Global Learning Policies


Eligibility requirements

General eligibility

At a minimum, students must meet the following eligibility criteria to apply for a Department of Global Learning (Global Learning) program that is managed by Washington State University International Programs.

  • Students must be enrolled at Washington State University. Students wishing to study abroad with WSU as a non-degree seeking student must start the university non-degree admission process at least 10 business days prior to the program application due date. 
  • Students who participate in a program during the term in which they plan to graduate will be allowed to walk in graduation ceremonies but may not receive their actual diploma until the following term if grades/transcripts are not available until after the final date for certifying graduation.
  • Students must have a 2.0 GPA or higher.
  • Students must be at least 18 years old to participate in a Global Learning program. Those under the age of 18 at any time of application or admission process must have a parent/guardian sign all forms requiring a signature as part of the application, admission, and participation process. Students should notify their education abroad coordinator of their status and appropriate forms will be provided to the parent/guardian. After turning 18, students will be required to resubmit all their documents with their own signatures. 

Disciplinary eligibility

  • Pursuant to Washington Administrative Code (WAC 504-26-405), students must be in good disciplinary standing according to WSU’s Student Handbook for Community Standards
  • Students uncertain about their Status with Community Standards should refer to the Center for Community Standards.
  • Students serving a current sanction of disciplinary probation that will end prior to the program application due date for their intended program abroad are eligible to apply to WSU-supported programs.
    • Admission and participation in travel is contingent on completing the requirements of the current sanction and no subsequent infractions before the program application deadline.
  • Students serving a current sanction of disciplinary probation that overlaps any dates of program travel are ineligible to participate in WSU-supported programs.
    • Students issued a sanction of disciplinary probation after their admission to a program will have their admission retracted if the dates of the sanction overlap any period of the program travel. This will result in cancellation fees for the program.
  • Students with an active sanction of disciplinary probation until the end of their academic career (career probation) are ineligible to participate in WSU-supported programs.


  • There is no appeal process to allow study abroad while a student has open Community Standards sanctions. Students planning to pursue study abroad, or currently enrolled in a program, are encouraged to discuss their travel plans during the hearing phase of any conduct case and work through Community Standards to make an attempt to complete their sanctions as soon as possible.

Conditions for participation

Your acceptance to a Washington State University global education program and your participation in the travel portion of the program is contingent upon the following conditions:

  • You must complete the Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability form in the Global Learning program application located at myStudyAbroad by the application due date.
  • You must have a 2.0 GPA or higher.
  • You must observe the Student Handbook for Community Standards, which extends to study abroad locations and you are obliged to participate in the program as designed.
  • You must pass all required pre-departure and/or prerequisite courses.
  • You must make full payment of all tuition and fees by the due date found on your statement of account in myWSU.
  • If applicable to your study abroad program, you must meet all entry, exit, and visa requirements of your program destination(s); any countries while in transit; and the U.S. upon return, including but not limited to possessing a valid passport; obtaining the appropriate visa; and providing proof of any required vaccinations and/or any testing requirements and other protocols. Entry, exit, and visa requirements are established by each individual country; Global Learning and Washington State University have no control over visa denials, immigration and visa regulations, and/or any changes in the Embassies’/Consulates’ policies. Please refer to Travel.State.Gov and the respective Embassy or Consulate websites for the most current travel information.
  • Any student who is a registered sexual offender or has a current or pending felony charge is excluded from participating in study abroad programs managed by WSU.
  • Any student with a sanction of disciplinary probation or suspension is ineligible to participate in Global Learning abroad programs overlapping the dates of their sanction. Global Learning confirms student eligibility for its programs through Community Standards upon application to the program and at the end of the term immediately preceding the program.
  • You must enroll and maintain enrollment in the global learning course(s) required for your program of admittance.
  • You must maintain compliance with all university mandates.
  • If you do not meet all these requirements, even after you have been accepted, you will not be permitted to participate in your global learning program and will be subject to the Global Learning Cancellation Policy. Please contact your global learning advisor with any questions.

Before you apply

Ideally, you should begin planning for your education abroad experience at least 1 year before you depart. Program application deadlines vary greatly, and applications for entry visas may take a long time to process.

