Gen. G partnership brings study abroad esports program for college students cover image

Gen. G partnership brings study abroad esports program for college students

Gen G and Worldstrides have partnered to create the world’s first study abroad program for esports.

Gen G has teamed up with WorldStrides to begin offering the world's first esports study abroad program. This program has a particular emphasis on League of Legends, Fortnite, NBA 2K, CSGO, PUBG, and Valorant through Gen. G's teams.

Students will have the chance to meet pro esports teams and coaches, see how they practice and learn about the esports industry and scene in Korea.

Students that attend the program will be sorted into teams before the program based on their game of interest and a professional coach will work with them to take them from strangers to a high functioning team. These players will work and play out of Gen. G's Seoul campus. The program will run between July 1-July 17.

Folks wishing to sign up for the program can do so on WorldStrides' website.

We had a chance to sit down with Jennifer Acosta, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Higher Education at WorldStrides to learn more about the partnership and program.

Dustin Steiner, What sort of 1 on 1 time can hopefuls in this program have with League of Legends pros? 

Jennifer Acosta, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Higher Education at WorldStrides: One of the best components of this program is the amount of access our students get to the entire industry.  Students have scheduled time with real experts in the industry and particular experience within League of Legends.  These experts will include significant time with former League of Legend pro gamers, coaches and scouts and while it is not guaranteed due to the time of the year, we make every effort to exposure our students with current players in action.

Steiner: What kinds of programs is Gen G developing for players?

Acosta: Gen G is proud of their current development programs as they currently host various programs including GEEA (the first international school for esports), GGA Play which is a program to learn, bond and play with a passionate community of gamers with former pro players and coaches at the forefront, and GGA Plus/Pro which is intensive game training like our pro players participate in with opportunities to get recruited onto their pro teams.

Steiner: Will players have the opportunity to scrim with semi-pros and see what that career path is like?

Acosta: An exciting opportunity of the program is that students will be able to scrim against former pro players and if their skill is high enough, may get a chance to scrim with Gen G’s semi-pro players as well.

Steiner: Will students have the opportunity to be seeded into esports careers following completion of this opportunity, or at least be kept in mind for positions at Gen G?  

Acosta: This program is designed for all skill types and interests with the intention to provide more exposure to esports careers, the industry, the competitions, and the team play and our hope is that it ignites a new level of passion for the sport for all participants.  Skill levels will vary along with outcomes though we are passionate about providing each student with moments that spark life-changing decisions.

Steiner: What were some pain points in developing this program, and how did you solve them?
Acosta: We have over 25 years of experience bringing the best educational experiences to college-aged students around the globe so we were really excited about the opportunity to expand into esports in South Korea.  We have extensive experience in South Korea though we wanted to make sure if we tackled this type of experience that it met the passion, energy and excitement of eSports in South Korea. 

We knew that Gen G was the right partner for their expertise in eSports and we took a full year of curriculum development to make sure that we had the right exposure, experiences and moments that would ignite our students.

Steiner: Why was now the right time to launch an esports abroad program with Gen G? 
Acosta: We have been exploring esports for almost a decade though we wanted to be deliberate with the right partner and the right timing.  Our trusted universities continually recommended Gen G and developing this program together has highlighted that the timing was right.  With travel returning, we wanted to capitalize on the positive energy and provide students with an amazing opportunity to not only travel to these wonderful locations but also feel inspired to advance their careers.

Steiner: The program is quite expensive for both the program and the international flight. I noticed that this was not all-inclusive, either - can you break down how the funds are used? 

Acosta: As many versed travelers know, traveling and international experience can have some costs. We aimed to make the experience as financial viable as possible while including the best experience in the industry with use of Gen G’s state-of-the-arts facilities, first-class housing, excursions & culturally authentic experiences throughout South Korea with health insurance. 

To try to allow even more students, we offer several scholarship opportunities & grants that can be applied towards this unique program.  In reviewing comparable experiences across the industry, we believe we are providing an experience that is the most affordable in the marketplace. 

Steiner: How is revenue from this program split between yourself and Gen G? 
: While we don’t share detailed financial information about the program and our partnership, we can note that this program was designed with the interest to provide our students with a unique opportunity to learn both the wonder of Korean culture with a once-in-a-lifetime look into eSports.  We will keep our enrollment to a minimum amount to not focus on revenue but focus on maximizing our student’s exposure and opportunities to be immersed in the industry and the program.

Steiner: What majors would benefit most from this program? 
The course is designed for all majors with a focus on a love for esports!  We’ve found that this program seems to gain interest across all majors though STEM majors are quite engaged.  The benefit for STEM majors are that we provide additional summer STEM programs to compliment this program that will allow students to receive additional college credits for attending.

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