Study Abroad

Lorenz Vargas with a group of students dressed in suits and ties
EALL student Lorenz Vargas joined a ballroom dance team during his year abroad at Waseda University.

One of the best ways to improve your language skills is to immerse yourself in the location and culture of the people who speak the language. GW offers study abroad opportunities in China, Japan and South Korea.


Study Abroad Suspension Advisory

The university has announced that study abroad programs and other non-essential student travel are currently suspended due to the coronavirus. Visit the GW Global website for the latest information. The GW Office for Study Abroad offers a wide range of program options around the world, as well as guidance on funding, credits and other procedures.


Study Abroad in China

Credit-Transfer Exam and Consultation Appointments

We conduct the Credit-Transfer Exam and Consultation Session in late August and early September, please click on the Sign Up button below (Yellow Button), if you plan to take a Credit-Transfer exam. After signing up, you will take the written exam (up to 1 hour) & oral interview (about 20-30 minutes) before submitting your request on CATS. Those who request CHIN 1099 (general credits) can submit their application and upload the course syllabus on CATS directly.

Students who plan to study abroad during the spring or fall semester should choose a GW-affiliated program. If you wish to pursue a summer study abroad program not listed on this page, be sure to consult with advisors in the Chinese department before you make your decision.

  • CET (Beijing, Harbin, Hangzhou)
    Moderate intensity with language pledge; suitable for Chinese majors and minors or students who wish to have more choices such as a roommate plan.

Most Chinese language course credits from these programs will only be transferred as electives (CHIN 1099), which will not count towards the Chinese major or minor. If you wish to receive language credits for higher-level Chinese language courses, you can take the Credit Transfer Examination at the beginning of each fall semester, or take other upper-level Chinese language courses at GW.

  • CIEE (Beijing and Shanghai)
    Moderate intensity with small classes, a peer tutor program. Opportunities to live with Chinese roommates or a host family. Learn about contemporary China through a core course and work on a social research project conducted in English. Choose from Chinese or English language business electives or engage in an organizational internship.
  • School for International Training (Kunming)
    Moderate intensity with an option to continue Chinese language study in lieu of an independent study project during the last four weeks of the program. Students live in two homestays, one in Kunming and one in the rural farming community of Shaxi.



Study Abroad in Japan

George Washington University maintains undergraduate exchange programs with three major universities in Japan: Akita International University (AIU), Kyoto University and Waseda University. Each offers a somewhat different social and academic experiences, but all offer excellent opportunities for language learning and cultural study and all include courses that will transfer to GW. Note that transfer credit for courses taken abroad must be approved through GW’s Course Approval Transfer System (CATS). Visit the GW Undergraduate Exchange website for details on study abroad programs in Japan.



Study Abroad in Korea

GW has relationships with several study abroad programs in South Korea: Ewha Womans University, Korea University, Seoul National University and Yonsei University.

Contact the Korea Study Abroad Advisor


Transferring Credits From Abroad

In addition to following the GW Office for Study Abroad’s transfer credit process for all students, East Asian Languages and Literatures students must obtain approval from a study abroad advisor in the department upon their return. These guidelines apply to Chinese, Japanese and Korean program students.

Request a Meeting With an EALL Study Abroad Advisor

For obtaining approval for advanced-level Chinese language courses and literature/culture courses, or for non-GW affiliated programs credit transfer, email advisors in an EALL language program to set up an appointment.

Gather Required Documents

  • A list of all the EALL language courses you have completed at GW or elsewhere before the study-abroad semester.
  • Courses you completed with the study abroad program.
  • Courses you still need to take to satisfy your degree requirements.
  • Course syllabi, textbooks, course materials, essays, semester projects and examinations for all the courses that need to be approved.

Oral and Written Examination

If you fail to provide adequate documentation for a course taken abroad, or your samples of work are deemed insufficient, you may be required to take a test (oral and written). During the first semester after you return from abroad, you may be asked to take an examination to help us further evaluate your proficiency level.

The oral/written exam will occur if any of these scenarios apply:

  • You wish to place out of (i.e. to obtain a waiver for) a certain GW course.
  • You wish to receive credit for a higher level than the one automatically transferred (e.g. 4107 instead of 3105).
  • You attended a non-GW affiliated/sponsored overseas program.
  • You failed to provide adequate documentation to support your application for credit transfer.
  • Your grades for overseas study were below B, or you failed to demonstrate any marked improvement in proficiency.

