In 2023 - 2024, The Gatton Academy offers two Study Abroad experiences in Costa Rica and one in England.
These experiences mark the 17th-year of The Gatton Academy's travel/study abroad series seeking to:
1. Internationalize the curriculum through intensive, experiential, academic immersion abroad opportunities.
2. Accelerate the personal growth of each student through increased confidence, self-awareness, and the abilities to think and act independently.
3. Build upon the sense of belonging with peers and mentors within the Academy community.
4. Enable students to contextualize internationalization in future educational and career opportunities.
5. Prepare students to act with integrity, compassion, respect, equality, and diversity when interacting across cultures.
Gatton Academy students may also travel on traditional, university-led study abroad programs. These other opportunities may be found at the WKU Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning.
Each experience is described in brief below, with full details and applications found in the online brochures.
COVID-19 Vaccination and Considerations
The Gatton Academy study abroad programs are run in partnership with WKU Global Learning and International Affairs (GLIA). Our groups will follow protocols of WKU, the Center for Disease Control, and entry procedures for our host nations and re-entry procedures for the USA. Being "up-to-date" with COVID-19 vaccination shots (as defined by the CDC) is REQUIRED.
Gatton Academy Study Abroad Scholarship
The Gatton Academy offers a one-time $1,000 Gatton Academy Study Abroad Scholarship to each student to lower the program cost of their first Gatton Academy-offered study abroad program (applicable only to Gatton programs and not transferrable to other study abroad programs offered by WKU or consortia partners).
Costa Rica I and II Study Abroad
Two groups of 16 Gatton Academy students (32 students total) will earn Honors Biology 285: Costa Rican Biodiversity Studies and Research credit (3 Hrs). Group 1 travels with Dr. Martin Stone and Group 2 travels with Dr. Keith Philips. Both groups travel during WKU’s Winter-Term.
Each group will visit the Goldring-Gund Marine Biology Field Station on Playa Grande to participate in leatherback turtle nesting research, Cloudbridge Nature Reserve in the cloudforest of southern Costa Rica's Talamanca Mountains where students carry out their own research projects in small teams, Corcovado National Park, and Isla del Caño for snorkeling.
The estimated program cost is $3,600. Any student who has not previously used their Gatton Academy Study Abroad Scholarship will pay only $2,600.
No money is due or accepted at the time of application. The cost of the program will be due to the WKU Bursar's Office on the 2nd floor of Potter Hall in the second half of the fall semester by a billing deadline to be announced.
The program cost includes roundtrip airfare from Louisville, room accommodations in all locations, an average of two meals per day while in Costa Rica, admission for all activities listed in the itinerary, travel by chartered motor coach throughout the program, basic international health insurance, and tuition for Honors Biology 285: Costa Rican Biodiversity (3 hrs of WKU credit).
Deadline to apply is 3:30 pm Central on Thursday, October 5th, 2023.
The Gatton Academy Costa Rica I and II Application must be submitted to Ms. Melanie Redden in The Gatton Academy's office (FSH 107). Applications are accepted only until Thursday, October 5th at 3:30pm Central.
Please submit application packets with a copy of your passport’s ID page if you already have a passport.
No payments or fees are due or accepted at the time of application.
Later in the fall semester, selected students for The Gatton Academy’s Costa Rica program will be sent details on filling out the required WKU Study Abroad Application. Details and a deadline will be provided later to selected students.
Spots are limited to 32 students. Typically, half of the spots are saved for each class, 2024 and 2025. Shortly after the application deadline, applicants will be divided into four categories: South side Juniors, South side Seniors, North side Juniors, and North side Seniors. Those who have not traveled abroad with The Gatton Academy previously are given first priority for selection using a random lottery. Once students have been selected from each category, random drawing continues until all students have been drawn to form an ordered waitlist for any program spot that might become available later. All students will be notified of their selection status shortly after the application deadline.
A high-degree of physical endurance is necessary for program participants. Students conduct field research at coastal and mountainous settings that involves rigorous walks in oftentimes hot, humid, and wet conditions. During the program, research teams hike in remote areas of a mid-elevation forest (6-8,000 ft) with sharp elevational changes.
Please note: Students must be eligible for return to The Gatton Academy for the 2024 spring semester to travel to Costa Rica.
England Study Abroad
For three weeks in Summer 2024, 50 members of The Gatton Academy's class of 2025 have the opportunity to earn Honors English 200: Introduction to Literature credit (3 hrs) while enjoying the literature and culture of the United Kingdom. Over the course of a 22-day program, students develop an appreciation for literature by visiting literary landscapes, authors' homes, and sites of literary inspiration based off of assigned course readings. Students spend several days in London and in the Lake District. Otherwise, students live in a beautiful manor house near London, while visiting locations throughout the United Kingdom.
Students interested in the England Experience are required as a pre-requisite to have passed ENG 100: Intro to College Writing or have credit for ENG 100 through AP, CLEP credit, or by scoring a 29 or higher on the English section of the ACT exam by summer 2024.
