I'm currently living abroad in japan and looking to start college online from an American university. The problem is that any biotech course I'm interested in requires a lab portion to be done physically. So is there anyway to complete a lab assignment, specifically a biology based one, at a foreign college? And if so would there be any catches like having to pay a fee?

  • I've never heard of anything like this but I can't imagine how it would work. Assuming this is an undergrad degree, the lab work isn't about the results (as it might be in a Masters or particularly a PhD) but about learning through doing. If you aren't receiving instruction from course leaders, you aren't learning what they want you to learn. Another potential option might be to start at a university in Japan then transfer - others may know more (part of why this is a comment not an answer).
    – Rdd
    Jul 21, 2021 at 10:23
  • It seems to me that this question has no generally useful answer. Clearly it is technically possible to complete the assignment in any physical location where you have access to the necessary facilities. Beyond that it is entirely up to the two institutions involved whether they are willing to participate in such an arrangement. Voting to close as 'depends strongly on individual factors'.
    – avid
    Jul 21, 2021 at 10:53
  • With Covid, places have scrambled to figure out the lab thing. Having a university student in the family, I have some insight into one institution. They did a mix of in-person and virtual for freshman physics labs, working in teams of 3. One would get to go do the actual physical stuff in the lab, the other 2 would do some research, and all would contribute to the lab report. One of my kid's team mates was fully virtual (not on campus). Perhaps not surprisingly, the remote person was the least invested in the course and mostly did not do their share of the work, but could have.
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 21, 2021 at 12:49

3 Answers 3


Ask the American university, and look before you leap. If they are offering online programs, then it's their responsibility to provide a pathway for you to satisfy the degree requirements.

In my estimation, the odds that a Japanese university would be willing to supervise an American university's lab assignments are low; the odds that they would do it for free are lower still. You might be able to take entire lab-based courses at a Japanese university, and then apply for transfer credit.

Before enrolling in any online program I recommend that you first ask lots of questions and make sure that their program fits your needs.


Yes, it is possible.

My college advisor has a good impression on me. I graduated few years ago, but recently we make contact and start to collaborate on projects while I am still taking a full-time job. So from my humble experience, it is all about time management and trust from others on you. But I do keep this secret from my co-workers to avoid troubles.


It's possible depending on the collaboration you can make with the varsity that you want to run your lab sessions. And this can be done with the other help of the varsity that you are in enrolled in. So it's your duty to discuss with the management of your University so that you can be given legitimate papers for you to run lab operations in the other university.

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