Contact one of the EALL study abroad advisors to make arrangements for the exam.

For more information on transferring credits taken at other universities, visit the GW Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Japanese Program Policies on Transfer Credit

In addition to the GW Office for Study Abroad’s transfer credit process guidelines, Japanese students should follow these policies.

General Restriction

The University now makes a clear distinction between GW-approved "Study Abroad" programs and all other forms of "Study Away" programs. “Study Abroad” credit transfer is handled through the online course approval system CATS. Any course at another university, domestic or international, that is not part of the GW-approved "Study Abroad" programs is considered "Study Away." "Study Away" courses are transferred through the Registrar's office via a Transfer Credit Approval Form.

The Registrar's office keeps track of “Study Away” transfer credits. All "Study Away" credits, domestic or international, are subject to the same limitation: 9 credits or 3 classes up to 12 transferred credits. This limitation on “Study Away” credits applies to your entire career at GW, not per semester. There is no such restriction on GW-approved "Study Abroad" programs.

Transferring “Study Abroad” credits for JAPN 1002, 2003, 2004, 3105, 3106, 4107, and 4108 through CATS

Students who have completed at least one Basic or Intermediate Japanese language course at GW — JAPN 1001 through JAPN 2003 — can receive credit for succeeding GW courses in sequence up to JAPN 2004, upon successfully passing a Study Abroad Japanese language course regardless of the level into which they were placed in Japan. Credit for the course(s) will be granted on a one course-per-one-semester basis. That is, credit for one GW Japanese language course will be granted for each semester of Japanese language studied at the Japanese university.

  • Example 1: A student spends one semester in Japan after completing Japanese 1002 at GW. He/she can have study abroad credits transferred as Japanese 2003 without taking a test.
  • Example 2: A student spends two semesters in Japan after completing JAPN 1002 at GW. She/he can have study abroad credits transferred as JAPN 2003 and 2004.

Any other credits earned in Japan for a modern language course will be transferred as JAPN 1099. If the student can demonstrate the equivalency of the course taken in Japan to the GW Japanese language class for which he/she seeks credit transfer, by successfully passing an examination and/or an oral interview, then credit may be awarded at the discretion of the instructor. This also applies to credits earned by a student who begins his or her study of the Japanese language for the first time while abroad at a Japanese university.

Transferring any other “Study Abroad” credits through CATS

If you want JAPN 3123 or 3124 credit, first submit the application through CATS. Then bring all relevant materials from the course taken in Japan— syllabus, textbooks, tests, and reading and writing assignments, etc.—as evidence of equivalency to Professor Tsujioka. Credit transfer is at the discretion of the instructor.

If you want JAPN 3111, 3112, 3132, 3162, 4109, or 4110 credit, first submit the application through CATS. Then bring all relevant materials from the course taken in Japan— syllabus, textbooks, tests, and reading and writing assignments, etc.—as evidence of equivalency to Professor Morley. Credit transfer is at the discretion of the instructor.

If you want credit for any other upper-level Japanese humanities course taken in Japan for which there is no equivalent at GW, first submit the application through CATS. Then bring all relevant materials from the course — syllabus, textbooks, tests, and reading and writing assignments, etc. — to Professor Morley. Credit transfer for JAPN 1099, 2099, 3099 or 4099 (or none) is at the discretion of the instructor. If you further want to use 3099 or 4099 credits to satisfy the elective portion of your major or minor requirements, the Japanese Program director or faculty advisor will write a DegreeMAP petition on your behalf.

Transferring “Study Away” courses

"Study Away" courses are transferred through the Registrar's office via a Transfer Credit Approval Form. Before departing for a Study Away program, students must go over their planned Study Away courses with Professor Tsujioka or Professor Morley and determine what the courses are likely to transfer back to GW as.

  • Study Away institute must be an accredited university.
  • All credit transfer is at the discretion of the instructor.
    • A Japanese language course must be at least 6-weeks long. (Students on shorter programs may place out of a level upon return on the basis of their placement test results, but cannot receive academic credits.)
    • Students may be able to receive transfer credits for non-language, Japan-related courses shorter than 6 weeks, but this is at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Upon your return to GW, contact Professor Hamano, Professor Tsujioka, or Professor Morley and present a filled Transfer Credit Approval Form as well as all relevant materials from the course — including syllabus, textbooks, tests, and reading and writing assignments, etc. You will be required to take an examination if you want to receive regular JAPN credits for a language course.