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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 Announces Study Abroad Program

We are pleased to announce that for the first time in the history of West Valley College, and building on the many efforts of individual faculty members, as well as on the persistent work of the Global Citizenship Committee, the Office of the WVC President and the WVM Community College District Land Corporation have dedicated funds to create a comprehensive, cohesive, and multi-facetted Study Abroad Program that will enrich our students, faculty, and entire college community.

During this spring semester 2017, the Study Abroad Program will work to establish an infrastructure, criteria and procedures for awarding scholarships to students and faculty members, to send students and faculty members to seminars abroad, and to create a short-term trip abroad, a service-learning trip, and an opportunity for students who cannot travel outside the United States. For example, by this coming Monday, scholarship applications will be available to students to attend the Global Citizenship Alliance seminar this June. Scholarships will also be available for students to travel to France (and to complete up to two WVC courses) in January. There will be a scholarship for a WVC student transferring to the Anglo American University in Prague. Going forward, the Study Abroad Program will also include opportunities for faculty development in leading trips.

For more information, please contact Dr. Dulce María GrayDr. Gray.

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

Following are confirmed study tours, a service learning trip, and a concert tour that will take place in 2018. Multiple full and partial scholarships for WVC students will be available and are announced in both the WVC SAP and Scholarship websites. 

  • Students enrolling in study tours to England, Japan, and Dominican Republic may enroll by visiting the EF College Study Tours website and using the number assigned to each tour. 
      • Following enrollment with EF, students must contact the faculty leader.
  • There are $2,500 scholarships available to students interested in study tours to Dominican Republic, England, Finland, and Japan. 
  • WVC offers full scholarships to students interested in attending the Global Citizenship Seminar in Salzburg, Austria.
  • EF College Study Tours offers generous scholarships. To apply, click on Beyond the Classroom Scholarship. The deadline is January 31, 2018.

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January 10 to 18 – France: Paris, Loire Valley, St. Malo, Normandy

This study tour is now closed. There are 31 students, three faculty leaders and two staff members traveling. A limited number of full scholarships were awarded to WVC students. 

Students will earn up to 6 units from among the following three courses:

The classes meet at WVC on January 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 25 and then in France. Departure from San Francisco to Paris is on January 10, and the return is on January 18.

June 3 to 12 – Japan: Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka

Business and Culture with faculty leader Karina Dundurs, 

Use number 2023137AC to enroll in the EF College Study Tours website, and then contact the faculty leader.

This 10-day study tour takes students to Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka. Students will ride the bullet train and visit major sites, temples, the Stock Exchange, the Sony building, a brewery, the Toyota Motor plant, and will immerse in Japanese culture and business practices.

Tentatively, departure is on Sunday 3 June; return is on Thursday 12 June.

Cost with airfare is $4,440. Land-only cost is $2,675 (student rooming) or $2,955 (twin rooming).

WVC offers a $2,500 scholarship for this study tour. Click on the WVC Scholarships webpage for instructions and the application form.

Students may earn 3 units by completing BUSN 61 Business Government and Society which will be offered online. (Cost of registration for this class is additional. Students may apply their financial aid.)

June 6 to 17 – Finland, Estonia: The Baltics

Students will study and perform American, Latvian, Finnish, and Estonian choral music under the direction of Lou De La Rosa of WVC, rehearse and perform Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of Dr. Jeffrey Benson of SJSU, with the Estonian Chamber Orchestra in the Estonian State Concert in Tallinn, Estonia.

Faculty Leader: Lou De La Rosa, 

Students may earn up to 2 units by completing MUSC 040ABCD Chamber Singers or MUSC 042ABCD Concert Choir. In order to participate in the concert tour, students must be registered in either course during Spring 2018. Auditions for these choirs will be held in January 2018. Go to to sign up for an audition appointment. 

For more details and to enroll in this performance tour, click on the Perform International website and then contact Lou De La Rosa. 

