Willamette Sponsored Programs Study Abroad Application - Office of International Education (OIE) - Jump to the topic by clicking:

About Recommendations

About Writing a Statement

Meeting the Deadline

Technical Issues - For Applicants

Technical Issues - For Recommenders


About Recommendations...

  • Read and re-read your application Learning Content about Recommendations.
  • How To Ask For and Get The Best Letters of Recommendation    (PDF)
    • How to approach potential recommenders.
    • How to help make it easy for them to do this for you.
    • How to determine who is a good (or not so good) recommender for you.
  • Recommenders complete online forms. Give them plenty of time- AT LEAST 3 weeks. Remember that professors are asked to do many recommendations.

Writing Your Statement

Statement question: Why do I want to study abroad?

1.Discuss your overall goals for a study abroad experience.
2. Identify how the program(s) you've applied for help you reach those goals.

Stay within a few sentences of the 500 word limit. FINISH and SUBMIT the day before to avoid problems.

1. Generate content ideas and organize your Statement.
2. Off Campus Studies Committee (OCSC) Selection Criteria - Your audience: The OCSC is composed of faculty and past study abroad students. Show characteristics listed on the Selection Criteria. Talk about your goals in your own words. Let your transcript show your academic fitness.
3. Academic Plan- How does studying abroad fit into your academic plans? What about with your future plans? How do your specific programs ideals fit with your education?4. Other motivations?  Intercultural communication skills? Language acquisition? Service work?
5.  Ask yourself, "Why?" and ask yourself, "Why?" again...  Articulate your desire to study abroad. Why do you want to improve your language ability? Why does seeing art work in person important to you? Why is immersing yourself in a culture important? So what if you take classes in another academic style? Why have you always wanted to study abroad? Why this program?
Finally- Proofread! Have someone else - Writing Center, a trusted friend, a professor- proofread your statement. This makes a difference!

Meeting the Deadline!

  • SET A GOAL: Complete by 6:00 pm on deadline day. This gives you access to OIE staff if you need help.
  • Help available 8:00 am  - 6:00 pm on deadline day. Use Zoom Drop-in to  get immediate assistance. Do not email. Questions by email may not have a resolution in time for the deadline due to response delays (yours and ours). The deadline can't be extended if what is needed is more involved than you can resolve in the time remaining.
  • TIME deadline: 11:59 pm. Applications lock after that time or when you have completed everything.
  • Plan for computer or network failure/loss:
    • Store Statement drafts in a "cloud"-based document.
    • Email drafts to yourself frequently.
    • Know where 24-hour on-campus computer labs are or what alternate device you would use if your primary laptop/computer/phone experiences failure.

Plan ahead. You are solely responsible for ensuring the elements of your application are complete by the deadline.

  • Don't try to complete your application quickly. Mistakes and misunderstandings cause delays. Invest: Read everything, talk to recommenders, pick the correct program, compose your Statement, and collect your passport information.
  • Re-read Learning Content A. What is a Complete Application? (in application).
  • Waiting for recommendations? Applications are considered "complete" for the deadline when all your items have checkmarks AND your recommendations have specific people designated to complete them. Recommenders have the ability to submit late without hurting your application.

If you have ANY problems or questions for OIE, address them well BEFORE the deadline, and well before 6 pm on deadline day. Not all problems have an easy resolution.

Late and incomplete applications are not considered.

Technical Issues

As with many online systems, connectivity issues arise from time to time.

  • Portal home page for applicants. Use the LOGIN/REGISTER link to sign-in.
  • Device: Use a laptop/desktop for a smoother experience. Bigger screen = better visual
  • Browsers: Inability to sign-in, loss of work, unexpected sign-offs. Try a different browser and check for other issues (see Sign-In Difficulty).
    • clear your browser cache
    • close the tab and open a new one
    • "refresh" your browser
  • Automatic timeout- at 59 minutes: This is an automatic sign out after 59 minutes on the same page, even if you are working on it. If you are doing nothing, a pop-up screen counts down to a signoff. If you are actively typing, there is no popup to warn you of the impending sign-off. If you get signed off, your work is lost (leave and return to see if you've lost anything).
  • Save Frequently: Applicants- Do this every 15 minutes. Questionnaires have a "save" option for work-in-progress. You will not know there is a problem until you try to move to a different page. NOTE: Recommenders do not have a "save" option.
  • Long Format answers: Statements especially, compose in Word (or other cloud-based document) then copy and paste it in. Formatting in MS Word copies in well. Google docs do not carry formatting with them.
  • "Submit" each item, individually, as you complete it. A checkmark with appear next to that specific item if you have successfully submitted/completed it. ALWAYS refresh and confirm that a checkmark appears. Unsubmitted items at the deadline render your entire application incomplete/late.
  • Computer/device failure, identify an alternate computer/device before this happens! Saving copies to the cloud will help you recover your work. Your own computer failure is not considered a reason to miss the deadline.
  • Sign-In difficulty: Most often this is a temporary situation. Try again. Then try after 15-30 minutes. Try a different browser. Clear your cache/cookies. The Request Log-in Assistance option or email oieadvising@willamette.edu to document and tell us there is a problem. Tell us what screen you were on before you had a problem, what the text of the error was, and when/how often it happened. If the WU login page gives you an error, also report it to the WITS HelpDesk. Even if it is after hours, that creates a time marker for the problem and demonstrates your effort to solve it. We can't respond after 6 pm on deadline day but notating the problem could help you.