  • Review your program
    • Review the Program Costs paragraph in myStudyAbroad for the program you have applied to and review the withdrawal policy carefully. Monitor your Washington State University email account – notifications regarding program admittance are communicated via email.
    • Make an appointment with your academic advisor. You should inform your advisor of your plans to study abroad as soon as possible so that you can work together to ensure that your program fits into your academic plan.
    • Review your chosen program online and make note of any credit evaluation needs.
    • As applicable, research your global education program location’s entry, exit, and visa requirements and be prepared to provide proof of any required vaccinations and/or any testing requirements and other protocols.
  • Apply for your passport, if you have not done so already. A valid passport is required for all WSU study abroad programs.
  • Apply for grants and scholarships

Cancellation policy

Withdrawing a committed application BEFORE the WSU application deadline

  • WSU fees. No WSU fees will be charged to your WSU account if you withdraw a committed application before the WSU application deadline.
  • Non-WSU fees. Depending on the terms and conditions of your agreement with a program provider and/or host institution, you may be responsible for fees to your program provider and/or host institution.

Withdrawing a committed application AFTER the WSU application deadline

  • Notification. You must notify IP-Global Learning in writing immediately if you choose to withdraw. It is your responsibility to notify all other parties involved in your education abroad process including, but not limited to Student Financial Services, your academic advisor/department, and your education abroad program provider or host institution, if applicable.
  • Global Learning application fee. Your WSU application fee will be charged to your student account if you withdraw a committed application after the deadline.
  • Other WSU fees. Refunds for fees such as WSU Participation Expense or International Health and Travel Insurance will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Non-WSU fees. Depending on the terms and conditions of your agreement with a program provider and/or host institution, you may be responsible for fees charged by your program provider and/or host institution.
  • Appeals. You may appeal for a refund by submitting all appeal documents within 2 weeks from the date you notified Global Learning of your withdrawal. NO LATE appeal documents will be considered. You cannot appeal the Global Learning application fee or other non-Global Learning fees not charged through WSU. There is no guarantee that your appeal will result in a refund.

Application deadlines

Application DeadlineStudy Abroad Program
January 15Faculty-led: EMBA (April)
February 1Faculty-led (summer)
March 1Outgoing Bilateral and ISEP Exchange (summer, fall, and academic year)
April 1Faculty-led (fall)
Faculty-led: OMBA
Incoming Bilateral and ISEP Exchange (fall and academic year)
Provider (summer)
May 1Provider (fall and academic year, includes ISEP Direct)
June 1Faculty-led proposals (spring and spring break)
July 1Faculty-led proposals (summer)
August 1Peer programs (academic year)
Faculty-led (winter break)
September 1Outgoing Bilateral and ISEP Exchange (spring and calendar year)
October 15Faculty-led (spring)
Faculty-led proposals (fall)
Incoming Bilateral and ISEP Exchange (spring)
Provider (spring and calendar year, includes ISEP Direct)
November 1Faculty-led (spring break)
December 1Faculty-led proposals (winter)

For WSU employees traveling abroad

WSU employees and official volunteers may register their travel and receive information about international travel insurance from WSU Compliance and Risk Management. It is also recommended that individuals register their travel with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration website and enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Travel and health insurance

All students registering with the International Travel Registry will be automatically enrolled in comprehensive WSU International Travel and Health Insurance. Insurance cost is billed through myWSU. The amount billed for this coverage is based on the length, by day, of your experience abroad with a minimum charge of 14 days. The current charge (2022) is $2.20/day and includes COVID quarantine supplemental coverage.

WSU faculty and staff traveling with students will be enrolled in the same insurance as their students.

WSU provides emergency medical and emergency situation travel insurance to all faculty, staff, graduate student employees, and registered volunteers on work-related travel abroad.

More information on WSU’s comprehensive International Travel and Health Insurance Policy can be found at Searchlight Portal. Enter the following Group ID number: 100004CPPD16 to access the policy.

International Travel Registry

Your safety and security during your time abroad is important to us.

The International Travel Registry (ITR) is an online registration system that provides Washington State University with a secure means of documenting the international travel plans for its students who are abroad during WSU-related, not-for-credit activities.

Sexual harassment

Study abroad participants, both women and men, should be aware that Washington State University is committed to providing a living and study environment free from sexual harassment. The university encourages Global Learning participants to report concerns and complaints so that prompt corrective measures can be taken to stop sexual harassment whenever it occurs. If you experience sexual harassment while studying abroad, first be assertive and let the individual concerned know that his or her conduct is unwelcome and offensive to you.

As soon as possible, document what has happened in writing and report the situation to your program leadership, in-country contact, or Global Learning coordinator. If you are uncomfortable discussing the situation with your faculty leader or host contact, contact your coordinator directly.

