Global East Asia

IMPORTANT: Beginning in 2015, the Global East Asia program will undergo significant changes. Details regarding these changes will be made available at a later time. 

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Global East Asia is a scholarship summer study abroad program for USC undergraduate students, made possible by a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation. This intensive program gives students the opportunity to live, study and travel in China, Japan or Korea for four weeks with a scholarship that covers airfare, housing, meals and more. By taking EASC-360: Global East Asia,* 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. EASC 360 must be taken for a letter grade. Click here for supplemental scholarships from other units.

A video of the summer 2014 Global East Asia general orientation, which covers program logistics and other important information for all three programs, can be found here


Location: Fudan University, Shanghai
Instructor: Brett Sheehan, Associate Professor of History
Course Title: Global China 1800 to the Present: The View from Shanghai and Beyond
Summary: Examine the impact of globalization on China and the impact of China on globalization using Shanghai as an example.
Dates: May 18-June 17, 2012 (tentative)
Travel: Beijing, Nanjing, Xi’a
  • Location: Fudan University, Shanghai
  • Instructor: Brett Sheehan, Associate Professor of History
  • Course Title: Global China 1800 to the Present: The View from Shanghai and Beyond
  • Summary: Examine the impact of globalization on China and the impact of China on globalization using Shanghai as an example.
  • Dates: May 23 to June 22, 2014
  • Travel: Beijing, Xi'an, Lanzhou


  • Location: Meiji University, Tokyo
  • Instructor: Saori Katada, Associate Professor of International Relations
  • Course Title: Tokyo and Beyond: Global Forces and Economic Transformation
  • Summary: Examine Japan’s modern society and traditional cultures through an intensive study of Japanese history, politics, culture and society
  • Dates: June 13 to July 13, 2014
  • Travel: Kyoto, Hiroshima, Yokohama


  • Location: Ewha Womans University, Seoul
  • Instructor: Steven Lee, Adjunct Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures; Director of USC Korea International Office
  • Course Title: Korea in Motion: A Global Perspective
  • Summary:  Examine the structure, patterns, and forces that have shaped and influenced contemporary Korean culture and society, from a global perspective.
  • Dates: June 22 to July 22, 2014
  • Travel: DMZ, Pusan, Cheju Island

Program details are subject to change.

Scholarship Benefits

  • Roundtrip international airfare from LAX
  • Basic housing and meals
  • Extensive travel in the country of study
  • Local transportation and entrance fees related to the course


  • USC undergraduates from any major/school
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Completed (or in progress) TWO language and/or area studies courses related to the country of study by Spring 2014 (Examples: Fall 2013, Spring 2014)


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 2013 grades.

Application Deadline

Applications for summer 2015 will be due in late January, 2015. Please check back for more details in fall 2014.

Global East Asia 2014 Information Session Video


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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 2014?

Yes, but you must register for EASC 360 and take it for a letter grade. This would defer your graduation date to August 2014. 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), International Relations (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