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Center for International Programs

Applying for a Study Abroad Program

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Center for International Programs

Center for International Programs
West Chester University
320 Mitchell Hall
675 S. Church Street
West Chester, PA 19383


Phone: 610-436-3515
Fax: 610-436-3426


Office Hours:
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm


International Student Advising:
Make an appointment.
Limited availability for walk-ins.


Study Abroad Advising:
Make an appointment.
Limited availability for walk-ins.

Applying for a Study Abroad Program

The information below is a guide to the application process and requirements for all types of study abroad and international programs.

Faculty-led Programs and Exchange Programs

Each year WCU offers 25-30 faculty and staff-led programs, including for-credit and non-credit options (musical and art performances abroad, service learning programs, and sports team travel abroad). The deadlines, application process, and costs vary by program. Please let us know if you have any questions after browsing through the list above.

Our faculty-led and exchange programs

WCU has exchange partnerships with 10 different institutions all over the world. Students accepted into exchange programs will pay tuition and fees to WCU, and the same in-state/out-of-state rules apply. While abroad, students from that institution will be coming to WCU to take their place. Exchange students are responsible for paying their own transportation, housing, meals, insurance, and other personal expenses while abroad. Each course taken abroad will count as transfer credit, not direct WCU credit. Please see the transfer credit process section below for more information on the process.

While abroad, a placeholder will be put on students’ accounts by the WCU Registrar that will allow them to maintain their student status at WCU and keep financial aid, library access, email access, and other privileges of a WCU student. The place holder does not indicate credit already earned nor the exact number of credits that students intend to take while abroad; it is simply a place holder showing that the student is registered as a full-time study abroad student. CIP, along with the Office of the Registrar, will register for these units about 1-2 months prior to the term when going abroad. This is a non-unit bearing, non-gradable holding category. After WCU receives your transcript, the Registrar will evaluate the credits for equivalent transfer credit. Students must complete the equivalent of at least 12 WCU credits while abroad and all courses must be pre-approved in order to transfer back to WCU.

Affiliate Programs

When choosing to study abroad through one of our partner organizations, students are required to complete a two-step application process:

  1. Complete WCU's application to study abroad using WCU’s online system to gain approval to study abraod and transfer courses back to WCU.
  2. Apply directly through the program provider's website once pre-approval from WCU has been obtained.

Our partner organizations were chosen based on their compatibility with WCU and therefore are often an academic fit. Please note that the program provider sets application deadlines and requirements that are beyond the control of WCU, and it is necessary to pay careful attention to all of their posted application information. To begin the application and pre-approval processes, students must first meet with a study abroad advisor. To schedule an appointment with a study abroad advisor, email studyabroad@wcupa.edu.

Non-Affiliate Programs

If students cannot find a program from WCU’s extensive list of offerings, including nearly 750 offered by our partners, they are eligible to apply for a non-WCU/non-affiliate program, as long the department head for each course that they plan to take will approve the courses for transfer credit. Please email studyabroad@wcupa.edu to schedule an appointment with a study abroad advisor to discuss your choice of non-affiliate program and to learn more about the approval process for this type of program.

Transfer Credit

In the case of exchange and affiliate programs, and a few faculty-led programs, students must complete the international transfer of credit process according to rules listed by the WCU Registrar. A detailed guide is located within each WCU study abroad application. The Department Head for each potential course must sign a transfer of credit permission form according to posted deadlines as part of WCU’s application process. Students are required to stay in constant contact with their academic advisor throughout the process to ensure that the courses that they plan to take abroad will count for their intended requirements, and they can stay on track to graduate on time. Students must earn a grade of “C” or higher to be eligible for transfer credit. Please pay careful attention to variation in grading systems found worldwide. The program provider or host institution can provide more information about compatibility with the grading system in the United States.

Individual Participation in a Conference, Research, or Artistic Performance Abroad

All WCU students travelling abroad on behalf of the university as individual, non-credit participants in a conference, research project, or artistic performance must register their participation in WCU's study abroad application system prior to their departure.

Disability Services

Mobility International is the largest and best resources for obtaining information about studying abroad with a disability. Students should contact The OSSD at WCU to discuss the provision of accommodations at the host site, and ask WCU faculty and CIP for assistance as well.

WCU Study Abroad Application Fee: $100

All students who participate in an international program are required to pay a $100 application fee to WCU. This fee is necessary to cover the costs of the services that each student is receiving, and to support all future international activity at WCU. Only the following exceptions exist:

  • Individuals travelling abroad to present visual art or for a musical performance where they have been invited.
  • Students travelling independently of the university and not seeking any type of academic credit, including internship and service learning credit.

Transcripts

Students participating in WCU Faculty-Led Programs for direct WCU credit will have their grades posted just like any course offered on campus. Transcripts can be ordered online through myWCU. Students who participate in affiliate and exchange programs can request an unofficial copy of their transcript from CIP, but must contact the host institution or program provider to obtain an original transcript.

Eligibility

  • 2.5 minimum GPA is a standard GPA requirement for most study abroad programs, however each program will determine its own eligibility requirements.
  • Transfer students must complete at least one full semester at WCU before they can study abroad
  • Proper completion of the application process in WCU’s online system

Non-WCU Students

Some WCU faculty-led programs are available to non-WCU students, which will be expressed on the home page for that program. 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 are ready to apply please contact the Center for International Programs for program-specific instructions. 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, your application will be reviewed and a decision will be made regarding your acceptance into the program at that point in time.