Welcome to LIU Global Academics

LIU Global prepares students for a life of leadership and global engagement through a four-year degree program of study as they travel around the world. A unique college experience, LIU Global integrates a series of semester-long, in-depth engagement with world regions that culminates in a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Studies. Living and learning in (at least!) eight countries and traveling to (as many as) six continents, students move eastward from Latin America to Europe and North Africa, from Europe to Asia or Australia, and then back to North America for a final semester in New York City.

For 50 years, LIU Global College (known previously as Friends World College) has been on the cutting edge of global experiential education. The program combines classroom and field-based experience, low faculty-to-student ratios, one-on-one tutorials, community-based fieldwork and service learning, directed independent research projects, and professional internships. LIU Global prepares students for a career of global engagement through a structured and focused curriculum, with opportunities for students to develop expertise in navigating increasingly complex global challenges.

Students enrolled in LIU Global benefit from individualized international experience within a broad-based liberal arts education. They spend four years living and learning at LIU Global’s overseas centers and program sites, beginning with a foundation year in Costa Rica. Second-year students spend the fall semester in Spain with excursions to London, Berlin, and Morocco, and the spring semester in Italy with excursions to Paris and the Balkans. Third-year students can choose to spend time studying at our China Center or our program in Austral-Asia. The final year of the program begins with an independently designed research project in an LIU Global center of the student’s choice. The program culminates in two professional internships and a semester in New York City, where students complete their senior thesis.

Program Structure

LIU Global offers a full four-year degree program, as well as the opportunity for students to visit for just a semester or a year. The curriculum is progressive, meaning that the skills and knowledge that students build in one year serve as a foundation for their learning in the next. Geographically, this means that students spend their first year in Costa Rica, their second year in Europe, their third year with a choice of programs in Asia and Australia, and their fourth year split between an LIU Global Center or Program of their choosing and New York City.

Experiential education

LIU Global believes in learning by doing, integrating classroom learning, social interaction, community service, and independent study. Students begin their education with a first-year seminar that orients them toward their education as a whole. They form a learning community through the classroom, collaborative study projects, and their participation in the organizational life of each center, with opportunities and responsibilities for student leadership and service. Learning is individualized through the close personal attention of advisors who meet independently with students at least every two weeks to respond to their work, guide their projects, and develop writing skills. As students grow in their capacities and confidence, they move from structured classroom learning and group field trips into more intense and prolonged endeavors, including field study, community service, and internships. In their final semester students close the progression at its peak, participating in a capstone seminar, conducting an internship, and producing a senior thesis.

The LIU Global curriculum centers on four areas of learning:

Global Knowledge
Global knowledge involves an understanding of the interdependence of social, cultural, environmental, and political systems. Students identify the global repercussions of particular events and trends observable in the local environment, drawing out the human consequences, ethical implications, and calls for responsibility and action.

Cross-Cultural Competence
Students learn to respect and understand the diversity of elements that shape the beliefs and practices they encounter. They identify the general patterns that inform a culture – their own and that of others -- as well as the worldview within which those patterns make sense. Gaining the ability to interpret experience from multiple perspectives, along with language proficiency and an appreciation for cultural norms of communication, students learn to adapt their thought, behavior, and speech to match particular contexts.

Personal and Social Responsibility
Students learn ethical awareness, including the ability to articulate and analyze their core values and those of others, recognize the ethical dimensions of complex situations, and apply an ethical understanding independently and in full view of its implications. Through civic knowledge and engagement students identify the principles of government, social justice, and sustainability within their own society and that of others, promote an engagement with diversity among their peers, and apply the knowledge they gain to participation in civic life, leading ultimately to an articulation of the rights and responsibilities of global citizens. Such development requires leadership and teamwork skills, including independent initiative, collaborative spirit, inclusivity, and the ability to synthesize and articulate a diversity of viewpoints within a group.

Intellectual and Practical Skills
In developing proficiency in writing, oral presentation, and digital communication, students will provide an appropriate vehicle for critical and creative thought. Skills will range from mastery of grammatical expression to effective use of stylistic technique to sensitivity for audience and context. Ability to independently formulate complex and well-grounded analyses and apply them in novel situations will help to develop aptitude in qualitative research, with projects clear in scope and solid in methodology.