Washington State University is committed to taking prompt and appropriate action in your support. If appropriate, an investigation will be conducted, and if possible, your identity will remain confidential. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken whether Washington State University or foreign students and/or faculty are involved. If the evidence is inconclusive, some action may still be in order. You will be kept informed of the outcome of your complaint. If the individual who harassed you is not an employee of Washington State University or host institution, you should still report the incident because the university may be able to act on your behalf about the situation.

WSU resources related to sexual harassment

International Program Health, Safety, and Security Advisory Committee

The International Health, Safety and Security Advisory Committee (IHSSAC), as a Level 2 Advisory Committee of the President’s Health, Safety and Security Committee structure, was established to develop guidelines and policies to maintain the health and safety of Washington State University students, faculty, and staff participating in global learning. The committee meets occasionally as required to review and discuss policies.

Advisory Committee members

  • Sharyl Kammerzell, Associate Vice President, Chief Compliance and Risk Officer
  • Gary Jenkins, Chief of Police
  • Kelly Newlon, Director, Global Learning
  • Jason Sampson, Director, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Jacob Sajinyan, Director, Risk Management

Travel to high-risk locations

The health, safety, and security of students and faculty traveling abroad is a top priority at Washington State University. So that every Coug who wants to gain valuable international experience through study abroad, research, field work, internships, or volunteer opportunities is able to do so safely, multiple sources of information are consulted to review a location’s risk. 

Faculty interested in developing a faculty-led program to countries with a Level 3 Travel Advisory are required to submit a “Request to Travel to a High-Risk Location” petition and receive approval to continue the program development process. These petitions are reviewed by the committee. All students, faculty, and staff traveling through Global Learning to a high-risk location will be required to submit a special High Risk Location Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability. Current versions of these forms are available by emailing IP-Global Learning

When researching and assessing a program location country or region, WSU factors in criteria from government, insurance, and in-country resources.

  • U.S. Department of State – Issues travel advisories for every country, including 4 standard levels of advice, risk descriptions, and actions that U.S. citizens should implement to help ensure their safety.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Issues Travel Health Notices to inform travelers about current health issues related to specific designations and are categorized by Warning Level 3 (avoid nonessential travel), Alert Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions) and Watch Level 1 (practice usual precautions).
  • On Call Insurance – Using the Global Health Security Index Score

WSU Global Learning will also ensure that no programs are in breach of other formal U.S. Government guidance, including but not limited to:

Accompanying individuals

Limitation of accompanying individuals on Faculty-Led Programs

Faculty/Program Directors’ accompanying individuals (limited to legal partners only) are permitted to travel with the program leader. This travel requires that the program leader and the accompanying individual sign and acknowledge the following:

  1. Program leadership responsibility. Due to the academic nature, liability, and vulnerability brought about by accompanying individuals, accompanying individuals are discouraged from participating in study abroad programs.
    1. Program leaders are expected to be available to students 24/7 in case of an emergency. When traveling as a program leader, the program leader’s responsibility is first to the program students. If an accompanying individual should become ill, injured, or need the full attention of the program leader, it is recognized that the program leader’s responsibility would be rightfully compromised, thus leaving the program more vulnerable than if there were no accompanying individual.
  2. Liability and vulnerability. Traveling as an accompanying individual on a WSU Faculty-Led Program is voluntary and in no way obligates nor allows the accompanying party to provide any level of student assistance or support. Non-WSU staff members do not have the same indemnity that staff members do, therefore leaving them vulnerable to personal liability.
    1. It is the responsibility of the program leader to ensure that accompanying individuals do not form relationships with students that could lead to a power differential or any bias (positive or negative) in program grading or access to resources and opportunities.
  3. Student perception. Students are often frustrated by the presence of accompanying individuals. They feel that their program fees are covering what they perceive to be a family vacation.
  4. Funds. Payment of accompanying individuals cannot be handled by WSU due to state law and auditing requirements. Accompanying individuals must pay the program vendor directly and must pay for every aspect of the program used including, but not limited to, a share of faculty member housing, a share of any reserved transportation, group meals, public transportation tickets, tour admissions, and guide trips. These arrangements must be made by the student application deadline to ensure that program fees that are amortized across the group (overhead costs) are appropriately distributed across all travelers.
  5. Emergencies. If there is a program-related emergency or need to privately counsel a student, the program leader must attend to the student’s needs and be available 24/7 (by phone if students are in another city on personal travel). This could mean that the accompanying individual would be displaced from their lodging, at least temporarily, to allow for privacy if another location is not available.
    1. WSU is unable to provide support for accompanying individuals during an emergency. It is the responsibility of the program leader to coordinate any emergency assistance without jeopardizing the program or negatively impacting their ability to perform their duties.
  6. Insurance. All persons traveling with university employees are strongly encouraged to purchase international travel health and emergency insurance. The WSU international insurance vendor allows payment only through WSU, thus accompanying individuals are not eligible to enroll in OnCall insurance. Other recommendations can be provided by Global Learning staff members.
    1. In the event of an emergency (such as a need for evacuation), this will result in the separation of the program leaders from their accompanying individuals, as rescue coverage and services would be provided by different organizations.

