TCU Global Academy

The TCU Global Academy is an innovative study abroad program that brings together communities, organizations, TCU faculty, and students to explore global issues and solutions. This unique program gives students an opportunity to study a global issue in the classroom and then spend 1 – 2 weeks abroad working with organizations leading change. Students will explore multiple perspectives on the issue, see first-hand how other countries are solving problems, and engage in “fair trade” ways with community-driven projects.

In 2020, we are offering two Global Academy programs:

  1. Panama – 8W1 course at TCU and a Spring Break course in Panama
  2. South Africa – 8W2 course at TCU and a Maymester course in South Africa

What does it take to be a global leader? It takes knowledge of global issues as well as skills such as collaboration, intercultural communication, and creativity. The Global Academy provides all of this and more! You will learn from a variety of experts providing different perspectives and work with innovative problem-solvers working on the ground, allowing you to develop and hone critical thinking, cultural sensitivity, task management, and communication skills.

The Panama Global Academy focuses on sustainability and community development. As one of the most ecologically rich and diverse places on the planet, as well as the connector between North and South, and East and West, Panama provides a fascinating place to explore critical environmental, social, and economic issues affecting conservation and development. Panama is an epicenter of research and innovation, and our partnership with the City of Knowledge / Ciudad del Saber provides an opportunity to work with NGOs engaged in exciting projects.

The South Africa Global Academy focuses on education, poverty, and wildlife conservation. South Africa is a beautiful country, full of diversity, rich in culture and with a complex history. At the same time, it is challenged by a variety of social, economic and political issues.  As a key part of the experience, you will work alongside community-based organizations who are transforming South Africa. During this time, you will be challenged to consider how you can use your education and experience to address global issues.

Students in the Global Academy program must take both of the following courses, earning a total of 3 credits.

  • INTL 30341: Exploration of Global Issues
    • 1 credit, 8 weeks, on campus. For Panama, this course takes place during the first half of spring semester, For South Africa, this course takes place during the second half of the spring semester.
    • This one hour seminar explores global issue(s) in an interdisciplinary context and prepares students for participation in global learning experiences. Various global issues that could be studied include sustainability, social justice, ethical leadership, healthcare, and development, with an emphasis on examining U.S. and global perspectives.
  • INTL 30342: Engagement with Global Issues
    • 2 credits, primarily in the abroad location
    • This seminar challenges students to use an interdisciplinary lens as they engage in global contexts with people and issues in the world. The course uses onsite investigation, field trips, and guest lectures to provide diverse global perspectives on the global topic.

Course attributes: GA (Global Awareness) credit, Sustainability minor (with department approval)


  • January 13 – March 6: Students take INTL 30341 on campus – tentatively scheduled for Wed 3:30 – 5:20 pm
  • March 7 – 15 (Spring Break) Students take INTL 30142 & travel to Panama for on-site experience
  • March 16 – May 4 Students return to campus and complete project for INTL 30102


  • Program Fee: $1650 (housing, local activities and excursions, and international health insurance)
  • Tuition (3 credits): included in students’ spring 2019 block tuition
  • Group Airfare: estimated $1250
  • All students receive a $500 scholarship

Additional scholarships and financial aid are available


Students will stay in dorms at the City of Knowledge / Cuidad del Saber. The City of Knowledge is a cluster of academic organizations, technology companies and non-governmental organizations located just across from the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal. Situated in a lush, park-like atmosphere, the dorm is an open-spaced, air-conditioned building just a five-minute walk from the City of Knowledge Plaza, where there are a wide variety of services such as restaurants, cafeterias, bakery, delicatessen, bank, book store, art gallery, travel agency, beauty parlor, bicycle rental, dry cleaners, clinic and a drugstore.

The time in Panama will be a balance of time working with the organizations and exploring the beauty of Panama’s rain forests, beaches and the Panama Canal.


  • March 16 – May 8: Students take INTL 30341 on campus – tentatively scheduled for Wed 4:00 – 5:50 pm
  • May 13 – 26: Students take INTL 30142 & travel to South Africa for on-site experience


  • Program Fee: $2950 (housing, local activities and excursions, and international health insurance)
  • Tuition: 1 credit during spring (part of block tuition) and 2 credits in May: $3420
  • All students receive additional scholarship funds toward program fee based on financial need.
  • Not included: Airfare, some meals, personal expenses

Additional scholarships and financial aid are available

In South Africa, your time will be split between the Amakhala Game reserve where you will explore the game reserves, learn about environmental issues and reserve management, and assist the veterinarian with animal procedures, Cape Town where where you will work alongside community-based organizations who are transforming South Africa, and spending time enjoying the incredible sites such as the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, Robbin Island, Table Mountain, and the Cape of Good Hope.

The TCU Global Academy is designed for the student who is hungry for challenge and an engaging learning environment. Students who enroll in this program must be curious, willing to work collaboratively, and maintain a high work ethic. LIMITED SPOTS STILL AVAILABLE – APPLY BY OCT. 15.

Global Academy Panama details and application

Global Academy South Africa details and application

What kind of credit is available?
The two courses, INTL 30341 and 30342, together count for GA

Will I be gone the whole semester?
No. You will take a course during the spring semester as part of your regular course load. The Panama Global Academy will travel to Panama over spring break. The South Africa Global Academy will travel to South Africa during the Maymester.

What will I gain from participating?
The Global Academy provides an exciting opportunity for applying education to practical field experience with cutting edge researchers and partners. You will become part of a prestigious team of individuals passionate about global issues,