Certificate of International Immersion

Students who show significant commitment to and understanding of global interaction may apply to have their experiences recognized with a Certificate of International Immersion, noted on the transcript and in the listing of honors at Commencement. The faculty's International Education Committee awards the certificate after considering a student's overall academic record (minimum 3.000 cumulative grade-point average), an essay and presentation. The purpose of this process is to allow you to reflect deeply on the value of your experiences.


In general, students who have invested significant time (more than a 13-week term) in study abroad living with native speakers, taking coursework in the target language and volunteering, participating in community service or working in an internship are eligible to submit an application for the Certificate in International Immersion. Those students who have combined experience abroad through more than one of the global learning categories and reach the equivalent of a full-year immersion are also eligible to apply.


By January 10, 2020, make a submission to our online application.
Part I: Be prepared to provide the following information:
  • Current GPA (minimum 3.0 cumulative gpa required).
  • Immersion: Where were you, what did you do and when? Did you live with native speakers? Include study abroad, research, internships, service-learning, etc. undertaken abroad. You can separate this into two sections: Academic Travels Overseas and Non-Academic Travels Overseas.
  • W&L coursework: Your courses (with grades) related to your time abroad taken at W&L before and after your time abroad. Please specify if you took any of your courses in the language of the country.
  • Transferred credits: Your coursework (at least 12 credits, including for non-native language courses, when appropriate) you have transferred to W&L from abroad.
Part II: Write a brief essay (no more than 1000 words) showing your:
  • Development of appreciation of cultural differences: In other words, how deeply did you immerse yourself in the foreign culture, and how profoundly you and your outlook/world-view were changed by your encounters and interactions while abroad? How much do you now appreciate cultural difference?
  • Sustained engagement with host country outside of study or internship activity: How much else did you do beyond contact with your host family and the interactions demanded by your academic responsibilities?
  • Use of time abroad to enrich and contribute to the W&L community:  What did you do beyond talking to friends, roommates, and classmates? At the very least one of the following: Did you engage with the university's international community? If so, in what ways? Did you do a community-wide presentation, a poster-session, a capstone project related to study abroad and shared with a larger group of W&L community members, etc.?
Part III:  The week of February 3-8, 2020, students' presentations will be scheduled.

Presentation format:  Oral/Powerpoint presentation demonstrating how you immersed yourself in the foreign culture, how/if this changed your world-view, how you have used your time abroad to enrich the W&L community, and how it has impacted your personal goals beyond graduation.  No more than 10 minutes with 5 minutes of questions by the International Education Committee.  A computer, projector and screen will be provided.  Please contact Cindy Irby in the Center for International Education if other technology is required.

Students who wish to provide additional evidence of international immersion that does not fall into the above categories (e.g., an original art work, a photo essay, a digital humanities presentation, etc.) are welcome to include such materials in their presentation to the International Education Committee if they are selected as a finalist for the certificate.