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Programs : Brochure

This is the program brochure page.
Program Description

Program cancelled for AY 2020 due to World Expo postponed


DubaiWorld's Fair Dubai

Dubai shoreline

If William Gibson is correct when he says – “The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed” – then one place you can experience the future is in the small patch of desert transformed into the technologically advanced City of Dubai. In 2020-21, this will be truer than ever when Dubai opens the doors to the world at Expo 2020. This World’s Fair will bring together dreamers and entrepreneurs from around the world to showcase their visions of the future and try to steer our global community towards the world they think we should live in. This study abroad program will give students a chance to not only experience these future visions firsthand, but also examine how futures are created and explore the impact they can have on the world. We will go behind the scenes at the World’s Fair to meet with the people that are making it happen, as well as explore the other ways in which the future is being built in Dubai and Abu Dhabi by visiting places like the Dubai Future Foundation, the Museum of the Future, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Quick Facts

  • December 29, 2020 – January 8, 2021. Please note that this program runs over New Years Eve. 
  • Experience the Future at a Major World’s Fair
  • Explore pavilions built by 150 different countries
  • Day trip to Louvre Abu Dhabi
  • Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Middle East

Application Requirements

To apply for this program, click the "Apply Now" button above. This will generate an online application with the requirements listed below. Please also refer to the "Academics" tab for specific eligibility information. Note: Non-ASU students should consult these instructions before applying.



Dubai night

Location Details


One of the most technologically advanced cities in the world, Dubai’s massive skyscrapers rise out of the desert at the southern edge of the Arabian Gulf. Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building, hundreds of cutting edge technology companies, and serves as a bustling port bringing the Western and Arab worlds together.


The capital of the United Arab Emirates is an hour’s drive away from Dubai and is home to the glistening white Sheikh Zayed Mosque as well as the most celebrated museum to open its doors in the last few years, the Louvre Abu Dhabi. 


Visa Information

It is each student’s responsibility to independently determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program. Limited information may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office, your faculty director, and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Payment and Withdrawal Policies

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas. If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.


Eligibility Requirements

  • GPA of 2.5 or higher

  • Students from all majors are encouraged to apply to this interdisciplinary program. There will be something for everyone, whether you’re a social scientist, engineer, architecture, or humanities major. We will all be living in the future and we should all have a voice in it.


This program is available to both undergraduates and graduate students. Students will register for the following course during the Spring registration period:
  • Undergraduates should enroll in FIS 394 Expo 2020 (3 credits)
  • Graduate students should enroll in GTD 598 The Future of Modernity   (3 credits)

*Please note that these courses count towards your Spring semester load.  If registering for this course will put you in a course-overload situation, you will need to speak with your academic advisor for an override.

Course Format


Dubai academics

Dubai boat


Faculty Directors

Jamey Wetmore
Associate Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Office: Interdisciplinary B - 3rd Floor - Suite 350 (the three-story building just west of the MU)
Mail Code: 5603
Phone: 480-727-0750

Prof. Wetmore studies the relationships between technology and society. He has led a dozen study abroad programs to every continent on the planet. He has wanted to attend a World’s Fair since he was a child. For a full biography see:

Mary Jane Parmentier 
Associate Director for Students and Clinical Associate Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Office: Interdisciplinary B - 3rd Floor - B366C (the three-story building just west of the MU)
Mail code: 5603
Phone: 480-727-4518

Prof. Parmentier studies the role of technology in economic, social and political development in North Africa and Latin America. She has led numerous study abroad programs to places like Morocco, Spain, Ecuador, and Dubai. She attended a World’s Fair in New York as a child. For a full biography see:

J. Wetmore

MJ Parmentier


Dubai camels

Program Housing

Shared housing is provided in either a university dorm or hotel setting. Housing is near public transportation with easy access to many of Dubai’s entertainment locations and the Expo.

Special Considerations

Below you will find information that may help you in planning for your study abroad experience. Early discussions and planning can help to support you in having a positive experience abroad. We invite you to meet with the International Coordinator for this program to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Physical Considerations

Study abroad participants may find themselves walking or taking public transit abroad more frequently than they are accustomed at their home campus. This program will require students to navigate sidewalks, taxi cabs, buses and the metro.There may be one side trip on a small boat across the Dubai creek as well as an excursion into the desert dunes to the east of Dubai. This program will also include a great deal of walking.  

Disability Accommodations Abroad

Individuals with disabilities can and do study abroad, but may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from the United States.

In general, the Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program. Any student who anticipates needing any kind of special accommodation due to a disability should contact the ASU Study Abroad Office early in the planning process to investigate the availability of accommodations (including accessible facilities) on this specific program. Contact the Disability Resource Center and your Disability Access Consultant to include them in the discussion; be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office on your behalf. You can find additional information and resources on our Students with Disabilities page.

LGBTQIA Students Abroad

Students of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities will find that the social climate, laws, and norms of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer student - or if you are still exploring your identity - you may face unique challenges when traveling abroad.  For example, in the UAE, the law criminalizes same sex relationships and sexual activities. Penalties for homosexual activities may include fines and imprisonment. Under interpretations of sharia law, punishment can be severe. LGBTQIA students should exercise caution while traveling in the UAE.

We encourage students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community to visit the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information about laws and attitudes in this program’s locations, including pre-travel tips and advice on staying safe while abroad. You can find additional information and resources on our LGBTQIA Students page.

Gender Identity Abroad

When traveling abroad, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on your (or their) gender identity. For example, in the UAEnon-binary gender expression can be a punishable offense.

You can find additional information and resources on our Gender Identity Abroad page.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities Abroad

Students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may encounter unique challenges transitioning from life here in the United States to life as a student living abroad, including but not limited to access to personal care products and services. 

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may experience by researching the ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations. We encourage students to start that research on our Racial and Ethnic Minority Students page.


Cost Information

The Program Fee for Pre-Spring 2021 is TBD.

Program Fee includes: Shared accommodation, daily breakfast, some other meals, site visits and cultural events, a Metro pass, ASU faculty support, and international health insurance. Not included: Tuition for the three-credit course(s), airfare, passport & visa fees, most meals, personal expenses, and miscellaneous items.  Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.

Faculty Directed program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the Program Fee listed above. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the program cost sheet for information on program fees and any additional estimated expenses.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. View the program Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  2. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  3. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  4. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  5. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  6. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities

  • ASU Tuition Waiver may be applied on this program to cover the tuition associated with this program.  The ASU Tuition Waiver cannot be used to subsidize the posted program fee.


Links to Additional Resources

*The ASU Study Abroad Office does not officially endorse, administer or monitor the content of these links.

Dates & Deadlines
Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Pre-Spring 2022 09/25/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.