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Study abroad and student international exchange opportunities are available through the International Programs Office, located on the first floor of the Cheney International Center. UW students with a minimum 2.75 GPA are eligible to apply to participate in a wide variety of for-credit programs of study outside the U.S. Some work and internship options may be available. The exchange/study abroad staff works with students individually to tailor the program of study to their specific needs. Considerations are made for cost, financial aid opportunities, transfer of credit, safety and health, time-to-graduation, country or region desired, and foreign language requirements.
In addition to perfecting foreign language skills (in non-English-speaking countries) and learning about another culture in depth, international education makes for a life-changing experience. It alters perspectives by developing flexibility and critical thinking. International education also engenders a sense of what it is to be an American, what it is to be a citizen of the world, and who we are individually. Study abroad and exchange can help clarify life and professional goals, and often develops greater direction, focus, and motivation for the remaining years of university life, and beyond.
Through a combination of foreign partner universities, study abroad consortia, and cooperating U.S. universities, UW provides study abroad opportunities at hundreds of locations across the globe. Exchange opportunities also exist - they represent programs where students at partner institutions pay their home university tuition and fees, then simply exchange places. As another path to an international experience, self-designed programs of study with non-partner entities can be arranged as well.
Commonly Held Misconceptions about Study Abroad
Myth 1: I can't afford to study abroad.
Fact: There are many programs available that cost the same or nearly the same as attending UW.
Myth 2: I can't use my financial aid to study abroad.
Fact: Financial aid can be used for study abroad. There are also scholarships available to offset additional costs of study.
Myth 3: I can't study abroad for less than a semester.
Fact: There are many short courses offered at UW for summer study abroad (3-6 weeks) led by UW faculty.
Myth 4: Because I don't speak English only, I am limited to English-speaking countries for study abroad.
Fact: There are a great many programs abroad for English speakers in non-English speaking countries. In order to attract U.S. students, many foreign universities offer courses in English.
Myth 5: I can't graduate on time if I study abroad.
Fact: Study Abroad advisers work with you and your academic adviser to select a place of study that offers the courses you require to complete your degree on time.
Myth 6: My adviser doesn't recommend study abroad.
Advice: Speak with your department chair and/or dean about this. Your adviser may subscribe to the study abroad myths outlined here. Don't be swayed by them.
Myth 7: There is nowhere abroad I can complete courses in my major.
Fact: UW offers hundreds of study abroad sites overseas. There are programs for every major.
Myth 8: It is dangerous to live abroad.
Fact: Study overseas is no more or less dangerous than it is in the U.S. UW carefully selects and monitors our students' study locations. Just exercise the same precautions you do at home, when visiting a U.S. city, and when walking at night.
Myth 9: Study abroad is not important.
Fact: Only 3% of U.S. undergraduates study abroad during college. The U.S. needs its citizens to be internationally competent so that the nation can secure itself and its economic future in the 21st century, and employers value the skills that come from study abroad.
For further information, contact International Programs at the phone number or e-mail above, or by writing to Study Abroad and Exchange, Department 3707, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071.