Requirements to allow accompanying individual travel on Faculty-Led Programs

  1. Academic leadership approval. The Director of Global Learning will email the appropriate academic leader (i.e., department chair, international director, dean) informing them of the accompanying individual traveling with the program and requesting confirmation of the academic leadership’s approval (the Faculty-Led program leader(s) will be copied on this email correspondence).
  2. Policy acknowledgements. Both program leaders and accompanying individuals will be required to sign an acknowledgment of this policy. This is built into leadership registrations for program leaders and will be provided as a separate document for accompanying individuals.
  3. Background checks for accompanying individuals. Per WSU’s BPPM 95.53 on International Travel, accompanying individuals traveling alongside a WSU Faculty-Led Program are required to provide their criminal history to IP-Global Learning through the Washington State Patrol WATCH program. Accompanying individuals must submit a request for their criminal history from the Washington State Patrol and provide the results to IP-Global Learning.
    1. The cost of this background check is $11 (as of Oct. 2023) and is the responsibility of the accompanying individual.
    2. For more information, go to WSP WATCH and WSP Criminal History.
    3. Results can be emailed to IP-Global Learning.

Potential partners and program vendors

International Programs partners with Washington State University academic units and colleges to facilitate, develop, and manage study abroad programs and other credit-bearing international opportunities (e.g., student exchanges, third-party provider and direct-enroll programs, service learning, internships, research abroad) for Global Cougs (WSU students).

The Global Learning department currently works with 17 third-party program providers and direct-enroll host institutions. Third-party provider programs are managed by another U.S. or educational organization. These programs are offered for a semester, academic year, or summer session and are selected by WSU academic departments with assistance from Global Learning via an established proposal process. Third-party providers play an important role in expanding the access, scope, geographical location, and volume of education abroad opportunities to WSU students.

Features of WSU-approved third-party provider and direct-enroll study abroad programs

  • Participants remain registered at WSU while studying abroad, which enables them to access university, state, and federal financial aid
  • Participants are responsible for paying the program provider/host institution directly
  • Participants earn graded WSU credit (approved by appropriate WSU academic departments)
  • International Programs staff provides advising, pre-departure orientation, and other critical services to participants
  • A minimum number of participants from WSU is not required

Campus visits for WSU-approved program providers or institutional representatives

  • Work with the appropriate Global Learning coordinator to schedule campus visits at least 30 days in advance of the proposed visit date
  • Schedule visits while bearing in mind the WSU study abroad application deadlines. Visits must take place at least 3 weeks in advance of application deadlines
  • Promote only those programs deemed “WSU-approved”
  • Allow International Programs to contact any academic unit you would like to meet
  • Kindly limit recruitment visits to one per semester aside from the twice-annual Global Learning Fair
  • International Programs cannot reserve or pay for a promotional table on campus

Campus visits for non-affiliated providers or institutional representatives

While International Programs does not initiate new programs, education abroad specialists are able to discuss the new program proposal process with providers and institutional representatives interested in establishing an affiliation with WSU.

To request a meeting with an International Program staff member, please follow these steps:

  • Review WSU’s current study abroad programs in myStudyAbroad to ensure little overlap between those already offered and those represented by your organization
  • Email Dr. Kelly Newlon to request a meeting no less than 45 days in advance of the proposed meeting date. The email should include:
    • A summary of the program(s) to be discussed and a brief overview of why it would be a unique opportunity for WSU students
    • A brief description of your organization and its experience in the field of international education
    • Your organization’s website
    • An overview of the student support services offered by your organization (e.g., housing placement, risk management, academic support, excursions, etc.)
  • Please do not plan to engage in student recruitment efforts
  • Please allow Global Learning to make contact with any academic unit you would like to meet