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Washington and Lee University

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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 certificate is awarded by the faculty's International Education Committee, which considers a student's overall academic record (minimum 3.000 cumulative grade-point average) and a senior portfolio that includes significant evidence of the following:

• student development in self-understanding, maturity, tolerance of ambiguity, and appreciation of cultural differences

• cumulative time (preferable one academic year) studying abroad for more than a single 12-week term, which may include time spent in substantive     independent research, internship, or other non-course activities

• 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

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


A. Eligibility

In general, students who have spent a full-year 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 addressed to the International Education Committee to the Director or Assistant Director of International Education summarizing your candidacy based on the following criteria:

Students are able to communicate, live and work in a foreign environment and understand and adapt to cultural differences through mastery of inter-cultural communication skills, taking coursework primarily in the target language, living with native speakers, volunteer or work experience.

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.

3. Prepare a 10-minute presentation of your portfolio materials for the International Education Committee followed by a five-minute question period.