rescue, students learn and address the global issue of human and sex trafficking. On a vision trip, students research and learn about the issue, look and explore the issue first hand and meet with the local agencies striving to address the issue abroad.

Each opportunity above has the option of further customization to meet your global experience and academic goals. We also work closely with students to find the best time to integrate such opportunities. Contact us at to learn more!

To learn more about how you can join a community of likeminded honors students in making change in the world, visit our website or click the Request More Information button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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