January 2020 will be here soon!

With upcoming Jan-term courses around the world in places like South Africa, Hawai’i, France and Spain, Global Poets are already preparing for their travel.  According to gooverseas.com, here are the top 10 things you should be thinking about:

  1. Passport and Visa (We can help with free passport photos!)
  2. Visit your doctor
  3. Get insurance (We usually take care of this for you!)
  4. Get a plane ticket (We can help)
  5. Research your destination’s local  customs and culture (Our professors are there to explore this with you–that’s what were all about–but you can’t replace doing your own legwork as well!)
  6. Work on your language skills!
  7. Money (Our GPS program makes study abroad way more accessible, but you still need to plan!)
  8. Packing
  9. Cell phones and communication (this applies mostly to long-term travel)

Whittier Office of International Programs wants to make educational travel as accessible as possible.  While we can’t solve every problem and we firmly believe that personal responsibility is central to successful travel, we will also point you to possible solutions and offer our best advice.




46 reasons study abroad is good for you

Link: http://smart.study/blog/46-study-abroad-statistics-convincing-facts-and-figures/

Besides the obvious enrichment of travel, study abroad offers opportunities for growth and enrichment beyond that: job skills, intercultural understanding, citizenship, linguistic skills…  Well, there are a lot of reasons!  Just take a look at this article and see.

[su_carousel source=”media: 384,383,382,381″ width=”420″ height=”300″ title=”no” autoplay=”5800″]

Upcoming events in International Programs

Whittier Students in Spain

OIP has a lot planned for fall 2016, so don’t miss out!  Here’s what we have coming up in september.

Information Sessions: Every Monday at 12 and Thursday at 3:30 in our space in Platner.  Come learn about our upcoming trips and how we can help you make it happen!

  • September 26th: Study Abroad Fair (Campus Center, 11am-2pm).  Come meet program representatives for semester abroad and faculty-led programs!
  • September 27th, 4:30 pm in OIP: Mandatory meeting for semester abroad applicants.
  • September 27th, 5:30 in Garret House: Welcome back for students and faculty who went abroad in 2015-16!
  • September 30th: Deadline to apply for both January term faculty-led classes and spring semester study abroad.

If you are interested in short-term study abroad with a Whittier College faculty member, or if you’re interested in spending a semester almost anywhere in the world, please feel free to drop by our office on the second floor of Platner.

[su_spoiler title=”What students have to say….” style=”fancy”]”This study abroad experience was absolutely wonderful. The various locations we visited during the trip were not only relevant to our studies but also very enjoyable as we were able to explore the country. We also had a clear and well thought out itinerary. The aspect of the trip I enjoyed the most was spending time…volunteer [ing] to help improve the community. It was a very rural and different environment that I had never previously experienced.”

“I loved working closely with my peers and my professor. There was a huge sense of community even though we were all from different walks of life.”

“I loved that we were able to really explore the country, visiting big cities, little cities and tiny villages, to really get an idea of the culture.”[/su_spoiler]

[su_spoiler title=”Apply…” style=”fancy”]Applying is easy! Just click here or on the “Apply” link at the top of the page.[/su_spoiler]


Have thought about applying for a Boren Scholarship?

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to add an important international and language component to their educations. We focus on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad.

What are Boren Scholarships?

Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad.


Where do Boren Scholars & Fellows study?

Boren Scholars and Fellows study throughout the world, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.

Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a variety of academic and professional disciplines, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili.Students in Sahara Desert.

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Applicants identify how their study abroad programs or overseas projects, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security, broadly defined. NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

To see if you are eligible and to apply, visit the Boren Awards website at https://www.borenawards.org/

The best tech for studying abroad (from Engadget)

640px-BER-DestinationsI’m for going abroad with a notebook and pen, a camera, and curiosity.  If you’re a techie or know that you’ll need to use tech abroad, here’s a post just for you from Engadget:


In our guide you’ll find top notch cameras to capture all those transformational memories, luggage that is basically impossible to lose, a backpack that hides a spare battery for charging your phone and, of course, some noise-cancelling headphones for those long flights filled with screaming children. But you’ll also need a lightweight laptop with solid battery life (like the HP Spectre 13.3) and a phone with a couple of SIM slots for doing a little border hopping. Check out the gallery below for all our recommendations for students studying abroad. And make sure to check out our full Back-to-School Guide right here.

