IEW logo: Engaged, Resilient, Global. Person with backpack viewing landscape

International Education Week

Western Celebrates International Education Week 2021

IEW is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.

November 15 - 19, 2021

Welcome from Provost Brent Carbajal

Ongoing Events

Education Abroad Photos

All EdAbroad photos are featured in MABEL: Multimedia Archives Based Electronic Library. Check out all the amazing places our students have studied!

"Perspective" Photo by Rita Ruiz. Student profile looking at Eiffel Tower

Western Abroad Information Sessions

Learn everything you need to know about study abroad through WWU through an in-person or virtual Western Abroad 101 Information Session!

What is International Education and Study Abroad?

International Education: How can study abroad set you apart?

Students who have studied abroad talk about how their experience in international education sets them apart in this video from USAC alumni. They discuss what international education means to them, why it's important and the opportunities in academics, your career, and in life that study abroad can provide.

Amanda Gorman Shares Her Study Abroad Story

"It was so life-changing and phenomenal; I don’t think that I would be who I am today without that experience.”

- Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman

Artist, activist, study abroad alum, and more. These are just a few of the many descriptors for the first-ever U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, who spoke at the inauguration of President Joe Biden. In this video Amanda shines light on her study abroad experience.

Fellowships Abroad

Review the Fellowships presentation and if you are interested in more information, complete this interest form.

Eight photos of annual photo contest winners

Vote in the Study Abroad Photo Contest

Students submit photos Nov. 2-12 for the Education Abroad Annual Photo Contest

Voting is open to the WWU community Nov. 15-22. Check out all the photos on the EdAbroad Facebook page and submit your votes by liking your favorite photos!

International Buddies Program

The International Buddies Program at WWU matches international and domestic students to share culture and activities.

Find out how to join the fun with this short video!

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Study Abroad

View this recording to learn about Scholarships & Financial Aid for Study Abroad at WWU! 

Presenters: Hannah Nevitt, Education Abroad and Molly Paterson, Financial Aid

Hosting Scholars at WWU

Visiting scholar Dohun Kwon from South Korea discusses his family's experience in Bellingham.

International Career Spotlight: Peace Corps & Beyond

International Careers Spotlight

International Careers Spotlight focuses on how Peace Corps service can fit into an internationally-focused career. There are three panelists, who have worked internationally in fields ranging from nursing to education.

International Education Week logo

Live Events

Monday, 11/15

Open Doors 2021 Annual Data Release

6:30 am | Register for Open Doors Release

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and IIE will release new findings from the Open Doors® Report on International Educational Exchange. 

Industry experts will present data on international students studying at U.S. universities during the 2020/21 academic year and U.S. students studying abroad during the 2019/20 academic year. This presentation will highlight the key insights from the Open Doors® surveys and provide a glimpse into the Fall 2021 International Student Enrollment Snapshot.

To learn more about the latest trends in international student enrollments, and the numbers of U.S. students going abroad, visit the Open Doors website. 

Utu: A Critical Tool in Gender and Queer Studies

9 - 10:30 am | Register for Utu

SIT Study Abroad Critical Conversation Webinar Series presents Besi Muhonja and Kwame Otu, two leading voices in Africana studies, rethink concepts of gender, sexuality, and queerness from the perspective of Utu, an Africa-centered understanding of ontology. Besi Muhonja is associate vice provost of scholarship, diversity, equity, and inclusion and associate professor of African-American and diaspora studies and women's, gender, and sexuality studies at James Madison University. Kwame Otu is assistant director of The Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies and assistant professor of African-American and African studies at the University of Virginia.

SIT Critical Conversation Speaker photos, names, and titles
Apply now for CLS 2022!
World Map by Andrew Stutesman

International Games Night

Due to weather, this event moved to Tuesday, 11/16.

Tuesday, 11/16

Advocating For Our New Reality: Strategies For Successful Internationalization

9 am | Register for Successful Internationalization Strategies 

How do you rally support on campus for new modalities of global learning? The future of international education depends on successful conversations with decision makers about the continuing importance of global learning and collaborations with colleagues to translate decisions into actions. Join this panel discussion to learn more.

Western Abroad 101 Info Session

12 pm | Miller Hall 112 Register in advance for WA 101

Western Abroad 101 How to Study Abroad


Health & Safety in Education Abroad (Beyond COVID-19)

12 pm | Register for Health & Safety

This session focuses on what professionals in the field of education abroad need to know about health and safety. Presenters will cover how to vet providers and study abroad programs, which organizations to follow for up-to-date global security information, and how study abroad offices and providers’ practices have adapted and evolved with COVID. Sponsored by CEA Study Abroad.

Getting Started: Studying Abroad with USAC

2 pm | Register for Getting Started with USAC

Learn more about USAC study and intern abroad program options. We'll discuss program options, finances, how to find the best fit for you, and much more! This brief presentation will also include Q&A at the end.

