Information For Parents
In today's interconnected and global world, having an international experience can help set your student apart and give them valuable skills that will help them in the future. WVU is committed to providing unique, educational, and rewarding international opportunities to its students.
Is Studying Abroad Affordable?
The short answer is yes! With many different options, education abroad is extremely affordable and available to students of any financial means.
With all education abroad programs, our Education Abroad Team is able to work with financial aid to adjust your students cost of attendance, often making more grant and loan funding available. It's possible to receive assistance with all costs associated with study abroad, from plane tickets to passports. The type of study abroad experience your student chooses can also have an impact on the financial help they receive.
WVU Exchange Programs:
Students participating in a WVU Exchange Program pay their tuition and fees to WVU, and in exchange receive benefits at a partner institution. Almost all of your loans, grants, and scholarships will be available for you to apply to your semester abroad, including the PROMISE scholarship.
Faculty-led programs are also payable with financial aid. Working with your Education Abroad Coordinator, the costs of your program can be included in your annual cost of attendance.
Affiliate programs offer students the opportunity to study abroad in specific locations where WVU may not have an exchange partner, or a short-term program. These are usually companies that are FOR PROFIT, and often come at a higher cost. Financial Aid will still apply, but by working with a Education Abroad Coordinator, you may find a solution that allows you to study in your dream location with much less financial burden.
Something students should never overlook: scholarships!
There are a variety of scholarships students can apply for that help with their study abroad experience. Our Office of Global Affairs has a scholarship, multiple WVU colleges offer scholarships for their students, as well as outside sources. Click here to learn more about scholarship opportunities for your student!
Spring Education Abroad Fair:
January 22nd is the Spring Education Abroad Fair! This is the perfect opportunity for your student to learn all about Education Abroad and find the best program possible.
From 10 AM - 4 PM the first floor of the Mountainlair will be lined with booths from different colleges within WVU, as well as a variety of organizations and partners the Ed Abroad office works with to help offer students a multitude of options for their study abroad experience.
No appointments/RSVPs are needed, and there is no rush to commit to a trip during the fair! Students are encouraged to stop by and discover a world of opportunities that studying abroad provides. Learn about internships, summer programs, semesters abroad, and much more!
The Different Types of Study Abroad Programs:
Are you and your student exploring all of the opportunities for them to study abroad, but aren’t sure which path to take? Education Abroad offers a multitude of study abroad trips that range in length of stay. Does your student want to be abroad for a week, a month, or even a whole semester? Check out the different types of programs below and find the perfect trip for your student.
1.) Short term programs
These programs include Spring, Summer, and Winter break trips, and international internships. Annually, WVU offers more than 50 short term programs in a variety of subjects and locations. These programs can range from one week (ex. Spring Break) to 12 weeks (ex. internship), and give your student an opportunity to earn credits while under the instruction of WVU faculty members.
2.) Long term programs
These programs include our exchange program. This allows your student to study abroad either for a single semester or a whole year. Students will ‘switch places’ with a student from a partner University, but will continue to pay their regular WVU tuition and fees. Housing and meals will either be paid at WVU or at the partner University.
And spending a semester/year abroad doesn't have to break the bank! Students with federal aid, scholarships, and student loans can use that funding towards their study abroad experience. There are other scholarships available as well to help make your student's dream of getting an education abroad a reality. See what scholarships are available here: https://educationabroad.wvu.edu/funding/scholarships.
Click here for the list of our Exchange Partners: https://educationabroad.wvu.edu/why-study-abroad/wvu-exchange
Global Mountaineers Certificate Program:
The Global Mountaineers Certificate Program helps prepare your student to be part of an increasingly globalized, modern workforce. The program helps to develop cross-cultural competencies and teaches students to articulate the value of their experience as it contributes to their future plans – in either the workforce or graduate education. The certificate can be easily completed along with the normal degree required courses for most majors.
1.) Completing the Global Mountaineers Certificate program requires two one-credit courses, which can be completed online.
GLO 101 - Introduction to Global Competence (1 credit) introduces central concepts of global awareness, intercultural communication, and global issues. The course prepares students for experiences in education, work or service abroad, as well as for successful integration into the global community.
GLO 486 - Global Competency Summative Experience (1 credit) helps students demonstrate the cultural experiences they've gained through their Global Mountaineer learning endeavors through project-based presentations.
2.) Language Study
Students must complete six (6) hours of world language study in a language other than English or the student's native language. This can be done at WVU, an institution abroad, or via AP credit.
