Program Name:

Individual Cross-Cultural Study



Program Term:

Spring ICCS
Summer ICCS
Winter ICCS

Program Group:

Individual Cross-Cultural Study

Program Type:


Program Active:

Accepting Applications:



Length of Trip:

Credit Hours Offered:

Inclusion of Core Credits:


Some students choose to research and design their own cross-cultural experience. This option can fulfill the cross-cultural requirement if the experience is designed to study a significantly different culture; it has to be prepared for and intentionally undertaken with an academic goal in mind.

The Individual Cross-Cultural Study (ICCS) is student-led and can either be a short- or long-term trip or a church study. The student must submit a proposal that is rigorously reviewed by the Global Perspectives Committee and considered for approval. Trips not approved in advance will not be considered for credit and not all international travel will qualify. Short-term missions travel and travel with friends or family may not qualify.

Students must demonstrate that they will be immersed in the targeted culture and interacting with people, not simply touring sites.

The following are some examples of types of ICCS:

  • Outside Organizations - Allows students to complete their cross-cultural experience with churches, missions, groups, or service organizations. Students must ensure their trip meets an acceptable amount of personal interaction time.
  • Local Church Study - Students can also complete their cross-cultural requirement by becoming an active participant in a local church or community that differs significantly from their own culture and language. See Local Church Visitation Policy.
  • Academic Semester Abroad: Full semester study abroad academic experience not offered by Lee University. This includes Collaborative and Non-Collaborative Programs.

Academic Semester Abroad – Some students choose to participate in a full semester study abroad academic experience not offered by Lee. To receive cross-cultural experience credit, students must receive prior approval from the university. Students who choose one of our Collaborative Programs or a program not affiliated with Lee must still complete an individually arranged application as part of the overall process.

(if you are contemplating an Individual Cross-Cultural Study)

  • Students must complete the GNST-200 Global Perspectives Seminar before completing an IAS cross-cultural experience.
  • No student will receive credit for ICCS experiences taken before the student enrolled in Lee University. Students who feel that they have extensive cross-cultural experience prior to enrolling at Lee should review the requirements for Exemption.
  • Students who have taken cross-cultural experiences at a prior university should contact the Global Perspectives Office for a review of the itinerary and coursework to determine if transfer credit will be awarded.


  • To receive credit, a proposal explaining the trip planned must be submitted.
  • Writing a proposal is essentially writing the course syllabus for how the cross-cultural experience will be completed.
  • detailed description of how the target culture will be studiedhow the required 45 hours of interaction will be completed, and the trip itinerary should be included in the proposal. The intent of the cross-cultural experience is for the student to complete an in-depth study of one distinct culture. For example, three case studies on French culture and two on German culture is not acceptable.             
  • Refer to the Global Perspectives website for proposal deadlines. Applications will not be accepted after these deadlines.
  • Cross-cultural credit will not be given to students who miss regular semester classes due to their trip dates.
  • Short-term missions travel and travel with friends or family may not qualify.
  • Make sure the group you want to study is a culture group that differs significantly from your own.  Differences in class, ethnicity, and religion may not constitute cross-cultural differences. 
  • The Global Perspectives Committee rigorously reviews proposals, and not all international travel will qualify.


  • Your proposed experience must be approved by the Global Perspectives Committee prior to completing the experience in order for you to receive cross-cultural credit.  No retroactive approval or credit will be given by the committee.
  • After the application due date, the Global Perspectives Committee will meet to discuss proposals.
  • Typically, within ten days of the application due date, applicants will be notified by email whether or not the proposal has been approved.


  • After the proposal has been approved, students will be registered for the GNST 250 class for the term during which the study/travel will be conducted.
  • The one credit hour costs $457 for tuition and will be added to your school bill. (Other university fees may apply for part-time students.)


  • The GNST 250 course is generally one credit hour. For information about how to request additional credit for an experience over one month in length, please contact the Global Perspectives Office.
  • To receive cross-cultural credit, a student must complete 45 hours over a period of at least 7 days interacting with the target culture. Travel days do not count.
  • To receive cross-cultural credit, journals and case studies must be completed on the trip. These requirements are covered in the GNST 250 syllabus, which is given during the class meeting and can also be found in the Moodle course.
Global Perspectives

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Lee University Ⓒ 2023

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