Apply to the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

Application Deadline: Nov. 16 for Summer 2022 

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 15 critical languages essential to America’s engagement with the world. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains and cultural fluency.

CLS students jumping in the air

Global Spotlight - Spain

1 - 2 pm | College Hall 09

Global Spotlight

Are you interested in traveling or studying abroad in Spain? Come learn things you wouldn't find on wikipedia from students who studied abroad in Spain or who are from Spain and studying at WWU! Join us in College Hall 09 and come early as space may be limited.

International Games Night

4 - 5:15 pm | RSVP for Games Night

International Game Night

Join our international students for an international game night! Try out interesting games from all around the globe and have a chance to win prizes! RSVP on the WIN event for details as space is limited.

Wednesday, 11/17

CEA Study Abroad Instagram Takeover

Check out the WWU Education Abroad Instagram account (@wwuedabroad) for a CEA Study Abroad takeover today showcasing spring quarter programs for WWU students. Be sure to tune in and get your questions answered before exploring program options with CEA!

The Intersection of Campus Internationalization and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

8 am | Register for EducationUSA

EducationUSA Dialogues

EducationUSA is launching a free webinar series open to representatives of accredited U.S. higher education institutions to engage a broader array of senior administrators, campus practitioners, and faculty members who play key roles in campus internationalization - including strategies for ensuring international student success both in and outside of the classroom. Topics will vary and touch upon themes such as institutional internationalization strategies, incentivizing cross-campus collaboration, developing a global curriculum for all, enhancing international co-curricular programming, and more. These discussions will lay the groundwork for enhanced collaboration, dissemination of best practices and greater success for both U.S. higher education stakeholders and international students alike.

2021 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization Presidential Panel

10 - 11:15 am | Register by 11/16

NAFSA welcomes international education leaders for a special live-streamed event featuring leaders from Simon Award-winning institutions. This engaging dialogue highlights innovative approaches to campus internationalization and the challenges facing higher education institutions today. This panel features presidents from institutions honored with 2021 NAFSA Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalization. 

NAFSA is pleased to offer this program free of charge.

Ask Us Anything: Fulbright Scholar Program 2023-24

11 am | Register for Fulbright Ask Us Anything

Join our interactive session to learn more about things you can do now to prepare for a successful Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program application for 2023-2024. Program staff will discuss award opportunities, the application & selection process, and answer your questions.

Watch this video of five WWU faculty Fulbright alums discuss their Fulbright experience, including application process, planning to embark on a Fulbright, how to make the most of your experience, and your return to Western. Presenters: Brian Bowe, Bidisha Biswas, Sondra Cuban, Arunas Oslapas, and Mart Stewart

World Issues Forum (WIF): Confronting Immigration Law: From Racist History to Current Activism

12 - 1:20 pm | Access the WIF Zoom or Facebook

America’s immigration laws were founded on racism since the First Congress, and these foundations continue to shape federal immigration policy today. Join us to discuss the racial history of immigration law and current federal immigration policy. Take a step further to understand how these federal laws impact all of us in Washington, and what the immigrant justice movement and state and local law makers have done to fight back against the federal government’s cruel and misguided immigration policy, in order to uphold and expand the rights of immigrants. 

Enoka Herat

Presenter: Enoka Herat is the Police Practices and Immigration Counsel for the ACLU of Washington, where she leads the ACLU-WA’s work on ending local law enforcement collaboration with the deportation pipeline, and reducing police violence across our state through state legislation and local advocacy. 

Making Study Abroad Affordable with USAC

1 pm | Register for Affordable USAC

Learn more about how to make study abroad as affordable as possible with USAC. We’ll discuss program costs, scholarships, and tips for budgeting and saving money on-site.

Fully-Funded Pathways to International Experiences

3 - 4 pm

Fully-Funded Pathways to International Experiences

Attend this interactive virtual session to learn and explore the many pathways for students to go abroad during college and post-graduation! 

Global Spotlight - Germany

4 - 5 pm | College Hall 09

Germany Global Spotlight

Are you interested in traveling or studying abroad in Germany? Come learn things you wouldn't find on wikipedia from students who studied abroad in Germany or who are from Germany and studying at WWU! Join us in College Hall 09 and come early as space may be limited.

The Intern Group Virtual Flyer

Thursday, 11/18

Virtual Panel: International Study at Home and Abroad: Learning From COVID-19

11 am | Register for Study at Home and Abroad

COVID-19 has affected traditional study abroad and fellowship programs in many ways, but there are more options than ever before to gain international work, study, and research experience because of it. Join USAC's three panelists as they discuss the effects of COVID-19 on international study and their outlooks on the future of international education. 