Read the rest at Engadget >>>


You can also read a lot more about planning ahead and organizing your academic travel at: http://www.whittier.edu/academics/oip

Summer 2016: Diversity Abroad

Whittier is one of the most diverse private liberal arts in the United States and we’re proud to say that the diversity we have right here on campus is something we also take with us when we travel around the world. This summer alone, the 60 students who went on faculty-led trips to places like Greece, Denmark, Spain, Peru and Hong Kong, tell a story about Whittier’s diversity and our impact around the world.  In short, Whittier maintained our on-campus diversity while going abroad:

Whittier Faculty-Led Demographics Summer 2016

Whittier’s diversity abroad FAR outpaced the averages nationally and is in line with the the population of the overall student body at Whittier. The recent statistics from NAFSA (found below) are a good example of the limited access to study abroad at most U.S. institutions.

Data from NAFSA about national trends
Data from NAFSA about national trends


So study abroad!  At Whittier you can do it!  As we continue to look at our data for the year, I’ll post more trends and figures about Whittier students abroad.

Luz Castro (’18) Receives Gilman Award

Congratulations to Luz Castro!


WHITTIER COLLEGE Student LUZ CASTRO (’18) awarded U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship 

The Whittier College Office of International Programs is pleased to announce that Luz Castro (‘17), a senior at Whittier College is one of over 850 American undergraduate students from 324 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study or intern abroad during the fall 2015/academic year 2015-2016 academic term. Luz will spend Fall 2016 at the School for International Training in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs.  The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go.  Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply.  Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies — making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates.  Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience.  It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  The full list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including students’ home state, university and host country, is available on their website: www.iie.org/gilman. According to Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries.  It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace.”

* * * * * * * *

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations. In an effort to reflect the diversity of the United States and global society, ECA programs, funding, and other activities encourage the involvement of American and international participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities.  Artists, educators, athletes, students, youth and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries around the globe participate in academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges.  For more information about ECA programs, initiatives, and achievements, visit http://eca.state.gov.


The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas.  An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the Institute is the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization.  IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide working with more than 1,200 member institutions and over 6,000 individuals with a commitment to the internationalization of their institutions.  IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. These programs include the Fulbright and Humphrey Fellowships administered for the U.S. Department of State.  The Institute is a resource for educators and institutions worldwide (http://www.iie.org), publishing the Open Doors Report and operating www.IIEPassport.org and www.studyabroadfunding.org  search engines for study abroad program and study abroad scholarships.  For more information, please contact Lindsay Calvert, Director, Gilman International Scholarship, at 832-369-3481 or lcalvert@iie.org.

Are you thinking about studying in Asia Next Spring?

Then you should look at the Freeman Asia Scholarship.  It was recently relaunched and will have a September or October deadline for students going abroad next spring.


Freeman-ASIA (Freeman Awards for Study in Asia) is designed to support U.S.-based undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who are planning to study overseas in East or Southeast Asia. The program’s goal is to increase the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents with first-hand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures.

Copenhagen 2016

Students In SOWK study abroad course, Courtesy Sonia Chaidez
Students In SOWK study abroad course, Courtesy Sonia Chaidez

It’s the middle of summer and students are getting back from places like Greece, Denmark, Hong Kong.  Here’s a great project from Dr. Sheridan’s and Lisa Ibanez’s class in Copenhagen.  The course had 19 Whittier College students and focused on social issues that cut across national boundaries.  Two technology specialists, Kathy Filatreau and Sonia Chaidez, joined the group as part of a Mellon Grant to help integrate digital storytelling into the coursework.  Below you can see the collaboration between Whittier and Metropol University Students.