Center for International Programs

Study Abroad and Student Exchange Home

 

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

Click here to access the list of all of faculty-led and exchange programs Click here to search our full list of over 900 WCU and affiliated progrms

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.

New Award and Scholarship Opportunities:

 

CIP Summer Study Abroad Awards

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.

PASSHE

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.

Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership

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:

  • Undergraduate woman of sophomore or junior status
  • US Citizen
  • Baccalaureate degree in progress
  • Full time student status for at least two semesters
  • GPA of not less than 3.0
  • NO prior international travel

Applications will be available September 1, 2014.  For more information, please click here.

 

Study Abroad FAQ

Quixote While studying abroad, you will take courses at a foreign institution and then transfer the course back to WCU as transfer credit. In order for WCU to give you credit for your program, you must earn the equivalent of a "C" grade or higher. (If you are a graduate student, then you must earn the equivalent of a "B" grade or higher.) Grades earned are not calculated into the West Chester University of Pennsylvania grade-point average.

What programs am I eligible to apply for?

WCU offers faculty-led programs during winter session, spring break, and summer session. A full listing is located on the “featured programs&rquo; 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.

Do I need to be an "A" student to study abroad?

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.

Do I need to be proficient in another language?

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.

If I decide to study abroad, can I still graduate in four years?

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.

Is there a fee to study abroad?

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.

Where can I go abroad?

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.

Do I need to meet with my academic advisor?

Eiffel Tower

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.

How many credits should I take when I am abroad?

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.

How do I register for my study abroad courses?

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.

I would like to change the courses that I selected on my Course Selection Sheet. How do I do that?

Phone Booth

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.

Where do I buy the textbooks that I will need for my study abroad program?

It depends on the program, but for most programs, you will buy your books after you arrive in your study abroad country.

What type of grading system will I be under while I am abroad?

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.

Can I get a transcript from the institute/university where I studied?

Mosque

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.

Study Abroad 101

map

Interested in Studying Abroad?

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

Find a Program and Apply

[First list faculty-led programs, then content from]

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.

Eligibility

students crossing a bridge
  1. The first question for any student interested in Study Abroad is "Am I Eligible to Study Abroad?" WCU eligibility requirements are:
    • have you completed at least 12 credits at WCU?
    • have you completed a total of 24 college/university credits?
    • do you have a GPA of at least 2.5 or higher?
    • do you have any current or pending academic or conduct/judicial sanctions?
    • are you prepared for an experience that will take you outside your comfort zone require that you adapt to new situations and environments?
  2. Study Abroad is first and foremost an ACADEMIC experience, and thus students must demonstrate commitment to relevant academic goals. What types of courses do you want to study while at an international location?
    • are you already studying another language or do you want to learn another language?
    • do you want to take courses in your academic major?
    • do you want to fulfill General Education requirements?
  3. What are the program options available to you? Explore the program listing on the clickable map, provided you by WCU and determine which program might be best for your academic and personal goals.
  4. student with laptop
  5. Follow all the instructions for application process and necessary enrollment forms and meet all deadlines for required forms and fees.
  6. Take the time to get to know the country and host city as much as possible before you arrive. Prepare yourself to be a respectful and engaged guest in your host country.

The Process

There is typically a TWO STEP application process for Study Abroad.

  1. Apply online for approval from Alfred University to participate in Study Abroad.
  2. Apply to the Program Sponsor for admission to the specific program.

Create an Online Account

screenshot

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.

  1. Click on Create Account, fill in the relevant fields and choose a secure Password for your account.
  2. Fill in all the profile sections listed (Academic Info., Program Preferences, Current Address, etc.).
  3. Once you fill in your entire profile, you will be able to:
    • ask questions about study abroad program details
    • apply for a program

Find a Study Abroad Program

You can find study abroad programs through the interactive world map or search by categories:

Programs by Major
screenshot
  1. To search for a program which will offer courses in a particular major, use the Advanced Search page.
  2. From the "Major" pull-down menu - choose a major that is relevant to the courses you would like to take while abroad. If you want to take course in more than one academic field (for example: Psychology and History) be sure to look at listings for both Psychology and History and find a program that will have courses in both areas.
  3. The "Subjects" pull-down menu can only be utilized if you already choose a major and then the major has various areas listed.

