Applying for a Study Abroad Program

The information below is an overview to the application process and requirements for all types of study abroad and international programs. For specific application inquiries,


the Center for 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). WCU also has several exchange partnerships with institutions around the world. The deadlines, application process, and costs vary by program. Learn more about the program offerings by viewing our faculty/staff-led and exchange programs list.

While abroad during the regular semester, a study abroad placeholder course registration 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, email access, and other privileges of a WCU student. The placeholder does not indicate credit already earned nor the exact number of credits that students intend to take while abroad; it is simply a placeholder 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 abroad 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,

e-mail Study Abroad


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 they have first completed the WCU application to study abroad and received approval to participate in a non-WCU/non-affiliate program. Please

e-mail Study Abroad

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 approval process as part of their WCU study abroad application. 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 traveling 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 resource for obtaining information about studying abroad with a disability. Students should contact The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities 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 apply for an international program will be billed a non-refundable, one-time $100 study abroad application fee through the WCU Bursar office. 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. Students that participate on multiple international programs while at WCU will not be re-charged this fee.


Students participating in WCU Faculty/Staff-Led Programs for direct WCU credit will have their courses and grades posted to their WCU records just like any other course offered on campus. Transcripts can be ordered online through myWCU. Students who participate in affiliate and exchange programs will earn transfer credit from the institution abroad. All transfer credits will be posted to the student's WCU record after successful completion of the coursework abroad and once the official transcript from the international institution has been received. Please note that all transfer credit for international programs must be pre-approved prior to applying to the study abroad program.  Contact the Center for International Programs to schedule an appointment to meet with a study abroad advisor to learn about the WCU study abroad application/approval process.


  • 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/approval process in WCU’s online system

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 application 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. For students participating in an exchange or affiliated-partner program, final admissions decisions are made by the international program abroad and are out of WCU's control.

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. If you are a student at another University wishing to participate on one of WCU's study abroad programs, email to receive information about the application process.

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