Frequently Asked Questions
For students majoring in a foreign language or an international field, the answer to this question is evident. For other students, it may not be as clear. Studying abroad provides the opportunity to learn from another perspective. While broadening one's education one also achieves personal growth, increased self-reliance, and appreciation for different cultures as well as one's own.
Where do you want to go? The opportunities are wide and numerous. This web site provides information for the majority of programs offered by WWU on the Study Abroad page. Western students who find another accredited study abroad opportunity not currently offered by WWU, can work with the International Programs & Exchanges office to receive approval and WWU credit.
International Programs & Exchanges offers programs and exchanges that vary in cost. Financial aid, in the form of grants, scholarships and loans may be applied to approved study abroad programs through International Programs & Exchanges. However, financial aid in the form of Tuition Waivers, Work Study, Western grants and the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) scholarship do not apply. Western students can also consider programs such as the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) and WWU Direct Exchanges, which do not cost much more than remaining at WWU. There are also work abroad programs, internships, and volunteer opportunities that may provide affordable options.
If you are a WWU student, we will help you find a program or exchange to fit your academic plans. While participating, you will be registered as a full time student at WWU and the credits that you earn will be recorded on your official WWU transcript. Participating in an international study program should not adversely affect your anticipated graduation date, provided that you plan ahead and work with your major advisor.
Credits you earn when you study abroad will be applied to your total 180 for graduation, whether within your major or minor, or as elective classes that are required of every graduate. Decisions regarding the applicability of coursework toward major or minor requirements are made in the academic department. You may need to provide a course description, syllabus, reading list, and/or the host college catalog. See your departmental advisor for information.
Your study abroad transcript will be reviewed for GUR application by staff in the Registrar’s Office. You will be notified by email (to your WWU account) if coursework has been applied. If the Registrar’s office needs more information about a course, they will contact you.
Eligibility requirements vary from program to program. Please note the specific prerequisites for each program to determine whether or not you are eligible to apply. International Programs & Exchanges requires students be a full time WWU students for at least one quarter, in good academic standing with at least a 2.5 GPA or above and have sophomore status by the beginning of the program.
International Programs & Exchanges requires a $75 (or $105 for non-WWU students) non-refundable application fee and a $225 concurrent enrollment fee for each quarter spent abroad. There is a $50 late application fee charged to students who submit their IPE application after the deadline. These and other fees may or may not be included in total program costs. Refund policies are outlined in the International Programs & Exchanges Study Abroad, Exchange, International Internship Application. Please note that IPE fees are subject to change.
Program handouts, catalogs, informational brochures, and applications are available in International Programs & Exchanges, located in Miller Hall 208. You can phone us at (360) 650-3298 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many program applications are also available on-line and are downloadable.
The U.S. State Department provides useful travel information through its Bureau of Consular Affairs. This web site provides information on topics such as living and traveling overseas, visa and passport, travel advisories, travel health information and other relevant topics.
Some other helpful travel abroad resources include: