Study Program

The Global Classroom Study Program

The Global Classroom brought together students from heterogeneous disciplines and enabled them to develop new competencies for sustainability transformations. The Global Classroom programrevolves around five core competencies:


  • engaging existing knowledge(s) to be critical and transformative thinkers
  • engaging the world to be reflective practitioners 
  • engaging with others to be capable collaborators 
  • engaging the work environment to be skilled professionals, and 
  • engaging the self to be wellrounded personalities.

Our local and global environment makes use of digital technologies and follows the principles of:

  • selfdirected learning
  • experienceoriented learning
  • collaborative learning
  • interdisciplinary, selfreflective learning
  • problembased and solutionoriented learning

Organization of the Global Classroom

From 2013 until 2015, the Global Classroom went through the active teaching phase, in which two cohorts of students engaged in six subsequent modules of seminars (=1,5 years, 30 ECTS, 3 semesters). At Leuphana, the project integrated into the Bachelor programs and was open to any major. It was not an additional study offer, but rather an exceptional way to complete the entire mandatory complementary studies program. At Arizona State University, the Global Classroom was a 400 level course (upper level undergraduate program). Students from different schools and majoring in different subjects were able to use the Global Classroom in their study programs, from sustainability to biology, geography and urban planning.

The course was designed to present a global perspective on urban sustainability with the anchor of local context. Framed as “Sustainable Cities: A contradiction in terms?” the cities Phoenix/Tempe and Lüneburg/Hamburg were the location of case studies for projects on urban sustainability challenges. Learning and working together with students across the Atlantic requires a certain infrastructure that makes an international collaboration possible. To ensure a continuous exchange between the respective groups of the two universities, students got introduced to video conference software and learned how to use internet based working tools productively for their group work.

The organization at a glance:

  • The curriculum spans 6 modules, which are spread over the course of three semesters (=30 ECTS).
  • Research-basedn learning is organized as projects in small trans-Atlantic teams.
  • Local case studies are used to explore sustainability issues, to understand underlying phenomena, and to conduct research towards solutions.
  • International project teams of students work together under coaching and supervision of instructors from both universities.
  • Local and virtual seminar settings, digital and internet work tools
  • Personal, local exchange through study trips to both universities.

Intercultural Exchange and Local Perspectives

Study trips to both universities are an element for cultural exchange, to localize sustainability problem contexts and understand stakeholder perspectives. Diverse activities are organized by students and by staff that allow to get to know the Phoenix and Lüneburg areas, political landscapes, and to improve the understanding of the local context and history. This facetoface working phase supports the process of team building and organization for the following project time, in which virtual and digital collaboration is a major building block of the team work.


Global Classroom
Universitätsallee 1, 21335 Lüneburg