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Program Description
This program will not be running in Summer 2020.
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Group Photo

Hong Kong - Group Photo

Cities around the world are increasingly facing perilous sustainability challenges of energy efficiency, water supply, waste management, GHG emissions, land use, housing affordability and air quality. This summer course uses Hong Kong as the setting to learn how a complex, densely populated, world-class city is addressing such challenges. Students will go on field trips to the “front lines” of both sustainability problems and solutions, interact with Hong Kong leaders and sustainability practitioners, and discuss Hong Kong’s sustainability policies with scholars. ASU students will work in small, cross-cultural teams with Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese students from City University of Hong Kong to analyze, develop and present public policy recommendations that can resolve sustainability challenges.

Quick Facts

  • June 7 - June 22, 2019
  • Work in small, cross-cultural teams with Hong Kong and Chinese students to analyze urban sustainability issues and develop policy solutions.
  • Field trips and discussions about sustainability challenges in Hong Kong including energy, waste management, land use, housing, air pollution, water supply.
  • Visit one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Learn how density can enable and can hinder urban sustainability.
  • Interact with Hong Kong officials, NGOs, business executives, scholars.
  • Learn how public policy is made and how it can affect urban sustainability.
  • Reside at City University of Hong Kong in the fast-paced Mong Kok section of Hong Kong.
  • Earn 3 ASU undergraduate or graduate credits 


Victoria Peak

Hong Kong - Group by the Water


Location Details

Working with students from City University of Hong Kong and local practitioners and experts, ASU students will obtain a close-up view of the sustainability challenges faced by dense, urban cities.
Milton Friedman once described Hong Kong as the world’s greatest experiment with laissez-faire capitalism. Its track record, with its GDP growing 180 times over and its GDP per-capita growing 87 times over between 1961 and 1997, proves that Hong Kong’s low taxation and free trade as a policy of positive non-interventionism has served it well. One of the four Asian Tigers, Hong Kong has one of the greatest concentrations of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, Hong Kong is the largest center of initial public offerings in the world, successfully raising 22 percent of the world’s IPO capital on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Hong Kong is known as the place where East meets West, reflecting the mix established by more than a century of British colonial control on traditional Chinese culture. As a result Hong Kong has a highly modernized way of life that rates in the top ten countries in terms of broadband penetration, yet traditions such as Ba gua mirrors are commonly found to ward off evil spirits. From the nightlife of Lan Kwai Fong to hiking the hills of the New Territories, to taking part in Chinese festivals, Hong Kong provides an exciting mix of activities.

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

  • ASU graduate students in good standing in their program with a demonstrated academic and/or professional interest in understanding and solving sustainability challenges.
  • Priority will be given to students who have taken 12 or more hours of undergraduate or graduate coursework in sustainability. 
  • Exceptional undergraduate students will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Minimum GPA 2.5


Students will take one of the following two courses listed for a total of three credits:

  • SOS 494/595  Topic: Urban Sustainability in Hong Kong
  • PAF 494/ 598 Topic: Urban Sustainability in Hong Kong
This will be a seminar-style program; students will be in meetings and onsite visits Monday through Friday from morning until early evening. Evenings and weekends are free time.

Students participating on this program may wish to enroll in the Gateway to Chinese course offered during the spring session B semester preceding the summer program. This course is designed for non-speakers of Chinese to gain basic language skills to help them during their study abroad experience. For more information, please consult this flyer.  Please note that enrollment in this course is entirely separate from the study abroad program.
Site visit 2


Faculty Director

Dr. Rob Melnick
Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Global Institute of Sustainability
Presidential Professor of Practice, School of Sustainability

Additional Staff

Jenny Carter
Director, Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes



City U

Program Housing


Accommodation will be in double rooms in dormitories at City University with access to wi-fi.  Students will commute by public transport to site visits throughout the city (public transport pass included in program fee).  A welcome group dinner & farewell group dinner are included. All other meals must be budgeted for by the student.

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.The Urban Sustainability in Hong Kong program will regularly use public transportation. There may be many stairs, inclines, and steep, uneven walkways. 

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.  

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. 

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 Summer 2019 is $3,600.

Program Fee includes: ASU tuition for 3 credits, housing, numerous site visits, cultural excursions, some group meals, and international health insurance.  Not included: Airfare to and from Hong Kong, public transportation, most meals, passport, student fees, independent travel, and personal expenses.

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.

The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sight-see or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. 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.


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 for This Program


Dates & Deadlines

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.