Students interested in The England Experience should not enroll in English 200 for the fall or spring semesters.
Cost is estimated at $5,600. Students who have not used their Gatton Academy Study Abroad Scholarship will have that applied to lower their program cost to $4,600.
The cost of the program includes roundtrip airfare from Louisville, room accommodations in all locations, approximately two-thirds of meals while in the United Kingdom, admission to the historic sites, museums, and experiences listed in the final itinerary, basic international health insurance, travel by chartered coach or train for excursions, passes for zones 1 and 2 unlimited travel in London, and tuition for Honors English 200: Introduction to Literature (3 hrs of WKU credit).
No money is due or accepted at the time of application. The cost of the program will be due to the WKU Bursar's Office on the 2nd floor of Potter Hall in the second half of the spring semester by a billing deadline to be announced.
Deadline to apply is 3:30 pm Central on Thursday, October 12, 2023.
The Gatton Academy England Application must be submitted to Ms. Melanie Redden in The Gatton Academy office (FSH 107). Applications are accepted only until Thursday, October 12 at 3:30pm Central.
Please submit applications with a copy of your passport’s ID page if you already have a passport.
No payments are due or accepted at the time of application.
Later in the spring semester, selected students for The Gatton Academy’s Harlaxton program will be sent details on filling out the required WKU Study Abroad Application. Details and a deadline will be provided later to selected students.
Spots are limited to 50 students from the Class of 2025 and are equally distributed across the North and South sides of the building (25 per side). Participant selection is chosen by random drawing. Students also applying to Costa Rica will be included in the drawing along with everyone else. Once the 50 spots have been filled, random drawing continues until all students have been drawn, forming an ordered wait list. All students will be notified shortly after the application deadline of their selection status.
Please note: Students must be eligible for return to The Gatton Academy for the 2024 fall semester to travel on the England Experience.
Need-Based Gatton Academy Study Abroad Scholarship
The Gatton Academy will provide approximately $15,000 in need-based scholarships for students who require additional financial assistance to study abroad on Gatton Academy-led programs.
Gatton Academy Need-Based Scholarship recipients typically come from households earning less than $60,000 annually for a family of four. Students who feel they have faced significant financial hardship are welcome to apply with a description of family circumstances. All sources of family income are taken into account. Students who are supported by multiple parents/guardians are required to submit income information for each parent.
Students are eligible to apply if they have not previously studied abroad on a Gatton Academy study abroad program. The goal of the scholarship is to assist in funding students on their first study abroad who otherwise may not be able to participate due to financial circumstances.
How to Apply
There is no application form for the Gatton Need-Based Study Abroad Scholarship. Students wishing to apply for one of our international scholarships must submit the following three items to Ms. Melanie Redden (email@example.com) no later than the 3:30 PM Central Thursday, October 12 deadline:
- A copy of the first two pages of the parents'/guardians' 2022 Form 1040 tax return
(must include Adjusted Gross Income)
- Note: Students who are financially supported by parents/guardians who file taxes separately should submit Form 1040s from each parent/guardian who supports the student.
- For security, social security numbers on tax returns should be concealed before submitting.
- A student statement, not to exceed 500 words, with a title that includes the single study abroad destination for which the student is requesting support. The statement should describe the student’s reasons for wanting to travel abroad, as well as the impact they expect going abroad will have on their overall Gatton Academy experience.
- One-page parental/guardian statement describing family's need for assistance.
Please note: Distribution of scholarship funds is contingent upon the individual's eligibility to return for the semester following their study abroad program.
WKU Study Abroad Scholarships
WKU offers other scholarships to students who are studying abroad on credit-bearing study abroad programs. These scholarships are listed here for informational purposes only. For students traveling to Costa Rica, the Academy will notify both students and parents of these scholarships in the fall semester via direct email when it is time to apply. Likewise, for students traveling to England the Academy will notify both students and parents of these scholarships in the spring semester via email when it is time to apply.
- WorldTopper Scholarship (Application accessed through online WKU Study Abroad application)
- Costa Rica Deadline: October 1st, 2023
- England Deadline: February 15th, 2024
- WKU Student Government Association Study Abroad Scholarship
to Costa Rica I and II
End of December 2023 - January 2024 (Winter-Term)
Costa Rica 2024 Itinerary
Estimated at $3,600 (or $2,600 for students who have not previously used their Gatton Academy Study Abroad Scholarship)
Deadline to submit a Costa Rica application is Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 3:30 PM Central.
(Class of 2025 only)
Sample England 2024 Itinerary
Estimated at $5,600 (or $4,600 for students who have not previously used their Gatton Academy Study Abroad Scholarship)
Deadline to submit an England application is Thursday, October 12, 2023 at 3:30 PM Central.
Need-based Study Abroad
Deadline to submit application components is Thursday, October 12 at 3:30 PM Central.
See details further down on this page about how to apply.