Semester Study Abroad

Fall 2023 ISEP Deadline - February 15, 2023

Fall 2023 VWU Global Japan Study Abroad Program Deadline - February 15, 2023

Fall 2023 Direct Exchange Partners Deadline - February 15, 2023

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The Global Scholars Program offers Virginia Wesleyan University students the ability to receive credit toward their major, minor, or general education requirements while living and studying in another part of the world for an entire semester. Students may study abroad, for either the fall or spring semester, starting their second year and may select from a wide variety of programs.

Why I Studied Away

Global Scholars Program Eligibility Requirements

VWU’s Global Scholars program is a competitive study abroad program open to students in all majors. Selection of students is based on the following criteria as well as the academic fit of the selected programs to the student’s major and career plans.

Eligibility Criteria for the Global Scholars Program:

  • Enrolled at Virginia Wesleyan University at the time of application
  • Minimum of 2.75 GPA
    • Note - Some programs have higher GPA requirements; students must meet the GPA requirement for the program for which they are applying.
  • No honor code violations
  • No major student conduct violations
  • Cannot be studying abroad their last semester at VWU
  • Have second year student standing at the time of program departure
    • Note - Some programs require students to be a third year and students must meet the criteria list for the program they are selecting
  • Will return to VWU for at least one full fall or spring semester after their study abroad semester

Past Global Scholars have studied in Tanzania, Argentina, Czech Republic, Jordan, India, Spain, Poland, Turks and Caicos, South Korea, Chile, Senegal, Cuba, and many other countries

Financing Study Abroad

The perception is that studying abroad is expensive and beyond the means of most students. However, at VWU semester study abroad is extremely affordable. During their semester abroad, Global Scholars pay VWU’s tuition, fees, room, and board (for most programs). VWU students who participate in some direct exchange programs and the VWU Global Japan Study Abroad Program will pay their room and board fees directly to the provider in-country. There are additional expenses of airfare, visas, international health insurance, application and placement fees, in-country travel expenses, and personal expenses. However, VWU students may use their existing scholarships, loans, and grants, with the exception of Work and Learn, to assist in paying for their semester abroad.

Global Scholars are encouraged to apply for external study abroad scholarships and grants, including the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and the Fund for Education Abroad. Additional information on study abroad specific scholarships is provided by Diversity Abroad and GoAbroad’s Guide to Study Abroad Scholarships.

For assistance with applying for scholarships or questions about financing your study abroad experience, please contact VWU’s Director of Global Engagement, Ms Mandy Reinig, ( You may also schedule an appointment with her using her online appointment scheduler.

Guide to Semester Study Abroad

The decision to study abroad for a semester does require advanced planning and preparation. This is partly because there are documents and other materials that require extra time to obtain and because it takes time to find programs that are the best academic fit for each student.

The following steps are meant to assist students in submitting successful applications and decreasing the anxiety sometimes felt in making the decision to study abroad for a semester.

Phase 1

  • Obtain a passport and/or ensure your passport will be valid for at least six months past your return from your program.
    • This step is vital as the processing time for passports is taking longer than usual.
  • Meet with the Director of Global Engagement to discuss your interests, courses needed, etc. to assist in identifying possible program options.
    • This step is required to be able to submit your Global Scholars’ application.
  • Research different study abroad programs.
    • Make sure you explore not only available courses but also housing, meals, and extra options offered.
    • Students must feel comfortable/interested in living in the location for five months.

Phase 2

  • Identify your top choice study abroad program as well as at least three other options that would be a good academic fit and best match your interests.
  • Talk with your academic advisor(s) to ensure your programs fit in with your 4-year plan.
    • Start preparing your 4-year plan, which will be required as part of your application.
  • Meet with VWU’s Financial Aid Office to discuss your financial aid package and ensure everything will transfer for your study abroad experience.
  • Research external study abroad scholarships and start applying.
    • Many study abroad scholarship application deadlines are before VWU’s application deadlines.
    • Seek assistance with your scholarship application materials from the Director of Global Engagement.
  • Research your first choice location to learn more about its history, culture, current events, etc.
  • Request the electronic letters of recommendation from at least two faculty members for your Global Scholars Application.
    • These should be requested at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline.

Phase 3

  • Submit your Global Scholars’ Application
    • Includes 4-year plan, passport copy, class schedule, and answers to mini essay questions.
  • If accepted, the next step will be to complete the application materials for your chosen program.
    • During this phase it is vital that students pay attention to their email and respond promptly to requests.

Phase 4

  • Participate in all pre-departure activities.
    • These activities will be both asynchronous and synchronous.
  • Submit all paperwork for program placement by the deadline.
  • Determine visa requirements in your host country, gather documents, and apply for a visa.
    • If you have questions about the visa process, please make an appointment with the Director of Global Engagement using her online appointment scheduler.
  • Research your host country.
    • Learn more about the customs, culture, history, politics and more
  • Create a budget
    • Figure out the cost of your extra expenses such as airfare, in-country travel, etc.
    • Determine how much you already have saved, need to save, etc.
    • Consider how you will budget your money during the length of your study abroad program.