Although the number of students from the U.S. studying abroad grows each year, still about only 1% of college students spend a semester or year studying in another country. At Willamette, studying abroad is more common than the national trend, for the last five years around 50% of each graduating class has earned credit abroad. At WU, studying abroad is an earned privilege, and only qualified students are selected for programs. Read the selection criteria and find out how to apply.
There are multiple reasons why so many Willamette students study abroad; a few are outlined below.
Many say the purpose of a liberal arts education is to teach students how to think and how to learn. Studying abroad allows you access to the next level of critical thinking as you take yourself outside of your comfort zone and expand beyond what you know.
In the classrooms abroad you will most likely encounter new or different styles of teaching and different expectations for your learning process. In adapting to these new styles you will not only learn the content of the course, but new ways of grasping knowledge and understanding.
While living abroad you will find yourself in situations that challenge the way you act and think. If you carefully navigate these intercultural interactions you will learn skills which will be applicable to your academic, professional and social life.
To immerse yourself in a language is one of the best and quickest way to learn. Whether you go abroad to start learning a language or to master one - daily speaking, writing, and reading is guaranteed to improve your skills.
Many companies now rank international experience as something they desire in a great employee. There are many desirable qualities that studying abroad can help foster including problem solving skills, critical thinking, adaptability, intercultural communication skills, perseverance, foreign language fluency and many more.
Thinking about a short term study abroad program?
Summer Study Abroad Programs during the summer will be found on the OIE website: willamette.edu/dept/oie/postsessions. The application process is fully online and the deadline is the same as semester programs.