Study abroad is among the most unique, impactful experiences an undergraduate student can have. While some students have had other travel experiences before or during college, few have had the sort of immersive experience study abroad provides through opportunities to engage with local people and communities. Integrated classes and housing, internships, community service, school placements, and participation in student clubs and organizations provide students with a real sense of what life is like in their host communities.

At HWS, the Center for Global Education (CGE) offers a robust menu of study abroad options to meet the wide range of academic needs and interests of our students. International study is woven into the fabric of our curriculum, with faculty and CGE staff working collaboratively to develop and manage programs that enrich our students’ academic experiences. Over 60% of HWS graduates participate in an international study program, placing us among the national leaders for baccalaureate institutions. Given the relatively small number of US college and university students who study abroad (less than 2% in any given year), this is something that sets our students apart and enables them to stand out when applying for admission to graduate or professional schools or when competing for jobs.

Parents and other family members can play an important role in their student’s study abroad experience by providing emotional support, help in financial and personal planning, and by encouraging the student to take appropriate risks that will foster academic and personal growth. We advise students to discuss their plans with their families throughout the study abroad process. The CGE strongly recommends that parents and guardians review the online resources available on our website and ensure your student has done the same. Ultimately, it is the student who must take responsibility for planning and preparing to study abroad, including completing and submitting required documents in a timely way.

Over the years, the Colleges have received considerable national recognition for our international study program. In 2010 HWS was awarded the prestigious Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization from NAFSA: Association of International Educators. For two consecutive years, in 2017 and 2018, the Princeton Review ranked HWS as having the #1 study abroad program in the country, a testament to the number of students and faculty who participate in our programs and the innovative pre-departure and re-entry programming that helps students make the most of their time abroad. As we discovered in a recent survey of HWS graduates who studied abroad, the vast majority believed that experience had a positive impact on their personal and professional lives. For many, the opportunity to experience the world helped them to focus their academic and personal interests and was the highlight of their HWS education.

Fast Facts

  • Over 60% of HWS graduates participate in an international study program.
  • The Center for Global Education (CGE) offers about 50 different semester program options, along with a broad range of short-term programs – visit our program menu here.
  • Short-term programs (3-4 weeks) are offered during the J-term (December-January) and Summer (typically May-June).
  • About 35% of HWS faculty have directed a short-term or semester-long study abroad program.
  • The CGE is noted for its unique pre-departure and re-entry programming, designed to help prepare students for their time abroad and to encourage them to continue to process their experiences once they return. A wide variety of activities and events are offered through which students can share their insights with the campus and local communities. For example, the CGE publishes its own journal, The Aleph: a journal of global perspectives, that features artwork, photography, and written pieces produced by study abroad and international students focusing on their experiences crossing borders and cultures.
  • HWS has been recognized as a “Top Producer” for both the US Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program and the US Fulbright Program. From 2005-2020, 45 HWS students were awarded Fulbright Scholarships – and each one participated in a study abroad program.