Programs by Country
  1. To search for a program by country, use the clickable world map which breaks out regions and countries and lists study abroad programs.
  2. By selecting a world region, the map zooms in and shows the different countries in that region where there are available study abroad programs.
  3. You can select a country either from the list on the left or by clicking on it on the map.
  4. Selecting a country will take you to that country's description page, where you can find information about the country and the available study abroad programs on the bottom of the page.
  5. Clicking on a specific program will take you to a program's description page where you can learn more about the study abroad program.

Apply to a Study Abroad Program

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:

  1. Go to the interactive world map or the advanced search to find the specific program in which you are interested.
  2. Click the "Apply" link next to the program name. This will link you to the application process for that specific program.
My Applications
screenshot

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.

Download Forms

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 icon pdf form either in " Download Forms" or on the Program Description page.

Program Provider or Host Institution

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

How to Choose a Study Abroad Program

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.

  1. Understand your needs and characteristics before choosing a program
  2. Explore several options and compare program characteristics
  3. Choose a program that fits your needs and characteristics

Your Needs and Characteristics

hands holding the globe

Ask yourself these questions, and get a friend or family member to confer with you on these topics.

  1. What type of courses do you need to take (major requirements, major electives, general education requirements or lower-division courses, electives)?
  2. What academic topics do you need (and want) to study (only your major, or a mix of academic disciplines)?
  3. Does your home institution approve experiential courses (ie, internships, field study, independent study, independent research, service-learning, touring)?
  4. Can you take courses in another language / are you sufficiently fluent?
  5. Do you have beginning or intermediate foreign language skills?
  6. Does your home institution have requirements about the number of weeks and/or contact hours the courses must fulfill to transfer credit?
  7. Would you feel comfortable living in a fast-paced, urban city where it is difficult to make friends and interact with locals living in a capital city?
  8. Do you feel comfortable using public transportation (buses, taxis, trains)?
  9. Would you prefer to live in a community where you can easily navigate your way, and meet local people?
  10. Does the weather bother you? Have you experienced the type of climate common to the host country you are considering?
  11. Are you a self-starter, outgoing, and self-motivated, experienced in exploring new/different situations?
  12. Do you prefer functioning in a group with leaders and/or guides making decisions for you and being surrounded by others much like yourself?
  13. Do you have any dietary, medical or mental health needs?
  14. students with camera
  15. Do you want to become a "specialist" in one location (language and culture and history and current events) or do you want a comparative perspective of several different places and perspectives?
  16. Have your friends or family ever called you "high maintenance"? Do you have a high level of attention to conveniences, personal appearance, the newest fads or specific activities?
  17. Do you enjoy camping, hiking, backpacking, "roughing it"?
  18. Do you have a good sense of how (and if) you will use alcohol in a mature setting? Have you ever been disruptive of others or put your well-being at risk with alcohol?
  19. Have you ever traveled before? Outside the U.S.? If yes, how long and where?
  20. How long have you ever been away from "home" before, away from family and friends?
  21. What type of leisure activities do you enjoy? What do you do with your "free-time"?
Spain Arch

Program Type

Direct enrollment

Explore colleges and universities in other countries, and directly enroll in a program that allows "transient" or "international" students.

Exchange

Utilize an established relationship through your school that exchanges students with another designated college or university.

Program provider

Participate in a program administered by an organization offering study abroad support services.

Faculty-led

Participate in a program administered by a U.S. college or university and taught by a U.S. professor.

Location

Country

Location, geography, language, population, economic/industrial development, cost of living, food, health and safety conditions, climate, ease of transportation, etc.

Language

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?

Cafe
Community / City size

Cosmopolitan city, Urban city, industrial city, suburban city, town, rural community

Host institution

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

Living conditions

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?

