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Frequently Asked Questions: Global Perspectives Online Courses

As you're exploring your international education options or beginning to prepare for your Global Perspectives online course, we've compiled some FAQs to aid in your success. If you have further questions not answered here, please contact us.

What is USAC’s Global Perspectives Program?

The Global Perspectives Program is USAC’s newest global opportunity where we’re bringing the world to you. Through Global Perspectives you can gain international insights through online courses and develop intercultural experience through online courses and virtual internships offered by USAC programs around the world.

How does an online course work?

When you take USAC Global Perspectives online courses, you’ll be part of a small online learning community comprised of an international professor based in one of USAC’s study abroad locations around the world and classmates based around the U.S. or even the world. You’ll use an online learning management system that will allow you to access course materials, assignments, and other course components at your convenience. Classes include both synchronous and asynchronous elements, but much of the work will be completed each week on your own schedule. Synchronous elements include interactive discussion sessions, online chat sessions, and virtual office hours. Asynchronous elements include pre-recorded lectures, videos, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, quizzes, and more.

Do the online courses follow USAC’s in-person program models?

No, online course models will look different than in-person models. The Global Perspectives online courses are designed with flexibility in mind. You may choose to take one course or six courses, mix and match between language and electives, or focus entirely within a single discipline. Three to 18 credits are possible. We’ve even outlined some sample pathways to get your mind thinking about the possibilities with online learning. You may even choose to combine a virtual internship with online courses – it’s entirely up to you.

Does my home university study abroad office have to approve an online program with USAC?

Some home universities will require approval in order for you to take online courses with USAC. USAC’s enrollment department will be in contact with your home university as part of the application process. We recommend that you also contact your study abroad office to inquire about any other steps or paperwork that need to be completed to participate in the Global Perspectives online program.

Do I have to be in a certain class standing to take USAC’s online courses?

No. Eligibility requirements for online courses with USAC include:

  • Are at least 18 years old at the time of application.
  • Have a college or university grade point average of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. (First-year and Gap-year students may apply with a minimum high school GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.)
  • Meet the academic pre-requisites (if any) of their desired course

If you’re a USAC alum or community member hoping to take a USAC online course, please reach out to us at

Global Perspectives Online Courses Benefits

Why should I choose USAC’s online courses over my home university?

USAC Global Perspectives online courses allow for any student, anywhere, to have access to a global education. You’ll benefit from different perspectives as your classmates and professors will be from across the U.S. and around the world. You can also choose courses that may not be offered by your home university and that you may not otherwise have the opportunity to take. In addition, your classes will be small allowing for more individualized instruction and deeper connection with your classmates.

How do online courses substitute for a real study abroad?

An online course could never take the place of physically studying abroad, however, online courses with our local professors abroad allow you to gain an international perspective, develop intercultural experience, and enroll in courses taught by top USAC professors located in different countries. When you do an in-person study abroad you are tied to the location and the courses offered only in that location. Online courses offer the ability to pick and choose courses in different locations/countries that fit your academic needs.

What are the global workshops?

A huge benefit of choosing to participate in a Global Perspective Program with USAC is the option to also participate in free global workshops.

Participants from all over the U.S. will come together for a series of online career development panels on subjects like cross-cultural teamwork or pursuing an international career. Students can also participate in fun and interactive virtual workshops on topics such as Italian cooking, yoga in India, Latin dance, or Ghanaian art (topics vary by term).

Global Perspectives Online Courses Details

What areas of study do you offer online courses in?

USAC offers more than 100 online courses in areas of study including:

  • Business
    • Operations Management
    • International Business Management
    • Marketing Principles
  • Diverse Perspectives
    • Caste, Class, and Gender in India
    • Ethnic Conflict and Diversity in Europe
    • Population and Poverty
  • Health and Wellness
    • Global Health Psychology
    • Nutrition Across the Lifespan
    • Health Care Services
  • International Affairs
    • Latin America and its Cultures
    • Peoples and Cultures of Africa
    • Modern Chinese Culture and Society
  • Language and Literature
    • Spanish (Elementary to Advanced)
    • French (Elementary to Advanced)
    • Chinese (Intermediate to Advanced)
    • German (Elementary to Intermediate)

See your prefered term for a full list of Global Perspectives Online Courses.

How many credits of online courses can I take with USAC?

You can take between 3 to18 credits of online courses.

Do I have to take courses from the same location?

No, you can mix and match courses from multiple locations.

Can I take courses the same time as taking courses with my home university?

Yes. With home university approval, you can enroll in online courses with USAC while enrolled in online or in-person courses at your home university.

Will my credits transfer back to my home university?

While credit from USAC programs is accepted by most U.S. universities, you’ll want to make sure to speak with your study abroad advisor and academic advisor to understand how credit from USAC online courses will apply towards your degree requirements.

Are there any discounts offered?

There are no discounts offered on online course prices, but students who participate in a Global Perspective program in 2020 will receive a $300 discount on a future summer Specialty Program with USAC or $500 on a future semester Specialty Program with USAC.

What size will my classes be?

USAC online classes typically range from 5 to 15 students.

How to Be Successful in Online Courses

How many hours a week should I plan for online courses?

Although online learning is incredibly convenient, USAC’s courses require a significant commitment of time and effort. Be prepared to spend at least as much time engaged in study with an online class as you would in an in-person class.

What type of equipment/technology do I need?

Online students need an up-to-date computer with speakers, a microphone, and a camera as well as access to reliable internet service. Access to Microsoft Teams for Education and Office 365 will be provided for the duration of the semester.

Quick Details

2021-22 Application Cycle

Summer: Open

Fall: Open


Minimum age: 16 years old

Minimum GPA: 2.0 (3.2 for high school students)

Program Type

Specialty Online


3-18 US credits