Global Bachelor's Program

The GW Global Bachelor's Program is an exciting opportunity to make study abroad a central part of your undergraduate degree. The Global Bachelor's Program was designed for top students in the Columbian College to spend multiple semesters abroad as part of their GW studies. Participants will leave GW with significant international experience having explored and learned to adapt to diverse social, cultural and academic situations in at least two countries. Students will study their own major from leading scholars and teachers at GW and abroad and will encounter a broad international perspective. They will learn how to communicate with others from diverse cultural backgrounds while establishing a network of colleagues around the world. Successful completion of the program will earn students a Global Bachelor’s designation on their GW transcript.    

Program Overview

The Global Bachelor’s Program begins with a first semester abroad cohort experience during sophomore year in one of two fascinating cities: Shanghai, China or Belfast, Northern Ireland. Students choosing the Belfast option will spend the first semester of their sophomore year at Queen's University Belfast (QUB). Students choosing the Shanghai option will spend the spring semester of their sophomore year at Fudan University. All students must take a core course at their first destination and must also complete a series of three one-credit courses offered over the next three years. These are designed to engage students academically and to help students prepare, interact,  and reflect upon their global experiences.

After the first semester abroad, Global Bachelor's students will choose two additional international experiences chosen from a list of approved study abroad locations on the GW Office for Study Abroad Passport System. One of these additional experiences must be at an approved study abroad location somewhere else in the world (that is, not in China for Shanghai students or not in Europe for Belfast students). The second of these additional experiences may be an 8-week international internship during the summer term or during a semester of leave, or a third semester of study abroad at any GW-approved location. Students must apply to the program in the spring semester of their freshman year. All courses taken while abroad, if approved, will transfer for GW credit towards either majors, minors, and/or electives.


Students in Belfast will study in classes with Northern Irish and international students at QUB, a top urban research institution, renowned for its programs in fields from Irish Studies to film, history, and science. The required core class, PSTD 3191: The Northern Ireland Conflict and Paths to Peace, uses the Northern Irish Troubles as a case study  to examine principles of peace and reconciliation across the world. Students will live in dorms on the QUB campus in Belfast, a vibrant and growing city and currently the number one spot in growth of visitors in Europe.

Click here for more information about the Global Bachelor’s Belfast Semester.


Students in Shanghai will study in English with Chinese and international students at Fudan University, ranked one of the top 5 universities in China. The core class, ECON 2180: Survey of International Economics, taught by GW Professor Steve Suranovic, examines current international trade conflicts and explores China’s role in the international economy. Students will live off-campus in shared apartments in central Shanghai with close proximity to some of the city’s most exciting neighborhoods.

Click here for more information about the Global Bachelor’s Shanghai Semester.