Cultural & Inclusive Experiential Learning Opportunities (CIELO)​

Cultural & Inclusive Experiential Learning Opportunities (CIELO)​

The Cultural & Inclusive Experiential Learning Opportunities (CIELO) -formerly known as Global Experiential Learning (GEL) under the Office of Diversity & Inclusion integrates travel, education, and service learning to empower students with knowledge and skill sets to utilize as they continue their careers at UA and beyond. CIELO actively seeks to provide a valuable holistic student experience in the form of short-term trips both domestic and abroad. Themes of interdisciplinary learning through civic engagement, cultural immersion, environmental justice, and social equity are explored through GEL programming.

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The CIELO Model

CIELO invites all University of Arizona students to participate and targets historically marginalized student populations by addressing issues which may hinder student involvement in traditional travel programs.

CIELO aims to

  • Provide short term domestic and international programs aligning with university breaks as not to interfere with student degree completion.  

  • Make experiential learning programs accessible and affordable providing short trips, scholarships, and additional funding 

  • Focus on social justice, environmental Justice, cultural/identity exploration, and service learning. 

  • Offer a tiered structure inclusive of local, domestic, and international programming. 

  • Award credit for program participation. 

  • Present robust resources and support with preparing for travel abroad. 

CIELO’s Impact

  • Provide short term domestic and international programs aligning with university breaks as not to interfere with student degree completion.  

  • Make experiential learning programs accessible and affordable providing short trips, scholarships, and additional funding 

  • Focus on social justice, environmental Justice, cultural/identity exploration, and service learning. 

  • Offer a tiered structure inclusive of local, domestic, and international programming. 

  • Award credit for program participation. 

  • Present robust resources and support with preparing for travel abroad. 

CIELO Programs

CIELO invites all University of Arizona students to participate in all of these experiences at the local, domestic, and international levels. These short-term programs occur during the academic breaks in order to not interfere with your classes. CIELO works to make the programs affordable through financial assistance of the Student Services Fee and other grants. To learn more about any of the CIELO programs, please feel free to contact Dan Xayaphanh, CIELO Director at danthaix@arizona.edu.

Feel Good Friday

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY (FGF) is a collaboration of CIELO, Honors College, and the Blue Chip Program that engages UA students to build community through service learning in the local Tucson Community. Through intentional volunteering, students will learn about organizations in the in Tucson and will engage in positive social change and community building. Programs will be every other Friday and will include transportation and snacks at no cost to participants.

Raising Arizona

Raising Arizona will invite students to explore the people, history, and culture of Arizona through the lens of social justice, environmental justice, cultural identity, and service learning. These programs will span between 1-4 days and will be low to no cost to the students. Past programs traverse experiences from learning about our Tribal Nations to dialogues at the Arizona/Sonoran borderlands. Interns working with the program will plan, coordinate, participate, recruit, and assess two experiences per semester for the academic year.

Alternative Spring Break Hawai’i

The ASB Hawai'i program provides students from the University of Arizona with an intimate cross-cultural immersion experience on the island of Oahu. Participants will engage with Native Hawaiian history, culture, and the struggle for sovereignty through service learning, community/cultural engagement, dialogue, and reflection. Students will gain insight about the Native Hawaiian life through delivering significant and direct service to both traditional and non-traditional communities, as we address social awareness.

Bali Indonesia Learning Abroad

Explore Bali’s challenges through interactions with the island’s NGO’s provides real world context for issues discussed in the classroom and makes them come alive. Whether it is snorkeling over a coral restoration site, speaking with ta member of the Balinese Royal family or visiting an organization that brings simple technologies to communities in need, the programs are designed to inspire students by creating teaching opportunities in non-traditional environments, or “living classrooms.” The program is designed to encourage students to engage with the local community because we believe that every person in Bali has a lesson to teach.

Vivir Mexico Learning Abroad

This is a hybrid program which includes online, service learning, and in-country experiences. Vivir Mexico explores the culture, history and people of Mexico and understand the political and bilateral issues faced by Mexico and the US through a variety of perspectives including a visit to the Mexican Senate and US Embassy. Students explore parallel identity issues within the Mexican experience including, but not limited to the Asian Mexican, Indigenous Mexican, African Mexican and emigrant Mexican experience. You will have an opportunity to work with community members, along with the opportunity to live, work, and impact the students of Mexico. Vivir Mexico involves some language immersion though instruction that will be conducted in English and there is no language requirement.

Navigating Education in Borderlands Program (NEBP)

In this collaboration among University of Arizona, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and University of Sonora, participants will not only get an education within the walls of campus, but also learn about the history, people, and culture from the intersecting borderlands area that the UA resides. NEBP builds cultural competency that can be returned to campus and allow for participants to become better global citizens with a local understanding and sense of belonging during their tenure on campus and beyond. The UNC/UA faculty team developed an experiential learning model that intersects theories and realities of borderlands where only UNC students had the opportunity to engage to analyze their own educational experience.