How International Exchange & Study Abroad Can Benefit You

By | December 25, 2022

Many students choose to study abroad in order to get a better education. There are, however, additional advantages to international exchange and study abroad programs.

Looking to add international experience to your resume? Considering studying abroad to learn more about another culture? There are many benefits to international exchange and study abroad programs—find out how they can benefit you!

The benefits of international exchange and study abroad: educational, cultural, and personal

1. Brings Unity

International education creates a melting pot. Participants come to discover that a multitude of similarities exist between us all. Along with cultural exchange, it also allows us to understand that no matter one’s background, we’re all merely trying to figure out life. This realization is extremely important; it means seeing everyone simply as human beings and helps us take the first step towards unity.

2. Gaining a Worldlier View

Sharing cultures allows us to become open and tolerant to new things. So, we see the benefits of international education when it opens our eyes to different viewpoints and makes us empathetic toward people from other cultures and traditions. It also opens our eyes to our own culture.

3. Flexibility, Adaptability, and Confidence

Studying and living in a new country requires many changes in lifestyle. When you study abroad, there are typically only a few months to get used to the system and stay on track. The most important trait that can be developed from studying abroad is self-confidence.

Now I know that I can move to a country all by myself and have a great time. You begin to have the confidence that you will be able to mold yourself into who you are meant to be and can make great friends along the way. International education is the first step towards appreciating the beauty of cultural diversity and in turn making us global citizens.

The different types of international exchange and study abroad programs available

1. Exchange programs

These programs are based on agreements between WSU and institutions abroad. They are immersive experiences in which WSU students take courses directly from the partner institution, get acquainted with the local culture, and typically have weekends and holidays free to explore. Exchanges are typically a semester or a year in duration. Summer exchanges may be available, as well.

As with most study abroad programs, educational systems and levels of student services can vary and may be different from what you are used to at WSU. Students are encouraged to be independent and willing to seek out assistance at their host institution. While a knowledge of the host language is useful, it is usually not required because many exchange courses are taught in English.

Exchanges programs fall into two categories, WSU Bilateral Exchange Programs and ISEP (International Student Exchange Programs). Bilateral exchanges are 1-to-1 student exchanges with a partner institution and ISEP functions as a consortium of exchange partners.

Due to the nature of exchanges, applications may be competitive, as there are a limited number of spaces available each year. All exchange programs require two applications, the WSU Global Learning application and the host university or ISEP application.

2. Faculty-Led Programs

These programs are designed specifically for WSU students by WSU faculty and take place all over the world. These programs are offered throughout the year and range from 10 days to a semester in length.

In a faculty-led program, you will study, live, and travel with other WSU students – and you have the advantage of learning from a WSU faculty member who specializes in the program subject’s field of study.

Faculty-led programs generally include upper-division (300-400 level), major-specific coursework, and are usually taught in English. While some programs are sustained year to year, others may be offered periodically or be one-time opportunities.

3. Provider Programs

These programs are provided by third party organizations that work closely with WSU and with universities abroad. Programs vary in duration; most often they are a summer, a semester, or a year in length.

Most provider programs have a predetermined number of openings and offer admission on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applying early may increase the likelihood that you can get your preferred housing and course options. All provider programs require two applications, the WSU Global Learning application and the provider’s application.

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