Navigating Study Abroad as a First-Gen College Student

12 pm | Register for First Gen

Western's approved program provider International Studies Abroad (ISA) will share tips on navigating the study abroad process and making the most of scholarship applications. First-gen alumni will share their perspectives on study abroad, as well as advice for fellow first-generation students looking to go abroad. 

Global Spotlight - Japan

2 - 3 pm | College Hall 09 

Japan Spotlight

Attend our Global Spotlight on Japan in the Global Lounge (College Hall 09) where former WWU students that have traveled and studied in Japan share stories and answer questions on their experience. You will also meet current international students from Japan that are studying at WWU!

peace corps logo

Peace Corps Trivia & Info Session

5 - 6 pm | Miller Hall 139

peace corps trivia

Please join us for Peace Corps Trivia! Come learn about international opportunities while experiencing friendly competition and prizes!

Wildlands Studies Info Session

5 pm | Register for Info Session

Spaces are open for upcoming international and domestic Wildlands Studies education abroad programs. Attend this session to learn about the field programs available to you!

Wildlands Studies logo


International Education Week

Friday, 11/19

WWU Adventure Learning Grant (ALG) Information Session

9:30 am | FAIR Room 326 or Zoom (email Hilary for the link)

Adventure Learning Grant map

Learn more about the WWU Adventure Learning Grant in-person or virtually. 

There will be snacks, visits from former and current ALG recipients, ample opportunity to learn more about the ALG application process and experience, and to have all of your questions answered.

Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship Information Session

10 am | Register for Frederick Douglass Info Session

Follow in the footsteps of renowned activist Frederick Douglass across Ireland in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a fully funded four weeks abroad.

The Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship honors your embodiment of Douglass’ legacy through your academic achievement, communication skills, and commitment to social justice. Meet changemakers from around the country as you journey through the bustling streets of Dublin and the hills of the Emerald Isle at large.

Explore the world even if you are not accepted as a Frederick Douglass Global Fellow. All eligible applicants to the program receive a $1,500 grant towards any Summer 2022, Fall 2022, or Spring 2023 CIEE study abroad adventure.

Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship CIEE

Fall 2021 International Student Statistics and Support

International Students Fall 2021

159 international students are at Western from 39 countries, contributing valuable and diverse perspectives to our campus and community.

International Students Top Fields of Study

Pie chart of International Students Top Fields of Study
  • 36% Business Administration
  • 16% Computer Science
  • 12% Intensive English
  • 11% Psychology
  • 10% Accounting

Economic Contribution

The economic contributions of international students are in addition to the immeasurable academic and cultural value these students bring to our campuses and local communities.

During the 2020-21 academic year, international students in Washington state contributed $681.5 million to the economy, supporting 6,397 jobs. WWU international students contributed $5.2 million, supporting 26 jobs.

For a more detailed analysis, including nationwide statistics, access NAFSA's International Student Economic Value Tool

Support International Students

International students have faced great adversity due to finances affected by the pandemic and immigration challenges. 

To support international students with financial challenges, please consider donating to the International Student Support Fund.

Any amount helps and is greatly appreciated!

International Support Fund Impacts

Ashima Shrivastava chose to study WWU’s MS in Computer Science. “Finances was one of the biggest challenges. I didn’t want to ask my parents for money,” she explained. The currency exchange rate from Indian Rupees to US Dollars meant she had to take a very large student loan in India, and her family put their home as collateral for the loan. Since international students don’t qualify for financial aid, Ashima knew she would have to budget carefully and find a job on campus to afford her graduate degree. She had the motivation, but also the added pressure knowing her parents would lose their home if she could not pay back the loan after graduation. The International Student Support Fund provided financial assistance to help pay tuition in her final quarter.

Map with Pins showing countries of WWU International Students

International Student Origin

Pie chart of International Student Origin
  • 23% Vietnam
  • 11% Japan
  • 7% China
  • 6% Canada
  • 5% Germany
  • 48% Other Countries

International Student Type

Pie chart of International Student Type
  • 77% Undergraduate
  • 12% Exchange
  • 7% Intensive English Program
  • 3% Graduate

Ashima Shrivastava

Ashima Shrivastava

Support Study Abroad Scholarships

Photo of student Kendrick Jackson

Kendrick Jackson

Sociology and Human Services

Career Goals and Aspirations: Social or non-profit work

Study Abroad Program: CIEE London, Fall 2021

"This opportunity of studying abroad is something that I didn't see coming for me, as a student of multiple marginalized identities. While abroad, I hope to make a positive impact in the community, to continue to invest in my education through adding diverse experiences to it, and to fully experience my trip that I am incredibly grateful to be taking apart of."
Various paper currencies

Support Study Abroad Scholarships

To support WWU student study abroad scholarships, consider donating to the Education Abroad office scholarship fund.

Money, map, and a camera