You can fulfill general education credits through studying abroad regardless of your class standing. This page explains the process for receiving general education credit based on your program.
Note: U.S. Diversity and Writing Foundations requirements generally cannot be fulfilled abroad. Some exceptions apply.
The Global Perspectives requirement is fulfilled by taking any 3-credit course abroad. You do not need to take any action for this to show on your GVSU transcript. When you complete your program and the credit is entered into Banner for the courses you took abroad, Records will assign the Global Perspectives credit to one of the courses that you completed.
Students can fulfill any of the following Foundations General Education courses abroad:
- Historical Perspectives
- Life Sciences
- Mathematical Sciences
- Philosophy and Literature
- Physical Sciences
- Social and Behavioral Sciences
Please Note: Students may not earn credit for both a Foundations requirement and an Issues requirement for the same course.
Process for Requesting Approval:
- Review list of courses available at host institution to identify courses you could take in the Foundations categories you would like to fulfill
- Review the pre-approved course list for your program to determine if the course you want to take has been pre-approved by GVSU and/or if it is already approved as a Foundations course
- Request departmental approval from the appropriate GVSU department if the course has not been pre-approved. Please note: The GVSU academic department cannot grant general education approval. The course needs a departmental approval so that the General Education department can grant approval.
- Complete the Foundations Approval Form to request approval from the General Education Office
It may be possible to satisfy two Issues courses abroad depending on your program:
- If the program offers two 3-credit courses from different disciplines, you can satisfy two Issues requirements
- If the program offers two 3-credit courses from the same discipline, you can satisfy one Issues requirement abroad and you will need to take the other Issues course at GVSU from a different discipline.
- If the program offers one 3-credit course, you can satisfy one Issues requirement abroad and you will need to take the other Issues course at GVSU from a different discipline.
- You can take two 3-credit courses abroad from any discipline and satisfy two Issues requirements
- You can take one 3-credit course abroad from any discipline to satisfy one Issues requirement. You will need to take the other Issues course at GVSU from a different discipline.
- Courses taken abroad cannot count for both Issues and Foundations credit
- Independent study, independent research, and independent readings (XXX399 and XXX499) courses cannot be used to satisfy Issues credits.
- If an Issues course taken on-campus is cross-listed in two disciplines, your second Issues course must be taken from a third discipline.
Issues Approval Submission Process
Select one of the six Issues topics listed below. Reflect on the entirety of your experience abroad which includes your course work and your experiences outside of the classroom (i.e., sight-seeing, mass transportation, lodging, encounters with other people in the country, buying food, etc.). You may select topics underneath the broader issue, just be sure to list both the Issue and the specific topic you are addressing. Only 1 reflection paper is needed to fulfill entire General Education Issues requirement (1 paper for both courses, 1-2 pages single-spaced).
- Information, Innovation, and Technology - Including issues related to media, privacy, access, transparency, intellectual property, ethics, economics, creativity, education, politics, etc.
- Health - Including issues related to equity, disparities, health systems, finance, access, ethics, quality of care, safety, happiness, human development, genetics, etc.
- Human rights - including issues related to political systems, power, war, peace, violence, terrorism, wealth, poverty, privacy, religion, gender, women, children, disabilities, labor aging, incarceration, torture, etc.
- Identity - Including issues related to gender, sexuality, religion, culture, race, class, family, community, difference, education, technology, etc.
- Globalization - Including issues related to capitalism, economic justice, health, migration and immigration, communication, borders, education, etc.
- Sustainability - Including issues related to the environment, population, natural resources, economic development, social justice, energy, etc.
1. Describe the similarities in perspective on the problem, causes, and potential solutions to the Issue between the U.S. and the country you visited
2. Describe the differences in perspectives on the problem, causes, and potential solutions to the Issue between the U.S. and the country you visited.
Note: You must submit both your Issues Form and the Reflection Paper to the General Education office within 60 days of your return from studying abroad. Contact the General Education office if it is past the 60 days and you plan on still submitting the form email@example.com
Supplemental Writing Skills (SWS)
Students must work with the SWS director upon return from their study abroad program to request SWS credit. You will need to save all course materials including the course syllabus and all of your writing assignments. Follow these steps to request SWS credit:
Review SWS requirements at GVSU at: www.gvsu.edu/sws.
Find courses at the host institution that meet the SWS criteria.
E-mail documents to the Director of SWS: Dr. Jerry Stinnett, firstname.lastname@example.org
SWS Director will review supporting documents. Student will be notified of final approval.
***NOTE: SWS approval will not be determined until after completion of the course. Approval will not be made prior to departure.