Global Learning Opportunities

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Expand your world

Expand your knowledge of history while experiencing other cultures and envisioning historical events right where they took place. 

Opportunities abroad

Students have several types of opportunities to travel and study abroad. These opportunities include studying, interning, and volunteering. See below to find out more information on each category. 


NAU has connections with more than 180 study abroad programs across the globe to which students may apply.  Our history students have recently studied in Australia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom.  After graduation, several students have gone on to graduate school and law school, while others have served as Peace Corps volunteers in China and Paraguay.

The History Department highly recommends the five programs listed below, as well as the USAC (University Studies Abroad Consortium) programs worldwide and the ACMRS summer program at Oxford University. The programs below offer special opportunities to study history as well as local languages.  You can find more information by clicking on the links belowby talking to Professor Lindsay Wilson in the History Department, and by talking to an advisor at the CIE, Center for International Education.

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Siena School for Liberal Arts– Siena, Italy

Siena School for Liberal Arts– Siena, Italy (population 194,000)

The History Department has a long tradition of sending students to SSLA where they can choose from a variety of humanities courses, including courses taught in English that will lead to the ACMRS medieval and Renaissance studies certificate and internships involving hands-on experience with art and book restoration.  An NAU faculty member is usually in residence.  All students at this small school, in which the average class size is 25, are international students.  Siena is in the heart of both medieval and Renaissance Italy with easy access to Florence or Rome.  Returning NAU students have raved about living with families in Siena and coming to regard the town as their own.  This is a provider program that can be more expensive for NAU in-state resident students than an exchange program but offers unusual benefits.

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Al Akhawayn University - Ifrane, Morocco

Al Akhawayn University – Ifrane, Morocco (population 20,000)

AAU is a small university of 1,700 students.  It opened in 1995 with an English-language, American-style curriculum. A ski resort town, Ifrane has an Alpine climate (elevation 5,000 feet) and a European style because it was a French protectorate from 1912-1956.  Average class size is 17 students.  Of special interest are classes that focus on North Africa and the Middle East such as contemporary Moroccan history, Algeria since independence, history of the Arab World, North Africa and the Middle East in the twentieth century.  Students are housed in double rooms in residence halls and dine in the university dining hall.  AAU’s Office of International Programs helps students with general advising, registration, orientation, and general questions.  This is an exchange program for which students pay their regular NAU tuition.

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Hong Kong Baptist University - Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong Baptist University– Hong Kong, China (population 7 million)

HKBU is one of three major universities in English and Cantonese speaking Hong Kong, with an enrollment of 5,000 undergraduate students and 2,000 graduate students.  Courses offered in English include the history of Hong Kong, Chinese history and political thought, European and U.S. history, and the history of imperialism from an East Asian perspective.  International students reside in a residence hall for exchange students.  An institution with a Christian ethos, its mission is to create an environment that sustains the whole person.  Hong Kong is a dynamic city and serves as a major business and educational hub of East Asia.  This is an exchange program for which students pay their regular NAU tuition.

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The University of Warwick - Warwick, England

The University of Warwick – Warwick, England (UK) (population 26.000; 3 miles from Coventry, population 300,000; 95 miles from London)

UW is a highly-selective British university with an outstanding history department that has particular strengths in European history as well as foci in global history and topics including colonial North America; native Americans; slavery; gender, race and class; medicine and technology; history and literature.  Most classes include both lecture and seminar components. UW offers a large residential campus committed to environmental sustainability.  It enrolls 12,000 British undergraduates, 10,000 graduate students, and 6,000 international students from over 120 countries.  Students may live in residence halls on campus or rent a room from the university off campus.  This is an exchange program for which students pay their regular NAU tuition.  It is available spring term or full academic year only and recommended for students with at least a 3.0 gpa.

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Universidad del Salvador - Bueno Aires, Argentina

Universidad del Salvador– Buenos Aires, Argentina (population 12 million)

USAL hosts 500 exchange students per year in addition to 20,000 Argentinian students in downtown Buenos Aires.  Exchange students are required to have taken at least 5 semesters of Spanish in order to take history courses like the history of the Americas or the history of Spain, which are only offered in Spanish.  USAL also offers PIC, a program on culture, society, and politics for beginner level Spanish learners.  Very few courses are offered in English, and they vary by semester.  Students with advanced Spanish may reside in residence halls or with families; beginners reside with families. USAL encourages PIC students to enroll in a service-learning course that offers volunteer internships with local NGOs.  USAL also offers activities especially for international students such as walking tours, a host student program, and a language exchange program.  This is an exchange program for which students pay their regular NAU tuition.


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International Internships - Worldwide

NAU offers a variety of international internships that can count towards history degree requirements.  Earn credit while interning in museums or working for historical societies around the world. 

More history study and internship programs are available if these do not meet your academic and personal needs. Programs can be found by searching here.


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NAU has one of the largest numbers of Peace Corps alumni of any U.S. university. The Fourth of July parade in Flagstaff is a great time to meet some of them.

