Where in the world can you go

Antibes, France

France, Germany, and Japan; the list goes on.

Western Carolina University’s study abroad department has numerous ways that you can travel to these countries, get college credit, and graduate on time!

During college many students take advantage of studying abroad. Students can choose between semester, year-long, or summer programs. Here at Western undergraduate students can do up to three semesters abroad. They can be spent in as many as three different countries, or the same country, that is entirely up to the student.

One of the first questions students have about studying abroad is how much does it cost? The good thing for students is that Western’s study abroad department has partnerships with over 260 schools that are exchange programs. These exchange programs are great for in-state students because you are still paying WCU your tuition and fees. Yes, it cost the same as still being at Western Carolina!

Students can also do a direct enrollment to any accredited university. Direct enrollments are where you pay tuition and fees directly to the university the students are attending, so if there is a particular school that a student wants to attend, it is possible.

A WCU student's photo from Paris, France.

Another question students have about studying abroad is; how do I pay for it? At Western Carolina, if you receive finical aid it can be used for any of your expenses abroad. This includes your passport, your travel expenses, and a visa if it is needed for the country you are going to be living in. Also if students have any scholarships they can still be used for their education abroad.

Language is a major factor that scares students away from studying abroad. Students think that they must know another language in order to go to another country. This is not true. There are many places students can go that are English speaking countries including, Australia, England, Ireland, and New Zealand. However, these are not the only places students can go to and take classes in English. WCU has partnerships in countries that the schools teach all classes in English. For example, in France a student can live and attend a French school, learning all their classes in English. No French class is necessary to attend the school.

Students often think that they cannot go abroad and take classes for their major. There are schools for “every major and more” John Schweikart, the study abroad advisor says. Students can go and take classes for their major at many different universities and take classes that WCU does not offer. So if students are interested in a major that Western Carolina does not offer, they can fulfill those desires.

WCU also has faculty-led programs that are done normally during the summer. There are programs designed for particular majors and there are also general education faculty-led programs. These program allow students to get the international experience, but in a much shorter amount of time. This also allows students to travel with other Western students and take classes with the same students in their major. These programs usually get more hands-on experience in their field of study and find that these faculty-led programs are very helpful for their college experience.

To find more about studying abroad you can attend one of the information sessions held every Wednesday at 4p.m. and every Thursday at 11a.m. in the study abroad office, or contact the department at 828-227-7494.

For more information visit the Office of International Programs and Services and their partner organizations The University of North Carolina Exchange program and International Student Exchange Programs.