Type Pros Cons
Direct Enrollment
  • Authentic academic experience w/ locals.
  • Immersion with local students
  • Likely to be less expensive.
  • Unfamiliar administrative bureaucracy, teaching style, support services.
  • Unexpected costs.
Exchange
  • Tuition cost will be the same as you pay on your home campus.
  • Your campus has an established contact person at host institution.
  • Unfamiliar administrative bureaucracy, teaching style, support services.
  • Unexpected costs.
Program Provider
  • Support services established for the needs of U.S. students.
  • You get what you pay for.
  • You pay extra for support services.
  • Sometimes isolated/marginalized from host country people and culture.
Faculty-led
  • Most of the time, accompanied by a professor you know and trust.
  • Take classes that are familiar and similar to what you would take on your home campus.
  • In a group of U.S. students, most often from your home school.
  • Take classes that are familiar and similar to what you would take on your home campus.
  • In a group of U.S. students, most often from your home school.
  • Faculty not necessarily trained to provide full-service support and study abroad best practices and standards.
Country
  • Someplace that excites you.
  • A pleasant break from your "home".
  • Not what you expected.
  • Do not like the weather, or food, or living conditions.
  • Not comfortable with under-developed status, OR strategy for political or economic development.
Language
  • Language was less of an obstacle than expected.
  • I would like to learn a new language now.
  • Language was a bigger obstacle than expected.
  • I did not have the level of language skills I thought I had.
Community / City
  • Love the different shops, restaurants, activities.
  • Just the right size.
  • Experienced new activities that I never knew I would like.
  • Transportation was easy.
  • Scenic and/or comfortable.
  • Too big or too small for my enjoyment.
  • It was hard to meet locals, or make friends with locals.
  • Transportation was not adequate.
  • City was ugly, dirty, noisy, boring.
Host Institution
  • Love that it was much bigger or smaller than my home campus.
  • Conducive to meeting local students and making friends
  • Local professor and students were friendly, helpful and welcoming of foreign students.
  • Courses were meaningful and challenging and motivated me to learn more.
  • Hate that it was much bigger or smaller than my home campus.
  • Not conducive to meeting locals or making friends.
  • Local professors did not like or know how to deal with foreign students.
  • Courses too easy or too hard.

Living Conditions

  • Love my housing.
  • Lived close to campus.
  • Cost of living was less than the U.S.
  • Conducive to meeting locals and making friends.
  • I felt so comfortable because it was similar to what I am used to, OR because it was new and something I liked.
  • Made it easy to focus on academics.
  • Hate my housing.
  • Lived too far from campus.
  • Cost of living was so much more than the U.S.
  • Not conducive to meeting locals and making friends.
  • I felt so Uncomfortable because it was something I could not adapt to.
  • A huge distraction from my academics.

Health and Safety

Safety

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.

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/

Stay Informed Before Your Departure

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...

  • Country Information Sheets are issued as a matter of course, and are available for every country of the world. They include such information as location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in that country, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties.
  • Travel Alerts are issued as required, and are a means to disseminate information about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and/or transnational conditions posing significant risks to the security of U.S. travelers.
  • Travel Warnings are issued when the Department of State decides based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country.

Time and Date

Find the date and time of many major cities around the world: www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

Translations

http://babelfish.altavista.com

Personal Documents

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.

Financial Information

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.

Q: Is financial aid available for my study abroad program?

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.

Q: Can I borrow additional money for my study abroad program?

A: Yes, you may receive up to the cost of your study abroad program in financial aid.

Q: What sort of additional costs can my financial aid cover?

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.

Q: Will my financial aid go up because I am studying 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.

Q: Can I use financial aid from the fall and spring semester for my summer semester abroad?

A: Possibly. You will need to make an appointment with the study abroad representative in the financial aid office to pursue this option.

Q: What do I need to do to receive financial aid for my study abroad program?

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.

Q: Will WCU pay my study abroad program for me?

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.

Q: What is a consortium agreement?

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.

Q: Who can I talk to about financial aid for my study abroad program?

A: Contact Mr. Dana Parker, Director of Financial Aid, at dparker@wcupa.edu or (610) 436-2627.

Types of financial aid available for study abroad programs

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:

Parent PLUS loan

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.

