Study abroad changes lives, and the work of the Center for International Programs is guided by our commitment to promoting access to international education opportunities for our diverse population of students.
Our office provides support for 3 types of study abroad programs, faculty-led, exchange, and programs offered by our 10 affiliate partners: American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS); Arcadia University College of Global Studies; Athena Study Abroad; CEA Global Education; CIS Abroad; Dream Careers; Globalinks; Global Learning Semesters; Institute for American Universities; International Studies Abroad
You are welcome to contact us at any time to discuss your options. Study Abroad Open Advising hours are Mondays 1:30 to 4:00 and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:30.
Learn helpful information about the benefits studying abroad from last year’s participants in the Media in Ireland Program.
The Center for International Programs is pleased to announce the launch of Summer Study Abroad Awards. 10 students, 2 from each College will receive $500 awards towards their participation in a summer program, either faculty-led or through one of our partners. Click here to download an application, which is due on April 1st, the same deadline to register your study abroad experience through WCU for either summer or fall.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) has scholarships available for qualifying students who participate in programs for direct WCU credit. Follow the link for more information and an application. Deadlines are April 1st for Summer programs and May 1st for Fall Programs.
WCU is now part of the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership administered by the University of Pittsbugh. This program prepares women for tomorrow’s global challenges by offering a unique opportunity for international leadership experiences, leadership development and community service. This program awards a $5000 scholarship to 3 female students for a summer study abroad experience who meet the following criteria:
Applications will be available September 1, 2014. For more information, please click here.
WCU offers faculty-led programs during winter session, spring break, and summer session. A full listing is located on the "featured programs" tab within the find a program and apply tab.
For those interested in an academic year or semester abroad that cannot find a faculty-led program that fits their academic plan during the winter or summer sessions, WCU allows transfer credit from the following partner organizations. All programs offered by each of these providers are eligible to be considered for transfer credit. If you are interested in participating in a program that is not on the list, you must first confirm with the academic departments that they will approve the program for transfer credit, then contact the Center for International Programs to explain why you have chosen a program off of the list. To register for a program off of the list, please choose "Non-Affliate Program" within the online directory.
No, all students with a 2.5 grade point average or above can apply. It is important to note, however, that most study abroad programs may require a higher grade point average.
No. there are many programs in foreign countries where you can begin or continue your study of the language. There are also programs in English speaking countries to study subjects other than language.
Yes. A well-planned program will enable you to take a full load of courses while abroad. If you get your course pre-approved for transfer credit, your study abroad semester will replace a semester on campus.
Yes. For all faculty-led and affiliate programs, there is $100 fee which covers the services of the Center For International Programs. It will be charged directly to your student account once you fill out the appropriate form located within our online application system.
There are many possibilities. There are programs in just about every country in the world. Although it is important to find a program that is appropriate for your academic needs. Explore the "Clickable Map" of the world to find various programs.
YES, you will need to meet with your academic advisor to discuss transfer equivalencies. Your academic advisor will substitute your study abroad courses for WCU degree requirements.
This depends on your program. Most programs require that you take the equivalent of 12 units for Semester programs or 6 units for Summer programs. This said, there are some programs which require that you take more than this minimum requirement. It is important that you understand the equivalency of your study abroad credits. For example, if you study in Europe, 2 ECTS credits equals 1 WCU credit; however, in Japan, 1 credit usually equals 1 WCU credit. Understanding the credit equivalency for your program will help you know how many courses you need to take.
First, you do NOT register for your study abroad courses through WCU's registration system. Usually, you will choose your courses as part of an online registration process with the foreign institution/university you plan to attend. To maintain your WCU enrollment while you are abroad, the CIP will register you for full-time credits. This does not indicate credit already earned nor the exact number of credits you intend to take while abroad; it is simply a place holder showing that you are registered as a full-time study abroad student. The CIP will register you for these units about 1-2 months prior to the term when you are going abroad. This is a non-unit bearing, non-gradeable holding category. After WCU receives your transcript, the Registrar will evaluate the credits for equivalent transfer credit. Make sure you complete the equivalent of at least 12 WCU credits while abroad.
By now, you have already met with your academic advisor (s) who have approved your study abroad courses by signing your Course Selection Sheet. If you would like to add a class that has not been signed-off on your Course Selection Sheet, then you should contact your academic advisor who can re-approve the course. Make sure to show your academic advisor a course description for the course. Your advisor can sign a new Course Selection Sheet, or you can do this via email. In either case, make sure to keep any changes to your course approvals in writing and submit such written approval to your study abroad advisor who will keep it in your file.
