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Frequently Asked Questions about Study Abroad
Semester, Summer, or Year

Where can I go?
Through our office you can study in almost any country in the world. There are hundreds of opportunities available to students for semester, summer, and year-long programs.

Why should I study away?
Anyone who has studied away will tell you that it is one of the best experiences of their life. Studying abroad will expose you to different viewpoints, cultures and languages and help you see your own experience from a new perspective. Students typically return home with more independence and confidence.

Who can go on study abroad or exchange?
Any WSU student can study abroad or go on an exchange program provided that you meet the minimum GPA requirements for WSU: 3.0 for students with a Sophomore standing and 2.5 for students with a Junior standing. (Requirements for the faculty-led short term programs vary from program to program) You can go away more than once, so it is a good idea to have your first semester study abroad experience as a sophomore. The GPA requirements vary from 2.5 to 3.0 for semester programs depending on the provider. Do as well as possible in your courses at WSU so you will be eligible for the study away program of your choice.

How do I start the process of studying away?
Visit the International Programs Office (SC-317) on campus to learn about opportunities that are available to you and to get your questions answered. Also search the web for programs that meet your needs personally, academically, and financially. Discuss your intentions with your academic advisor. All WSU students who study abroad must apply through the International Programs Office in SC-317. After you have decided where you want to go, the IPO will provide procedural information and guide you in the process of getting your credits pre-approved for transfer back to WSU.

Is studying away more expensive than my normal college costs?
Not necessarily. Depending on the program you choose, costs may be equal to or be much higher. In most exchange programs, tuition and fee charges are paid directly to WSU. Some study abroad programs cost about the same as WSU, and some are more expensive.  

Can I use my financial aid when I study abroad?
Yes. Federal and state financial aid CAN be used if the credits earned will apply to your academic program at WSU. Federal work-study funds cannot be used for study away. Meet with your financial aid advisor in the WSU Financial Aid Office at (508) 929-8056 to discuss your individual needs and financial aid package. Be aware that financial aid will most likely not cover all of the program expenses, so look for scholarship opportunities.

Do I have to speak a foreign language to study abroad?
No. There are English-speaking countries and programs all over the world. You can do all of your coursework in English while studying abroad in Spain, France, Kenya, Costa Rica, or South Africa, etc… Of course, you may want to take foreign language classes while you are studying abroad. If you have competency in another language, you may do a study program in that language in places like Senegal (French), Puerto Rico (Spanish) , China (Mandarin), Egypt (Arabic) or Kenya (Swahili).

How many classes can I take while I am on study away?
Students typically take 4 to 5 classes per semester, just like you do at WSU. Students must maintain full-time status at an accredited academic institution while on the study away program.

Will the credits taken in study away apply to my program at WSU?
Yes. There is a process to pre-approve the courses that you plan to take for transfer of credits back to WSU. That way, you will know exactly how the courses will fit into your academic program and graduation requirements. Please note that grades do not transfer, only credit.

What is the International Student Card and where can I get one?
The ISIC international student card will provide you with many benefits. It is valid in 120 countries and there are over 40,000 discounts associated with the card. It will also provide you access to the ISIC 24-hour Emergency Helpline while abroad. WSU strongly urges you to purchase a card before your departure. For more information visit www.isic.org

When should I start planning for study abroad?
Most students participate during their sophomore or junior year, but it is possible for some students to go during their senior year. It is advantageous for you to prepare as early as possible. Please adhere to appropriate application deadlines.

Some Tips:

  • Begin researching some of the places you might like to go
  • Start gathering important documents and make sure you have a valid passport
  • Be sure to adhere to application deadlines
  • Organize a file with all your important Study Away materials
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