As a part of the Lee University general core requirements, students must fulfill a minimum of two Global Perspectives credit hours to graduate. The Global Perspectives requirement may involve an international trip but may also be completed through domestic experiences.

Global Perspectives Seminar

The Global Perspectives Seminar (GNST-200) is the prerequisite to the Cross-Cultural Experience. The seminar is worth one credit hour and is recommended to be taken during the student’s sophomore year. However, the seminar may be taken in any semester before the student’s cross-cultural experience.

Cross-Cultural Experience

The Cross-Cultural Experience (GNST-250, 251, 252, or 253) is the course in which students will be interacting with another culture. Depending on the length and intensity of the cultural interaction, students can earn 1-3 credit hours. Students have several options to choose from when deciding how to fulfill the Cross-Cultural Experience.

Faculty-Directed Cross-Cultural Study: These trips are proposed and directed by a faculty member of Lee University. They range from 1-7 credit hours and are offered over Winter Break, Spring Break, and Summer Sessions. These trips have been our most popular way of fulfilling the cross-cultural experience requirement, as they provide the opportunity to travel with a faculty member and in most cases earn additional course credit at a significantly reduced cost! Some trips are geared toward a specific major, while others include classes that are part of the general education requirements. With careful planning, participating in these trips can allow students to complete the cross-cultural experience requirement and other classes they need as well. These trips are often a highlight of students’ experiences at Lee, as evidenced by these testimonials.

Students who wish to participate in one of the Faculty-Directed Cross-Cultural Study trips must make a decision early in the fall semester of the academic year in which they plan to participate. For example, if you plan on going on a trip in the summer after your sophomore year, you must make your decision and pay your deposit during the fall of your sophomore year. A $1,000 deposit is required for students planning to participate in a Lee University Global Perspectives trip. This is necessary in order to make reservations and to obtain reasonably priced airline tickets.  It also allows the Financial Aid Office to determine how much, if any, financial aid can be applied to the student’s personal trip cost.

Group Cross-Cultural Study: These trips are for groups such as athletic teams, Lee University ensembles, etc. and are proposed and directed by Lee University faculty or staff, or they may be conducted by an approved outside organization. These trips only satisfy the GNST-250 credit and are not eligible for financial aid. The tuition charge for the GNST-250 is $457 and will be added to your regular Lee bill and is separate from the advertised cost of the trip.

Individual Cross-Cultural Study: : The Individual Cross-Cultural Study (ICCS) is student-led and can either be a short- or long-term trip or a church study. The student must submit a proposal that is rigorously reviewed by the Global Perspectives Committee and considered for approval. Trips not approved in advance will not be considered for credit and not all international travel will qualify. Short-term missions travel and travel with friends or family may not qualify. To receive cross-cultural credit, a student must complete 45 hours interacting with the target culture over a period of at least 7 days (not including travel days).

Students must demonstrate that they will be immersed in the targeted culture and interacting with people, not simply touring sites.

The following are some examples of types of ICCS:

  • Outside Organizations - Allows students to complete their cross-cultural experience with churches, missions, groups, or service organizations. Students must ensure their trip meets an acceptable amount of personal interaction time.
  • Local Church Study - Students can also complete their cross-cultural requirement by becoming an active participant in a local church or community that differs significantly from their own culture and language. See Local Church Visitation Policy.
  • Academic Semester Abroad: Full semester study abroad academic experience not offered by Lee University. This includes Collaborative and Non-Collaborative Programs.

Here are some sample proposals:

UK Semester Abroad: Students spend three months taking Lee University classes in Cambridge while also traveling around different parts of the UK. This is Lee University’s premier cross-cultural experience and only full-semester program.

Collaborative Programs are programs that Lee University supports for off-campus studies. The collaborative programs are sponsored by various group and organizations. When a student participates in these programs, they are registered for Lee courses and billed through Lee. Federal aid or other non-university aid can be put towards cost of these programs. Students must submit a Collaborative Program Application, as well as an Individual Cross-Cultural Study proposal in order to receive cross-cultural credit. Lee University has collaborative agreements with the programs:

Exemption is for students with significant cross-cultural life experiences. The Global Perspectives Committee considers only the following experiences to be justifications for exemption from the cross-cultural requirement:

  • Extensive overseas military service tours at least 6 months in duration.
  • Extensive missions work abroad, at least 6 months in duration.
  • Being raised or living in a foreign country as a young adult for at least 24 months.
  • Academic study in a college/university abroad, at least 6 months in duration
  • Having spent a minimum of one year as a foreign exchange student during high school.
  • International students or students who have lived abroad for 6+ months.

Student must still complete the Global Perspectives seminar (GNST-200).

Students must submit an application for exemption to the Global Perspectives Office for consideration. The committee meets twice a semester after the deadlines listed on the petition. Students will receive a notification of the status of their petition no later than 14 days after the deadline. These guidelines have been approved by external accreditation agencies. Granting students’ academic course credit for experiences that do not fall within the stated parameters would be both illegal and unethical.