Study Abroad Program

Study Abroad students at the Great Wall of China

Take Your Education Around the World: Study Abroad with WVC

Make the most of your educational journey at West Valley College. WVC is excited to offer multiple opportunities to students to expand their learning outside of the classroom and outside of the United States.

Studying abroad will give you the chance to see the world while gaining college credit and making lifelong bonds with other students. Students who study abroad have better success records in college and report having life-changing experiences.

WVC is proud to be able to offer financial support so students can study abroad regardless of financial background.

Upcoming Programs | Summer 2024

Note: If you are planning to participate in a study abroad program not hosted by WVC, please meet with your counselor to ensure the courses fit within your educational plan.


Frequently Asked Questions


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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

It depends. Before you register, pay or participate in any study abroad program not sponsored by West Valley College, you should meet with your academic counselor and make sure it fits into your educational plan and transfer plans.

Funding the Trip

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

If you have questions that are not included in the list, please email the Director of Study Abroad Program Joshua Moon-Johnson.

Last Updated 1/23/24