It depends on the program, but for most programs, you will buy your books after you arrive in your study abroad country.
You will be graded according to the grading system of the country to which you are going. It is important that you understand your study abroad country's grading system. Remember that for these programs, you must earn the equivalency of a "C" grade or higher (or "B" grade or higher if you are a Graduate student). If you are unsure of your country's grading system, it is best to ask your study abroad advisor.
Yes. The Center for International Programs will be happy to give you a copy of your transcript. We cannot give you the original version, as that goes to the Registrar and remains the property of WCU. If you need an official transcript, then you will have to contact the foreign or domestic institution, which awarded your credit. If you don't know whom to contact, then ask your study abroad advisor for the proper contact info.
I am a Non-WCU student who participated in a WCU study abroad program. How do I obtain a WCU transcript? The Center for International Programs cannot send you an official WCU transcript for your study abroad program. If you need an official WCU transcript, then you will have to request it through the Registrar.
I have a disability. What resources are available to help me plan for study abroad? Mobility International is the largest and best organization for getting all the information you need to help plan your trip. http://www.miusa.org/ In addition, contact the OSSD and discuss the provision of accommodations at your host site as well as tips on working with faculty.
West Chester University offers a diverse portfolio of faculty-led study abroad programs during the winter and summer term, and even some during break. You may also choose from over 700 affiliate programs!
Study Abroad 101
Although the complete process that happens before you go abroad is often complex and daunting, it is our intention to make the process as user-friendly as possible. If Study Abroad is your dream, all the work to get there is well worth it.
There is typically a TWO STEP application process for Study Abroad.
Even before you are ready to study abroad, it is beneficial to create an online study abroad profile so you can communicate with study abroad advisors, get invited to information sessions and presentations, and make the study abroad office aware of your interest in study abroad.
You can find study abroad programs through the interactive world map or search by categories:
If you would like to apply to a study abroad program, you need to be logged in to your account. You can then apply as follows:
This is your listing of application status. Look under the "Online Forms" column. There will be two numbers indicating "0 out of X". This indicates how many forms are related to that specific application, and how many of those forms you have filled out. Thus, you need to click on this "0 / X" link and then you will see a list of the forms you need to fill out. Click on the form name and fill in the form(s) completely.
Once you have completed the necessary form(s) for that specific program, your forms will be reviewed and you will be notified as to the next steps in the process.
Some of the Enrollment Forms may ask you to download a form from the "Download Forms" link on the website. Complete the form and then scan and upload the form as indicated in the online form instructions. You will find the pdf form either in " Download Forms" or on the Program Description page.
After you are notified by the study abroad office that you have been "Approved" to study abroad, you will then need to click on the link to the specific program and follow the application instructions for the specific program provider or host institution.
Simply clicking the "Apply" button from this website does not complete the application process. It is your responsibility to make sure you have filled out all required and relevant application and enrollment materials necessary for the program you wish to attend.Log in to Your Account
It is important that students choose an appropriate program to get the most out of an international experience. Because there are a variety of program types, structures, locations, and requirements it is worth the time and effort it takes to find a program that meets your individual academic and personal needs.
Programs have distinctive characteristics, like students, and thus it is important to find the right "match" between the student and the program. Your friend, or sister, or teacher may have participated in a program that was "absolutely great" for them, but may not be a good fit for you. Thus, a glowing recommendation from someone who went on a program is not necessarily the most appropriate approach to choosing a program.
Ask yourself these questions, and get a friend or family member to confer with you on these topics.
Explore colleges and universities in other countries, and directly enroll in a program that allows "transient" or "international" students.
Utilize an established relationship through your school that exchanges students with another designated college or university.
Participate in a program administered by an organization offering study abroad support services.
Participate in a program administered by a U.S. college or university and taught by a U.S. professor.
Location, geography, language, population, economic/industrial development, cost of living, food, health and safety conditions, climate, ease of transportation, etc.
Do you have beginner, intermediate, or advanced language skills in the host country primary language? What is the English language fluency of the local population?
