Center for International Programs


Welcome to the Center for International Programs (CIP) at West Chester University. We manage the following areas:


Study Abroad and Student Exchange

CIP manages international program opportunties in over 50 countries: short-term study programs during winter break,spring break, and summer terms; semester and year-long direct-enroll bilateral exchanges; intensive language programs; and internship and service learning opportunities. CIP staff have extensive international experience and are able to offer seasoned, insightful advising and information to anyone considering or planning a study/internship/research abroad experience.

International Student Programs and Service

WCU has a long tradition of welcoming international students and scholars from all parts of the world. CIP is the designated office on campus to provide special assistance, advising and programming for the members of WCU‘s international community. It is our privilege to serve you.

Visiting Scholar Programs and Services

WCU welcomes scholars from many disciplines from across the globe. CIP provides support to help these scholars thrive in our academic community.



Mission Statement

The Center for International Programs is dedicated to giving life to the goals of comprehensive internationalization built into the University’s strategic plan, Building on Excellence, with a focus on serving faculty, staff, students, administration and the West Chester University community.

Vision Statement: 

The Center for International Programs is committed to the goal of comprehensive internationalization at West Chester University.  Comprehensive internationalization can be defined as a commitment to action – to infuse international and comparative perspectives throughout teaching, research, and service missions of West Chester University.   Comprehensive internationalization affects the entirety of campus life and learning and shapes West Chester University’s external frames of reference, partnerships, and relations.  The CIP recognizes that varying missions and starting points across the campus and community will produce unique and tailored responses to the challenges and opportunities of internationalization and globalization.

The Center for International Programs will assist and facilitate successful leadership and management of the process of comprehensive internationalization across the university while fulfilling the overarching strategic goals of Academic Success, Diversity, Sustainability, Engagement, and Enrichment.



Welcome to the Center for International Programs (CIP) at West Chester University (WCU)!

WCU is a truly international university, with an international reach and impact. From our faculty and academic programs to our outreach and engagement programs, WCU‘s campus community is engaged on the world stage!

The CIP strives to provide cohesiveness and direction for all international programming at West Chester University. A unit within the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, our objectives focus on WCU‘s comprehensive-internationalization initiatives for the campus and include:

  • working with departments to develop academic exchange and faculty-led study abroad programs
  • managing WCU‘s agreements with international institutions
  • immigration and orientation services for international students and visiting scholars
  • global awareness activities through cultural and educational activities throughout the year to create a campus-wide global perspective

CIP‘s website provides information on a broad range of international activities, programs, and services at WCU, as well as links to a number of campus resources and offices that support international activities. Feel free to explore these pages to see the broad range of international opportunities for our students, faculty and staff, alumni, and partners.

Peter Loedel, Ph.D.

Director/Assistant Vice President
Center for International Programs

WCU Partnerships

Click on the icons below to learn more about West Chester University’s global connections. Exchange programs are represented in purple, faculty led study abroad programs are pink. View WCU in the World in a larger map.

WCU International Travel Form Approvals

International travel (outside of the contiguous United States: this includes Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico), must be approved in writing by both the Provost and the University President.

Please take note of the following:

  • The traveler should prepare the international travel authorization form at least 3 weeks before departure, and before any reservations are made (if University funds will be used.) If the authorization form is received in the Provost/President Office after the traveler has departed, travel will not be approved.
  • In all instances, the Department Chair or Manager/supervisor must sign and date the Advance Travel Authorization Form, after which the Dean or Director signs and dates.
  • Additional signatures may be required by the Associate Vice President of Sponsored Research if funding is provided by a Federal granting agency or by the local Faculty Grants Development (FGD) Committee. Additional signature may be required by the Assistant Vice President for International Programs. Their signatures signify that the travel expenses are authorized
  • After signatures are obtained from the department and funding unit(s), forms must be sent to the Provost/President’s Office.
  • When all approvals have been obtained, the Provost Office will notify the relevant Dean/Director‘s Office that the forms may be picked up.

Helpful Information to include on or with the international travel authorization - to speed up approval:

Detailed information on the purpose of the travel, i.e., is this an invited presentation? And what is the topic/format.

