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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), a senior portfolio and presentation.  The purpose of this process is to allow you to reflect deeply on the value of your experiences.

The portfolio will be divided into the following and show significant evidence in each category:

• Cumulative time studying abroad should amount to more than a single 12-week term, which may include time spent in substantive independent research, internship, or other non-course activities.

• Development in self-understanding, maturity, and appreciation of cultural differences.

• Integration of study abroad in the degree plan, including both preparatory and follow-up W&L coursework and meaningful co-curricular activities.

• Sustained engagement with people in the host country, through living situation (home stay), internship, or other means of regular contact.

• Coursework in the language of the host country (not the student's native language), when appropriate.

• At least 12 credits of coursework transferred to Washington and Lee University as a result of experience(s) abroad after matriculation at W&L.

• Presentation, exhibit or other public "capstone" activity upon return to campus.

• Any additional evidence that does not fall into the above categories. 

A. Eligibility

In general, students who have invested significant time (more than a 12-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. 

B. Procedure

1. Submit a cover letter and one page résumé of your international activities both on and off campus.  These documents should be addressed to the International Education Committee and sent to the Director or Assistant Director of International Education.  The cover letter should be a summary that justifies and provides evidence of meeting the criteria listed above.

2. Present a portfolio of evidence based on your experience that will demonstrate your compliance with the criteria as well as the way in which you have brought the experience back to W&L.  The portfolio will be divided into sections that correspond to the categories listed above.

3. Prepare a 10-minute presentation of your portfolio materials for the International Education Committee followed by a five-minute question period.  This is an opportunity to expand on one or two areas of your portfolio to tell your story in a compelling way.  Do not try to present your entire portfolio, but please spend the first two minutes summarizing your on- and off- campus experiences.