Study Abroad programs
These programs focus on the acquisition of language skills, and are often very intensive and immersive! Some language learning programs allow a student to bring back a significant number of language credits – even up to the equivalent of one year of language coursework. Students often engage in cultural activities and excursions to better understand the target culture and language they are studying. For language learning, homestays are the most common form of housing in order to encourage further language acquisition outside of class.
Direct Exchange Programs
An exchange allows students to enroll directly at a foreign university for a semester or for an entire academic year. Students have access to most courses that the university offers in a wide range of academic disciplines. Exchanges sometimes have lower overall costs than other programs of similar length. This is because exchange students have fewer planned excursions or on-site services and customized support. Students participating in exchange programs need to be prepared for an independent experience. Students who succeed in exchange programs typically have high levels of self-reliance, resourcefulness, and willingness to adapt to unfamiliar teaching styles and living arrangements. Depending on the exchange program, students may be required to take courses in the local language with native speakers of that language. Students should also be flexible, as classes cannot always be arranged or guaranteed before arrival; registration often happens on-campus after the arrival date; and individual courses may need to be approved later once the student has access to the course syllabi. However, an exchange program also allows students the flexibility to customize their experience and get deeply involved in the local culture and community.
Third-party Sponsored Programs
These programs are operated by organizations such as CCSA, CIS Abroad, GEO, IE3 Global, and AHA International, etc., and add to the wide diversity of programming options available to WOU students. All of the programs from these organizations listed in the study abroad website have been approved. Students may choose third-party programs that satisfy major, minor, or elective requirements, as well as internships. Sponsored programs are great for students who want to study abroad with students from other colleges and universities all over the United States. Third-party sponsored programs have on-site staff to support.
The WOU Study Abroad Office has programs that offer both full internships and internships blended with coursework mostly organized through third-party provider programs. In all cases, these internships are unpaid and offer academic credit towards the student’s degree. Depending on the program, the internship placement may be pre-selected or students may be able to customize their experience to meet their own needs. These are an excellent way to build practical experience and add substantial skills to a student’s resume.