  • If the trip is an exploratory visit to develop a new course, or agreement with a foreign institution, please explain in detail, and list the expected outcomes of the visit.
  • A statement about how the travel expenses will be covered (i.e., grant, allotted travel funds from department, etc.)
  • Arrangements for covering classes - how many classes will be missed/who will cover/how many will have on-line instruction? How is this provided - via video/live connect, or students use D2L or other means.

The same process should be followed upon return and when filing for reimbursement using the travel expense voucher form.

WCU employees are also required to complete the TCP (Technology Control Plan) Form prior to international travel.

Embargoes and Export Control

During the past year, PASSHE and WCU developed procedures that will ensure that each of the System schools is in compliance with Federal government regulations regarding Embargoes and Export Control. WCU's Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), in collaboration with the Division of Information Services (IS), has developed a Technology Control Plan (“TCP”) that will ensure your international travel compliance with Export Control Laws. The rules require all travelers to ensure that sensitive digital research data is appropriately protected. To ensure that all prospective travelers are appropriately and adequately served, the IS Division will need at least a two week notice to review the software and data contained on the laptop (or any other technical device) being taken out of the country.

Travelers should contact the University Designated Officer (UDO) for IS - Mr. JT Singh. He may be reached at: E-Mail: or Voice: 610) 436-1045

For additional information, please visit this OSR website.

Prior to travel, the TCP (Technology Control Plan) Form must be completed and attached to the travel authorization form. Further information is available on the Sponsored Research website.

Faculty-led Study Abroad

West Chester University typically offers between fifteen and twenty short-term international faculty-led study abroad programs each year, and that number is growing rapidly. WCU’s programs offer exceptional opportunities for both faculty and students to study and learn abroad and to bring that experience back to the classroom on campus. Program models and topics run a broad range, from language/culture learning in Argentina to modern physics study in London to developing environmental awareness of natural resources in the Peruvian Amazon.

These programs are developed by faculty members who have international teaching and research interests, as well as strong local knowledge and contacts abroad. Faculty are also encouraged to propose and develop programs in areas where they may have the topical expertise but less logistical knowledge or fewer contacts. In these cases, WCU’s Center for International Programs (CIP) can work with faculty to identify and contract with universities abroad or third-party service providers who can build onsite structures to meet the program’s academic goals and needs.

In 2013, over 20 WCU faculty members will be offering international programs in various disciplines and diverse locations: Argentina, China, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Poland, and South Africa, etc.

In order to increase its study abroad offerings to reach wider student appeal, the CIP is requesting proposals for 2014 programs. To assist faculty in developing these programs, the CIP has a program development process from concept to proposal, including budget development, student application and risk management advising, pre-departure arrangements, and onsite operations. The deadline for submitting a proposal is May 11 for programs taking place in the following year. Proposing programs one-year in advance ensures adequate time for proposal/budget review, program development, program outreach, student selection, and pre-departure planning.

Before investing a lot of time in program development, make sure that the program you are proposing does not duplicate an existing offering within your department or from another department at WCU. Other important questions to consider include:

  • Will the program offer something unique that cannot be accomplished on campus?
  • Is the length of time appropriate for the academic content? Summers programs are typically 4 weeks in length for 3-6 credits.
  • Is the program sustainable (i.e., are you or other faculty within your department willing to continue to lead the program in the future)?

Interested faculty should meet with CIP staff to discuss their proposal.

MOA Development - Institutional Partnerships and Student Exchange Programs

Faculty members at West Chester University who are interested in establishing international teaching and research collaborations, faculty/scholar exchanges, or bilateral student exchanges with their colleagues overseas can initiate an International Memorandum of Agreement (IMOA). An IMOA is a binding, legal contract formalizing the terms of collaboration between WCU and one or more partner institutions. An IMOA should outline a constructive new opportunity that reflects an institutional priority for all institutions involved.

For more information, please contact Dr. Peter Loedel in the Center for International Programs: email at or telephone at (610) 436-3515.

The CIP is
affiliated with:

Member of the National Association of International Educators Member of American Association of Intensive English Programs Member of the European Association of International Education Member of the Institute of International Education