Global Poet Scholarship (GPS)


The Global Poet Scholarship Fund increases student access to study abroad programs and enhances students’ global education.

The GPS program is a commitment to award $2,000 to every student who studies abroad through the Whittier College Office of International Programs.


All Whittier College students 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 are eligible to allocate their Global Poet Scholarship funding for study abroad travel as long as the actual travel component of the course(s) takes place after the third full-time semester at Whittier College.

What if I don’t get accepted to a program?

Because of the popularity of study abroad programs, you may not get your first choice the first time you apply. It is possible that you will be recommended for your second choice program, or you may also be waitlisted or deferred to a later date. Many opportunities will be available 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. 

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 programs than for semester programs.

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, no, 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.

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.