Skip to main content
Western Kentucky University

Office of Scholar Development

Study Abroad FAQs


1. What is study abroad? What types of opportunities are available? Where can I go?
2. Where can I find more information about study abroad locations?
3. What is the typical application process for studying abroad?
4. What is the duration of a study abroad program?
5. How expensive is it to study abroad? Are there scholarships or grants available?
6. When do I need to start applying for scholarships or grants?
7. Does WKU transfer time spent at an international study program into credit?
8. How do I find study abroad programs that offer credit towards my major?
9. Can taking a semester at a foreign institute enhance or better your chances of getting into that school?
10. Is there a "best time" for a student to study abroad?
11. What departments at WKU can you study abroad with?
12. Can I use my WKU scholarship money to pay for study abroad?
13. How will studying abroad affect my ability to graduate in four years?
14. I want to Study Abroad in Harlaxton. Are there scholarships I can apply for?
15. How do I know if I am Pell Eligible?
16. I want to go on a study abroad that is less than four weeks. Are there scholarships?
17. Are there scholarships for Semester at Sea?
18. I want to study abroad in Australia. Are there scholarships?


1. What is study abroad? What types of opportunities are available? Where can I go?

Study abroad is an opportunity to travel abroad for an extended period of time and gain college credit/work experience in a program outside of your school. You can visit another country to gain college credit through classes, complete an internship (paid or non-paid), or do more a specific program (i.e., graduate programs, shadowing government officials, volunteering in third world countries, etc.), all depending on the program you join.

You can travel just about anywhere you wish to go. Please visit the WKU Study Abroad website for more information and links to study abroad agencies.




2. Where can I find more information about study abroad locations?

WKU sponsors many trips each year. Information about these trips and links to other study abroad programs can be found at www.wku.edu/studyabroad.

You can also visit the Study Abroad Office in Grise Hall, room 128, to look at brochures and/or talk with an advisor.




3. What is the typical application process for studying abroad?

The typical application process is sometimes lengthy and time consuming. General application items might include: your school study abroad application, the specific program application which often includes essays and letters of recommendation, transcripts, health/insurance forms, and credit transfer forms (if you are taking classes abroad). Often, students need scholarships and financial assistance; applying for aid will also require paperwork. It is essential to start 6 months-1 year before you plan to study abroad.




4. What is the duration of a study abroad program?

The duration of study abroad programs vary. Programs can range anywhere from 3 weeks to 1 year and are available during all terms (fall/spring semester, summer, winter).




5. How expensive is it to study abroad? Are there scholarships or grants available?

Studying abroad can be expensive, but there are also countless scholarships available. The cost of studying abroad varies depending on the program, the location (large cities are more expensive), the duration of your trip, and the types of things you do while abroad (travel to multiple places, sightseeing, etc.).

Scholarships and grants are plentiful when it comes to studying abroad. It is possible to get your entire trip paid for if you are willing to work at it! Staying for a semester or longer qualifies you for more scholarships. Please visit the OSD or study abroad office for more information and help on finding scholarships.

In 2009, the WKU World Toppers Scholarship fund gave around $74,000 to WKU students for study abroad and the Honors College awarded Honors students $20,000 in Travel Abroad Grants during the spring semester. If you receive a federal Pell Grant, you can apply for the Benjamin Gilman Scholarship, which awards individual students up to $5,000 for study abroad.

 




6. When do I need to start applying for scholarships or grants?

This can depend on the program you choose. As a general rule, you should start applying for scholarships a semester to a year in advance of studying abroad. Many scholarship applications involve essays, letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc., and it is best to get started as soon as possible.




7. Does WKU transfer time spent at an international study program into credit?

Yes, but it is very important to get this cleared BEFORE you study abroad. Not all programs will qualify for transfer credit, but it is always worth talking to the study abroad office and the department in which your credit would fall (for example, a foreign politics course falls into the political science department) to try and receive transfer credit.




8. How do I find study abroad programs that offer credit towards my major?

Departments will often list opportunities to study abroad and gain credit on their website, or in their educational buildings (i.e., brochures to study foreign languages abroad in the Fine Arts Center, where foreign language classes are held). You can also contact your advisor when looking for major-related study abroad programs and/or transferring credits back to WKU.




9. Can taking a semester at a foreign institute enhance or better your chances of getting into that school?

Absolutely. This experience will set your application apart. Additionally, studying abroad gives you chance to build key relationships, broaden your knowledge beyond the classroom, and enhance your application by showing your willingness to travel and learn in another country.




10. Is there a "best time" for a student to study abroad?

The best time to study abroad is in your sophomore or junior year when you still have general education requirements that can be completed in another country.

However, it is never "too late" to study abroad. Talk with your advisor or contact the OSD with further questions about when is best for you to study abroad.




11. What departments at WKU can you study abroad with?

Several departments at WKU offer study abroad programs. Visit your department’s website and/or contact your advisor for specific questions. Also, if your department does not offer a specific program, it is still possible to find a program outside your department.




12. Can I use my WKU scholarship money to pay for study abroad?

This depends. Some programs directly associated with WKU will allow scholarship money to pay for study abroad, others will not.




13. How will studying abroad affect my ability to graduate in four years?

Studying abroad does not have to set your graduation date back, but it can if you do not plan your trip well. Search programs that offer transferrable credits to help you stay on track. Also, studying abroad in the winter/summer can help you gain credit outside of the school year, when you would not usually be in class.




14. I want to Study Abroad in Harlaxton. Are there scholarships I can apply for?

There are WKU scholarships, like the World Topper, Travel Abroad Grants for Honors College students, and Student Government Association Scholarships. However, there are not many national scholarships that can be used for Harlaxton. Members of the Golden Key Honor Society can apply for scholarships through the organization. Additionally, Phi Kappa Phi offers study abroad scholarships. Students eligible to receive Pell grants can apply for Gilman Scholarships.




15. How do I know if I am Pell Eligible?

Check with the Financial Aid Office to see if you are Pell eligible.




16. I want to go on a study abroad that is less than four weeks. Are there scholarships?

There are WKU scholarships, like the World Topper, Travel Abroad Grants for Honors College students, and Student Government Association Scholarships. However, there are not many national scholarships that can be used for short programs. Members of the Golden Key Honor Society can apply for scholarships through the organization. Additionally, Phi Kappa Phi offers study abroad scholarships.




17. Are there scholarships for Semester at Sea?

There are WKU scholarships, like the World Topper, Travel Abroad Grants for Honors College students, and Student Government Association Scholarships. However, there are not many national scholarships that can be used for short programs. Members of the Golden Key Honor Society can apply for scholarships through the organization. Additionally, Phi Kappa Phi offers study abroad scholarships.




18. I want to study abroad in Australia. Are there scholarships?

There are WKU scholarships, like the World Topper, Travel Abroad Grants for Honors College students, and Student Government Association Scholarships. However, there are not many national scholarships that can be used for Australia or other English speaking countries. Members of the Golden Key Honor Society can apply for scholarships through the organization. Additionally, Phi Kappa Phi offers study abroad scholarships. Students eligible to receive Pell grants can apply for Gilman Scholarships.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 9/25/14