Why Study Away?

Global Story

Study away offers you the opportunity to add a chapter to the “global story” you began writing when you chose to study at NYU Shanghai. NYU’s global network of study away sites offers a variety of opportunities for you to develop the qualities that enhance your appeal to graduate schools and future employers. Depending on the sites selected, students may have the opportunity to participate in internships, volunteer programs, leadership activities, or part-time work that engages with the local community and develops marketable skills. The Career Development Center (CDC) can help you stay on track with your career goals while studying away through virtual career counseling appointments, webinars, and programs designed to help you “Tell Your Global Story.” Contact the Career Development Center at shanghai.careerdevelopment@nyu.edu.

To catch a glimpse of life at NYU around the world, check out the global bloggers at This is NYU.

Global Internships

An international internship can provide you with training related to your college major and career goals. Internships are available in practically every country in the world for most industries, although these opportunities are very competitive. You are required to have, in your possession, a work permit in order to be legally employed in the country of your choice. When going through a formal program to find a position, they will assist you in the process of obtaining these papers. However, when finding something on your own, you will need to do the research to determine what the guidelines are for the country in which you are planning to work.

Please explore this website managed by NYU Office of Global Programs to learn more about undergraduate study away internships across NYU’s global network.

You should contact NYU Shanghai Mobility or the NYU Office of Global Services (OGS) to obtain a better understanding of the work visa requirements for your country of choice. You can also email global.internships@nyu.edu with any questions about internships available at the global academic centers. If you are studying at NYU New York or NYU Abu Dhabi, please work with their local career services office for your internship needs.

Global Certificates

NYU Shanghai has a commitment to developing its students as leaders and good citizens in their communities. These certificate programs are designed to encourage and enable students to achieve those goals through courses, programs, volunteer work, and leadership experience that promote their personal development and involvement in community service. Certificate requirements provide opportunities for teamwork, leadership, and community service, as well as practical application of skills taught in courses.

Many students will be able to earn a Certificate of Global Citizenship, but the Certificate of Global Leadership has a higher bar and fewer successful completions. These certificates are challenging and not for everybody. A person who fits the profile for these two certificates would have done much of these things already, the certificates provide some structure, some guidance on completing the gaps, and recognition of having done so. Most, if not all, of the students who would be interested in these certificates would already be involved in student clubs and organizational leadership. The volunteer aspect may be hard or unpleasant for some to do, but it is an important part of the certificate.

The philosophy of the Global Citizen/Leadership certificates is simple: service is a vitally important component of personal development. What this means practically is that opportunities are available through service that can allow one to:

  • Use academic skills and knowledge in practical results driven non-academic experiences. The skills that one can gain through the curriculum can be extensively supplemented through service activities that allow one to use these skills to achieve meaningful and important results. 
  • Develop Leadership - Through service activities, one can significantly enhance their leadership skills. Service projects allow one to develop a true understanding of the importance of leadership in groups and teams achieving their objectives. Service projects also offer the opportunity for students to become involved with other students and to develop their skills for leadership in these situations.
  • Develop Professional Networks - Service is a valuable way to enhance one’s professional network. Service activities allow one to gain access to leaders, managers, and key individuals in organization who are responsible for goals achievement and leadership. Service allows students to gain first-hand experience and insight from these professionals and add them to their own network of professional references.
  • Community Involvement and Social Responsibility - Community involvement and social responsibility are now critical areas for the development of complete managers and leaders of organizations and society in the future. In most organizations, this is now a critical activity for senior managers in their career development process. Service projects allow students to begin to understand the importance of these ideas at an early stage of their careers.

All materials needed for completion of the certificate must be submitted by April 1 of the student’s senior year. Students are certified as having met the criteria by a committee made up of faculty, Academic Affairs, and Student Life staff. The number of students who may receive the Certificate of Global Leadership is limited to 15 percent of that year’s graduating class; there is no limit to the number of students who may earn the Certificate of Global Citizenship. Should you have any questions, please contact shanghai.globalaffairs@nyu.edu.

Certificate of Global Leadership

Students declare their intention of pursuing the Global Leadership Certificate by filling out this form by the end of their sophomore year. They may not declare it before fall of sophomore year, and coursework done before declaring the certificate intention counts toward the certificate. The non-course work, volunteer, and leadership experience only consists of post-declaration experiences.

