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 or not appropriate) 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 students. Show characteristics listed on the Selection Criteria. Let your transcript show your academic fitness.
3. Academic Plan- How does studying abroad fit into your academic plans? Future plans? How do your program choices 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 artwork in person important to you? Why is immersing yourself in a culture important? Why does taking classes in another academic style enhance your learning? 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!

  • Invest: Read everything, talk to recommenders, pick the correct program, compose your Statement, and collect your passport information.
  • SET A GOAL: Complete by 5:00 pm on deadline day. This gives you access to OIE staff if you need help.
  • Help available 8:00 am  - 8:00 pm on deadline day.
    • SALEM: OIE will be having in person drop-in advising hours at the Global Learning Center.
      • December 4th from 10:00 am -12:00 pm and 1:00 pm -5:00 pm.
      • December 5th from 1:00 pm -5:00 pm.
      PNCA: OIE staff will have in-person drop-ins on Monday or drop in with the Zoom link on Tuesday! 
      • December 4th: OIE staff between 10:00 am -12:30 pm and 2:00-5:00pm IN PERSON 
      • December 5th: OIE staff between 1:00- 8:00pm ON ZOOM
  • TIME deadline: 11:59 pm. Applications lock at midnight 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. 
  • 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. It is rare that all applicants are given an extended deadline since system-wide problems rarely happen. In all other instances, you are responsible for meeting the deadline.

  • 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
  • Computer/device failure, identify an alternate computer/device before this happens! Saving copies to the cloud will help you recover your work. Computer/device 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 8 pm on deadline day but notating the problem could help you.

Technical help on DEADLINE DAY

8:00 am - 8:00pm:  ALL SCENARIOS: On deadline day, in Salem COME IN to the OIE office, at PNCA call the Salem office 503-375-5493 or email us at <oieadvising> with "Urgent" in the subject line.

8:00 pm - 11:59pm  Technical issues:

  • Use the tips above for 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 8:00 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. Time-stamp the technical problem. 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. Get screenshots with a date/time stamp.
  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!
These steps will give our office information in determining if there was a system failure that many users experienced.

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.

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.

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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