The Peace Corps at NAU - Worldwide

The Peace Corps offers students experiences that often serve as the first step in developing careers dedicated to public service. For more information, check out the Peace Corps Catalog or contact Robert Fulé at

Opportunities at NAU

Students can also be a part of global learning opportunities right her on NAU's campus. See the list below for information on clubs and activities that connect students to the international community. 

International Friends Student Program
This is a partnership between international students attending NAU and domestic NAU students. Interested students should fill out an application form at the Center for International Education in room 200 of Blome Hall and CIE will connect students with an appropriate partner. Partners are matched according to age, gender, languages spoken, and interests. The program coordinator will email students the contact information for their partner about one week after the application deadline.
International Club
The International Club is an opportunity to learn about different cultures and meet interesting people from around the world. The NAU International Club is also on Facebook. 
Conversation Partners
Be paired with one of 160 international students enrolled in the Program in Intensive English for language and cultural exchange. For more information, contact Betsy Buford at or 928-523-7356.
International Films
  • Attend international films held in LA 135 Wednesdays at 7:00pm. For the schedule, see the NAU International Film Series for showings. For more information, contact Astrid Klocke at
  • The Sedona International Film Festival screens international films monthly at Harkins Theaters that are often followed by discussions led by NAU faculty. 
Work with the Center for International Education

Students can help the Center for International Education in a variety of ways:

  • Volunteer as a peer advisor - Participate in e-advising, information sessions, classroom presentations, and pre-departure orientations and gain valuable communication skills and experience to add to resumes. A mandatory peer advisor training is held at the end of August. This opportunity is only open to study abroad alumni. Contact for more information.
  • Submit a photo from abroad - Students can win a prize for a photo they took while abroad. There are four categories: landscape, pictures of locals, students, and monuments. 
  • Participate in student orientation - Welcome international students as they arrive on campus in August. Contact 928-523-2409 if interested. 
  • Get to know international students in your classes - Get to know students from other countries on campus.

Student showcase

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For first-hand accounts by NAU students who have studied abroad, see the Inside Scoop Blogs at the Center for International Education.

For quotes from history students with experience abroad, see here.

Community and legacy

Below are resources students can access to better navigate their global learning opportunities. 

Participating faculty
  • Professor Charles Connell - Leads the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies' Summer Study Abroad Program in Oxford program each summer. 
  • Professor Cynthia Kosso - Leads summer trips to Greece and Turkey.
  • Professor John Leung - Works with Beijing International Studies University, Hong Kong Baptist University, Chinese University of Hong Kong,  Fujian Normal University, China, the JET program, which combines studying abroad (though not for NAU (course credit) with teaching English in Japan (usually after baccalaureate graduation), and the South Korea (Ewha University for Women, Seoul) Program.
  • Professor Lindsay Wilson - Works with the University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC) programs, especially the semester, year-long and summer programs in Pau, France, and the NAU Summer Program in Annecy, France, led by Professor Nicole Bauge in the Modern Languages Department.  
Helpful literature

Index to Recent Articles on Global Curriculum and Study Abroad 

  1. "Northern Arizona U. Overhauls Curriculum to Focuson 'Global Competence,'" Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE),  May 20, 2012. 
  2. "Why EveryStudent Should Study Abroad," CHE, November 29, 2010.
  3. "In StudyAbroad, Simple is Sophisticated," CHE, December 9, 2010.
  4. "Cross-Cultural Skills: Essential for Expatriate Success," CHE, August 23, 2011.
  5. "Europe's Push to Teach English Creates Barriers in the Classroom," CHE, February 13, 2011.
  6. "When Introducing the Liberal Arts to Asia, Don't Forget the Students," CHE, June 5, 2012.
  7. "The Moral Ambiguity of Study Abroad," CHE, October 6, 2006.

Index to Book Reviews or Excerpts of Recent Histories of Study Abroad 

  1. Review of Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized an Ancient Civilization by Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller.
  2. Review of The Greater Journey:  Americans in Paris by David McCullough.
  3. Excerpt of French Lessons: How Paris Changed Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis by Alice Kaplan.
  4. Review of Internationalism, National Identities, and Study Abroad: France and the United States, 1890-1970 by Whitney Walton.

Financial information

Costs vary by program. Direct exchanges generally involve no extra tuition. Out-of-state students may find that tuition for some study abroad programs cost the same or less than NAU tuition. For information on financial aid for studying, interning, teaching, and volunteering abroad, contact Esther Cuellar at or 928-523-8960. 
External funding can be found through the following groups:

Additional information

  • For detailed information on global learning opportunities for students of History and History/Social Studies Education to study, intern, or volunteer abroad, please see the Global Learning Opportunities Guide
  • The Center for International Education  conducts information sessions on current CIE programs throughout the semester. See their NAU Education Abroad page for information on the next session and their Education Abroad 101 guide for details on applying and financial information.
  • For additional information, contact Dr. Lindsay Wilson at Dr. Wilson is a historian who has a great deal of experience researching and teaching abroad, and serves as the department liaison for global learning opportunities.

National study abroad organizations