Requirements:

  1. Calculus or higher math class
  2. Programming or computational thinking
  3. International relations, comparative politics, or microeconomics
  4. Transnational history course
  5. Cross cultural literature course
  6. Two study away semesters, one of which must be outside of Asia and North America.
  7. Competency in a second language at an advanced or higher level (Competency does not have to be demonstrated by coursework. Students already fluent in a second language may use that language to fulfill this requirement).
  8. At least 150 involvement hours in various clubs and service projects. This should be documented in OrgSync. 
  9. Two letters of recommendation, one faculty and one Student Life (submitted in spring of senior year)
  10. Reflection paper* (submitted in spring of senior year)
  11. The reflection paper will be posted to a public forum, and students will make presentations regarding their experiences earning the certificate at a public event.
  12. Students successfully completing items 1-11 will receive a Global Leadership Certificate and a notation on their transcript.

Items 1-5 expand on the Core Curriculum into the higher level of quantitative skills, economic and political awareness, and historical and cultural understanding required by global leaders. Items 1-2 may be double-counted as core, but items 3-5 can only be double counted as major or minor classes.

Items 6-7 recognize that global leaders need to be fluent in more than one language and that, attending an American university in China, their study away experience should be outside of those two regions. This item calls for some additional Chinese language courses for international students if they are not fluent in a third language and for all students to spend at least a semester of study away in Europe, Africa, South America, or Australia. If a student’s major forces them to study away in New York, then they can complete a summer internship outside of East Asia or North America for the requirement.

Items 8-11 promote the idea of leadership as service, that a global leader should have some practical experience at leadership as an undergraduate, and that they should be a leader in the classroom as well as out of it.

*Note on Reflection Paper:

The reflection essay substantively addresses the student’s gains from the required courses, study away experience, and volunteer service participation.  Essays for the Citizenship certificate should be 5-7 pages, and those for the Leadership certificate should be 8-10 pages using 12-pt font, double-spaced typed text. The essays should not just be a narrative of the student’s efforts to meet the requirements of the certificate. It should focus on the outcome rather than the journey and will be evaluated according to the following objectives:

  • Impact – How did the student’s involvement hours significantly affect the accomplishment of an organization’s goals?
  • Education – How did the certificate requirements fit into the student’s overall education at NYU Shanghai?
  • Personal Growth – What did the student gain personally from the experience?

Certificate of Global Citizenship

Students declare their intention of pursuing the Global Citizenship Certificate by filling out this form by the end of their junior year. They may not declare it before fall of sophomore year, and coursework done before declaring the certificate intention counts toward the certificate. The non-course work, volunteer, and leadership experience only consists of post-declaration experiences.

Requirements:

  1. International relations, comparative politics, or microeconomics
  2. Transnational history course
  3. Cross cultural literature course
  4. At least one study away semester outside of East Asia and North America.
  5. Competency in a second language at an intermediate or higher level (Competency does not have to be demonstrated by coursework. Students already fluent at this level in a second language may use that language to fulfill this requirement).
  6. At least 80 involvement hours in various clubs and service projects. This should be documented in OrgSync. 
  7. *Reflection Paper (submitted in spring of senior year)
  8. The reflection paper will be posted to a public forum.
  9. Students successfully completing items 1-8 will receive a Global Citizenship Certificate and a notation on their transcript.

Items 1-3 expand on the Core Curriculum into the higher level of economic and political awareness, and historical and cultural understanding required by global citizens. ItemS 1-3 cannot be double counted as the core, and can only be double counted as major or minor classes.

Items 4-5 recognize that global citizens need to be competent in more than one language and that, attending an American university in China, their study away experience should be outside of those two regions. This item calls for no additional Chinese language courses for international students and for all students to spend at least a semester of study away in Europe, Africa, South America, or Australia. If a student’s major forces them to study away in New Yor, then they can complete a summer internship outside of East Asia or North America for the requirement.

Items 6-8 promote the idea of citizenship as service, that a global citizen should have some practical experience at participating in an organization as an undergraduate, and that they should be a good student.

*Note on Reflection Paper:

The reflection essay substantively addresses the student’s gains from the required courses, study away experience, and volunteer service participation.  Essays for the Citizenship certificate should be 5-7 pages, and those for the Leadership certificate should be 8-10 pages using 12-pt font, double-spaced typed text. The essays should not just be a narrative of the student’s efforts to meet the requirements of the certificate. It should focus on the outcome rather than the journey and will be evaluated according to the following objectives:

  • Impact – How did the student’s involvement hours significantly affect the accomplishment of an organization’s goals?
  • Education – How did the certificate requirements fit into the student’s overall education at NYU Shanghai?
  • Personal Growth – What did the student gain personally from the experience?