coil global commons
Back to Top

Frequently Asked Questions

The program cost will be the same as enrolling in six credits of classes (two 3-credit courses) at your home campus. This program and courses will use Open Educational Resources, therefore there will be no costs associated with instructional materials or books.

Students who are eligible for financial aid during the summer term can choose to apply financial aid to the cost of the program. We advise you to discuss this with the Financial Aid office at your home campus, as use of financial aid awards during summer session may impact available amounts during the academic year.

There are no additional grants specific to this program.

The SUNY COIL Global Commons program will be held online over 6 weeks, July 6 - August 15. Students are expected to complete an average of 4 hours of coursework per day throughout the program, plus related activities. Most course activity in the initial 3 weeks of the program will be done asynchronously, so the time of day you do the work is up to your schedule. Daily schedules may vary beginning in Week 4, when the project phase begins, based on the needs of the specific project in which students are engaged. As you may work with organizations anywhere in the world, you and your group will need to divide tasks, which will include communicating with an organization that may be in another time zone and could therefore require some flexibility in your schedule.

Course content will be conducted online using SUNY’s Blackboard learning management system. You can participate from anywhere, as long as you have good internet access. All learning materials, including readings, will be freely accessed online.

The Intercultural Storytelling course is being developed to align with SUNY General Education requirements (for example, Other World Civilizations), while the International Perspectives on {the applicable SDG} could be more personalized. By enrolling as a study abroad/study away program, students can work with their advisors or departments to determine the pathways through the program content that could allow them to petition for major credit (for example in a Special Topics in X). This flexibility would allow students at all levels of their academic careers to participate in the program, including incoming Freshmen.

SUNY students at any point in their studies may participate, including incoming Freshmen. Recent graduates and graduate students are welcome to enroll, though only undergraduate credit will be offered. Students from all SUNY campuses are welcome to participate, as are students from other colleges and universities. If you are from an institution outside the SUNY system, please check with your advisor or study away office for your campus’ policies on accepting credit from other universities.

Yes, students on international campuses are welcome to participate.

There are no prerequisite courses for this program

This program has been designed to accept as many students as are motivated to participate. There is no cap on the number of students that can enroll in the program.

Students will work in small groups of 12 - 15 students on their projects but will be taking classes with larger numbers of students.

Projects and organizations will be aligned with particular Sustainable Development Goals. During the first week of the program, you will learn about the projects that are available for the Sustainable Development Goal you will study and have the opportunity to sign up for a project and organization.

You must register for the full program and both courses; they cannot be taken separately. You will register for this program and will be enrolled in two, three credit courses. One course will be on Intercultural Storytelling, and the other on International Perspectives on a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The two courses complement each other and culminate in a storytelling-based project that you, as part of a small group of students from across different SUNY schools, will complete in partnership with an international nonprofit organization.

You will be notified of your SDG course by June 17.  We will make every effort to match you to your first or second choice.

You will know which partner organization you’ll be working with during the first week of the program. Your partner organization may be located anywhere in the world.  The project will be completed in English, though you may need to rely on some internet translation tools to help you understand some of the materials from the organization if they are in a language you don’t speak. You will have the opportunity to learn about cross cultural communication during the Intercultural Storytelling course to help prepare you for your work with the partner organization.

You should talk with your advisor and study abroad office about how the courses will apply to your studies at your home campus.

The Intercultural Storytelling for Sustainable Development course will be a 100-level course. The International Perspectives on {Sustainable Development Goal X} are all 300-level courses.

Intercultural Storytelling for Global Sustainability

Course Description:  Across cultures and around the globe, storytelling is an important way of communicating values, shared history, and identity/identities.  The medium by which a story is shared provides additional context and information.   In this course, students will examine the components  and significance of storytelling from different cultural and international perspectives, with a particular focus on stories of sustainability  in the global context.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore general principles of storytelling
  • Examine how principles of storytelling are applied through a selected medium
  • Compare storytelling approaches from different international perspectives
  • Develop skills in intercultural communication and community building

Intercultural Perspectives on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (300-level)

Course Description:  The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ratified by 193 countries in 2015, have been called the roadmap to a sustainable future. This course will introduce students to the history and development of the SDGs through the exploration of a particular goal that addresses challenges facing countries and people around the world. Students will apply insights gained to a collaborative, international project focused on their selected SDG and designed to tell the story of a participating international community-based or nonprofit organization.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Create a definition of sustainability and cite examples that support it
  • Analyze the usefulness of the United Nations SDGs as a framework for both local and global action towards a more sustainable and equitable world
  • Explore and critically examine the issues and themes of a particular SDG through the application of a topical lens
  • Develop, implement and contextualize a storytelling project in collaboration with an international community-based or nonprofit organization whose work addresses the selected SDG


Office of Global Affairs