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Global Development in Action

Virtual Programs

Global Development in Action

The Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI) continues to offer a virtual rendition of its programming in light of ongoing limitations to international travel. This is a unique hybrid opportunity to explore complex questions through coursework while simultaneously engaging in a meaningful internship in a virtual setting during fall quarter 2022. Students will take part in in-person coursework at Northwestern while completing a 15 hour/week remote internship in one of six country locations. 

Virtual internship locations include: Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Ghana, Uganda and Vietnam.


Program highlights:

  • Earn two academic credits
  • Intern virtually with a community-based nonprofit
  • Learn about development in a global context through INTL ST 393/ANTH 390, MW 3:30-4:50 PM
  • Gain experience collaborating with remote and global teams on project-based work, an increasingly important skill in a post-COVID world

In 2022, Virtual GESI was recognized with the NAFSA Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award. 

Virtual GESI applications are due by May 1. Find program details and the application here. Watch a recorded information session to learn more about the program structure and application process.

Questions? Please contact


Earn Northwestern credits through INTL ST 393: Development in a Global Context (cross-listed with ANTH 390). This field studies course will use a flipped classroom model to help students build the skills necessary to operate ethically and reflexively in complex transnational work environments. In conjunction with a virtual internship with nonprofits and NGOs around the world, you will engage in real-time reflection and critical analysis of concepts like "participation" and cultural humility in development work. This course invites you to examine deep complexities within global structures, the impact of good intentions, and your role in a rapidly changing world. You should check with your major/minor and academic advisors to see how these credits might count for you. One unit of INTL ST 393 may be applied towards the Weinberg College Distribution Requirements in Social and Behavioral Sciences (Area III).

The course will be taught by Dr. Diego Arispe-Bazán, Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction in the Global Learning Office and Assistant Professor of Instruction, Anthropology.

Class will be held on campus in the fall MW 3:30-4:50 PM. The syllabus in the link below is considered a draft and is subject to change. 


Diego Arispe-BazánDiego Arispe-Bazán, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Anthropology

Diego researches Global North to Global South migration, internal migration in South America, and historical ideologies of Spanish colonization, from a linguistic and cultural anthropological framework. His work combines textual and ethnographic data and investigates the relationship between (post)colonialism, race, and identity. 


You will be matched with a community-based nonprofit or NGO. As an intern, you will support your organization with various projects, using your academic background and skills to support your organization and the community's needs. Being accepted to GESI and committing to participate in the program means agreeing to work with a host organization that is expecting you. Please plan your participation seriously, as placements will be considered with students and hosts in mind. Details regarding internship locations and options can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.   When are applications due?

  • Applications for GESI 2022: Global Development in Action (Virtual Fall GESI) will be due on May 1.

2.   Who can take part in "virtual GESI"?

  • GESI is open to second, third, and fourth year undergraduate students from every major and minor.

3.   What are the application requirements?

  • All applicants must attend information session or view a recording before their interview.
  • If your GPA is below a 2.5, you will be asked follow-up questions within the application.

4.   How can the credits for INTL ST 393 be articulated?

  • INTL ST 393 is a variable credit field studies course. Students will receive 2 credits for remote internships (15 hours/week).
  • WCAS students: One course credit may be counted toward the distribution requirement for social and behavioral sciences (Area III).
  • Global Health Studies students: GESI will count for one required GHS elective credit toward the adjunct major or minor.
  • The course is also cross-listed with ANTH 390.

5.   Is there a language requirement?

  • Internship placements in Latin America require at least conversational Spanish ability (i.e. 1 year of college level Spanish).
  • Peru and Ecuador have internship options in both English and/or Spanish.
  • No other locations have a language requirement.

6.   Is there anything else applicants should keep in mind about applying for this program?

  • Strong applicants will demonstrate flexibility, curiosity, and a willingness to learn.
  • Once selected, students will be enrolled in the class through CAESAR by GLO staff.

7.  Will financial aid apply to virtual GESI?

  • Yes. If you receive financial aid during the academic year, financial aid will apply.
  • Students can request an aid estimate from the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid at

Other questions can be directed to