A newsletter for ISS students, alumni, faculty, and staff.
Vol. 3, Issue 1 //  Autumn Quarter 2019

Hayden Campell for C of BE Story Retrieved from https://uwphotos.smugmug.com/Campus-Architecture/Quad/i-62nJsR3/A 

ISS Offers Study Abroad Opportunities

As a faculty member of the Jackson School of International Studies, it is with great enthusiasm that I announce this quarter's inaugural offering of study abroad opportunities for our ISS students.

1.81 % of Washington college students study abroad.  Immersing oneself in communities and habits of living different from one's own yields valuable lessons and broadens perspectives. Mark Twain's immortal observation about travel in his 1869 The Innocents Abroad, still resonates strongly: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” Washington State, a portal for global interactions, is particularly sensitive to to the advantages yielded by study abroad.  In 2017, the Institute of International Education (IIE) reported that study abroad can have a significant overall impact on the development of 21st-century skills and the ability to secure employment.  The study concluded that time spent abroad has "a high impact on subsequent job offers and the development of most skills. Short term programs are most effective at developing teamwork skills.”

UW ISS students are eligible to participate in UW Programs or Exploration Seminars, which are faculty-led and involve coursework in a specific subject area. UW Programs run during the academic quarter, and Exploration Seminars tend to be 3-4 weeks between the summer and autumn quarter or during a school break. Students may also discuss the possibility of doing an internship or independent learning abroad with their ISS Academic Adviser.​

The University of Washington offers study abroad programs in many locations, including:

  • North America

  • South America

  • Africa

  • Europe

  • Asia

  • Australia and Oceania

There are two types of program terms for faculty-led programs:

  • Short-term Programs (4 weeks or shorter)

  • Quarter-long Programs (align with UW academic terms)

If you think you would be interested in pursuing opportunities to study abroad, please see: 


Deborah Porter, ISS Co-director

University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies

Study Abroad: Is it right for you?

Kiana Parker, who advises students on study abroad graciously answered some common questions students have when considering whether or not the experience fits into their objectives. Her responses have been slightly edited for concision.

1.  What are the one or two most prevalent reasons that motivate students to study abroad?

That's a tough one to answer. Students study abroad for a variety of different reasons. Some do it because they perceive a professional edge on their resumes or grad school applications, others are heritage seeking students but students also study abroad because they want to test their own resilience or simply step away from the life they have always known in the US and experience something completely culturally different.

2.  Is there a difference between programs during the summer and other quarters?  If yes, what are the one or two most salient for considering when/if to apply to study abroad?

Many students prefer to study abroad during the summer and early fall academic terms because they don't interfere with the regular academic year. The biggest curveball for students who want to consider study abroad in these academic terms is financial aid. Financial aid can be used to study abroad, but it works differently in those academic terms so it's imperative that students understand those differences before applying to these programs.  UW Study Abroad (more specifically me) offers financial planning workshops for students three times a quarter to help students understand the financial implications of study abroad and to give them a head start on scholarships. This workshop is also available online.  The workshops work best if you can encourage students who are kinda sorta thinking about study abroad but haven't made any concrete choices yet.  Study abroad requires a lot of advance planning particularly for students who want to fully take advantage of the financial resources available to them, but it is extremely hard to get students to start thinking about something they want to do so far into the future.  Ideally, we want students asking preliminary questions and coming to the workshop a year in advance if possible.

3.   Is it necessary to be proficient in the language of a target country to go there?

No. Many of our faculty led program options are taught in English unless otherwise specified as are many of our partner program options with some exceptions.  However students wishing to study in a host country for an extended period of time on a less formally structured program, are likely going to need to be proficient in the language of the host country. This is most common for students who wish to study on a formal exchange for a semester or year.  Students who participate in direct exchanges are literally swapping places with another student from one of our partner institutions while paying their same tuition rate directly to UW (So a great deal of Washington state residents in particular).

4. Many of our students receive financial aid, can this aid be directed to study abroad courses?

Students can use financial aid to pay for study abroad so long as they maintain the required minimum credit load to receive financial aid.  (The rules for being financial aid eligible do not change simply because a student is studying abroad) For undergraduates full-time aid is 12 quarter credits and for part-time aid it's six quarter credits. Grants and scholarships in a student's aid package can go with them abroad. However some forms of aid cannot.  The value of tuition exemptions and tuition waivers cannot be transferred abroad for the term (s) the student plans to be abroad so students need to do their math. There are also some restrictions for students wanting to use veteran benefits so it's really important that they seek some form of financial planning advice from our advising staff.

5.  What other types of fellowships or scholarships are available to students who wish to experience unfamiliar cultures and countries? What is the best way to identify scholarships for which they would be eligible?  

There are lots of different scholarships students can use to study abroad.  The best starting point would be our study abroad funding guide.

ISS Bulletin Board: News, Events, Announcements

Forward Facing
  • Period I Registration for Winter Quarter opens November 1st. Individual registration dates are based on class standing and student ID number--be sure to check MyUW to find the date registration opens for you.
​Noteworthy News
  • ISS Librarian Reed Garber-Pearson chaired the Washington Chapter of the Association of College & Research Librarians 2019 Conference Oct 24-25, 2019. The theme of the conference is Whiteness & Racism in Academic Libraries: Dismantling Structures of Oppression. ISS faculty Dr. Ralina Joseph is keynote, hosting a workshop on Interrupting Microaggressions. See the full schedule.
  • ISS Librarian Reed Garber-Pearson has published a chapter in The Culture of Digital Scholarship in Academic Libraries (ALA Edition, 2019).
  • ISS Assistant Director of Academic Services Aimee Kelly presented “Beyond FERPA: Information Security, Student Privacy, and Academic Advising” with colleagues Joe Eckert (UW iSchool) and Scott Weatherman (UW College of Education) at the 2019 Summer Advising Symposium and has been invited to give the talk at the UW College of Education in November.
  • ISS Assistant Director of Academic Services Aimee Kelly was selected to serve a two-year term on UW’s Adviser Education Program Board.
  • The ISS Core Team, including our co-director Mel Wensel, lecturers Sara Vannini and Meg Spratt, and advising staff Aimee Kelly and Daniel McConnell participated in training to support undocumented students with the Director of the UW Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center and Leadership Without Borders Program  on October 22, 2019.