Technical help on DEADLINE DAY APRIL 1, 2021

8:00 am - 6:00pm:  ALL SCENARIOS:  If it is deadline day, use Zoom Drop-In  or call 503-375-5493.

On deadline day, email assistance is not guaranteed. By zoom or call, we can address your questions without delay or misinterpretation.

RECOMMENDERS only can continue to use email to contact us, even on deadline day.

6:00 pm - 11:59pm  Technical issues:

  • Use the tips above for initial troubleshooting. (Recommenders, see below and please email us.)
  • ALSO, record your troubles, keep copies of items you are completing, take screenshots that show time/date, etc.

Unresolved technical issues after 6:00 pm:

For technical issues that do not resolve by using the tips above AND an error indicates a universal system access issue or failure of a portal function to work:

  1. Send an email to <oieadvising@willamette.edu> through your WU email address with specific details about what happened. [Do this before the deadline if at all possible.] This will time-stamp your request and inform us of who and how many people are involved.
  2. Send a screen shot of any errors and a description of what you were doing, things you tried, and what you were trying to do. If possible, make sure there is a date/time stamp on the screenshot.
  3. Keep a log of the time the problem started.
  4. If your computer fails, use an alternate computer/device to meet the deadline. Don't stop trying!

Confirmed issues that are determined by OIE to be system-wide (experienced by many people and with details describing the same problems) will be addressed on the day after the deadline. Depending on the situation, OIE will inform all applicants of resolutions and options available to correct things (if needed) as soon as possible.

Recommenders: The automatic email you get is triggered by the applicant when they put you in their application. You can use the link in the email or use your WU login credentials to SEE ALL YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS!

Contact OIE directly for help oieadvising@willamette.edu. Students can't access the Recommendations or the email links. Also try, Faculty help page.

  • The email contains a link and a unique-to-you access code to retrieve the specific recommendation form.
  • Find the recommender email:
    • SENDER is <oieadvising@willamette.edu>
    • Student may remember the time/date the email date based on when they put your name in.
    • SUBJECT: Look for, "Recommendation Request..." with the student's name.
    • Check your spam/junk folder for the email.
  • Please don't share that email with the student.

Security time-out feature- time limit 59 minutes: You can only be IN the recommendation form for 59 minutes at a time.

  • NO SAVE option: You cannot "save" work-in-progress on this form. (Hoping this changes in the future....)
  • To manage this:
    1. Access the form and review the questions to see what the questions are that are free-form.
    2. NEXT: Leave the form / logoff the site.
    3. Compose your answers in a separate document - cloud based is best.
    4. When you are ready to complete the form, log in/access again, answer the questions and copy/paste your longer answers in as appropriate.
    5. Click "Send". Then you are done.
    6. You will receive an immediate pop-up box acknowledgement of your submission.

Error or any other problems while completing a recommendation - (Another reason to compose answers off the site, to copy in.)

  • Reuse the link process to again enter the recommendation.
  • Green box appears that says, "The recommendation you entered has already been signed," you know that the recommendation is completed.
  • Opens again but is empty (none of your previous responses), you know the information you entered did not record. **There is no way for us to get that information back. In this circumstance, the recommendation must be redone. 
  • Browsers can cause connectivity issues. Try another browser, clear your cache,etc.
  • You can view the responses that recorded by using the sign-in option (see above).
  • Occasionally, you get an error. Wait a bit and try later.
  • Recommenders only: It is ok if you don't meet the deadline. Email oieadvising@willamette.edu if you need help. We'll get to you as soon as we can.

Non-WU Student:

* Apply: Use the temporary password to enter the portal and set your permanent password.

* Use the Forgot Password tool if you need help with your password.

Willamette University

Office of International Education

Global Learning Center
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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