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Study Abroad Program

General Information

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends." Maya Angelou, American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist

For details about Global Citizenship and the Study Abroad Program, see the WVC Global Citizenship blog.

The Study Abroad Program is a key part of teaching students to be engaged global citizens, to be adept at cultural competency, and to be better prepared for the professional and personal challenges of the 21st century. These aims are consistent with West Valley College’s mission statement: “WVC supports students along their pathways to reach transfer and career goals in an environment of academic excellence.” These aims also help to achieve at least three of the college’s 2020 Educational Master Plan Goals: to “create a vibrant and engaging campus community,” to “commit to developing and supporting values, practices and a campus community environment that supports equity and diversity,” and to brand the college as “a distinctive institution.”

The WVC SAP focuses efforts in four areas:

  • Creating short-term faculty-led study tours with a variety of embedded courses and Service Learning opportunities,
  • Providing scholarships to students who want to participate in short-term faculty-led study tours, 
  • Providing scholarships to students who want to attend the Global Citizenship Seminar in Salzburg, Austria,
  • Providing funds to WVC faculty members who want to participate in professional development seminars.
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West Valley College’s Study Abroad Program

West Valley College, building on the combined efforts of the Office of the President, individual faculty members, the Global Citizenship Committee, and the WVM Community College District Land Corporation, has created a comprehensive, cohesive, and multi-faceted Study Abroad Program that will enrich our students, faculty, and entire college community.

The Study Abroad Program offers short-term trips or service-learning trips and sends students and faculty members to seminars abroad. This is an excellent opportunity for students who have not traveled outside the United States.

A limited number of scholarships are also available. Click on the WVC Scholarships webpage for instructions and the application form.

Study Tours

"We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey." John Hope Franklin, American historian

Summer 2019 trips are being finalized. Please check back shortly.

Multiple full and partial scholarships for WVC students will be available and are announced in both the WVC SAP and Scholarship websites.


WVC's Study Abroad Program offers various full and partial scholarships to students who wish to participate in scheduled short-term study tours abroad and in the United States.

  • Interested students may apply for scholarships.
  • Students interested in attending the Global Citizenship Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, may apply for a full scholarship.

Suggestions Additional Financial Support to Participate in a Study Tour

  • Review the external scholarships list in the WVC Financial Aid webpage.
  • Apply for an external scholarship.
  • Create a TripFunder webpage and request of family and friends that all holiday and birthday gifts be made to you in the form of payments toward your study tour.
  • Share your TripFunder webpage in whatever social medium you use.
  • Share your TripFunder webpage with anyone in your life who uses Facebook.
  • Use the payment plans offered by EF.

EF College Study Tours supports students in the following ways:

  • EF offers a discount to students who have participated in previous study tours with EF.
  • EF offers a discount to students who refer a friend to enroll in a study tour as well.
  • EF offers generous scholarships. To apply, click on Beyond the Classroom Scholarship.
    • This year EF is offering up to $20,000 in scholarships.
    • To Apply:
      1. Write a brief essay (no more than 250 words) answering the questions, "What perspectives do you think will be challenged by traveling? What new perspectives do you expect to bring home with you?"
      2. Complete the Beyond the Classroom Scholarship application.
      3. Submit the application by the deadline.
  • EF allows students to arrange payment in an installment plan.
  • EF provides a TripFunder site, an online donation page that is secure, easy to share, and applies 100% of contributions to the student traveler. This approach is excellent for students who wish to request that birthday and holiday gifts be made to them as a donation. 




Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions that are not included in the list below, please email the Director of Study Abroad Program:

What is study abroad?

Study abroad can mean several things: long-term study abroad entails spending the entire semester, or a year, taking classes at a university outside of the United States. Short-term study abroad entails going on a study tour that lasts from one to two or more weeks. WVC offers short-term study abroad study tours mostly during summer and winter semesters, when it is easier for students to participate. Students may register for classes that include a study abroad study tour, or they may join the study tour without completing for-credit courses. From time to time, WVC's Study Abroad Program also offers study tours within the United States and service learning opportunities locally and abroad.

Why should I participate in study abroad?

The top ten 21st century skills are adaptability, analysis/having a solution mindset, collaboration, communication, digital fluency, having an entrepreneurial mindset, empathy, resilience, self-awareness, social and diversity awareness. Exploring other cultures and languages helps you to hone all of those skills. Studying outside of your familiar environment helps you to mature, to expand cognitively, to broaden your intellectual curiosity, and to understand the significance of being a global citizen. Studying abroad helps you to gain cultural competency, international experience, language capabilities, and other skills needed in our increasingly globalized societies.

Are there language requirements?

No, at this time there are no language requirements for participating in any of WVC's study abroad programs.

Can I use my financial aid to pay for study abroad fees?

If you have financial aid you may use it, as you usually do, to pay for registration in the classes linked to the study abroad study tour.

Does WVC offer scholarships to students who want to participate in WVC's Study Abroad Program study tours?

Yes, for details about available scholarships, click on Scholarships in the SAP webpage and on the WVC Scholarships webpage.

Do I have to qualify for financial aid to be eligible for a scholarship to study abroad?

No, not necessarily. Some scholarships are need-based and some are merit-based. Check the details of each listed scholarship. Note that if you register for a class that is embedded in a Study Abroad Program study tour, you may use your financial aid to pay for the class registration and fees.

What are the qualifications required to be eligible for a scholarship to study abroad?

Qualifications vary depending on the scholarship, but generally, these are the requirements: be a student in good standing at WVC, have the required GPA, have clearly articulated goals for wanting to study abroad, have completed a certain minimum and maximum number of credits, have a letter of recommendation from your professor at WVC, complete the specific requirements of the particular trip, have all documents necessary to travel to the particular country.

How much money is available?

The amounts vary. Check the particular scholarship for the particular trip. Most are full scholarships, but some are partial scholarships.

What are my chances of receiving a scholarship?

That depends on the number of applications received and the number of scholarships available.

How will I receive the scholarship monies/award?

WVC Study Abroad Program arranges for all scholarship monies to be paid directly to the specific and pertinent program provider for the study tour. 

Do I have to buy additional medical or travel insurance to study abroad?

Each study tour is different. The logistics of some study tours are organized by program providers, and in such cases the program providers may include international emergency medical and travel insurance. If the logistics of a study tour do not include international emergency medical and travel insurance, you will be required to buy that insurance. Check the specifics of the study tour that interests you.

How do I apply for study abroad?

Each study tour has a specific application. Therefore, check the details of each study tour.

Can I study abroad if I am a student with DACA status?

WVC strongly supports students who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and their access to higher education, including the experience of studying abroad. But, since the January 20, 2017 start of the new presidency and administration, there have been changes to US governmental policy that are likely to impact DACA students. DACA students traveling outside the US may not be allowed to re-enter the US. Therefore, we advice  that DACA students discuss the risks associated with re-entry with their legal counsel.

Should I be concerned about my identity while studying abroad?

WVC is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion. Race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, and ability are some of the different aspects of identity. You may feel strongly about one or more of those aspects. But while traveling abroad, depending on the location and situation, there may be different cultural norms and standards. Consequently, it may happen that you feel that an aspect of your identity is not perceived the way that you expect. The key to succeeding in a travel abroad program is to be fully knowledgeable about yourself and the country where you will study. That way, you can anticipate how your identity may be perceived and how, therefore, you will want to best represent yourself.

last published: 9/4/18