Cosmopolitan city, Urban city, industrial city, suburban city, town, rural community
Enrollment size, percentage of local students and international students, urban campus or enclosed campus, facilities available, teaching style, language of instruction, grading/assessment style, academic options, academic rigor, distance from housing
Homestay, residence hall, apartment, house, hotel, with all Americans, with all locals, distance to shopping, entertainment, school, transportation, shared or not, cost of living, where will you eat meals?
|Community / City||
In current times, it is natural for parents to have concerns about his or her child studying abroad; however, it is important to remember that just as a student‘s everyday decisions cannot be monitored at WCU, they also cannot be monitored abroad. Using common sense, becoming aware of a country‘s laws and regulations and following them are some of the most important ways a student can ensure his or her safety. The school or university where your student will be studying typically does their utmost to provide the most enjoyable and safe environment for your child. These schools want their visiting students to have the best time they can and to leave with a good impression of their school and country.
Knowing the best way to communicate before your child studies abroad can also help in making sure they are prepared in case of an emergency. Communication is becoming easier all the time due to efficient and inexpensive technology. Your child should find out about the easiest ways to communicate before leaving for their study abroad program. Learning about phone rates and country codes, postal rates, and the availability of the internet are some items that are good to know before traveling.
To find out more about a country that your child is considering, you can log onto the U.S. Department of State‘s website at http://state.gov/travel.
For U.S. State Department travel warnings (urgent notices), public announcements (milder heads-ups) and consular information sheets (broad intelligence and travel reports): http://travel.state.gov/
The U.S. Department of State Student Travel Abroad Website: http://studentsabroad.state.gov/
For more information regarding airline safety and flight regulations: http://www.tsa.gov/
Between now and your departure, it is your responsibility to stay informed about developments in the country/countries where you will spend time (including any countries you'll visit that are not part of your study abroad program's itinerary). You can access the U.S. Department of State‘s Web page for information about the country/countries where your program will take you. On that page you will find three different types of information: County Information Sheets, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings. This information is updated based on current events worldwide. According to the Department of State...
Find the date and time of many major cities around the world: www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/
Leave at home all credit cards, keys, and other items not needed abroad. Make photocopies of your valuable documents and maintain an “emergency file” at home containing: airline ticket, passport, traveler‘s checks, driver‘s license, blood type and Rh factor, eyeglass prescription, name of doctor and dentist, supplemental insurance policies, and the credit cards you take abroad. Leave one set at home and keep another with you in a separate place from the originals. Leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with family or friends at home. Prior to departure you will be provided with the address and telephone number of where you are going to live.
NEVER pack your passport or any other important documents in your checked-in luggage or your carry-on luggage. Passports (including visa page), credit cards, and money should be worn in a pouch or a money belt as close to your body as possible. Be aware that certain reading material or literature may offend officials of some countries.
If your passport is lost or stolen abroad, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance.
We encourage students to plan ahead and look for financial support from many resources: loans, grants, scholarships, departments, family members, employers, extra-curricular organizations, and religious or social affiliations. The Office of Financial Aid will be a great help regarding questions about loans, grants, or scholarships. Don't forget to complete the FAFSA to start the process of applying for need-based aid (e.g. loans and grants).
Please see the bottom of the Study Abroad and Student Exchange Home Page to read about 3 new award scholarship opportunities, CIP Summer Study Abroad Awards, PASSHE Scholarships, and the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership.
A: Yes, federal financial aid is available, including Direct and PLUS loans, and alternative student loans are available from banks and lending agencies that offer educational loans.
A: Yes, you may receive up to the cost of your study abroad program in financial aid.
A: Your financial aid, loans included, can cover any costs listed by your study abroad provider. Flights and visa costs, for example, could be included in your borrowing eligibility for the semester you study abroad.
A: Your federal financial aid will not go up because you are studying abroad. However, your ability to borrow will usually increase, which means you'll be able to apply for additional loan money to cover any increased costs you may incur.
A: Possibly. You will need to make an appointment with the study abroad representative in the financial aid office to pursue this option.
A: You need to schedule an appointment with the study abroad representative in the financial aid office. You will need to complete required paperwork in order to receive your financial aid for your semester abroad.
A: The university cannot pay your study abroad program for you. Your financial aid will be forwarded to the address on file for you, and you will have to arrange to pay your study abroad program.
A: For purposes of the study abroad program at WCU, a consortium agreement is designed to ensure that only one school provides federal aid for a student and that a student does not receive more than his or her federal max (or cost of attendance) in total financial aid for the semester/year.
A: Contact Mr. Dana Parker, Director of Financial Aid, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (610) 436-2627.
You will be eligible to receive the same types of financial aid that you are eligible to receive during a normal semester at WCU (Federal Work Study and WCU scholarships excluded). In addition to the financial aid offer you receive from WCU, the following options are available:
For your study abroad semester, your parent may borrow a federal parent PLUS loan for any amount up to your cost of attendance minus any additional financial aid you are receiving.
