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Global Poet Scholarship [GPS] – Whittier College Study Abroad

Global Poet Scholarship [GPS]

Whittier is proud to announce the Global Poet Scholarship Fund to increase student access to study abroad and enhance students’ global education. The GPS program, to be rolled out over three years, is a commitment to award $2,000 to every student who studies abroad through the Whittier College Office of International Programs. The GPS program will begin with students who entered Whittier College in Fall of 2016 and then continue to help future students incorporate travel into their sophomore, junior or senior years.


Full-time students entering Whittier College in fall 2016 or later will be eligible to allocate their $2,000 Global Poet Scholarships Funding towards Whittier College-approved study abroad travel that occurs after their third semester at Whittier College. Access to the award is automatic for students in good academic and disciplinary standing, though funding is reserved for those accepted through the Office of International Programs to participate in credit-bearing academic experiences abroad.


Who can use the Global Poet Scholarship funding?
All students who matriculated for the first time at Whittier College as full-time undergraduates (i.e., first-year or transfer students) in fall 2016, will be eligible to allocate their Global Poet Scholarship funding for study-abroad travel that takes place in January 2018 or later.  This means students who begin their career at Whittier fall 2016 or later can allocate these funds towards travel occurring during their sophomore, junior or senior year–as long as the actual travel component of the course(s) takes place after the third full-time semester at Whittier College.

I am a freshman this year (2016-17), can I apply for a program now?
Yes—we want you to start planning early!!!  You can apply to a program at ANY TIME, but the program’s TRAVEL component must take place after your third semester at Whittier College.

I am starting at Whittier in fall 2017, will I be eligible?
Yes!  If you begin your Whittier Career in September 2017 you will be able to apply to programs and, upon acceptance, allocate your GPS dollars towards travel that occurs on or after January 2019.


What if I don’t get accepted to a program?
Because of the popularity of study abroad, you may not get your first choice the first time you apply.  It is possible that you will be recommended for your 2nd choice program, or you may also be waitlisted or deferred to a later date.  Don’t worry!  Many opportunities are coming and as long as you remain a student in good standing (academically and for discipline), Whittier College is committed to helping fund a study abroad experience for you.  Remember: this is a new program and we probably will not be able to send every student who applies in the first year.  We ask that you be patient as we grow the program, and help achieve students’ goals of going abroad.

How can I use these funds?
These funds are only for programs and travel approved by Whittier College through our study abroad processes and in accordance with our policies.  Students must be eligible for funds and be accepted into a study abroad program.

Can I use part of these funds now and some later?
Unfortunately, no.  Your funding is for one experience only.  You can always go on more trips, but your Global Poet funding is “one and done.”

Does my GPA matter?
Yes, but this is not a merit-based program.  We seek to serve all students in good academic and disciplinary standing, which means a GPA of 2.0 or higher.  Students with less than a 2.0 may also use these funds, but only after a petition process.  Our goal is not to discriminate, but to encourage academic success.  For example, students who are in the process of bringing up their GPA and show continuous improvement, are encouraged to apply.

Faculty-Led vs. Semester?
You can use these funds for either, but remember that space in both is limited and applications, just as in the past, will be competitive, especially in years one and two.  We have more space on faculty led than for semester.

What about summer study abroad?
For summer credit, your GPS funding may be allocated for a Whittier College faculty-led travel study.

Can I do both a faculty-led course and a semester abroad?
Yes, but remember that GPS funding only applies to one study-abroad experience and that space is competitive.

How do I allocate these funds?
During the application process we will ask you if you want to use your GPS funding for the trip and you will sign off on committing your funds to your experience.  You cannot use these funds to make your deposit.  Once committed to the trip, our usual withdrawal policies apply.

Can I use this to purchase a plane ticket or other items?
In general, not usually, because it will be applied to your program, but there will be a process to request use of these funds to reimburse an airfare ticket or other study-abroad related expense—and assuming there are no outstanding balances on your account.

Withdrawals and “refunds”? I committed to a trip and now need to withdraw, can I use this money for another trip?
Yes, but withdrawing in a timely manner is very important.  We cannot refund monies already spent!  The Office of International Programs has explicit instructions about withdrawals and this applies to your GPS monies as well.  In cases of late withdrawal, lack of communication or compliance-related issues, we reserve the right to bill you in order to reimburse your GPS funding and any additional fees you owe.

Can I use these funds for other Whittier College activities?
No, GPS funds are for use only on approved study abroad experience and involve a competitive application process through the Office of International Programs.

What if I have a question about the program?
You can always come see us in the office of International Programs, talk to a faculty study abroad leader.