WVC offers a $2,500 scholarship for this study tour. Click on the WVC Scholarships webpage for instructions and the application form.

June 11 to 20 – Dominican Republic: Monte Cristi, Dajabón, Santo Domingo

Literature, Language, Gender: Service Learning with Children
Faculty Leaders:

Use number 2058961RD to enroll in the EF College Study Tours website, and then contact any of the faculty leaders.

This 10-day study tour is a Learning Community comprised of three courses and a Service Learning component. We will travel across the Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata, to Dajabón, and then to Santo Domingo. We will spend about 20 hours doing service learning with children, and will learn about literature, language, gender, and the history of DR and Haiti. Immersion in the local heritage will allow us to gain insight into the issues impacting local children today, and to enjoy a country rich in beauty and culture.

Tentatively, departure is on Monday 11 June; return is on Wednesday 20 June.

Cost with airfare is $3,585. Land-only cost is $3,005 (student rooming) or $3,320 (twin rooming).

WVC offers a $2,500 scholarship for this study tour. Click on the WVC Scholarships webpage for instructions and the application form.

Students may earn up to 6 units by completing two of these three courses (cost of registering for each course is additional; students may apply their financial aid): 

  • English 13 Latinx Literature and Culture will be offered online.
  • WGQS 3 Introduction to Gender Studies meets on the WVC campus and in DR on these days from 1:00 PM to 4:50 PM: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, and 29 June.
  • French 50A, 50B or 51A, 51B Beginning and Intermediate Conversation meet on the WVC campus and in DR on these days from 9:00 AM to 12:50 PM: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, and 29 June.

June 13 to 20 – Austria: Salzburg

Students attend the week-long Global Citizenship Seminar convened by the Global Citizenship Alliance in Salzburg, Austria. The seminar includes a visit to Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site outside of Munich, Germany. 

Students may apply for a full scholarship. Click on the WVC Scholarships webpage for instructions and the application form.

For further information contact Dr. Tim Kelly, Professor of history and Political Science and Faculty Advisor for the GC Seminar for Students. 

June 18 to 25 – England: London

Comparative Criminal Justice with faculty leader Renée Paquier, 

Use number 2044899BE to enroll in the EF College Study Tours website, and then contact the faculty leader.

This 8-day study tour will track the evolution of the British legal system, while exploring the Royal Courts of justice, the Inns of Court, the Old Bailey, the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament, Royal Courts of Justice, and meeting with a Metropolitant police officer.  

Tentatively, departure is on Monday 18 June; return is on Monday 25 June.

Cost with airfare is $4,180. Land-only cost is $2,645 (student rooming) or $2,855 (twin rooming).

WVC offers a $2,500 scholarship for this study tour. Click on the WVC Scholarships webpage for instructions and the application form.

Students may earn up to 3 units by completing Administration of Justice 21 Community Relations. Class meetings are on the WVC campus and in London from 1:00 to 4:50 PM on the following dates: 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 29 June. (Cost of registering for this class is additional. Students may apply their financial aid.)

June 24 to 30 – England: London

English Literature and City Culture with faculty leader Nils Michals 

Use number 1986433NY to enroll in the EF College Study Tours website, and then contact the faculty leader. 

This 7-day study tour will focus on British writers and writing, both modern and contemporary (1914-present), influenced and inspired by the cultural heritage, diversity, and urbanization of London. 

Tentatively, departure is on Sunday 24 June; return is on Saturday 30 June.

Cost with airfare is $4,350. Land-only cost is $2,815 (student rooming) or $2,990 (twin rooming).

WVC offers a $2,500 scholarship for this study tour. Click on the WVC Scholarships webpage for instructions and the application form.

Students may earn 3 units by completing English 1B Critical Thinking through Literature. Class meetings are on the WVC campus and in London from 1:00 to 4:50 PM on the following dates: 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 June and 12 July. Cost of registering for this class is additional. Students may apply their financial aid.


