Why study abroad?

More and more U.S. students study abroad each year but only 1% of college students spend a semester or year doing so. At Willamette studying abroad is more common than the national trend. Around 40% of each graduating class has earned credit abroad, mainly on semester programs. At WU, studying abroad is an earned privilege and only qualified students are selected for programs.  Selection criteria and How to Apply.

Why do so many Willamette students study abroad?

The Ultimate Liberal Arts Experience

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 beyond what you know.

You will encounter new or different styles of teaching and different expectations for your learning process. Adapting to these mean learning new ways of grasping knowledge and understanding while learning the course content.

Get a new perspective on world affairs that will inform your academic and personal life when you return. People you meet will ask you questions about the U.S. political and economic culture you live in and will share their own ideas about their own experience and knowledge on these topics. You'll find out how others view the U.S. in all kinds of ways you may not have thought about!

Living abroad challenges the way you act and think. Careful navigation of intercultural interactions teaches you skills that are applicable to academic, professional, and social life.

Language Acquisition

Immersion in a language is one of the best and quickest way to learn. Whether starting a language or mastering one - daily speaking, writing, and reading is guaranteed to improve your skills.

Résumé Building

Many companies rank international experience as something they desire in a great employee. Other desirable qualities that studying abroad fosters:

  • problem solving skills
  • critical thinking
  • adaptability
  • resiliency
  • intercultural communication skills
  • perseverance
  • foreign language fluency
  • many more!

Short term study abroad

Find Summer Study Abroad Programs on the OIE website: willamette.edu/offices/oie/postsessions/ The application process is the same as for semester programs.


Back to Top