Intercultural Experience Requirement

Intercultural Experience Requirement

The Global Studies Major requires a significant intercultural experience to fulfill the major requirements. An experience is intercultural when it involves direct engagement with people from a cultural group or subcultural group that is significantly different from the participant's own background.

To meet this requirement, experiences should provide the opportunity to:

  1. Explore multiple worldviews and perspectives, experiences, power structures, and ethical and cultural positions in relation to contemporary global issues.

  2. Connect course content surrounding political systems, health, history, culture, economics, environment, or education, to a set of intercultural experiences.

  3. Interact with people from a diverse range of cultural, religious, ethnic, and national backgrounds in a way that is respectful and informed. Use knowledge and skills to develop and advocate for informed, appropriate action to solve complex problems in the human and natural worlds.

A sustained intercultural experience is a core component of our program. Students may fulfill this requirement via study or internship abroad, or via local intercultural engagement.  Please consult with your faculty advisor to tailor your plans for your personal academic and professional aims.

Basic Options for the Intercultural Experience Requirement

Option #1 - A credit-bearing intercultural experience consisting of at least 4 credits (ex: GEO study abroad, GlobalWorks internship, or a credited research experience such as GLBL 406 or 409). This option does not need to be pre-approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Option #2 - A non-credit-bearing intercultural experience consisting of a minimum of 120 hours of engagement (ex. internship with an organization).

Prior to applying for or starting an experience for Option #2, students should first contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for pre-approval, and provide a one-paragraph abstract detailing how they foresee the proposed opportunity will meet the above criteria.

Following completion of the experience, for verification, students will choose from:

  • 8-10 page reflection paper

  • Academic poster

  • Multi-media product (blog, story map, program evaluation, project report etc).

Verification, which should address how the opportunity involved the above criteria, will be submitted to DUS (not the advisor) for approval.

Approved field experiences for the Global Health Minor may count toward the intercultural experience requirement. Please reach out to a Tykeson advisor or the Undergraduate Support Team at if you have questions!

Visit the Hands-on Learning page for more ways to fulfill this requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find information about study abroad opportunities?

The GEO Study Abroad Office is located in 330 Oregon Hall or more information can be found on the GEO website. They can provide you with detailed information about available programs in various regions, as well as scholarship opportunities.

How can I apply my study abroad credits to my Global (International) Studies major?

If you know the subject code for your study abroad courses, please use the Registrar’s course equivalency tool to determine how the course can transfer to the UO. If you have the syllabi for your study abroad coursework, contact a Tykeson advisor to discuss how the course will fit into your GLBL Major.

Do I have to complete my intercultural experience in my geographic focus area?

Although we encourage students to travel to their geographic region of focus (Block C), you are not limited to this region. Students can complete their intercultural experience in other regions in pursuit of credits for their language proficiency and/or professional concentration area. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Do I have to complete 10-weeks of study abroad for the experience to count?

No. We also accept an 8-weeks Global Works Internship. Some shorter summer intercultural experiences also count. You may check in with your advisor or email

Am I limited to finding a study abroad program as my only overseas option?

No. We invite students to participate in any supervised intercultural experience of their choice. This includes internship and volunteer opportunities.

Can I get academic credit for my internship/volunteer experience abroad?

Yes. One of the easiest ways to receive academic credit for an intercultural internship is to go through the GEO Study Abroad Office.

However, you can also find an internship on your own. Prior to completing your internship or volunteer experience abroad, you should consult your Faculty Advisor and complete an Internship Application and Contract.

Upon completion of your internship, you must submit one copy of an internship report (explained below) to your internship faculty advisor and the GSL Undergraduate Support Team (, as well as a letter of confirmation and evaluation from the organization with which you did the internship. Finally, you will need to register for individual study credits with your internship faculty advisor, of which four credits can be applied to your Block B and 4 to your Block C. Please contact the undergraduate advisors with specifics on registration.

What if I don’t need/want to receive academic credit for my global internship/volunteer experience?

That is completely fine. In order to fulfill your intercultural experience requirement, you must compose a report of your internship/volunteer experience (of at least 120 hours) and submit it to the GLBL Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Undergraduate Support Team (

The internship report (15-­20 pages) must contain the following information:

  • A description of the organization, its mission statement, and the clientele it serves
  • A description of your specific duties and the clientele you served, including what you actually did on the internship (hours, details of work, etc.)
  • How being a GLBL major prepared you for this work, and how any GLBL or UO courses helped in preparation for the experience
  • Reflections on the experience regarding what you learned from this internship and how you anticipate this internship will contribute to your future goals and future career

In addition, a letter of confirmation and evaluation from the organization with which you did the internship should be included, so we know you were where you said you were.

Are there resources or scholarships to help me cover my costs for going abroad?

Yes! We offer departmental scholarships exclusive to GLBL majors who are preparing to complete their overseas experience. Several other scholarship opportunities are available through the College of Arts and Sciences and the GEO Study Abroad Office. Students have also been successful in receiving financial support when asking their other major or minor departments.

Confirming your Intercultural Experience on your Degree Guide

For experiences that have been pre-approved by the Global Studies Director of Undergraduate Studies for the GLBL Major’s Intercultural Experience requirement, in order for students to have their experience counted on their degree guide, they must do the following:

  1. Complete the experience and either: a) earn credit (and have that credit reflected on your transcript) and, or b) complete the necessary Internship Report.
    • See instructions for required Internship Report on our FAQ under “What if I don’t need/want to receive academic credit for my global internship/volunteer experience?”
  2. Once the experience is completed, set an appointment with a Tykeson advisor.
    • The advisor will fill out the survey form necessary for department review.
  3. After grades for each term have been submitted, the Undergraduate Coordinators will review all submitted experiences and provide the necessary information to the Registrar so the experience can be recorded on the student’s Degree Guide.

Once a student has notified an advisor of their completion of the experience, they should not expect to see the experience show up on their Degree Guide until the following term.