USC students who are Shanghai residents and do not require a student visa or other special permission to take courses in China will have the opportunity to pursue a hybrid program between USC and the Baoshan campus of East China Normal University.

The program allows for students to take one 3-unit General Education course (Category G/H) offered exclusively by CIEE Shanghai Global Institute, while also enrolling in their typical coursework as a USC student. The program will provide students with the opportunity to attend in-person classes while simultaneously continuing their online USC coursework.

The program will begin next semester on Feb. 21 and conclude on May 15. In addition to Shanghai residency, participants must be enrolled USC undergraduate or graduate students to be eligible for the program. The program cost is an additional $4,750 that is separate from USC tuition. Each additional unit, beyond the standard 18-unit schedule, taken by students in the program will comply with USC’s additional unit tuition of $1,995 per unit.

While the program doesn’t offer housing, the CIEE staff says they will work with students to offer referrals to housing near the ECNU Baoshan campus.

The program requires 50 USC students to run, and if the student enrollment isn’t met, the program will not be offered.

International students were notified via email about the program, but aside from the documents attached in the email, additional information about the program has not been widely circulated.

According to a statement from USC’s Strategic and Global Initiatives, the new spring 2021 Shanghai program was created in an effort to expand this semester’s “Go Local” programs. This fall, students could take USC online classes while on campus at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) or at Capital Normal University (CNU) in Beijing.

USC Viterbi freshman Shuyan Wang attended the program at Capital Normal University in Beijing this semester in which 20 students were enrolled. Wang is also planning to “Go Local” in a Viterbi program next spring, but details for the Viterbi program have not been released yet, according to Wang.

Wang said being a part of this semester’s Beijing program was a great experience and hopes that next spring’s program will not be canceled.

“I really want to attend the program, so I really hope the program will not be canceled. I want to interact with my friends and take on-campus courses,” Wang said. “Thus, I hope that other students in the Trojan community can join the program in the spring semester.”

In addition to Zoom fatigue, technical difficulties and lack of peer-to-peer interaction, international students have also dealt with time zone differences sometimes having to stay up through the night for class or to take an exam. Because of this, many students expressed interest in finding a way to attend classes in person, which is why USC has created these programs, according to the USC Strategic and Global Initiative’s statement.

However, as of right now it appears that the new “Go Local” program in Shanghai is only being offered next semester and could potentially not happen if the required enrollment numbers are not met. The deadline to apply was Sunday, Nov. 8.

Students also may take advantage of several community building and engagement opportunities in China and other countries through USC Student Affairs and USC’s nine international offices.