Application Tips

Willamette Sponsored Programs Study Abroad Application

About those Recommendations...

How To Ask For and Get The Best Letters of Recommendation    (PDF)

This help sheet (though not specifically about electronic processes) gives excellent information on how to approach potential recommenders, how to help make it easy for them to complete a recommendation for you, and how to determine who will make a good (or not so good) recommender for you.

Writing Your Statement

The facts:

Statement question: Why do I want to study abroad?

About 500 words. We don't count words but your answer should be within a few sentences of that limit. Overly long Statements reflect negatively on your application.


The rest:

Writing the Statement can be challenging because the question is wide open! It is difficult to write everything in just 500 words. Your first draft will likely be longer than the limit. Keep working to make it more concise so it meets the length parameter.

1. Statement Writing Worksheet   Use this worksheet to generate content ideas and organize your Statement.

2. Off Campus Studies Committee (OCSC) Selection Criteria

Understand your audience: know who is on the OCSC and read the Selection Criteria. The Committee is composed of faculty and past study abroad students.

Do you have the characteristics listed on the Selection Criteria? How do you show them? Past experiences? Language training? Involvement? Academic pursuits outside class?

The other parts of your application (transcript, recommendations) will speak to these criteria, but the Statement is your chance to talk about it in your own words.

3. Academic Fit

How does studying abroad fit into your academic plans? What about with your career or post graduation plans?

How do the specific programs you are considering fit with your education?

4. Other motivations?

Besides specifics related to your major field(s) of study, what other motivations drive you to study abroad? Skills in intercultural communication? Language acquisition? Service work?

5.  Ask yourself, "Why?" and ask yourself, "Why?" again...   This helps you articulate your specific desire to study abroad.

For all the points above ask yourself why? and so what? Why do you want to improve your language ability? So what if you want to see works of art in person? Why is immersing yourself in a culture important? So what if you take classes in another style academic environment and teaching? Why have you always wanted to study abroad?

Finally:

PROOFREAD! HAVE SOMEONE ELSE - Writing Center, a trusted friend, a professor- PROOFREAD YOUR STATEMENT FOR CONTENT AND GRAMMATICAL SOUNDNESS before submitting it. THIS MAKES A DIFFERENCE!


Get it done on time

This process requires you to plan ahead in order to successfully complete it on time. You are solely responsible for ensuring the elements of your application are complete by the deadline.

Stay on top of all the pieces of your application. The application deadline is found on the How to Apply page.

If you have ANY PROBLEMS or QUESTIONS for OIE, you are expected to address them well BEFORE the deadline. This is why is it important to start early.

Don't write your Statement the day before the deadline. Proofreading is essential to avoid mistakes that may affect whether your application is approved or not.

Give your references plenty of time to complete the process. Give them AT LEAST 3 weeks. Remember that professors are asked to do many recommendations, please give them ample notice.

Submitting a Complete and On Time application reflects on your level of maturity and sense of responsibility.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Late applications will not be considered. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. and the online application system will close after that time.