Semester Application Process


Whittier College students who will be sophomores, juniors, or seniors during the term abroad, are in good academic and conduct standing, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible to participate in semester-long study abroad programs.

Applying to study abroad for a semester is a two-step process

  1. Students must complete an application for their program of choice through the Office of International Program’s Poet World Portal. Applications completed by the stated deadline will go before a Whittier College faculty committee that reviews each application.
  2. Accepted students can then apply to their program of choice via the Program Provider webpage. Please note that acceptance by Whittier College does not guarantee Program Provider acceptance.

The Whittier College Office of International Programs faculty-based committee takes a number of things into account when reviewing applications. Among the many criteria that are considered, here are several that stand out:

  • Appropriateness of the selected program/country as demonstrated through the personal statement. Successful essays make the connection between a student's academic studies at Whittier and the proposed academic program abroad.
  • Persuasive letters of recommendation from Whittier faculty. These tend to provide specific examples of a student's preparation for the proposed program. Besides comments that demonstrate an acquaintance with a students’ academic work, the letter may also include a brief assessment of the student's maturity and ability to work independently and/or as part of a program.
  • Academic preparation is evidenced by the applicant’s transcript. It is expected that applicants meet or exceed all prerequisites for the proposed program abroad. Appropriate academic preparation may be demonstrated through the successful completion of courses in the major or relevant subjects pertaining to the study abroad destination curriculum. Depending on the applicant’s choice of program, successful completion of foreign language pre-requisites will be important.          
  • The cumulative GPA (minimum of 3.0). If the applicant’s cumulative GPA is slightly lower than a 3.0, the applicant will need to specifically address that issue in the essay.
  • Finally, the applicant’s disciplinary record at Whittier College will be accessed and considered as part of the review process.

Once the committee has made its decisions, applicants will be notified within 10 days via their Poet World Portal account. Paperwork associated with acceptance status will be posted to the Poet World Portal account and will need to be completed according to the deadlines posted.

Once the student makes a commitment to accept a place abroad, withdrawal policies and penalties will be applicable. In the event that the student chooses to withdraw from a program, he or she will be responsible for reimbursing Whittier for any non-refundable deposits and program fees.