Global East Asia

IMPORTANT: Beginning in 2015, the Global East Asia program will transition into a Problems without Passports (PwP) program.

If you would like to receive announcements and updates regarding the Global East Asia as PwP program, please sign-up here

Global East Asia as PwP is a summer study abroad program for USC undergraduate students, made possible by EASC and the USC Dornsife Problems without Passports program. This four-week intensive program gives students the opportunity to live, study and travel between USC and either China, Japan or Korea for two weeks in each country. EASC-360: Global East Asia* is an upper-division area studies course taught by USC faculty, students from a variety of majors and language backgrounds experience East Asia in a unique way.

*The 4 units of USC tuition and summer health insurance fee are NOT covered by the program. Los Angeles area living arrangements for the first two-weeks of the course are the responsibility of the students. EASC 360 must be taken for a letter grade. Click here for supplemental scholarships from other units.

Note: Students should wait to purchase airline tickets until instructed to do so, as courses may be canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.


  • Location: USC, Beijing, Shanghai, one inland city, and the countryside
  • Instructor: Brett Sheehan, Associate Professor of History
  • Course Title: Global Consumer Culture and China
  • Summary: Examine the impact of globalization on China and the impact of China on globalization.
  • Dates: May 18 – June 13


  • Location: USC, Tokyo, Lake Yamanaka, and various locations in Japan
  • Instructor: Lon Kurashige, Associate Professor of History
  • Course Title: Foreigner and Gaijin: International Understanding in a Global Age
  • Summary: Recognize and analyze problems of international understanding in a global age.
  • Dates: May 18 – June 13

Korea (Cancelled for Summer 2015)

  • Location: USC, Seoul, Busan, and various locations in Korea
  • Instructor: Steven Lee, Adjunct Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures; Director of USC Korea International Office
  • Course Title: Hallyu: Korean Popular Culture in a Global Society
  • Summary:  Examine the significance and issues related to Hallyu or Korean Popular Culture
  • Dates: May 18 – June 13

Program details are subject to change.

Program Benefits

  • Two weeks of extensive travel in the country of study
  • Course-related excursion expenses covered by the program
  • Upper division USC course credit
  • Dornsife students eligible for up to $3,000 stipend from Summer Undergraduate Research Fund SURF
  • Up to $2000 of supplemental funding available through the EASC Sayoko Kono Legacy Fund


  • USC undergraduates from any major/school
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Preffered: Completed (or in progress) language and/or area studies courses related to the country of study by Spring 2015 preferred (Examples: Fall 2014Spring 2015)


Complete the online application form and upload the following supplemental materials in electronic format: 

  • Personal statement: Explain your interest in the selected program, discuss your personal and academic experience related to East Asia and/or the country of study, and include information on related coursework you have taken or are taking. Maximum 2 double-spaced pages. Note: If you are applying to more than one program, please submit a personal statement for each program clearly labeled in the same document.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Letters should address your academic potential, personal maturity and motivation. At least one, if not both, should be from a USC instructor. Applicants: Please have your recommenders send their letters to as a Word or PDF document.
  • Unofficial USC Transcript/STARS Report: Please copy and paste your STARS report, accessible through OASIS, into a Word or PDF document. Include your fall 2014 grades.
  • Financial Aid Summary (if applying for the Sayoko Kono Legacy Fund): Copy from OASIS

EASC Global East Asia 2015 Information Session Video

UPDATED EASC Global East Asia as PwP Program Financial Information

Application Deadline

Applications for summer 2015 will be due January 30, 2015.


Sign-up here to receive announcements and updates related to the Global East Asia program.

Global East Asia Blog

Students contribute to the Global East Asia Blog both during their time abroad and after. Check out the blogs for all three countries to read about each student's experience:


Can I still apply if I am graduating in May 2015?

Yes, but you must register for EASC 360 and take it for a letter grade. This would defer your graduation date to August 2015. Please discuss this with your academic advisor.

What if I have only taken one course related to China/Japan/Korea/General East Asia?

You can still apply. An ideal candidate will have taken 2 classes specific to the country of study, but if you are an outstanding applicant otherwise, you may have a chance.

What is the acceptance rate/cap?

We do not accept students based on fixed rate or quota, but on the strength of the pool of applicants. That being said, the maximum number of students for each program is 14.

Can I waive the course requirement because I am fluent in Chinese/Japanese/Korean?

There is no language requirement, so you cannot waive it. The language OR area studies course requirement’s purpose is to ensure that students have the background to study with this program. If you have other personal or professional background in the country you wish to study in, please explain that in your personal statement.

Can EASC 360 count towards my major/minor?

If you are an EAAS (East Asian Area Studies) major/minor, definitely. For other departments, it depends on the course content, and whether or not your advisor will allow for substitution. Majors you can probably count it for: History (China), History and American Studies (Japan), EALC (all). Check with your academic advisor!

I am a transfer student and took East Asia-related coursework at my previous institution. Can those courses count towards the 2-course requirement?

Yes, but it is preferable for you to have taken at least 1 East Asia course at USC. 

  • East Asian Studies Center
  • University of Southern California
  • 823 W. 34th Street
  • College House (CLH 101)
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089