Language Learning is an essential part of working in a global environment. Exposure to world languages has a great impact on employability and helps create both understanding and opportunities.
Full list of language courses: http://catalog.wvu.edu/undergraduate/undergraduatecertificate/globalmountaineers/
3.) Core Courses
Students must choose six (6) hours from an approved list of over 100 courses. Many of these courses can be used to fulfill GEF requirements for graduation and focus on regional studies, cultural perspectives, and global issues.
Full list of approved courses: http://catalog.wvu.edu/undergraduate/undergraduatecertificate/globalmountaineers/
4.) Go Abroad!
An education abroad experience is a vital requirement of Global Mountaineers. Almost all forms of studying abroad can fulfill this requirement, including spring break experiences, internships, and semester exchange programs.
Search abroad programs here: https://wvuabroad.wvu.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.AdvancedSearch
ARE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES OR PROGRAMS VETTED BY THE EDUCATION ABROAD TEAM?
Yes. Our staff visits schools that could potentially host WVU students. These trips made by our staff are called site visits. Curious about this process? Read our Q&A below with Program Coordinator Michael Bloom who recently made site visits to three European universities.
What sites did you visits?
I visited the University on Antwerp in Belgium, University of Lille in France, and the University Ruhr-Bochum in Germany. Two of the three universities we already have partnerships with, however the University of Lille is a unique situation because they have three different campuses and they combine into one. The University of Antwerp is brand new but has a business school that we are trying to establish a better partnership with.
What is a site visit and why are the done?
Site visits are great. The purpose of a site visit is for partners to learn as much as possible about that University. The main topics we are looking at are academics and student accommodations. At all of the universities I was able to meet with different faculty members, coordinators and directors, and I was able to tour multiple student accommodations. Not only do we get to represent WVU when we go, but also the Mid-American Universities International (MAUI), which is a consortium of schools made up of 17 U.S. schools and 29 international universities.
How long are site visits?
I was there for eight days and it’s about a day’s process at each University. What usually happens in the morning is the first 2-4 hours is exchanging information, asking questions, and trying to learn the process of what an incoming student would go through. Throughout the day we also go on multiple tours, whether it be student accommodations, visiting their library, cafeterias, or important structures on the campus.
What are you looking for when you’re on a site visit?
Everything. For each site I had different goals. First and most importantly to me was the academics because a student is going abroad to learn. Secondly, I wanted to check that their accommodations were up to par. I wanted to make sure that rent wasn’t too much and if the area was safe. The other thing I tried to do at all of the universities was put myself in the mind of the student and work on figuring out things like transportation, registration, and all of the small things that a student has to do or may have questions about. I chose to visit these three schools because students will come to me and say they want to study abroad somewhere that speaks English, and my goal of these visits was to find a way to help promote schools in countries where English isn’t their primary language.
Is there always a site visit that goes along with starting a new partnership or program?
There usually is a visit very early on while creating the partnership with a University. However, with MAUI, once a summer they will nominate coordinators from U.S. schools to visit multiple European schools.
“I think overall the site visits were great. Not only did I start to understand more of the academic side from all of the universities I visited in Europe, but it was really informative from a coordinator standpoint. I learned more about transportation, which is one of the biggest questions students have because they want to know what happens when they try to get around if they go to a country that doesn’t have English as the primary language. For me, I ended up missing a train in Germany and I was just fine, so I’m confident in giving advice when it comes to that."
FOUR BENEFITS OF STUDYING ABROAD:
1.) More marketable to employers: A study done by IES Abroad found that 90% of students who studied abroad found employment within 6 months of graduation as compared to 49% of the general graduating population. The study also showed that students who study abroad obtain starting salaries that were on average $7,000 higher than non-study abroad students.
2.) Improve communication skills: Going abroad gives students the opportunity to interact with people of different cultures and customs. Immersion is the most effective way to learn a foreign language, and helps students connect with other cultures on a deeper level. As for employment opportunities, it's estimated that learning a foreign language could earn employees a 2% "language bonus" on their salary throughout their lifetime.
3.) See the world: Students visiting a country for their abroad program often have the chance to visit several other countries during their studies. Students can have more or less time to explore their surroundings depending on how long their program is. Shorter programs can have trips and excursions planned in advance, while longer programs or international internships give students more freedom to travel.
4.) Make lifelong friends: Participating in a study abroad program already places students in a group of people who share similar interests with them. Students participating in study abroad have told WVU Ed Abroad Coordinators they still speak with friends made abroad on a weekly basis. Going abroad also gives students the opportunity to make connections on an international level.