Private education loan

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.

Tips for searching 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:

  • What is the interest rate?
  • Is the interest rate variable or fixed (generally the rate will be variable)?
  • When will I have to start repaying the loan?
  • How long do I have to repay the loan?
  • How much will my payments be?
  • What if I can't repay the loan when the time comes?
  • Do I need a cosigner (generally you will need a cosigner)?
  • Are fees assessed on the loan?
  • Do you offer repayment benefits (i.e. interest rate reductions with auto drafts, interest rate reductions for graduation, interest rate reductions with payments made on time)

Non-WCU Students

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:

Center for International Programs
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Old Library, Room 101B
775 S. Church Street
West Chester, PA 19383
www.wcupa.edu/international
studyabroad@wcupa.edu

Angela Coburn

Angela with Tower of Pisa

Name:
Angela Coburn

Major:
History/Secondary Education

Class:
2013

Hometown:
Wilmington, DE

Student Organizations:
History Club

Foreign university where you studied:
Florence University of Arts

Location:
Florence, Italy

I studied History of the Mafia. I made a lot of great friends that I still keep in touch with. I experienced delicious food, beautiful language, breath taking landscape and a unique culture. I had the most fun of weekend excursions to Rome, Venice, Verona, Pisa and Lake Garda.

Kaitlyn Drabb

Kaitlyn Drabb

Name:
Kaitlyn Drabb

Major:
History and Sociology

Class:
2012

Hometown:
Levittown, PA

Student Organizations:
Phi Sigma Pi, Alpha Kappa Delta, Anthropology

Foreign university where you studied:
University of Nicosia

Location:
Nicosia, Cyprus

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.

Dylan Starr

Dylan Starr

Name:
Dylan Starr

Major:
Communication Studies

Class:
2012

Hometown:
Stroudsburg, PA

Student Organizations:
Zeta Tau Alpha, Students in Communications, Public Relations Student Society of America

Foreign university where you studied:
VU Amsterdam

Location:
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made. I made friends from all over the world, as well as learned things about myself I never would have. I grew up while I was abroad. Colors seemed brighter, people seemed friendlier, and every day was a new adventure. My only regret was not getting a university sweatshirt from my school.

Veronica S. Still

Veronica Still with Tower of Pisa

Name:
Veronica S. Still

Major:
Psychology, minor in Criminal Justice

Class:
2012

Hometown:
Philadelphia, PA

Student Organizations:
Best Buddies WCU Chapter and Habitat for Humanity

Foreign university where you studied:
Richmond University (London)

Location:
Rome, Italy

It has been about a year and three months now since I waved goodbye to my family, boarded the plane, and for 18 hours anxiously wondered what awaited me across the seas- my best semester not just in college but, in life! And yet, no matter how many times I have been asked to describe my study abroad experience, the accurate words never seem to form- it is literally indescribable. Viewing life on the other side of the world expanded my cross-cultural perspective. I grew globally and became more independent. By studying abroad in Italy for four months, the Italians taught me how to enjoy life more, especially the simple things. No matter how many times I walked path the same ancient ruin on my way to classes I noticed something different about it each day. Oh and please believe, when they say everything closes down for 4-5 hours in order to enjoy lunch with the family, they mean everything (including business shops)! After my semester abroad was over and I returned back home to Philadelphia, I viewed my life for the first time but, I was viewing it from a new perspective. If you are debating whether or not you should study abroad, I’m here to tell you DON’T DEBATE! Just do it, the experience is worth every penny!

Hannah Wikowski

Hannah Wikowski with elephant in South Africa

Name:
Hannah Wikowski

Major:
Anthropology

Class:
2013

Hometown:
Philadelphia, PA

Student Organizations:
WCU Ski and Snowboard Club, Anthropology Club

Foreign university where you studied:
Stellenbosch University through AIFS

Location:
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.

International Engagement:
Events

International Department Calendar

International Engagement:
WCU Students Abroad

Angela CoburnAngela Coburn

Kaitlyn DrabbKaitlyn Drabb

Dylan StarrDylan Starr