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Independent Study Abroad for Credit in World Languages and Cultures

Version Updated July 14, 2021

Students: If you would like to participate in independent study abroad, please contact the department chair for the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Dr. Marcela Ruiz-Funes.

Note that you will need to agree to do the following:

  1. Pay the fee charged by the approved independent study abroad program directly to our in-country partner.
    GS does not normally collect the funds for this financial transaction, although we can help facilitate the
    process. Note that if you are attending a GS Group Summer Study Abroad Program and plan to extend
    your stay, you will pay the program fee for the GS Group Summer Study Abroad Program through GS, as
    instructed in the study abroad flyer, but you will pay for the extra weeks directly to the in-country partner.
  2. In most cases, live with an in-country family and try to become one of the family. Exceptions are granted on
    a case-by-case basis. (Note: In Morocco, students stay in a student residence, not with families.)
  3. Attend a minimum of 20 hours of intense language & culture immersion classes per week for each GS
    credit hour sought. This means that for three credits, you will attend three weeks of classes.
  4. Attend some afternoon cultural activities each week and report on your attendance to your GS instructor.
  5. Attend some weekend excursions, as approved by your GS instructor, some weekends and report on your
    experience to your GS instructor.
  6. When not in class, do your best to mingle with the people of the city, speaking the target language as much
    as possible and absorbing the culture.
  7. Keep a daily journal in the target language and submit it to your GS instructor weekly via Folio. The journal
    should focus on retelling unique experiences, in particular, and not merely on chronicling superficial or
    routine events like what you ate or a list of what you did. We are interested in having you write anecdotes,
    experiences, and opinions (how and why), to the extent possible.
  8. Write one “research” paper for each GS course attempted (you and your GS instructor can work together
    to determine exactly how this will be configured), at your level of the target language, on topics to be
    agreed upon with your instructor. The “research” often consists of you interviewing locals about a topic of
    your personal/professional interest and then writing a paper on your findings. The length of the paper
    depends on your level of proficiency in the target language. Submit papers via Folio.
  9. Have Zoom/Skype/Google Hangout/Facetime/WhatsApp/etc. interviews weekly with your GS instructor to
    evaluate your oral progress in the language.
  10. Have a final oral interview with your GS instructor at the conclusion of the program that will function as the
    final exam for the course.
  11. Pay GS tuition and fees.
  12. Meet with the Study Abroad Coordinator in the GS Office of Global Engagement to review Georgia
    Southern Study Abroad policies, to sign various documents, to purchase GS-required travel-abroad
    insurance, and to fulfill any other requirements imposed by the Office of Global Engagement.
  13. Grant permission to our in-country partner for them to send weekly or bi-weekly reports of your academic
    and overall performance in their program to your GS instructor, as well as a final report at the end of your

Typical Grade Distribution

  • 20% Daily Journal
  • 20% Research Papers
  • 20% Oral Interviews
  • 35% Evaluations from partner program
  • 5% Final Exam (oral)

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Last updated: 11/7/2023