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Rob and Melani Walton
Global Sustainability Studies Scholarships

Solving sustainability problems
in a global context.

The development of global citizens

Implementing sustainability in Africa or Europe can be a different type of challenge than it is in the US. Sustainability students know that on the path to impactful solutions, understanding global context is critical.

Study abroad, with support from the Rob and Melani Walton Global Sustainability Studies Scholarships, provided students the opportunity to witness and learn sustainability principles and solutions in international community, urban and political settings. Through condensed, rigorous courses set within a different culture, students gained skills like:

  • Problem-solving
  • Networking
  • Intercultural collaboration
  • Cross-disciplinary application

Making the world the classroom

Destinations and course topics changed every summer, adapting to current global sustainability developments. Past programs include:

  • Sustainable energy solutions in Spain and Morocco
  • Environmental tourism in Dubai
  • Human rights in Brazil
  • Mobility and transportation in the Netherlands
  • Urban development in Hong Kong
  • Environmental challenges in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Sustainability policy in London and Washington, D.C.
  • Human Development, Diversity and Sustainability in Ecuador
  • Re-imagining Environmental Sustainability in Urban and Rural Nepal
  • Sustainability Challenges of the Wildlife Economy in South Africa
  • Coffee and Climate Change in Costa Rica

Each study abroad program was led by faculty members from the and local expert partners with program cohorts limited to small groups of 15-20 students, creating a close-knit learning community. Learn more about past Global Studies student experiences on the .

Rob and Melani Walton Scholarship

Awards were based on a competitive process that includes an essay application, academic merit and relevance to the student’s field of study. The Rob and Melani Walton Scholarship program has been supported through funding from the .

For a complete list of current sustainability study abroad programs offered across ASU, including course costs, dates and application information, visit the .

Past Programs

2018 Programs

Picture of a hillside in Greece

GREECE: Community Sustainability Solutions
Dr. Mary Jane Parmentier

The academic focus of this program was sustainable development and all the complexity that is involved with social, economic, environmental, cultural and political challenges. Greece is part of the ‘developed world,’ an EU country, but with serious development and sustainability challenges nonetheless. This program was based in a rural area facing marginalization in the national and the regional contexts, with serious issues of sustaining livelihoods and protecting the environment.

Arial picture of Hong Kong

HONG KONG: Urban Sustainability
Dr. Rob Melnick

Cities around the world increasingly face perilous sustainability challenges of energy efficiency, water supply, waste management, GHG emissions, land use, housing affordability and air quality. This course used Hong Kong as the setting to learn how a complex, densely populated, world-class city is addressing such challenges. ASU students worked in small, cross-cultural teams with Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese students from City University of Hong Kong to analyze, develop and present public policy recommendations that can resolve sustainability challenges.

Picture of two Giraffes

SOUTH AFRICA: Sustainability Challenges of the Wildlife Economy
Dr. Daniel Childers

This class immersed students in the social/cultural, environmental and economic challenges facing South Africa with its legacies of colonialism and Apartheid, and with the 1994 ratification of one of the world’s most progressive constitutions. The course focused on the social/cultural, environmental, and economic conflicts and opportunities in and around Kruger National Park, associated with the government’s Wildlife Economy policies, from both sustainability and conservation biology perspectives.

Picture of ASU Students standing in front of Soalr panels in Nepal

NEPAL: Engaging Communities in Energy and Education Innovations
Dr. Nalini Chhetri and Dr. Netra Chhetri

Focused on on-site research-based work in multi-disciplinary teams of engineering, sustainability, humanities and social science students, the program operated in partnership with Nepal’s Institute of Engineering and Central Department of Environmental Sciences. Students spent time in the Kathmandu valley working with Dr. Hosman who directs the SolarSPELL project, followed by working on the two energy projects in the tropical lowlands/terai among indigenous people.

Picture of a freshwater marsh in Botswana

BOTSWANA: Intersection of Water, Ecosystems and Governance
Dr. Dave White

Part of the PLuS Alliance, Connected River Basins with University of New South Wales, Sydney and Kings College London, Arizona State University students joined students and faculty from the two other universities as well as the University of Botswana to participate in an interdisciplinary course centered on water resource management.