The GSEP curriculum is based on custom-designed 4.5 to 5-year academic tracks that carefully integrate studies towards the student's core science and engineering degree combined with language learning. The custom sequence of language courses provide solid language proficiency as well as extensive knowledge in culture and customs for science and engineering professionals.

Note that the five-year plan described here is merely the "standard model" we've developed for GSEP participation. For some of the GSEP-supported degree programs, it is quite possible to complete the entire program (including the year abroad) in just four years; in other cases, students may add summer study to trim off one or more semesters. But why rush? GSEP is a unique experience that will shape your entire career and your life!


GSEP begins immediately in the first freshman semester with introductory language study. This progression continues through years two and three, with rapid progress in language learning, integrated with continuing progress in the chosen engineering or science major. Students may select from German, French and Spanish, Japanese or Chinese. The integrated year of internship and study abroad is later arranged in a country where this language is spoken.


GSEP includes a variety of features to create a strong sense of identity and community among GSEP scholars, including lectures, outings, and group activities. GSEP scholars are strongly encouraged to join the i-House, a residence hall, which provides a space for a GSEP learning and living community with exposure to international students from your destination country; a great way to practice your language skills. The strong sense of community provides a strong network of mutual support and shared experiences. GSEP scholars will make friendships that will last a lifetime.


At the end of the second year, students may optionally take part in an exploratory 10-14 day trip to selected European partner institutions, in order to reinforce motivation and provide a gentle introduction to international travel and cultures. Activities on the trip are a mix of professional and cultural exploration, including visits to partner universities, presentations by GSEP students, international colloquia, tours of engineering and science companies and laboratories, and a wide variety of tours, hikes, and sight-seeing. By the end of the trip, students have been transformed from cautious tourist outsiders, to confident international travelers with an appetite for adventure.

Study Abroad

With language skills at basic conversational competency after the first three years of language studies, GSEP students leave the NAU campus for a final year of intensive language and cultural studies abroad to bring their language competency to a true professional level. Students may select from a variety of top-notch partner institutions in a range of locales spanning the GSEP languages. Students are required to enroll as a full-time student in the first semester, taking a variety of language, cultural, and discipline-specific courses in both English and their foreign language. Courses are pre-approved for easy transfer back to NAU, and are carefully chosen to fit into the student's degree progress at NAU; all courses are counted for credit towards the students NAU degrees.

International Internship

During the second semester abroad, GSEP students are placed in a professional internship in a company abroad, or in a research laboratory. Internships are typically four to six months in duration, and provide students with essential real-world international experience in their chosen career area.


Having completed their language degree while abroad, students return to campus for their fifth and final year, devoting this year entirely to finishing up their studies in their core engineering or science discipline. At the end of their fifth year, GSEP scholars graduate with a BS in engineering or science, a BA in a foreign language, a special GSEP completion diploma, an impressive resume that includes real international experience in their discipline and, of course, an incredible professional experience and great memories.

Want more details on GSEP?

Check out out FAQ page to quickly get answers to basic questions.

Read the white paper more fully describing the GSEP concept and motivations (10pgs, 225MB PDF).

More information

Read more about the GSEP program or get in touch with our staff:

General information and advising

Dr. Eck Doerry
GSEP Faculty Coordinator

Melissa Armstrong
GSEP Assistant Director

Liliane Palm
GSEP Program Coordinator


To receive an information packet, including brochures on the program and applications forms, fill out a request.