Students: Application requirements for each study tour are detailed in the descriptions of each study tour.

Faculty Members: Proposal forms for faculty members who want to lead study tours are filed under Faculty/Staff (found in the left navigation).


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.  

  • Students interested in study tours to Dominican Republic, England, Finland, Japan, may apply for a $2,500 scholarship.
  • Students interested in attending the Global Citizenship Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, may apply for a full scholarship.

Suggestions for students looking for additional financial support to participate in a study tour:

  • Review the external scholarhips 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. The deadline is February 5, 2018.
    • 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 February 5, 2018.
  • 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. 


For Faculty

CIEE International Faculty Development Seminars take place around the world and include training in how to lead effective study abroad student trips.

Cross-Cultural Solutions offers organized volunteer trips around the world.

The East-West Center at the University of Hawai'i offers a variety of content-focused faculty and institutional development programs and activities centered around summer residential institutes, field seminars, workshops, and conferences.

Education First College Study Tours works with faculty members to organize and lead study abroad programs.

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad provide faculty development institutes and short term seminars in the fields of social sciences, arts, and humanities.

Global Citizenship Alliance offers intensive week-long seminars on global citizenship for faculty members, administrators, and students.

Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) works with faculty members to design and organize study trips to various places in the world. 

NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities for School and College Educators offers opportunities for faculty members to participate in institutes and short term seminars.

Stanford University Global Studies's Education for Internationalizing Curriculum (EPIC) strengthens the internationalization of curricula and the professionalization of language instruction at community colleges and K-12 institutions. EPIC offers various workshops, courses, a fellowship program, and other programs including the Integrating Global Issues in to Commiunity College Curricula Symposium.

Salzburg Global Seminar/ International Study Program

Yale University's MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies offers film series, seminars, conferences, and symposia to help support faculty members' teaching and research on all aspects of international affairs, societies, and cultures around the world. 

For Students

BUNAC Work, Intern, Volunteer Abroad 

CCIE Californai Colleges for International Education

CIA: The World Factbook

Fodor's Language for Travelers

Lonely Planet

Rick Steves' Europe

STA Travel volunteering Projects

STA's Tips for First Time Travelers

Staying Connected while Abroad: International Cell Phones

STE Smart Traveler Enrollment Program: A Service of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, US Department of State

Students Abroad: United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs

Time Zone Converter

World Time Zone Map

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Q: 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 trip that lasts from one to two or more weeks. WVC offers short-term study abroad trips mostly during summer and winter semesters, when it is easier for students to participate. Students may register for classes that include a study abroad trip, or they may join the trip without completing for credit courses. WVC's Study Abroad Program also offers trips within the United States and service learning opportunities locally and abroad.

Can I earn credit for studying abroad? And, will the courses fulfill my graduation requirements?

A: Yes, at WVC most study abroad trips are linked to specific for-credit transferable courses. You may register for those coures, and the credits go directly to your transcript. Or you may participate in the trip without registering for a class. Check the description of the specific trip that interests you. Yes, most trips are linked to general education courses that fulfill graduation requirements, but check the specific trips for details.

Why should I participate in study abroad?

A: The top ten 21st century skills are adaptability, analysis/having a solution mindsent, 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 trip.

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

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 being offered as Study Abroad, 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 minimun 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?

In most cases, either all or part of the scholarship is paid directly to the specific study abroad program. In some cases (for example, if you have to buy airfare), you will be reimbursed once you provide all required invoices and receipts.

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

Each trip is different. The logistics of some trips are organized by companies, and in such cases the companies include medical and travel insurance. If the logistics of a trip are not organized by a company, you will be asked to buy travel/medical insurance. Check the specifics of the trip that interests you.

How do I apply for study abroad?

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

I am a student with DACA status, can I study abroad?

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 knowledgable 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: 1/30/18