For example, if your study abroad semester costs $10,000 and you are receiving $2,750 in Stafford loans, your parent may be able to borrow a $7,250 PLUS loan. Interest rates for PLUS loans are fixed.
If your parent is not approved for a PLUS loan, contact the study abroad representative in the financial aid office. You may be eligible for additional Stafford loan aid.
For study abroad semesters, students may borrow private education loans for any amount up to their cost of attendance minus any financial aid they are receiving.
For example, if a student's study abroad semester costs $10,000 and s/he is receiving $2,750 in Direct loans, s/he will be able to borrow $7,250 in a private education loan. Interest rates for private education loans are generally variable, meaning they can go up or down from year to year. NOTE: a cosigner is required for private education loans.
It is the recommendation of the financial aid office that you compare between several lenders when shopping for a private education loan. With each lender, you should ask the following questions and choose the lender that offers the best benefits:
Thank you for your interest in WCU Study Abroad and Student Exchange! WCU offers a variety of international program opportunities that are open to non-WCU students.
All WCU faculty-led programs are available to non-WCU students. These programs are organized and taught by WCU faculty and offer direct WCU credit. Course offerings are similar to classes offered at WCU and course/program descriptions can be found in the CIP program catalog.
If you have further questions about these programs, please contact the Center for International Programs.
If you are ready to apply, please begin by first submitting a Non-Degree Student Online Application. Once you submit the non-degree application, you will receive login credentials that will allow you to apply for a WCU study abroad program. Study abroad applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis until the end of the business day of the program deadline date.
Please keep in mind that submission of a study abroad application is not a guarantee of acceptance. Once you have turned in all of the materials required for your study abroad program, a decision on acceptance into a WCU program will be made by the faculty member leading the program to which you have applied. Return Materials to:
Foreign university where you studied:
Florence University of Arts
History and Sociology
Phi Sigma Pi, Alpha Kappa Delta, Anthropology
Foreign university where you studied:
University of Nicosia
I studied abroad during the Spring 2010 semester. I went from the end of January until the middle of May. The program that I was involved with was called Semester in Europe, so not only did I get to stay on the island of Cyprus to study, but we were given the opportunity to travel to 14 different countries in Western and Central Europe. I was able to experience a little bit of everywhere.
Also, being so close to Egypt, we took an independent trip one weekend to Cairo and other cities in Egypt. It definitely opens your eyes to more of the world, not just the westernized countries. The traveling was of course amazing but you learn so much more about the world and yourself. By forcing yourself into an unfamiliar location, with unfamiliar people, at a new school, with different ways of learning, you discover what it is that you’re capable of doing, achieving, and overcoming.
Studying abroad is the greatest confidence booster and this is all coming from firsthand experience. I tried many new activities, foods, etc. and I experienced a culture that was entirely different from my own, and made some amazing friends whom I stay in contact with. Studying abroad is one of the best learning experiences and I would highly recommend it for anyone.
Zeta Tau Alpha, Students in Communications, Public Relations Student Society of America
Foreign university where you studied:
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Veronica S. Still
Psychology, minor in Criminal Justice
Best Buddies WCU Chapter and Habitat for Humanity
Foreign university where you studied:
Richmond University (London)
WCU Ski and Snowboard Club, Anthropology Club
Foreign university where you studied:
Stellenbosch University through AIFS
Stellenbosch, South Africa
My six month experience at Stellenbosch University can be recounted as an comprehensive blend of personal growth, critical thinking, and more questions asked than answers given. Studying abroad, specifically in South Africa, compels you to confront overwhelming social challenges, questions about yourself and the world that you live in, but at the same time makes you feel more alive and at home than ever before. In South Africa, as in other countries, the complexities of the many diverse cultures cannot be grasped through mere textbooks; rather it needs to be a lived occurrence. Fortunately, my time on the Western Cape has allowed me to do just this. My daily vocabulary now includes words such as breu, braai, lekker, keen, proper, and bleak. Driving on the left-side is second nature. People who were once strangers became family. The campus that at once resembled an impossible maze is now familiar. In short – no amount of words can adequately describe how monumental spending a semester abroad can be. Leaving everything and everyone you once knew to live in a place that is entirely foreign is a daringly beautiful thing. From the natural beauty of the nation to the spectacular people I have met, South Africa is an remarkable country that should be experienced first-hand by all.