Certificate of International Immersion

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 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 students to reflect deeply on the value of their international experiences at W&L and abroad.


In general, students who have invested significant time (more than a 13-week term) in a study abroad program 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. International students who meet these requirements may also include reflections upon their time in the U.S. and at W&L as part of their application.


By the first Monday after Washington Break, make a submission to our online application.

Part I: List Academic Travels Overseas and Non-Academic Travels Overseas separately.

Part II: Write a brief essay in which you address the following (no more than 1500 words):

  • Intellectual Immersion and Impact: Reflect on coursework and any research, internships, service-learning, etc. undertaken abroad. How did studying abroad contribute to or affect your academic or professional goals?

  • Engagement with host country and development of appreciation of cultural differences: Where were you, what did you do and when? Did you live with native speakers? How deeply did you immerse yourself in the host culture, and how profoundly were you and your outlook/world-view affected by your encounters and interactions while abroad? Please describe what you did beyond simple contact with your host family and the interactions demanded by your academic responsibilities.

  • Use of international experience to contribute to the W&L community: One of the goals of the certificate is to demonstrate the impact of international experiences on campus life. Please describe how you have drawn upon your international experience to enrich the W&L community (examples are provided below):

    • Collaboration with campus departments, student organizations, and community organizations to bring awareness of a global perspective to the W&L community? Show concrete evidence of this and other initiatives you may have undertaken to enhance global learning on campus.
    • Participation in CIE events and activities
    • Incorporation of your international experiences into honors thesis and/or capstone work
    • Language tutoring and/or work study positions related to international study

*Do note that to get the certificate you need to convince members of the International Education Committee that you have met each of the criteria listed above.

Part III: Students' presentations will be scheduled in week 10 of winter term

Presentation format: Persuasive oral presentation demonstrating how you immersed yourself in the host 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 members of 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.