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The Vanderbilt Initiative for Scholarship and Global Engagement (VISAGE) combines the university's deep commitments to international study and civic engagement through innovative scholarship and service opportunities abroad. Students explore topics of global significance through a potentially year-long learning sequence.

Download the VISAGE brochure


A number of summer sites have been offered for VISAGE programs in recent years. Each has a specific thematic focus.


Interdisciplinary Studies in Contemporary Russia

Faculty Director: Prof. David Johnson

Not Offered in 2016


Health, Development and Culture in Guatemala

Faculty Directors: Prof. Ted Fischer and Avery Dickins de Girón

Not Offered in 2016

Northern Ireland

Sustainable Development in Northern Ireland

Faculty Director: Prof. Lori Troxel

Not Offered in 2016

Costa Rica

Tourism, Civic Engagement, and Corporate Social Responsibility

Faculty Director: Prof. Chalene Helmuth

Not Offered in 2016

South Africa

Community and Youth Development

Faculty Director: Prof. Maury Nation

Not Offered in 2016

What sets VISAGE apart from other service-learning programs?

VISAGE is an experiential academic program that is flexible enough to allow faculty and undergraduate students from all disciplines to participate and serve areas with locally identified needs in Nashville and abroad. VISAGE builds on existing relationships between VU and global and local partners and universities to create sustainable partnerships with continual community involvement.

How is VISAGE structured?

Students explore topics of global significance through a year-long learning sequence that begins in January with a core course at Vanderbilt (Module I). This is followed by a summer service or field-based project abroad (Module II), and an optional seminar in the fall semester.

Module I: Global Engagement & Study

Spring semester, 1 to 3 credits

Course in academic/regional content area (including history, politics, economics, language and culture).


Module II: Global Fieldwork

Summer, four-week overseas program, 1 to 3 credits

Engage with community partners, at selected sites abroad, in service learning; experiences vary by project, partner agency placement, and location.


Module III: Research Seminar in Global Experience (optional)

Fall semester, 3 credits

Complete a capstone project or research paper under the supervision of a VU faculty member on a topic of interest that integrates learning from Module I and Module II.

VISAGE Deadlines for prospective students

Applications due: Generally in mid-October. See individual program pages (links above) for exact dates.
Interviews held: Generally in late October.
Rosters complete: Generally by early November.

Related Scholarships


Program Fee covers room and partial/full board, on-site transportation, service placements, select excursions, and academic lectures.

Not included: Round-trip airfare to program site, international health insurance, tuition and spending money.

More information can be found on the here.

How can I become engaged in shaping Vanderbilt VISAGE?

Vanderbilt hopes to develop sustainable, long-term relationships with partner institutions and organizations that will allow for growth and change over time, and seeks partners who will actively engage with Vanderbilt faculty, students and staff as partners in this endeavor. If your organization would like more information regarding program specifics, or would like to learn more about VISAGE in general, please contact Suzy Wang.

VISAGE students on a coffee farm in Costa Rica VISAGE students in South Africa