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Program Description


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.
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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.


Accessibility Information

Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from what you find in the United States. On this particular program, there will be regular use of public transportation. Additionally, Hong Kong has many stairs, inclines, and steep, uneven walkways which may be very difficult for someone with mobility limitations to navigate.  The Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program.

Although ASU cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites, students with disabilities can and do study abroad. Upon request, the ASU Study Abroad Office can provide information about the availability of accommodations and accessible facilities on the specific program and can help you determine whether this program can meet your accommodation needs.

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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
Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 03/01/2019
Rolling Admission 06/07/2019 06/22/2019
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until Study Abroad Office contacts you to do so.

** 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.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.