How do I begin? Who at WLC will give me guidance?
All students are encouraged to consider studying abroad by Carol Koelpin, the coordinator and contact for any questions; incoming freshmen will be acquainted with study abroad at orientation. Ongoing as you plan for your travel, you will be advised individually on academic planning and selection of a program.
- See your advisor – Know your major!
Planning should begin as early as possible – at least one year before you intend to travel. Particularly for longer term studies, select programs and courses that will relate to your course of study and even your intended career. For this reason declare your major and meet often with your major advisor to discuss your academic plan, degree requirements and study abroad courses.
- See Carol Koelpin – Study Abroad Coordinator
Invest some time exploring possibilities. WLC offers a study abroad fair every semester to give you an opportunity to meet various study abroad hosts. Personal investigation of opportunities may be done through internet search engines below. Make direct contact with host institutions you meet at the fair or find on the internet. Be aggressive in finding exactly the program to suit your requirements. Carol Koelpin will assist pre-approval of your course of study and act as liaison with your host institution.
- See Linda Loeffel – Financial Aid Director
All students studying at foreign institutions are invited to apply for the WLC Study Abroad scholarship. Awards are based on the financial need of the applicant, cost of the program and an evaluation the student's personal essay. Additional grants are also awarded to students whose programs require study abroad, such as language studies. Guidance and application forms may be obtained from the registrar and financial aid offices.
Where do I want to study?
Most students have ideas about where they would like to study, however, selecting a destination and host is major research that requires planning and decision-making. For example, language students will narrow their search based the availability of sites that offer the best classroom and immersion opportunities. For this reason working with major advisors and also directly with host agencies is essential long before applications are made.
When and how should I apply for study abroad?
Most host agencies have application deadlines about five months before the departure. However, before paying application fees, it is advisable for all of the preliminary research and planning to be done well in advance. You should begin planning your study at least a year or more before you plan to study. Also it is a good idea to get your passport well in advance of applying for a program. It will be valid for 10 years.
What are my personal and academic goals for studying abroad?
Credits earned abroad will be transferred and applied to general degree and/or major requirements if they are pre-approved. The main purpose for pre-approval of the general program and also course selection is to ensure that a term abroad will fit into the student's intended course study and maintain his/her graduation date. Students are also encouraged to consider academic internships which allow them to progress toward a degree while earning practical experience in a realistic environment. Your major and career goals will influence your locations of interest and areas of study and a term or semester of study abroad will complement both your transcript and your resume.
How will studying abroad apply to my degree and major requirements?
As stated above, the intent of studying abroad is to enhance all your goals for your college career. Making that happen will require guidance and careful planning for an experience that will impact the rest of your life.
How will study abroad affect my financial aid?
Institutional scholarships will not be applied to study abroad. However, as an incentive WLC offers a financial grant to help offset the cost. See the explanation under the financial aid office in Question 1 above.
What are typical prerequisites for applying to a host institution?
Many WLC students study independently in countries around the world for a summer or full semester of academic credit. They enroll as "guests" in programs which are affiliated with host colleges and international student agencies nationwide. These students apply to the sponsor institution as "special" guest students while maintaining a status of approved absence at WLC.
Even though each institution is different, typical requirements will include:
- Submit an application and a deposit
- Request a WLC transcript sent to the host institution
- Minimum GPA of 2.5.
- Student statement on what your goals in studying abroad are
- Most programs require 2 letters of recommendation from professors and academic advisors
- Financial Aid status
- Doctor approval and Health insurance
- You will work with a study abroad coordinator to participate in orientation on their program and travel logistics (such as, health insurance, passport and Visa, overseas residence, becoming acclimated to a different culture, etc.)