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Coordinator: Dr. Dwight Call

The application for enrolling in the International Option as a degree-designation is available in the International Education Center or at /international/internationaloption.htm

The International Option is an academic program offered within Georgia College & State University's baccalaureate programs for students who seek to integrate substantive and challenging international preparation into their studies. The option includes both international study and related experiences that are integrated into a student's undergraduate major. Degree requirements are not modified, but are satisfied with specialized courses and appropriate choices of elective courses. Completion of the International Option requirements as part of a baccalaureate degree program will be recognized by the designation "International Option" on a student's transcript. The International Option is open to all baccalaureate degree programs that choose to participate.

Requirements for the International Plan Designation

The requirements for the International Option ensure that all recipients achieve a basic level of international education and experience while allowing flexibility for academic units to tailor their programs in a manner most beneficial to their majors. The evaluation of course content, approval of course substitutions and unit degree requirements, and similar curricular actions will follow Georgia College & State University academic policies and procedures. A student must complete the following International Option requirements to receive the designation. Individual degree programs may add additional restrictions to these requirements.

  1. A student must complete all degree requirements for an undergraduate degree that has been approved by Georgia College & State University to participate in the International Option. The "International Option" designation will be conferred along with the degree and the designation will be recorded on the student's transcript. The International Option designation may not be conferred retroactively upon students who have graduated.
  2. A student must complete the following coursework, language competency, and international experience requirements.
    1. Course Requirements – These courses constitute the curricular component of the International Option. They provide both an academic foundation and a context to complement the international experience. The descriptions are not intended to restrict the courses to specific disciplines or units. Each student who enrolls in the International Option must take four three credit hour courses (for a total of 12 credit hours) from among at least three of the following four categories of courses in International Studies. Courses that count toward a student's major requirements can also count toward the International Option, here is an appendix of the approved course list.

      International relations – Study of relationships among countries, governments, peoples, and organizations from a global perspective, including topics such as the role of state sovereignty and nationalism and non-state actors in the international system; international conflict, peace, security, intervention, and nation-building; international organizations, law, and ethics; transnational problems of the environment, terrorism, health, and migration; and other related issues.

      Global business, economics, and resources – Study of the many aspects of conducting business in the global economy, including topics such as international trade, finance, investment, and production; regional economic integration; economic development and modernization; and questions of natural resource sustainability.

      Country or regional studies – Study of a country or region that allows for systematic comparisons with their own society and culture. This course could come from various disciplinary perspectives, including history, public policy, philosophy, international affairs, literature, economics, management, architecture, among others. This course should be directly relevant to the international context of the intended overseas experience in Part C.

      Cultural awareness – Study of cross-cultural issues or intercultural communications to promote understanding and respect for cultural diversity.

    2. Foreign Language Competency Requirement - Students must demonstrate listening, reading, writing and oral proficiency at the Intermediate Mid Level (ACTFL) by completing a 3000-level course in a language other than English. This language requirement may be satisfied in a student's native language if it is not English. Appropriate outside evaluators will be consulted for languages not taught at Georgia College. Students may also transfer in appropriate courses in any language other than English from other countries or universities.
    3. International Experience Requirement - Students must study abroad for at least one full semester (three months), either on exchange with one of our own partner universities or International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) universities or through transient enrollment at a foreign university or an approved program provider. Equivalents to study abroad might be international internships, research, service-learning projects, or volunteer opportunities. Living among and immersed in the local foreign academic, research or work community will increase students' international understanding and their language competence. If deemed appropriate by the major advisor, chair and dean, students may combine shorter term programs to achieve the equivalent of one semester. International Plan required courses may be taken during the period of study overseas if these courses are deemed equivalent to the required courses and acceptable by the major advisor, chair and dean.

      Students whose normal residence is outside the U.S. may not complete the International Experience in that country unless granted an exception. In such cases, the student should clearly demonstrate how the proposed International Experience will contribute to achievement of the International Option objectives.

      International experience plans must be approved in advance by the student's major department and college, verifying the suitability of the planned coursework and that the overall experience is appropriate to the student's area of study. Plans also must be approved by the International Education Center.

    4. Capstone - Each student must design a capstone project with his or her department that integrates knowledge of the major discipline and the international experience in a global context. Alternatively, if approved by the major department, the student might participate in a multi-disciplinary capstone together with other International Option participants.
  3. Students will achieve the following student learning outcomes:
    1. Understand global issues and systems from a multi-disciplinary perspective:
      Assessed through faculty group review of the capstone paper according to a rubric. Assessed through a summative group review of the student's study abroad portfolio according to a rubric. Communicate at Intermediate Mid Level competence in a language other than English:
      Assessed through tests, papers, and oral exercises embedded in a 3000-level course to measure listening, reading, writing, and oral proficiency.
    2. Uses knowledge, diverse cultural frames of reference, and alternate perspectives to think critically and solve problems:
      Assessed through a summative group review of the student's study abroad portfolio according to a rubric.
    3. Accept cultural differences and tolerate cultural ambiguity:
      Assessed through faculty group review of the capstone paper according to a rubric (same capstone as "a" above).
  4. The International Option requirements listed in Item 2 are subject to the following constraints:
    1. Courses used to satisfy the International Option requirements also may be used to satisfy course requirements in a student's major degree program or minor, whether required by name and number or used to fulfill electives. In order to complete the International Option within the normal credit hour limit, many students will select language courses to satisfy their humanities electives and will use one or more of the courses in requirements in 2) a) I-iv) as part of their social sciences electives.
    2. Courses used to satisfy the International Option requirements must be completed with an overall grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. In order to apply for admission to the International Option and to continue to pursue it, a student must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA or better. An application outlining how the student proposes to complete the International Option needs to be approved by the Chair of the student's major department, the Dean of the College, and the Assistant Vice President for International Education, prior to being submitted to the Registrar. The form is available in the International Education Center or at /international/internationalplan.htm.

The academic advisor and the Assistant Vice President for International Education will monitor the student's progress. Students who fail to maintain a GPA of at least 2.5 in any semester or who fail to achieve an overall GPA of at least 3.0 prior to the start of the International Experience will be evaluated to determine if they will be allowed to continue in the International Option Program.

Upon completion of the International Option, a student needs to submit the form a second time with the exact list of courses and capstone, together with all signatures including that of the Department Chair, to the Assistant Vice President for International Education and check the box for completed program.

International Option Operation and Oversight

Primary responsibility for the International Option rests with the colleges and departments that choose to participate. The evaluation of course content, approval of course substitutions and degree requirements, and similar curricular actions are the responsibility of the individual academic units, following Georgia College & State University's academic policies and procedures.

Because the International Option degree designation is awarded by Georgia College & State University and will be available to students in many disciplines, there is also university-level oversight and program guidance. The Curriculum Subcommittee of the International Education Committee, comprised of faculty from each of the colleges, along with representatives from the International Education Center and the Office of the Registrar, will be responsible for providing academic leadership for the International Option program, ensuring consistency across units, identifying and disseminating effective practices, and assisting units in developing courses and international experience options. This group is also responsible for making decisions on student petitions; reviewing proposals for new courses, international experience plans, etc.; and for making recommendations to the International Education Committee.

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